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New Champions Crowned at All American Classic

by Leeann Mione

INDIANAPOLIS - For more than 50 years, the All American Horse Classic has been a tradition in Indianapolis and with so many finals and special events at the show, this year's competition offered many highlights.

Great competition included the national sweepstakes classes for Saddlebreds and Hackney ponies, Saddlebred and Hackney Futurities, Hackney Limited Breeders Stakes, Pleasure Challenge Cup National Championships and the All American Weanling and Yearling Cup competitions.

It was a busy and festive week as so many of the Saddlebred and Hackney industries’ best and brightest made the trip to Indianapolis for classic competition.

In addition to great equine performances four deserving honorees were inducted into the Indiana Horsemen's Hall Of Fame. Jim and Sandy McIntosh, Allene Stiens and Ross Drake became the newest members. Saturday evening Shelley Mehling was posthumously inducted in a special and touching ceremony. The entire Mehling-Herbert family was on hand for her induction. 

Friday evening's five-gaited, three-gaited and fine harness open championships were Trainers Grand Slam events. McIntosh Stables at Flat Rock Creek Farm sponsored the added purse money for the open championships. Trainers winning one of the three open stakes received $1000. An additional $1000 was offered to the trainer who won two of the three classes and an additional $2000 was offered for winning all three classes.

Lynda Freseth, Steve Joyce and Jim Taylor judged the Saddlebreds, Saddlebred Sweepstakes and Equitation divisions.

After having just won the Five-Gaited World's Grand Championship with Chris and Jean Nalley's Five O' Clock, Todd Miles was back in the winner's circle and $1000 richer. He rode Freaky Links to the Five-Gaited Grand Championship for B & T Vonderschmitt. Peter Palmer and Great Day Rising were the reserve grand champions in the six-entry class for Willisbrook Farm.

Sunshine Way continued her good season in the three-gaited division and she carried Lisa Strickland to the winner's circle and the additional $1000 for owner Julie Hambrick. Royal Messenger and Melissa Moore finished in the second place slot for Wellington Park Saddlebreds.

Tom Lee and VHF The Licorice Drop Kid topped a pair of competitors to win the Fine Harness Grand Championship and pocket the extra prize money. Samur and Merrill Murray were reserve for H. Curtis Meanor.

The week's festivities began Tuesday evening with the second annual All American Weanling Cup. Last year Bret Day showed Mosette (Sir William Robert x Sadie's Lady) to the top prize of more than $70,000 for Tom Galbreath.

This year, Bret Day was one of more than 47 handlers that showcased weanlings in the gala event, which was presided over by the judging panel of John Champagne, Kim Cowart and Billy Greenwell.

Joan Lurie, fresh from her Weanling Breeders Stake World's Championship win with Undulata's Nuts and Bolts, was the last trainer standing as prizes were awarded and she went to the winner's circle with the Willowbank Farm entry With Bells On (Con Heir x Stella Bella). Lurie pocketed more than $50,000 in addition to a host of other great prizes and the Alvin C. Ruxer Supreme Sultan Perpetual All American Cup Trophy. Coco Latte (Our Charm x Coco G.S.) earned more than $35,000 for reserve with Joe T. Smith showing for John T. and Nancy Jones of Rosemont Manor.

The All American Yearling Cup, offered only in 2005, featured 15 yearlings parading for the judges Wednesday morning. Golden Market (The Irish Connection x Sink Oar Swim) followed up two world's championship titles with the win for owner Sue Nifong. Smith Lilly showed for the top prize and $4,600. Deguello (Rifles And Roses x Classiphied Edition) was shown by Danette Musselman for Musselman Farms for the reserve ribbon and $4,000. 

The Sweepstakes classes also drew top competition for both the Hackneys and Saddlebreds looking to earn top prize money and the coveted title of Sweepstakes Grand Champion. The show worked hard to make the classes as entertaining for the crowd as possible. Each competitor was introduced individually under the spotlight in the lineup as Peter Fenton included their pedigree information.

