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Morgan Grand National Hits Halfway Point On Wednesday


The coliseum hosted a variety of performance classes on Wednesday to begin the day, while the Show Arena catered to the hunt and western style Morgans.

 Taking the first victory pass of the Wednesday morning session was New England's junior champion KGA Picasso. Mike Carpenter was at the lines of this Four-Year-Old Pleasure Driving Geldings winner for proud owner and breeder Maggie Hood. Larry Bolen drove Barb Pionk's brand new Arboria Ben Hur to the reserve spot in the Grand National class. The Pionks have only had their sporty gelding since Jubilee but he seems to have made the adjustment to Cedar Creek life very well.

After winning the Grand National Classic Saddle Seat Equitation 14-17 class on Sunday morning Musette Re' Kyranos and Elizabeth Sue collected their second blue ribbon in the Grand National Classic Pleasure Saddle 16 and 17 year olds. Jean DeGutis was on hand to assist with both of their victory passes. Kayla Rorabaugh guided Royal C Shadow Dancer to the reserve spot in the vary competitive 16 and 17 year old class.

Frances Pugh and Tara's War Eagle are always a popular team and the crowd was exceptionally excited to see this pair trot away with the Grand National Classic Pleasure Driving Ladies Geldings title for the second year in a row. The reserve award featured Laurin Johnson at the lines of the sporty Med-E-Oka French Morocco for owner Sharon Holmes.

It was a one-two punch for the Johnson sisters as Laurin's sister Kristin got her turn in the limelight in the very next class when she and Something Wicked trotted away with the Grand National Youth Park Saddle Finals directed by David Rand. The Reserve title went back to Waterford Farm with Lauren Cojocar and King-Lehr's Bob A Loo. This team has made a nice transition from the junior exhibitor ranks to the amateur division with wins across the East this season.

Mona Skager guided her own Miss Voodoo to the Grand National title in the Classic Pleasure Driving Mares. After watching this lovely mare win on Tuesday morning Skager was thrilled to take a victory pass of her own. Susan Ellis and EBM Diamond Lady paired up for a polished performance to garner the reserve honors.

The Four-Year-Old Park Saddle Mares and Geldings featured the beautiful and talented Queen's Victorian Lady securing another unanimous Oklahoma victory as she and David Rand paraded down victory lane for owner/breeders Pete and Sandy Hendrick's Queen's River Farm. Reserve honors headed back to the West Coast with Granprix and Debbie Uecker-Keough. Granprix is under the direction of Gerry Rushton and Stacy Hennessy.

 It was then time for the brilliant GLB Bell Of The Ball and Gerry Rushton to light up the ring in the Grand National Pleasure Driving Four-Year-Old Mares. Lorraine Bumb of Silver Creek Stables is the proud owner and breeder of this daughter of HVK Bell Flaire and Fletcher Music Lee. Luman Wadhams and Hylee's Vanity were called away from the line as the reserve winners with a polished presentation for Julie Rohrer.

The Oklahoma based team of Caitlin Novotny guided her own Scandias Mark of Destiny to the top honors in the Classic Pleasure Saddle 14 and 15 year old Grand National class. Consistency is the name of the game in Classic Pleasure Saddle and Mark of Destiny was not only consistent, but mannerly and trotted away with the Grand National title. The reserve title went home with Northampton's winning team of Jessie Fejes and Sunny Acres Candoo.

The morning session closed out with another victory pass by David Rand. This time it was the fashionable Cartier driving away with top honors in the Four-Year-Old Pleasure Driving Stallions for excited owner Gay Gove. Harry Sebring guided the Comeau family's white trimmed CBMF Ruling Class to the reserve title in the highly competitive class.

The World Champion Futurity Three-Year-Old Park Harness opened the afternoon session with an exciting competition of young athletes. Craig Clapp and Intrepid Dynasty had them all talking with a brilliant unanimous victory for the Lee/Woolley Family. This young colt proved his world championship pedigree being sired by HVK Bell Flaire and out of Intrepid Immortal Beloved. Gerry Rushton was at the lines of sporty Stonecroft Notorious and trotted away with the Reserve World Championship title for Greg and Linda Miller. Notorious is by Stonecroft Masquerade and out of the mare JW Belle Aire. Rounding out the top three were Evolution and Jim Lowry. This HVK Courageous Flaire son is owned by Donna Zimmerman and out of the mare Sweet Georgia Brown.

 Andy Marlett and Tracemark Tapestry jogged elegantly into the first place spot in the Grand National Western Pleasure Four-Year-Old Mares class. Tapestry is owned by Terry and Anne Manske and expertly trained and presented by Andy Marlett. The impressive west coast duo of Garn Walker and Star of Midnight were placed in the reserve spot this time out for owner Virginia Adams of Unicorn Morgans.

