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Monday Sees Performance Classes Begin At Morgan Grand National

Monday - Coliseum

A bright and warm Monday greeted the building crowd for the second day of competition. Following the crowning of the first Grand National and World Champions on Sunday in the in hand and equitation divisions, the performance classes began in earnest on Monday morning.

A split was required for the first class of Monday morning's session in the coliseum. The Classic Pleasure Saddle Ladies Gelding class featured top entries from across the country and Canada. After winning at three different regionals this year, Lookaway's Howitzer and Linda Stewart proved to be ready for world class competition. Brian Stewart met the top pair in the winner's circle in the first split of the class. Michelle Moore and LC Baywatch earned reserve honors with a fine showing for Diane Tanguay.

Judy DiGioia enjoyed a memorable first show in Oklahoma as she rode Rum Brook Immortal Mystic to victory in the second section of the Classic Pleasure Saddle Ladies Geldings. They earned a unanimous vote of the judges prepared by Arcuri Stables. Christen Cesanek directed the always showy White Christmas to the red ribbon award.

Ling Fu Wylie and HVK Obsidian garnered a unanimous tie in the English Pleasure Ladies Amateur Mare Class amid a class of six entries. Bob Hughes prepared the talented entry for the Dragonsmeade Farm. Lisa Holt and her elegant JW Nobella earned the reserve honors in this competitive class for Holt Oaks Farm.

After making sensational shows at their debut at Midwest and New England, Shanna Gish and MEM No Inhibitions were Grand National champions in the Park Harness Three-Year-Old Mare and Gelding for owner/breeder George Schott's Maine Event Morgans. HVK Hot Ember and Mary Brannon earned the reserve tie with a show of brilliance in the five entry class.

With thirteen entries in the Ladies Amateur English Pleasure Geldings, there was plenty of nationwide competition, but as the class progressed it became clear that is was the New England rivalry of FCF Coeur De Lion and Aspenglow Genesis that was the hottest competition. In just their first season together Mindy Duran and FCF Coeur De Lion grabbed the unanimous victory under Luman Wadhams' direction. Brenda Varney and Aspenglow Genesis turned in a solid ride for the reserve honors under Rick Stevens' tutelage.

Twelve young riders were on hand for classic pleasure driving competition for drivers 14-17 years of age. Mike Goebig directed Caitlin Harrison and Manhatten Design to the winner's circle with a polished performance. They were followed by the up and coming team of Steven Handy and Hermitage Avatar, an entry trained by Ann Anderson.

After earning Grand National and world champion honors as a two and three-year-old, Futurity's Miss Munitions was ready for the Four-Year-Old English Pleasure Mare competition. Stan Bodnar directed the entry owned by Cingate Morgans, LLC, to the winner's circle with a top ride. They were followed by the bright new star HVK Reflection, a full sister to HVK Vibrance, ridden by David Rand and owned by Ann Hailey's Copper Beech Morgan Farm.

The west coast entries dominated the Classic Pleasure Saddle Ladies Mares. Terry Jones Brennan and Maximum Effort bested a field of 14 entries to win the class for Summerwind Farm. Barbara Tardy and Carlyle Can Can earned reserve honors for owner Christine Clapp.

Eighteen entries were on hand to compete in the preliminary heats for the World Futurity Two-Year-Old Pleasure Driving. Eleven entries were were selected from the two sections and were asked to return for the final competition later in the week. They were: Rebellion, Festival Bossa Nova, Dragonsmeade Virtuoso, Hollybrook Lily, BEF Ivan, Sarde’s Sinful, MLB The Madame, Dragonsmeade Carnegie Hall, Cardinal Brook Earth Angel, Nothing But The Truth, and Cadence Jasmine.

An exciting group of competitors answered the call for the Four-Year-Old English Pleasure Stallions and Geldings to close out the Monday morning session. Reigning Three-Year-Old English Pleasure World Champion Haute Couture and Missy Hanover won the great class giving owner Priscilla Marconi another reason to celebrate in addition to her recent wedding. Tamarisk On Target and David Torrey took the reserve honors in the class to continue an impressive season for the Tamarisk Morgans.

The Three-Year-Old Park Harness Stallions began the afternoon session in the coliseum. Reigning Two-Year-Old Park Harness World Champion Stand And Deliver delivered another outstanding performance to follow his sensational Northampton victories to claim the Grand National title. Mike Goebig did the honors with Tara Lindeen’s Queens Vanity Flair son. Dragonsmeade Fusion debuted with much fanfare at Morgan Medallion and then made a strong showing at his first Oklahoma to earn the reserve honors for Dragonsmeade Farm with Robert Hughes on the lines.