Eight entries competed in the ASB Four-Year-Old Five-Gaited National Sweepstakes in hopes of earning more than $3,000 for the first place tie. That honor went to The Light O' Love (Attaché’s Thunderbolt x My Prom Night) with Martin Teater on board for owner and breeder A. E. Nelson. It was the second impressive win in Indianapolis for the Junior Five-Gaited Reserve World's Champion of Champions. Don Bridges was up for the reserve title and more than $2,200 in prize money when Quidditch (CH The Talk Of The Town x Superfine's Duchess) was given the nod for owner Janet Thompson.

With more than $70,000 in prize money available for the three-year-old sweepstakes competitors, first place paid more than $7,000 in the Three-Year-Old National Sweepstakes class. Four entries came through the gate and put on an entertaining class. When the cards from the panel of Lynda Freseth, Steve Joyce and Jim Taylor were turned in, it was Todd Graham and Callaway's Winning Ways heading to the winner's circle for Mr. and Mrs. Mike Curry and Mr. and Mrs. Todd Graham after a powerful effort. Libby McLemore had a busy week with several top entries and rode Callaway's Confidential to reserve for Ed Bennett and picked up over $5,000 in prize money.

Dena Lopez had a good week in Indianapolis and one of her highlights was piloting Sensational Charm (Santana's Charm x Buck's Aria) to first place and $3,842 in the Two-Year-Old Five-Gaited National Sweepstakes for owner Gayle Lampe. Smith Lilly was up on yet another top young star and he rode Spirit Of New York PSF (I'm A New Yorker x Callaway's Spirited Girl) to reserve for Sam and Janie Bowling. Spirit of New York earned $2,881 for the reserve finish.

Strawberry Pie turned back all challengers in the six-entry Four-Year-Old Three-Gaited National Sweepstakes and put on a great show with Danette Musselman up. Sired by Black Bottom Pie and out of Vintage, Strawberry Pie picked up many new fans with her picture-perfect performance for first place and more than $3,000 in prize money. Musselman rode for owner Christy Weaver Gantley. Stonecroft Front and Center (Radiant Sultan x Ring Girl), recently purchased for Chelsea Rose Patterson, turned in a strong effort for the reserve finish with Erin Boggs up.

Surprisingly, there were only two entries in the Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited National Sweepstakes class which left more than $3,500 on the table for third place. Bluegrass Jazz (Revival x Ragtime's Lady Jazz) turned heads with an eye-catching performance to pick up the $7,009 check for owner Joan Schwartz. Bob Phillips directed Hi-Lite’s Fascinating Rhythm (Supreme Hi-Lite x Unbelievably Blonde) to the reserve ribbon and more than $5,200 for Faydelle Schott.

The team of Dr. and Mrs. Simon Fredricks and Carter Cox have had many successes with youngsters produced by the Simbara Farms breeding program and they did it again in the Two-Year-Old Three-Gaited National Sweepstakes. Simbara's Bountiful (Periaptor x Simbara's Sweet Bess) earned $3,842 with the winning effort. Mike McIntosh led  the High Spirit Farm group to a great show including Milady A La Lucie's (Top Spool x A La Lucie) nice reserve in the seven-entry class. McIntosh rode for Dan and Judy Houk and prize money of $2,881.

Five entries put on a nice class for the Four-Year-Old Fine Harness National sweepstakes. Sugar Pine (CF First Night Out x Button Bright) and Carter Cox took the title for Mary McClellan Williams to follow up their Louisville title. My Sugar Magnolia (Periaptor x Deerhaven's Flossey Mac) was reserve with Bret Day in the buggy for A. E. Nelson.

Surfer Boy (Family Jewels x CH Gracie Mansion), yet another recently crowned world's champion, made the trip to Indianapolis with George Knight and captured the blue prize and $7,009 in the National Three-Year-Old Sweepstakes Fine Harness class for Georgia Herpin Baker. Night Sight, a reserve champion at Lexington, earned the reserve title in the sweepstakes class with Smith Lilly showing for Cedarledge Farm. Night Sight picked up $5257 for the tie.

