Skip to content

The Morgan World Unites To Celebrate



The 2009 Grand National and World Championship Morgan Horse Show

Lead Story By Diana Davidson
Coverage by Diana Davidson, Bob Funkhouser, Tuffy Owens, Christy Parsons, Michelle Krentz

Navigate the 2009 Grand National coverage here. Just click on the story you want to read. When you are finished with that section, press the "Back" button on your browser to return to this menu.

Lead Story

Saturday October 10
Coliseum
Performance Arena
Show Arena 8

Sunday October 11
Coliseum
Performance Arena
Show Arena 8

Monday October 12
Coliseum
Performance Arena
Show Arena 8

Tuesday October 13
Coliseum
Performance Arena
Show Arena 8

Wednesday October 14
Coliseum
Performance Arena
Show Arena 8

Thursday October 15
Coliseum
Performance Arena
Show Arena 8

Friday October 16
Coliseum
Performance Arena
Show Arena 8

Saturday October 17
Coliseum
Performance Arena
Show Arena 8

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - Each year for eight days in October, the Morgan world unites in Oklahoma City. In 2009 they came from over 40 states as well as three foreign countries. It was a time to renew old friendships and make new ones. Some were here for the very first time to compete or as a spectator, while others were taking part in this time-honored tradition for the 37th time. The one thing they all had in common was their love and appreciation for the Morgan horse.

The Morgan horse was on display from Oct. 10–17 at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds, the home of this show for the 35th year in a row. The beauty, athleticism and versatility of the Morgan breed was featured in world class competition with a marvelous array of approximately 1,100 horses taking part.

The continuing transformation of the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds was once again met with great approval from exhibitors, spectators and show management. This year’s improvements included state-of-the-art video displays, a four-sided jumbotrom in the center of the coliseum as well as a large screen in the Performance Arena (formerly known as Show Arena 6). The addition of the video displays, new lighting in the show rings and this year’s show artwork and decorations made for a bright look in 2009. The bright look was well matched by a bright outlook.

The show was filled with optimism as the Morgan community gathered to celebrate its magnificent horses, the spirit of competition and wonderful friendships. While the state of the economy had many planning cautiously for this year’s show, the results were spectacular. The support of the show was strong in terms of entries, the level of competition and generous sponsors. The stock market even responded in kind with the Dow Jones reaching back over 10,000 during the show.

Show Manager Fred Nava heads the team of world class show officials and volunteers who continue to bring this show to new heights. Nava, in his third year at the helm, was delighted with the show. "I felt this year’s show was a great success in all areas. I was especially pleased with the number of horses competing as well as the superb level of competition. I am proud to be a member of this team and to work with this hardworking forward-thinking show committee. It is our mission to host the finest competition and celebration of Morgan horses. I feel the opportunities for this show are endless, due in part to the show committee and the location at this state-of-the-art horse show facility. I look forward to the years to come for this great show."

The teamwork of Nava and the Grand National Show Committee, headed in 2009 by Georgie Green as chair, deserve a lot of credit for their efforts in putting on a show of this caliber. Georgie Green reflected on the show. "I am just so proud of the turnout and the quality of this year’s show. Everyone seemed so happy and really enjoyed the show. There are so many factors that go into the show and they all came together beautifully, including the cool weather that I think helped tremendously.

"I can’t say enough about the fabulous volunteer committee that works year-round to prepare for this show. The committee is a broad-based group who represent many different areas in terms of their horse show involvement as well as their own business background. The staff did a wonderful job and we are very fortunate to have Fred Nava as our show manager. I am so pleased that a lot of little worlds collided into one happy experience. I feel that once the show begins, my job as show chair is just to lead the band."

With everything in place, the show ring competition at the 2009 Grand National & World Championship Morgan Horse Show featured unforgettable moments from the first Saturday morning’s performances straight through until the final spotlight victory pass eight days later on Saturday night. The 2009 world champions represented some of the most winning performers the show ring has ever known returning to victory lane. The crowd also saluted the underdogs battling to unseat the reigning champions. In addition, there were phenomenal success stories of horses and riders taking their first pass down Oklahoma’s victory lane.

The camaraderie in the Morgan world and especially at this show of shows is legendary. The barns were once again filled with parties and celebrations, entertaining conversations, enthusiastic horse shopping and the important work of preparing to compete for the nearly 500 Grand National and world championship titles.

The equine celebrities started their eight days of exciting competition early on Saturday morning. The in hand world champions were the first to wear the roses as they took their place in the colorful winner’s circle.

The first blanket of red roses featured the start of what would be a day filled with repeat champions. CBMF Ruling Class (GLB Bell Pepper x CEN Can’t Touch This) earned the World Grand Champion Gelding honors for the third year in a row in unanimous fashion. Ken Swanson attributed the charismatic nine-year-old entry of Holly Johnson with having the true heart of a champion.

The Saturday afternoon session featured four-year-old Cherrydale Casseopia (Minion Millennium x Cherrydale Gabriella) adding to her victory of a year ago when she repeated as World Grand Champion Mare. Lynn Peeples guided the dynamic chestnut to the unanimous victory. It was a thrilling achievement for owner/breeder Robin Herrick, "This is such a thrill! Winning last year was surreal, and this was doubly special. It is the ultimate goal as a breeder to breed a horse like Cassie. It is even more special to breed a mare of this caliber with mares being so important to our breed. We love beautiful animals and enjoy the genetics of trying to breed the best and participate in this sport. We enjoy every moment."

The World Grand Champion Stallion competition closed out the first day of show ring action with another fabulous four-year-old repeating world championship glory. Mastroianni completed the daily trifecta as World Grand Champion Stallion. He repeated the title he won in 2008 in his first trip to the world stage. There was a little added element of drama this year when trainer/handler Robert Hughes went down with a hamstring injury during the competition. It was a team effort on behalf of the magnificent son of Mizrahi and Kim’s Bellegante when Mark Bodnar stepped in to help present Mastroianni to the repeat victory. It was a winner’s circle celebration to close out the night for Mastroianni, breeder/trainer Robert Hughes, owner Sherry Bartolucci, leader Mark Bodnar and tailer Debi Jeppesen.

Moving to the end of the week, the next chapter was written in the competition for the open performance world grand championships. The victors featured a combination of history-making repeat champions and those who battled to emerge with the highest honors for the first time.

Peggy Alderman knew that Bada Bing (AFF Leroy Brown x Trade Secrets) was special the day he was born, and the nine-year-old gelding has been a star ever since. In four trips to Oklahoma in the English pleasure division, he has never been defeated and in 2009 carried home three victories. On Friday night he joined another legendary champion who hailed from the state of Vermont (none other than Long View Sundance) as the only three-time winners of the English Pleasure World Grand Championship. Peggy Alderman rode the dynamic bay to the winner’s circle with husband Phil meeting them there. They have shared this grand gelding and spotlight victory passes with Peggy riding to the open titles in 2006, 2008 and now 2009, while Phil handled the honors in the amateur division in 2007 and would do so just 24 hours later on Saturday night in 2009.

Peggy Alderman reflected on Bada Bing’s 2009 victories, "This horse is just so much fun and so special, he truly is one-of-a-kind. This was Phil’s year to show him, but I did bring my suit along. We discussed it after Phil won his qualifier, and he encouraged me to show him back. It was a thrill to be able to win the open for the third time and have Phil ride him to his second amateur world title the next night, and win both unanimously!"

The list of repeat open world grand champions continued on Saturday night with Firecrest E-Ticket (Issues ‘N Answers x Novel Becky Sharp) taking the spotlight jog down victory lane. Daryl Hopson guided the 12-year-old stallion to the unanimous victory to repeat the title he first won in 2006. It was a second thrill in as many nights for owner Aimee Shriner who had ridden E-Ticket to the Amateur Western Pleasure World Championship on Friday night.

"He (E-Ticket) is just a wonderful horse and it was really great for Aimee to win the world title with him, and then for him to come back the next night and win the open for the second time. It is really a second time around for Aimee as she first showed as a junior exhibitor and had a great amount of success including being named the 1992 AMHA Western Seat Gold Medal winner. In 2006 she decided to look for a special western horse. I had never met her when she called me about finding a horse. We found E-Ticket, and it’s just been a great ride for all of us," Daryl Hopson commented.

Wednesday night’s Classic Pleasure Saddle World Grand Championship featured Leslie Kelley making a tricolor return in this competition when she earned the roses with her new partner IGF Coeur Et Ame (FCF Coeur De Lion x In-Glen C’manding Song) under the direction of David Rand. Kelley first won this same title in 2004 when she matched up with Prindle’s Mere Mortal for Victory Lane Farm. It was another story of coming full circle in the Morgan breed since Leslie Kelley as well as her husband, Dan, grew up showing Morgans with their families. In 2009, Leslie and Dan as well as their children, Hannah and Brendan, all won world championships.

"For me it’s all about family. I was so happy to see Hannah and Brendan do so well and enjoy showing Morgans, just as we did when we were kids. It was a wonderful show and a wonderful week for our family," Leslie Kelley beamed.

The Classic Pleasure Driving World Grand Championship saw L’Cima Exclusive (L’Cima’s Spence Jr x Salem Kristine) and Terri Travers duke it out for a unanimous victory to close out an undefeated season. The multi-titled 13-year-old bay gelding added the honors to the Taylor River banner.

Morgans are well known for their heart, and it was certainly on display when MEM Bailamos was crowned Hunter Pleasure World Grand Champion with Keely Sogoloff. The nine-year-old stallion, sired by Futurity French Command and out of AFF Beulah, earned the ultimate achievement for Jerry and Mary Jane Nau and Nau Is The Time LLC. It certainly was their time in spite of an injury the gallant bay had suffered.

"Bailamos won this class on pure heart. He had slipped and injured himself in his qualifier and needed a vet's approval to return. He gave all that he could Friday night. To sit on a horse with that much soul is quite an honor. What a thrill it was for me to present this win to such deserving owners, Jerry and Mary Jane Nau. And it was icing on the cake to see his daughter, MEM Triple Sec, win two world championships and his son, MEM Mr. Boston perform beyond his years. They made their daddy proud," Kelly Sogoloff added.

The always-exciting Roadster To Bike World Grand Championship featured MEM No Inhabitions (Cedar Creek Harlequin x JW French Miss) crossing the finish line with the roses and tricolor. The nine-year-old chestnut held the distinction as the only mare to earn an open performance world championship in 2009 when Bob Kellert drove the crowd-pleasing entry of Ray and Alison Bendele. It was also a proud moment for George Schott’s Maine Event Morgans breeding program as it produced its second major world champion of 2009.

It was a fabulous ending to a memorable show for roadster enthusiast and supporter Alison Bendele. "Seeing Bob win the world championship with my all-time favorite horse MEM No Inhabitions will live in my mind forever. This is such a grand horse with incredible heart and desire to perform. The amateur bike class was very special to me also since I had my old friend, Grace, in there showing my new roadster under saddle horse, Double Down, and my new friend, Danny, in there with his great road horse, Arboria Victorious. The only thing that would have made that event more special would have been to have Geoffrey Longenecker in there as well. We will all miss him so much. What a great competitor he was in this division."

The Pleasure Driving World Grand Championship was one of the Saturday night highlights, and the one horse that had them all talking was Fox Hollow Talk About Me (Whispering Whammunition x Cyderbay Chantilly). The five-year-old chestnut gelding scored the unanimous victory with Stan Bodnar handling the lines for Redwood Partners.

For Mark Staehnke of the Redwood Partners it was the ultimate thrill. "The first time I saw this horse was as a two-year-old and I fell in love with him. To me, he is a combination of two of my all-time favorites Merriehill Hooligan and Merriehill Home Town Hero. I saw Talk About Me, who is out of a Merriehill Chicagoan daughter, at Jubilee and I asked Stan a short time later about buying him. We own lots of farm horses (the Bodnar/Staehnke family of Team Merriehill), but I wanted this horse for me. I went to the farm to see him again and bought him that day. The first big thrill was winning the UPHA Classic Finals the next year. The next thrill was to be able to show him myself this year, but Oklahoma was the best yet. He was on and it was the ultimate thrill."

One of the biggest stories of the week came in the grand finale on Friday night, the Park Harness World Grand Championship. It was here that SYP High Definition and Rick Stevens unseated the record-setting JW That Special Flaire to earn top honors. It was a classic story of the underdog battling the champion and coming out with the victory. The six-year-old bay stallion sired by HVK Vibrance and out of Kim’s Bellegante triumphed for longtime friends Heidi Kunkel and Rick Stevens.

Kunkel relived the week. "It really was beyond thrilling for me! From Sprite and Rick's unforgettable first class, the enormous support of our fellow exhibitors swept me up into a surreal place. And then to win the world championship, unbelievable. . . there are no more words. . . it's all emotion from there. I am so proud of Rick and Sprite!"

Stevens added, "We purchased him as a yearling and lived in bridesmaid land for several years which made this extra sweet especially to win unanimously and with the support of the crowd."

"Rick and I have been friends since we were kids, and this was another wonderful memory we will share," Kunkel concluded.

The final spotlight pass of 2009 came with the crowning of the Park Saddle World Grand Champion. It was a memorable finish to an amazing week on so many different levels when Stonecroft Trilogy and Jenny Taylor carried home the roses with the unanimous victory. For the 10-year-old bay stallion sired by Stonecroft Masquerade and out of Ladybird Command, giving him three crosses to Waseeka’s Command and Trophy’s Corrigan, it was the ultimate achievement. The victory capped off what was certainly "Memory Makin’ Time" at Memory Lane Farm.

"Trilogy had a special look about him from the day he was born. He stood around with his head and neck way up in the air and trotted everywhere he went. He has been an exceptionally kind and good-thinking horse from the very beginning, but also has tons of attitude and gameness. He started his career very successfully with Rick Stevens in park harness and won several titles in Oklahoma City with Rick. Rick gave him a very solid foundation for his next show ring phase," said John Scheidt of Stonecroft Farm.

"Dianna Rannells was the first to ride him at Oklahoma City in the open park Saddle and he was reserve world champion that year. We skipped a year and Nelson Green, who we have had Saddle Horses with for many years, gave it a shot. He placed third in the championship. We skipped another year and Jenny Taylor agreed to give it a try for his last appearance at Oklahoma City.

"Needless to say I noticed from the very beginning Jenny had a very special way with him and you could just tell Trilogy loved her. He seemed very, very happy, and she just fit him to perfection. I think they made quite a team at Oklahoma City, and it certainly made a dream come true for me. It was indeed a third time’s a charm, which I thought as very funny given his name. It feels like the ultimate accomplishment, as a breeder of Morgans, to have a horse I love so much win the ‘big stake’! Now for the best part, I get to enjoy having him everyday back home," enthused Scheidt.

In addition to the open champions, there were several other horses that added onto their record world championship achievements in 2009. For Helen Crawford and HVK Ancient Cry, it was an extremely emotional moment when they captured the Ladies Park Harness World Championship for the fifth consecutive year. For the final time, the ring belonged to them alone. Before making their spotlight victory pass, announcer Peter Fenton informed the crowd this had been HVK Ancient Cry’s final show ring performance. Helen Crawford and her beloved mare made their final victory pass while the audience showed its appreciation with a standing ovation for this championship combination and the recent passing of Helen’s husband and biggest fan, Bill.

The ladies division featured some of the most decorated show ring performers of all time when Festival Calypso and Stephanie Connor added their sixth Ladies Pleasure Driving World Championship with another unanimous decision. The drive had extra special meaning for Connor since she wore a 40-year-old dress that belonged to her late mother who supported Stephanie’s horse endeavors from the time she was a little girl.

Perhaps no one person is more closely identified with one division in the Morgan world than Art Perry and the parade horse. Having brought worldwide attention to the Morgan breed as the leader of the Morgan contingent in the Rose Bowl Parade for 28 years and counting, Perry won his record 10th Grand National Parade Horse Championship. This marked the first time Perry rode a horse he bred to the honors. Intrepid Behold marched away with the honors in unanimous dazzling fashion.

The Morgan community is a family all unto its own. For anyone who has ever been involved in the Morgan industry, that sense of family shines through. The Morgan world is also filled with many actual families who enjoy their Morgans together. From husbands and wives, to parents and children and grandchildren, to siblings and cousins, the Morgan world is filled with families competing with and most importantly enjoying their Morgans together.

Such is the case of Jeff and Darlene White and daughter Cailey. Darlene and Cailey both earned Oklahoma victory passes with Jeff directing them. "Morgan horses were an important part of Jeff and my childhood. We have many fond memories of those earlier times and are now establishing new ones. We enjoyed the family experiences the horses gave us, and the people we have met over the years have become close friends and some of them we still see regularly at the shows," said Darlene White.

"Now that we have our own family, we still find the horses and the shows a great opportunity to spend quality family time together doing something we all enjoy. We also believe we can teach our children the importance of hard work as well as an appreciation for healthy competition. We are also able to supervise them during our recreational time together. Many familiar people return each year and continue to experience the fun, excitement and friendships. Our favorite Morgan horses have been responsible for providing us with experiences we will always treasure," continued White.

The 2009 Grand National & World Championship Morgan Horse Show was filled with families celebrating memorable victories. PlayMor Farm saw seven members of the Lexington-based family earn champion and/or reserve champion honors with Jacqueline Clapp, Bill Hazen, Sammi Hazen, Jennifer Hazen, Whitney Hazen-Downs, Anna McLallin and Austin McLallin. The Dan Kelley family of the appropriately named Victory Lane Farm saw Dan and Leslie Kelley and their children, Brendan and Hannah, each earn world titles, six tricolor victory passes in all.

Sisters Iann Fu Longenecker and Ling Fu Wylie enjoyed several victorious performances including a tricolor sweep in one class where Longenecker finished just ahead of Wylie with parents Kee and Susan cheering both on in the fun-filled competition.

Longenecker remarked, "It was so much fun showing with Ling. I don’t think we’ve shown together since our early days at Cedar Creek. I do know that we’ve never been first and second before. It may never happen again. My favorite part of the class was during the walk and reverse when we walked right by each other. We both wanted to be serious for our trainers, but we both had to say hello and giggle at each other."

The fun continued for Longenecker when she rode the Fu family’s homebred Dragonsmeade Icon to the highly coveted Amateur Park Saddle World Championship. "I cannot properly describe how much fun it was to ride Onyx. He is such a good boy and he took very good care of me. To think that five short years ago he was this beautiful, fine black colt on the farm. It is hard to believe that I ended up winning a world championship on that same colt’s back just a few short years later. He had a great start with Bob [Hughes] and Debi [Jeppesen], and he has grown and become more confident for me to ride at Tim’s [Roesink]. The four times I’ve shown him people at rail side encouraged us around the ring. I am very touched by all the support. The victory pass in the championship was the most fun I’ve ever had riding in the ring. It was so loud, but I could hear Tim, my family and dear friends in our box, the GPS group and everyone else around the ring. Onyx felt so good. It was such a comfort for me to know that Geoff and the kids were watching the live feed of both classes with Onyx. 2009 was an amazing show season for our family and our farm!"

The list of victorious families continued with the Kabels (Kathleen and daughters Courteney and Katie), the Johnsons (Kirsten and Ron along with their daughters), Shelley and Ariella Silber, the Rankins (Kelly, Jenna and Iris), the Bodnar family, the Libertys (George, Max and Adriana), sisters Morgan Zielinksi and Montanna Lambrecht, sisters Anne Marie Bumb and Susan Carlino, the Gove family, the Green family and so many more.

The thrill of winning your first-ever Grand National or world championship is always the sweetest and several people enjoyed the taste in 2009. For Krista Headley it has been a long wait and a fun ride. "What an unbelievable week! It was truly a dream come true. Can you believe it took 30 years (26 years showing in Oklahoma City) to win a world championship? I made my first two trips down victory lane as a junior exhibitor for Grand National titles in the 80s.

"I truly married my Prince Charming, Nate, and after several years out of the horses, he promised me I could get back in. He said I could have one horse, and now I have three that came to Oklahoma City in 2009 and they won three world titles. It was just amazing. Dreams do come true!" Such was the case for Headley and her world champions QVM Jocelyn Rose and GLB Leader Of The Band.

The first-time feeling was shared by many, from walk-trot riders to junior exhibitors to amateurs to trainers. It was certainly meaningful to one of the newest members of the Morgan community, Dalton Shoemaker, who recently lost his father and began driving the Morgan gelding Airegantlee. "I am really excited to have just started driving three months ago and to do so well. I have fallen in love with Morgans and with this horse. Morgans are great; they do everything! I am very proud to have accomplished this and mostly the healing from being able to do this and meet so many kind people, especially Mari Sanderson, who owns Airegantlee. This has really changed my life."

The Morgan world took time to honor the beloved members of the Morgan family who have passed away in the past year. The words of announcer Bill Carrington echoed with everyone in the coliseum. "When preparing for today, I went back to review the names of the many people we have honored over the years at this service. I found I was again sad at their passing, but I also had a very good feeling as I was reading their names.

"The people whose names I read were very bright, very intelligent people who were hard working and who were dedicated and gave of themselves. I got into this business like many of you because I loved horses. I found the added reward of knowing many wonderful and fascinating people through the horses.

"Today, as I look at the names of those we will honor, those we have lost in the last year, I find we have names of those same kind of wonderful people. They will be missed.

"They loved horses. They loved being part of the horse world. They were conscientious people who made contributions to the horse world with their dedication, their personality, their hard work, their common sense, their intelligence, their goodwill and their humor.

"Today we are sad, but we are truly fortunate, because they came our way."

We are all fortunate because we are part of the Morgan world. We all share a bond as the Morgan family thanks to the horse that has chosen us, the Morgan horse.

Saturday, October 10

Coliseum

The 2009 edition of the Grand National & World Championship Morgan Horse Show kicked off Saturday morning with a slate of nine classes in the Coliseum. With a new jumbotron hovering over center ring and a bright bank of lights encircling the ring and ensuring nary a shadow to be seen, this year’s setup looked outstanding. Another addition that is already paying dividends is the change to the tabulation process. The judges tied their cards as per usual, then went to their assigned ringmaster, who had a handheld device. Each judges’ placings were entered into these devices and sent directly to center ring for tabulation. The actual cards were turned in and checked against the transmitted cards for accuracy and the results were displayed on a screen in front of the announcer. The amount of time saved by this process was already noticeable in the very first session, even with smaller classes. It was a popular addition for horse show exhibitors and officials.

The first Grand National Championship of 2009 went home to Colorado with AMHF I’ve Got A Secret and Bob Kellert showing for David and Cindy Vogels of Andover Morgan Horse Farm. Winner of the Yearling Gelding class, I’ve Got A Secret is by Whispering Whammunition and out of AMHF Chatterbox, by Grandiose. I’ve Got A Secret opened up the Morgan Grand National in high style. Second in the class went to Ultras Here For The Party. A product of the Ultra Morgan breeding program, Here For The Party is by Ultras Special Agent and out of Party Song, a War And Peace mare. Stephen Smith was the owner and handler of the reserve tricolor entry.

Next up were the Two-Year-Old Geldings, with CBMF Avenger and Tim Roesink taking the top prize with a unanimous victory for Copper Beech LLC. Shayna Butts assisted as the tailer for this sporty bay with a white blaze. By Ben’s Rhapsody, he is out of Ariel, another War And Peace mare. Second in this nice class of five went to Locutus, with Brian Hadley handling for Donald and Denise Wetmore. Junior Champion Gelding at Jubilee Regional, the polished bay is by Astronomicallee and out of Essex Primetime.

The World Champion Junior Gelding class was up next, and that one finished with the same tie as the Two-Year-Old class. CBMF Avenger made another great lead to earn the first world championship of 2009 for Tim Roesink and Copper Beech LLC. This handsome bay has plenty of motion to burn, and put it on display in unanimous tricolor fashion. Brian Hadley once again led Locutus for Donald and Denise Wetmore, earning the reserve world championship.

The Three-Year-Old Gelding tricolor went home with CN Out And About with Mike Goebig and Eric Mason on the lead for Cindy Nord. Sired by HVK Grand Entrance, Out And About is out of CN The Elegant Touch, by The Master’s Touch. Carrying Cindy Nord’s "CN" prefix, this one was bred and raised at Meadow Ridge Farm. Gerry Rushton picked up reserve with Thy Kingdom Come for Charles Connor. Grand Champion Gelding at Circle J, the tall bay is by Key To The Kingdom and out of HVK Pinoir, by HVK Man About Town.

Sired by Liberation First Star, the Four-Year-Old Gelding Grand National Champion is out of Treble’s Unchained Melody, by Tug Hill Commando. Also the Grand Champion Gelding at Jubilee Regional, SpringMill Stardust was presented by Kurt Hufferd and Shanna Gish for John Patricia Huse’s SpringMill Morgans. Hufferd bounced right along with his entry as he prepared for the round of honor, keeping his winner snorting and blowing and ready for more. Reserve in this one went to Cedar Creek Danseur, with Jaisen von Ballmoos handling for Edward and Jane Leonard. Three and Four-Year-Old Geldings winner at New England Regional, Danseur is a bright chestnut with plenty of flash.

The Five & Older Geldings came to the ring with a fantastic field of eight showing for the Grand National title. Always impeccably turned out, CBMF Ruling Class won this class for the third year in a row. The team of Ken Swanson and Tim Roesink once again teamed up to take the top prize. By GLB Bell Pepper and out of CEN Can’t Touch This, by The Master’s Touch, Ruling Class is owned and loved by Holly Johnson. Kosta Boda picked up reserve with Jim McCleester and Harry Sebring showing for Copper Beech. By Mizrahi, this handsome bay is out of Abacus Simple Dreams, by Carlyle Command. He was the Two-Year-Old Stallion Futurity World Champion in 2005. Forest Nealon earned the third place tie with Dragonfire Shaolin putting in a top presentation for Johnsen Tree Farm of British Columbia. This light bay gelding is by Dancity Martial Art and out of Dragonfire Nova, by Dragonfire Kirin.

In the Senior Gelding World Championship, it was once again the team of Ken Swanson and Tim Roesink leading CBMF Ruling Class to a tricolor performance for Holly Johnson. He looked absolutely at home in the winner’s circle since he won this class for the third year in a row as well. Senior Gelding Reserve World Champion was SpringMill Stardust. Kurt Hufferd was the handler for SpringMill Morgans of Indianapolis. This impressive gelding is incredibly strong in front and behind and puts all of that animation to good use in the show ring.

A five-minute break was called for at this point, and announcer Bill Carrington claimed it was to give the horses who had just shown in the Senior World Championship a chance to rest before the Gelding World Championship hit the ring. In reality, it was probably even more of a boon for some of the worn out handlers. The team of Swanson and Roesink was split up in the Gelding World Championship as each had a top entry to show. Ken Swanson completed the three-peat, taking top honors in the Gelding World Championship with CBMF Ruling Class for three straight years. This time, he teamed with wife Dini to make the run to the winner’s circle for the unanimous world title. This unbelievably gorgeous horse is just impeccable, and he always puts on a top performance, hence the consistency with which he has won in this division. Tim Roesink was up for the reserve world championship with his Junior World Champion, CBMF Avenger. Bright, bold and bay, Avenger’s neck comes straight up out of his withers, and the hinge to his neck is a sight to behold. Well put together, he maintained a show horse attitude throughout for Copper Beech LLC. This was the second year in a row two Copper Beech-bred horses took both titles in this World Champion Gelding event. Ann Hailey beamed with pride when she watched her reserve world champion and world champion she bred.

Capping off the morning session, which really moved along well, 21 Amateur Masters Western Pleasure entries came to the show ring. Amateur Masters World Champion just a year ago, VVM Aleesa was back from the West Coast to take top honors in this one. Ellen McCook sported a red velvet top trimmed in black with sparkling rhinestones aboard the bay daughter of Clearview Commander. Earning her first western ribbon in Oklahoma City, Wildcard’s Satin Rose exhibited perfect manners and presence to pick up the reserve prize with Virginia Adams aboard, while stablemates from Garn Walker Stable, Cabot French Lieutenant and Connie Melendy, were third.

It was the fillies and mares who took center stage on Saturday afternoon, with the Yearling Filly class up first on the schedule. A beautiful dark bay filly with just a little white snip, Gradell Angel WithAFlaire was tops for Cheri Barber and owner/breeders Drs. Jerome and Shirley Modell. By Noble Flaire, she is out of Gradell’s Seventh Angel, by Tug Hill Commando. Impeccably bred, she took the top prize back to the state of Florida. Yearling Fillies winner at New England, LBJ Sweet Music was reserve with Tim Roesink and Shayna Butts for Jim and Laura Braddock. Sweet Music is a gorgeous and refined bay sired by Beethoven and out of Liberation Lady In Red, by Century Free Spirit.