JT Brannon was all smiles when he and HVK Top Drawer were called away from the line as the Grand National Classic Pleasure Driving Junior Exhibitor 13 and under champions. Top Drawer is owned by Jerry Hutchinson and under the direction of the Brannon family at Willowick Farm. Reserve went home with the versatile Tyler Hufferd. After winning the 12 and 13 year old Classic Pleasure Saddle with Berry Bank Toot Toot, he then took the lines of Merriehill Stonewall Will and trotted away with the reserve honors in harness for Linda Church.

 Kelly Kraegel Bates guided Commit To Memory to the first place spot in the Ladies Western Pleasure Geldings class. This chestnut gelding really lives up to his name. With a smooth and steady ride he and Bates were the epitome of Western Pleasure for Lon Freidan. Jennifer Chowning and Steele the Stage jogged gracefully into the reserve spot in the very competitive Ladies class.

After a huge win in the East Open Park Saddle Championship at the 2004 New England Regional Ann Anderson and Grandemeanor were primed and ready for their performances in Oklahoma City. Anderson guided this talented gelding to a unanimous win in the Grand National Park Saddle Mares and Geldings class for owner Jan-Marie Bruno. Krista Dent and Manic Bullseye pulled out all the stops and trotted into the reserve position for owner William Bandy.

2003 Junior Classic Pleasure Driving World Champion Tomeri Tiamo continued her winning streak in Oklahoma as she proved she was a force to be reckoned with in the senior division as well. Noelle Renouf filled in for owner Teri Brisco as they added the Grand National Classic Pleasure Driving Ladies mare title to the Gerry Rushton Stables banner. World Champion Intrepid Immortal Beloved and owner Cindy Sheldon trotted away with the reserve honors in the Grand National performing under the direction of Cedar Creek Farm.

The Hunter Pleasure division is always extremely large at the Grand National and this year's youth finals hosted 28 entries. All 28 entries worked on the rail and then 10 entries were asked to stay and participate in a workout. After a grueling class and workout the Windward Farm trained team of Carreg Wen Nocturnal Hawk and Lynzi Green trotted away as the finals champions for John and Nancy Hendricks. Jennifer Baskinger guided many time champion VVM Simply Elegant to the reserve spot in the finals for owners Richard and Rosemary Zick.

The AMHA Western Seat Equitation Gold Medal Finals closed out the afternoon session in the coliseum. Twelve entries were called back to compete for the coveted gold medal title following the preliminary round earlier in the week. Kati Anderson closed out her last year in equitation by performing a picture perfect pattern with Truly Divine and being called away from the line as the Gold Medal Champion. Rickford Stables were the trainers responsible for molding Kati into the elegant rider she is today. Logan Mather was the next name called out in the Gold Medal Finals. Trainers Mike and Sara Mooney were on hand to assist with Logan's reserve victory pass aboard Stormin Ta Glide.

Eighteen horses competed for top honors in the Grand National Road Hack Finals which opened up the evening session. Eric Antman guided VVM Litigator to the tricolor honors in the highly competitive class with a smooth performance. Trainer Anne Speck was on hand to assist with the awards presentation. The 2003 title-holder Highover Audacious was the crowd favorite with his sliding stops and ground-covering hand gallops. He and Melissa Grubbs went home with the reserve title this time out for Lisa LaRochelle.

The Four-Year-Old Park Saddle Stallions class stepped up the excitement level with a trio of top winning young athletes. Jim Taylor guided Heidi Kunkel's KDS Star Wars to a first place vote on all three judges cards and won over the crowd's approval at the same time with a sensational performance. Tim Roesink and MEM Heart and Soul continued to knock on the door as they trotted into the reserve spot for Kourt Jester Morgans.

 Eric Antman took a second trip to the winner's circle when he and On The Move were called away from the line as the Grand National Classic Pleasure Saddle Junior Horse finals champions. On The Move is under the ownership of Eric Antman and trainer Anne Speck. Marilyn Hackett guided her brand new JW Enjoyabelle to the reserve spot in the Junior Horse finals. Scott Gunberg was on hand to assist with the awards presentation and trainers this winning combination.

The Two-Year-Old Futurity Park Harness World Championship was another young horse highlight on Wednesday evening. Nine talented youngsters hit the ring in pursuit of the coveted park harness title and World Futurity prize money. With Diane Conrady at the lines SpiceOLife Present Tense set back in the bridle and never dropped an ear. This talented young colt is very reminiscent of his sire Arboria Noble Victor, and he is out of the mare SpiceOLife Allura B. He was called away as the unanimous world champion for David Walker. Kurt Hufferd drove Priscilla Marconi's dynamic Jack Rabbit Slim to the reserve spot in the championship, Slim is by Pot of Gold and out of the mare MSV Victoria.