Recently crowned reserve world's champion Catalyst's Work Of Art (Catalyst x Work Of Art) topped the 10-entry National Sweepstakes Two-Year-Old Fine Harness class with Jim Lowry to give new owner Priscilla Marconi her first blue ribbon with the sporty youngster. The win earned $3,842. Tango Till Dawn (Let's Tango All Night x R.R. Silver Lady) was driven to the reserve title to earn $2,881 for Belle Reve Farm.

Knollwood Farm continued their great week at All American Classic with the win in the National Four-Year-Old Sweepstakes Park Pleasure class. Carol Matton rode Tommy James (Trust Fund x Anacacho's Desdemona) to the $3,022 prize money for owner Debra Mulberry. Norah Jones (Periaptor x Princess Norah) continued a successful season so far and picked up $2,266 for reserve with Susi Day up for Hy Horse Farm.

The largest sweepstakes class, the park pleasure sweepstakes championship featured 12 young entries competing for the big prize money. Todd Miles was on board My One Night Stand (CF First Night Out x Miss Joanie B) to earn the impressive win and $7,009 with a strong effort for owner Lynda Norman.

Recently crowned ASR National Three-Year-Old Futurity Park Pleasure World's Champion Mother Mary (Revival x Mother Superior) was reserve in the sweepstakes with Smith Lilly up for Platinum Stock Farm. Heir's Encore (Supreme Heir x Sweet Attachment) finished in third with Joan Lurie and earned $3,504 for owner Kathleen Ruwoldt.

Louie Louw, from Reedannland, was in the irons of the National Two-Year-Old Sweepstakes Park Pleasure Grand Champion Callaway's Happy Endings (Callaway's Blue Norther x Callaway's Agatha Christie). Louw rode for owners Barbara and Michael Molland. Bubblegum (CH The King Of Highpoint x Lucky Vision) and Danette Musselman were reserve in the six-entry class for Dr. Scott Bennett.

Amateur Owner, breeder and exhibitor Jerry Elmer drove Gadzoo to the winner's circle in the AHHS Hackney National Sweepstakes Roadster Pony class and by the end of the show, Gadzoo had also been named the Futurity High Point Champion for Elmer. Fashionista and Carole Kennedy were reserve for AHHS Hall of Fame inductee Eugene Kennedy.

Twin Willow's Wild Thing and Jeff McClean won the Harness Pony national sweepstakes class for Golden Creek Farm. Truly The Grand Master, owned by Watermark Farm and shown by Mike Brannon, was reserve in the five-entry class.

The McKibbage family had a great show in Indianapolis with numerous wins in several different divisions. Ed Murray and Regal's Shadow LF provided one of those wins in the AHHS National Sweepstakes Hackney Pony class. Kilbro's Code Red was reserve with Gary Houck.

Matt Schuckert directed Kristen Gallagher and B.R.S. Tiger Lilly to the title in the AHHS National Sweepstakes Pleasure Driving Pony class, which hosted four top ponies. Junior Schut and Dapper Dillon were the reserve grand champions.

Jack Nicholson, with Kurt Antonacci showing for Hickory Knoll Farm, earned almost $4,000 for first place in the ASHA Futurity of Indiana Two-Year-Old Open class. Another $1,800 went home with Joe Russell, of Hickory Knoll, when Mafia Mistress continued her great season and finished in second place. Both entries finished in the same order in the amateur futurity class. Diana Schrader showed Jack Nicholson for the win.

Golden Market, (The Irish Connection x Sink Oar Swim) winner of both the open and amateur Kentucky Futurity World's Championships, added another win to Sue Nifong's long list with the win in the big 18-entry ASHA Futurity of Indiana Open Yearling class and picked up $3,958. Smith Lilly showed for Silverlin Farm. Joe T. Smith presented Mountjoy's Whiskey Girl (Fox Creek x Highpoint's Royal Town) to the reserve prize and $2,268 for owner and breeder David Mountjoy. Pinch Me (Sultan's Riddler SCR x Snow Business) earned more than $1,100 for third. Owner and trainer John Wallen presented for Sassafras Hill.