Amy Gatewood Buckle showed the professionals how it's done in the Four-Year-Old Hunter Pleasure Stallions and Geldings. She bested a field of 21 entries to claim the honors aboard the bold-moving Highover Narcotic in only their second show together under the ownership of DanTree Farm. HYP Colorado Celebrity and Amanda DuPont claimed reserve honors in the strong class for owners Bill and Kathy Taylor. Veteran New England star Rum Brook Immortal Bliss and Sheri Lampropoulos turned in a bright showing to earn the victory pass in the Ladies Pleasure Driving Mares for owner Geraldine McLoud. GC Flaire's Celebration earned the reserve honors in the class with Stacy Hennessy driving for William and Kathy Taylor, who earned their second reserve tie in as many classes.

Little Lexie Clark listened to her lessons from Jennifer Frisbie and applied them well in the Classic Pleasure Saddle Junior Exhibitor 11 & Under Class. She directed FCF Blue Fox to the winner's circle and took home her rewards to Colorado. Desiderata Tosca and Kimberly Forster earned the reserve honors in the class for Patricia Forster.

Not a bad way to cap off a debut season. Deborah Stevenson and RDF Hi Voltage drove away with the Grand National Three-Year-Old Classic Pleasure Driving victory under the direction of Forest Nealon. ESS Fleur De Lis and Ann Beveridge earned reserve honors in the ten-entry class with a lovely showing for owner Ernestine Smith.

The most exciting class of the show thus far was the Junior Exhibitor English Pleasure 12 and 13. Tons of veteran world champions and hard-riding youngsters gave it their all as the crowd rewarded their every step with their screams and applause. Megan Ramsey's smile lit up the arena when she and Merriehill Hooligan were called to the winner's circle where they were greeted by trainer David Rand. Sarah Lee and Versace pressed every step of the way to earn reserve honors in the great class with Adriana Liberty and the amazing Hyland Acres Command in top form to earn the third place honors.

Fresh from a victory at Jubilee, What's My Line and Stan Bodnar made a solid solo performance in the Two-Year-Old Park Harness Stallions for owner Cristy Rafn.

Thirteen competitors from across the nation came together for the Junior Exhibitor English Pleasure 14-15. But it was once again regional competition at its finest when Oregon riders Alex Blix and Katie Brempelis met in the ring once again. Alex Blix directed RJH No Doubt to the winner's circle under Keith Nelsen's instruction. Katie Brempelis pushed her hard to earn the reserve honors aboard True Gold to post on the Arcuri Stables tackroom.

The queen of the roadster division, JW Romantic Ways and Judy Whitney Harris continued their reign at the top of the Roadster to Bike Mares Class. For the fifth year in a row, this dynamic duo made that unforgettable victory pass. Calvin Sessink and Century Oak Wild Mariah earned reserve honors for Bob and Muriel Herrick in the exciting class.

Caroline Gaker earned her second Oklahoma victory in as many days in her first trip to the Grand National as a competitor. Gaker directed brother Nelson's entry Wind Blu Supreme Fantasy to claim the Junior Exhibitor English Pleasure 11 and Under title under the direction of Cape Cod Farm. Samantha Lyttle and legendary West Coast competitor Park Place Pledge claimed the reserve honors in the class for owner Jennifer Green.

The Two-Year-Old Park Harness Mares and Geldings class was filled with bright young stars. The judges had their minds made up when they called for the lineup as Hylee's Vega and Joan Lurie were the unanimous victors for Dragonsmeade Farm Tim Arcuri directed the special young filly LGH Destiny Awaits to the reserve finish in her show ring debut for Rick and Lisa Howa.

With 16 entries in the Junior Exhibitor English Pleasure 16-17, the competition was stiff. But in her last show as a junior exhibitor, Etosha Moh and Kiss N Tell claimed the victory for the second year in a row. Stacy Hennessy and Gerry Rushton direct this well matched team. Nicole Meyer and Tamarisk Grand Finale were pushing the winner hard to earn reserve honors for the Rustic View Farm under the Merriehill banner.

Ten, count them ten, beautiful carriages entered the coliseum to finish out the afternoon session. Greentree Brigadier and Cece Green topped the Carriage Driving Single Turnout competition for the Greentree Ranch Morgans. Sherri Robinson and Acadiana Jacque Pierre earned the reserve honors for owner Victoria Bennett.

The Multiple Turnout competition followed with Bethesda Nickeloden, Greentree Zeus, Fortune's Aquila and Stonelock Maestro picking up the victory with Bill Lower driving for Victoria Bennett. Anita Meinert drove My Diamond In The Rough and N'Sync to the reserve honors.

