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National Championship Competition From Top To Bottom - Part one



Five-Gaited

The cast of grand performers in the five-gaited competition gave this division the prominence due that of a National Championship. The field was replete with world's champions as well as a few surprises. The Five-Gaited National Championship provided the audience and the competitors with a great finish to the season. Master of ceremonies Peter Fenton introduced each of the seven entries upon their entrance into the green shavings of Kemper Arena and concluded with a dramatic reverse pinning. Just as they had been the final two champions crowned at Louisville, CH Boucheron and CH Callaway's Forecaster stood alone as the final champions of the 2004 season.

2004 will long be remembered for the reemergence of CH Boucheron and the Kansas City audience got the chance to watch the buoyant chestnut cap a storybook season. Rob Byers and Boucheron returned to the winner’s circle of the Royal as the unanimous Five-Gaited National Champion for Mrs. T.T. Groub and her family. In 1997, Boucheron's four-year-old season, he also won the American Royal Five-Gaited Grand Championship after being crowned the Junior Five-Gaited World’s Grand Champion a few months earlier. This victory finished off the Five-Gaited Triple Crown for the dynamic Shamrock Santana son who also topped Tuesday evening's exciting 11 entry gelding class in unanimous fashion.

This was clearly a battle of titans as 2003 World’s Grand Champion and National Champion CH Callaway's Forecaster put on a bold and brilliant performance to the appreciation of his many fans. It was truly a battle of great champions and great ringmanship by Nancy Leigh Fisher and Forecaster garnered the reserve honors in the championship as well as the gelding class.

Tuesday night's Will Shriver Five-Gaited Stallion Stake featured CH Superior's Successor and Merrill Murray scoring a unanimous victory for Joan Hammond. They turned up the jets on Saturday night to earn the third place finish and strong crowd support. Kenny Smith took over the reins of Mahvalous Asset and put in a strong show of athleticism for the white ribbon for Tom and Jeanne Pettry. The elegance of 2002 champion My Chanel continued to shine with Lonnie Quarles presenting in the fifth spot for Fox Grape Farms, Inc. The parade of top ribbon winners continued with Your Eminence and Jerry Hutson in sixth for Dr. and Mrs. Louis Johnson followed by the purple ribbon for Callaway's Blackbeard and Don Harris for Rick Cook.

The Will Shriver Five-Gaited Stallion Stake was the first of the trio of Tuesday night qualifiers with CH Superior's Successor and Merrill Murray securing the blue for the second year in a row. Misdee Wrigley had the chance to watch her promising Lakeview's Rare-A-Phi and Larry Hodge perform for the reserve. Martin Cockriel made his annual trip to Kansas City and followed with the yellow ribbon on the dynamic High On Champagne.

The Five-Gaited Mare competition closed out the Tuesday evening session with a barn-burner especially considering there was just a pair of entries. But, these two entries put on a show that had them all talking when the gate closed for the final time on Tuesday night. While the name Red Hot And Bothered may not have been well known when the class began, her performance with Clark Clouse changed all that when she scored a major victory in this class displaying five-gaited brilliance and athleticism earning the blue ribbon for Justin Clouse. Their competition came in the form of the multi-titled Undulata's Georgie Girl given a bold ride by Debbie Foley for Debbie Gabbert.

The team of Title Bound and Misdee Wrigley seemed to gel in front of the eyes of the Kemper Arena audience with their unanimous Tuesday morning performance in the 10 entry Ladies Five-Gaited Geldings. The ground-covering bay gave his perfectly matched owner plenty to smile about as they wrapped up the title of Ladies Five-Gaited National Champions to highlight the Friday evening session for Kalarama Farm. This was no walk in park as the class was every bit the National Championship it was billed to be. It wasn't hard to tell that the racking and trotting dynamo know as Callaway's Born To Win and Gayle Lampe were the hometown favorites as their fans followed them around the arena with a wave of enthusiastic applause. They responded with a pair of charismatic reserve rides in this fabulous division.

