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National Championship Competition From Top To Bottom - Part two

Fine Harness

The Fine Harness National Championship opened the final session of the 2004 show season with an amazing level of energy that continued through the next dozen classes that put an exclamation point on a sensational season. Speaking of sensational, Gone Platinum hit the top of the charts with his sensational performance to earn the Fine Harness National Championship. John Conatser had Mary Sally Aylward's scintillating black Periaptor son in high order to march away with the title to begin yet another tricolor evening for Carriage Lane Farm. The competition in this class was fantastic with the lovely and talented winner of the ladies class, CH Kalarama's New Sensation, matched up with Lynda Freseth for a commanding reserve performance for Guy and Karen Smith.

The Amateur Fine Harness National Championship featured six of the nation's most decorated performers vying for top honors. It was a wide open affair with evenly matched competition in the eyes of the three judges who each found a different first place entry. Mary Sally Aylward finished off a tricolor show with her trio of fantastic entries as Metro Heirea was crowned the champion. This followed their amateur qualifier winning performance directed by John Conatser.

Just as Candle Dan and Metro Heirea battled for the National Championship honors in the open division just a year ago, they were back to vie in the amateur division this year. Candle Dan and Carl Nichols closed out a season in which they earned their first world's championship by adding the reserve honors here with a pair of stellar showings prepared by Bill and Lisa Waller. Harlem's Santa Fe and Susan Bartlett put on an elegant showing to garner the yellow ribbon with a first place vote after starting the week with the reserve finish in the exceptional ladies class.

The Social Butterfly enjoyed her coming out party in Kansas City as she left the West coast behind to garner rave reviews with Bret Day on the lines for Jeffrey Fetzer. The six entry Fine Harness Mares saw the Local Hero daughter earn top honors and a strong crowd response. An outstanding field of six also featured the Lexington mare winner Tornaado's Tidal Wave and Mike Roberts in reserve for Wes Sorenson.

The Fine Harness Stallions & Geldings saw the white trimmed Unzipped turn in a winning exhibition with Jan Burden on the lines for Lindy Totta. Unzipped was the second get of Unlisted to visit the American Royal winner's circle.

Frontline and Anna Marie Knipp were in the front-line when the awards were handed out in the Missouri-Kansas Fine Harness Stake. The blue ribbon team from High Spirits Farm had some outstanding competition including two-time defending champion Ah! What A Night driven to the reserve finish by Cindy Sutherland for Wes Sorenson.

The Junior Fine Harness competition featured a strong field of seven and it was more than luck that landed I'm A Lucky Charm in the winner's circle. Mike Roberts guided the beautifully cadenced Santana's Charm son to the victory for new owner Wes Sorenson. It's Double O'Deuce made a powerful showing with Dr. Alan Raun on the lines as the son of It's Hammertime added to a fine season for SGF Winning Ways Farm. Day's Grecian Gray attracted a strong following with his color and style as Smith Lilly handled the lines of Delores Barker's entry for the third place finish in this outstanding group of youngsters.

Platinum's First Asset again proved to have the winning assets as the Trust Fund daughter collected the Three-Year-Old Fine Harness blue. The two-time world's champion closed out the season in winning style with Tom Sworm on the lines for Alan DeVore. Mystic Pointe and Bret Day provided Keith and Sally Kurz with a memorable week as the reserve performers in the three-year-old class. They had already won an additional $10,000 in prize money from the UPHA Fine Harness Classic Championship by being a consignment from the UPHA Classics Incentive Sale just two years ago.

A promising field of seven entertained the audience in the Two-Year-Old Fine Harness competition. They were not only competing for top honors but the added Grand National prize money as well. Rick Wallen had Aurora's Asset bridled up and looking like a champ to earn top honors for Albert Kelm. They have been successful throughout the Midwest all season long. Jay and Jean Wood were pleased with their rising star The Paper Princess JJW as the home-bred Supreme Heir daughter performed for reserve honors guided by Jay Wood.

