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The Morgan Classic Royale Enjoys An Ideal Setting In Monterey


by Diana Davidson

MONTEREY, Calif. - The old theory that "it's the quality not the quantity" was proven true at the Morgan Classic Royale once again this year. While numbers were up more than 10 percent from last year, the grand total still hovered below 100 horses. While the numbers remained light, the quality was anything but, as numerous world champions vied for honors in some highly competitive classes. The show featured a plethora of the West Coast's top performing champions opening the season in Monterey on May 17-20 with the promise of an exciting show season ahead.

The class schedule featured the return of in hand classes on Wednesday afternoon with two sessions a day planned for Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The forecast of rain for late Saturday, which actually didn’t begin until Sunday, brought about a change to all day classes on Saturday with a late afternoon finish. The schedule was heartily enjoyed by exhibitors and spectators as it left plenty of time for everyone to visit, work horses and enjoy the splendor of the Monterey Bay area. The Monterey area is a world-renowned tourist destination and the beaches, shops, restaurants and attractions were not lost on the horse show exhibitors.

This marked the 60th year that the Morgan Classic Royale has been held at the picturesque Monterey County Fairgrounds. The show committee was once again headed by Mona Skager with Harriet Landrum returning as show manager. The show officials also included; secretary Roxanne Hood, USEF Steward Adele Maurer, announcer Matt Hinton, paddock master Janet Fall, and photographer Ed Moore. Cheri Barber and David Earehart served as judges for the 2006 Morgan Classic Royale.

The 2006 Morgan Classic Royale featured many memorable show ring performances highlighted below. Full results can be viewed and searched by clicking on SHOW RESULTS.

The In Hand competition started off the show on Wednesday afternoon with nearby Triton Morgan Farm bringing home the Junior Champion Mare and Reserve Grand Champion honors with Triton Lady Avatar as well as Reserve Senior Champion Mare with Triton Bond Girl. Cathy Grimes had the Grand Champion Mare in the sleek, black Arachniphobia who also earned the Senior Champion Mare tricolor for owners John and Denise Groom.

The stallions were next on center stage with Triton Tambourine Man playing the winning tune as Junior Champion Stallion for Triton Morgan Trust presented by Nino Imbronone. There was no doubt the Grand Champion Stallion was The Real Deal as Gerry Rushton started a winning show for Bill and Connie Myers by presenting their Grandiose son to the top honors in the Senior and Grand Champion Stallion competition. FRF Exodus returned to the in hand division in bold fashion as David Young presented Connie Locher’s many time driving champion to the reserve honors.

The park division featured the saddle debut of the captivating World Champion GLB Bell Of The Ball. The daughter of HVK Bell Flaire and Fletcher Music Lee made owner Lorraine Bumb and family quite proud as she wore the Ladies Park Saddle blue in grand fashion in her only performance of the show with Stacy Hennessy in the irons.

The junior horses showed great promise with a pair of impressive four-year-olds battling for top honors in their saddle debuts. In the first outing it was DMH Back In Black carrying on the look of his sire, And The Beat Goes On, to earn the Four-Year-Old Park Saddle blue with Debi Jeppesen in the irons for Dragonsmeade Farm. The next evening, it was Boxford Bravura who turned the tables with a smooth ride to earn the Junior Park Saddle Championship title with Stacy Hennessy guiding for Ted and Elaine Olsen. Belle Bradford piloted an interesting performer in the Three-Year-Old Park Saddle winner, HVK Prime Minister, owned by Kris Skaug.

After a tricolor start in hand, The Real Deal made a bold return to the harness division to carry home the Open Park Harness blue and tricolor to Bill and Connie Myers with Gerry Rushton on the lines.

Reserve World Champion Jessebelle enjoyed a stellar season debut as Robert Hughes guided the Tug Hill Whamunition daughter to the Junior Park Harness Championship as well as the three-year-old blue for Boston Morgan Farm.

After a sensational debut season in 2005, Queen’s Guardian and Elaine Galatz opened the new season in bold fashion to earn the Amateur Park Harness blue and tricolor for Vegas Valley Morgans. Elaine Olsen enjoyed her show ring debut paired with Grand National Champion Stonecroft Notorious as they earned the reserve honors with strong encouragement from the Gerry Rushton Stables crew.