Amy Dix Rock was back in the irons of her well named Amusing as they stepped up with a top ride for the yellow ribbon on Friday night. Sarah Byers stepped in on Tuesday to guide the Santana's Charm daughter to a repeat unanimous win in the ladies mares. Summer Sweet and Ann MacMurray Cox returned to the site of their team debut just a year ago to collect the white ribbon on Friday night. After a reserve finish in the ladies mares, CH Jaunty Janette and Vickie Byrd challenged for the fifth place spot in this memorable class with Time Well Spent and Barbara Goodman Manilow following with a bold ride for the green ribbon.

The Amateur Five-Gaited National Championship was a particularly memorable class from start to finish. A grand field of 13 answered the sound of the horn with the fast-paced action narrowing down to a pair of the breed's elite performers. Following unanimous wins in their qualifiers Swish and Carol Hillenbrand from the stallion/gelding and Boo! with Barbara Goodman Manilow from the mares, the battle was on with both teams making fabulous shows in pursuit of the coveted title.

When the tabulations had been made, it was amateur world’s grand champion Swish and Carol Hillenbrand who returned to the winner's circle to repeat their victory of a year ago which set the stage for an undefeated first full season in 2004. Prior to the victory pass, announcer Peter Fenton gained the full attention of Kemper Arena as he announced that this victory was dedicated to the memory of John Zurik and Brennan Baumer, two members of the Biggins Stable family and the Saddlebred community whose recent passings have saddened us all.

With strong support from the audience, the brilliant Obenauf Stables’ team of Boo! and Barbara Goodman Manilow emerged with the reserve tricolor for Charles Goodman. Misdee Wrigley and her squad of impressive bays closed out the show with a strong third place showing by Kalarama's Co-Ed following the reserve ride in the amateur mares.

Continuing the ribbons in this deep championship round, Roseridge's Gold and Doug Lindstrom stepped up with a solid performance for the white streamers. Completing a most promising first season together, Vicki Reed and Feel The Thunder collected the pink ribbon in this great class following the second place finish in the 12 entry amateur stallion/gelding qualifier. The parade of championship ribbon winners continued with Already Famous and Luanne Kilday in sixth, followed by Meet Your Match and Autumn Hunt for the purple ribbon. The always competitive Daddy-O and Andrea Nelson finished in eighth.

Debbie Foley has a knack for matching a top riding junior exhibitor with one of her top performing horses to make a winning combination. At the American Royal, the combination to beat was Caramac's Big Ticket and Tate Bennett performing for Huffman Horses, LLC. Chalk up another successful match as they collected the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited National Championship over a top field of 10 following the reserve ribbon in the 15-17 qualifier. The world titled team of CH Chandler and Lisa McClaren closed out a fabulous junior exhibitor career with their reserve tricolor ride after visiting the winner's circle in the 15-17 competition to represent Country Meadow Farm.

Sarah Sessoms enjoyed a great week at the Royal including her third place championship finish with CH Asset's And Attitude for proud grandmother Pat Moore. The Talk Of Lexington made a winning move to the junior exhibitor division with Kelsey Price doing the honors for the 14 and under blue as well as the championship white ribbon for Morri and Wendy Irvin. The team of Diamond's Hope and Sarah Longworth trotted away with the reserve honors for Teri Longworth in the younger age group.

The Five-Gaited Pony Stake was a fine new addition to the Saturday evening schedule as 11-year-old Alexa McWilliams made history as the first winner of the title with her charismatic Callaway's Exception To The Rule. This entertaining Premier Stables combination scored the unanimous tricolor victory following a blue ribbon ride in the qualifier. The dynamic world's champion duo of CH Sammyshine and Cydni Simmons closed out a fabulous season with a pair of reserve titles under the Cape Cod banner.

