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Morgan Grand National – Friday, October 13

Friday, October 13


Coverage by Diana Davidson, Sadie Fowler, Bob Funkhouser and Christy Parsons




The page turned to Friday, October 13, but it was a lucky day for many of the world champions crowned as the show headed toward its grand finale. The Friday morning stage featured the six World Futurity in-hand classes as well as a trio of performance championships. The World Futurity featured an amazing $240,000 awarded in 2006, making this the richest year ever. The World Futurity In Hand classes showcased the breeding programs of many of the nation’s top breeders, large and small. The added incentive of $5,000 to winners who were sired by stallions participating in the 2006 AMHA/World Futurity Stallion Service Auction added to the excitement. 


There was a slightly different lineup of competitors from the previous Saturday’s in hand classes, and this day produced a whole new cast of top winning entries. The judging panel in the futurity also differs from the regular in hand classes. Pierre Loiselle served on both panels, and he was this morning he was joined by Rob Wilson and Anne Judd.


The World Champion Futurity In-Hand Yearling Gelding entries showed first and when cards were turned in, Mark Farrar announced Aljak’s Double Jeopardy (Aljak’s Double Whammy x Century Oak Denali) to be the unanimous champion with Ken Martin on the lead for Aljak Acres. This was this handsome yearling’s first performance of the week. Following up his winning performance from earlier in the week, Ultra’s Philosophy Major (Ultra’s Special Agent x HTC Passionate Rose) with Stephen Smith on the lead finished as the reserve champion.


Ten showed up for the World Champion Futurity In-Hand Yearling Filly section in hopes of carrying home the top prize money. In this class, at least $3,600, with the potential to have more prize money added, went to Harlan’s Dutch Fantasy, a pretty bay filly by Minion Millennium and out of Lady Derringer. John Hufferd served as the winning trainer for owner Margaret VanMeter. Mark Mason led the fancy dark bay filly Graywood’s Epona (SpiceOLife Right Answer x Salem Showgirl) into the reserve position for Katrina Wood.


The colts finished out the futurity competition for the yearlings with 14 entries proving the future of the Morgan breed is indeed bright. After carefully evaluating each entry one time, judges Judd, Wilson and Loiselle elected to pull five from the line up for a second review. Cingate Instant Karma was all show horse as this big and handsome colt was named winner of the esteemed honors and large prize money. Whitney and Mark Bodnar had the HVK Bell Flaire and Futurity’s Miss Munitions son in excellent order to add another world title to the Cingate Morgans breeding program. CBMF Arbitrage (Ben’s Rhapsody x Ariel) starred as the reserve futurity champion with Rodney Hicks on the lead and Carolyn Sebring assisting for Copper Beech LLC.


A break in the futurity action came when eight riders entered the coliseum for the Grand National Walk-Trot English Pleasure 10-11 Finals. The bright and well-suited pair of LA Ricochet and Annie Thurber put in the winning ride under the direction of Katie Mair to add to an exemplary debut season. Last year’s winning team of MLF Caliente and Tayler Walters warmed things up as they were called out as the reserve champions. Anne Speck had the reserve champions in order for their solid ride for owner Debra Hurst Walters.


Two-year-old geldings vying for the esteemed futurity honors were up next, with more entries competing in this class than in the regular two-year-old gelding in hand competition. It was another good-looking chestnut in the spotlight as Mark Farrar called HVK Bold Reasoning (HVK Bold Look x HVK Noble Belle) from the line up to wear the winning ribbon. Mary Brannon showed the winning entry for Herbert V. Kohler. Judy Whitney Harris presented the bold moving Stonecroft Confidential (Stonecroft Masquerade x JW Belle Aire) to the reserve championship title for Stonecroft Farm.


The two-year-old mares took their turn on the green shavings next in hopes to take home the $3,600 prize, with the potential to add more prize money to the total. SpringMill New Harmony (Nostradamus x Treble’s Unchanted Melody) moved up a notch from her reserve finish in the regular two-year-old mare in hand competition to claim the tricolor honors with Kurt Hufferd presenting for John and Patricia Huse. Lynn Peeples continued the tricolor parade of horses he has bred and shown with U-Two (Born To Boogie x UVM Unity). He led the sharp young mare to the number two position, after winning the regular two-year-old competition earlier in the week.


The two-year-old stallions finished up the World Futurity competition on Friday morning. After the eight entries showed in front of the panel, Mark Farrar made a special announcement. To show their appreciation for the 34 trainers that had donated a month of free training to the winning bidders at the World Futurity Auction, the name of one of those 34 trainers was pulled out of a hat. The lucky winners of $1,000, awarded by the World Futurity, were Damian and Melinda Hyde who happened to be in the ring showing in this class to accept their award.