Roadster Horse and Pony

The American Royal audience came to life with enthusiastic cheers for the roadster competition. The speedy entries and their game drivers more than made up for the uncharacteristically light numbers in many of the classes. There was a head to head battle to the finish line in the Roadster Horse to Bike National Championship. Main Man DDR closed out a memorable debut season in the show ring as the champion with Merrill Murray displaying the winning racing stripes. This bold performing duo started off in the winner's circle with their first of two unanimous showings in Tuesday night's qualifier. Valiant and Danette Musselman were valiant indeed as they gave it their all to earn a pair of reserves for Alliance Stud.

Danette Musselman jockeyed for position in the Roadster Horse Under Saddle competition as Lady Hawke blew across the finish line in blue ribbon fashion for Alliance Stud. High Velocity and Lauren Greenwald matched up for another exciting performance for SGF Winning Ways Farm LTD as they collected the red streamers.

Judy McNeish proved invincible in the Roadster Horse to Wagon Championship once again this year. Last year it was Free Agent and McNeish who carried the top honors back to DeLovely; this time McNeish headed for the doctor on the lines of Invincible Summer to earn the tricolor following the qualifier blue. The African Queen and Brad Bacon displayed style and speed for the reserve honors in both outings.

The Amateur Roadster To Bike competition featured another head to head battle between Judy McNeish and Brad Bacon. This time Bacon was on the lines of his world's champion partner Delorenzo while McNeish was catch-driving Muddy Waters. It was a perfect pairing by Danette Musselman as Muddy Waters and Judy McNeish rounded the turn and headed home to Alliance Stud with the blue ribbon and tricolor honors in this entertaining division. Delorenzo and Brad Bacon earned the applause of their fan club as they collected the reserve honors.

The Roadster Pony National Championship featured another victorious display of speed and showmanship by Calvin Hobbs. Andy Freseth had the 2003 UPHA Classic Champion in tip top shape to return to Kemper Arena for the tricolor honors as well as the qualifier blue in unanimous fashion for Priscilla Gise. Mary Campbell's brightly colored silks drew the audience to her and game partner Heartland Memory. They put on a daring display to garner the reserve tricolor honors following the third place finish in the amateur qualifier. Thunder & Lightning and Rick Wallen put on another brilliant showing to earn the reserve honors in the open qualifier for Denise Steinhauer.

Mike Schallock is having the time of his life on the lines of his newest roadster pony dynamo Seamair Strutter. Rick Wallen directed this crowd-pleasing duo to the Amateur Roadster Pony National Championship after a unanimous victory in the nine entry qualifier. They had their work cut out for them as last year's winning team of Heartland Sundust and Mary Gise were in hot pursuit to hold onto their top billing. It was a race to the finish as Sundust was awarded the reserve honors this time out with strong support from his cheering section for owner Priscilla Gise.

The winning Heartland team also included three-year-old world's champion Heartland Carolee. She sped away with the Junior/Novice Roadster Pony blue for Darrel Kolkman’s Heartland Hackney and trainer Rich Campbell. Bill and Lisa Waller coached Lone Star and Kathryn Nichols to the reserve finish in the opening class of the Saturday morning session.

Whims and Wishes and Chelsea Simon took a trip to the winner's circle in Kemper Arena where they were greeted by Mike Richardson following their victorious drive in the Junior Exhibitor Roadster Pony competition for Robert and Kim Grom. Thunderation and Meredithe Steinhauer added the reserve finish to the Rick Wallen banner for Denise Steinhauer.

Jeff Vogel was on the lines of Boxford Courageous Spirit to race away with the Missouri-Kansas Roadster Pony victory for Max and Chris Kaplan. Bling Bling was a bright and flashy reserve with Jimmy Miller on the lines for Gary Dickherber.

Hackney and Harness Ponies

The 2004 National Championship competition featured the lion's share of 2004 world's champions in a competition where quality ruled in spite of less than stellar support in terms of quantity. Mary Gaylord McClean and Golden Creek Farm continued their strong support of The American Royal with Open and Amateur World's Champions Shake Don't Stir and Joan Jett respectively dominating the Harness Pony competition once again. They each swept their qualifiers and championships in unanimous fashion. Conqueror's Colleen LF and Mary Ellen Golich captured the reserve open tricolor for Beaux Reves Farm.