The Junior Five-Gaited ended the Friday evening session on a high note with 15 promising performers vying for the blue ribbon honors along with the Grand National added prize money. When the tabulations had been made it was the lovely CH Heir To Champagne daughter Heir's Sugar 'N Spice WRF who made the trip down victory lane with Sonny Sutton in the irons for Libby Mathers. It was a battle to the finish as each of the second, third and fourth places horses had a first place vote from the judging panel. The flashy Freaky Links and Matt Shiflet turned in a bold performance for the reserve honors for Emily Hess. The charismatic Buck's Co-Star daughter Lakeview's Rare Lady and Merrill Murray picked up the yellow ribbon for Lakeview Farms. Shame On You and Lonnie Quarles entertained for the fourth place finish for Maguire Hall.

The 10 entry Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited class featured a unanimous victory for Undulata's Prophet and Debbie Foley as they claimed the victory for Tim Shallcross. The crowd gave a rousing send off to the ground covering Attache's Crown Royal and Mary Marcum Orr as they collected the reserve ribbon for Margaret Byrd under the Cash Lovell Stables banner.

It was an open and shut case for Callaway's Case Closed and Wyatt DeHart as they scored the unanimous victory in the Two-Year-Old Five-Gaited for Linda and Ronald Shields. High Times Top Choice and Martin Teater put in a strong bid with their reserve performance for Patricia Misko.

The awarding of the Tom Bass Memorial Missouri-Kansas Five-Gaited Stake featured a unanimous victory for Absolute Starheart with John Wallen in the irons for Don Schilling and Jan Burden. This followed their red ribbon in the qualifier where the impressive four-year-old Harley Rally was partnered with Kelly Hulse for a victorious ride in their performance for James Orr. The Missouri-Kansas Five-Gaited Mares winning team of Kalahari and Kirk Osburg finished up with the reserve tricolor performance. Lisa Hillmer-Pope warmed up Ya Ya Sister for owner Kristine Gonzalez with the red ribbon ride in the mare class.

The Missouri-Kansas Five-Gaited Amateur/Junior Exhibitor featured a tricolor repeat for An Heir Of Magic and Rachel Kufeldt. With white legs pumping, they scored the unanimous tricolor following a blue ribbon ride in the qualifier directed by Sonny Sutton. Reedann's Steppin Out and Karen Coup stepped up for the reserve tricolor ride in this competitive field. Following a reserve tie in the nine entry qualifier, Swatch Watch and Jessica Savinelli brought the yellow ribbon from the championship back to William Woods University.

Three-Gaited

The three-gaited division was outstanding throughout. The high concentration of world's champions set the stage for some phenomenal competition which began bright and early with both open qualifiers on Tuesday afternoon. While last year's schedule was said to be too light in the beginning, this year that was anything but the case. The over 15.2 class got things started with That's Chicago and Todd Miles posting a unanimous win for Mary Jane Fredrickson. The 11 entry class was deep and entertaining with New England well represented by the reserve performance of Sightline with Rob Turner piloting for Holli Ciardiello.

The excitement was raised another notch just five classes later when the 15.2 and under class was called to the ring. A trio of world's champion mares vied for three-gaited supremacy as An Heir About Her showed what makes the Supreme Heir daughter the standard of perfection with a unanimous victory. Chris Reiser was again in the irons for Steve Hanes. Just as they had in Louisville, CH Rejoice and John Field followed in reserve for Dr. and Mrs. Donald Petit. Audrey Hepburn added her beauty and style to this magnificent class with the third place finish with Ray Krussell aboard for Dr. Morgan Wolin.

This set the stage for Saturday night's Three-Gaited National Championship where a field of seven surpassed the numbers with many of the same players as that of the 2004 Three-Gaited World's Grand Championship. It was a magnificent class on the rail, and with the entries lined up to be stripped, announcer/master of ceremonies Peter Fenton moved from his center ring podium to follow the judges surveying conformation while announcing each entry to the appreciative crowd. This was indeed a National Championship!

When the cards were tabulated, it was time to proclaim An Heir About Her as the undisputed unanimous Three-Gaited National Champion. This victory completed the first "Triple Crown" of the evening as this victory capped those won at Lexington and Louisville by this magnificent mare. Chris Reiser and Steve Hanes had the opportunity to enjoy one more spotlight victory with An Heir About Her. Just as they had followed in reserve just three months earlier in a different arena filled with green shavings, CH Rejoice and John Field again garnered the reserve tricolor.