Following that announcement, Farrar called Cedar Creek Cariad (HVK Bell Flaire x Cedar Creek Wind Chime) from the lineup to claim the winning honors. This win finished up a busy and successful morning for Judy Whitney Harris, who presented this sharp entry who also won the yearling division honors a year ago for breeder/owners Larry Bolen and Bob Burger of Cedar Creek Farm. Mark and Whitney Bodnar had another tricolor winner on this morning in the Astronomicallee son, Cingate Lucky Star (out of Flirtacious Me). Cingate Lucky Star provided the second tricolor performance of the day for the Cingate breeding program.


Only two classes remained following the conclusion of the futurity classes. The first of those two was the Grand National Walk-Trot English Pleasure Nine and Under Finals. Putting in an outstanding performance and riding like a pro, Max Liberty piloted Gradell’s Wild Reflection to the tricolor ribbon under the watchful eye of David Rand. It was a repeat victory for Max as he closed out his partnership with his celebrated Hyland Acres Command winning this class just a year ago. Second in the field of eight, Boxford Unbridled Passion and Cameron Kay, under the Crystal Farms banner, also put forth a strong effort and they were rewarded for their performance with reserve tricolor honors.


Nine lady drivers and their classic pleasure driving entries came into the coliseum next, providing an entertaining finish to the Friday morning performance. Libretto’s Bravado and Janelle Schroeder were right on the money as they earned their second world championship in as many years representing Cadence Farm. Sandy Sessink and Phil Fountain assisted the winners in center ring. Donna Zimmerman gave her sporty CSH Corydon’s Eclipse a stylish drive to collect the reserve honors under the Memory Lane banner. 


If there was one reoccurring theme for Friday afternoon it would definitely be very large classes. The first of 12 world championship classes on the schedule for this afternoon was the Hunter Pleasure Junior Exhibitor Hunter Pleasure 16-17 World Championship. Twenty-one entries showed up for this event and each entry worked hard to make sure they were not lost in the crowd. When the cards were turned in, MEM Virtual Insanity and happy rider Lauren Booth boldly trotted to the winner’s circle to collect their tricolor ribbon and championship cooler directed by Tammy Levesque. This pair had finished reserved in their qualifying class earlier in the week. The qualifier winning team of Silverheel’s Lumination and Emily Cook were assisted on their reserve world championship victory pass by Belle Hufferd, who experienced her own victory passed with the bold-striding mare.


Thirteen driving entries filled the coliseum in the next class, the Classic Pleasure Driving Junior World Championship. Under the expert guidance of Robert Hughes, Teri Brisco and Tomeri Swingtime followed up their futurity win with another world championship victory in this tough class to start a memorable afternoon for the Brisco family. Continuing a successful week for Copper Beech Morgans, Ann Hailey drove her dynamic four-year-old winner CBMF Mozambique to reserve honors under the Sebring Stables banner.


Nineteen lady riders on their western mounts packed the coliseum next. Making it two for two, Futurity’s Such A Twist and Kathy Papola turned in a lovely performance and jogged away as the Ladies Amateur Western Pleasure World Champions. Ron Smith directed the world championship team for Baccarat Farms. Moving up a notch from the qualifier and representing the Northeast, ECP The Seventh Stone and Marion Bengston earned reserve honors under the guidance of Judy Nason.


Another class with entries in the double digits, the Classic Pleasure Driving Masters World Championship enjoyed a quality-filled inaugural presentation. Med-E-Oka Nobel Prize and Jacqueline Clapp, along with trainer Sammi Hazen, could not have been happier when they were named the unanimous world champions. Key West and Connie Locher followed up their win in the Grand National Classic Pleasure Driving Masters 15.1 and Over by claiming reserve honors prepared by David Young. This was also a unanimous decision by the judging panel.


After starring as last year’s Two-Year-Old Pleasure Driving World Champion, it was another meaningful trip down victory lane this year for Jim Lowry and Sacred Path Indiana Jones. This year they were in the spotlight as the English Pleasure Three-Year-Old World Champions for proud owner/breeders Diane and Lon Seitz. Wendy Sogoloff piloted GDT The Godfather to his second rose-adorned victory pass of the week as they added the reserve world honors to their World Futurity championship for Greg and Dawn Tatro.