The Two-Year-Old Mares were up next, and it was a jet black beauty who wowed the crowd and the judges alike. Merriehill Black Betty is by Astronomicallee and out of Merriehill Great Day, by Stonecroft Byzantine. Her second dam is Merriehill It’s My Day, by Merriehill Hooligan, three generations back in the pedigree of Merriehill breeding. It was Bodnar doing the presenting as well when Whitney and Mark Bodnar presented Black Betty for Lynn and Jeff Yelton’s Graycliff. Bob Hughes had the reserve champion in this one with Tomeri DeLovely. Owned by the Tomeri team of Tom and Teri Brisco, DeLovely is by Tug Hill Whamunition and out of the Futurity French Command mare, Med-E-Oka French Riviera. Tim Roesink took the third prize in this one with LBJ Designer Genes, a full sister to Sweet Music, reserve in the previous class.

The Junior Mare World Champion was the next to be crowned, and it was Merriehill Black Betty who wore the tricolor for the Bodnar boys and Lynn and Jeff Yelton. This young mare sends a jolt of excitement into the crowd when she leads, and Whitney and Mark Bodnar played into it, putting on a big show for the appreciative audience. Yearling winner Gradell Angel WithAFlaire was the reserve world champion with Cheri Barber on the lead for Drs. Jerome and Shirley Modell.

Keith Nelsen had the Morgan Medallion Mare Grand Champion Unraveled in top form again to take the Three-Year-Old Mare class for Equine Holdings LLC. By Centerpiece, she is out of WWW Virtual Reality, by WWW Reality Check Dot Com. Strong off her back end, this mare is a light bay color with lots of white on her hind legs, accentuating that strong hock action. Her tail fades from black at the top to white at the bottom, adding to her striking appearance. Reserve in this one was a big, black mare, DAS Starcaster. Brian Stewart and Shirley O’Gorman teamed up to present for Sally Sliman. By Liberation First Star, she is out of HVK Dancing Dragon, by Noble Flaire. She was the Junior Park Saddle Champion at Jubilee Regional just last month.

The Four-Year-Old section was a great class of two. World Champion Mare a year ago as well as the Three-Year-Old Park Saddle Futurity World Champion, Cherrydale Casseopia was the winner here with Lynn and Kathleen Peeples presenting for Dr. Robin Molaskey Herrick. A charismatic chestnut, this mare is by Minion Millennium and out of Cherrydale Gabriella, a Nobility mare also bred by Dr. Herrick’s Cherrydale Manor. A dark bay daughter of Mizrahi, Dragonsmeade Balenciaga was reserve for Mike Carpenter and Dragonsmeade. Junior Mare World Champion in 2007, she is out of HVK Firefly, by HVK Make ‘Em Cry. This mare really moves well. She was the Grand Champion Mare at New England Regional earlier this year.

The Five & Over Mares were the last age group to work, and they did not disappoint. A fine and fixy daughter of Serenity Masterpiece, MEM Shock & Awe was the winner in this one for Rick Lane and Phil Fountain, presenting for George Schott’s Maine Event Morgans. She is out of the grand Cedar Creek Harlequin mare, AFF Evening Episode. Another Minion Millennium daughter, the dynamic blonde MSV Miss Judy was reserve with Jaisen von Ballmoos. An entry of Kathleen Pierce, she is out of the Aljak’s Double Whammy daughter, Aljak’s Miss Wham I Am, herself an Oklahoma tricolor winner in this division.

The Senior Mare World Championship featured the customary field of six, with another repeat winner heading down victory lane. It was Cherrydale Casseopia taking her sixth trip to the Oklahoma winner’s circle in just the two years she has been in attendance. Lynn and Kathleen Peeples directed this dynamic mare for Cherrydale Manor and owner Dr. Robin Molaskey Herrick. MEM Shock & Awe was back to earn the reserve world championship with Rick Lane and Phil Fountain for George Schott.

The Senior Mares came back and exerted their dominance in the World Champion Mare class, repeating their finish. The Minion Millennium/Nobility cross proved to be the best for the second year in a row when Cherrydale Casseopia took home the top spot once again with a unanimous victory for Lynn and Kathleen Peeples and Cherrydale Manor. This mare has already had quite the career and has a brilliant future ahead of her in the show ring and as a producer of the next generation of champions. No stranger to this class, Shock & Awe was the Junior Mare World Champion in her yearling season, also winning the Yearling Futurity World Championship. She carried home the Reserve World Champion Mare honors to add to a grand career for Rick Lane and George Schott.

Changing gears, a trio of performance classes rounded out the afternoon session. From a field of 14, it was Night Out and Jennifer Grey who earned the top spot in Amateur Masters Hunter Pleasure. A beaming Katie Mair greeted her mom and their charismatic black gelding in the winner’s circle in their Oklahoma return. In what has been a stellar season already for this team, a Grand National blue was added to their collection. Amateur Masters World Champion last year, D Bar J Habakkuk was reserve in this one with Connie Hose riding for the Hose-Fawcett family. This 11-year-old black gelding always brings his "A game" and never misses a beat.

There were 13 competing for the Three-Year-Old Western Pleasure Futurity World Championship, and it was the state of Oregon that laid claim to the top spot. Jenna Rankin jogged to the winner’s circle aboard Pardon My Prince, wearing green and gold, perhaps as a nod to the home state University of Oregon Ducks. Owner Pamela Engblom was ecstatic when she joined them in the winner’s circle. By RJM Pardon My French, Pardon My Prince is a bay stallion with the beauty and expression needed for a western horse. Wearing a shiny red outfit topped with a white hat, Leslie Barnard rode out with the reserve tricolor aboard Playmor’s Imperial Star. From right here in Oklahoma, they also showed at the Oklahoma Centennial earlier this year. By Liberation First Star, this polished youngster is out of Timecher, by Timelok. The lovely bay mare, Fire Run Natalia was third for Daryl Hopson and Kurt and Teri Rumens’ Fire Run Farm. She is by Pondview Tres Bien and out of another Timelok mare, Rush To Judgement.

The epitome of beauty and elegance, the turnout of BWR Enchanting Melody and Patricia Hartell were the Grand National Carriage Pleasure Driving Turnout Single Champions, hailing from a location where the weather is traditionally cold, Minnesota. Reserve in this one headed back to a much different location, Florida. Felicia Schlemmer drove her Dbl F Commanding Officer to the reserve title to add to their victory of a year ago, directed by Tom Johnson.

The evening’s festivities started out with two driving classes with the patriotic Heritage Salute to America Grand National Finals as the first event. The Chairman Of The Board and Karen Holford took top honors for Bob and Judi McCoy. Chairman Of The Board was the winner of this class in 2007 as well. Reserve went to Cobridge Total Eclipse and Liz Goldmann showing for Lou and Liz Goldmann.

Making their debut drive together, Arboria Victorious and Dan Kelley emerged as the blue ribbon winners in the Amateur Roadster to Bike class. Sporting the black, white and red silks of his Victory Lane Farm, Kelley put the pedal to the metal and sped down to the winner’s circle. Longtime trainer of this grand champion, Lynn Peeples, was on hand in his usual perch, calling out instructions while new trainer David Rand provided his insight as well. Kelley looked like he was having an absolute blast with his new trotting machine as he drove off with the blue. Dr. Grace Steere got to go head to head with her barnmate at the lines of her old partner, CBMF Double Down. Steere catch-drove for Ray and Alison Bendele, who purchased this star after New England. Now trained by The River’s Edge, Double Down was up for the reserve title. Alison Bendele was unable to make the drive with her new partner since she was at the lines of her longtime partner, MEM No Inhabitions, the Amateur Roadster to Bike World Champion just a year ago. They were third in this great class.

Saturday night is stallion night at the Morgan Grand National, and this year’s edition had the twists and turns of a Six Flags rollercoaster. The stallion competition started out with tremendous competition in the Yearling Colts class. A field of 14 vied for the top spot and the coveted Grand National Championship. First into the ring and first to work, Cimi’s Avant Garde was the last to leave, carrying off the top prize with Phil Fountain and Rick Lane presenting for Anne Marie and Martin Biron. By the great Futurity French Command, Avant Garde is out of the 2007 Ladies Pleasure Driving World Champion, MEM Twisted Sister. A refined dark bay colt, Armada Headliner was reserve here for Mike Carpenter and Stephen Longo. Owned by Jason Nunes, Headliner is by On Line and out of another Maine Event Morgans-bred mare, MEM Brown Eyed Girl, by Liberation First Star. Headliner was the Yearling Colts winner at New England earlier this year.

A field of seven brought the crowd to life again in the Two-Year-Old Stallion class. Their favorite and the choice of all three judges was Cedar Creek Flambeau. Crowds at Southern States and Jubilee Regional know what this strapping son of Astronomicallee and Cedar Creek Wind Chime is all about. He is a muscular chestnut colt, yet maintains a fine beauty that is all his own. His leg-waving lead down to the winner’s circle in this one brought out the loudest crowd response of the day to that point. Jim and Fay Lowry made the winning presentation once again for Larry Bolen and Bob Burger’s Cedar Creek Farm. Phil Fountain and Rick Lane were back again to add another tricolor with the reserve presentation of Mini Cooper. Bred and owned by Peeper Ranch, Mini Cooper is by HVK Bell Flaire and out of Plum Haven Minuet, both many time Oklahoma winners.

The personality and "look at me" attitude of Cedar Creek Flambeau shone bright in the Junior Stallion World Championship when he collected another unanimous tricolor. Jim and Fay Lowry returned to the winner’s circle with another well-received performance. Cedar Creek Farm certainly has one to be proud of as this impressive youngster adds to the farm’s world champion tradition. With two entries to show from Peeper Ranch in the Junior World Championship, Phil Fountain presented Cimi’s Avant Garde to the reserve world championship. A tall and refined yearling colt, Avant Garde is a smooth-moving light bay with a little white stripe and two white socks behind. He started off his show ring career with a great show for owners Anne Marie and Martin Biron.

The Three-Year-Old Stallions event featured another impressive Oklahoma debut when Roberto Cavalli garnered tricolor honors for Kathleen Pierce and Kinzu Morgans. Jaisen von Ballmoos, with an assist from Josh Noble, guided the expressive son of Hollybrook Stage Rage and Park Saddle World Champion Schiaparelli. Balanced off both ends, Roberto Cavalli has a lofty way of moving. Receiving a nice crowd response in reserve, Whitney and Mark Bodnar presented Merriehill Home Stretch to the honors for Ruthann Peterson. Home Stretch is by Tug Hill Whamunition and out of the Merriehill Chicagoan mare, Futurity Chicago Whitesox.

In the Four-Year-Old Stallion class, Mastroianni began his World Champion Stallion title defense by earning his age group tricolor once again this year. Robert Hughes and Debi Jeppesen were the presenters for Sheryl Bartolucci and SLB Farms. Mastroianni is by Mizrahi, of course by HVK Bell Flaire and out of the grand show mare Schiaparelli. Mastroianni is out of Kim’s Bellegante, herself a multi-world champion. Jaisen von Ballmoos was at the helm of Hagerbrook Superman to earn reserve for Peter Redding. By Issues ‘N Answers, Superman is out of Equinox Katana. Bright chestnut with a big white blaze, Superman has lots of flash and flair.

The oldest group of stallions, the Five & Over entries, fielded just two studs. Picking up a fifth win in the in hand division in his Oklahoma City career, SYP High Definition was the victor for Heidi Kunkel. Rick Stevens led to the winner’s circle once again with this high-headed son of HVK Vibrance and also out of Kim’s Bellegante. Vibrance was a Park Harness World Champion in 2002, giving High Definition a very strong show pedigree on both his top and bottom lines. Lori Gajowski had the reserve winner in this one with After Eight. Eleanor Reesor owns this Canadian-bred son of Suite After. He was Reserve Grand Champion Stallion at Far West Regional.

With the traditional field of six back in the Senior Stallion World Championship, half-siblings High Definition and Mastroianni were ready to duke it out once again with another young challenger in Three-Year-Old winner Roberto Cavalli. This was where the drama began. On their once around at the trot, Mastroianni’s lead, Robert Hughes, fell down awkwardly. When he got up, it appeared he couldn’t put any weight on his right leg. Later, it was determined Hughes had popped a hamstring, which would explain the pop that was audible in the show ring when he went down. Regardless of the extent of his injury, Hughes was absolutely not going to let down his owner or his horse. He gutted it out, standing his entry up in the lineup and scoring yet another Senior Stallion World Championship. Mark Bodnar, who was tailing brother Whitney’s entry in the class, led Mastroianni to the winner’s circle for the presentation, while Bob Hughes walked gingerly down to the far end. It was a family reunion in the winner’s circle when SYP High Definition was called out as the reserve world champion. Both out of the grand show mare Kim’s Bellegante, these two stallions made their mother proud, repeating their placings from a year ago in this class. Owned by Heidi Kunkel, High Definition was presented by Rick Stevens to the reserve tricolor.

The five-minute break before the Stallion World Championship came, and there was a ton of suspense hanging over the crowd. Speculation ran rampant of course, as people questioned whether Bob Hughes was okay and who would lead the Senior World Champion back in the finale. Would he make the same show with an unfamiliar leader at the helm? Would he be able to hold off the challenge of the young upstart, Junior World Champion Cedar Creek Flambeau? Or would SYP High Definition take advantage of this opening to claim the top spot in the Morgan stallion world? With all of these questions flying around the coliseum, the paddock was a bit quieter.

It would be Mark Bodnar to make the lead for the defending World Champion Stallion, with Debi Jeppesen serving once again as the tailer. The Gelding World Championship had seen a repeat winner this morning. The mares this afternoon too had a repeat winner. After the show, Bodnar recalled everyone just kind of stood there looking at him, not wanting to say anything to add even more pressure to this situation. How does one even phrase that? "OK buddy, here’s the deal. You’ve never touched this horse before in your life, but what we’re going to have you do is take this horse who has never been beaten and take him onto the biggest stage in the business, got it?" It was probably best that they left that unsaid. With the Bodnar flair that seems to be bred into these boys, Mark Bodnar came through in a big way. Mark made the leads, while Bob Hughes exchanged places with him to stand the stud up in the lineup. With Debi Jeppesen urging him to keep going, Bodnar made the once around lead be a full trip of the ring, giving the judges all they needed to tie Mastroianni as the World Champion Stallion for the second year in a row.

The Junior World Champion was up for the reserve world championship here, as Cedar Creek Flambeau put on a show once again for Jim and Fay Lowry and Cedar Creek Farm. He had the crowd rocking with his flair and style. Bred and raised by Larry Bolen and Bob Burger, Flambeau’s dam and second dam were also bred by Cedar Creek. Earning a first-place vote in the process, Flambeau gave Mastroianni a great challenge as the reserve world champion.

Performance Arena

Newly renamed the Performance Arena, and formerly known as Show Arena 6, Grand National competition was off to a great start with eight competitive classes from the Saddle Seat and Classic Equitation divisions. A strong and supportive crowd of family members, friends, barnmates and spectators were on hand to cheer on the young riders on this chilly morning.

The first class of the session was the Grand National Saddle Seat Equitation 16-17 class with 11 riders from coast to coast competing for top honors. The state of Massachusetts earned bragging rights since the top riders hail from the commonwealth of Massachusetts, the birthplace of Justin Morgan. Maggie Cramer matched up with AMF Exodus to earn a memorable trip to Oklahoma winner’s circle under the direction of Sarah Gove. Cramer added this win to her collection of wins and reserves from Connecticut Morgan, Granite State, Maine Morgan, New England and Massachusetts Morgan. Reserve honors went to Rachel Menard, a proud member of Team Morgan, aboard BJL Ransom. Menard rides under the direction of Nikki Rae Woodworth. She started off the week with the reserve ride to add to her already successful show season across New England. Just last year, Menard was the World’s Champion Classic Saddle Seat Equitation rider, and proved she is clearly a top contender in this division in 2009.

Tayler Walters kicked off Anne Speck’s grand morning by winning the Saddle Seat Equitation 14-15 Grand National class unanimously aboard Man In Command. This is Walters’s first year as a senior rider and she has already proven herself with wins across the West Coast on her Morgans as well as at the American Saddlebred World’s Championships where she was a strong third in the 14-Year-Old Saddle Seat Equitation class aboard barnmate Jacqueline Beck’s former mount, Pinstripe Dancer. Also a newcomer to the senior division, Annie Thurber was last year’s Junior Saddle Seat Equitation World Champion as well as the UPHA Morgan Junior Challenge Cup National Champion. In this age group, Thurber started off the week in reserve aboard Upper Echelon, under the direction of Katie Mair.

Anne Speck directed another unanimous winner in the 12-13 Saddle Seat Equitation class with Claire Brownie aboard Futurity Chicago White Sox. Brownie topped the outstanding field of 13, reserve in this class just a year ago, and has been a consistent winner on the California circuit this year. From across the nation, Alexa Bik hails from New York. This is Bik’s first year cantering, but she is already proving she can take on the older girls. Last year, Bik was the Walk-Trot Saddle Seat Equitation Reserve World Champion as well as the Grand National Champion 10-11. Bik and her mount, Minion Absolut, are trained by Suzanne Haberek. Another Rancho Del Mar rider, Angelica Berning rounded out the top three aboard Festival Troubador to begin the week.

For the second year in a row, Cameron Kay was crowned the Saddle Seat Equitation 11 & Under Grand National Champion. Following a tricolor walk-trot career, Kay has certainly enjoyed many great achievements for a rider still in the 11 and under division. Aboard her Sarde’s Sinful and trained by Mary Carlton, Kay has everything it takes to be a successful young rider. Reserve in the class went to Katie Kabel aboard LA Ricochet and under the direction of Blackridge. Only in her first year showing and just her second equitation class ever, Kabel is enjoying great show ring success along with her mom, Kathleen, and sister Courteney under the direction of Blackridge.

All parents are extremely proud and excited when their children succeed at their passion. Jim and Fay Lowry share in that pride with their daughters and were there to coach and cheer on daughter Audrey when she earned the unanimous victory in the Saddle Seat Classic Equitation 13 & Under class on Cabot Carte Blanche. Reserve honors went to Madilyn Boyert aboard Lookaway’s Howitzer under the direction of Kathleen Flower. Boyert enjoyed a fine show season with wins or reserves from ASHAO, Gold Cup, Buckeye and the Randolph Classic.

Suzanne Haberek enjoyed a thrilling repeat as the instructor of the winning rider in the Walk-Trot Saddle Seat Equitation 10-11 for the second year in a row. Hannah Carr started off a show to remember when she matched up with Westenfeld Band Leader, the winning mount of Alexa Bik just a year ago, to earn the unanimous Grand National victory pass. Amber Pauly was reserve in the nice class of young equitation riders aboard JDS Absolut Flaire to the delight of instructor Melinda Hyde.

The 14-17 division of the Saddle Seat Classic Equitation was next with a large and competitive class of 12 showing, vying for the Grand National victory. Top honors were awarded to Julia Strier aboard MLF Merlin. Strier was the 2006 World’s Champion Junior Equitation rider as well as the Junior Challenge Cup National Champion. She rides under the direction of proud trainers Mari and Travis Neidlinger of Lingering Hills Stable. Reserve honors went to the state of Maine with Natasha Daigle in her first Morgan Grand National performance. The talented rider was aboard her trusted mount since 2006, Sensational Touch, and rides with Laurie Koehler.

In the final Saddle Seat Equitation class of the day, the Walk-Trot Saddle Seat Equitation 9 & Under, the blue sash and ribbon belonged to Alexandra Varveris aboard True Gold. Varveris proudly followed older sister Ariana, who also showed True Gold to this tricolor in 2005 under the direction of Bobbin Hollow Farm. Reserve honors were awarded to Shaunicy Sturm aboard Willowick Mafia Princess under the direction of BJ Schaefer. The Bobbin Hollow cheering section also supported Katiepaige Richards when she rounded out the top three aboard HVK Standing Ovation.

After a nice almost two-hour break, the afternoon session began devoted to young showmanship and western seat equitation competitors. Everyone stayed bundled up in the stands, while the young stars showed their best to earn the judges’ approval. There were some repeat wins, while other classes had brand new stars earning top honors.

For the second year in a row, Connor Chaffin Farley topped the 9 & Under Fitting & Showmanship Grand National class with Aquila’s Stardust under the direction of Cape Cod Farm. Farley was the only boy in the field of five, but he looked the part of a real cowboy, leading his horse with khakis, a blue sport coat and of course the signature cowboy boots and hat. In her first year off the lead line, BreeAnn Tripp was the Grand National reserve champion paired with Batton’s Maestro under the direction of Morgan Valley Farm.

Two large sections of riders who had qualified for the AMHA Western Seat Gold Medal performed rail work and patterns next, in hopes of making it back to the final, held on Tuesday afternoon in the coliseum. It was announced later that the 12 riders who made the call back were Iris Rankin, Mary Kris Revard, Leah Soubel, Olivia Alexandra Lahr, Madison Wurster, Ryne Swope, Inga Johnson, Meghan Hanrahan, Lauren Little, Brianna Berg, Abby Mcalmont and Sydney Salerno.

In the Walk-Jog Western Seat Equitation 10-11 class, it was a battle of Oklahoma’s finest sweeping the top two ribbons. Hometown girl Lauren Osborne was aboard Cingate Jack Flash to win the blue ribbon and the blue sash with the medal. Osborne shows under the direction of Mary Shappee’s Majic Stables. Last year’s world champion in this division, Ashley Wingate of Norman, Okla., was reserve aboard Kern’s Endeavor under the direction of Kelly Kraegel Varner.

For the second year in a row, Taylor Widawski was the Grand National Champion in the 14-17 Showmanship Finals. Along with her horse, Cobridge Laredo, Widawski topped a field of 11 other senior showmanship stars. Reserve honors were awarded to Ariel Bowden and Brooklyn Bay Discovery, a grand finish for her first year showing at the Grand National.

The Cape Cod team made another trip to the winner’s circle with their young rider when Olivia Wendel matched up with Connor Chaffin Farley’s Aquila’s Stardust for a winning ride. Wendel put in an outstanding show in her hot pink outfit to top the Walk-Jog Western Seat Equitation 9 & Under class. BreeAnn Tripp, who was also reserve in the showmanship class, was reserve in the equitation class aboard Batton’s Maestro, the same horse she led earlier in the day. Connor Chaffin Farley put in a great ride aboard his new mount, RBF Russian Roulette, to round out the top three.

After a top three finish in the Fitting & Showmanship 10-13 Finals last year, Mariah Jane Knight really stepped it up to finish on top in this year’s class. Along with her trusted Morgan, Hill Montego Bay, Knight was smiling every step of the way. Reserve honors in the tough 10-13-year-old class belonged to Taylor Ray Countryman and HyLee Shame On You.

Saturday Night was dedicated to the throngs of hunt seat equitation riders in the performance arena. The large and competitive division featured a class for each age with riders from across the United States and beyond showing off what they have been working toward all year long.

Starting from the youngest riders, the 11 and under group was six strong. Michelle Quinlisk capped a wonderful season with Manchester In Demand as the Grand National Champion with Christine Nava greeting her in the winner’s circle. A reserve world champion last year in the walk-trot division, Mallory Stacy came back cantering this year to earn a reserve finish in her age group class aboard Futurity’s Roman Torch.

Although Ellery Walker already has several Grand National titles to her credit, she was just as excited for her Grand National victory in the 12-year-old age group aboard her flashy bay horse with the wide white blaze, Partridge Hill Prophet. In her first Grand National performance, Sydney Katherine Withers was reserve aboard Kane Creek Oregon Reign. She added this top performance to the impressive list of wins she has already stacked up so far this year across the Midwest under the Triumph Stables banner.

Last year’s World Champion Junior Hunt Seat Rider, Gabrielle Graves, was back in the winner’s circle in the 13-year-old class. She earned the honors unanimously aboard Twin Peak Heritage to add to a second consecutive win for Crystal Farms. Reserve honors belonged to a very excited Nicolette Geddeis, who piloted Merriewold Diplomat under the Stoneledge banner.

The 14-year-old class also had 12 entries, and Kelsey Thomas earned the round of honor aboard CBMF Danger Zone. Thomas added the blue ribbon sash to her collection of blues she’s won so far this year in Florida under the West Coast Morgans banner. Sarah Harb had the CPM Stables cheering section on her side when she earned the reserve tie aboard Sunny Acres Kaleidoscope.

Continuing her nearly undefeated season, Alexandria Warner not only won the 15-year-old age group, she won it unanimously with huge crowd support. The poised and skilled rider was teamed with the beautiful chestnut trimmed in white, Pondview Pure Elegance. Warner also won her age group last year under the Taylor River banner. Reserve honors belonged to Sascha Mills and her star mount Ha-Ho Windstar as they had the hometown crowd and Gwinfield Farm on their team.

The 16-year-old class was the largest of the evening with 15 entries. Top honors belonged to last year’s Reserve World Champion Senior Hunt Seat Equitation Rider Alana Little, now teamed with Bell South under the direction of Kelly Varner. Ali Denzel demonstrated her skills with the reserve finish in the class aboard Auhl Turned Out under the direction of Peeper Ranch.

The evening closed out with another unanimous winner when Morgan Zielinski began her final junior exhibitor show with a Grand National Championship. Her proud mother/instructor, Melissa Lambrecht, met her in the winner’s circle when she rode Under Fire to the victory. Reserve honors went to another top New England rider, Skylar Robinson. She was paired with her horse, Apostrophe under the direction of Melissa Morrell.

Show Arena 8

The Grand National & World Championship Horse Show opened in Ring 8 with the dressage competition. JJF Oohs And Aahs and Virginia Norris bested a large field to claim the winning honors in the Dressage Training Level Test 2 Open for owner Cynthia Becker. A tie score resulted in Thunder Alexander with Julie Haugen and Misty Green Merlin with Gia Dawn Grayson sharing second place honors. Whitney Haugen and TJR Destiny’s Tiara earned top honors in the Junior Exhibitor Training Level Test 2. Veronica Llewellyn directed Twelve Oaks Intrepid, owned by Toni Beauford, to the reserve honors. It was another large field in the Amateur Training Level Test 2. Mirabel’s Noble Aramis and Lauren Winstone bested the field of 10 followed by Pam Thomson and LLL Trotsky.

Training Level Test 3 Open division saw eight talented entries compete for the victory. Jennifer McFall directed Merriewold Galaxie to the top score for owner Merriewold Morgans. Mallory Mignot and Be My Magic Moment earned the second place finish for owners Anton and Barbara Nesse.

The dressage competition moved up to the First Level with Test 1 Open competition where Tricia Waclena directed her RWD Direct Class to the top of the class followed by Celeste Brown and her DJJJ Star’s Ace. Samantha Jo Parks rode Twelve Oaks Intrepid to the win in the junior exhibitor competition, while Melanie Newkirk was aboard Maestro’s Sonata to earn the reserve finish. Angela Thayer and Highover French Krystle topped the amateur competition followed by Anne Schmid and Grayfriar’s Epic N’chanter.

The AMHA Dressage Seat Gold Medal featured nine talented young riders. Kelsey Robinson has proven her horsemanship skills in every seat. Thursday she claimed the top title in the dressage seat aboard EV Conquistador. Kim Fullerton showcased Sacred Path’s Ice-T to the reserve championship in this competitive division.

A full slate of classes at the First Level, Test 2 was filled with fine rides. Tricia Waclena and RWD Direct Class earned the top score in the open competition as Jessica Sheppard and Castlewood Brigadier earned reserve open honors. Melanie Newkirk continued to showcase the skills of Maestro’s Sonata as the sole junior exhibitor entry. Angela Thayer returned to the winner’s circle with Highover French Krystle to best the amateur competition followed by Karen Rossen and Moondance Maverick.

Five entries competed for the Second Level Test 1. Gayle Davidson and her Derawnda Hercules bested this field and returned to showcase their skills at the Third Level in Test 1 as the back-to-back winners. Barbara Lewis and Dakota’s Royal Laser earned reserve honors in the Second Level Test 1 competition.

At the top of the skill set were David MacMillan and West Mt. Winston, who once again claimed the Dressage Intermediate II title for owners Larry and Karin Weight.

Sunday, October 11

Coliseum

Day two in the coliseum began with a field of 13 vying for top honors in the Western Pleasure Mares as the first of eight classes. Although Wildcard’s Satin Rose began her career as a hunter, it is clear that her real niche is the western division. In 2007 she completed an undefeated season in the western division with owner Virginia Adams, but it was not until this year that she was shown in this division at the Grand National. On Saturday, she was reserve Grand National champion in the Western Pleasure Amateur Masters class with her owner, and this morning she added a trip to the winner’s circle with trainer Garn Walker. The Grand National reserve title went to the multi-titled Futurity’s Such A Twist and Kelly Kraegel Varner with a polished performance for Lon and Virginia Frieden.

There is nothing more fun to watch than the combination of a perfectly matched horse and rider. Properly and Linel Mullendore are the epitome of that idea. The beautiful-moving light chestnut topped the Walk-Trot Hunter Pleasure 8 & Under for the second year in a row. Reserve honors belonged to Batton’s Maestro and BreeAnn Tripp who earned their third ribbon in as many divisions in just the first two days in Oklahoma.

Last year’s World Champion Walk-Jog Western Pleasure team of Hylee’s Fanflaire and Sara Heidenreich returned to Oklahoma in unanimous winning fashion, moving up to the Grand National Western Pleasure 11 & Under class this year. Fanflaire showed his approval by whinnying in the winner’s circle while his rider, dressed in a beautiful mint and violet suit, patted him on the neck. Neariver Savannah Miss has been a winner for the entire Silver family, especially for David as she was reserve with him in the 11 and under class to the delight of the entire Silver Mesa Farm family.