Nacho Mama and Christy Weaver Gantley turned in a stellar showing to earn the Ladies Harness Pony victory on the way to the amateur reserve championship. Seamair Spectacular earned a pair of strong reserves as co-owner Frank Boyd handled the lines in the amateur qualifier while Tabitha Ireland guided the Gib Marcucci trained pony in the ladies competition.

Lisa Waller directed Dun-Haven Pure Elegance down victory lane with a lovely drive in the Junior/Novice Harness Pony competition for Kathryn Nichols after taking the reserve streamers in the open class. Debbie Foley was in the viceroy of the animated Boxford Bobbi Socks for the reserve finish in the junior/novice class for Tom Caisse.

Darrel Kolkman continues to set the standard with the spectacular Hackney ponies he has raised. Heartland High Tech is continuing the list as the three-year-old stallion followed his UPHA Classic Grand Championship win on Thursday night by returning to the ring on Saturday night to be crowned the Hackney Pony National Champion. Many time world's champion Fancy Ribbons added to her fancy collection of ribbons as Marilyn Macfarlane guided the Burning Tree Farm entry to the reserve tricolor following the reserve finish in the qualifier presented by Randi Wightman. The open qualifier featured a sensational unanimous winning performance by Mary Campbell and her sleek black Nabucco.

A son of the recently deceased world’s grand champion Cherry’s Dream Boy, Royal Canadian and Muffy Sweeney Ernster were matched to perfection to drive away with the Amateur Hackney Pony National Championship. Gib Marcucci directed them to the winning performance in the ladies class after starting off with the red ribbon in the amateur qualifier. Former Classic Grand Champion Heartland Elise and Mary Gaylord McClean added the blue ribbon along with the reserve tricolor from the amateur hackney pony division to the Golden Creek Farm banner. Heartland Ringmaster and Randi Wightman matched up for a sparkling performance for the yellow ribbon in the championship following the reserve drive in the ladies class.

Heartland Summer Storm and Beth Campbell made a bright solo showing to bring an American Royal blue ribbon home to Betty and Warren Featherston in the Junior/Novice Hackney Pony.

The Hollow Haven cheering section was the place to be on Saturday afternoon as they helped send five of their team members to the winner's circle featuring a trio of three-peats. Bob and Nancy Anderson got the ball rolling for Team Hollow Haven. Just two classes after Nancy Anderson scored a unanimous National Championship, Bob Anderson repeated the feat with his fabulous Pacifico's Standing Ovation. This dapper duo earned the Hackney Pony Pleasure Driving Championship for the third year in a row after earning the qualifier blue over a grand field of champions for Brown-Anderson Farms Ltd. They had outstanding competition in both classes with Early Edition and Jane Mueller putting on two polished performances for the reserve honors.

Paul Pippin and Portrait Of A Lady got off to a winning start as they collected the Junior Exhibitor Hackney Pony Pleasure Driving blue on their way to a tricolor finish in the AHHS Medallion later in the week. The west coast was proudly represented by the reserve team of Callisto and Aliyah Asch.

Show and Country Pleasure

The pleasure classes were filled with the depth befitting National Championship competition with many of the season's top winning teams coming together for the season finale. The Friday afternoon session closed out with the Five-Gaited Show Pleasure National Championship which was also a Grand National prize money added class. Sixteen top teams headed into the green shavings with a National Championship in sight.

Sarah Sessoms had all of her good-luck charms in place, but in the end she needed only one. That would be her wonderful partner CH Peppermint Sonburst. When the competition gets deep, this grand mare rises to the occasion as she proved once again in helping Sarah Sessoms to become the youngest Five-Gaited Pleasure National Champion rider. Their tricolor performance was followed by a victory celebration at Matt and Kristen Shiflet's Diamond View Farm. Stonewall's Stargate and Patrice Watson followed through with a dynamic showing to garner the reserve tricolor following a unanimous win in the 13 entry 38 and under qualifier. Fourth Down and Dori Zandy scored the third place finish with a bold performance for Zandyland Farm.