The grand lineup also featured a third place finish for the newly trimmed Sunshine Way guided by Lisa Strickland for Julie Hambrick. Sightline and Rob Turner finished out an outstanding season for Holli Ciardiello with the white ribbon. Highland Cavalier and Bob Griffin followed their winning three-gaited debut at Wisconsin Futurity with the pink ribbon for Bonnie Kegley. Cadillac Spirit and Jerry Hutson trotted into sixth for the Mattingly family's Diamond Five Farms. I'm Sky High continues to show moments of greatness as Gary Garone guided him to the purple ribbon for Rick Daigle.

Pas De Deux enjoyed a successful defense of the Ladies Three-Gaited National Championship with a bright performance directed by Sarah Byers for Louis and Rose Marie Fernandez. Misdee Wrigley and her troop of beautiful and talented bays included the finely sculpted Callaway's Merry Go Round. They scored the first round victory in the ladies over 15.2 over a field of eight before finishing off with the reserve tricolor trading places with Pas De Deux.

Audrey Hepburn and Dr. Morgan Wolin teamed up for a repeat victory in the Ladies Three-Gaited 15.2 Hands and Under as they turned in the unanimous ride under the Ray Krussell Stable banner. They were followed by the dazzling chestnut Scarlet Evening paired with Susan Olcott under the Milligan Stables banner.

In just one season together, Callaway's Sugarplum and Barbara Goodman Manilow have become the standard of perfection as they finished the season in unanimous undefeated fashion in Kansas City. Richard Obenauf directed them to the Amateur Three-Gaited National Championship over an impressive field of nine following their over 15.2 victory. Four-year-old Callaway's Halley's Comet and Jessica Curl finished off the first year of what promises to be a great partnership with two outstanding performances in Kansas City. Brenda Benner directed the well-matched pair to a unanimous win in the amateur 15.2 and under followed by the Amateur Three-Gaited Reserve National Championship for Ann Curl.

The championship field featured a third place finish for the brilliant pairing of Sold Out Show and Deborah Jahn. Firecracker Jack and Vicki Reed garnered the reserve finish in the over 15.2 on the way to the white ribbon in the championship. Carolina's Top Gun and Joan Cantrell enjoyed a season filled with many triumphs as they concluded with the reserve tie in the 15.2 and under followed by the fifth place finish in the outstanding championship field.

The Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited National Championship was indeed a championship of epic proportions. In a 17 horse field with phenomenal champion horses and riders, one team stood out above all others. The fact that this team was performing at just their second show and the rider shows as a 12-year-old seems almost impossible, unless you know that the partnership is that of CH Blackberry Delight and Rachel Machamer. This is the horse that has done it all in every division with each rider, driver and trainer who has had the good fortune to be associated with him. Rachel Machamer is not only fortunate to be the rider to introduce him to the junior exhibitor division, she is also a talented world's champion rider in her own right. Their partnership is pure magic as they showed with unanimous victories in the championship as well as the 11 entry, 14 and under class with current trainers Andy and Lynda Freseth as well as new trainers Bill and Lisa Waller cheering them on.

Champions just a year ago with a breakthrough performance, Heir To A Star and Kristen Koenig looked sharp for the reserve tricolor performance after collecting the red ribbon in the 15-17. Renee Zubrod closed out her junior exhibitor career with a pair of great catch rides aboard Noksus DeVosia. Martin Teater directed them to the 15-17 win as well as the yellow ribbon in the championship for Kathleen Zimmerman. The list of impressive ribbon winners in the championship also featured Callaway's Gold Reserve and Betty Cox, Callaway's Buttons & Bows and Melissa Milligan, CH Sportster and Kate Bryan, CH Callaway's Coraleen and Brittany McGinnis (reserve from the 14 & under), and China Ling with Ashlinn Thommes.