The team of Nemours Courageous and Summer Durocher also enjoyed a return trip down victory lane. Just last year they were the world champions in the Walk-Trot Hunter Pleasure, and this year, they won the Grand National Walk-Trot Hunter Pleasure Nine-Year-Old class under the Liberty Stables banner. Reserve honors were awarded to Walnut Ridge’s Solid Gold and Lindsay Johnson. The chestnut with the flowing stride was perfectly matched with Johnson’s beautiful tan jacket with black velvet accents as they performed for owner Anna Kufs and Rolling Oaks Farm.

Three lucky sevens were on Kathleen Peeples’s back as the number of the Three-Year-Old Stallion & Gelding Hunter Pleasure winner. Aboard the bold-striding EKL Assets Vision, she was awarded the Grand National blue sash. Owner Martha Simpson started out the year aboard the handsome son of Town Assets by winning at Southern States, and she enjoyed getting the chance to watch and cheer him to Oklahoma’s victory lane. The World Champion Junior Gelding and Futurity In-Hand Yearling Gelding from 2007 as well as the World Champion Futurity In-Hand Two-Year-Old Gelding from last year, RWF Paganini showed off his ability as well as good looks under saddle this year to earn the reserve finish in this class of promising youngsters with Mary Cockriel aboard for Monty Kugeler.

In their first season together, Hylee’s The Devil I M and Montanna Lambrecht have already had wins from UPHA Chapter 14 Spring Premiere, Connecticut Morgan, Maine Morgan, New England and Massachusetts Morgan. Their most exciting victory of the season so far, however, was surely their unanimous win in the Walk-Trot Hunter Pleasure 10-Year-Old class to the delight of trainer/mom Melissa Lambrecht. Reserve honors went to the chestnut with the silver-accented tail, Wild Jam Master Surprise with rider and owner Shanti Rood.

The past two years have been banner years in Oklahoma for HDP Noble Warrior. 2009 continued the theme when the bold performing gelding won the Grand National Hunter Pleasure Amateur Stallion/Gelding class with elated owner Paula Messier to top a field of 22. Reserve honors were awarded to CBMF Cutting Edge and Julie Byrn, starting off a winning show for Jerold and Mary Jane Nau under the Cedar Spring banner.

The Grand National Walk-Trot Hunter Pleasure 11-Year-Old class closed out the morning session in the coliseum with a most adorable winning pair. Winning the class was Roadshow Annie Oakley and Sarah Beatrice Pruetz for 10 Star Ranch. Pruetz looked as cute as can be when she hugged Annie Oakley in the winner’s circle with her braided pigtails tied with pink bows. Boxford Unbridled Passion was reserve in the class with ecstatic rider Lauren Osbourne, adding to her wins from the western division under the direction of Mary Shappee.

The afternoon session featured nine classes on the schedule starting off with Amanda DuPont taking the first victory pass, piloting Jeannie In A Bottle to the unanimous Three-Year-Old Hunter Pleasure Mare win for Larry Page. DuPont had the Three Wishes mare collected and covering ground to earn the blue. Kathy Shorten and SPR Margarita were reserve for Stove Prairie Ranch. In from Colorado, this mare is by HRH Legend Command and out of a Stonecroft Masquerade mare.

Anne Speck and Frank Miller made their way to the winner’s circle in the Classic Pleasure Saddle 11 & Under class when Miller’s daughter, Savanna, rode VVM Litigator to the top spot. A part of the Rancho Del Mar family for a long time, Litigator is owned by Bob and Vita Banks. He has been partnered with Cheyenne Bankz-Diaz for the last four seasons. Savanna Miller made the most of her debut aboard Litigator on the biggest stage in the business. Walk-Trot Classic Saddle World Champions a year ago, Ada Johnson and Rowenda French Twist have made the move up to cantering with similar success, earning reserve here for Arcola Farm.

In the English Pleasure 14-15 class, Tayler Walters enjoyed her second Oklahoma victory pass in as many days. Here, she was paired with Total Request. Mary Cockriel greeted the winning team for the presentation picture to the delight of proud mom Debra Hurst Walters. Gable’s Top Quark and Taylor Ashley White put on a nice performance to earn reserve in their first season together competing under the Showcase Stables banner.

A huge field of 22 jogged down the chute for the Western Pleasure Gelding class. Keeping the West Coast’s streak alive, Jennifer McFall took the blue ribbon back to California with Movado for Paul and Danica Brisco. Wearing a beautiful black and aqua blue outfit with an off white hat, McFall is always the picture of elegance in the saddle. They won their qualifier here last year as well and were Ladies Western World Champions in 2006 and 2007. Garn Walker was aboard Cabot French Lieutenant in reserve for Connie Melendy. It was a great ribbon in an extremely deep and talented class. Judy Nason and FCF Montego Bay rounded out the top three for Joanne Kieger.

The youngest group of English pleasure riders hit the ring next when the 11 and under riders vied for their Grand National championship. It was Wendigo’s Tenderfoot and Sara Heidenreich who went struttin’ down victory lane in this one with Heidenreich’s second unanimous victory of the day for proud mom Stacey Heidenreich. L.A. Ricochet and Katie Kabel made a super showing to collect their second reserve title in as many days for proud parents Steve and Kathleen Kabel. Kabel’s smile said it all when trainers Debi Jeppesen and Bob Hughes met her at the outgate.

The Two-Year-Old Park Harness competition is always a highlight, and SYP Show Stopper made it an event to remember once again. Owner/breeder Gloria Blevins was bubbling with excitement when her flaxen trimmed mare was bubbling with expression as Jim Taylor guided the well-named filly down victory lane. Show Stopper is by ZZ Top and out of the Blevins’s world titled HVK Madonna. Equinox Fear This was reserve in this entertaining class with Jaisen von Ballmoos at the lines for Kathleen Pierce. A winner at Southern States and Mid-A, Fear This is by Issues ‘N Answers and out of Equinox Pollyanna.

An ultra-deep and talented group of 16 came charging down the ramp and into the coliseum, working hard for the Grand National blue in the English Pleasure 16-17 division. Rachel Miller turned back a field of the very best to take top honors back to Gerry Rushton Stables with TE Ammunition for Glenn and Kim Weed. Ammunition was 12-13 Grand National Champion last year with Delaney Weed. Chestnut with a white blaze and four white stockings providing plenty of flash, Nocturnal Flash was reserve with Alyssa Rumsey riding for Joy and Dennis Rumsey. They were 14-17 English Pleasure Champions at New England earlier this year. Third in this deep class went to HVK Flash Back and Rebecca Boorstein for Equilateral Enterprise Inc. CN Grand Style and Emily Tassinari put in a top ride for the fourth place ribbon in the Oklahoma team debut.

"That’s you," Tim Roesink said to Ling Fu Wylie when her number was called out first in the Three-Year-Old Classic Pleasure Driving class. Catch-driving Stonecroft Flammable for Ann Hailey’s Copper Beech LLC, Ling looked lovely as always, with her dark hair matching the dark coat of Flammable. This pretty filly is by Stonecroft Trilogy and out of Sizzle, by Tug Hill Commando. Dr. Jerome Modell picked up reserve honors with Gradell Center Of Action under the direction of Lynn and Kathleen Peeples. Bred and owned by Drs. Jerome and Shirley Modell, Center Of Action is by Centerpiece and out of Gradell’s Seventh Angel, also a mare by Tug Hill Commando.

The carriage drivers showcased their abilities in the Carriage Pleasure Driving Reinsmanship class to close out the session. Patricia Hartell and BWR Enchanting Melody continued their winning ways. They were winners Saturday in Carriage Pleasure Driving Turnout as well. Martha Nelson was reserve with Elk Creek Aurora B. They were also reserve in this class last year.

The evening session opened with an entertaining slate of nine classes. Looking towards Friday night’s Amateur Park Saddle World Championship, the first class of Sunday evening was the mare and gelding qualifier. Though there were only two in class, they were two top entries. Patchwork Simply Amazin’ and Donna Zimmerman repeated their win from last year under the direction of Jim and Jenny Taylor. Last year marked Zimmerman’s first win under saddle in Oklahoma, and she added another one to her burgeoning resume. A longtime team, Alison Willes and Intrepid On Parade were reserve for Cathie Lester and Alison Willes. They were Amateur Park Champions at Circle J Regional directed by Carolyn Dillon.

A nice group of 12 joined the festivities for the Classic Pleasure Saddle 12-13 class. Making a terrific catch-ride, Audrey Lowry took top honors aboard NKS Express Mail. Owned by Becks Valley Farm, Express Mail is trained by Indian Creek Farm. Shanna Gish joined Lowery for the round of honor. Julie Folksman and Plum Haven Capistrano were reserve in this competitive class under the direction of Gerry Rushton for Tracy Folksman. Mattie Frances Willard and Abracabam joined the parade of ribbon winners with the third place finish.

The Amateur Hunter Pleasure Mares were up next with a field of several of the season’s top winning entries from coast to coast. MEM Triple Sec and Darlene White continued a season to remember with the victory pass. Jeff White joined the winning team for the Howie Schatzberg presentation picture. Audrey Lowry headed straight back to the rail to join her parents when they directed the reserve team of Cabot Betty White and Rebecca Sebastian. A bay appropriately trimmed in white, Betty White is owned by Bonus Time Farm. Graycliff Miss Liberty and Teri Rumens rounded out the top three in this stellar field for Fire Run Farm.

"It certainly was a five-star performance," said announcer Peter Fenton. That elicited a scream from the Grove Pointe box when KJM Five Star and Tim Roesink headed to the winner’s circle for Dr. Barbara Lindauer in Three-Year-Old Park Harness. Bred by barnmates and friends the Silber family, Five Star is by Liberation First Star and out of KJM First Lady, by Futurity French Command. Harry Sebring drove to the reserve title behind Masterclass for Tom and Joanna Meyers. Jim McCleester headed up the son of The Master’s Touch in the lineup. Masterclass is out of NBN At Your Command, the dam of Love Her Madly. Dutch-Mor’s Joy was third with Mike Goebig driving for the Haines/Ledyard Company LLC. She is by Astronomicallee and out of Pompp And Pazazz.

The Ladies English Pleasure Geldings hit the ring with a quartet of outstanding representatives of the division. From the very beginning of the class, the eyes of the crowd and judges kept swinging from one horse to another, trying to pick out a favorite. The favorite of all three judges were Uppercase Innovation and Kathleen Peeples. They bested the group with a smooth as silk performance for Cynthia Fawcett. Every pass they made looked exactly like the one before, head set in just the right spot, ears forward and marching. It was a textbook English pleasure performance to earn that coveted Grand National blue. Bellissimo and Jennifer Hazen made a fantastic show to earn reserve for PlayMor Farm LLC.

The Four-Year-Old Classic Pleasure Driving class featured a field of 11 vying for top honors. Donna Zimmerman scored her second victory pass of the session for the Memory Lane team. She drove MEM Shock Wave, sired by Serenity Masterpiece and out of AFF Evening Episode, to the top honors with a sold performance. Elaine Galatz drove to the red ribbon with VVM Elektra for Vegas Valley Morgans. Harold Angel directed this elegant Salem Command daughter out of a Tug Hill Whamunition mare.

A dozen western pleasure stallions gathered to compete for the top prize. Judy Nason took the familiar trip to the winner’s circle when she directed Rum Brook Immortal Valor to the top of this handsome group. Wearing purple and black with a white hat, Nason guided this Immortal Command son on his victory jog for Jacquelyn and Nicole Harrington. Daryl Hopson had the reserve finisher in Saralin Blues Brother, making his first Oklahoma appearance for Richard and Linda Hawkins. By And The Beat Goes On and out of an HVK Bell Flaire mare, Blues Brother worked in that relaxed, collected western form to earn the red ribbon. Cheri Barber and Gradell Ring My Bell rounded out the top three to add to a great debut season in this division for Drs. Jerome and Shirley Modell.

The level of competition rose to new heights when the Amateur Park Saddle Stallions took center stage with a field of the breed’s top winning world champions matching up with their amateur riders. Dragonsmeade Icon and Iann Fu Longenecker paired up for a special win in this amazing class. Owned and bred by Dragonsmeade, the five-year-old son of Mizrahi and HVK Obsidian started off the season as an open horse with tricolor victories at Southern States and New England with trainer Tim Roesink. Longenecker took over the reins at Jubilee Regional, and they put it all together this evening, making a stunning performance in a fully loaded class of six. It was a proud moment for the Fu family and the Grove Pointe team. Amateur Park Saddle World Champions in two of the past three years, CN The Master’s Flyte and Allyson Nord Wandtke, put on a tremendous performance for Cindy Nord to carry the reserve honors back to the Broadmoor banner. They were second in this class last year before coming back to win the world championship.

The Roadster to Bike class sent the crowd out into the chilly night on a high note when Lynn Peeples piloted FRF Looking Glass to the win for William Shean. Roadster to Bike Champions at New England, Peeples and Looking Glass tore up the track in what announcer Peter Fenton referred to as "The Oklahoma Derby." Mary Cockriel drove the reserve finisher, CBMF Double Down, to his second reserve finish of the week when the Bendele entries picked up the second and third place finishes. High in the bridle, Double Down sets himself apart with his headset as he moves down the rail with his ears up. Winner at Morgan Medallion and Circle J, MEM No Inhabitions was third, and the crowd blew the roof off for the fast-moving chestnut star. In this tightly matched class, each of the top three finishers received a first place vote. It was a great way to cap off an outstanding night at the horse show.

Performance Arena

Sunday morning was the first session of the week where the English Pleasure, Classic Pleasure and Park classes were held in the Performance Arena. Normally the home of well-filled classes in the hunter, western and equitation divisions, the Performance Arena was more than capable of handling the 16 entries that came to the ring in the Classic Pleasure Saddle Ladies Gelding class. As announcer Mark Farrar put it, it was Whitemud Touch Of Blue riding off with a touch of Grand National blue in this one. Big winners from the Pacific Northwest, Touch Of Blue and Carol Fletcher Churchill teamed up for their 10th win of the year. Anne Morgan was reserve in this one with Rage, a chestnut son of Hollybrook Stage Rage. They worked the ring well, finding a way to make an impression on the judges in this big, talented field. Eva Busboom and Century Mardi Gras picked up third for Randy and Laine Vincent and Lowry Stables.

Next up in the short slate of eight scheduled classes was the Junior Exhibitor English Pleasure 12-13 event. Kristen Tramposh made the run to the winner’s circle with the Peeper Ranch-trained entry, RWF Walk In The Park. Jennifer Lorenz put in a top performance to earn the blue in this one. Walk In The Park is by Stonecroft Masquerade and out of an Ultimate Command mare. Second in this field of 12 went to QVM Rocket Man. Lila Tatar teamed Rocket Man to reserve with a fine ride in just their first season together competing under the Glyn-Rae banner. They were Junior Exhibitor English Pleasure Champions at Morgan Medallion.

Pondview EZ Spirit made it look "E-Z" in Classic Pleasure Driving 14-17 class, winning with Amy Podesva. Directed by Keith Friday, E-Z Spirit made a collected, smooth-moving performance to take top honors. They were Junior Exhibitor Classic Pleasure Driving Champions at New England this year. Kendra Peeples got a pat on the back from proud dad Lynn Peeples when she left the ring in reserve with Priceless Jule in Kendra’s first season in the driving division. Sporting one of the best cheering sections of the morning, Outrageous Courageous and Abby Meyer were third for Dan and Jennifer Meyer.

Three-Year-Old English Pleasure Futurity World Champion a year ago, Alleswell On Broadway enjoyed a return trip to the winner’s circle for the Four-Year-Old English Pleasure Mare Grand National Championship with Rosalie Leary riding for Katie Coney. Jean DeGutis greeted the winning team for the presentation. This mare made a good show on the big stage once again, looking through the bridle and marching down victory lane. Three-Year-Old Pleasure Driving Mare Grand National Champion a year ago, JME Cupid’s Arrow was reserve here, receiving a nice round of applause from the Sunday morning crowd. Mary Carlton was aboard for Randy Graves.

Casey McDonald Douglass made a stellar show aboard Dantree Answer The Call to take the blue in Classic Pleasure Saddle Ladies Mare class. Having only shown at New England in her young career, this dynamic three-year-old rose up for the challenge for Firewind Morgans. Spencer Day headed up the Rand-trained entry for the round of honor. Second in another competitive field of 12, Rare Obsession and Shirley Haas earned the red ribbon, competing under the Mike Carpenter Stables banner. They were Classic Saddle Masters Reserve World Champions just a year ago. FRF Quintessa and Teri Rumens were third to add to the Fire Run Farm banner.

The Four-Year-Old English Pleasure Stallion/Gelding class saw the much-anticipated Oklahoma debut of Cherished Assets, bred and raised by the Arcuris. Dan and Leslie Kelley and trainer David Rand were delighted to be able to add this magnificent son of Pondview Tres Bien and Nemours Elegant Flaire, the dam of El-Toro, to their show string. Tall with a long neck, Cherished Assets never backed an ear and got a big sendoff from the crowd on his victory pass with David Rand in the irons. Skywarrior earned a first place vote in his reserve finish when Tim Roesink directed the punchy and power-packed gelding with sparkling show ring presence. Sired by Tug Hill Whamunition and out of the record-setting Ladies Park Harness World Champion HVK Ancient Cry, Mary Fisher Davila owns the gelding who is in many ways reminiscent of her World Champion Silversides Toy Soldier. Three-Year-Old English Pleasure World Champion last year, Floored was third, also capturing a first place vote with owner Tara Good in this marvelously deep class of 11.

Another significantly deep class came to the ring next when the amateur masters showed their pleasure driving entries. The blue in this one went back to Taylor River when FRF Seattle Reign and Jeff Gove drove to the winner’s circle, greeted there by Richard Boule. Amateur reserve champions at New England, they were on top of their game to earn the top prize. They were also Grand National Champions in their section of this class last year. Ladies Pleasure Driving Champion at New England with trainer Melissa Morrell, Can’t You See MEM was reserve with Phyllis Frechette. By Futurity French Command, Can’t You See is out of Carlyle Ten, the dam of HVK Man Of Distinction and Think About It MEM, both former winners here at the Grand National. Nancy Hendricks made a good drive with Dragonsmeade Carnaros to earn third for Carreg Wen Farm.

Capping off Sunday morning, Kristen Tramposh was back in the winner’s circle, this time as the winning rider aboard Dragonsmeade’s Infusion. Bred and owned by Dragonsmeade, this five-year-old daughter of HVK Bell Flaire was tops in the Ladies English Pleasure Mare class. English Pleasure Mare winner at New England, she was once again put on a top performance to earn the blue. She is out of Cedar Creek Pirouette, making her a full sister to Dragonsmeade Fusion, 2007 Amateur Park Harness World Champion. With her jet black coat and show horse expression, Enthusiastic was reserve for Jenny Taylor and owners Tom and Elizabeth Burick. By Tug Hill Whamunition, she is out of JL’s Deer Sal, the dam of And The Beat Goes On and Lamborghini In Black.

Only the second session of the second day of the show, and Lauren Osborne added a world championship title to the Grand National and reserve Grand National titles she already picked up. Her first’s world championship was awarded to her in the Walk-Jog Western Seat Equitation class aboard Cingate Jack Flash under the direction of Majic Stables. Reserve honors went to Cape Cod’s Olivia Wendel in her hot pink ensemble aboard Aquila’s Stardust.

The second and final class of the Sunday afternoon session in the performance arena was two splits of the 38-rider AMHA Hunt Seat On the Flat Medal Preliminary. The diverse and talented groups of riders competed for the limited 13 spots on the call back sheet to compete for the finals on Saturday afternoon in the coliseum. The 13 talented and fortunate riders who made it the finals were Alexandria Warner, Courtney Segulin, Maxi Gumprecht, Taylor Widawski, Hannah Locke, Elizabeth Fawcett, Chelsey Abate, Morgan Zielinski, David Knupp, Alana Little, Ryne Swope, Stevie Watson and Marissa Klimkiewicz.

The carriage driving division is alive and well as was proved by the two splits needed in Sunday night’s working class. The section A winner was BWR Enchanting Melody, who earned her third victory with owner Patricia Hartell. Reserve honors in section A were awarded to Intrepid Sabrina and proud owner, Mary Scronce. In section B, it was the multi-faceted team of Roadshow Annie Oakley and Sarah Pruetz. In the morning they were the Grand National Walk & Trot Hunter Pleasure 11-Year-Old Champions. Reserve in section B went to another multi-titled entry The Chairman Of The Board with Karen Holford at the whip for Bob and Judi McCoy.

Show Arena 8

Dressage competition continued in Ring 8 on Sunday. Starting off at the Training Level again, TJR Destiny’s Tiara and Whitney Haugen won the Test 3 and Test 4 competition in the junior exhibitor division. Twelve Oaks Intrepid, owned by Toni Beauford, claimed reserve honors in both Tests with Veronica Llewellyn directing in Test 3 and Samantha Jo Parks directing in Test 4.

Ten top entries performed Tests 3 and 4 at the amateur level, and the results were the same. Grayfriar’s Epic N’Chanter and Anne Schmid claimed victory in both classes followed by Lauren Winstone and Mirabel’s Noble Aramis.

Melanie Newkirk and Maestro’s Sonata also continued to dominate the first level junior exhibitor competition with a solo performance at Test 4.

Karen North Rossen and Moondance Maverick earned the top score and the title in the First Level Test 4 Amateur competition. Grayfriar’s Epic N’Chanter moved up to first level and finished in reserve.

Gayle Davidson and Derawnda Hercules topped a field of five entries to earn the Second Level Test 2 win as well as making a nice solo presentation in the Third Level Test 2. Barbara Richardson-Lewis and Dakota’s Royal Laser finished in reserve in the second level.

The Musical Freestyle First & Second Level Finals featured Castlewood Brigadier, owned by Carlo Sheppard, performing an entertaining ride to earn the victory with Jessica Sheppard. Cynthia Spalding and River Song Zydeco performed well to earn reserve honors.

Monday, October 12

Coliseum

Monday morning started off with a bang, beginning the same way that Saturday night ended, with a Mastroianni victory pass. This time it was Robert Hughes who got to take the round of honor, driving the World Champion Stallion to the Park Harness Four-Year-Old Stallion blue in unanimous fashion for Sheryl Bartolucci. Still nursing his hamstring injury, Hughes put in a sparkling performance with the stallion, who proved his good looks and talent in hand translate masterfully to performance. Junior Park Harness Champion at Jubilee Regional, JDS Paladin Pazazz turned in an animated showing to garner the reserve honors in this class of young talents with Damian Hyde driving for Tina Lessnau. By ZZ Top, the white trimmed bay is out of HVK Fancy Lass, by Noble Flaire.

Sticking with the park division, the Park Saddle Junior Exhibitor 15 & Under riders came to the ring next. In a field of eight, it was FRF Outerlimits who earned the winning scores for the second year in a row with Moniqua Dube up for Moniqua and Pauline Dube. Directed by David Rand, they have enjoyed a spectacular season. Youth Park Saddle Grand National Champion just last year, Dragonsmeade Bulgari was second here in his first season for his new partner, Irina Shavik. They had previously been undefeated together, most recently winning the Jubilee Regional Junior Exhibitor Park Saddle Championship directed by Hardwood Creek. Lake Holiday Magic and Bailey Bartley rounded out the top three with an animated showing for John and Claudette McCoy.

It was a solo performance in the Junior Exhibitor Pleasure Driving 11 & Under class, as one of the very best young drivers in the business entertained the Oklahoma audience. This was Rose Marie Wheeler with Stonecroft Trillium. Trillium is owned by Stonecroft Farm and directed by Jim and Jenny Taylor. The elegant bay mare is by Stonecroft Trilogy and out of Stonecroft Shalimar, by Nobility.

Jean DeGutis made the victorious lap to the far end of the ring with her Walk-Trot English Pleasure 10-11 winner, Pacific Rim Take Aim. Ridden by Chloe Deeb, Take Aim moved up a spot in 2009 to take that Grand National blue ribbon in Deeb’s final walk-trot season. Cherrydale Acapella and Hannah Kelley collected the reserve tie in their first trip together to Oklahoma. They perform under the direction of David Rand for Dan and Leslie Kelley.

Ladies Park Harness Geldings were up next on this action-packed morning schedule, with NDT French Impressionist putting on a winning performance for Amy Neifert and Copper Beech LLC. Harry Sebring and Rodney Hicks made their way to the winner’s circle for this unanimous winning presentation. High-headed and hingy, French Impressionist came to Oklahoma undefeated so far this year in harness. Erin Richey was beautifully turned out in a light tan suit at the lines of reserve winner Ryan’s Valentino. Owned by C. Timothy McKinley, Valentino was teamed with Richey for the first time in this class, and the results were excellent for this chestnut gelding. He worked high in the bridle and strutting for the red ribbon.

In the Walk-Trot English Pleasure 9 & Under class, trainer Tim Roesink encouraged his rider, Ariella Silber, with her top-performing Almost Famous. Silber clearly knew what she was doing when she reversed and made a pass off the rail that was one for the ages and had the Grove Pointe crew cheering. Instead of Almost Famous, you could call this combination almost too cute for words. They took the blue ribbon round for Kourt Jester Morgans. Second in the class went to another all-star in True Gold with Alexandra Varveris. Longtime favorite of the Varveris family, True Gold was previously Ariana Varveris’s mount and driving partner, winning a 13 & Under Pleasure Driving World Championship. Nicola Varveris has gotten into the act, also showing the handsome bay to top honors in driving. It truly is a family sport.

Ariella Silber jumped off her winner and raced back up into the seats in time to watch her mom, Shelley, hit the ring with her Classic Pleasure Saddle Mare entry, Prada. She hit the ring dynamic fashion and never let up, putting on one of their most consistently brilliant performances together. Wearing a dark chocolate brown suit, Shelley Silber stepped it up to take the blue for Kourt Jester Morgans and the Grove Pointe team. Donna Zimmerman wore gold tones to match up with the sparkling chestnut Narragansett Spirit when they claimed the reserve tie with a polished ride for PlayMor Farm LLC.

It was Judgment Day for Dylan Evans in the Pleasure Driving 12-13 class, and he was judged to be the victor, driving the Stonecroft Byzantine son Judgment Day down victory lane for proud parents Sue and Jeffrey Evans. In just his second show with this horse, Evans looked like a veteran, wearing his khakis with a navy blazer, earning the Grand National championship directed by Sally Lindabury. It was a quick turnaround for Plum Haven Minuet. Third in the 10-11 Walk & Trot Pleasure four classes earlier with Lauren Wade, she was back and in harness to earn the reserve in this class for the second year in a row with sister Kristen Wade. This dark bay mare was 13 & Under Pleasure Driving Reserve World Champion last year and also the dam of the handsome young stallion Mini Cooper.

Miz Saturn Star made a strutting, ears-up performance for Mike Goebig in the English Pleasure Mare class to take top honors back to Broadmoor for Kim Germ-Cramer. She never backed an ear and never missed a step while she worked high and light in the bridle for the unanimous blue. Lyle Wick was in from Minnesota to earn reserve with the Hardwood Creek-trained Hylee’s Bella Donna. By Stonecroft Byzantine, Bella Donna is out of a Noble Flaire mare.

The amateur drivers were up next with Amateur Pleasure Driving Stallions. Second in this class the past two years, Stonecroft Notorious and Elaine Olsen moved up a spot this year to earn a trip down victory lane as the first to qualify for Friday night’s world championship. Gerry Rushton directed the blue ribbon team. TRE Master Of Disguise carried the reserve ribbon to the Peeper Ranch banner when Dan Kelley stepped in with the catch-drive for owner Deborah Phelan.

It was a busy morning for the Kelley family when Leslie Kelley put together a spectacular ride aboard IGF Coeur Et Ame to take the Classic Pleasure Saddle Stallion/Gelding blue back to the Rand banner. This fancy gelding was really looking through the bridle and marching down the rail to add another victory pass for the entries of Victory Lane Farm. Whitney Hazen Downs rode the PlayMor Farm entry, HVK Primary Light, to reserve in this excellent class. Primary Light was the 13 & Under Pleasure Driving World Champion in 2007 for another PlayMor relative, Austin McLallin. Rage and Anne Morgan picked up third, while MEM Taser was fourth for Rachel Frazier in this deep class.

The World Futurity Two-Year-Old Pleasure Driving class capped the morning session with a world championship on the line for 13 promising youngsters. This competition was intense as at one point heading to the lineup they came down the rail four abreast. The class was sponsored by Ultra Morgans, and the winner came directly out of their breeding program. Ultra’s Private Eye is by Ultra’s Special Agent and out of Ultra’s Body Language. Gerry Rushton worked through this big field to take home the tricolor with the tall and fronty bay colt for Kristen and Eric Yang. Tim Roesink had his Junior World Champion Gelding in harness to add the reserve streamers for Copper Beech LLC. This was CBMF Avenger, by Ben’s Rhapsody and out of Ariel. Third in this stellar class went to a fixy and fine Astronomicallee daughter, Cingate Starry Night. Whitney Bodnar drove for Cingate Morgans.