A talented group of 14 junior exhibitor drivers and their classic pleasure driving Morgans answered the next gate call. Coming back from a reserve finish in their qualifier, the smooth and steady RJH No Doubt and Elise Merrill closed out their week of showing in both classic pleasure driving and classic pleasure saddle by making a victory pass as the Junior Exhibitor Classic Pleasure Driving World Champions. It was surely cause for more celebration as part of an amazing week for the young riders and drivers from Bobbin Hollow Farm. Merriehill Destiny Bay and Tyler Hufferd received a big round of applause from their fan club when they were called out as the reserve world champions for Cristy Rafn under the Merriehill banner.


The Junior Exhibitor Hunter Pleasure 13 and Under World Championship was yet another class where young exhibitors had the huge challenge of carefully positioning themselves in the 20-horse class. BL Hana Bak Ibsen and Emma Thomson did just that and their smart and consistent performance landed them world championship honors. They were followed in the ribbons by solid performers Delaware’s Shadow Dancer and Alana Little, who showed to their second reserve world championship ribbon of the week for owner Lon Frieden and trainer Kelly Kraegel.


Jeff Bessey always has strong contenders in the western division at Oklahoma and on this afternoon he presented Worked In Gold to the Four-Year-Old Western Pleasure World Championship. It was the culmination of a great season for the glistening chestnut owned by Francis Beers. After earning the Grand National blue ribbon in their qualifier, Treble’s Mucho Uno and Daryl Hopson jogged away as the reserve world champions in the stellar field of 16 to add to a great season for Rocky and Diana Schliefer’s Wild Rose Ranch.


Blackridge was back in the winner’s circle Friday afternoon after Boston Dylan and Tommy Brisco were named the unanimous winners in the Junior Exhibitor Pleasure Driving 14-17 World Championship for proud parents Paul and Danica Brisco. This win was even more special for Tommy Brisco because his grandmother Terri Brisco had also won a world title on this afternoon. After a clarification of the tabulations, Boxford Tia Maria and Blanche Bauer added the reserve world championship to the tricolor-filled Bobbin Hollow banner with a bold performance.


It was a lucky 13 who competed next in Friday the 13th’s Hunter Pleasure Amateur Masters World Championship. The one of a kind team of GPM Genesis B and Melissa Walker had lady luck on their side. Melissa was absolutely thrilled to hear her number called out as they another world championship to their career filled with great triumphs under the direction of proud husband/trainer Garn Walker. The elegant pairing of Garland Fleur De Lis and Joyce Thoma produced a reserve world championship performance under the direction of Cedar Spring Farm.


No matter the discipline or the division, Merriehill The Lion King and Alyssa Rumsey make flawless performances look easy. This year they turned their attention to the western division and they added the 16-entry Junior Exhibitor Western Pleasure 14-17 World Championship to their list of accomplishments. Belle Hufferd greeted the champions as they completed an undefeated season in the western pleasure division for proud parents Joy and Dennis Rumsey. Judy Nason had DFM Poetic Justice and Jenna Britt looking their best and they closed out their week as the reserve world champions.


The English Pleasure Amateur Masters World Championship was an excellent way to close out the Friday afternoon session. The pride of Texas, Roadshow Steppin’ Out and John Green tipped their hat to their boisterous cheering section as they put their name in lights in the inaugural contest in this division. In just their third class together, WSG Wham-O and a jubilant Ann Whitman garnered the reserve world championship under the direction of Jean DeGutis.


Friday evening could not have started off more beautifully. The weather was perfect and the future of the breed was looking bright as 23 lead line entries had their chance to experience the thrill of showing at the Morgan Grand National and World Championship Horse Show. Prior to the lead line class, a lovely presentation of the colors opened the session. Both of these events served as a great way to begin what would turn out to be a fantastic night of showing Morgan horses.


The Amateur Park Saddle World Championship served as the first performance class of the night and the 11 entries in this class did not disappoint the many spectators in the stands. New England Regional’s Amateur Park Saddle Champions CN The Master’s Flyte and Allyson Wandtke made each and every pass count and the judging panel was in agreement that they should be named the world champions. Mike Goebig, who showed this bold performer to victory in last year’s Four-Year-Old Park Saddle World Championship, greeted the pair in the winner’s circle. Sandy Hendrick and Queen’s Victoria Lady enjoyed a fabulous ride in the highest level of competition as they added the Amateur Park Saddle Reserve World Championship to a tricolor season under the guidance of David Rand.


The Classic Pleasure Driving World Championship welcomed a ring filled with the winningest performers in this deep division. Receiving two first place votes from the judging panel, Whispering Rhythm N Blues with Michelle Aulson on the lines teamed up for top honors. Sheri Lampropoulos affixed the blanket of roses to the dynamic chestnut for his spotlight drive down victory lane. Ann Hailey will be making her way back to New Albany, Ohio, with several memorable titles from Oklahoma, including the reserve world championship tricolor she won with Prindle’s Mere Mortal on Friday night.


