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Morgan Classic Royale

The old theory that "it's the quality not the quantity" was proven true at the Morgan Classic Royale. While it might be assumed that a horse show with slightly more than 100 horses and over 25 percent of the classes canceled was anything but a success, the Morgan Classic Royale would prove that false. The show featured a plethora of the West Coast's top performing champions opening the season in Monterey, Calif., on May 13-15. World champions filled the lineup in several classes with the promise of an exciting show season ahead.

The class schedule with two sessions a day was heartily enjoyed by exhibitors and spectators with a late morning session and a short evening session each of the three days. This left plenty of time for everyone to visit, work horses, and enjoy all of the splendor of the Monterey Bay area. The Monterey area is a world renown tourist destination and the beaches, shops, restaurants and attractions were not lost on the horse show exhibitors. This marked the fourth year that the Morgan Classic Royale has been held at the picturesque Monterey County Fairgrounds.

The park division featured some proven champions along with exciting new combinations taking their turn on victory lane. HVK Ancient Cry and Helen Crawford did not miss a beat as they opened the season in perfect form to carry the Ladies Park Harness blue and tricolor back to Boston Morgans under the Blackridge banner. Connie Locher and Gable's High Water continued their victorious path by collecting the Open Park Harness victory in their only performance of the show.

Belle Bradford and Jarad Dawson put on a sparkling performance to earn the Park Saddle Championship honors for a beaming Kris Skaug.

The West Coast rivalry between EN Possession NKS and Tug Hill Gunns And Roses continues in 2004. EN Possession NKS and Sarah Lee started the year with a pair of stellar rides to again best their world champion competition. They secured the Junior Exhibitor Park Saddle blue and tricolor for the Lee/Woolley family under the direction of Keith Nelsen Stables. The two-time world championship team of Tug Hill Gunns And Roses and Catherine Hendrickson collected the reserve honors and the cheers of their loyal fan club.

Debbie Uecker-Keough enjoyed a memorable show in Monterey as she debuted on her impressive Granprix in winning fashion. Gerry Rushton had them well prepared for victory as they bested the field for the Junior Park Saddle Championship and the four-year-old blue. It was a tricolor sweep for the Grandiose offspring under the direction of Gerry Rushton Stables as they were followed in both outings by the bold performing Agrandeyes for Claire Green.

In the English Pleasure division, David Torrey guided the fronty bay Tug Hill Whamunition son to the tricolor finish following the open qualifier blue for Vita Zodin and Tamarisk Morgans. In keeping with the young horse theme, four-year-old Dreammaster Rare Affaire stepped up with the big kids as Stacy Hennessy presented Jean Stewart and Kate Aldinger's fancy entry to the reserve tricolor.

It was well worth the wait for Karie Miller and anyone who had the chance to see her make her long-awaited debut on her phenomenal CCR's Outrajus Corajus in Monterey. This truly spectacular stallion and his talented rider were matched to perfection as they were literally and figuratively in a class by themselves as they collected the Amateur English Pleasure blue and tricolor along with the Bettina Bancroft Memorial Trophy for their performances under the Gerry Rushton Stables banner.

The equitation division was light due to school commitments, but it featured some outstanding young riders in all seats. Tommy Brisco stepped up to the senior division with his partner Stoneledge Chancellor for a trio of victory passes. This polished pairing earned top honors in the 14-17, UPHA Challenge Cup and AMHA Saddle Seat Medal coached by Debi Jeppesen. Rachel Miller and Airegantlee also climbed the ladder to earn their first of two blues in the Saddle Seat Equitation 13 and Under instructed by Stacy Hennessy.

The Amateur Hunter Pleasure Championship victory was a major coupe for RDF Blind Faith and Cindy Blatt as they earned the tricolor for Karen Smith directed by Cathy Grimes. They were followed by Sandra Nelson's bold moving Century Oak Make My Day with Melissa Hart presenting under the Dragonfire Farm banner.

Talamar Enstarment and Allison Smallridge rose to the top of the competition to earn the Junior Exhibitor Hunter Pleasure Championship for the second year in a row. This followed their 14-17 victory directed by David Young. Talk Of The Town LPS and Lauren Gorfinkle earned their first of two tricolors in Monterey as they were named the Junior Exhibitor Hunter Pleasure Reserve Champions to the delight of the Garn Walker Stable cheering section.

Rachel Miller and her personality-plus Festival Arabesque earned a pair of Morgan Classic Royale blues. They turned in polished rides to earn the 13 and under along with the Junior Exhibitor Novice Rider Hunter Pleasure victories for Spring Valley Farm and Gerry Rushton Stables.

The Western Pleasure Championship continued the trend of last year’s top performing junior horses stepping up to the open division in Monterey with tricolor performances. World’s Champion Grand Cru Beaujolais jogged away with the tricolor as his quality and good looks shone through with Keith Nelsen in the saddle for the victory for the Lee/Wooley Family.

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