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Morgan Breeder Sweepstakes Returns To Jubilee With A Stage Rage Tricolor Sweep

by Diana Davidson

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -     Friday night September 2, 2005, featured the 15th annual edition of the $70,000 Morgan Breeder Sweepstakes. It marked the return of the prestigious event to the Jubilee in its new rotating format between Northampton
and Jubilee. The evening's festivities were once again located in the warm-up ring across from the coliseum at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. The evening started off with a party including live music, hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar at the near end and along one side of the ring. The Mardi Gras theme which had been chosen months in advance was also used to call on the Morgan community to give generously to organizations working in the Gulf States following Hurricane Katrina.

Spectators then headed for the bleachers that were set up alongside and at the far end of the ring with a special group of seats at the near end of the ring for Breeder Sweepstakes stallion owners. The actual show ring area was the center attraction with a standing room only crowd viewing the competition on a lovely late summer evening.

This year's competition marked the fifth edition featuring the expanded program which included 40 stallions whose get were eligible to compete. This expansion was intended to open up and enlarge the program. This year an outstanding group of 23 weanlings participated, although they represented just 10 of the 40 sires.

The competition was called to the ring with each of the 23 entries brought into the ring one at a time to show before judges John McDonald, Euchee Matthews, Conky Price, Gerry Rushton, and Bonnie Sogoloff. Each judge scored each weanling using a point system from zero to 100. The high and low score for each foal was dropped and the remaining three were added to arrive at the first round score. Ten minutes after the first round was completed, the top ten scoring weanlings were announced. The finalists then came back into the ring as a group. Places six thru ten were then pinned in reverse order with each receiving $2,000, a ribbon, Radon sheet, medallion and trophy.

Ultra's Special Agent continued to be a popular sire of Morgan Breeder Sweepstakes entries with four of a total of eight of his get shown earning top ten placings of seventh thru tenth in Cadence Allure, Ultra's Special Intention, Ultra's General Lee, and Revolution. The up and coming sire Astronomicallee sired the sixth place entry in Cingate Revelations.

The top five were then left to compete for second round scores. At this point the first round scores were dropped and only the second round scores were used to pin the top five. The five finalists were all judged individually and as a group. The judges were able to compare the entries and position them as they pleased. This gave the judges and the crowd a chance to really compare the entries. When all of the final scoring had been finished the top five placings were announced in descending order.

Earning $4,000 as the fifth place finisher was Aljaks Double Jeopardy. The product of Al and Jan Martin's golden cross of Aljaks Double Whammy and Century Oak Denali was one of two top five finishers presented by Triumph Stables. Phil Fountain was on the lead of the fourth place entry as Briar Oaks Armani represented breeders Toni and Denny Maunder. The colt sired by Liberation First Star and out of Ryan's Pure Silk Lady collected a check for $5,500 for his performance.

It was a competition to the finish for the top three entries as the judges had compared them side by side and the handlers also brought them nose to nose to the delight of the crowd. Lynn Peeples brought another outstanding young example of his breeding program in Street Smart. The white trimmed bay sired by DBA Street Talk and out of Honeytree's Simply Unique accepted the third place award of $8,000.

This left only two entries remaining center stage and the large crowd as well as the trainers of the two finalists sensed the excitement at hand. The most gratified person in the building had to be Glenn Bouvier as his faith in the young breeding stallion Hollybrook Stage Rage had indeed paid off as both of the tricolor entries shared him as their sire.

When the announcement of the reserve champion was made, Mark Bodnar and Merriehill Farm added another impressive title to their list of champions. Merriehill Dusk To Dawn a brilliant chestnut daughter of Hollybrook Stage Rage and the Merriehill Hooligan daughter Merriehill It's My Day captured the check for $12,000 as she proudly posed as the 2004 Breeder Sweepstakes Reserve Champion.

The champion stood alone as John Hufferd was on the magical lead of the champion for the third year in a row. This time it was Louise Shane who added her name the select list of Morgan Breeder Sweepstakes Champion breeders as Isabella Fiore took her place in the winner's circle. The check for $25,000 went to the expressive bay daughter of Hollybrook Stage Rage and the amazing world champion and dam of world champions Schiaparelli. In addition Shane received 10% as the winning breeder along with 10% to John Hufferd as the winning trainer.

In its fifteen years the Morgan Breeder Sweepstakes has awarded over $1,000,000 in prize money to the owners, breeders and trainers of foals competing. However, this program is not just about beautiful babies; it is where winning show careers are started. It helps to encourage Morgan breeders, big and small, to breed for outstanding foals that go on to greater heights. The Morgan Breeder Sweepstakes is a great start toward a lifetime of winning.

The Morgan Breeder Sweepstakes continues to be a great marketing tool for the Morgan industry. It benefits not only stallion owners, but mare owners and perspective owners as well. Stallion owners contribute to the prize fund and in turn their stallion¹s get are eligible to compete. The mare owner simply pays the regular stud fee to these stallions and the resulting foal is eligible to compete in the Sweepstakes. Owners of Sweepstakes nominated stallions gain through increased breedings to their stallions. Mare owners gain in the earnings potential as well as marketability of the foal. In 2006 the Morgan Breeder Sweepstakes will return to Northampton before returning to the Jubilee in 2007.


Place – Name – Sire – Dam – Trainer – Owner

1 - Isabella Fiore - Hollybrook Stage Rage – Schiaparelli - John Hufferd - Louise Brandon Shane

2 - Merriehill Dusk To Dawn - Hollybrook Stage Rage - Merriehill It's My Day - Mark Bodnar -     Merriehill Farm

3 - Street Smart - DBA Street Talk - Honeytree Simply Unique - Lynn Peeples - Lynn Peeples

4 - Briar Oaks Armani - Liberation First Star - Ryan's Pure Silk Lady - Phil Fountain - Toni & Denny Maunder

5 - Aljaks Double Jeopardy - Aljaks Double Whammy – Century Oak Denali - John Hufferd - Al & Janice Martin

6 - Cingate Revelations – Astronomicallee - Cingate Vincent's Song - Mark Bodnar - Cingate Morgans LLC

7 - Cadence Allure - Ultra's Special Agent - CHR Rapture - Mark Bodnar - Cadence Farm LLC

8 - Ultra's Special Intention - Ultra's Special Agent - Ultra's Miss Isabelle - Stephen Smith - Jaye & Walt Alles

9 - Ultra's General Lee - Ultra's Special Agent - Bluefield's French Lace - Michael Slomkowski -   Stephen Smith

10 – Revolution - Ultra's Special Agent – Abby Lane - Michael Slomkowski - Alan Walton

Complete scoring and judges cards can be seen in the September 19 issue of The Saddle Horse Report.

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