CH Like An Admiral and Nancy Leigh-Fisher closed out their second tour of duty with a unanimous victory. They hung the Five-Gaited Pleasure 39 & Over blue on the Hollow Haven banner prior to the game gelding's purchase by Milligan Stables client Carol Winters. In a class of veteran five-gaited performers CH Mariachi and Jan Myers showed off their style and polish for the reserve finish. Carrie Warner and Forever Aptor followed Stonewall's Stargate and Patrice Watson with the reserve finish in the competitive 38 & under class.

The Missouri-Kansas Five-Gaited Show Pleasure class got the division off to a competitive start with eight entries battling on Tuesday afternoon. Allied Heir Strike and Betts Coup angled for position to take top honors. William Woods University students got off to a good start with I Found My Champagne and Samantha Barber collecting the red ribbon just ahead of Heir Head and Cydney Rae Cutchall in third.

The 2004 show season was grand in every way for My Grande and Kristen Pettry. They closed out their inaugural campaign by earning a pair of unanimous victories in the Adult Three-Gaited Show Pleasure National Championship and the 18-38 qualifier to the delight of Marjorie Fergusson and everyone at Royal Scot Stables. The competition was keen as 1998 National Champions CH The Billy Bob and Cheryl Friedman Allison were in hot pursuit. They started the week back in the familiar winner's circle in the 39 & over class before being named reserve champions under the Premier banner.

The competitive qualifiers saw CH In Neon ERB and Jamie Hitchin garner reserve in the 18-38 while Supreme Wind Dancer and Stephanie Ritter earned the red ribbon in the 39 & over.

After a career filled with world and national championships in the adult division, the junior exhibitor division seems to be the best yet for The Bess Yet with her new partner Meagan Kucera. This beautifully matched team rose to the top of a marvelous field of 19 to earn the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Pleasure National Championship. They put the exclamation point on their debut season under the Biggins Stable banner with this tricolor ride following the unanimous win in the 15-17 qualifier. The one of a kind team of Riva Diva and Ali Judah were the toast of their fan club as the reserve champions for Judah Saddlebreds following the unanimous ride in the 18 entry 14 & under class.

Callie Smith may have been the youngest of the 19 in the championship, but she showed wisdom beyond her years as she navigated Wind Cruzer to the yellow ribbon. The new combination of CH Absolutely Exquisite and Mandy Martin picked up the white ribbon after a strong reserve finish in the 15-17 qualifier. May Issue and Allison Rohloff finished off a memorable debut season with the pink ribbon after collecting the reserve finish in the 14 & under qualifier.

The home crowd got a chance to cheer on a strong field of 15 in the Missouri-Kansas Three-Gaited Show Pleasure Stake. William Woods University brought the top honors home as Lydian and Kristine Maloney made the alma mater proud. Caramac's Casanova and Amber Mitchell turned in the reserve tricolor ride after scoring the unanimous win in the 11 entry Missouri-Kansas amateur class in which Stephens College Stables was well represented by the reserve entry of Rose Rex Heir and Megan Larsen.

Undulata's Pretzel Logic and Justine Komin were reunited for a trip to the winner's circle in the Missouri-Kansas Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Show Pleasure. They were followed by the stylish reserve team of Rutabaga and Anja Nielsen.

The perfectly matched team of CH Heir's Town and Alice Unger added the Show Pleasure Driving National Championship to their list of accomplishments. Nancy Leigh Fisher cheered on the winning duo as they added the tricolor to the 38 & under win directed by Hollow Haven Farm. The were followed in both outings by the bold performing team of Showboat's Casino and Lyndi Skinner, world’s champions of the junior exhibitor division a few months earlier.

Greta Garbo and Dr. Morgan Wolin returned to center stage as Ray Krussell directed them to the Show Pleasure Driving 39 & Over blue. The newly matched team of New York Entertainer and Jan Beardsley-Blanco showed a glimpse of things to come with their reserve performance under the Fairfield South banner.