The first victory pass of Monday afternoon went to Travis Wilson with MEM Tough Enough. In just their second show together this well-matched new pairing earned the Grand National Park Saddle 16-17 blue by a unanimous choice of the judges. The victorious pair is trained by John and Belle Hufferd. Just a four-year-old, WNDC Chairman Of The Board was reserve with Victoria Peskar riding for Windcrest Farms.

BWR Enchanting Melody continued a great week as the Carriage Pleasure Driving World Champion for owner Elizabeth Hartell. The mare’s dark coloring was well matched with the black carriage with light trim as she proudly wore the roses and tricolor of a world champion. The Chairman Of The Board is a light chestnut with a blonde mane and a light tail. Teamed with a beautiful light wood carriage, he was the Reserve World Champion for Karen Holford and owners Bob and Judi McCoy.

A former world champion in park harness, Queen’s Starfire added the Park Saddle Mare & Gelding Grand National Champion to her list of honors. Andy Marlett rode the unanimous winner for Rocky and Diana Schliefer’s Wild Rose Ranch. Starfire certainly inherited the brilliance of her world titled sire Lamborghini In Black and dam HVK Tiz Flaire. Brian Hadley piloted Briar Oaks Good Vibrations to the reserve tie for Toni and Denny Maunder.

Adriana Liberty won the Youth English Pleasure Finals for the second year in a row, but this time it was a different horse carrying her to the title. Last year, it was Ultras Proclamation who trotted to the tricolor. This year, it was new teammate Queen’s Fancy Me making the final pass for Lakefront Farm under the Rand banner. Katie Goodpaster made a great ride for Jim and Lynn Miller aboard Kriskroft Keynote to take reserve under the Hardwood Creek banner. Keynote was the Amateur Masters Pleasure Driving Reserve World Champion last year with Jim Miller.

With a "woo-hoo!" to the Indian Creek cheering section, Kurt Hufferd drove down victory lane with Stny Pt Harlequin Romance in the Four-Year-Old Park Harness Mare & Gelding class. Owned by Patricia West and William Shean, Harlequin Romance is by Cedar Creek Harlequin and out of a Three Wishes mare. Keith Nelsen matched up Temptation’s First Star for the reserve performance for owner/breeder Linda Sheridan. By Liberation First Star, she is out of a Tug Hill Commando mare.

With an unbelievably gifted group of 13 gathered for the Ladies Amateur English Pleasure Gelding class, Pete Fenton announced, "It’s on!" when the class came to order at the pleasure trot. And it was indeed "on" as every horse and rider seemed ready to take the top prize. The undefeated season of SLB Andiamo and Kathleen Kabel continued when they headed to the winner’s circle under the direction of Blackridge in their first season together. A stellar day for the Silber family continued when Shelley Silber was reserve with Sacred Path Indiana Jones for the second year in a row. Directed by Grove Pointe, they made a great show in this wonderful class. The multi-titled team of MEM La Vida Loca and Beth Fanscali were third, while Leviticus and Teri Rumens were fourth for Fire Run Farm.

Following three days of top scoring competition in Show Arena 8, the Dressage High Point World Championships were awarded in the coliseum. The audience welcomed Training Level Open World Champions Alexis Acres The Scotsman and Thunder Alexander, Training Level Amateur World Champions Mirabel’s Noble Aramis and Grayfriar’s Epic N’Chanter, Training Level Junior Exhibitor World Champions TJR Destiny’s Tiara and Twelve Oaks Intrepid, First Level Open World Champions RWD Direct Class and Castlewood Brigadier, First Level Amateur World Champions Highover French Krystle and Grayfriar’s Epic N’Chanter, First Level Junior Exhibitor World Champion Maestro’s Sonata, Second Level World Champions Derwanda Hercules and BEF Ivan, Third Level World Champion Derawnda Hercules and FEI Level World Champion West Mt Winston.

After the dressage champions were presented, the competition got back under way with Classic Pleasure Saddle Masters. Donna Zimmerman enjoyed a return trip to the winner’s circle in this class. This year she matched up with C’est La Vie for a pleasure perfect showing, directed by the Memory Lane team. Making his first trip to Oklahoma since 2004, Aspenglow Genesis made it another ride to remember for Brenda Varney, finishing in reserve. They were the winners of this class at New England under the Legacy Farm banner.

An elegant, talented group of four came to the show ring for the Ladies Pleasure Driving Gelding class. Looking beautiful in blue, Stephanie Connor celebrated her birthday in blue ribbon style, taking top honors with Festival Calypso by a unanimous choice of the judges. He won this class for the fourth year in a row, an impressive record for this phenomenal performer. Ladies Pleasure Driving Champion at New England, Can’t You See MEM was reserve with Melissa Morrell for Phyllis Frechette. This was his second reserve finish of the week, taking the Amateur Masters Pleasure Driving Reserve Grand National Championship with Phyllis Frechette at the lines.

An outstanding group of Ladies Amateur English Pleasure Mares provided a look at the match-ups with their gelding counterparts, who performed earlier, when they go head to head at the end of the week. Kirsten Johnson brought the blue ribbon home for Arcola Farm with GLB Perfect Harmony. The well-named mare was the Ladies English Pleasure World Champion in 2006 and 2008 with Stacy Hennessy, who directed the winning team this afternoon. With a tricolor partnership over the past three years in harness and under saddle MEM Twisted Sister and Lynn Begalla added the reserve tie in this deep class.

It was a repeat victory for Kathy Gutting and Get Busy in the Amateur Masters Park Saddle class. Winners of both of their classes at New England this year, Gutting and Get Busy are directed by Broadmoor. The black stallion son of Astronomicallee is fantastically gifted and looked great trimmed in blue. No Contest and Linda Hawkins earned another great prize for Grove Pointe, taking reserve for Mountain Hawk Farm to close out the afternoon session.

The Monday night session kicked off on a high note and continued that momentum all the way through to the final event of the night. With park harness classes book-ending the session, it was Ladies Park Harness Mares that came to the ring first. Epitomizing this division, HVK Ancient Cry won for the 13th time at the Morgan Grand National. In the Ladies Park Harness division, she has never been beaten in Oklahoma City. Teamed with Helen Crawford throughout her entire ladies career, Ancient Cry is trained by Bob Hughes and Debi Jeppesen. She was the unanimous winner in this one, looking like she had turned back the clock to 2002, the first year she was the ladies world championship. A mare who can really pump her legs, MEM Bonnie Blue was reserve with Nancy Hendricks at the helm. Directed by Grove Pointe, Hendricks made a great drive for Carreg Wen Farm with Tim Roesink directing.

A phenomenally talented class of three came to the ring for the English Pleasure Stallion title. Cartier, the pride of Gay Gove and Taylor River Farm, made a consistently brilliant performance to top a group of great ones with Sarah Gove for the second year in a row. Graycliff Tony and Dawn Fire were up for the challenge as they were reserve for Peeper Ranch. Ultras Special Agent and Shirley O’Gorman were third with a bold performance for Annette Smith and their proud cheering section.

A beautiful black mare who really fits her name well, Dragonfire Nefertiti was the Hunter Pleasure Mare Grand National Champion for Jennifer McFall, riding for Antonia Casados. Qualifying with a Hunter Pleasure Championship win at Morgan Medallion, Nefertiti brought all of her beauty and quality to the party, winning the Grand National blue. Jax Noble Onyx was reserve with Kathryn Schwartz riding for Kay Foley. The red ribbon headed back to Versailles, Ky., in this one.

It was by the unanimous acclaim of the judges Harry Sebring drove to the winner’s circle with Tara’s Brind’Amour in the Three-Year-Old Pleasure Driving World Futurity. Owned by Copper Beech LLC, he is by Tara’s Firewalker and out of Cabot French Elaina, by Futurity French Command. This was the second Futurity World Championship for this beautiful gelding. He was the Two-Year-Old Pleasure Driving Futurity winner in 2008. Oddly enough, this class was a repeat one-two finish from last year’s two-year-old class. State Of Grace earned the reserve world championship with Tim Roesink driving this year for John and Nancy Hendricks. This mare is by MLF Sharper Image and out of Bellamor, by HVK Bell Flaire. Kurt Hufferd was third with Indian Creek Miss Margaret for Indian Creek Morgan Farm. She is by HVK Bell Flaire and out of Long Acres Broadway. The quality in this class was outstanding with pedigrees of world titled entries producing the next generation of champions throughout.

The young riders brought their western mounts to the show ring for an evening performance, showing for the Western Pleasure 12-13 blue. Wearing a pretty sage green top with a tan hat and chaps, Inga Johnson rode to the top spot with Park Place Dominion for Arcola Farm. This was the second win of the day for the Johnson family. Kirsten Johnson had taken top honors with GLB Perfect Harmony in the afternoon session. Iris Rankin gave the thumbs up to her loud and proud cheering section when she rode to pick up her red ribbon in reserve aboard HVK Wild Delivery for her mom, Kelley Rankin, and trainer/sister Jenna Rankin.

The Amateur Pleasure Driving Geldings featured a hard-fought duel. Tomeri Tango came through with a brilliant performance with Ling Fu Wylie making a masterful drive under the direction of Tim Roesink for owner Bonnie Howard. The HVK Bell Flaire son was at the absolute pinnacle of his game to rock way back with ears pricked forward. Second in the class went to the reigning Amateur and Open Pleasure Driving World Champion, Dragonsmeade Carnegie Hall. Teamed this year with Dan Kelley, he was the Amateur Pleasure Driving Champion at New England after a winning debut at Mid-A prepared by David Rand. Things were certainly heating up for Friday night’s championship round.

Two thrown shoes made momentum a tough thing to come by in the English Pleasure Gelding class. Luman Wadhams kept his mount together all throughout, heading to the winner’s circle for a return trip with Sarde’s Manistique. By Man About Town LPS, Manistique has a very refined look about him. He was the 2007 English Pleasure World Champion and added this blue for owner Julie Rohrer. Stacy Hennessy was reserve when TE Ammunition stepped up with a bold ride for KW Morgans after a blue ribbon ride a day earlier in the junior exhibitor division.

The Amateur Pleasure Driving Mare class rounded out the lineup of qualifiers for Friday night’s world championship with a trio of Oklahoma winners battling for this win. A longtime star in the pleasure driving division, this was GLB Bell Of The Ball’s seventh winning drive at the Morgan Grand National. Debuting with Anne Marie Bumb at Morgan Medallion, Bell Of The Ball made top performances in preparation for the big stage. Under the direction of Cathy Grimes, they drove to the winner’s circle in their first Oklahoma appearance together. VVM Dare To Dream and Elaine Galatz matched up for the reserve honors with a bright showing for Vegas Valley Morgans. They were amateur ladies winners at Morgan Medallion.

The stallions returned for their Amateur Western Pleasure Grand National Championship with Firecrest E-Ticket taking home top honors matched with owner Aimee Shriner. Shriner and E-Ticket added their third victory pass in this class to those from 2006 and 2008, all under the direction of Daryl Hopson. The competition was fierce as the world titled team of Treble’s Tanqueray and Ashley Fleck Morris were reserve for Greg and Carol Fleck. After a year off from this division in 2008, the winning 2007 team was back in the running in 2009.

The Park Harness Stallion class capped off Monday night’s performance, and became one of the most-discussed classes of the entire week. The two stallions that claimed the top two spots in this one have been linked to each other for most of their young lives. They are the same age, both being foaled in 2003. JW That Special Flaire is by HVK Bell Flaire and out of Noble Airess, by Noble Command. SYP High Definition is by HVK Vibrance and out of Kim’s Bellegante, by HVK Bell Flaire. Their careers have been intertwined but the head-to-head match-ups have been one-sided up to this point. In 2006, Special Flaire won the Three-Year-Old Park Harness Futurity World Championship; High Definition was reserve. In 2007, Special Flaire won the Four-Year-Old Park Harness Grand National Championship; High Definition was reserve. Last year, Special Flaire won the Park Harness Stallion Grand National Championship; High Definition was reserve. These two have dominated their age groups throughout their entire careers. High Definition’s greatest success to date has come in hand. But this evening, here he was in harness with Rick Stevens, and he threw down the gauntlet.

Whether you are at Wimbledon, the NCAA Tournament, or another major sporting event, the crowd always roots for the underdog. Here was that underdog. He had never beaten the untouchable superstar, That Special Flaire. He put it all on the line, and the crowd picked up on it from the very beginning, cheering him on down the rail. In the end it was the judges who signed the cards, not the audience. Renee Lavery signed hers with High Definitions at the top. Scott Thacker and Conky Price put the reigning champion atop theirs. JW That Special Flaire made his way down to the Oklahoma winner’s circle for ninth time in his storied career. Bright chestnut with that familiar white stripe coming at you down the rail, That Special Flaire holds the record as the only four-time consecutive Park Harness World Champion and is one of the greatest Morgan champions of all time. Bred and brought out so famously by Judy Whitney Harris, That Special Flaire took to the park trot like a duck to water. He is all show horse. He always seems to want to be moving. When he has two feet on the ground at a time, he is completely at ease. "Why stop when I can keep giving the crowd what they want?" he must think to himself. The four-time Park Harness World Champion added another Grand National Championship title to his resume for Frances Pugh.

Anyone who had been to a big-time horse show before knew what was coming next. When "the crowd favorite" doesn’t get tied, the crowd makes sure to voice its opinion. They gave the great effort of SYP High Definition and Rick Stevens a loud and proud salute as they took reserve for Heidi Kunkel. The stage was set for Friday night.

Performance Arena

A brisk Monday morning opened with seven classes on tap in the Performance Arena. MEM Triple Sec and Darlene White started off the day just like they had finished the previous evening, in the winner’s circle. This time they added the ladies amateur win to the amateur victory of the previous night. With slightly more than 12 hours between their scheduled classes, the Hunter Pleasure Ladies Amateur Mare competitors went head-to-head once again with Cabot Betty White and Rebecca Sebastian teaming for a repeat finish with the reserve tie for Bonus Time Farm LLC.

Whitney Hazen-Downs enjoyed being back in the show ring after being on maternity leave with newborn son Aidan during last year’s show. In her final show in the youth division, she matched up with Highland Ridge Daniel for the unanimous win in the 17-entry Western Pleasure Youth Finals Grand National Championship for PlayMor Farm LLC. Michabou Weatherman was smooth and steady in the reserve slot with owner Amanda Oliver aboard under the direction of Judy Nason.

CBMF Cutting Edge moved up a slot from his reserve finish the previous day in the Hunter Pleasure Amateur Stallion/Gelding class to be named the Grand National Champion in the Hunter Pleasure Ladies Amateur Gelding class with Julie Byrn aboard for Jerald and Mary Jane Nau. They earned strong support from the Cedar Spring Farm cheering section when they earned the unanimous tie in the deep field of 18. Reserve honors belonged to last year’s Reserve World’s Champion Hunter Pleasure Four-Year-Old, Tudor Oak’s The Real Deal. Nicole Peterson matched up for the reserve tie on the handsome bay for proud parents Bruce and Susan Peterson and Team Merriehill.

A World’s Champion Futurity In-Hand Yearling Filly and a Reserve World’s Champion Futurity In Hand Two-Year-Old Mare, Fire Run Natalia proved pretty is as pretty does. She earned another top title at the Grand National by being named the unanimous Western Pleasure Three-Year-Old Mare winner with Daryl Hopson aboard for Kurt and Teri Rumens. Canabar Graceland made her debut performance at Grand National with the reserve finish in the class with Darlene Brouwer aboard for Vern Baron and Ann de St. Remy.

It was a big morning for the White family of Dover, N.H., when Cailey White joined her mom, Darlene, as Monday morning blue ribbon winners. Jeff White enjoyed another trip to the winner’s circle when he met daughter Cailey and her white trimmed Cabot Custom Order for the Hunter Pleasure Junior Exhibitor 14-Year-Old presentation photo. The state of New England had a lock on the top ribbons when Jane’s Addiction and Amanda Lashua continued their outstanding debut season by being named the reserve champions to the delight of trainer Judy Nason.

Adding another Grand National title to her show record, AMHF Missiplicity was named the Western Pleasure Amateur Mare Grand National Champion with owner Monty Kugeler aboard. The sleek black mare was perfectly matched by her owner to add the victory to The River’s Edge banner. The reserve spot belonged to Aerie Meadow Contessa and Jenna Jarboe when they added to a great season for William Dodds.

Reserve Grand National Champions in their age group last year, the handsome pairing of David Knupp and BMF Xerxes topped the 11-entry Grand National Hunter Pleasure Junior Exhibitor 15-Year-Old class this year. Katie Mair greeted the winning team as their fan club cheered them on. Sight Unseen and Katelyn Merrill added the reserve finish to their record of accomplishments

A prince was certainly crowned at this year’s Grand National in Pardon My Prince. On Saturday, he was the World’s Champion Futurity Western Pleasure Three-Year-Old, and this afternoon he was crowned the Grand National champion in the Western Pleasure Three-Year-Old Stallion & Gelding class by a unanimous decision. Jenna Rankin did the riding honors for owner Pamela Engblom. It was all in the family as reserve honors belonged to Meadowcreek I’m A Renegade with Jenna’s mom, Kelley Rankin, aboard for Susan Poe.

After only one performance during the show season this year, Graycliff Jack Star proved he did not need a lot of preparation to shine at this year’s Grand National. He topped the 19-entry Hunter Pleasure Ladies Gelding Grand National class with Mary Carlton aboard for Misty Pleiness. Reserve honors in the deep class went to the multi-titled Grand Cru Valentino with Melissa Lambrecht presenting for Susan and Chelsey Abate.

A Grand National champion just last year in the Western Pleasure Amateur Gelding 15.1 & Over Class, Troika’s Black Russian added another win to his long list of titles to be named the Grand National champion in the Amateur Western Pleasure Gelding class with proud owner Ling Fu Wylie aboard. It was a battle of top winning entries and many time champion riders. Mtn Laurel Election Day was reserve in the star-studded 17-entry class with owner C.A. Tony Lee III.

MEM Scan-Dal-Less and Lauren Foy won their age group class last year and they did the same this year in the Grand National Hunter Pleasure Junior Exhibitor 17-Year-Old class. Foy’s lavender coat set them apart from the crowd when they captured the coveted unanimous blue ribbon in their final junior exhibitor show. From East Coast to West Coast, the competition was outstanding with the California-based team of Talk Of The Town LPS and Lauren Gorfinkle adding the reserve honors to their list of accomplishments, directed by Garn Walker.

Last year Ali Denzel won her hunter pleasure age group aboard MEM Once Again, and once again they were the cream of the crop when they rose to the top. This time they earned 16-year-old victory over an immense field of 18 entries under the direction of Peeper Ranch. Grand Cru Valentino made his second reserve Grand National championship ride of the session with owner Chelsey Abate aboard.

A world’s champion in the Futurity Western Pleasure Three-Year-Old class just last year, Pondview Park Avenue was again in the winner’s circle. This time the son of World Champions Treble’s Tanqueray and Pondview Portrait captured the Grand National Western Pleasure Four-Year-Old Stallion & Gelding class over a field of 15 with Judy Nason aboard for Melanie Small. With a season filled with stellar achievements, Tracemark Top Shelf and Joshua Noble added the Grand National Reserve Championship for Shane Darnell LLC.

The final class of the afternoon session was devoted to the two splits of the AMHA Saddle Seat Gold Medal Preliminary class. Twenty-five riders performed rail work and patterns to vie for the 12 spots to be called back to compete for the National Championship title on Wednesday evening. The 12 talented riders to be called back to compete in the finals were Ellen Atkinson, Tayler Walters, Maggie Cramer, Anya Pierson, Julia Strier, Kelsey Robinson, Heather Mallette, Lila Tatar, Alyssa Mediate, Annie Thurber, Rachel Menard and Lyssa Bomgaars.

Show Arena 8

Monday featured the conclusion of the dressage competition as well as the beginning of the carriage obstacle performances and hunter/jumper competition in Show Arena 8. The morning kicked off with the Dressage Training Level Test 4 Open competition. Celeste Brown and DJJJ Star’s Ace bested a field of nine to earn the victory followed by Tricia Waclena and Alexis Acres The Scotsman.

The First Level Test 3 Open competition also featured Tricia Waclena, this time aboard RWD Direct Class, and they topped both the Test 3 and Test 4 open competition. Cynthia Spalding directed River Song Zydeco to the reserve finish in Test 3. Celeste Brown directed DJJJ Star’s Ace to the reserve in Test 4.

Julie Adams showcased BEF Ivan’s versatile talents to claim victory in Tests 3 and 4 at the Second Level. Gayle Davidson and Derawnda Hercules earned reserve finishes in both of these tests as well as earning a solo victory at the Third Level Test 3.

West Mt. Winston and David MacMillan performed at the Grand Prix level to score top honors once again to the delight of the audience.

In the afternoon, the carriage arena driving finals were conducted. Eight entries competed in the preliminary level finals and six returned for the intermediate level finals. In both classes, Amie Van Dorn and her Watch Me Till Dawn made the victory pass. Kathryn Clarke directed Phil’s Ridge Harry Potter to the reserve honors in both classes for owner Jamie Clarke.

The hunter/jumper contestants made good use of Ring 8 for the evening session. Layne Mays and TRS Longfellow Saranade teamed up to best a field of 10 horses to claim the Low Working Hunter I Grand National title for Julie Pickering. Elizabeth Vieira and Bay State Vista earned the reserve honors.

Six athletic entries entered the competition for the Jumper I Grand National competition. Ashleigh Hull navigated KSG Bay Street Roc to the victory followed by Flintwood Starlet and Mallory Mignot for Mears Morgans.

Tuesday, October 13

Coliseum

A morning session of hunter and western horses made their way to the coliseum on Tuesday. A 9 & Under Walk & Trot Hunter Pleasure Grand National Champion a year ago, Manchester In Demand moved up to the cantering ranks with Michelle Quinlisk to earn the 11 & Under Hunter Pleasure title. Christine Nava joined them for their second victory pass of the show to match the one earned in the equitation division. Finishing reserve in this one was another Grand National champion from last year. Futurity’s Roman Torch was a 10-11 Walk & Trot Hunter Pleasure winner last year for Mallory Stacy, riding for Doug and Tadgy Stacy.

The Amateur Ladies Western Pleasure Mare blue went home with Aerie Meadow Contessa and Jenna Jarboe for William Dodds. She was the Junior Western Pleasure Champion at Jubilee Regional and is now a Grand National champion. Ling Fu Wylie had the reserve winner in this one with RLH Electra, an entry of Dragonsmeade directed by Daryl Hopson.

With a field of 20, the Hunter Pleasure Stallion/Gelding class came ready to show. Undefeated this season, MEM Bailamos continued that winning streak with Keely Sogoloff up for Jerold Nau. Double wins at Vermont Spring Classic, Connecticut Morgan and New England Regional led up to this moment of Grand National victory. Whispering Incognito, Three-Year-Old Hunter Pleasure Futurity World Championship in 2006, and Jill Yerger added the reserve title, showing under the banner of King Lehr Stable.

George Liberty and Briar Oak’s Pep In My Step earned the top spot in the 14-15 Western Pleasure class. Winners of both of their classes at New England, this team put it all together to earn the Grand National championship. This was Liberty’s first blue ribbon ride here in Oklahoma City. "It was awesome to win here in Oklahoma," said Liberty. "We’ve worked really hard the past two years, and it all paid off today." MCA Seawind Serenade earned the red ribbon with Anna Tassinari, for Steve and Jill Tassinari. They were 12-13 Western Pleasure Grand National Champions a year ago. This continued a stellar morning for the entries trained by David Rand as these two horses finished first and second along with a trio of winning entries in the Performance Arena on Tuesday morning.

With single age groups for the hunter pleasure division, the 12-year-old riders came to the ring next. Belle Hufferd joined in the winner’s circle when Sydney Katherine Withers rode to the far end aboard Kane Creek Oregon Reign for Bruce Withers. Partridge Hill Prophet was reserve as Ellery Walker continued a fine show under the direction of Crystal Farms.

Cabot French Lieutenant was the Ladies Amateur Western Pleasure Gelding winner from a fabulous field of 19. Garn Walker strolled to the winner’s circle to greet Connie Melendy. "Go Connie!" yelled Garn’s wife, Melissa, when Cabot French Lieutenant made his way down victory lane. This team has really come together over the course of the year. Amateur stallion/gelding winner at New England, Winterset Rhyme Thyme was reserve in this one with Kris Jardin aboard for John Vieira showing under the Best Of Both Worlds banner.

The 13-Year-Old Hunter Pleasure class saw a unanimous winner declared in Twin Peak Heritage with Gabrielle Graves aboard. Graves did not get to make her victory pass in this one since she was not feeling well and had to be tended to down by the gate. This team earned the 12-year-old Grand National championship and 13 and under world championship last year. Kate Vail and Merriehill Isa Boo captured the reserve honors to add to the Rolling Oaks banner. They were also reserve in 2007 in 10-11 Walk & Trot Hunter Pleasure.

Highland Ridge Daniel scored his second stellar victory in as many days when Anna McLallin teamed up with the smooth and steady PlayMor entry to top the 16-17 Western Pleasure class. A great family operation, Jennifer and Sammi Hazen celebrated with the blue ribbon winner while the rest of the family cheered them on. Adding to her reserve in the Western Pleasure Mare class, Futurity’s Such A Twist was reserve again, this time with Lauren Little riding for Lon Frieden.

The Walk-Trot Hunter Pleasure World Championship closed out the morning session with a fabulous field of 21 young riders vying for an opportunity to be crowned the world champion. It was a unanimous choice of the judges that sent an elated Montanna Lambrecht and Hylee’s The Devil I M to the winner’s circle. It was a great moment as proud mom/trainer Melissa Lambrecht guided them down victory lane. Directed by Keith Friday and Alicia Groff, Walnut Ridge’s Solid Gold was the reserve world champion with Lindsay Johnson. When she came off the far turn with an open rail ahead of her, Keith Friday called out, "See all that space ahead of you? Use it! You’re a star!" Use it she did, earning the reserve honors for Maura and Anna Kufs.

Tuesday afternoon started out strong with the Three-Year-Old Park Harness World Futurity. From a group of nine, QVM Jocelyn Rose starred in her Oklahoma debut as the world champion with Ken Swanson driving for elated owner Krista Headley, who made it to Oklahoma City just in time to see her new mare wear the roses. One thing that was obvious over the course of the week was the follow-through of the Arcuris whenever they sell someone a horse. That was on display in this class when Ryan Arcuri, who brought this mare out at Far West, was in to head her in the lineup. Fine, elegant and athletic, she is by Centerpiece and out of HVK Take The Roses, a Noble Flaire mare who was also a winner here in park harness. Jim Taylor and Dragonsmeade Elevation made a great show to pick up the reserve world championship for Dragonsmeade. By And The Beat Goes On, Elevation is out of Dragonsmeade Valkyrie, the dam of last year’s Roadster World Champion, Dragonsmeade Maxmara. Merriehill Home Stretch, last year’s Two-Year-Old Park Harness Futurity World Champion, was third for Stan Bodnar and Ruthann Peterson.

The Road Hack Saddle Seat Finals saw the show ring veteran Canalta Squire King earn the Grand National honors with Deborah Davies riding for K-Lyn Stable of Alberta, Canada. Popular with the crowd for his sliding stops down from the hand gallop, ML’S Shock’n Y’all was reserve with Alexis Armour up for Thomas and Elizabeth Molin.

In the 21-entry Youth Hunter Pleasure Finals, the Hose-Fawcett family’s superstar, D Bar J Habakkuk took home the top prize with Elizabeth Fawcett riding under the direction of Amanda DuPont. Habakkuk was also reserve last year in this event with Kara Brooke Hose. Teamed this year with Jordan Cusumano, Storyville was reserve for Stacey Heidenreich to add to the Crystal Farms banner.

Connor Chaffin Farley and the Cape Cod crew were thrilled with the outcome of the Western Pleasure Walk & Jog 9 & Under class when Farley’s two entries finished first and second. It was Olivia Wendel who jogged to the winner’s circle with Aquila’s Stardust. Farley won this class with Stardust just last year. He was second this time with RBF Russian Roulette, his new teammate for 2009. The winning owner and winning rider and trainers all stopped outside the show ring to congratulate each other and celebrate after the class.

PlayMor continued its great day with a win in the Classic Pleasure Driving Masters. Med-E-Oka Nobel Prize and Jacqueline Clapp headed to the winner’s circle here. They were world champions in this division in 2006, their first season together. Sammi Hazen headed them up for the round of honor. Treble’s Spring Loaded and Vikki Paulson were reserve under the direction of Forest Nealon. Spring Loaded has earned a reserve world championship here the last two years.