Seven yearlings showed off in the amateur futurity class and the top prize went to Raven Creek (Fox Creek x Heirabelle) and owner Ken Page. You're Fired (The Last Don x Lady Remington), shown by Joe Russell, was reserve for owners Robert and Monica Olson.

The weanlings were out in full force in the weanling futurity and they put on a great show for the spectators. David Mountjoy earned another $3,958 in prize money when the panel gave the nod to Mountjoy's Vixen in the huge 27-entry class. Joe T. Smith presented the weanling for Mountjoy and had previously taken the title in the amateur weanling class. John Wallen and Sir Ritz (Sir York x Ritzy Babe) took the red ribbon and prize money for Stephanie O'Neal. End Sweep (Clover Hill's In Command x Glitter and Glisten), shown by George Davenport for Clover Hill Farms, Inc., finished with the yellow ribbon.

The Dutch Made (The Sky King x Gold Dust Lady Supreme) picked up $826.16 for reserve with Wendy Lewis showing for Joe Lengacher.

Gadzoo, on the way to earning the high point futurity title, topped the Hoosier Hackney Futurity Four/Five-Year-Old Roadster Pony class. Dun-Haven Dapper Dan was reserve with Junior Schut.

B.R.S. The Phantom and Rodney Hicks teamed up for the win in the four/five-year-old harness pony class for Copper Beach Farm and edged out four other entries for the win. Twin Willow's Dimitri was reserve with Ryan Fornango showing for Misty Hills Farm.

Anna Marie Knipp handled the winning drive with Perfect Creation in the four/five-year-old Hackney pony class. Mariachi was reserve with Jimmy Miller driving to give High Spirit Farm the top two ribbons.

Owner and breeder Dan Light brought a huge group of ponies from Light Farms to Indianapolis and made more than one trip to the winner's circle including his win with Mastercraft's Julie LF in the four-/five-year-old pleasure driving class. Mi-Leonardo and Pam Ahrens were reserve for owner Pam Abbott.

D.J.'s High Fashion won the Hoosier Hackney Futurity Three-Year-Old Roadster Pony class, which was competitive and featured eight young road ponies. Chris Gantley took the victory pass for Don and Jerry Peach. B.R.S. Candy DeLight was reserve for David Worner with Terry McKenzie driving.

Gib Marcucci Stables-trained ponies had a good week and Unique's Presentation won the three-year-old Hoosier futurity harness pony class. Cindy Ireland drove for Kevin and Cindy Ireland. Royal Shamrock was reserve with Lee Dunn for Bob and Yvonne Johns.

Regal's Trademark was the top three-year-old cob tail pony with Tom Lowry driving for Golden Creek Farms and was followed in the ribbons by Regal's Mysterious Stranger LF. Erik Kirsch drove for Dan Light.

Sheila Seils drove Mastercraft's Namesake LF to the winner's circle in the pleasure driving futurity class to top three other three-year-olds for Dan Light. Romeo's Brigadier General LF was reserve with Dan Light driving.

Extremely Unique won the Hoosier Hackney Futurity Two-Year-Old Colt/Gelding class. Jim Spurrier showed for Ahrens and Spurrier. Regal's Top Gun LF was reserve for Dan Light with Erik Kirsch presenting.

Regal's Unique Sapphire LF continued Light Farms' winning streak when she was named the champion in the two-year-old filly class with Dan Light. Erik Kirsch presented Regal's Cadenza LF to reserve.

Prince Of Design, with owner Vern Houston showing, was the winning yearling colt/gelding and topped five other yearlings for the victory. High Society's Memories Legend and Burt Keefer were reserve for Shirley Sanislow.

Jim Spurrier had another winning entry with yearling filly champion Extremely Miss Supreme. Regal's Calypso LF was reserve in the seven-entry class with Dan Light.

