Skip to content

Morgan Grand National – Sunday, October 8

Sunday, October 8

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




The first of Sunday’s performance classes graced the green shavings of the coliseum starting with the six-horse Grand National Classic Pleasure Saddle Ladies Gelding 15.1 h and over competition. Saturday night ended with the Hazen family celebrating with World Champion Stallion Mizrahi, and their good fortune continued on Sunday morning. Whitney Hazen took Sandcastle Spittin’ Image to the winner’s circle with a unanimous decision for Donna Zimmerman. The reserve streamers belonged to Tempest Abbey Road, an entry owned and ridden by Karla Haartz Cortelyou.


Junior exhibitors aboard pleasure horses were on board next. It was a good group of polished campaigners shown by riders 12 and 13 years old. Representing Rushton Stables, the exquisite veteran Kiss N Tell paraded down victory lane in unanimous fashion with Rachel Miller riding for Bill and Connie Myers. The West Coast was one-two in this class as Stacia Klein and multi-titleholder Outrageous Courageous were reserve champions for Arcuri Stables. Lookaway’s Hot Ticket and Moniqua Dube took third in the deep class.


Twelve junior exhibitors driving their classic pleasure horses made for a good class. Among the 14-17 year old drivers it was Tyler Hufferd coming out on top showing Merriehill Destiny Bay for Cristy Rafn and Merriehill Farm. Lark Henry guided reserve champions RJH No Doubt and Elise Merrill to a solid performance as well. Fellow Florida resident Megan Dunkle was third with Annapolis.


Only three entries competed for the Four-Year-Old English Pleasure Mare Grand National title. Keeping her winning streak alive for Mike Goebig, the 2005 Three-Year-Old English Pleasure World Champion Treble’s First Take did it again. The expressive daughter of Liberation First Star was the unanimous winner for Goebig and Copper Beech LLC. Shirley O’Gorman and Cum Laude Nell landed reserve honors in their first trip to Oklahoma for Diane Garrow.


They came 14 strong in the Classic Pleasure Saddle Ladies Mare class. When it was all said and done, the judging panel of Bernard Parker, Pierre Loiselle, and Rob Wilson all had number 668, Intrepid Immortal Beloved and Shelley Silber on top. Several top teams including reserve champions Rare Obsession and Shirley Haas challenged their winning performance. Grove Pointe and Mike Carpenter Stables represented the champion and reserve winner respectively.


The stallion/gelding section for the four-year-old English pleasure horses was well filled with 11 talented entries looking for Oklahoma honors. The Bodnar family’s Merriehill Farm captured their second Grand National title of the morning. Stan Bodnar was aboard Merriehill Times Square for the good win. Times Square was followed by CBMF Audacious and Tim Roesink who were showing for owner/breeder Copper Beech LLC who was also having an extremely good start to Oklahoma 2006.


It was a busy morning for Classic Pleasure competition as 14 teams showed in the ladies gelding under 15.1 h division. It was another unanimous decision. David Rand greeted Med-E-Oka French Morocco and Kristin Johnson in the winner’s circle. The Grace Steere entry won the class last year as well with Johnson’s sister, Laurin, riding. CSH Corydon’s Eclipse was ridden by Donna Zimmerman to the Grand National Reserve Championship in this competitive field prepared by Memory Lane Farm.


Judges Anne Judd, Pierre Loiselle, and Bernard Parker had seven nice mares showing in front of them for the Ladies English Pleasure Mare title. With a picture perfect performance, MEM Exotica and Shanna Gish were called to the winner’s circle for Priscilla Marconi. Ann Anderson and Minion Starlet represented Livingston Morgans LLC as the reserve winners.


Closing out the morning session, P.D. May and On Target won the first ever Grand National Pleasure Driving Amateur Masters 15.1h & Over title. Their winning ribbon returned to the Friday Farm tack room. Connie Locher and FRF Exodus stepped up to receive the reserve prize directed by David Young.


With a quick break between sessions, competition resumed with the Three-Year-Old Park Harness Stallion class. Unfortunately, Get Busy and Dwayne Knowles went uncontested. Adding to the list of Grand National stars owned by Kathy Gutting over the years, the son of Astronomicallee put on a big time performance in spite of being solo.


On the other end of the spectrum, 15 entries competed for the Hunter Pleasure Four-Year-Old Stallion/Gelding class. Emerging with the blue ribbon performance was Lucky Strike, who continued his victorious season for Dragonsmeade with Kelly Kraegel handling the riding assignment directed by Sandy Sessink and Phil Fountain. Katie Mair and Ultras Free Agent turned back the remaining challengers for the reserve title for Barbara Bolser.