The Ladies and their western pleasure mares were the next to compete on Wednesday evening. The elegant Gulfwind Wild Solitaire jogged to the winner's circle with Margaret McKnight Troedsson in the saddle to add to a stellar season for the McKnight Family. Kathy Papola guided her own Futurity Such A Twist to the reserve spot in the Grand National Ladies Western Pleasure Mares coached by Dan Ramsour.

Tim Roesink and Primary Investment GP added another winning dimension to their great week as they sped away with the Roadster Under Saddle victory. In his first season in the division, this bright and showy chestnut made his second impressive victory pass of the week for the Kourt Jester Morgans. Reserve went back to Minnesota with Nouveau Riche. Andy Marlette was in the irons of this crowd-pleasing speed demon for owners QB LLC.

Eleven entries stormed the ring with world championship honors in mind in the World Futurity Three-Year-Old English Pleasure. After a successful New England Luman Wadhams had Gotti poised and ready to dominate as owner Deedee Ludlam was on hand to witness Gotti's unanimous win in the World Champion Futurity English Pleasure. This young gelding is by The Last Don and out of the mare Saralin In Excess. Euchee Mathews was in the irons of the reserve World Champion Raindrops Chisum. By Three Wishes and out of the mare Touch Of Minx, this sleek youngster is bred and owned by Alicia Davis.

Key West is a name synonymous with blue ribbons and Wednesday night he collected another Grand National title in a new division. Connie Locher guided the charismatic gelding to the first place vote in the Grand National Classic Pleasure Driving Stallions and Geldings class. David Young was the winning trainer and was on hand to congratulate the happy duo. Gordels Paramount Command and George Campbell turned in a stylish ride to garner the reserve honors directed by Forest Nealon.

Closing out the evening session was the always exciting Park Saddle Stallions class. Five leg-waving entries representing five Regional Park Saddle Championship victories were on hand to compete for the coveted Grand National title and their place in the running for the Park Saddle World Championship. Tim Arcuri rode Tom and Stephanie Connor's magnificent El-Toro to a unanimous win in the Grand National Park Saddle Stallions class. El-Toro's beauty and talent made him a standout in just his first season under saddle. Reserve went back to the west coast as well with The Real Deal. Stacy Hennessy was in the irons for the Dreammaster Morgan Farm. The Real Deal is big and bold and the whole Rushton crew was on hand to cheer on this three-time Regional Park Saddle also in his first season under saddle.

Show Arena 6 The Western and Hunter horses were in top form over in Show Arena 6 on Wednesday Morning. He's Simply Marvelous is living up to his name once again at the 2004 Grand National. He and Virginia Adams jogged away with the blue ribbon in the Grand National Western Pleasure Ladies Amateur Geldings 15.1 and over class. Garn Walker trains this winning combination and was all smiles when the duo took their second victory pass of the show. Ellen DiBella guided her partner Futurity's Ultimate Twist to the reserve spot in this competitive division.

Kelly Kraegel-Bates was all smiles when her 11 and under team of Delawares Shadow Dancer and Alana Little were called away as the Grand National Hunter Pleasure 11 and under champions. Miss Little was strong and confident and rode well beyond her years. Rachel Miller and Festival Arabesque have been a winning duo all year and the 2004 Grand National is no exception. These two trotted away in the reserve spot in the 11 and under class.

Ann Hailey is having the show of her life at the 2004 Grand National. Hailey and Morningdance dominated the Grand National Western Pleasure Ladies Amateur Mares class. Morningdance is no stranger to the winner's circle and is continuing her winning ways under the direction of Sebring Stables. Ling Fu Wylie and Burkland Elegant Lady were called away as the reserve winners in the highly competitive ladies amateur class.

Merriehill The Lion King and Alyssa Rumsey are seeing nothing but blue during their stay in Oklahoma City. This well matched pair won the 12 year old Hunt Seat Equitation earlier in the week and they trotted away with a unanimous win in the Grand National Hunter Pleasure Junior Exhibitor 12 year olds under the direction of Mary Carlton and Crystal Farms.

Samantha Schuring has a new hunter pleasure partner this year and these two are on the fast track to greatness. She and Light Year were reserve in the 12 year old hunter Pleasure division, and are under the direction of Dragonfire Farm.

 After winning the Junior Exhibitor Western Pleasure Championship at the 2004 New England Regional, Sandlyn's Connemara and Erika Mitchell were anxious to compete at the Grand National. These two took the victory pass in the Grand National Western Pleasure 16 and 17 year old class to the delight of Best Of Both Worlds. Caitlin Harrison and Mtn Laurel Election Day jogged elegantly into the reserve spot. This pair has enjoyed a tricolor first season together under the direction of Broadmoor.