The four-year-old mares were up next, vying for their western pleasure title. While the "green jacket" is presented to the winner of the Masters each year in Augusta, Ga., it was a green jacket that went to the winner’s circle in this one. Ling Fu Wylie, always impeccably attired, rode CBMF Whispers Of War to the blue for Dragonsmeade. Trained by Grove Pointe, they were junior champions at Southern States and amateur mares winners at New England. While Jenna Jarboe had ridden to Ladies Amateur Western Pleasure Mare win earlier in the day, it was Eileen O’Bradovich who picked up reserve here with Aerie Meadow Contessa for William Dodds. So far it has been a win and two reserves in three trips to the ring for this pretty mare.

Ladies Classic Pleasure Driving World Champion a year ago with owner Mari Sanderson, Airegantlee was back in a different division when Dalton Shoemaker drove to the Classic Pleasure Driving 13 & Under Grand National Championship. They qualified as the Junior Exhibitor Classic Pleasure Driving Champions at Morgan Medallion and this special team is trained by Rushton Stables. Rae Of Light and Janelle Gray were reserve for Jeanine Gray, adding to a memorable first season under the Showcase Stables banner.

"When you win a big class like this, it can make you see stars," said announcer Bill Carrington when Kelly Kraegel Varner wore her white and blue outfit festooned with red stars down to the winner’s circle aboard EV Santa Fe Special. A relative newcomer to this division, this was Santa Fe Special’s first Grand National blue for owner Karen Cooley. Repeating their 2007 finish, FCF Montego Bay and Judy Nason were second for Joanne Kieger. Long a western star, Montego Bay won this same class at New England earlier this year.

The 2007 Four-Year-Old Park Harness World Champion made his return to the building that made him famous when Diablo In Red took the Park Harness Mare & Gelding class. Mike Carpenter drove the brilliant chestnut for Robin and Robert Veghte’s Mendonhall Inc. Diablo In Red is by Lamborghini In Black and out of the DBA Street Talk daughter MKS Just Cause. Harry Sebring and Whitemud Dixie DanceKing trotted up for reserve for Patricia Lloyd, a repeat finish from last year. Dixie DanceKing was also the Three-Year-Old Park Saddle World Champion in 2006.

Paige Crowley and her partner, Hi Bridge Regal Night, were reserve Grand National champions last year in the 9 & Under Walk-Jog Western Pleasure class. This year, they moved up an age group and up a place, winning the 10-11 Walk & Jog Western Pleasure class, directed by Ronda Collins. Gradell Delightful Wishes and Kitty D teamed up for a polished performance to earn the reserve for Drs. Jerome and Shirley Modell under the direction of Cheri Barber. Barber was Western Pleasure Mare Reserve Grand National Champion with this horse last year.

It was quite the battle in the AMHA Western Seat Gold Medal Finals when 12 riders who made the cut from the preliminary round returned for the final round of competition in this prestigious event. Making her best Grand National performance of all time, Olivia Alexandra Lahr was right on the mark with E B Brass Ring to take the top prize. Cheryl Woosley was overjoyed to see her longtime student earn this memorable victory. Kelly Kraegel Varner, still sporting her western outfit from her win a couple classes earlier, was in the ring once again, this time to greet her reserve winner, Ryne Swope, with Ancan Raindance. Swope also enjoyed success in Hunt Seat Equitation and placed well in the AMHA Dressage Gold Medal Finals earlier in the week. Lauren Little, Mary Kris Revard, Inga Johnson, Sydney Salerno, Meghan Hanrahan, Abby McCalmont, Brianna Berg and Iris Rankin rounded out the top 10 to cap off the afternoon session.

Tuesday night presented a full slate of classes with the Ladies Pleasure Driving Mare class kicking things off in high style. Highover To The Nines was awarded the blue ribbon in this one. Cindy Vogels made the good drive for David and Cindy Vogels, directed by Bob Kellert. They were reserve in the Amateur Ladies Pleasure Driving Finals last year. Amateur mare winner Monday with Anne Marie Bumb, GLB Bell Of The Ball had Cathy Grimes at the helm to earn reserve in this one. Bell Of The Ball is by HVK Bell Flaire and out of Fletcher Music Lee, the queen of Silver Creek.

It was an impressive solo performance by RJMF Chandler and Selvin Torrez in the Four-Year-Old Stallion Park Saddle class. Owned by Robert and Jean Morgan, Chandler is by Serenity Masterpiece and out of JW Pictaire Perfect, by Aristocratic Aire.

Moniqua Dube continued a great week with her second blue ribbon ride in two trips to the ring. From a nice group of 14, she emerged as the Classic Pleasure Saddle 14-15 Grand National Champion with Lookaway’s Hot Ticket, directed by David Rand. Jennifer Shubitowski was absolutely beside herself with joy when she was called out in reserve with Stoneleigh Flair For Life. Her first Oklahoma City ribbon was a reserve Grand National championship, a great accomplishment for the Legacy Farm team.

It was a showdown of the sexes in the Two-Year-Old Park Harness World Futurity. It was also a showdown of styles as two completely different types of horses took the top two spots in this highly entertaining seven-entry competition. The one thing the tricolor entries shared, however, was their sire since both are by Astronomicallee. Merriehill Black Betty is a jet-black filly out of Merriehill Great Day, by Stonecroft Byzantine. Punchy and power-packed, she was the junior mare world champion on Saturday. Cedar Creek Flambeau is a big and rangy bright chestnut with a wild air about him. He is out of Cedar Creek Windchime, by Tedwin Topic. He was the junior stallion world champion on Saturday.

So it was these two perfectly put together young horses going at it for the top prize. It would be the Bodnar boys and Rich Campbell to win the day here as Whitney Bodnar drove Merriehill Black Betty down victory lane for Lynn and Jeff Yelton’s Graycliff LLC. Jim Lowry added the reserve world championship with Cedar Creek Flambeau in his harness debut for Cedar Creek Farm. Kurt Hufferd earned third with the MEM The Patriot daughter SpringMill Declaration for John and Patricia Huse.

Western Pleasure World Champion just a year ago with Andy Marlett, Tracemark Tapestry earned another blue here in Oklahoma, taking the unanimous Ladies Western Pleasure Mare title with Shaughnessy Morris. Owned by Kristie Strom, Tapestry was the Western Pleasure Mare Grand National Champion the last three years. Bred and owned by Holly Seavitt all throughout her long career, HL My My was reserve with Kathleen Peeples. Teamed up since 2001, Peeples is the only show ring partner that My My has ever had.

Finishing second in the Ladies Classic Pleasure Driving Mare class during the morning performance, GLB Amazing Grace and Susan Carlino viewed that as a warm-up. They came back to win the blue in the Classic Pleasure Driving Mare class for Lorraine Bumb and Silver Creek Stables under the direction of Cathy Grimes. Making their debut performance in Oklahoma in this division, FRF Quintessa and Teri Rumens were reserve Grand National champions for Fire Run Farm of Washington. Quintessa is by War And Peace and out of Exhale, by Centerpiece.

Like announcer Peter Fenton said, Toast Of Broadway was the toast of Oklahoma as well, earning the unanimous acclaim of the judges as the Ladies Hunter Pleasure Mare Grand National Champion. Shown by Amanda DuPont for Star Charmer Morgans, this was their seventh blue ribbon performance of 2009 in their first year together. The beautiful Dragonfire Nefertiti was reserve in this class for the second year in a row with Jennifer McFall riding for Antonia Casados. They were Hunter Pleasure Champions at Morgan Medallion in August. Jessica Bodnar and Merriehill Wild At Heart rounded out the top three with a brilliant showing for Merriehill Farm.

The Roadster Under Saddle Finals always bring out the full voice of the crowd, and this year it was Dragonsmeade Evensong who took the top spot in unanimous fashion with Amy Neifert up for Copper Beech LLC. They were also winners of this class at New England. Mary Cockriel was aboard the dynamic chestnut CBMF Double Down in reserve for Drs. Ray and Alison Bendele. A true campaigner, this was Double Down’s third class of the week and his third reserve finish. Earning the appreciation of the crowd, third-place finisher RJMF Symphonic Music made a fast and furious performance with Anne Morgan up for Robert and Jean Morgan.

By Tug Hill Commando and out of LCS Simply Sensational, RWJ Commanding Topic made a sensational performance to capture the first-place votes of all three judges in the Three-Year-Old English Pleasure World Futurity. Shown by Phil Fountain, this beautiful bay stud is bred and owned by Dr. Robert Jones. He was the junior stallion world champion in 2007 and 2008. State Of Grace picked up her second reserve world championship of the week when she debuted under saddle in this event with Tim Roesink aboard for John and Nancy Hendricks. By MLF Sharper Image and out of Bellamor, by HVK Bell Flaire, she has cashed in with three World Futurity tricolors in two seasons.

The Road Hack Hunter Seat Finals was put through its paces, and Ryan’s Star Beam and Kristin King emerged from the pack of 14 as the top prize winners. Making one of their best performances to date, King and Star Beam picked up their first Oklahoma City win. LR Ami Windy Wyo and Mallory Mignot were reserve for Anne Mears, based in Laramie, Wyo., hence the name of the horse.

It was a unanimous choice of the judges that sent the Classic Pleasure Driving Stallion/Gelding blue back to the Taylor River banner with L’Cima Exclusive and Terri Travers. They were reserve world champions in this division last year. A Team Merriehill entry, Cingate Shoot The Moon was reserve with Greg Fancsali driving for Dennis Fancsali. They were reserve in the Gentlemen’s Classic Pleasure Driving Finals last year.

The Tuesday nightcap was the Park Saddle Stallions competition with a quartet of athletic performers answering the call. A showdown between two grand stallions, one the reigning Park Saddle World Champion, and one who had been right on the cusp of taking that title but had never attained it. It was Stonecroft Trilogy and Jenny Taylor facing off with SpiceOLife Present Tense and Dianna Rannells for the Park Saddle Stallion title.

Present Tense is proudly owned by David James Walker. Just seven years old, he already has taken nine trips down victory lane here at the Morgan Grand National. Coming out as a two-year-old with Diane Conrady, he won three titles that year in park harness. The next year he was back to pick up two more in the division and two more the following year in his four-year-old campaign. It was 2008 in which he took the biggest title in the sport, the Park Saddle World Championship.

His challenger for Park Saddle Stallion supremacy was no young upstart. This was Stonecroft Trilogy. Bred and owned by Stonecroft Farm, Trilogy earned his first two world championships as a three-year-old in park harness. He was back the next year to earn a Grand National championship and a reserve world championship in Four-Year-Old Park Harness competition. In 2005, Dianna Rannells, who was aboard Present Tense, rode Trilogy to the Park Saddle Reserve World Championship for Stonecroft. This set up a most entertaining and interesting competition.

Looking bright, big and bold with Jenny Taylor in the irons, Trilogy turned in a masterful performance, much to the delight of John Scheidt as well as the Memory Lane team. It was a unanimous decision that sent him to the winner’s circle as the Park Saddle Stallion Grand National Champion. SpiceOLife Present Tense and Dianna Rannells picked up the reserve honors for David James Walker. Rannells made her way back to Memory Lane after the class to congratulate the Taylors on a job well done. It was thrilling note to send the crowd out into the cold Oklahoma night as the 2009 Grand National and World Championship Morgan Horse Show reached its midpoint.

Performance Arena

Spectators flocked to the Performance Arena for 11 classes that warmed things up quickly on a chilly Tuesday morning. A talented field of nine got things underway as they competed for the Four-Year-Old Pleasure Driving Gelding title. Northampton’s junior champion CBMF Restless settled right into the competition in his first trip to Oklahoma when Harry Sebring guided the glistening chestnut to top honors for Copper Beech LLC with a stylish performance. Ann Hailey cheered on her winning entry as well as the sale-topper from her 2009 Copper Beech Sale when Miyake performed for reserve honors for new owners Pauline and Moniqua Dube with David Rand handling the lines of the sporty bay Mizrahi son. Indian Creek Warbird started off the week in this competitive division with the third place finish presented by Shanna Gish for Indian Creek Farm.

A hardworking field of 15 entries answered the gate call for the Classic Pleasure Saddle Junior Exhibitor 16 & 17 class. For Amy Podesva and Pondview EZ Spirit it was a familiar trip to the winner’s circle when they matched their blue ribbon finish from two days earlier when they topped the driving class. Keith Friday and Alicia Groff again congratulated the well-matched pair on their winning performance. Merriehill Times Square and James Sicard made their family proud when they earned the reserve finish with a polished ride directed by Team Merriehill.

The Classic Pleasure Driving Ladies Geldings provided the first unanimous win of the morning in the Performance Arena when Donna Zimmerman continued an amazing week in Oklahoma. It was another victory pass for the Stonecroft Farm breeding program when Stonecroft Neoclassic put on a dazzling drive for top honors with Jim Taylor leading the way down victory lane. Jeanne Fuelling beamed when Dragonsmeade Bravura was called out for reserve honors. This well-matched new team has enjoyed a wonderful debut season under the direction of Nancy Flower.

The Walk-Trot English Pleasure World Championship was next on the agenda with a ring filled with young talents. For Hannah Kelley and her family it was a dream come true when she guided Cherrydale Acappella to the winner’s circle where she added the roses, tricolor and a big hug from trainer David Rand. Ariella Silber and Almost Famous closed out an amazing season as the reserve world champions with another memorable ride for Kourt Jester Morgans and the Grove Pointe team. The world titled field also featured last year’s winning team of Lauren Wade and Plum Haven Minuet adding a strong third-place finish directed by The River’s Edge.

From the young riders to the young horses, the Four-Year-Old Park Saddle Mare/Gelding competition was next with a field of eight. Street Smart and Luman Wadhams were looking quite smart as the white trimmed DBA Street Talk son earned all three judges’ votes. Ann Maile and Pam McLellan are the proud owners. Cedar Creek Danseur has attracted quite a bit of attention in his debut season, and he added the reserve award with Alissa Leonard in the irons. The charismatic white-trimmed chestnut certainly has attitude written all over him when he performed for Ed and Jane Leonard under the direction of Jaisen and Meghan von Ballmoos.

It was a busy morning for Fairview Stables when Jaisen von Ballmoos was back with another dynamic chestnut in the very next class. CBMF Bond Girl provided Ann Hailey and Copper Beech with their second winning performer in the Four-Year-Old Pleasure Driving qualifiers. Von Ballmoos and the GLB Bell Pepper daughter bested the mare class with a ground-covering drive. The top two entries both hail from the state of Vermont. Bonnie Sogoloff guided the reserve entry in Spirit Of The Heart, owned by Joanne Kieger.

Nothing is as sweet as victory, unless it’s a unanimous victory in a competitive class of talented entries. Casey McDonald Douglass enjoyed just that in the Classic Pleasure Saddle Junior Horse Finals. She matched up with three-year-old Dantree Answer The Call for their second victory pass of the week for Firewind Morgans. A cast shoe the second way of the ring did not keep RCV All The Rage and Joel Chauran from collecting the reserve tricolor. It didn’t even stop them from making a crowd-pleasing victory pass for Boston Morgan Farm under the Blackridge banner.

Stacy Hennessy and Lucky As Me made an entertaining solo performance in the Four-Year-Old Pleasure Driving Stallion class. The strapping son of CCR’s Outrajus Corajus and Noblesse enjoyed his victorious drive with a stylish presentation for Gerry Rushton.

A Rand trained entry claimed a third tricolor victory of the morning session in the Performance Arena when Sarah Adams and KD Hot To Trot carried home the Park Saddle Youth Finals to Stonewall Farm. The athletic chestnut Man About Town LPS daughter put a smile on her rider’s face with a crowd-pleasing ride.

Shirley Haas and Rare Obsession continued their string of top performances when they drove away with a unanimous victory in the Ladies Classic Pleasure Driving Mares directed by Mike Carpenter. Susan Carlino and GLB Amazing Grace warmed up for a winning drive later in the day when they picked up the reserve ribbon here for Lorriane Bumb and Silver Creek Stables.

The Versatile Morgan Finals showcase Morgan versatility at its best to close out the morning session. Each entry competed in three phases - driving, riding and jumping. Be My Magic Moment earned the round of honor with owner/driver Barbara Nesse and rider Mallory Mignot sharing in the tricolor presentation. Megan Welch directed RG Regency Chester to the reserve performance for the second year in a row for Grunden Ranch.

The Carriage Driving Gambler’s Choice was the lone event on the Tuesday afternoon schedule. It was a winning gamble for RKT Nordic Black Hawk and Albert Zinz when they drove away with the top time and score for Grand National top honors. Elk Creek Aurora B and Martha Nelson were hot on their heels in reserve in this always-entertaining class.

Show Arena 8

Hunter/jumper competition continued on Tuesday morning with schooling rounds beginning at 8 a.m. The results in the Jumper II competition closely followed that of the Jumper I round the previous day with Ashleigh Hull and KSG Bay Street Roc taking the victory followed once again by Flintwood Starlet and Mallory Mignot.

The AMHA Hunter Seat Over Fences Gold Medal Finals showcased eight outstanding riders. Melissa Obert and Severn Hill Good As Gold earned the AMHA title. Kate Holloway owns Severn Hill Good As Gold. Layne Mays earned the reserve honors on Julie Pickering’s TRS Longfellow Saranade.

These two teams came right back to the ring to compete for the Low Working Hunter II Grand National title amid a great field of 16. The top two reversed their finish with Mays and Saranade making the victory lap with Obert and Good As Gold in reserve.

Another large field of horses entered the ring for the Low Working Hunter Under Saddle competition. This time it was Rebecca Boorstein showing off her versatile riding talents with MXM Breezy Knight to make the victory pass for Equilateral Enterprise. Lillian Thomas directed LLL Trotsky to the reserve finish in the 15-entry competition.

The perennial favorite Melendy Cash Bonus and Fawn McDaniel earned the Grand National titles in the Working Hunter I and Hunter Hack Finals competitions. Keea Healey and Alatheia Alexandria earned reserve honors in the Working Hunter I, while Rebecca Boorstein and MXM Breezy Knight earned the reserve finish in the Hunter Hack to close out the morning session.

In the afternoon, the trail entries took center stage in Ring 8 to kick off their competition. Beginning with the English division, seven entries navigated the course. RG Regency Chester and Megan Welch kicked off a terrific competition by claiming victory in the Open English Trail class for owners Harlan and Tamara Grunden. The pair also claimed the reserve honors in the amateur class, while Hance Grunden was aboard for the reserve tie in the junior exhibitor class.

Grace Jacobus directed her own I Love Lucy to the win the Amateur English Trail class after beginning the session with a reserve placing in the open division. Haley Knauss and Genuine Jade were the winning team in the Junior Exhibitor Trail class.

Returning in the evening session for the western trail competition, RG Regency Chester and Megan Welch continued a busy day with a win in the Open Western Trail class and the reserve in the amateur. Haley Knauss and Genuine Jade added the reserve ribbon from the open western division, while Blue Flag Whimsy and Krystle Pennington mastered the amateur class for blue ribbon honors.

Wednesday, October 14

Coliseum

The second half of the show began on Wednesday morning with a slate of 15 outstanding Grand National championship classes filling the largest session of the week in the coliseum with many of the horses performing for the first time during the show. With a great catch-drive from Tony Lee, Libretto’s Bravado took the first victory pass of Wednesday morning in the Gentlemen’s Classic Pleasure Driving Finals. Dwayne Knowles met the unanimous winners for the presentation for owner Janet Morgan. Ron and daughter Ada Johnson share the showing duties with Rowenda French Twist for the Johnson family’s Arcola Farm. On Monday, it was Ada earning the 11 & Under Classic Pleasure Saddle Reserve Grand National Championship. This morning, Ron was at the lines to earn his own reserve title.

In a big, competitive field of young riders, Hannah Kelley matched up with SBS Power Play to garner another victory pass for proud parents Dan and Leslie Kelley. Directed by David Rand, this team earned their ninth consecutive victory of the season. Kylee Keller has also had an impressive season with Queen’s American Idol. Coming into this morning’s competition, they had won six in a row. They earned reserve in this tough class.

Highover To The Nines was presented with her second blue ribbon of the week when Bob Kellert drove her to the Pleasure Driving Mares title over an impressive field of eight. This continued an outstanding season for the five-year-old bay for owner David and Cindy Vogels. Tim Arcuri teamed LGH Destiny’s Treasure to the reserve title for Tom and Stephanie Connor. This was the third year in a row for Destiny’s Treasure to earn a reserve Grand National title; the earlier titles came in the Ladies Amateur English Pleasure Mares with Shannon Connor Turner.

Stonecroft Byzantine was assigned his "859" area code as a back number for this year’s event, and he answered the call, winning the Amateur Masters English Pleasure class for Donna Zimmerman and PlayMor Farm. This was their sixth win in their first campaign together and it was a unanimous decision of the judges. Solely a driving horse the last two years, Byzantine was the Amateur Pleasure Driving Stallion Grand National Champion and Amateur Pleasure Driving Reserve World Champion both of those years for Cathy Hazen. A world champion here as a two-year-old and as a three-year-old, SLB Puccini was reserve for Lisa Howa. Owned by Rick and Lisa Howa, Puccini competes under the Blackridge banner.

Bri-B Lady Malicious made her Oklahoma debut a winning one when Jenny Taylor guided her to the Three-Year-Old English Pleasure Mare win for new owner Donna Zimmerman. Bred by Brian B. Stewart, hence the Bri-B prefix, Lady Malicious is by Minion Millennium and out of Bri-B Classicpiece. Dragonsmeade Sirita earned the reserve title with Selvin Torrez up for Dragonsmeade. Sirita is by And The Beat Goes On and out of HVK Noble Wine, making her a full sister to Dragonsmeade Carnaros.

The Ladies Park Saddle Mare class looked like a great one on paper, and certainly did not disappoint in the ring. Dawn Fire put on a fantastic performance with Treble’s First Take to earn the top prize for Peeper Ranch. This victory came on the heels of winning rides at UPHA Chapter 5, Southern States and Jubilee. Last year’s Ladies Park Saddle World Champion and the Four-Year-Old Park Saddle World Champion the year prior, Love Her Madly was reserve in this one with Allyson Nord Wandtke up for Cindy Nord. The Astronomicallee daughter has been a star since a young age, starting off as the Two-Year-Old Mare In Hand Futurity World Champion in 2005. Jenny Taylor made another great ride for third aboard the athletic MEM Bonnie Blue for John and Nancy Hendricks, showing under the Grove Pointe banner.

It was Fox Hollow Talk About Me that put it all together for a winning go in the Pleasure Driving Gelding class. Stan Bodnar drove to the far end where header Rich Campbell joined him in victory for the Redwood Partners. By Whispering Whammunition and out of a Merriehill Chicagoan mare, this was Talk About Me’s first Grand National title. With a black cart to match his shimmering black coat, Own The Night earned the reserve title with Tim Roesink driving for Dragonsmeade. By And The Beat Goes On, Own The Night is out of the grand producer HVK Obsidian, dam of a trifecta of title winners here, including Dragonsmeade Icon and SLB Andiamo.

The Bada Bing story added a new chapter in the Amateur English Pleasure Gelding class. Six times he had entered the ring in Oklahoma’s English pleasure competition prior to this morning, and six times he had come away with the top prize. That is an impressive record for an even more impressive horse. High in the bridle and strutting down the rail, Bada Bing carried Phil Alderman to the win in an absolute knockout class of 18. Peggy Alderman joined them for the round of honor to the applause of an appreciative audience. Cedar Creek Cariad is no stranger to the winner’s circle here. He was Four-Year-Old Stallion Grand National Champion just last year. He picked up reserve with new owner Paula Messier aboard with former owner Anne Marie Biron cheering them on. Third in this remarkably deep class went to French Flambeau with Shannon Connor Turner riding for Tom and Stephanie Connor.

Another talented group followed in the Three-Year-Old Park Saddle class. Reserve in the Two-Year-Old Park Stallion class last year, PLS High Pine was the crowd-pleasing victor in this one with Jenny Taylor aboard for Paul and Joy Scala. Bred by the Scala’s High Pine Farm, he is bred to be a park saddle horse as he is sired by Serenity Masterpiece and out of Firewind Diva, by Relentless Flaire. A dark chestnut with a strong back end, DAS Starcaster was reserve with Shirley O’Gorman riding for Sally Sliman. The Liberation First Star daughter’s strong hocks are accented by her white socks. She is out of HVK Dancing Dragon, by Noble Flaire.

After much discussion with his mother, Leslie Kelley, Brendan Kelley went with the dark navy suit combination for his qualifier with Intrepid Dynasty. They earned the Park Harness 16-17 Grand National Championship with a stylish performance under the direction of David Rand. This team is undefeated in junior exhibitor and youth competition in Brendan’s first season showing. A go-to girl when in need of a catch rider or driver in the Northeast, Julia Strier was reserve with The Alchemist for Robert and Loek Neimeth. Danielle Paufve drove the HVK Bell Flaire son to the Grand National Youth Finals win last year.

Miz Saturn Star has progressed quite nicely in her first year of partnership with Kim Germ Cramer. Shown to the unanimous English Pleasure Mare title on Monday by Mike Goebig, Miz Saturn Star made her Oklahoma debut with her owner in blue ribbon style, winning the Amateur English Pleasure Mare class. Again a unanimous choice of the judges, the light and airy daughter of Mizrahi floated down victory lane. Gina Torrez and Tara’s Momento finished reserve here. The bold chestnut Man In Motion daughter was also second at New England in Ladies English Pleasure Mare and Amateur English Pleasure Mare.

The Amateur English Pleasure Stallion winner from a year ago was back in harness to take the Pleasure Driving Stallion blue. Ken Swanson was at the lines of Tara’s Firewalker for Krista Headley. Big and powerful, Firewalker was the unanimous choice of the judges. Diana Swanson met husband Ken down in the winner’s circle. A refined and compact stallion, Sea-Vu Justified was reserve for Richard Boulé and the Gove Family Partnership. This was the same order of finish as at New England earlier this year.

It was back-to-back Tara Farm products in the winner’s circle this morning when Tara’s War Dance headed home with the unanimous blue as well. It was a ride to remember for Natalia Fernandez in her first trip to Oklahoma as she made the top ride for Leyla Aponte. Fernandez’s many little friends coached along from the rail and her elated trainer Lark Henry joined her for the round of honor in the 9 & Under Walk & Trot Classic Pleasure class. Haley Brooks added onto to an amazing season when the pert seven-year-old was reserve with the Coventry Isabella for Cheryl Brooks and Joyce Hoy. Selvin Torrez once again directed Isabella, who was the Ladies Classic Pleasure Mare Grand National Champion in 2008 with Gina Torrez.

No stranger to Oklahoma’s victory lane, Evolution earned the final blue of the morning, topping the Amateur Masters Park Harness for the second year in a row. Donna Zimmerman was decked out in a sparkly pink outfit as she closed out a fabulous morning for her personally and for the Memory Lane Farm team. Helen Crawford drove the 2008 Amateur Park Harness Stallion Grand National Champion, SLB Da Vinci, to the reserve title here for owner Sherry Bartolucci and trainer Bob Hughes.

There was a good crowd gathered at the gate for the Two-Year-Old Pleasure Driving Mare class, a good sign that a much-discussed horse is coming to the ring. This was CHMH Spice Town Girl. Nancy Flower showed this high-headed daughter of Town Assets to a unanimous victory for Julie Schmidt and Marge Ruland. Out of an HVK Grand Entrance daughter, owned by Lynn Peeples, Spice Town Girl looks through the bridle and moves in a smooth, airy way. Light and bright in the lines, she was a star here to open the Wednesday afternoon session. Kurt Hufferd made a good show with Indian Creek Bali Ha’i to earn the reserve for Indian Creek Morgan Farm. Bali Ha’i is by HVK Bell Flaire and out of the Futurity French Command mare, MEM Exotica. Going a big trot, she took the red ribbon back to Indiana.

Audrey Lowry returned for another fantastic catch ride aboard NKS Express Mail to take the Classic Pleasure Saddle 13 & Under World Championship for Becks Valley Farm and the Indian Creek banner. They were the qualifier winners earlier in the week. The 11 and under winner VVM Litigator was the reserve world champion with another trainer’s daughter, Savanna Marie Miller. Miller rode for Bob and Vita Banks under the direction of trainer Anne Speck. Both girls made great shows in their substitute roles.

In the 15 and under section of Junior Exhibitor Park Harness, AMHF Double Miss C headed to the winner’s circle with Kristen Wade handling the lines of the elegant mare for Michael and Dawn Wade. It was a unanimous victory for the Colorado based team competing from The River’s Edge. Gillfree Power Play was reserve with Isabella Bertolani doing a great job on the lines for Barbara and John Goda. Power Play was reserve in the 16-17 division a year ago for Friday Farm.

The Three-Year-Old Hunter Pleasure entries came eight strong into the coliseum for the Futurity World Championship. Always a top hand with a hunt horse, Kathleen Peeples had the winner in EKL Assets Vision. By Town Assets and out of Indian Creek Clear Vision, by Clearview Commander, Assets Vision was the Three-Year-Old Hunter Pleasure Stallion/Gelding winner on Sunday as well. Jessica Bodnar has had a lot of success with Merriehill Major League all throughout the year with wins at Prairie State, North Star and Jubilee Regional. She rode to the presentation area as the reserve world champion for Merriehill Farm. Major League is by Tug Hill Whamunition and out of Futurity Chicago Whitesox, making him a full brother to another type of winning athlete, Merriehill Home Stretch.