Sandy Sessink and Phil Fountain directed their second winner in a row as Bailey Bartley and Amabayus were named the winners of the Classic Pleasure Saddle Junior Exhibitor 11 & Under class with their proud family cheering them on. This class also produced VVM Litigator as the reserve champion with Delaney Weed catch riding for Cheyenne Banks-Diaz under the Rancho Del Mar banner.


Among the five entries in the Grand National Pleasure Driving Amateur Masters Under 15.1h class, CPM Man Oh Man and Elaine Galatz enjoyed a trip to the winner’s circle providing a blue ribbon start for Vegas Valley Morgans. Within a few hours of her victory, Grand National show chairman Elaine Galatz fell ill and was hospitalized for several days with a serious case of pneumonia. Carole Bradford was right in the mix with reserve champion Upper Echelon with Keith Nelsen directing.


The youth of the Morgan industry was well represented in division after division. Thirteen young riders gathered for the English Pleasure 14-15 class, which featured winning combinations from coast to coast. The hometown team of Ready To Rumble and Hailey Jones claimed the blue ribbon honors under the direction of Ronda Collins. With Taylor Sams aboard, the Anne Speck trained Master Mark was the second place finisher in this entertaining contest.


Park harness for the young horses continued to be light in entries as two competed for the Two-Year-Old Park Harness Stallion blue. Driving for Lisa Fletcher, Tim Arcuri debuted the Simply Maserati son CRD Buggatti for the top honors. Damian Hyde had the reserve winner in JDS Absolut Flaire for Debbie LeMay.


There was an abundance of open Western pleasure horses looking for Oklahoma hardware. The numbers in the under 15.1h open gelding class necessitated that it be run in two sections. Western icon Jordy Johns jogged to the winner’s circle with 00 Right As Rain in section one for owner Sarah Hudson. Their closest competition was Tara’s Apache with Amy Ebbert Schnelle in the saddle. Liberty Bend Nicodemus and Jennifer Grimes led the way in the next round with a victory pass for Kathy Gomer. The reserve ribbon here went home with JAX Black Jack and Manya LoCascio.


The Roadster competition started on the light side in the mare class with a trio of entries. Roadster enthusiast Peggy Alderman was on top of her game to race to the finish line in first place with Mary Ann Cole’s Fancy Schmancy. RRG Margarita crossed the line in reserve with Alison Benedele in the silks.


Sunday was certainly a good day for Delaney Weed. After already having a reserve catch ride she took her own Heir Rifle to the top of the Junior Exhibitor 11 & Under Pleasure class directed by Rushton Stables. Kristen Wade and AMHF Double Miss C garnered their second reserve ribbon in as many days as they carried the honors back to The River’s Edge.


Dwayne Knowles was “Mr. Park Harness” on this weekend. Having already entertained the crowd with a grand three-year-old, he was back to win the two-year-old mare and gelding class with the finely crafted Signed Sealed Delivered for Austrian owner Kimberly Germ-Cramer. Presenting RJMF Drama Queen for Robert Morgan, John Warner was next in line for a ribbon.


Junior exhibitor riders 16-17 battled it out for their English pleasure title and it was Zachary Howa, in his final junior exhibitor show, and Minion Mademoiselle leading the way with a unanimous decision directed by Luman Wadhams. David Rand guided Adriana Liberty and Ultras Proclamation to a second place finish among a good group of contenders.


Topping eight other teams, Deborah Stevenson and Treble’s Spring Loaded made the victory pass in the Three-Year-Old Classic Pleasure Driving class. Forest Nealon escorted them down victory lane. Stacy Hennessey directed the reserve winners Cynthia Kirby-Shaw and Highlander Tequila Chaser in this promising field of youngsters.


A former Grand National Champion as an in hand yearling, Dr. Bombay jogged to the top of the Western Pleasure Amateur Masters Under 15.1h competition. Melissa Walker was the winning rider of the handsome bay that she leases from owners Sara and Michael Foy. From Best Of Both Worlds, PLF Maximum Results and Natalie Maloof began their week with a second place finish.


To close out the Sunday afternoon competition in the coliseum two Carriage Driving classes were held. The first featured a large turnout for the Carriage Pleasure Driving Reinsmanship Single entries. Smoothly moving to the top of his second event of the show was Samac’s Black Tie Affair, an entry driven by Cathy Grimes for Alton Page. No stranger to the winner’s circle, Beta-B Protocol and Mary Shurtleff came from Connecticut for the reserve honors.