Heather Luedtke showed Ellen McCook's lovely VVM Aleesa to her first Grand National title in the Ladies Hunter Pleasure Mares division following a sensational season on the west coast. Her ground-covering trot and extensions make her appealing to any judging panel. Reserve went home with the bold performing Carmen Miranda with Tristanne Weber-Childress in the irons for Michael and Jamie Fiocco.

Sara Lee a smooth and steady performance with her handsome KN French Commandante to earn the first place spot in the Grand National Western Pleasure 14 and 15 year old class. They added the blue ribbon to a winning show for the Lee/Woolley family under the direction of Keith Nelsen. Last year's winning duo of Ellen McQuade and Kane Creek Kryptonite jogged away with the reserve ribbon to the delight of the Rolling Oak crew.

Twelve entries competed in the 13 year old Hunter Pleasure to complete the three qualifiers for the 13 and under division. Ashley Mugnier and TJB Opinionated teamed up for a stellar performance to garner the Grand National victory pass much to the delight of Cindy Mugnier and everyone at Fox Meadow Farm. Reserve went home with the 2003 World Champion BlkOrchid Ace Commander with Jordan Cusumano in the irons. Katie Mair of Sterling Training Center trains this top winning combination.

After placing reserve in the Western Pleasure Ladies Mares division, Ling Fu Wylie then jogged away with the Grand National title in the Western Pleasure Ladies Amateur Gelding Under 15.1 division. This time she was paired with the smooth and steady Troika's Black Russian for the victory under the direction of Cedar Creek Farm. Julie Christopher showed Ron Blackman's Bear Brook Supreme Bar to the reserve spot in the geldings division following a victorious ride a day earlier.

The Grand National Hunter Hack finals kicked off the afternoon session in Show Arena 6. Thirteen horses worked on the rail and went over two jumps in their pursuit of the Hunter Hack Finals title. Bethanne Ridgeway and Radiance In Harmony were called out of the line as the champions. Marie Milliman and Bonnie Lee Mona Lisa gave an impressive performance and were called away as the reserve winners.

 The Walk Trot Hunt Seat Equitation 9 and under Finals had 19 horses pre-entered, so the show committee opted to split the class and run two sections with a call back. Twelve entries were brought back to compete for top honors in the 9 and under Finals. Ellery Walker rode her own Silverheels Cygnet to the first place spot. This talented young rider is trained by Crystal Farms. Eliza Hine and Briarlane Sparkling Sheri survived the qualify round and the work off to be named the reserve champions directed by Bittersweet Farm.

 The Walk Trot Hunt Seat Equitation 10-11 Finals were quite a bit smaller and didn't require a work off. The class ran as planned with Samantha Burroughs taking home the finals title. Miss Burroughs captured her equitation title aboard JJF Fear For Your Life and is under the direction of John McDonald. Lori Marino-Beasley has the honor of training the reserve finals winner. Alaina Hardie rode her grandmother's Six Penny Riptide to the reserve spot in 10-11 year old Hunt Seat Equitation finals.

Earl McFall and Mt. Echo Mr. Bowtie took the first victory pass of the day in Show Arena 9. This pair won the Grand National Low Working Hunter II for owners Cliff and Vona Schuring. Wintergreen Don Diego and Susan Garmier trotted off with the Reserve spot in the Grand National class for owner Ann Taylor.

Mineral's Country Playboy and Julie Pickering picked up the blue ribbon in the Grand National Low Working Hunter I with Wintergreen Commando and Geneva Milliken trotting into the reserve spot for owner Patricia Hassebrock. The William Woods University entry of Prairie Run Fools Gold and Betsy Irvin were awarded the Grand National Title in the Jumper II division with Melendy Cash Bonus and Fawn McDaniel in the reserve spot for the Melendy Farm.

 Fawn McDaniel was back in the ring to compete in the AMHA Hunter Seat Over Fences Gold Medal Finals. She and Melendy Cash Bonus leapt to the World Championship in the Gold Medal Finals. Aimee Lanter and Prairie Hill Mulligan were awarded the reserve tricolor for their performance.

Ron Smith and Wintergreen Marquis completed the English Trail class with the least amount of faults and took the victory pass in the Grand National Open English Trail. I Love Lucy and Grace Jacobus placed second in the Open Trail division, and then came back and won the Grand National Amateur English Trail. Amateur. Lisa Reif stepped up on Wintergreen Marquis finished second in the amateur.

Twelve entries worked the Carriage Driving Gambler's Choice Obstacles on Wednesday afternoon in the Show ring 9. Juneacres Tandy and Anita Meinert took the victory pass to add to their winning week. Elk Creek Aurora B was reserve with Martha Nelson at the lines. Beta B Provocative and Martha Wetmore won the Grand National Carriage Driving Double Jeopardy Single class with Wintergreen Sultana and Jill Countryman in the reserve spot for a sweep for the Bittersweet Farm trained entries.

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