The amateur ladies returned to compete for their pleasure driving tricolor in the finals of this division. Making a fantastic drive, Dr. Barbara Lindauer earned the top honors with HVK Sweet Obsession. Directed all along by Grove Pointe, Sweet Obsession has earned at least one blue and/or tricolor ribbon in every trip she has made to Oklahoma starting as a two-year-old in 2005. Adriana Liberty was reserve here with the bold-performing CBMF Audacious for Lakefront Farm and the Rand banner.

"C’est la vie", it was C’est La Vie taking home the top prize in the Masters Classic Pleasure Saddle World Championship with Donna Zimmerman. Directed by Memory Lane, Zimmerman has already had one of the best weeks by an amateur in recent memory. Zimmerman has won this world title two years in a row with last year’s victory being her first personal saddle world championship. Brenda Varney and Aspenglow Genesis added another special memory to their partnership, earning the reserve world championship. This was their first trip back to Oklahoma in several years, and they made the most of it, earning two reserve titles directed by Mike and Liz Murphy.

Peter Fenton had a long list of accolades to call off when Rose Marie Wheeler took her victory pass with Stonecroft Trillium in the 13 & Under Pleasure Driving World Championship. In August, Wheeler was the Saddlebred world’s champion of champions in Junior Exhibitor Pleasure Driving with CH May Issue. With her Hackney Pony, Seamair Dear Sir, she was the reserve world’s champion of champions. Three different breeds, three different world championship titles is no small feat for this dynamic young lady, who also happens to be one of the nicest kids you could hope to meet. Mom Linda Fischer and John Scheidt cheered when her number was called as the unanimous champion with the Stonecroft Farm entry. Hannah McBain and SpiceOLife Right Answer, who finished third in the qualifier, made a beautiful comeback drive to earn the reserve world championship. Mike Slomkowski joined them at the far end for the reserve presentation in just their first season together. "Good for Spice!" said Ann Slomkowski down by the gate.

"Cash is the kind of horse a trainer loves. You just put the right tack on him, and stay out of his way. He does the rest for you, and he is happy to do it!" Those were the thoughts of Alicia Fraser after she rode "Cash," Epona’s Walk The Line, to the Three-Year-Old English Pleasure Stallion/Gelding blue for Nick and Robin Pelham of Finger Lakes Morgans. This was Fraser’s first time showing this What’s My Line son out of Cingate Sugar Magnolia. Husband Brian Natzle flew in to surprise her and was on hand in the winner’s circle along with owner Nick Pelham. Optimus Prime rolled out to the reserve title for Kristen Tramposh and Peeper Ranch. The product of two all-time Morgan greats, he is by Futurity French Command and out of Erotic Dancer.

Winners of three classes at New England, Leah Ling and GLB Leader Of The Band continued their winning ways to the delight of proud dad David Ling, owner Krista Headley and trainer Ken Swanson. They topped the 14-15 Pleasure Driving class. Gamepiece and George Liberty teamed up for the reserve Grand National championship for Lakefront Farm.

Hooked up and hingy, NDT French Impressionist won the Ladies Park Saddle Gelding Grand National Championship for the second year in a row. He was the Ladies Park Harness Gelding winner on Monday, also with Amy Neifert showing for Copper Beech. Finishing as the reserve Grand National champion for the third year in a row, DMH Back In Black was rockin’ and rollin’ with Kathleen Kabel up for Kathleen and Steve Kabel. This team is directed by Blackridge. The Junior Exhibitor Park Saddle World Champion for the past two years, Hylee’s Goldsmith moved up to the ladies division with Alyssa Wick to earn third for Hylee Farm. This team is directed by Kenny Guell.

The Two-Year-Old Pleasure Driving Stallion/Gelding blue headed all the way back to the West Coast with Gerry Rushton and his Baccarat’s Rhythm & Blues. By Tequila Rhythm, he is out of MLF Tiger Lilly. They were also winners at Circle J and Jubilee Regional. Ernesto Chavolla was reserve with JW Major Impression for Judy Whitney Harris. By Hollybrook Stage Rage, Major Impression is out of JW First Impression, by Arboria Perfection.

The Hunter/Jumper World Championships were presented next so the audience had the chance to applaud the athletes performing in Show Arena 8. The parade included Low Working Hunter World Champions TRS Longfellow Saranade and MXM Breezy Knight, Working Hunter World Champions Melendy Cash Bonus and Bay State Vista and Jumper World Champions KSG Bay Street Roc and Flintwood Starlet.

HVK Port Rush and Yolanda Hayes Barnes added their second Grand National victory pass in as many years. They drove away with the Pleasure Driving Junior Exhibitor 16-17 win, directed by Bert Earehart to close out the afternoon session.

Wednesday night brought an abbreviated schedule of eight classes and seven of them produced unanimous winners in outstanding competition. The Amateur Roadster Under Saddle Finals kick-started things on the right note. CBMF Double Down broke through for his first win of the week when he added the tricolor finish in his first season in the roadster division. Alison Bendele enjoyed the victorious ride in her blue and white silks when she earned this victory for the third year in a row. She matched up with MEM No Inhabitions for the 2007 and 2008 wins also directed The River’s Edge. Wearing her pink and white silks with black dots on the shoulders, Anne Morgan turned in another hard-driving performance aboard RJMF Symphonic Music to take reserve for Robert and Jean Morgan.

The Fu sisters fought it out for top honors in the Three-Year-Old Classic Pleasure Driving World Futurity. With Iann Fu Longenecker driving the Dragonsmeade entry, Dragonsmeade Tahari, and Ling Fu Wylie driving the Copper Beech entry, Stonecroft Flammable, it was Iann who came out with the victory. Trained by Mike Carpenter, Tahari is by Mizrahi and out of Reahurst Bonnielass, by Tug Hill Celebrity. Never backing an ear, Tahari was the unanimous choice of the judges. Ling Fu Wylie was the reserve world champion with Stonecroft Flammable for Copper Beech. Directed by Tim Roesink, Flammable is by Stonecroft Trilogy, Park Saddle Stallion winner the other night, and out of Sizzle, by Tug Hill Commando. This beautiful young mare was the Three-Year-Old Classic Pleasure Driving Grand National Champion on Sunday.

The 13 & Under Western Pleasure World Champion won as the unanimous choice of the judges. Hylee’s Fanflaire has won a world championship here every year since 2007. That first year was in 14-17 Western Pleasure with Kali Erin Hutchinson. Last year it was with Sara Heidenreich in Walk-Jog Western Pleasure. This year they moved up to the loping ranks to earn yet another tricolor under the Crystal Farms banner for owner M. J. Sklenicka. Looking pretty in sage and tan, Inga Johnson rode to the reserve world championship aboard Park Place Dominion. They were winners of this class in 2007 and winners of their 12-13 qualifier on Monday.

With a marvelous performance, MEM Ultimate Star and Sasha Klein were once again the stars of the Amateur Park Harness Mare & Gelding class for the Brown/Klein family. Met in the winner’s circle by Lynn Peeples, they repeated their victory of a year ago with a unanimous tie. Reserve honors went to the bold-performing Dragonsmeade Fusion and Iann Fu Longenecker. This team most recently earned the Amateur Park Harness Championship at Jubilee Regional directed by Tim Roesink.

Once all 20 entries had hit the ring for the Amateur Hunter Pleasure World Championship, announcer Bill Carrington quipped, "Well, now that the barn is empty…" Yet even with all of this tough competition and top talent, it was a unanimous choice of the judging panel that sent MEM Triple Sec to the winner’s circle with Darlene White aboard for Jeffrey and Darlene White. They were already Amateur Mare and Amateur Ladies Mare Grand National Champions earlier in the week and picked up their first world championship together. Keeley Sogoloff rode Triple Sec to a Four-Year-Old Hunter Pleasure Mare Reserve Grand National Championship last year. Here in this one it was Sogoloff’s rider, Julie Byrn, who was the reserve world champion with CBMF Cutting Edge. Bonnie and Keely Sogoloff made the run to the far end for the presentation for owners Jerry and Mary Jane Nau. Cabot Betty White and Rebecca Sebastian rounded out the top three in this good class for Bonus Time Farm LLC and the Lowry Stables banner.

With four-time reigning champion Boogie Nights sitting this one out with rider Anne Marie Biron on maternity leave, the battle was on to crown a new Classic Pleasure Saddle World Champion. It was Leslie Kelley who rode the last winner before Boogie Night’s reign (Prindle’s Mere Mortal in 2004), so it was only fitting that Kelley reclaim the title. Wearing a shimmering dark gray jacket, Leslie Kelley rode to the winner’s circle with IGF Coeur Et Ame, with David Rand joining them wearing a shiny gray jacket of his own. It was excellent wardrobing by the Rand crew. "Good job, Mom!" called Ariella Silber when Prada and Shelley Silber turned in perhaps their best performance to date to be crowned the reserve world champions for Kourt Jester Morgans. Tim Roesink directs this team who won the Classic Pleasure Saddle Mare class on Monday. Two chestnuts finished third and fourth, as it was Narragansett Spirit and Donna Zimmerman in third for PlayMor Farm, while Rage and Anne Morgan took fourth in this competitive and entertaining class.

In the Amateur Park Harness Stallion class, it was the grand El-Toro taking the top prize with Stephanie Connor driving for Tom Connor. Directed by the Arcuris, El-Toro has earned world titles in park harness, park saddle and in hand including the 2004 Park Saddle World Championship. It was a unanimous win for this grand performer who has been owned by the Connors since 2000. Reserve in this one was another multi-titled performer in Bellerophon, owned and driven by Steve Handy. Following a star-studded junior career, the son of HVK Bell Flaire and Carmen Sandiego stepped up to the amateur division with impressive results in his five-year-old year directed by Lynn Peeples.

The AMHA Saddle Seat Gold Medal Finals finished the Wednesday night show, holding the place of honor as the final class of the night. After a second second-way trot, the riders left for the paddock and returned individually to do their patterns. It’s not too often that an entire crowd goes bonkers for a pattern, but they certainly did for Rachel Menard and BJL Ransom. Directed by Nikki Rae Woodworth, Menard rode to the winner’s circle as the unanimous Gold Medal Finals Champion. She was the Classic Saddle Seat Equitation World Champion just last year. Annie Thurber, Junior Equitation World Champion in 2008, was the reserve champion here with Upper Echelon. Katie Mair directs this talented team. From the field of 12 that returned for the Finals, the remainder of the top 10 were Maggie Cramer, Tayler Walters, Ellen Atkinson, Heather Mallette, Lyssa Bomgaars, Julia Strier, Alyssa Mediate and Lila Tatar.

Performance Arena

Western and Hunt Seat Equitation took center stage Wednesday morning in the Performance Arena with eight classes scheduled in an every other class western/hunter rotation. Starting things off with a Grand National blue in the 10-rider Western Seat Equitation 16-17 class, Lauren Little earned the top spot with Futurity’s Such A Twist, coached by Kelly Varner. Western Seat Gold Medal winner Tuesday, Olivia Alexandra Lahr jogged up for reserve honors this time out with EB Brass Ring.

The youngest riders came to the ring for the Walk-Trot Hunt Seat Equitation 8 & Under class. Putting on a stellar performance for the unanimous win, Linel Mullendore took the last pass with Properly for the second year in a row to the delight of the Fire Run Farm cheering section. Lilly Hansing and Nothin But Class made an adorable pair as they carried the reserve honors to Collinwood Stables.

The Western Seat Equitation 14-15 featured another competitive field of 10 when Meghan Hanrahan jogged to the winner’s circle with Cedarfarm Sir Galahad where they were greeted by Mike Wahl. Ryne Swope continued an outstanding week in several divisions. He matched up with Ancan Raindance for the reserve tie under the direction of Kelly Varner.

Summer Durocher and Nemours Courageous added the unanimous Walk-Trot Hunt Seat Equitation 9-Year-Old win to their outstanding record in Oklahoma under the Liberty Stables banner. With a reserve world title already to their credit in the pleasure division, Lindsay Johnson and Walnut Ridge’s Sold Gold added a reserve tie here under the direction of Rolling Oaks Farm.

The Western Seat Equitation 12-13 featured a repeat victory for Mary Kris Revard when she showcased her skills with Radiance In The Knight to add to the Gwinfield Farm banner. Representing the Pacific Northwest, Iris Rankin jogged up for reserve honors matched with Suntime Doc Holiday.

Moving up to the Walk-Trot Hunt Seat Equitation 10-Year-Old ranks, Jenessa Preston and Pomp & Circumstance added a Grand National championship blue ribbon and medallion to an amazing season. Olivia Doutt trains this stellar team. The world titled pleasure team of Montanna Lambrecht and Hylee’s The Devil I M added a reserve ribbon from this class to their show to remember.

Warming up for a world title in the pleasure division later in the day, Sara Heidenreich and Hylee’s Fanflaire were in perfect unison for the victory pass in the Western Seat Equitation 11 & Under to the delight of the Crystal Farms cheering section. David Silver enjoyed another smooth ride when he and Neariver Savannah Miss collected their second reserve title of the show.

Finishing up a relatively quick morning, the Walk-Trot Hunt Seat Equitation 11-Year-Old class featured another great victory for Sarah Beatrice Pruetz. Paired with Roadshow Annie Oakley, she made the victory pass coached by Cindy Mugnier and cheered on by her proud family. Suzanne Haberek continued a stellar show for her young riders when Molly Kern and Equinox Adagio added the reserve title to an impressive debut season.

It was double jeopardy time in the Performance Arena on Wednesday afternoon as the entertaining carriage competition was the only class on the schedule. Karen Holford and owner Judi McCoy shared the honors when The Chairman Of The Board drove away with the winning score and blue ribbon. Elk Creek Aurora B picked up the reserve honors for owner Martha Nelson.

Show Arena 8

Ring 8 opened on Wednesday morning to the final hunter/jumper classes following schooling rounds at 8 a.m. Laurel Robinson’s proven entry, Melendy Cash Bonus, spent lots of time in the winner’s circle. The morning began with Kelsey Robinson directing Cash Bonus to the win in the Hunter Seat Over Fences Equitation Finals. Katie Knudsen earned reserve honors in the competitive class of eight aboard I Believe In Miracles.

Next up, Laurel Robinson took over the reins of Cash Bonus to claim the Working Hunter Amateur Finals. Alexis Armour and UVM Glimmer followed with reserve honors.

Robinson resumed the reins to make another victory pass in the Working Hunter Junior Exhibitor Finals with Cash Bonus, who certainly earned his feed on this day. Layne Mays and TRS Longfellow Saranade teamed up for the reserve honors amid eight quality entries.

Fawn McDaniel took her turn aboard Melendy Cash Bonus to make yet another victory lap, this time in the Working Hunter II competition. Aimee Boyer earned reserve honors in the class and returned to claim the victory in the next class of competition, the Working Hunter Under Saddle with Bay State Vista. Keea Healey and Alatheia Alexandria earned the reserve honors in the flat class.

Five entries also competed in the Jumper III Grand National class. Mallory Mignot directed Flintwood Starlet, an entry owned by Anne Mears, to the victory. Ashleigh Hull and her KSG Bay Street Roc earned the reserve title to cap off the hunter/jumper competition.

Reining and carriage driving clinics were held in Ring 8 on Wednesday evening as the focus shifted once again to the reining discipline for Thursday.

Thursday, October 15

Coliseum

Thursday morning’s schedule featured an abbreviated session for western and hunter pleasure horses in the coliseum. It took a sharp performance to exit with the blue on this morning since classes were full of prime time contenders.

Right off the bat Broadmoor scored the first tricolor of the day with Tony Lee and Mtn Laurel Election Day turning back a good field of challengers in the Western Pleasure Amateur Gentlemen’s Finals. This was a repeat victory as they also jogged away with this title in 2008. Sharing duties with owner George Liberty, Jason Douglass guided the multi-titled junior exhibitor champion Briar Oaks Pep In My Step to a reserve finish. The yellow prize in this deep class belonged to Christopher Bauer aboard Ultras Special Tribute.

It’s tough to beat Kathleen Peeples in any number of divisions, but in the hunter section it’s really hard. Once again she displayed that winning touch by taking the bold-striding Crazy Love to the top of the Hunter Pleasure Four-Year-Old Mare class for the Brown/Klein family to add to an impressive season. Homebred Merriehill Wild At Heart commanded reserve honors among the double-digit entries with Jessica Bodnar having a sporty ride for Merriehill Farm.

Mizrahi has proven to be a sire of champions in every division possible, and for the second consecutive year was the sire of the Grand National Western Pleasure Gentlemen’s Finals Champion. Out of a Tug Hill Whamunition daughter, Faragamo was that two-time champion with Garn Walker in the saddle for Terri Sturm. One of the top cowboys on the East Coast, Roger Brown was right there with reserve champion Winterset Rhyme Thyme. They also won the Gentlemen’s Western Pleasure class at New England Regional for owner John Vieira.

The second half of the Four-Year-Old Hunter Pleasure qualifier featured a ring full to top contenders for the Grand National plaque. Having placed reserve in the mare qualifier, Jessica Bodnar retooled for this class as she topped the competition here with Epona’s Perrier Jouet. The white-trimmed bay displayed a beautiful frame and way of moving when he made the victory pass for new owners Jerry and Donna O’Neill. Another leading trainer of winning hunter pleasure entries, Keely Sogoloff smoothly landed reserve honors aboard MEM Mr. Boston, a tall and handsome son of MEM Bailamos, owned by Julie Spaniel.

A world championship title in Oklahoma can be a once-in-a-lifetime moment for an exhibitor, but when a mother/daughter combination wins the world champion and reserve world champion titles in the same class, it’s an indescribable feeling. That’s the way it was for Jenna and Kelley Rankin in the Three-Year-Old Western Pleasure World Championship. The Astoria, Ore., team rode Pardon My Prince and Meadowcreek I’m A Renegade, respectively. Not a bad way to end the morning session.

The afternoon session began with a bang with four outstanding amateur park saddle masters contenders vying for the first world championship offered in this division. In a hotly contested class, the team of No Contest and a delighted Linda Hawkins earned the tricolor and roses. They improved their standings from the qualifying class with two first-place votes and took top honors back to Grove Pointe while Richard Hawkins greeted the victorious team. Get Busy and Kathy Gutting had won the earlier qualifier and turned in a strong show to meet Dwayne Knowles in the winner’s circle to accept the reserve world championship.

Six lovely three-year-old mares followed for the Pleasure Driving Three-Year-Old Mare Grand National class. After a momentary timeout to replace a shoe on VVM Dreamkeeper, the class resumed work for judges Conky Price, Scott Thacker and Lynn Harvey. All week long the young horse classes have entertained the crowd and this afternoon was no exception as the crowd selected their favorites from the competitive group. Elaine Galatz and VVM Dreamkeeper continued their winning streak with this title for Vegas Valley Morgans. Kurt Hufferd directed the stylish Indian Creek Miss Margaret to the reserve finish for the Indian Creek Morgan Farm. Each of the top-three entries received a first, second and third place vote from the judges, and CBMF Royal Treatment made a fine show for the yellow ribbon directed by Tim Roesink for Copper Beech LLC.

A wealth of talent filled the ring in the Junior Exhibitor Classic Pleasure Saddle 14-17 World Championship with 23 entries on hand to compete. Moniqua Dube shed tears of joy when Lookaway’s Hot Ticket was called out as the world champion. It was a dream come true when the white-trimmed chestnut delivered the roses to adoring partner while proud mom Pauline Dube shared in their magical moment under the tutelage of David Rand. Reserve World Champion Syncopation and Daisy Beisler have also enjoyed a winning season, including a tricolor victory at the New England Regional. Sally Lindabury and Jennifer Lake of Reindance Stables directed the reserve tricolor team. World champions just a year ago, Outrageous Courageous and Abby Meyer turned in a fine ride as well to earn the yellow streamers from this great class.

Another outstanding group of young horses claimed the ring next with eight Pleasure Driving Three-Year-Old Stallions & Geldings entires. New York Morgan champion just a month earlier in his show ring debut, Lateda and Mike Carpenter earned the nod for Grand National championship honors. The fronty Cedar Creek Harlequin son delivered the blue ribbon honors for owner Jean DeGutis. Mike Goebig and CN Out And About added the red ribbon to their earlier in hand victory for owner/breeder Cindy Nord.

Fifteen entries entered the gate for the English Pleasure Junior Exhibitor 13 & Under World Championship. David Rand ran to the winner’s circle to greet Max Liberty and Gamepiece after their winning ride. The well-matched duo worked their way up to top billing after beginning as the reserve world champions a year ago in only their second show together for Lakefront Farm. Ann Slomkowski was also thrilled to meet her young rider in the winner’s circle. Hannah McBain earned the reserve world championship aboard SpiceOLife Right Answer. This was their second reserve world championship of the week as she also claimed the reserve world championship in pleasure driving. In just her second show cantering and her first year showing, Katie Kabel collected an impressive third place finish in this wonderfully competitive group with L.A. Ricochet.

Young horse competition was at its finest in the Four-Year-Old Park Harness World Championship. This class marked another unanimous victory for Mastroianni. Owner Sheryl Bartolucci added another tricolor and set of roses to the undefeated career of her magnificent son of Mizrahi and Kim’s Bellegante with trainer/breeder Bob Hughes guiding the way. Kurt Hufferd showcased another handsome young horse in reserve champion Stny Pt Harlequin Romance, a top winning entry bred and owned by William Shean and Patricia West.

Emily Orthwein will definitely know her number next time. Announcer Bill Carrington only announced her number without her name and waited for her recognition, which took a few moments to sink in. When she did realize it, she and her trainer, Ronda Collins, were delighted and raced to meet one another in the winner’s circle. Orthwein directed Cedar Creek Ungaro to the English Pleasure Junior Exhibitor 14-17 World Championship. The Rushton Stables cheering section knew Rachel Miller’s number well and their screams went up immediately upon Carrington calling 240 to the reserve world championship. Miller directed TE Ammunition to the reserve honors for the Weed family and KW Morgans. In only her first season competing, Emily Tassinari enjoyed a ride to remember when she matched up with CN Grand Style to earn the third place finish with a stylish ride in the outstanding field of 14.

Fifteen 11 and under riders entered the gate to compete for the Walk-Trot Classic Pleasure Saddle World Championship. David Rand continued to get his exercise running to the winner’s circle when he congratulated Hannah Kelley on a world championship grand finale to her walk-trot career. She patted SBS Power Play while the roses were placed around his neck with proud parents Dan and Leslie Kelley cheering them on. Natalia Fernandez and Tara’s War Dance added a reserve world championship to a show to remember.

Whitney Hazen-Downs did it again to the delight of her friends and family at PlayMor. She directed former Park Harness World Champion Will-O-Way Moment In Time to the Pleasure Driving Youth Finals victory with a bold and stylish performance. Adriana Liberty and CBMF Audacious teamed up to earn their second reserve tricolor of the show to add to an amazing week for the Liberty family and Lakefront Farm.

Floored and Tara Good floored the competition when they topped all three judges’ cards in the English Pleasure Four-Year-Old World Championship. Last year’s Three-Year-Old World Champion, the Stand And Deliver son delivered again while Mike Goebig pinned the roses in the competitive world championship. Tim Roesink and Skywarrior turned in a brilliant ride when the son of Tug Hill Whamunition and HVK Ancient Cry collected the reserve world championship for owner Mary Fisher Davila.

It was a proud moment for Harry Sebring and the Sebring Stables team when Jessica Sebring showcased Whitemud Dixie DanceKing for the victory in the Park Harness Youth Finals. They added the Oklahoma victory pass for owner Patricia Lloyd. Sarah Morris teamed up with the extravagant motioned JDS Paladin Pazazz to earn the Grand National reserve championship tricolor for proud owner Tina Lessnau under the direction of Damian Hyde.

The Futurity Park Saddle Three-Year-Old World Championship was next to entertain the crowd. Judy Nason flashed a winning smile when she turned in her familiar cowboy hat for a derby to guide the athletic Dragonsmeade Warlock to the unanimous victory. The And The Beat Goes On son carried the honors home to owners Lynn Carothers and Deb Hodges. Last year’s Two-Year-Old Park Harness World Champion, SpringMill Ring of Fire and Kurt Hufferd carried home another Oklahoma tricolor to owner/breeders John and Patti Huse and SpringMill Morgans with the reserve performance.

Kris Johnsen and Dragonfire Shaolin brought their magic to Oklahoma to claim the Pleasure Driving Amateur Gentlemen’s Finals victory for Johnsen Tree Farm of beautiful British Columbia. Forest Nealon directed the unanimous winning team. Perennial southern favorites Prescott May and On Target earned the reserve honors to add to the Friday Farm banner.

It was an afternoon never to be forgotten for Moniqua Dube. Just two hours after winning her first world championship, she repeated the feat to close out the afternoon session. After winning back-to-back Grand National titles, FRF Outerlimits and Dube took command of the Junior Exhibitor Park Saddle World Championship. The junior exhibitor teams directed by David Rand claimed an amazing quartet of world titles in the deepest competition during this one session. In just their first season together, Irina Shavik and Dragonsmeade Bulgari earned the reserve world championship honors to the delight of their boisterous fan club and the Hardwood Creek team.

The versatility of the Morgan Horse is never more evident than it is during the week of the Grand National. Morgan enthusiasts from all walks of life and levels come together for their common bond and it is appreciated in many forms and fashions. This evening the session opened with the World Champion Carriage Obstacle Driving event. With skilled reinsmanship and beautiful appointments, the team of Karen Holford and The Chairman Of The Board turned back all challengers to take the first world title of the evening over a talented field of contenders. Be My Magic Moment and Barbara Nesse teamed up for a skilled drive of their own to carry home the reserve world championship.

From Carriage Driving to Ladies Pleasure Driving, another world champion cooler and neck garland were up for grabs but it would have taken a Herculean performance to upend the five-time Ladies Pleasure Driving World Champion Festival Calypso (Immortal Command x Festival Fan Dancer). Stephanie Connor and Festival Calypso made it ladies world championship number six, Calypso’s record-setting 12th world champion title in all. It was a unanimous decision for the iconic team trained by Arcuri Stables. The West Coast swept the tricolors when Alliteration and Alexandra Ellsworth matched up for a stylish drive to add the reserve world championship to the Blackridge banner.

The world champion trail horses were presented in center ring following their competitions earlier in the day in the Performance Arena. Then, the gate swung open for the next Thursday night world championship, Amateur Master Pleasure Driving. Jeff Gove had plenty to smile about when he and FRF Seattle Reign made it two for two this week as they triumphed with a unanimous performance for the family’s Taylor River Farm. Moreland Farm was home for Can’t You See MEM and Phyllis Frechette, the reserve world champions in this competitive section that featured Nancy Hendricks and Dragonsmeade Carnaros in third.

The night’s third unanimous decision came in the Grand National Parade Horse Finals. The sparkles and bangles lit up the ring and the crowd saw history in the making when the Danny Breakbill of the Morgan industry, "Mr. Parade Horse" himself, Art Perry, rode to his 10th parade championship. This time it was Perry’s homebred Intrepid Behold who marched away with the grand prize with Luman Wadhams serving as parade marshal. Deborah Davies and FCF Fandango looked the part as well to command the reserve honors with Davies’s daughters, Skye and Robyn, following in the parade of parade ribbon winners for K-Lyn Stable.

From the colors of the western parade outfits to the colors of racing silks streaking by in the Amateur Roadster To Bike World Championship it was a most entertaining evening. Dan Kelley looked right at home in his black, red and white silks to take the last turn of the track with his new partner, Arboria Victorious, as the amateur world champions. Former trainer and biggest fan, Lynn Peeples assisted new trainer David Rand with the championship performance. Carrying the colors of The River’s Edge, Alison Bendele and MEM No Inhabitions shifted smoothly through the gears to return to Colorado with the reserve world championship.

The Gentlemen’s Hunter Pleasure Finals had a huge turnout with that Grand National title on the line. The Ladies Amateur World Champion of 2008, Stone Pine Dana emerged from the pack with an extremely happy Andy Marlett aboard for Nina Errington. Reserve Grand National champion honors belonged to Stan Bodnar teamed with Narragansett Bay for owner Travis Wilson and trainer John Hufferd. Also in the hunt with the yellow streamers in this deep class were Garn Walker and Stonecroft Confidential.

A good night of showing came to a close on a most emotional note. It was the Ladies Park Harness World Championship, and there were six entries with a shot at occupying the winner’s circle. A few popular teams worked their way to the top of the pack but on this night the karma was with Helen Crawford and HVK Ancient Cry (HVK Make Em Cry x Nobelle). For the fifth consecutive year and for the final time, the ring belonged to them alone. Before making their spotlight victory pass, announcer Peter Fenton informed the crowd that this had been HVK Ancient Cry’s final show ring performance. It was an extremely emotional moment when Helen Crawford and her beloved mare made their final victory pass. The audience showed its appreciation for this championship combination and the recent passing of Helen’s husband and biggest fan, Bill.