Ten riders from across the country converged on Oklahoma for the Park Saddle Amateur Mare and Gelding competition (the Park Saddle division is alive!) and after a grueling battle, the state of Florida came out on top! Kristi Buehrle and Mantic Bullseye were right on target as they met Richard Boule in the winner's circle for owner William Bandy. The world titled team of Raehurst BonnieLass and Ling Fu Wylie followed up with the reserve honors for the Dragonsmeade Farm prepared by Cedar Creek Farm.

Richard Jones has emerged as the latest show ring sensation in the Dr. Robert Jones family. Richard and Amabayus topped the 15 entry Junior Exhibitor Classic Pleasure Saddle 12-13 under the direction of Phil Fountain. The winning west coast team of Eric Kessler and VVM Litigator didn't give the winners any room for error with a strong performance for reserve.

Besting a competitive class of 18 entries, Liberation Daddy's Girl and Susan Brown claimed a big victory in the Amateur Hunter Pleasure Mares to add to their impressive show ring resume under the direction of Fay Lowry. Futurity's Jewel By Twist and Debi Michaels earned the reserve honors for Michaels and Sweeten.

Adding class and elegance to the evening session was the Ladies Pleasure Driving Geldings. Thirteen beautifully turned out entries went head to head. Stephanie Connor, the epitome of elegance in her white suit, and her proven World Champion Festival Calypso earned the unanimous victory under the Arcuri Stables banner. Bringing their winning ways to a new division, Smith and Wesson and Helen Crawford earned reserve honors for Boston Morgan Farm in the lovely class.

The World Champion Futurity Three-Year-Old Hunter Pleasure competition featured another outstanding hunter from the Brown/Klein family and Kathleen Peeples. Kathy and Treble's Rhapsody in Blue earned a unanimous victory in their first time under the bright lights of Oklahoma. Belle Hufferd and Orrwood's Special Edition turned in a stellar performance to collect the reserve world champion honors for Darlene Orr and Toni Maunder.

With 14 entries in the Four-Year-Old Classic Pleasure Driving, Teri Brisco and Tomeri Tiamo had to be at the top of their game to earn their victory pass. They were thanks to preparation by Gerry Rushton and Stacy Hennessy. Gulfwind Temptress and Mary Ann McKnight-Cantey earned the reserve honors with a polished drive for Gulfwind Morgans under the direction of Luman Wadhams Stable.

The Western Pleasure Stallion competition featured 16 beautifully turned out entries. Continuing their west coast battles, Eitan Beth-Halachmy rode Santa Fe Renegade for Bernice Ericksmoen and Dan Ramsour directed Cabot French Lieutenant for Kathy and William Papola. Reigning Western Pleasure World Champion Santa Fe Renegade claimed the unanimous victory in the stallion class for the third year in a row. Ramsour and Cabot French Lieutenant had to settle for the reserve grand national title and the promise of many more battles to come.

Amid a flurry of activity and boisterous support, Mary Gaziano directed Liberation First Star in an exciting solo performance for the Amateur Park Saddle Stallions victory. The 1999 Park Saddle World Grand Champion returned to Oklahoma in victorious fashion under the direction of Rick Lane.

It was a wide-open race in the evening finale in the coliseum. Nine Roadster To Bike Stallions and Geldings took the ring by storm and it was one of those rip-roaring and crowd-pleasing kinds of classes. In the end it was the bright new face of Arboria Victorious and Lynn Peeples being called to the winner's circle for the honors. Paul Calandra owns this talented young entry. The veteran champion Oak Creek Doubletake and Mary Cockriel made the crowd-pleasing reserve pass for owners Drs. Ray and Alison Bendele. The third place honors went to Arboria Perfection, full brother to the class's winner, and Dan Williams for owners Darwin and Barbara Olson.

Monday - Ring 6

Competition began in Ring 6 with the Versatile Morgan Finals. Proving the versatility of the breed, these horses are asked to compete under saddle, in harness and in jumping competitions. For the fourth year in a row, UVM Windfall and Valarie Siemer claimed the title for owner Lora Dunlap proving their undisputed versatility. Monogram Backfire and Bruce Novak showed their well-versed style to finish in second in the entertaining class.

Western competition may be popular in the Midwest, Southwest and West Coast portion of the United States, but it was two horses trained in Florida who were the best of the best in the Western Pleasure Mare competition. Morningdance and Allyson Hughes earned the victory with a precise performance. They were followed by Daryl Hopson and the elegant Gulfwind Wild Solitaire, an entry bred and owned by Paul and Evelyn McKnight.