The Multiple Reinsmanship wasn’t nearly as large as the Singles competition; however, the talent of horses and drivers was appreciated just the same. Al Celecki drove Cum Laude Juhl and Cum Laude Kapstreiter to the head of the class for their second victory pass in as many days. They were followed by the team of Greentree Brigadier and Greentree Night Joy, driven by Cece Green-Yelek for Greentree Ranch.


The first class of the Sunday evening session set the stage for a good night of Oklahoma style competition. Five ladies and one gentleman went head to head for the Amateur Park Saddle Mare and Gelding class. An array of multi-titled campaigners were on hand, including 2005 World Champion Erotic Dancer. The exquisite Peeper Ranch entry put on a sparkling show to successfully defend her win of a year ago with Dawn Fire. Earning one first place vote, the athletic Queen’s Victorian Lady was a good reserve with owner/breeder Sandy Hendrick turning in a top ride. The Michigan team of MEM Like No One Else and Misty Pleiness had a nice cheering section that supported their third place finish.


Sunday evening’s second blue ribbon went back to the Blackridge tackroom as Cedar Creek Tour de Force and Alexandra Mooney turned back all challengers for the Classic Pleasure Saddle Junior Exhibitor 12-13 win for the second year in a row. Jean DeGutis directed Bilzone GQ Material and Rachel Menard to the reserve finish.


Changing gears, Andrea’s Radiance and Sara Heffernan represented Taylor River as the Grand National Champions of the Amateur Hunter Pleasure Mare section. Carmen Miranda was called out second in this quality filled class with owner Jamie Jaeger Fiocco.


A winner in hand at New England, Whispering Wild Flower wore the blue ribbon from the Three-Year-Old Mare and Gelding class with elegance. Ann Anderson turned in the winning drive for Juris Morgans LLC. Bob Hughes and the ground covering Dragonfire Shaolin received a good round of applause for their reserve finish.


Top money in the World Champion Futurity Hunter Pleasure Three-Year-Old competition belonged to Whispering Incognito (Stonecroft Masquerade x Nemours Marchioness) and Jill Yerger. Their world class performance topped a great group of challengers for owner Georgia Lund. Reserve money belonged to Goldencrest Black Diamond (PWF Good Will Hunting x Goldencrest Elise). The crowd gave Joan Bowers a great sendoff as she exited the ring aboard the entry bred and owned by Johnsen Tree Farm.


They literally came from coast to coast in quest of the Grand National English Pleasure Ladies Gelding title. With 12 highly decorated entries working, it took strong ringmanship and a talented entry to finish at the top of the judge’s cards. When it was all over, Nikki Rae Woodworth had piloted KGA Odyssey to the winner’s circle for Maggie Hood. Shannon Connor and Matrix enjoyed an outstanding ride to start off a successful week with the reserve tie. Peggy Alderman was in the mix with the expressive chestnut Gable Hit The Road Jack for third place.


The three-year-old winner in 2005, CBMF Mozambique made the familiar trip to the Oklahoma winner’s circle in the Classic Pleasure Driving Four-Year-Olds. Owner/breeder Ann Hailey was delighted to make the return trip under the direction of Sebring Stables. Kelly Trethway and Whispering Masqued Man turned in a polished drive for the reserve tie.


Eleven of the nation’s best Western Pleasure Stallions filled the ring for the next class. There was also an all-star cast of trainers aboard those stars. Firecrest E-Ticket received the tip of the hat as the winner of the deep class. Daryl Hopson was tall in the saddle for Aimee Shriner to represent the state of Washington in the winner’s circle. The magnificent East Coast Championship team of Treble’s Tanqueray and Judy Nason carried home the reserve honors to Greg and Carol Fleck and their loyal fan club.


The second half of the amateur park saddle qualifications was on tap next with the stallion section. New England’s Amateur Park Saddle Grand Champion and last year’s Four-Year-Old World Champion, CN The Master’s Flyte marched to the top of the amateur stallion qualifier with Allyson Wandtke in the irons for the unanimous tie for Cindy Nord. The homebred champion was followed by No Contest and Linda Hawkins. Hawkins did an awesome job in her first time showing the four-year-old under saddle directed by Blackridge.


The Roadster To Bike Stallion/Gelding class closed out the Sunday evening session and left many wondering where all the roadsters were. With 11 entries showing at Northampton it was a disappointment that only three showed in the mare qualifier and three in this stallion/gelding qualifier.


Winner of that great championship at New England, Arboria Victorious was again tearing up the track as the winner of the Roadster To Bike Stallion/Gelding class with Lynn Peeples driving to victory for Paul Calandra. QB LLC was the owner of the reserve winner, Nouveau Riche, driven in style by Andy Marlett.    