The Three-Gaited Ponies took their rightful place on the American Royal schedule with Brittany McGinnis again making history as she guided Simbara's Audacity to the inaugural victories in the qualifier and championship. They earned the honors for Fish Creek Stables LLC under the DeLovely banner. It was a battle of world titled performers as Lost Token and Yasmin Wazir matched up for the reserve honors in both classes.

The Junior Three-Gaited saw the 2003 UPHA Three-Gaited Classic Grand Champion I'm A Hot Ticket return to Kansas City for more honors. Jackie Tanner had the scintillating Periaptor son marching for the unanimous victory for owner/breeder Joan Macfarlane. Memories' Chateau Latour and Lana Moore Gilpin matched up for the reserve title for Larry Gilpin, LVG Stables, LLC.

Simple Ways and Mark Hulse knew just the way to finish off a great season as they trotted down victory lane with the unanimous Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited victory for new owners Leslie and Jeff Hartigan. It's usually not a good thing when the trainer misses her flight and can't show her horse. However, when your husband and co-owner is Don Harris, it's really not such a bad thing. While Judy Harris wouldn't have given up her ride by choice, Don Harris was more than willing to take over the reins of Callaway's Born A Star for the reserve finish.

There usually isn't a crowd around the in gate for the second class on Thursday morning, but all that changed when "The Talk of Louisville 2004" is showing. New York's Perfect Gift (I’m A New Yorker x CH Undulata’s Perfect Gift ERB) met the advance billing as John Biggins guided him to the unanimous Two-Year-Old Three-Gaited victory for Betsy Thomas. There was one more gift in store as Biggins dismounted in the winner's circle to give assistant Tricia Pratt the unforgettable thrill of riding New York's Perfect Gift down victory lane with Howie Schatzberg capturing the moment on film. Not to be overlooked, Clark Clouse had a promising performer in the reserve entry of Sun Moon & Stars for Elmo Greer.

The Missouri-Kansas Three-Gaited Stake saw the top two entries swap places from the 15.2 and under qualifier. Our Red BMW and Rachalle Stezovsky put on a bright showing to garner the tricolor for Jean Graefe. The qualifier winning team of My Sweet E-Motion and Brenda Benner collected the reserve tricolor for Mike Heidy and Megan Truitt. Sonny Sutton started off a blue ribbon week with a solo showing aboard Sunshine 'N Lollipops in the over 15.2 class for Dr. Ronald and Lori Baker.

Callaway's Sunday Edit and Dawn Fire made Kansas City headlines as they earned the Missouri-Kansas Amateur Three-Gaited Stake for the second year in a row. They added the unanimous tricolor to the Peeper Ranch banner. Walterway's All Star and Natalie Stezovsky picked up the reserve honors in the qualifier and championship for Holly and Don Beineman. My Elegance On Parade and Chris Kaplan had the winning number in the 11 entry qualifier as they carried the blue ribbon back to the Mike Roberts banner.

New York Style and Lynda Freseth took over the ring with power and style as they swept the Three-Gaited Park Stake in unanimous fashion after the winning ride in the 12 entry qualifier. This was their final victorious ride for Guy and Karen Smith as Maguire Hall will take over the reins of this emerging star in 2005. The 2003 UPHA Park/Pleasure Classic Grand Champion, Nurse Goodbody stepped up with the big kids in 2004. Her polish and good looks continue to make her a standout as Rob Byers guided to the reserve honors in both outings for Bruce and Pamela Milligan.

CH A Step Of Time and Luanne Kilday put a unanimous exclamation point on an undefeated season as they marched to the winner's circle for the Amateur Three-Gaited Park blue and tricolor where they were met by winning trainer Debbie Foley. Callaway's Smart Angle and Emily Hess stepped up with an outstanding ride to earn the reserve tricolor finish for Southwood Partners LLC directed by Fairfield South. The 16 entry qualifier saw CH Matching Spirit and Kelly Williamson ride up for reserve honors for Bonnie Kegley.

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