Stacy Hennessey started off her night perfectly, presenting GLB Perfect Harmony to a polished and unanimous victory in the Ladies English Pleasure World Championship. With all of the elegance and quality a ladies horse requires, Perfect Harmony was the perfect choice for top honors for owner/breeder Lorraine Bumb. Shannon Connor was all smiles as she made the reserve world championship victory pass in this great class following an outstanding ride with Matrix, who was expertly prepared for the show ring by Arcuri Stables.


Another unanimous decision from the judging panel came when Dwayne Knowles drove the exceptional Get Busy to the Three-Year-Old Park Harness World Championship for Kathy Gutting. It capped an undefeated debut season for the charismatic Astronomicallee son. The west coast collaboration of Dragonfire Farm and Blackridge produced a reserve world championship as Robert Hughes guided the bold performing Dragonfire Shaolin for owner/breeders Jenny and Earl McFall.


Twenty entries took center stage next, after announcer Bill Carrington called to order the Hunter Pleasure World Championship. The hunter division is arguably one of the toughest divisions in the Morgan world and the depth in this class was proof positive. Bell South and Mary Carlton will be celebrating their huge world championship victory in this class with owner Stacey Heidenreich. The HVK Bell Flaire son proudly wore the blanket of roses to add to a great week for Crystal Farms. The 2005 Four-Year-Old Hunter Pleasure World Champion Let’s Boogie and Kathleen Peeples received the crowd’s approval for their reserve finish in this entertaining class for owner Cynthia Brown-Clark.


The Amateur Pleasure Driving World Championship featured an all-star cast. Last year’s record setting Pleasure Driving World Champion, SLB Andiamo added yet another element to his incredible résumé after being named the Amateur Pleasure Driving World Champion with Helen Crawford on the lines. The four-year-old son of Simply Maserati and HVK Obisdian and his astute driver topped off an undefeated season with the victory for Boston Morgan Farm under the Blackridge banner. Jack Gatewood took over the reins of his daughter Amy’s 2005 and 2004 Amateur English Pleasure World Champion Nicoria and added the reserve world championship to a memorable week for Dantree Farm under the guidance of David Rand.


The next class, the English Pleasure World Championship, was one of the most anticipated classes of the evening. Fans were not disappointed, as the quality of horses in this class was outstanding. The competitors included 2002 and 2004 World Champion CCR’s Outrajus Corajus, 2005 World Champion Stonecroft Byzantine, and 2006 East Coast Invitational Champion Bada Bing. The action was fast-paced and the horses’ fan clubs made sure to encourage their favorites. The horses responded with big-time performances. Without a final trot before the lineup, many felt the first performance workout of the week was in the offing. Once the conformation judging had taken place, the saddles were replaced and the cards were marked, leaving spectators still seeking an always-exciting workout before the end of the show.


After the cards were tabulated, announcer Bill Carrington welcomed a new champion to the winner’s circle as Bada Bing and Peggy Alderman celebrated a unanimous victory in the highest level of competition. The English Pleasure World Championship was a great victory for the bay gelding who is bred, owned and trained by Salem Farm. Always a crowd favorite, CCR’s Outrajus Corajus and Stacy Hennessey received great recognition from their fans as they trotted away with the reserve championship ribbon for Dick and Nan Cecchettini.  Stonecroft Byzantine never backed an ear as he once again enjoyed the admiration of his fan club in receiving his yellow ribbon with Anne Benson up for Heidi Kunkel.


It is always encouraging to see good-sized classes, and this year has been especially noteworthy for having large championship classes. The Amateur Western Pleasure World Championship was just one of several large championship classes on the schedule. Topping a field of 15, Gulfwind Sir William and Margaret McKnight-Karrh enjoyed a career perfomance to carry the roses and tricolor down victory lane. The Florida based team showed true polish and ringsmanship showcased at the extended jog to earn the title for Paul and Evelyn McKnight and the Gulfwind Farm family. A pair of majestic black horses shared the spotlight as Troika’s Black Russian and Ling Fu Wylie added the reserve world championship to another outstanding season for Dragonsmeade.


The final class of the night was by far and wide everything Morgan enthusiasts love about a good horse show. It had talent, excitement, anticipation, and it all ended with the record-setting show star JW That Special Flaire making the victory pass for the second year in a row as the Park Harness World Champion. Frances Pugh of Tara Farm purchased this stellar chestnut three-year-old after witnessing him make history at last year’s Morgan Grand National. Pugh and trainer/breeder Judy Whitney Harris had planned to go for the big one again this year and they did it in style!