Show Arena 6


Reflecting the large number of senior riders showing in an already large division, the Grand National Hunter Pleasure Amateur Masters 15.1h & Over class kicked off the morning session in the Show Arena with 15 veteran combinations. GPM Genesis B and Melissa Walker, names normally associated with OKC success, did it again as they were called out ahead of reserve champions Z’s Majestic Sensation and Nancy Johnson-Tobiasz. Garland Fleur De Lis and Joyce Thoma were pushing hard in their first trip to the Oklahoma show ring.


Equally as strong, 14 entries showed up for the Grand National Western Pleasure Mare class. Many of the industry’s top names were trying to put a good qualifying show together for Saturday night’s championship round. From the state of Minnesota, Andy Marlett brought Tracemark Tapestry to the top of the judges’ cards with an Oklahoma style performance for owner Kristie Strom. Representing the state of Florida PJM Sho-Bree-O and Allyson Hughes came through with a reserve performance, just ahead of the four-year-old Soldier Creek Mystquenite and Garn Walker.


To win the 17-horse Hunter Pleasure Amateur Stallion/Gelding 15.1h and Over class one had to be picture perfect both ways of the ring. Fitting that description was the highly decorated En Excess NKS who earned the unanimous decision with beaming owner Julie Chan. Reserve to the champions was Hampshire Formal Attire with Debra Amundson in the saddle.


The best among the 11 & under Western Pleasure entries turned out to be the veteran Fairchild Skyway earning another victory pass with Ellery Walker.  Following in second place was UMC Pomp and Circumstance with Inga Johnson in the chaps competing for proud parents Ron and Kirsten Johnson.


Talent was also abundant in the young horse divisions for Hunter pleasure. Making the last pass as the Grand National Hunter Pleasure Four-Year-Old Mare Champion was Graycliff Miss Liberty. The bold striding bay hung the second winning ribbon in a row on the Crystal Farms banner shown by Mary Carlton for Lynn and Jeff Yelton. Reserve among the nine entries was BJL Harlequin Romance with owner Scott Nevers aboard.


Another qualifier for Saturday evening’s Western Pleasure World Championship was the gelding 15.1h and over class. Of the 13 teams competing, none could top the performance given by Maximum Pepper and Dale Rickford as they added to a blue ribbon season for Rick and Jan Lindeberg. It took a great performance to dethrone the many time winning entry He’s Simply Marvelous who collected the reserve with Garn Walker aboard.


Onely, Virginia was home to unanimous Grand National Hunter Pleasure Amateur Stallion/Gelding Under 15.1h Champion SpringMill Primary Colors and Martha Simpson as Kathleen Peeples met them in the winner’s circle. The best of the rest was Cedar Creek Times Square, the reserve champion shown by Ken Martin for Jessica Marino and Lori Marino-Beasley.


The evening performance in ring 6 featured the preliminary round of the AMHA Hunt Seat on the Flat Gold Medal. After working this field of 40 riders in three sections on the rail and individual workouts, 12 riders were selected to return later in the week for the finals. The qualifying riders in numerical order were; Alyssa Wick, Taylor Winstone, Caitlin Novotny, Olivia Lahr, Emily Rosini, Bryanna Schoepke, Morgan Zielinski, Sasha Klein, Lauren Knupp, Kelly Simpson, Alana Little, and Lauren Cook.


Following the lengthy equitation preliminary, the Carriage Pleasure Driving Working Single competition took to the ring. It featured last year’s World Champion in the division again claiming the Grand National title. The champion is HVK Hard Rock with Tristanne Weber Childress handling the lines for Marilyn North. Cathy Grimes directed the reserve champion, Samac’s Black Tie Affair, for owner Alton Page.


There were two entries in the Working Multiple Grand National class. The well-matched team of Cum Laude Juhl and Cum Laude Kapbreiter directed by Al Celecki for owners JoAnn Celecki and Diane Garrow were crowned with the Grand National title. Fenwick’s Angelina and JPSJG Duce’s Daisey were a delightful pair directed by Gene Brown for D.D. Steele and Diva Horse to earn the reserve honors.


Ring 9


Dressage enthusiasts gathered in Show Arena 9 to cheer on the many entries competing in the different tests. These skilled riders laid it all on the line in quest of a Grand National plaque.


Junior exhibitors competed in Test 3 to start the morning session. The top prize in that group went to Hingham, Massachusetts owner/exhibitor Kara Norton who put Canequin’s Letter Perfect through the test with the highest score. They were followed by NAS Wynnesong and Monica Yarbrough. A few classes later Norton and Canequin’s Letter Perfect were solo for the Junior Exhibitor First Level Test 3 title.