Twelve weanling colts and 12 weanling fillies competed in their futurity classes in hopes of earning the blue ribbon. Regal's Top Star LF and Jim Spurrier were the winning combination in the colt class for Ahrens and Spurrier. They were followed in the ribbons by Tanglewood's Almost Illegal and Roger Lucas. Lucas presented the reserve champion for Todd Gordon.

High Gait She's A Smokin' was the top filly for High Gait Farm. Rodney Hicks presented the winner. Extremely So Special and Jim Spurrier were reserve.

Brent Jacobs, Ricky Harris and Gary Edds had 19 impressive babies to evaluate in the AHHS Limited Breeders Stake and after each youngster was presented, the panel called back six to show again.

After the workout it was M.H. Takes The Cake taking the victory pass with Burt Keefer showing for Leonard and Jane Servinski. The win earned $3,968 for the Servinskis. Future Star and Jim Spurrier were able to take more than $2,200 after they were called out as the reserve champions. D.S. Mr. Brightside and Matt Schuckert, High Gait She's A Smokin' and Rodney Hicks, Kilbro's Grandemeanor and Bill Kildow and Fitz's Bottom Line with Roger Lucas rounded out the rest of the field called back for the workout and finished in that order.

Loser's Weepers took the solo trip in the AHHS Limited Breeders Stake Hackney Horse class with Ed Murray showing for Sandra McKibbage.

The pleasure equitation riders made the trip to Indianapolis to compete for their UPHA Senior and Junior Pleasure Challenge Cup National Championships. They were up bright and early Saturday morning for their phase I competition.

Cindy Zubrod Boel, Lynda Freseth and Liz McBride-Jones had the responsibility of evaluating the riders and choosing a national champion for each division.

On Saturday evening, all 11 riders that had competed in phase I returned for phase II competition to crown the champion. The group was poised and polished and worked hard to impress the panel yet one more time and after working, all 11 riders exited the ring. Those that were selected as the top 10 were then introduced individually and accompanied by their instructor(s) for a presentation and photo by Rick Osteen. Awards were presented in reverse order. Danielle McGarry was called out for 10th, Tess Holmes was ninth, Mackenzie Lyttle was eighth, Kelly Creech was seventh, Toria Heck was sixth, Maggie Marcyan was fifth, Kristen Koenig was fourth and Anna Hormann was third.

Two riders remained and, with overjoyed instructors and family looking on, waited to see who would be named national champion. When Emily Abbott's name was called out as the reserve national champion, her mother and instructor Kathy Abbott Conflenti smiled from ear to ear, with trainer Mike McIntosh also there, as her overjoyed daughter accepted the ribbon and unanimous decision from the panel.

Kelsey Nicole Smith, accompanied by Carole Matton, earned her second prestigious equitation title in as many weeks as she was called out as the unanimous UPHA Senior Pleasure Challenge Cup National Champion after having won the Senior Saddle Seat World's Champion of Champions title at Louisville. Last year's USEF Saddle Seat Medal National Champion at the UPHA/American Royal National Championship Horse Show kept the top honors coming with a strong effort.

The junior pleasure challenge cup riders competed earlier in the day for their national championship. All 10 riders from phase I returned for phase II competition and, like their senior counterparts, were right on the money for a great class.

Riders returned individually for their introductions and presentations of top 10 awards. Christine Sils was 10th, Samantha Simmons finished in ninth, Kristen Smith was eighth, Molly Bryers was seventh, Angela Darrow was sixth, Elena Breeden was fifth, Mallory Hartigan was fourth and Kristen Gardner was third.

Jordan Schaye, instructed by Bob Griffin and Tom Thorpe and Deanna Lanigan, instructed by Scott and Carol Matton, anxiously waited to see who would claim the national championship title.

When the results were announced, it was yet another national championship title and ribbon earned by Knollwood Farm. Schaye took her victory pass as the reserve national champion and Lanigan followed as the crowd watched her take her turn in the winner's circle as the newly crowned national champion.

This highlights some of the classes of the 2005 All American Horse Classic. Complete results and judges’ cards can be found in the September 19 issue of The Saddle Horse Report. Complete results can also be seen by Clicking Here.

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