The English Pleasure division featured outstanding quality as some top champions and exciting new teams visited the winner's circle. The tricolor competition concluded in the open division where Cedar Creek Scalawag and Debi Jeppesen followed up their Diamond Jubilee victory with the tricolor ride. They also earned the qualifier blue as part of a winning show for Dragonsmeade Farm. Sue Bugatto and Master Music turned in a polished ride to bring the reserve tricolor back to trainer David Torrey.

Stacy Hennessy was aboard the Ladies English Pleasure Champion once again this year as GLB Perfect Harmony graduated from the junior ranks in winning fashion. The elegant bay captured the qualifier blue as well to the delight of everyone at Silver Creek Stables. Shannon Connor paired up beautifully with five-year-old LGH Destiny’s Treasure to carry the reserve honors back to Arcuri Stables.

Shannon Connor was right back on victory lane to successfully defend the Amateur English Pleasure Championship and once again earn the Bettina Bancroft Memorial Trophy. This time she directed the bold French Flambeau, who evokes many memories of Connor aboard his winning sire Futurity’s Avitar, to the winner’s circle under the direction of Arcuri Stables. KHF Nikko Blue and Danielle Cota turned in a bold ride for the Amateur English Pleasure Reserve Championship following a blue ribbon ride in the amateur ladies class, directed by David Young who also drove the black gelding to the gentlemen’s win.

Iann Fu Longenecker is enjoying a return to saddle competition following a break for maternity leave the past few years.
Matched with the dazzling Dragonsmeade Divine Miss M, she carried the Amateur English Pleasure blue back to the Blackridge banner with family and friends cheering them on to victory.

Katie Cook and MEM La Vida Loca showed off their tricolor style as they followed up their winning season debut at Del Mar with another Junior Exhibitor English Pleasure Championship win under the Gerry Rushton Stables banner. Merin Maggi and Formal Tempest repeated the qualifier blue from a year ago, and also finished up with the reserve championship as well as the Junior Exhibitor Pleasure Driving blue coached by Cathy Grimes.

BMF Uniti and Belle Bradford managed to earn the First Year Green English Pleasure blue for the second year in a row for Mary Ann Cogliano.

The competition in the pleasure driving division featured a host of proven world champions along with a dash of promising new competitors. The open division saw Dragonsmeade Evensong make a bold transition with winning results. Robert Hughes was on the lines of the Beethoven daughter to carry the Open Pleasure Driving blue and tricolor back to Richard and Linda Hawkins and Mountain Hawk Farm. Last year’s tricolor winner, Reserve World Champion Total Request, turned in sharp drive with Ryan Arcuri to make the reserve tricolor pass for Tom and Stephanie Connor.

The amazing pairing of Festival Calypso and Stephanie Connor started off the season in top form to carry home the Ladies Pleasure Driving blue and tricolor in what many felt was the deepest and most exciting division of the show. Dreammaster J’st Sharper showed off her elegance and style to earn the reserve tricolor with Stacy Hennessy on the lines for Dreammaster Morgans.

The Amateur Pleasure Driving Championship pitted two of the winningest junior horses from last season now paired with two of the winningest amateur drivers in recent history. It was four-year-old SLB Andiamo and Helen Crawford who displayed a world of charisma and polish to carry the tricolor and the qualifier blue back to Boston Morgan Farm under the Blackridge banner. Five-year-old Dragonsmeade Carnegie Hall and Stephanie Connor stepped up with boldness and determination to earn the reserve tricolor in what is just the first round of what is sure to be a great rivalry heartily enjoyed by the competitors and the appreciative spectators.

The young horse competition started off with Dragonsmeade Wild Note making a pair of impressive showings to capture the Three-Year-Old Pleasure Driving blue and tricolor with Robert Hughes on the lines for Dragonsmeade Farm. Lorraine Bumb was all smiles as GLB Leader Of The Band followed in his dam, GLB Bell Of The Ball’s, winning footsteps as he starred as the Two-Year-Old Pleasure Driving Champion as well as the qualifier winner with Gerry Rushton presenting.

World Champion Airegantlee continued his domination of the Classic Pleasure Driving division with Mari Sanderson as he earned the Classic Pleasure Driving Championship as well as the ladies blue. Bill Crawford and Smith & Wesson were hot on their heels for reserve following a winning drive in the open qualifier for Boston Morgan Farm. Connie Locher and Gable’s High Water rounded out the division with a winning performance in the novice class.

The perennial blue ribbon team of Miss Voodoo and Mona Skager topped the Open Classic Pleasure Saddle competition for the blue and tricolor once again this year. SA Santiago and Marcy Letvinchuck earned the reserve tricolor as well as a blue and tricolor in the Ladies Classic Pleasure Saddle.