It was a battle to the finish for the tricolor entries as SLB DaVinci and Robert Hughes made what many feel was their best show ever. For the second year in a row they earned a first place vote on their way to the Park Harness Reserve World Championship. It was another great performance for owner/breeder Sheryl Bartolucci. These two HVK Bell Flaire sons and the entertaining field of six put the exclamation point on a great Friday night of horse show competition.


Show Arena 6


Equitation was the focus of the highly anticipated Friday competition in Show Arena 6. Phase I of the UPHA Challenge Cup competition took place on Thursday evening with both rail work and individual workouts for the Senior and Junior riders. On Friday afternoon, the best of the best returned for the final 1/3 of their scores in Phase II rail work along with the crowning of the UPHA Challenge Cup Champions.


The talented senior division was up first with the top 12 riders invited back to perform for judges John Whalen, Nancy Becker, and Patty Kent. After claiming the AMHA Saddle Seat Medal and the Senior Equitation World Championship in 2005, Brooke Gove was back to try for the third jewel in the “triple crown”. She completed the trifecta in true championship fashion matching up with Mantic Top Gun for the unanimous honors under the direction of Kristen Cater. 2004 Junior UPHA Challenge Cup Champion Sarah Shimmer moved up to the senior ranks in 2006 with another tricolor performance. Matched with Trophy J’s Valentine, Shimmer added the reserve tricolor to a great week for Mary Carlton’s well turned out riders. Rounding out the top ten riders were Tommy Brisco (Blackridge), Casey Morgan Tibolet (Cape Cod), Whitney Roberts (Vintage Valley), Marlo Franco (Equitation Unlimited), Taylor Sams (Rancho Del Mar), Katherine Alderman (Salem Farm), Rachel Keidan (Sterling Training), and Holly Carlton (Crystal Farms).


Next up were the Walk-Trot 10-11 Finals for the Saddle Seat Equitation riders. Annie Thurber enjoyed her second victory pass of the day as she bested the field of eight top young riders. Thurber and LA Ricochet met Katie Mair in the winner’s circle to collect their tricolor. Tayler Walters closed out her walk-trot career with MLF Caliente by adding a second reserve tricolor on the day to a great partnership under the direction of Anne Speck.


All ten junior equitation riders returned for Phase II of the UPHA Junior Challenge Cup. Julie Strier added her name to the fabled list of champions as she carried the tricolor back to the Lingering Hills banner with her mount JW Sensability. Caroline Gaker and Wind Blu Supreme Fantasy were honored with the reserve finish to add to their victorious partnership. The remaining members of the top ten parade were: Lyssa Bomgaars, Rachel Menard, Rachel Miller, Gaetana D'Alesio Spina, Anya Pierson, Abby Raucher, Abby Smith and Katie Wallace.


Closing out the afternoon of saddle seat equitation competition, five young riders competed for the Walk-Trot Saddle Seat Equitation 9 & Under Finals. The unanimous decision of the judges was for Zachary Clifton who matched up with SBS Christiana to carry another tricolor to the Cape Cod Farm banner. Cassie Bell turned in a determined ride under the direction of Jennifer Scotto to earn a trip down victory lane as the reserve champion aboard FCF Protégé.


Ring 9


Reining competition reigned supreme in Ring 9 on Friday. Three three-year-olds competed for the Reining Three-Year-Old Snaffle Bit/Hackmore Grand National title. In their debut year together at the Morgan Grand National, Mark Luis directed HVR Hidden Gold to the Grand National win for Joseph Kathrein. Desired Illusion and Heath Herndon slid in for the reserve honors for owners Shirley, Duane and Tane Burris.


Clinton Schiell and W Nuggets Rebels Are We claimed their second Grand National title of the week with the win in the Reining Four-Year-Old Snaffle Bit/Hackamore. Josette Conti directed Disco Patricia to the reserve honors for owners Joseph and Ellen Palillo.


The next class featured WayLynn’s Charm and Mark Wilcher besting a field of four competitors to claim the Reining Five-Year-Old Snaffle Bit/Hackamore Grand National title for WayLynn Kerr. Reserve in the class was awarded to Spring Diva and Doug Sande, an entry owned by Chris and Janet Morris.


The exciting competition of the Reining Non-Pro World Championship showcased saw ten teams perform for the top scores with their fan clubs cheering them on. Winter Moon Waltz With Me and Karen Myers enjoyed a strong comeback ride as they earned the world champion title for owner Stefanie Kuppinger-Nickerson. Travis Filipek directed Painters Pine Ridge to the reserve world championship title with an exciting performance for Lou Ellen Williams and Thomas Filipek.



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