GPM Genesis B and Melissa Walker continued their phenomenal season as they topped the Amateur Hunter Pleasure Stallions and Geldings Over 15 Hands competition for the second year in a row. Garn Walker greeted the winning pair. Fellow California friend and competitor Julie Chan directed En Excess NKS to the reserve honors in the 15-entry class.

Evil Knievel and Hollie Luedtke earned the Grand National title in the Junior Exhibitor Western Pleasure 11 and Under for proud owners Malcolm and Jill Smith. Merriehill The Lion King and Alyssa Rumsey were in top form to take the reserve ribbon back to the Crystal Farms banner.

Fourteen entries were on hand for the Four-Year-Old Hunter Pleasure Mare competition. It was the queen of the hunter division, Kathleen Peeples back in the winner's circle, this time aboard Startrend Mystic Visions, an entry owned by Chris and Joyce Thoma. Jennifer Chowning and her pretty AMHF Mystique made an outstanding show to earn reserve honors in this good class.

The Western Pleasure Geldings Over 15 Hands featured He's Simply Marvelous in the winner's circle for the second year in a row. This year trainer Garn Walker did the honors after owner Virginia Adams had her turn in 2002. Eitan Beth-Halachmy and Futurity's Ultimate Twist earned reserve honors in the 21 entry class much to the delight of owner Ellen DiBella.

Erin Thomas also did a repeat performance of her 2002 Grand National win aboard LCP Stars N Stripes in the Amateur Hunter Pleasure Stallions and Geldings 15 Hands and Under. The handsome bay is owned by Erin and Marie Thomas and is prepared by Mary Carlton. Denbury Justice Revived and Megan Lindeberg claimed the reserve honors representing Rickford Stables.

Two sections of the Western Pleasure Geldings 15 Hands and Under featured top performers from across the country. Debbie Conklin had something to smile about after Rick Davis directed her Ensbrook Commanding Force to the winner's circle in the first section. Alakazam and Andy Marlett earned the reserve honors for owner Susan Ellis.

The second section featured a newcomer to the western division in the spotlight, Mtn Laurel Election Day and Kathleen Peeples earned the victory their first year in the western pleasure division for owner Cara Lynne Schengrund. The multi-titled team of Joyce Swanson and Cedar Creek Quartermaster earned the reserve honors for Swan's Training Stable.

Monday evening Ring 6 played host to the AMHA Hunt Seat on the Flat Gold Medal Preliminaries. With over 50 entries, the class was split into four sections for the railwork and individual patterns. Following all of the testing, 12 riders were selected to return for the Gold Medal later in the week. They are Sarese Reed, Nicole Morrison, Caitlyn Scholl, Emily Rosini, Kara Hose, Kati Wood, Briana Schauer, Brandi Nicole Carter, Kristiana Wright, Sasha Klein, Amy Prechter, and Ashley Wright.

Monday - Ring 9

Ring 9 was home to reining competition on Monday morning. Keeping it all in the family, The Douglas and Jeanne Gallagher family of Seward, Nebraska took the top spots in the Reining Non-Pro Youth competition. Shawn Gallagher directed Winter Moon Waltz With Me to the winner's circle followed by his brother James and Challie's Firethorn in the reserve slot. Shawn himself directed Firethorn to last year's title in this class.

The Open Reining Class featured Heartquest Erin making the victory pass with Mark Wilcher aboard for Leroy and Sandra Stockton. Sandy Crechiolo and her own Disco Kat slid in for the reserve Grand National title.

Wilcher was back in the winner's circle with Heartquest Erin when afternoon competition resumed. The duo claimed the Reining Four-Year-Old Snaffle Bit/Hackamore title. Wilcher also directed Atakapa Waushau to the reserve finish for Odom Farms.

The Reining Five-Year-Old Snaffle Bit/Hackamore Class showcased TK Booshawlay and Shawn McClurg in the spotlight for owners Steve and Barbara Elfers. LSI Hollywood Helkat and Meredith Rosier-Cooke earned the reserve title.

The Low Working Hunter I competition featured PKF Hollywood and Kayla Suzanne Reser claiming the top prize in the competitive 18 horse field. They were followed by Dakota's Royal Laser and Barbara Lewis for owner Victoria Bennett.

Hellcat's Reveille and Elaine Sullins topped the Jumper I competition for owner Stephanie Wells. LR Amie Savoir Faire and Kate Silberman claimed the reserve honors for Mears Morgans.

Ring 9 also played host to the World Champion Reining Non-Pro contest during the evening session. After some tough competition, it was Karen Myers and her More Apples Please earning the top spot to reclaim the title they also won in 2000 and 2001. Travis Filipek and W's Ready to Rumble turned in an exciting ride of their own to claim the reserve world championship.

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