Rogue Hills Woodsman and Jamie Hardy added the Training Level Test 3 Amateur blue to their ribbon collection. They were followed by the well-matched team of MLF Dreams Of Glory and Chuck Tuffli representing Dragonfire Farm.


Leading the way in the 11-entry Grand National Dressage Training Level Test 4 Junior Exhibitor class was Wintergreen Sultana. This was the second junior exhibitor blue going to a New England rider. Valerie Shurtleff was aboard for Jill Countryman. Next in line for a ribbon was NAS Wynnesong who was reserve for the second time this morning with Monica Yarbrough.


With a skilled performance Ancan Raindance turned back challenges from six other entries to win the Training Level Test 4 Amateur title with Amie VanDorn in front of the hometown folks. Pushing for the top spot, Rogue Hills Woodsman was second with Jamie Hardy in the irons.


Four amateur riders competed for the First Level Test 3 blue. Derwanda Hercules and Gayle Davidson performed at highest level among the four entries. Their closest competitor was River Song Crescendo, an entry ridden by Susan Mihal.


First Level Test 4 for the junior exhibitors featured Mykatas Questionnaire and Victoria Fernalld in the winner’s circle. The Colorado combination shined ahead of the likes of reserve champions Canequin’s Letter Perfect and Kara Norton who were having quite a busy and successful day.


The highest score from the Dressage First Level Test 4 Amateur competition belonged to GKB Coal Magic and Lucy Tidd. Beating out three other teams, Derwanda Hercules and Gayle Davidson were in second place.


The Wintergreen prefix proved to be good luck on this morning. The second such champion was Wintergreen Don Diego, winner of the Dressage Second Level Test 2 class for Susan Garmier and owner Ann Taylor. Having just performed a winning test, GKB Coal Magic and Lucy Tidd came away with reserve honors in this round.


Just two competed for the right to pick up the blue ribbon in the Third Level Test 2 class. Dee Loveless and Meadowmere Courelation turned in the highest score ahead of Sea Cloud Cymbal and Jennifer Root. This was followed by a solo presentation from Wintergreen Fortune and Susan Garmier in Dressage Intermediate Third Level Test 2.


The session closed with Sea Cloud Cymbal and Jennifer Root entertaining everyone with a winning performance in the Dressage Musical Freestyle Finals. Also delivering a top performance were reserve champions SGP Raizin Kane and Lynne Salewski.


More Stories

  • Walk of Honor Expansion Announced

    The American Saddlebred Museum is pleased to announce the expansion of the Museum’s Walk of Honor. This is a great way to honor someone for their contributions and dedication to the American Saddlebred. Read More
  • Professional Advisory Committee Named to Equine Sports Council

    Equine Sports Council is honored to announce its Professional Advisory Committee (PAC) comprised of representatives who are industry leaders in the American Saddlebred, Morgan and Hackney breeds.  Read More
  • Latest Issue 4 15 24

    Read More
  • Bookend Morning

    Read More
  • Kentucky State Fair Update

    The American Saddlebred Horse and Breeders Association (ASHBA) received a letter from the Kentucky State Fair Board (KSFB) yesterday acknowledging that they would not be pursuing a path that would allow them to hold the ASHBA Prize Program classes at the Kentucky State Fair Horse Show in 2024.  Read More
  • FoalsNFocus – Week 3

    We’re in full swing as entries for our weekly contest are being submitted from breeders across the country. This week’s winning shot came from Shale HillStables, Muncie, Illinois. Jan McGlaughlin and family sent this photo of their curious filly by Reedann’s Flying Double out of Forty-TwoSecrets (by Forty-Second Street ERB). Read More
  • Obituary – Jane Blue

    A USEF judge, steward, many times committee member, exhibitor and lover of all things Morgan, our friend Jane Blue passed away Monday, April 8. A tribute obituary will run in an upcoming issue of Saddle Horse Report. Read More
  • A New Look For Connecticut Morgan Horse Association

    The Connecticut Morgan Horse Association, a leading Morgan Horse Club, is thrilled to announce an exciting rebranding initiative in partnership with Firebrick Design and Pam Howard that marks a significant milestone in the club's evolution. The comprehensive transformation encompasses a new logo and visual identity, redefining CMHA's presence in the equestrian ecosystem. Read More
  • Latest Issue 4 8 24

    Read More
  • FoalsNFocus – Week 2

    Week two of the #foalsNfocusphoto contest had several adorable shots from a group of nice American Saddlebred, Morgan and Hackney babies. Not many things put a smile on your face the way these shots do as they are the pride and joy of their breeders. Read More