CH The Shadow Knows and Karen Smith closed out a monumental afternoon for Hollow Haven Farm with their unanimous three-peat in the Adult Three-Gaited Country Pleasure National Championship. Callaway's Blue Agate and Carol Hillenbrand followed up with the reserve tricolor performance after turning the tables to start the week with an impressive performance for the 16 entry qualifier blue.

CH Odds On Spectre and Zachary Duffy added the Missouri-Kansas Country Pleasure unanimous victory to the ribbon filled banner at William Woods University. As Promised and Barbie Johnson garnered the reserve finish in the competitive field.

Spice Queen and Lindsay Taylor were the epitome of style and polish as they garnered matching victories in the Junior Exhibitor Country Pleasure National Championship as well as the 15-17 qualifier under the Cardinal Farms banner. Top riding Kayla Wooters guided Undulata's Paper Doll to a pair of reserve finishes for Patty Wooters.

The 14 & Under Junior Exhibitor Country Pleasure featured a blue ribbon ride for Midtown Man and Kendyl Tracy for the third year in a row directed by Jamie Bridgewater. Some Kind Of Magic and Jessica Moctezuma teamed up for the reserve ride for Nealia McCracken.

Callaway's Pretty Penny and Nancy Anderson continue to define their division as they closed out another undefeated season with unanimous victories in the Country Pleasure Driving National Championship and the 39 & over qualifier for Brown-Anderson Farms Ltd. Highpoint's Supreme Thunder and Sally Snyder Tesch followed up with a pair of polished reserve drives for Raymond Manahan.

The Country Pleasure Driving 38 & Under saw Sweet Intention and Ashley Hallock repeat their blue ribbon victory of a year ago. CH The Society Gentleman and Rebecca Elcock matched up for the reserve drive.

Victory lane was "the zone" for In The Zone and Susan Honkamp at the American Royal. They jogged away with the Western Country Pleasure Stake after earning the Saddle & Bridle's Shatner Western Country Pleasure honors following the red ribbon start in the open qualifier. The big silver gelding dressed in silver, also known as CH A Magic Surprise collected the open blue before settling with reserve finishes in the Shatner class and the stake with owner Pat Johnson.

Friday night's Park Pleasure Stake featured a unanimous victory for Beware the Fox and Wyatt DeHart after a blue ribbon performance in the qualifier for Robert Shields. However, there was a change of rider for the victory pass as Wyatt turned the reins over to son Richmond DeHart for the tricolor ride. The world titled pleasure team of Broadway Tune and Kendra Fisher stepped over for a pair of reserve rides in the park pleasure division.

From a promising field of 19, DLF Last Investment and Romy Ackerberg rose to the top with a bright and showy performance to put Indigo Acres in the headlines with the Junior Park Pleasure victory. Following a red ribbon ride in the qualifier, Tuffy's Commander showed off his rocking horse canter on the way to the tricolor performance on Friday night directed by Jackie Tanner for Jayo Family Corp. The next generation of Fox Grape Farms Inc. includes the reserve champion Garland's Second Edition, a daughter of Callaway's Blue Norther and CH Garland's Dream, ridden by Liz Cortright.

ASB In Hand

The beauty and promise of the American Saddlebred were showcased on Tuesday with in hand competition for the weanlings and yearlings. The American Saddle Horse Breeders of Missouri Yearling Sweepstakes brought the matinee performance to a close with the sparkling bay Unlisted son, Unlike Any Other earning top honors. Anthony Mead was on the lead of the winning entry for Don Schilling and Jan Burden. Soul Winner stepped up for the reserve honors with Robert Macom presenting for Kelly Littmann.

The Missouri Breeders Challenge Weanling Stake started off the Tuesday evening session with 14 brilliant youngsters vying for over $30,000 in prize money. It was Jammin' Gypsy who earned the crowd's enthusiastic applause along with the winner's share of $11,720 for his unanimous victory. Max Ciampoli was on the lead of the victorious Gypsy Santana son for Paul Dieckmann. The young offspring of It's Hammertime continued to impress as Time's Moneymaker collected the reserve award along with a check for $7,325 guided by Don Tradup for Mary Strohfus.

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