Showing for new owner Patricia Lloyd, Amy Neifert drove NDT French Impressionist to the reserve world championship from Sebring Stables where he will remain. Former owner Ann Hailey was right there to congratulate them. Adding to the great depth of this class were third place finishers Signed Sealed Delivered and Kim Germ-Cramer from the Broadmoor camp.

A day filled with great competition and incredible championship moments concluded with a large crowd heading to the Grand National Silver Possibility Party featuring a very entertaining game of Celebrity Hollywood Squares.

Performance Arena

A trio of Hunt Seat Equitation World Championships filled the schedule on Thursday morning with a total of 70 riders competing in this most competitive division in front of judges John Bennett, Richard Petty and Lawrence Thurber.

The Walk-Trot Hunt Seat Equitation was first to compete with the field of 20 split into two sections. After each section worked, the judges conferred to select 11 entries to return to the rail. In her last year in 11 and under competition, Sarah Beatrice Pruetz paired up with Roadshow Annie Oakley to win the huge class to the delight of her family and friends. Cindy Mugnier instructed the talented young rider, who has horsemanship coursing through her veins. Molly Kern showed ring savvy well beyond her years when she rode Equinox Adagio to the reserve world championship to the delight of instructor Suzanne Haberek and the Trinity Farm family.

The Junior Hunt Seat Equitation World Championship was next on the schedule with 17 riders vying for the tricolor and roses. With strong performances on the rail and command of their individual patterns, two riders from Crystal Farms swept the tricolor honors. Following a victory pass in the 12-year-old age group Ellery Walker claimed the world title with her sporty white-trimmed partner Partridge Hill Prophet. Stablemate Gabrielle Graves, who was the winner of the 13-year-old age group and also the world champion in this division in 2008, added the reserve world championship to her list of accomplishments with Twin Peak Heritage.

An immense field of 33 riders signed up for their shot at glory in the Hunt Seat Equitation Senior World Championship. The group was again split into two sections to navigate the ring before the judges deliberated on which entries would perform the individual workouts. It was an emotional moment for Morgan Zielinski and instructor/mom Melissa Lambrecht as they hugged each other in the winner’s circle. In her final junior exhibitor show, Zielinski claimed the world title she worked so hard to attain with Under Fire serving as her tricolor mount. Ryne Swope enjoyed a stellar show in several divisions including the reserve world title on this morning with SSLLC On Demand with Kelly Varner directing.

The afternoon session began with the Carriage Obstacle Driving Timed Cones competition. Liz Goldmann and Sutton Dark Twist beat the time of the other seven entries to claim the top honors followed by Barbara Nesse and Be My Magic Moment who finished in second.

After the course was set, the Trail World Championship competition ensued. The top two entries had been battling it out earlier in the week and this afternoon it was a split decision. Junior exhibitor finals champion Haley Knauss and Genuine Jade earned the English Trail World Championship honors and finished as reserve world champions in the western division.

Megan Welch and RG Regency Chester claimed the Western Trail World Championship for Gruden Ranch after winning both Grand National open classes in English and western on Tuesday. Welch and Regency Chester were the reserve world champions behind Genuine Jade in the English world championship.

The UPHA Morgan Challenge Cup Phase I competition filled the performance arena on Thursday evening with 17 riders answering the call in the junior and senior divisions. These preliminary rounds featured rail work counting as a third of the final score and individual patterns performed by each rider for judges Rob Byers, Liz McBride Jones and Kristen Cater also accounting for one third of the final score. For the qualifying riders, the final third of their score would be awarded in Friday’s final round.

The junior riders were up first with Audrey Lowry, Aleia Brown, Emily Evans, Alexandra Frangiosa, Cassie Bell, Courteney Kabel, Lila Tatar, Cameron Kay, Hannah McBain, Angelica Berning, Claire Brownie and Amelia Coomber each getting the chance to perform in Friday’s final competition.

The senior riders performed a challenging workout including significant work without stirrups and many transitions for the judges in the preliminary round. The top 12 senior riders who would return the following day for the finals were Ellen Atkinson, Maggie Cramer, Nena Marlin, Anya Pierson, Hanna Johnson, Julia Strier, Kelsey Robinson, Heather Mallette, Annie Thurber, Rachel Menard, Tayler Walters and Jennifer Arkens.

Show Arena 8

The reining competition filled Ring 8 on Thursday with the Non-Pro Rookie competition being the main attraction of the morning. Four entries vied for the Grand National title with Katie Knudsen and AMCF Jelly Bean, an entry owned by Dayan Birchler, claiming the top score. Steve Simmons directed Cambridge Manzy Rose to the reserve win.

Josette Conti introduced R-Two Black Jack to the Oklahoma winner’s circle as they slip away with the First Year Green title for owner Cindy Nord. Monty Bruce directed the top two entries in the Second Year Green competition. W’s Mesquite Ridge, owned by Lou Ellen Williams and Thomas Filipek, won the competition followed by R-Two Top Dollar, an entry owned by Sharlene Anderson.

The evening reining competition kicked off with the world titled team of Ellen Palillo and Disco Patricia scoring the Reining Non-Pro Adult win. Sydney Salerno performed the required pattern to post the winning score with AMCF Justa Jiggalow in the youth section of the non-pro division.

The finale of the evening featured eight athletic open reining competitors. Monty Bruce and R-Two Top Dollar earned the victory with a crowd-pleasing performance for owner Sharlene Anderson. Josette Conti directed Cindy Nord’s Disco Fever to the reserve Grand National title to start off their 2009 Oklahoma competition.

Friday, October 16

Coliseum

With the sun shining brightly and everyone still laughing from the "Celebrity Hollywood Squares" games the night before, Friday morning started off on a good note as Oklahoma 2009 headed into the homestretch. The traditional Morgan World Futurity program in hand classes were featured in the coliseum, and it began with Terry Jones Brennan, Conky Price and Scott Thacker judging the Futurity Yearling Gelding class.

Four promising youngsters entered the ring in quest of the world champion title and first place money. The first world title of Friday morning went the way of The River’s Edge with Bob Kellert leading AMHF I’ve Got A Secret to the winner’s circle for owner/breeders David and Cindy Vogels and their Andover Morgan Farm. This son of Whispering Whammunition and AMHF Chatterbox knew how to model on the Oklahoma stage since he earned the title in unanimous fashion. The reserve money was awarded to a longtime supporter of the program, Stephen D. Smith. Assisted by Percy McDaniel, Smith’s reserve world champion was Ultra’s Here For The Party, a son of the Ultra’s Special Agent and Party Song.

Next were the Futurity In Hand Yearling Fillies, and like the gelding section, it was a repeat winner from the Grand National in hand competition seven days earlier. Leading the way to victory lane was Gradell Angel WithAFlaire. Sired by the multi-titled World Champion Noble Flaire, Gradell Angel WithAFlaire’s dam, Gradell’s Seventh Angel, was the reserve world champion in this very class in 1995. This beautiful filly was presented by Cheri Barber for owner/breeders Drs. Jerome and Shirley Modell. Adding another impressive tricolor for owner/breeders Jim and Laura Braddock, Tim Roesink guided the reserve world champion LBJ Sweet Music, a refined and polished bay sired by Beethoven and out of Liberation Lady In Red.

The third class of the morning really picked up the pace when 14 entries vied for the Futurity In Hand Yearling Colt title. A variety of bloodlines and body types were represented but in the end a unanimous decision and $2,200 in prize money went the way of Cimi’s Avant Garde with proud owner Anne Marie Biron looking on from the stands. Phil Fountain and Rick Lane made the winning presentation. This royally bred colt is by the legendary Futurity French Command and out the notable show mare MEM Twisted Sister. The reserve check of $2,000 was awarded to Jason Nunes of Fall Rivers, Mass., who is the owner of Armada Headliner (On Line x MEM Brown Eyed Girl). Mike Carpenter and Stephen Longo led the reserve world champion from this large field.

Giving the handlers a short break, nine entries went to the rail for the Ladies Classic Pleasure Driving World Championship. Trotting down victory lane with a unanimous tie for the second time this week, Stonecroft Neoclassic was the newly crowned world champion. Under the direction of Jim and Jenny Taylor, Donna Zimmerman has enjoyed a great year and this drive just added to the trophy case. Bred to be a world champion, Neoclassic is a product of world titleholders Stonecroft Masquerade and Century Enjolie. Proudly representing Silver Creek Stables, Susan Carlino and GLB Amazing Grace put on a great show for reserve world champion honors with a beaming Cathy Grimes guiding them down victory lane. Also turning in a very nice drive for third was Judy Candage with her many times champion Salvador.

Returning to the World Morgan Futurity program, the two-year-olds competed for $1,200 first place money and $1,000 reserve money. Six geldings were the first to be reviewed by judges Jones, Price and Thacker. Bold trotting and modeling like a star, the liver chestnut Lux Majestic (DBA Street Talk x Mantic Sabrina) was crowned the World Champion Futurity In Hand Two-Year-Old Gelding with Keith and Chris Nelsen presenting for Avona L’Carttier. Capping a tricolor week, CBMF Avenger (Ben’s Rhapsody x Ariel) marched up for the reserve streamers and paycheck. Tim Roesink was on the lead for new owner Frances Pugh with breeder Ann Hailey cheering them on.

It was a good morning for Ann Hailey’s Copper Beech LLC breeding program. Of the nine two-year-old mares, CBMF Class Act, who is colored much like her sire, the current three-time World Champion Gelding CBMF Ruling Class, was named the World Champion Futurity In Hand Two-Year-Old Mare. Jim McCleester and Jaisen von Ballmoos made the winning presentation for Sebring Stables. The breeding program of Lynn Peeples has produced many world titleholders over the years in the World Futurity program and it added the reserve world champion here in City Kitty. Carrying the blood of World Champion Man About Town LPS on both sides, being sired by Man In Motion and out of City Limits, this dynamic bay is owned by Ledyard Co LLC and Lynn Peeples LLC.

Phil Fountain enjoyed his second winning lead of the morning with the world champion title in the Futurity In Hand Two-Year-Old Stallion competition. Assisted by Rick Lane, Fountain took Mini Cooper to the winner’s circle for Peeper Ranch. Popular World Champion HVK Bell Flaire is the sire of this newly crowned world champion whose dam is the grand mare Plum Haven Minuet. Yet another Copper Beech LLC entry took home a Futurity paycheck when CBMF Moment In The Sun (Ben’s Rhapsody x FRF Stolen Moment) was the reserve world champion with Tim Roesink and Ken Swanson presenting.

From young horses to young riders, the show moved to the Walk-Jog Western Pleasure 11 & Under World Championship, which featured 13 aspiring stars and their mounts. A young man in the black hat jogged away with world championship. Connor Chaffin Farley and his partner, RBF Russian Roulette, showing under the Cape Cod banner, capped the week with the world championship ride to the delight of their cheering section. With her hometown fans in the stands, Lauren Osborne took Cingate Jack Flash to the reserve world champion streamers to close out the morning session.

Five of the 12 Friday afternoon classes were devoted to world championships for junior exhibitors in various disciplines, and it started with the Junior Exhibitor Classic Pleasure Driving World Championship. The future of the Morgan show industry appears strong since this and most of the other junior exhibitor title bouts were well filled with winning combinations.

Pondview EZ Spirit had already won a saddle qualifier and a driving qualifier and on this afternoon took Amy Podesva to the winner’s circle of the Junior Exhibitor Classic Pleasure Driving World Championship under the direction of Rolling Oaks. Keith Friday escorted the tricolor winners from the ring just as he did in the championship at New England back in July. Hosting a number of different riders and drivers this year, HVK Primary Light put on one of his best performances of the season to command the reserve world champion title with Austin McLallin at the whip for PlayMor Farm LLC. Rounding out a great first season in driving competition, Kendra Peeples left the coliseum with a good third place ribbon behind Priceless Jule to the cheers of the Waterford Farm box seats.

From the future of the industry to the seasoned veterans, the Hunter Pleasure Amateur Masters World Championship was the next event on the afternoon schedule. This round was filled with proven teams that brought a season’s worth of victory passes to the Oklahoma coliseum. Having been the first to earn this title in 2005, Night Out (Forevermore x UVM Robin) and Jennifer Grey returned to the spotlight to repeat as champions in 2009 for the ownership of Grey and proud daughter/trainer Katie Mair. With style and precision, they pulled off a unanimous decision in this amateur masters world championship. Reserve world honors went the way of the 2008 world champions in this same division, Coni Hose and D Bar J Habakkuk, directed by Amanda DuPont. It was a marvelous tricolor display by these two dazzling black geldings and their gracious and talented riders.

An all-star cast of lady drivers took home the first four ribbons in the Classic Pleasure Driving Junior Horse World Championship before two of the gents could squeeze in. Piloted by Iann Fu Longenecker, Dragonsmeade Tahari, was yet another world champion sired by World Champion Mizrahi. This Mike Carpenter-trained combination also wore the world champion colors from the ring in the Futurity class earlier in the week for Dragonsmeade. Fresh off the junior championship at New York Regional and the Four-Year-Old Grand National blue back on Sunday, MEM Shock Wave and Donna Zimmerman added the reserve world championship tricolor.

Some horses are just born for glory and Pondview Park Avenue is among them. Peaking at just the right time this year, the son of 2007 Western Pleasure World Champion Treble’s Tangueray and 1991 Western Pleasure World Champion Pond View Portrait was ridden to victory by Judy Nason, who also had ridden both of his parents to their titles. Owner/breeder Melanie Small couldn’t have been prouder of the unanimous world champion. Bringing their best game of the year, Daryl Hopson and Fire Run High Noon made the reserve world champion victory pass for owner/breeder Fire Run Farm. CBMF Whispers Of War represented the mares in beautiful style with a third place finish in the deep class with Ling Fu Wylie presenting.

PlayMor Farm had a good afternoon and it only got better with Med-E-Oka Nobel Prize and Jacqueline Clapp making each pass count, sharp from start to finish to take the World Champion Classic Pleasure Driving Masters cooler, plaque and tricolor back to Lexington, Ky. The Futurity French Command son matched up perfectly with his driver as they reclaimed the world title they first earned in its inaugural year in 2006. Royally bred, Treble’s Spring Loaded (Tug Hill Whamunition x MO Justa Wild Melody) came to Oklahoma with an undefeated season on the West Coast this year. With owner Vikki Paulson driving, they added a repeat tricolor as the reserve world champions for the second year in a row under the direction of Forest Nealon. A good ribbon was an accomplishment with the likes of champions Intrepid Behold, Ensbrook Chain Of Command, Heyday Molly Stark, CBMF Mozambique, Ultra’s Executive Order and AKM Armageddon rounding out the ribbon winners.

The English Pleasure Three-Year-Old World Championship wasn’t the largest championship of the afternoon since all the qualifiers were late in the week. The division certainly did have its share of young stars, including unanimous champion Indian Creek Bellagio, a product of World Champions HVK Bell Flaire and Long Acres Broadway. Ridden by Kurt Hufferd for Indian Creek Morgan Farm, their athletic performance earned top honors to go along with the 2008 Two-Year-Old Pleasure Driving World Championship. Optimus Prime, boasting the rich blood of Futurity French Command and Erotic Dancer, added the reserve world title with Kristen Tramposh in the irons for Peeper Ranch. Winner of the Grand National Three-Year-Old Stallion/Gelding class, Epona’s Walk The Line marched to the yellow streamers with Alicia Fraser presenting for Nick and Robin Pelham.

Standing out in the Hunter Pleasure Junior Exhibitor 13 & Under World Championship was a task since it was filled with stars from across the country. Winning it with three first place votes was remarkable, but that’s just the show Twin Peak Heritage and Gabrielle Graves put to earn the world title for the second year in a row. Merriewold Diplomat and Nicolette Geddeis finished their first season together with a ride to remember when they were named reserve world champions.

What can you say but there were only two in the Pleasure Driving Junior Exhibitor 14-17 World Championship. That didn’t take away the competitive drive from either Leah Ling or Yolanda Barnes. Both young ladies came to play hard but only one could win, and winning was something that Leah Ling and the Tara Farm-trained GLB Leader Of The Band were familiar with as they qualified with the 14 and 15-year-old blue. In her first time showing in Oklahoma, Ling added to a sensational season to the delight of proud dad David Ling, as well as owner Krista Headley and the Tara Farm team. HVK Port Rush and Yolanda Hayes Barnes added the reserve world championship to the 16-17 victory, directed by Bert Earehart.

Western pleasure enthusiasts were treated to a clinic of great teams with the Ladies Amateur World Championship. With the proud carriage of the Morgan Horse applied to a slow, fluid performance at all three gaits, multi-titled World Champion Cabot French Lieutenant (Futurity French Command x Bery Banke La De Da) was teamed by Connie Melendy for a picture perfect performance to garner the coveted world title. Garn Walker trained the world champion and the reserve world champion. French Lieutenant’s stablemate, Wildcard’s Satin Rose, was bestowed with reserve honors. Owner Virginia Adams was aboard after also taking reserve in the amateur masters class with her polished black mare. Jenna Jarboe had a steady go with Aerie Meadow Contessa to take third for William Dodds.

Their season began on these very grounds back in April, winning the Junior Exhibitor Hunter Pleasure Championship and qualifier at the Oklahoma Centennial. In between, there were victory passes from UPHA Chapter 5, Gold Cup, New England and Jubilee, so it should come as no surprise that MEM Once Again and Ali Denzel went two for two at Grand National, this second victory pass coming in the 22-horse Hunter Pleasure Junior Exhibitor 16-17 World Championship. Even more amazing was the fact that the Peeper Ranch-trained combination was unanimous in a class of that size and depth. It would be Denzel’s last ride aboard Once Again as the gelding will now go on to make dreams come true for another excited young lady.

Earning his third reserve of the week, Grand Cru Valentino was the reserve world champion in this great class. Chelsey Abate guided the Three Wishes son through the pack to take the reserve title back home to Woodbridge, Conn., and Wynter Thyme Farm. Triumph Stable’s duo of Narragansett Bay and Travis Wilson made their presence felt with a third place finish, still placing ahead of 19 other top champions including ribbon winners MEM Scan-Dal-Less, Bell South, Heartmeadow By Request, Arboria Ben Hur, Highover Narcotic, Startrend Mystic Visions and JNP Simply Delorean.

Donna Zimmerman must have been asking people to pinch her to see if she was awake or dreaming this whole week. The accolades just kept coming and this afternoon her unanimous tricolor victory pass was with English Pleasure Amateur Masters World Champion Stonecroft Byzantine. Zimmerman rode the prolific stallion to the tricolor and roses for PlayMor Farm LLC to add his long list of world titles. Making a strong bid for top honors, Lisa Howa and SLB Puccini finished up their first year together under saddle with the reserve world championship. Following the Blackridge team in third was Brenda Varney aboard her veteran champion CN The Commanding Touch.

Friday afternoon came to a close with the World Champion Western Pleasure Junior Exhibitor 14-17 class. Stonecroft Byzantine was just getting his saddle and bridle removed back at the stall when his daughter, Briar Oaks Pep In My Step, was called out as the world champion with George Liberty earning his first ever world championship. With tricolors from each of their six shows this season, the world championship was a perfect finish for the Lakefront Farm team. MCA Seawind Serenade and Anna Tassinari matched up beautifully for the reserve world championship, giving David Rand-trained entries a tricolor sweep of this fabulous field of 16.

Friday evening’s session proved to be the greatest overall night of competition as it was action packed throughout the evening with many close battles thrilling the appreciative audience. Before it heated up, the opening ceremonies featured the flag presentations by Team Morgan, which were followed by the always-adorable lead line class. English, western and hunt seat tots donned their brightest smiles and turned the cuteness factor up as high as it would go. These future stars of the show ring had a chance to taste the big time as they set the stage for the seven-horse Amateur Park Saddle World Championship.

From the moment the first horse entered the ring this was a battle of titans with a long list of world titles represented. It was a great mix of newcomers to the division challenging the old guard and at the end of this power packed championship it was the newcomer coming out on top. Tim Roesink sprinted to the winner’s circle where he greeted the newly crowned World Champions Dragonsmeade Icon (Mizrahi x HVK Obsidian) and Iann Fu Longenecker. This charismatic five-year-old stallion is proudly bred and owned by the Fu family and Dragonsmeade Farm. Having earned the Four-Year-Old Park Saddle World Championship last year, it was quite a feat to come back and beat the best of the seasoned amateur combinations in just their second show in the amateur division.

One such combination was Reserve World Champion Lamborghini In Black. Owner Dr. Grace Steere rode the former Open Park Saddle World Grand Champion to the reserve championship with some brilliant passes of their own, prepared by David Rand. Two-time Amateur Park Saddle World Champion CN The Master’s Flyte and Allyson Nord Wandtke were ready for the battle with a fine performance for the yellow streamers this time out. The remaining ribbons went to the multi-titled field of Patchwork Simply Amazin, CRD Bugatti, The Real Deal and Starboard’s Blitz Krieg.

Following this exciting Amateur Park Saddle World Championship, eight contenders vied for the Classic Pleasure Driving World Championship. Like the Park Saddle Championship, this finale had its share of heavy hitters and finishing a star-studded season that was filled with excitement, L’Cima Exclusive and Terri Travers triumphantly marched to the winner’s circle with a unanimous vote of approval. The Taylor River team was followed by Arcola Farm stars and 2009 Reserve World Champions Rowenda French Twist and Ron Johnson. Chris Nelsen had this combination polished for a stake night presentation. Making a good bid to rank among the world’s best, Janet Morgan and Libretto’s Bravado finished up in third.

Even though the next class was the Ladies English Pleasure World Championship, it was not for the timid rider. The ladies at the top of this list were beautifully turned out and sporting pretty smiles, but make no mistake they were top-flight jockeys meaning business. Riding for owner Cynthia Fawcett, Kathleen Peeples matched up with the always-expressive Uppercase Innovation (And The Best Goes On x HVK Obsessed) proudly supporting the tricolor streamers that signify a world champion. After amateur championships at New England Regional and Mid-A, this was the icing on the birthday cake for Cynthia Fawcett as she celebrated a birthday to remember. Right on their heels was Reserve World Champion Enthusiastic with Jenny Taylor making a beautiful ride to cap a stellar debut season with the Tug Hill Whamunition daughter for Elizabeth and Tom Burick. Coming on really strong, particularly at the second way trot, Bellisimo was a solid third for Jennifer Hazen and the PlayMor team.

It was refreshing to see the ring filled with 10 top-quality entries parading for the Three-Year-Old Park Harness World Championship. There was just as much talent in the buggies as there was in front of the buggies with an all-star cast of trainers on hand for this title chase. Emerging from the pack with their second tricolor honor the week, Ken Swanson drove QVM Jocelyn Rose (Centerpiece x HVK Take The Roses) to the winner’s circle for Krista Headley. With a beautiful presence and way of going, they qualified with a winning performance in the World Champion Three-Year-Old Park Harness Futurity. Giving everything he had with every step he took, Merriehill Home Stretch was a popular reserve world champion with Stan Bodnar at the whip for Ruthann Peterson. The Tug Hill Whamunition son was also reserve in the three-year-old stallion in hand class. Tim Roesink and third place finisher KJM Five Star put in a stellar drive as well for Dr. Barbara Lindauer.

The evening stayed at a high level when 13 strong came in for the Hunter Pleasure World Championship. While there were many entries capable of taking the roses, Keely Sogoloff had a notion to finish the season undefeated with MEM Bailamos (Futurity French Command x AFF Beulah) and that’s exactly what she did for elated owner Jerold Nau. Vermont Spring Classic, Connecticut All Morgan, New England’s East Coast Grand Champion and now world champion; what a year it was for the dynamic son of Futurity French Command and AFF Beulah. Mary Carlton matched up with HDP Noble Warrior to add the 2009 Hunter Pleasure Reserve World Championship to their list of Oklahoma tricolors for Paula Messier.

There was no time for a popcorn break on this evening as class after class was extremely competitive and entertaining. Having suffered a rare defeat (reserve) in the amateur gelding qualifier, last year’s Open and Amateur Pleasure Driving World Champion Dragonsmeade Carnegie Hall (Beethoven x Black Tie Debutante) came back with a vengeance when owner Dan Kelley delivered a picture perfect drive so as not to leave the door open to any of the challengers. This unanimous title added to a once-in-a-lifetime show for the Kelley family, who were all Oklahoma winners under the direction of David Rand. While former trainer Tim Roesink and breeder Dragonsmeade Farm’s Ling Fu Wylie were proud of Dragonsmeade Carnegie Hall, they had their own sights on the prize. Tomeri Tango and Ling Fu Wylie were perfectly matched to add the reserve world championship to their memorable qualifier victory. Wylie drove for proud owner Bonnie Howard.

What a surprise it was to see the three-time World Champion Bada Bing burst through the gate with Peggy Alderman in the seven-horse English Pleasure World Championship. Alderman had won the English Pleasure World Championships in 2006 and 2008 as they sandwiched Phil Alderman’s Amateur English Pleasure World Championship in 2007. The family horse was moved back to the amateur division this year with Phil riding, and they earned the Grand National Amateur English Pleasure Gelding blue earlier in the week. Peggy was aboard the expressive son of AFF Leroy Brown for the first time this year and she literally rode right out of her pants. The seam of her upper left pant leg split wide open as Peggy rode like there was no tomorrow. Her determination paid off with a unanimous victory scoring a third open world championship, tying the record held by the legendary Long View Sundance.

New to the mix, the talented junior horse Cherished Assets gave it his all in the quest for the world title with David Rand. They opened a lot of eyes in the four-year-old stallion/gelding class where they won the blue. It looks to be a great career ahead for this son of Pondview Tres Bien and Nemours Elegant Flaire, owned by Dan and Leslie Kelley. The Grand National English Pleasure Stallion Champion this year and last, Cartier was the third place finisher in this great class for Sarah Gove. Reserve to Cartier in that stallion qualifier, Dawn Fire and the highly decorated Graycliff Tony rounded out the top four ribbons.

"This was a heck of a class," said trainer Lynn Peeples. "Many years any one of those top four could have worn the roses." This night was certainly Peggy Alderman and Bada Bing’s night.

With two classes left on this great night of showing, the Amateur Western Pleasure entries made their way down the ramp for a shot at their world championship. This was truly a test of the best as the lineup included a long list of world, Grand National and regional champions; however, none could outperform the team of Firecrest E-Ticket and Aimee Shriner. The Issues N Answers son went undefeated this year in Amateur Western Pleasure Championships, and he began this week as the Grand National Amateur Western Pleasure Stallion Champion. Daryl Hopson greeted the victorious team to complete the presentation photo. The amateur and open world champion in 2007 and reserve open world champion in 2008, Treble’s Tanqueray added yet another title, this one the Amateur Western Pleasure Reserve World Championship with Ashley Morris riding for Greg and Carol Fleck. Coming from the winner’s circle of the Grand National Amateur Western Pleasure Gelding class, Ling Fu Wylie continued a great show in a wide range of divisions as she guided Troika’s Black Russian to the third place honors.

It seemed that the Park Harness Stallion class earlier in the week had set the stage for Friday night’s finale, the Park Harness World Championship. Many thought that SYP High Definition (HVK Vibrance x Kim’s Bellegante) and Rick Stevens had the best go of their career for owner Heidi Kunkel. The momentum from that reserve finish to the great JW That Special Flaire carried right over to Friday night where not only all three judges gave the team their support, the crowd cheered wildly as well. Like many sports where a champion has been on top for a long while, the general public looks for an underdog to break through, and on this night it was SYP High Definition.

"I’m so happy for Heidi and this horse," exclaimed Stevens when well-wishers surrounded him back at the stalls after the class.

Having won the Park Harness World Championship for the past four consecutive years, something no other horse in history has done, JW That Special Flaire marched like only he can to leave with the reserve world championship for Frances Pugh’s Tara Farm. Trainer Ken Swanson knew the pressure was on from High Definition and he responded with a great drive and an outstanding performance from "Tigger."

"We knew it would have to happen sometime," said Swanson following the class. "We don’t think any less of him as he has accomplished things that no one else has and he gave us his all again tonight."

And what a night it was! The excitement of this night of competition carried into the barns with several celebrations taking place. With seven days of competition in the record books, everyone looked forward to the final day with the promise of many great performances and memorable moments ahead.

Performance Arena

The equitation riders took center stage in the performance arena on Friday. Eight young riders kicked off the afternoon session with the Walk-Trot Saddle Seat Classic Equitation for the 10-11 year old riders. In her first trip to Oklahoma, Megan Buckley celebrated a trip to the winner’s circle aboard Med-E-Oka French Morocco. Her proud family at Indian Creek Morgan Farm cheered when Shanna Gish attached the blue ribbon. Clara Maxam earned the reserve Grand National title aboard Marathon’s Electrafire with a poised ride under Katie Mair’s direction.

After 17 riders competed on Thursday on the rail and with individual patterns, the judges selected the top 12 competitors to return on Friday for more rail work in the UPHA Morgan Senior Challenge Cup Finals. The name inscribed on the Senior Morgan Challenge Cup from 1997 is that of Nikki Rae Woodworth. Everything has come full circle when Woodworth instructed this year’s champion, Rachel Menard. It was another fabulous performance of skill and determination as Menard and BJL Ransom added the Challenge Cup to their Gold Medal won two days earlier. Annie Thurber had command of the ring and her partner, Upper Echelon, to add the reserve Senior Challenge Cup to her victory just a year ago in the Junior Challenge Cup. Katie Mair and Craig Clapp directed Thurber to the round of honor.