The western pleasure division contained some of the top winning entries from the west coast. Garn Walker closed out another fabulous show with the handsome UDM Goldmine by winning the Open Western Pleasure Championship. They also topped the open and gentlemen’s qualifiers for Karen and Michael Burridge. Walker also directed Dr. Bombay to the novice and first year green wins for Sara and Michael Foy.

The Morgan Classic Royale marked the start of a beautiful new friendship between Virginia Adams and her newest partner DLH Dakota Blues. After years of admiration, Adams purchased the top champion from Julie Chan, and in their first show together earned a quartet of wins in the ladies and amateur divisions directed by Garn Walker. Kathy Papola and her top winning western horses challenged with Futurity’s Such A Twist, capturing the Ladies Western Pleasure Reserve Championship, and Cabot French Lieutenant following as the Amateur Western Pleasure Reserve Champion prepared by Ron Smith. Danielle Frisa also took her turn aboard Futurity’s Such A Twist to earn the Junior Exhibitor Western Pleasure blue and tricolor as well as the Western Seat Equitation blue with her polished presentations.

Garn Walker paired up with Christy Walter’s GLB Cutting Edge to edge out the competition for the Junior Western Pleasure Championship and the four-year-old blue. David Young guided JSE Dreams Come True to the reserve tricolor for Jerry Estep. SA Kashmiri and David Torrey jogged away with the three-year-old blue performing for Lexie Ellsworth.

Following tricolor victories at Carousel and Diamond Jubilee, LPS Mr. Jalapeno and Jill Yerger made it three in a row here as they again earned the Open Hunter Pleasure Championship. They also claimed the qualifier blue for the Pacifica Partnership. MSV Rock Star continued to impress in his new division as Garn Walker rode the Liberation First Star son to the reserve tricolor following the first year green victory for proud owner Anne Marie Bumb.

World Champion GPM Genesis B and Melissa Walker starred on victory lane as they earned the Amateur Hunter Pleasure blue and tricolor to close out the show with the largest championship competition. Sandra Nelson and her new partner CHC Blue’s Shining Star continued to impress as they stepped up to earn the Amateur Hunter Pleasure Reserve Championship. Jennifer McFall also directed the smooth performing bay to the Ladies Hunter Pleasure Championship. It was a tricolor sweep for Dragonfire Farm as Melissa Hart and Light Year followed with the Ladies Hunter Pleasure Reserve Championship. DLY Without Question and Lynne Pichette had the winning number in the ladies qualifier performing for Hollywood Morgans.

Stablemates Lauren Gorfinkle and Lizzie Holmes enjoyed the friendly rivalry in the hunter pleasure and equitation divisions. Gorfinkle and her reserve world champion partner Talk Of The Town LPS earned the top honors in the Junior Exhibitor Hunter Pleasure 14-17 qualifier and the championship as well as the AMHA Hunt Seat Medal and Hunt Seat Equitation qualifier, with Holmes and Fortuneaire following in reserve. The Hunt Seat Equitation Championship capped the competition with Holmes turning the tables to earn the tricolor with Gorfinkle in reserve.

Dragonsmeade Nefertiti was one of the bright young stars in the division as Earl McFall presented the Madison Avenue Morgans’ entry to the Junior Hunter Pleasure Championship following matching blues in the four-year-old and limit classes. CKH Center Ice and Danielle Cota teamed up for the Junior Hunter Pleasure Reserve Championship for Hollywood Morgans under the direction of David Young. Dreammaster Morgans enjoyed another promising youngster from their breeding program as Dreammaster Athena triumphed in the three-year-old and novice classes with Stacy Hennessy in the irons.

Belle Escada returned to the site of her roadster debut a year ago to show off her dramatic power and style to capture the Roadster To Bike blue with Robert Hughes again on the lines for Morgan Ridge Farm. Virginia Adams and her world champion partner Star Of Midnight earned a trip down victory lane in the Executive Pleasure competition to add to the Garn Walker Stable banner.

The Morgan Classic Royale usually hosts a competitive field in the trail division, but this year the competition was paired down to a pair of competitors in the six classes that were all held on Friday afternoon. WWF Super Trust and Susan Carlino earned the championship followed a trio of blue ribbons. Lisa Reif guided Wintergreen Marquis to the reserve tricolor following a pair of blue ribbon rides.<?/fontfamily>

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