With Rachel Menard and Annie Thurber leading the way, the parade of UPHA Senior Challenge Cup top 10 winners also featured Ellen Atkinson, Maggie Cramer, Anya Pierson, Hanna Johnson, Julia Strier, Kelsey Robinson, Heather Mallette and Taylor Walters.

The Grand National Walk-Trot Saddle Seat Classic Equitation 9 & Under riders were next to show off their riding skills. After earning a trip to the winner’s circle days earlier in the pleasure division, the perfectly matched pairing of Natalia Fernandez and Tara’s War Dance earned the chance for another visit. Lark Henry directed the victorious team while their fan club cheered them on. Alena Graves added the reserve ribbon to the Crystal Farms banner with a focused ride aboard French Episode.

The UPHA Morgan Junior Challenge Cup was next on the schedule with the top 12 riders performing their final rail work. The state of California was well represented when it was all over with five of the top 10 hailing from the state, including the champion and reserve champion. Anne Speck directed the champion, Angelica Berning, to the unanimous victory in the very competitive class. Berning matched up with Festival Troubadour, the beloved mount of Triple Crown winner Ariana Corrigan, to carry home the honors. Courteney Kabel matched up with the multi-titled Mantic Top Gun for an outstanding ride on the rail as well as the individual pattern as Kabel earned the reserve honors. They earned the cheers of their fan club as they performed under the direction of Blackridge.

While Angelica Berning and Courteney Kabel led the way, Audrey Lowry, Alexandra Frangiosa, Cassie Bell, Lila Tatar, Cameron Kay, Hannah McBain, Claire Browning and Amelia Coomber joined in the parade of UPHA Junior Challenge Cup top 10 winners.

The session closed out with the Walk-Trot Saddle Seat Equitation World Championship competition taking center stage. It was a magical moment for Hannah Carr when she closed out an incredible season as the world champion. Matched with the fabulous Westenfeld Band Leader, Carr and instructor Suzanne Haberek shared a hug followed by a tricolor ride down victory lane. With her proud family and fan club cheering her on, Kitty D closed out her celebrated walk-trot career with a reserve world title. Paired with HVK Bold Monarch, Kitty D proudly carried the tricolor streamers back to the Cheri Barber Stables banner.

The evening performance featured the best of the best in the western seat equitation division beginning with the junior competitors. Inga Johnson turned in another world-class performance with Park Place Dominion and added the Junior Western Seat Equitation World Championship to the Arcola Farm banner. It was a big night for the Johnson family when Inga’s dad, Ron, earned a reserve world championship at the same time in the coliseum. Iris Rankin matched up with Suntime Doc Holiday to jog away with the reserve world championship to the delight of sister/instructor Jenna Rankin.

Local favorite Sascha Mills has shown her talents in hunt seat and western seat, but this evening she rose to the top of a large group of outstanding riders to be crowned Senior Western Seat Equitation World Champion. Paired with "steady Eddie" QVM Collector’s Edition, Mills carried the world champion honors back to Gwinfield Farm. Lauren Little and Futurity’s Such A Twist earned the reserve world championship to add to the 16-17 age group win under the direction of Kelly Varner, with stablemate Ryne Swope jogging up for third aboard Ancan Raindance.

Show Arena 8

The reining competition continued to be light on quantity but high on entertainment value. Pat Mitchell directed Nantucket Sound to the Three-Year-Old Snaffle Bit/Hackamore Grand National title for owner Andrew Brown. W’s Mesquite Ridge and Monty Bruce scored the four-year-old title for owners Lou Ellen Williams and Thomas Filipek. Karen Myers directed her own athletic Disco Kid to the five-year-old title.

Travis Filipek spun away with the world championship title in Non-Pro Reining aboard W Nuggets Rebels Are We for owners Lou Ellen Williams and Thomas Filipek. Katie Knudsen directed the Reserve World Champion AMCF Jelly Bean for owners Dayan and Clayton Birchler.

The Open Reining World Championship was the lone feature competition on Friday evening. An impressive lineup of nine entries was on hand to vie for the title. It was a crowning achievement for Disco Fever, trainer/rider Josette Conti and owner Cindy Nord as they posed for the honors. The athletic chestnut son of Twin Pond Disco Kid has been a winner in each of his four trips to this show, and 2009 marked the highest honor in the Morgan world. With four Grand National and world titles under the belts in the junior and green divisions, Monty Bruce and W’s Mesquite Ridge stepped up to the open ranks and slid away with the reserve world championship for owners Lou Ellen Williams and Thomas Filipek.

Saturday, October 17

Coliseum

The final morning of competition at the Morgan Grand National & World Championship Horse Show began with a huge field of talented young riders vying for the Junior Exhibitor 14-15 Hunter Pleasure World Championship. Katie Mair and Craig Clapp prepared the team of BMF Xerxes and David Knupp for the ultimate victory pass as the world champions. The well-matched pair also scored regional victories at Gold Cup and Jubilee this season to foreshadow their Oklahoma tricolor performance. Amanda Lashua and Jane’s Addiction capped a stellar debut season when they earned reserve world championship honors in this deep field of 18 under Judy Nason’s direction.

The Ladies Amateur English Pleasure World Championship boasted a phenomenal lineup of multi-titled horses and talented riders from coast to coast. SLB Andiamo and Kathleen Kabel achieved the ultimate honor when they bested a field of 13 entries to cap off their undefeated season as the unanimous world champions. They earned the cheers of their fan club, most especially proud husband Steve and daughters Katie and Courteney, while they carried the honors back to the Blackridge banner. Sacred Path Indiana Jones and Shelley Silber closed out a fantastic season as the reserve world champions to add to a great show for the Kourt Jester entries under the direction of Tim Roesink.

The young horse competition was stellar throughout and the Hunter Pleasure Three-Year-Old World Championship was next on the schedule. Kathleen Peeples and the dynamic Town Assets son, EKL Asset’s Vision, finished off a fantastic show with their third victory pass. They earned their second set of roses for owner Martha Simpson. Merriehill Major League scored a big hit when Jessica Bodnar rode him to the reserve finish for brand new owner Katelyn Merrill.

The great young horses continued to delight the crowd with the Pleasure Driving Two-Year-Old World Championship. Seven top contenders performed for judges Scott Thacker, Conky Price and Lynn Harvey McNamara. Nancy Flower and CHMH Spice Town Girl added an exclamation point to an undefeated season when they earned the world championship for proud owners Julie Schmidt and Marge Ruland. It was a crowning achievement for the tricolor team as well as sire Town Assets, who sired two young world champions in back-to-back classes. Whitney Bodnar took the elegant Cingate Starry Night to the reserve world championship. The Astronomicallee daughter added to a long list of young world titled entries bred and owned by Cingate Morgans.

Brendan Kelley finished off his debut season in the show ring with a world title matched with Intrepid Dynasty. This handsome pairing carried the Junior Exhibitor Park Harness World Championship honors back to the Rand banner to close out an unbelievable week for the Dan Kelley family and their Victory Lane Farm. The Alchemist and Julia Strier teamed up to add the reserve world championship to the Misty Meadows banner with a charismatic drive directed by Scott Neidlinger.

The Hunter Pleasure Four-Year-Old World Championship featured a field of 15 athletic youngsters vying for top honors. In the end, it was the same two talented riders at the top of the standings as in the three-year-old division with the stallion/gelding and mare qualifier winners battling for top billing. Here it was Jessica Bodnar earning the top prize for new owners Jerry and Donna O’Neill aboard the fancy white trimmed bay Epona’s Perrier Jouet, also the winner of the stallion/gelding class. Kathleen Peeples directed Crazy Love to a bold-striding performance to add the reserve world championship to her victory in the mare qualifier and the long list of Oklahoma tricolors for the Brown/Klein family.

The final competition of the morning featured an entertaining group of Park Saddle Three-Year-Old World Championship entries. It was a case of history repeating itself when Jenny Taylor guided PLS High Pine Picasso to the unanimous victory for owner/breeders Joy and Paul Scala. In 1998 it was the pairing of Jenny Taylor and Firewind Diva, the dam of PLS High Pine Picasso, who earned the Three-Year-Old Park Saddle World Championship for the Scalas. Judy Nason and World Champion Futurity Three-Year-Old Park Saddle entry Dragonsmeade Warlock added the reserve world championship to a great show for owners Lynn Carothers and Deb Hodges.

The afternoon began right where the morning had ended with the athletic youngsters of the park division performing at the highest level in the Two-Year-Old Park Harness World Championship. This class of promising youngsters also featured a unanimous world championship under the direction of Memory Lane Farm. This time it was breeder/owner Gloria Blevins jumping for joy when her brilliant chestnut SYP Show Stopper made the victory pass with Jim Taylor handling the lines. Starting off the week as a world champion in hand, Cedar Creek Flambeau added the reserve world title in harness to close out the week for Jim Lowry and Cedar Creek Farm.

The ladies showcased their western pleasure entries as they vied for the world championship title. It was a familiar ride to the roses for Shaughnessy Morris when she jogged to the winner’s circle for the second year in a row, paired with a top-winning mare trained by Andy Marlett. She guided Bear’s Covergirl to the honors in 2008, and this year Morris was matched with 2008 Open Western Pleasure World Champion Tracemark Tapestry to collect the honors for owner Kristie Strom. FCF Montego Bay and Judy Nason capped a stellar season for Joanne Kieger with the reserve world championship garland and streamers.

The young horses of the industry returned to the ring to compete for the Pleasure Driving Three-Year-Old World Championship. Elaine Galatz enjoyed a marvelous performance with her homebred VVM Dreamkeeper as they closed out an undefeated season with the world titled drive for Vegas Valley Morgans. In just his second show, the fronty Cedar Creek Harlequin son Lateda earned the reserve world championship to the delight of owner/breeder Jean DeGutis and trainer/driver Mike Carpenter.

Amanda DuPont and Toast Of Broadway were once again the toast of Oklahoma as they celebrated the rose-adorned trip down victory lane in the Ladies Hunter Pleasure World Championship for Star Charmer Morgans. Jennifer McFall and Dragonfire Nefertiti put on an elegant display to earn the reserve world title for Antonia Casados in this competitive division.

The Four-Year-Old Park Saddle World Championship was next to entertain with a promising field of seven. In just his second show under saddle, Street Smart seemed plenty worldly when Luman Wadhams guided the white trimmed son of DBA Street Talk and Honeytree’s Simply Unique to the unanimous victory for Ann Maile and Pam McLellan. Temptation’s First Star and Courtney Zimmerman turned in a stellar ride to carry the reserve world championship honors to owner/breeder Linda Sheridan and the Keith Nelsen Stables banner.

Announcer Bill Carrington took a break from the show schedule to ask the audience to remember those of the Morgan industry who have passed away in the past year. A moment of silence was held after he read the long list of beloved members of the Morgan community no longer with us.

The Western Pleasure Amateur Masters World Championship was showcased in the ring next with a competitive group of 12 vying for top honors. It was a crowning glory for Connie Melendy and Cabot French Lieutenant when they earned their second world championship victory by a unanimous decision. The perfectly matched pair enjoyed an amazing partnership this season brought together by trainer Garn Walker and leased from PlayMor Farm. In 2007, Chris Thoma matched up with KN Curiousity for the world title in masters hunter pleasure, and this year it was Joyce Thoma pairing up with the pretty bay to carry home the Amateur Masters Western Pleasure Reserve World Championship.

The Four-Year-Old Pleasure Driving World Championship was the grand finale of the young horse competition and provided the audience with a look into the future. The Indian Creek Farm cheering section was divided and so were its trainers, with a four-year-old to show here and an equitation rider in the Performance Arena at the very same time. As Kurt Hufferd stepped in for Shanna Gish, Indian Creek Warbird brought home a world title to the Quilhot family with a stylish performance to best a field of 11. Bright in color and attitude, CBMF Restless strutted away with the reserve world title with Harry Sebring handling the lines for Copper Beech LLC.

Following a crowd-pleasing presentation of sliding and spinning by the 2009 Reining World Champions, the afternoon crowd was really in for a treat when the prime-time Amateur Park Harness World Championship was moved into an afternoon time slot this year. With a marvelous field of eight athletic entries answering the call matched by their talented amateur drivers, it was a class to remember. For Stephanie Connor it was indeed a performance to remember. She drove the majestic bay stallion El-Toro to the world championship honors. Tim and Ryan Arcuri directed them down victory lane with their many fans, most especially proud owner Tom Connor, cheering them on. It was a tricolor sweep for the West Coast stallions when Paul Brisco teamed up with four-year-old The Noblest to capture the reserve world title for the Tomeri/Blackridge Partnership and biggest fan Teri Brisco. MEM Ultimate Star and Sasha Klein put on a brilliant performance to add the third place finish including a first-place vote for the Brown/Klein family and the Waterford Farm team.

The AMHA Hunt Seat On The Flat Gold Medal Finals closed out the last afternoon session. Thirteen riders were called back after being chosen from the preliminary round earlier in the week. Rail work was evaluated and then a workout was called. Following a season filled with tricolor victories, Alexandria Warner cashed in on the gold when she rode Pondview Pure Elegance to the top honors under the Taylor River Farm banner. Both tricolor riders worked their way up from top 10 last year. Alana Little matched up with Bell South to carry the reserve honors home directed by Kelly Varner. The top 10 field also featured Ryne Swope, Marissa Klimkiewicz, Courtney Segulin, Hannah Locke, David Knupp, Elizabeth Fawcett, Stevie Watson and Chelsey Abate.

The curtain went up for the last time on Oklahoma ’09, and what a show it had been. Large and competitive classes, upsets and record breaking performances, a great atmosphere, and horses in all divisions and price levels selling made this Grand National & World Championship Morgan Horse Show a most memorable one.

After a beautiful presentation of the colors by young equestrians on horseback, Cheyenne Rumens sang the Canadian national anthem and Brendan Kelley sang that of the United States of America. Both of these junior exhibitors had taken part in the week’s competition, and on this evening proudly displayed yet another talent.

With the scheduling as it was, however, this grand finale evening started on the slow side, gaining momentum as it went. The night began and ended with the championship hardware going back to the Ohio-based Memory Lane Farm.

The in-gate swung open and the horn sounded for first class of the evening, the two-horse Amateur Masters Park Harness World Championship. This was obviously a disappointing turnout to kick off Morgandom’s biggest night of showing, but there was nothing the two ladies who answered the call could do about it so they drove their charges like it was a ring of 15. With a pair of world titles in the amateur division including the 2008 honors, Evolution wore the roses in unanimous fashion as the first-ever Amateur Masters Park Harness World Champion. This son of HVK Courageous Flaire, himself a former winner of the Amateur Park Harness World Championship, was driven down victory lane by a beaming Donna Zimmerman. This was the icing on the cake of what had been a tremendous week for Zimmerman. It had been a bittersweet and emotional week for Helen Crawford, the driver of reserve world champion SLB Da Vinci. Blackridge directed this handsome and talented Sheryl Bartolucci-owned entry to add to his list of Oklahoma tricolors.

One by one the contenders for the Western Pleasure World Championship slowly made their way to the ring. They came from both coasts and many points in between, and they brought some pretty impressive resumes with them. Shimmering and shinning, the well turned out western teams did their best to earn the right to a Saturday night spotlight victory pass. Having already ridden Firecrest E-Ticket (Issues N Answers x Novel Becky Sharp) to the amateur world championship and qualifying win, owner Aimee Shriner enjoyed her seat in the stands, watching trainer Daryl Hopson take E-Ticket to the Western Pleasure World Championship, a title he also owned in 2006. The 2007 Western Pleasure World Champion, Treble’s Tanqueray, jogged to the presentation area to accept the reserve world champion cooler, streamers and plaque. Ashley Morris turned in the polished ride for Greg and Carol Fleck. With regional championships at Southern States and Citrus Cup this year, Gradell Ring My Bell and Cheri Barber finished their season with a strong third place performance in this deep championship for owner/breeders Jerome and Shirley Modell.

Next was the presentation of 2009 equitation champions. The champion and reserve rider from 20 different equitation world championships and finals made one last round of honor in a tribute to their accomplishments.

World championship competition resumed with the Ladies Classic Pleasure Saddle entries in prime time. Janice Lazar and HVK Make Em Cry picked a great time to put it all together when the Mary Carlton-trained combination turned back a good group of challengers for world honors. With a season full of victory passes including the Grand National Ladies Pleasure Saddle Gelding class, Whitemud Touch Of Blue and Carol Fletcher Churchill made the reserve world champion victory pass.

They came 14 strong for the Amateur English Pleasure World Championship. There was an array of world-class horses and riders on display and they gave the Saturday night audience its money’s worth. When the cards had been tabulated, the number 784 appeared at the top of all three judges’ cards. That was also the same number that appeared at the top of all three judges’ cards the previous night in the Open English Pleasure World Championship. Yes indeed, Phil Alderman returned with Bada Bing (AFF Leroy Brown x Trade Secrets) after his wife, Peggy, had won the roses just the night before.

Having won the Open English Pleasure Mare class with Mike Goebig and the Amateur English Pleasure Mare class with owner Kimberly Germ-Cramer, the Mizrahi sired Miz Saturn Star was absolutely beautiful again to garner the reserve world title. It had been a good night for the John Green family as they cheered wildly for Jamie Green Willard and Roadshow Steppin’ Out when they exited with a good third place finish for 10 Star Ranch for the second year in a row.

There was no problem keeping the momentum going with the Ladies Park Saddle World Championship next to entertain. This was a beautiful and talented class of park saddle horses going head to head, and when the dust had settled, Dawn Fire made a return trip to the winner’s circle. She had won this same title in 2007 with the highly decorated Erotic Dancer. This year her Peeper Ranch entry was Treble’s First Take (Liberation First Star x Take My Breath Away), the Ladies Park Saddle Mare Grand National Champion. Last year’s Ladies Park Saddle World Champion, Love Her Madly again enjoyed the Oklahoma stage when she paraded down the rail as the reserve world champion with Allyson Nord Wandtke in the irons representing Broadmoor and owner Cindy Nord. A winner in harness and under saddle earlier in the week, NDT French Impressionist was right in the mix with a third place finish in the good class; however, this time Patricia Lloyd was announced as the owner. Lloyd had just purchased French Impressionist from Sebring Stables barnmate Ann Hailey.

Following the Youth Of The Year Presentations, announcer Peter Fenton recognized photographer Howie Schatzberg’s 25 years as the Grand National’s official photographer. Showing their appreciation the audience rose to its feet and gave Schatzberg a great ovation.

Back to the action, three roadsters shifted gears in quest for the world title, and crossing the finish line in first was the Colorado team of MEM No Inhibitions and Bob Kellert for longtime roadster enthusiasts Ray and Alison Bendele to the delight of their jubilant fan club. With the 2009 grand championships from Southern States and Jubilee, Bill Hazen and the 2008 World Champion Dragonsmeade MaxMara made their share of world-class passes for reserve honors for the Peanut Gallery.

After another break in the action for the Silver Possibility grand prize drawing, the action was back underway. New England ruled the well-filled Ladies Amateur Hunter Pleasure World Championship, and ruling all week was the champion MEM Triple Sec. Four times Darlene White went to the ring with the daughter of 2009 Hunter Pleasure World Champion MEM Bailamos and the grand mare Star Lake Ellisa, and four times they left with the winning ribbon, two of them world championships under the direction of her husband, Jeff White. From the Sogoloff family’s Cedar Springs Farm, CBMF Cutting Edge and Julie Byrn made their way to the presentation area to pick up the trimmings of the reserve world champion for owners Jerold and Mary Jane Nau, who are also the owners of MEM Bailamos.

The water ran deep in the Pleasure Driving World Championship when eight entries with proven track records went at it. To win this one the entry had to have it together with every step as there was no room for error. In the end there was just one horse that had them all talking, and that was Fox Hollow Talk About Me (Whispering Whammunition x Cyderbay Chantilly by Merriehill Chicagoan) with Stan Bodnar on the lines. Coming into the championship with the gelding qualifying blue under his back pad, Talk About Me’s Saturday night pit crew was made up of sons Mark and Whitney Bodnar and good friend Rich Campbell. No one knew any of the three could jump so high or run as fast as they did to greet Stan in the winner’s circle. His road to the prestigious Oklahoma real estate was paved with three first place votes for a beaming Mark Staehnke and Redwood Partners. Following in reserve was Sammi Hazen with a bold drive on the lines of former Park Harness World Champion Will-O-Way Moment In Time, performing for PlayMor Farm.

There was just one left – class #249 the Park Saddle World Championship which attracted five leg-waving entries to the ring and it was game on. These five horses and riders were making every pass count and for the audience it was time cheer on their favorite. There was Andy Marlett on the high-going and beautiful Queen’s Starfire. Nobody rides harder or smarter than Jenny Taylor and she put on another riding clinic aboard the prized stallion Stonecroft Trilogy. Last year’s world grand champion, SpiceOLife Present Tense, was back to defend his title but he had a new jockey. Bert Earehart had been asked to catch-ride on this night and everyone was watching to see how he would handle that pressure-packed ride. ECP Scandalous and Kate Vieyra enjoyed the Oklahoma stage by carrying the colors of The River’s Edge. Brian Hadley aboard an extremely gifted Briar Oaks Good Vibrations rounded out the field.

Following the second way canter, the five were asked for a second trot, and again they reached deep to leave it all in the ring before conformation judging took place. When the saddles had been replaced, the final world champion of 2009 was ready to be announced. Finishing off what had to be a show of a lifetime for Memory Lane Farm, Jenny Taylor and Stonecroft Trilogy (Stonecroft Masquerade x Ladybird Command) were crowned the unanimous Park Saddle World Grand Champions for Stonecroft Farm. Co-owner/breeder John Scheidt was front row, on the 50 yard line and he jumped to his feet to salute the performance Taylor and Trilogy had given. They received a great ovation on the way to the winner’s circle.

Reserve to the champion was SpiceOLife Present Tense and Bert Earehart who had delivered a great ride for owner David James Walker and trainer Diane Conrady. The audience also showed lots of love for third place finisher Queen’s Starfire and Andy Marlett representing Wild Rose Ranch.

On the way back to the barn following her spotlight victory pass, Jenny Taylor exclaimed, "Well, that was fun!"

Right she was. It had been a fun week for all!

Performance Arena

After eight days of wonderful equitation competition, the final four world championships were decided on Saturday in the performance arena. Starting off the afternoon, 16 riders were on hand to vie for the Senior Saddle Seat Equitation World Championship honors. The judges selected eight riders to perform the challenging workout: Maggie Cramer, Anya Pierson, Kelsey Robinson, Heather Mallette, Annie Thurber, Rachel Menard, Tayler Walters and Lyssa Bomgaars.

In 2008 Annie Thurber closed out a phenomenal season as the junior world champion, and in 2009 matched with a new partner, Upper Echelon. In her first season in the senior division, Thurber reached new heights. With polish and precision on the rail and an outstanding pattern, Annie Thurber claimed the world championship honors under proud trainer/instructor Katie Mair’s tutelage. Adding to an amazing 2009 season including a spot on Team Morgan, the unanimous AMHA Gold Medal and most recently the UPHA Senior Challenge Cup victory, Rachel Menard earned the reserve honors in the world championship class, coached by Nikki Rae Woodworth.

Sixteen more talented young riders were on hand to compete for the Saddle Seat Classic Equitation World Championship. This time the judges selected five riders to perform the pattern designed for this competition: Audrey Lowry, Cheyenne Banks-Diaz, Julia Strier, Madilyn Boyert and Amelia Coomber. The California entries continued to leave a lasting impression upon this year’s Grand National when Amelia Coomber rode away with the world championship honors in her first trip to Oklahoma as she matched up with Stonecroft Make A Wish to make her wish come true under the direction of Anne Speck. Audrey Lowry had an outstanding pattern matched with Cabot Carte Blanche to add the reserve world championship to her list of show ring accomplishments with proud parents Jim and Fay Lowry cheering her on.

The Junior Saddle Seat Equitation World Championship featured what many felt to be the deepest and most outstanding competition this division has ever seen. From a field of 15, the judges selected six riders to perform the workout. They were Mattie Frances Willard, Alexandra Frangiosa, Courteney Kabel, Cameron Kay, Angelica Berning and Claire Brownie. Matching her UPHA Junior Challenge Cup victory from the previous day, Angelica Berning claimed the world championship with another unanimous decision. Paired with Festival Troubadour, she rounded out an incredible show. It was another amazing performance for the riders of Anne Speck’s Rancho Del Mar when Claire Brownie joined her stablemate on victory lane as the reserve world champion. Brownie turned in a focused ride on Futurity Chicago White Sox to add the reserve tricolor to her qualifier win to start the week.

Wrapping up the equitation competition, 13 young riders entered the ring for the Walk-Trot Saddle Seat Classic Equitation World Championship. In her first trip to Oklahoma, Kayce Reiner won her first world championship aboard Festival Gypsy. Reiner is another of the outstanding young California riders who so impressed this year’s judges with Frank and Ann Miller preparing this winning combination. Clara Maxam celebrated the reserve world championship performance matched with Marathon’s Electrafire under the Sterling Training Center banner.

The hard work and determination of all of the equitation riders showed as they completed eight days of fabulous competition in all seats and age groups with their wonderful Morgan horses.

Show Arena 8

The reining competition continued to delight with the Reining Snaffle Bit/Hackamore World Championship starting things off on Saturday morning. The outstanding four-year-old W’s Mesquite Ridge and Monty Bruce scored the tricolor honors for the second year in a row for Lou Ellen Williams and Thomas Filipek to close out a fantastic show. Nantucket Sound and Pat Mitchell earned reserve honors with an exciting ride for owner Andrew Brown.

Katie Knudsen earned the AMHA Reining Seat Gold Medal Finals as she displayed her skills aboard AMCF Jelly Bean. Sydney Salerno scored the reserve in the medal class aboard AMCF Justa Jiggalow. Salermo returned in the next class to also claim the reserve honors in the Reining Green Rider Finals behind Kena Haun and Universal New Dream, who claimed the victory with the top score.

The afternoon session showcased the interesting work put together by the contenders for the free style reining competition. Travis Filipek and W Nuggets Rebels Are We made a clean get-away with top honors in their wonderfully choreographed performance. They bested the four competitors to claim the Non-Pro Free Style Finals. Katie Knudsen earned a reserve finish here for her performance with AMCF Jelly Bean.

The Open Free Style Finals had two top entries with Monty Bruce directing R-Two Top Dollar to the win for owner Sharlene Anderson. Jo Ann Ace directed her own W’s Ready to Rumble to the reserve honors with a crowd-pleasing performance.

More Stories

  • A Memorable First Trip To Oklahoma

    Taylor Ladd arrived in Oklahoma to compete for the first time this year, but she had the success of a seasoned veteran. The walk-trot rider left the fairgrounds with two World Championships, one Reserve World Championship, and three Grand National titles under the direction of Taylor River Farm. Read More
  • Highlights from Morgan Grand National

    Enjoy the victory passes and interviews from Oklahoma City on ReporTV! Read More
  • REPORT Leaderboard MGN FINAL

    It's official! The REPORT Leaderboard for the 2017 Morgan Grand National and World Championship Horse Show is final. Wow!  All the hard work all year really paid off! Congratulations to all the winners - blue ribbon and otherwise!

     

    Read More
  • Interview at Sterling Training Center

    In the interview that follows, trainer Katie Mair and owners Mary and Natalie Golota share their thoughts following Katie's win with As Predicted GCH at the Morgan Grand National.  Read More
  • Interview at Cater Stables

    In the interview that follows, trainer Kristen Cater and proud owner Lila Tater share their thoughts following Kristen's victory in Hunter Pleasure with Epona's Mo'O Lio GCH at Morgan Grand National.  Read More
  • Interview at Fire Stables Equestrian

    In the interview that follows, Elaine Galatz, Hannah McBain, Phil Fountain and Julianne Rafferty of Fire Stables Equestrian share their thoughts following a successful Morgan Grand National. Read More
  • REPORT Leaderboard MGN Thru Friday

    With only Saturday's finale performances to go, here's how the blue ribbon counts go in the REPORT Leaderboard through end of day Friday, October 13. Read More
  • A Family Bond

    The Youth of the Year contest tests the skills of young equestrian each year at the Morgan Grand National. Selina Cloutier had the honor of winning this prestigious competition in 1998, and this year, her daughter Clea is competing for the same title. Read More
  • Another Record Breaking Performance

    Morgan Grand National fans were treated to a history making performance on Thursday afternoon as Arcadia, Oklahoma resident Chloe Farischon became the first junior exhibitor to win the World Champion Four-Year-Old English Pleasure title. Read More
  • REPORT Leaderboard MGN Thru Thursday

    It's coming down to the wire and the competition is so close. Check out the REPORT Leaderboard standings as of Thursday, October 12. Read More