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New Mid-America Horse Show Doubles In Size!

by Sally McCue Grieme

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Location, location, location! The new and improved Mid-America Mane Event Horse Show more than doubled its previous size with a move to the prestigious Illinois State Fairgrounds. Mid-America hosts two large events each year, one in the summer, and this show, in the fall. Previously, the fall show was held in the Rockford, Ill., area but it had grown too large for that facility, and a little research by the show committee found the Illinois State Fairgrounds facility to be available during their designated dates.

When the word spread that there was to be a fall show in Springfield, it didn't take long for entries to pick up. Show manager Joy Meierhans reported over 350 stalls were sold. By the end of the show, secretary Cheryl Rangel had an accurate account, with horse numbers over 250. "We've more than doubled from last year's fall show," Rangel reported. Rangel added that not only were the die-hard Mid-America show supporters on hand for this year's fall function, but many new barns, including several from Kentucky came up to take advantage of yet one more show in this grand arena.

"In a year or two, we're optimistic that this could turn into a really large show," Rangel added. The timing, the weather and the schedule could not have been better. With several classes for two and three-year-old horses, including the Classics, the show offers trainers the opportunity to bring their young stock to a nice ring later in the year, as well as a later opportunity to qualify for the Classics.

The majority of trainers remarked that the success of any show really isn't about the show, it's about the facility. "It just goes to show that trainers and customers don't like to take their horses to a facility where they can get hurt," commented Rangel. "When you hold a horse show at one of the best facilities in the country, they're more than happy to come and show their nice horses. Proof is in our numbers," she concluded. A total of 117 classes were held over the four-day event. FIVE-GAITED DIVISION

This show hosted a large selection of gaited classes, including one for two-year-old gaited horses. It was a nice class for this late in the season. Topping off the open gaited division at this year's show was Mahvalous Asset, shown by Kenny Smith for Tom and Jeanne Pettry. Mahvalous Asset qualified by winning the ladies' class earlier in the week with Donna Pettry Smith riding. Reserve in the championship went to the winner of the stallion/gelding class, It's More Thank Likely, with Debbie Foley riding for Silver Brook Stables.

Barbara Manilow enjoyed a great show with her two exciting gaited horses. Just in time for Halloween, Boo! took home the treats from both the amateur mare and the Five-Gaited Amateur Championship classes. Manilow and her handsome bay Time Well Spent were reserve in the ladies' qualifying class, and came back to win the ladies' stake. Reserve in the ladies' stake went to Executive Dunk and Karrie Graham, while Sara VanGalder, riding Puttin' On The Charm, took home the reserve in the amateur mare division. Winning the amateur stallion/gelding class were Kristen Pettry and her popular Cash Back. Reserve in that class went to Alice Unger on her big moving gelding Downtown Strutter, owned by Nancy-Leigh Fisher.

Scott Matton rode Jonelle Chovanec's beautiful new mare Pucker Up to a win in the mare class and a reserve in the novice class earlier in the week. Debbie Foley was the winner in the novice class on Caramac's Big Ticket. Tom Thorpe dominated a strong junior class to win the blue for Toni Nastali aboard My Pepper Ann. Debbie Foley rode to the reserve on Callaway's Lloyd Stark for owner Tim Shallcross.

Topping off the three-year-old classics was Debbie Foley, showing Thunder Beauty for Curry/Cross Enterprises. Roseridge Big Lights and Kenny Smith took home the red ribbon for Marge Fergusson. Winning the Two-Year-Old Five-Gaited class was Sir York's First Edition, with Merle Hoff the owner and rider.

Patty Milligan made the trip from Texas to put one horse in the ring, and it was worth the trip! Maguire Hall rode her new entry Shame On You to win the junior exhibitor class. Lots of potential for this three-year-old and his young rider! Reserve in that class went to Cara Clara and Leah Rexroth. Rexroth and her mare went on to win the Five-Gaited Junior Exhibitor Stake with Lord Of The Dance and Christjon Sannes-Mielke finishing second.

Highpoint's Mahogany Prince and Abby Reising took home the blue and the championship honors from the Five-Gaited Pleasure division. Reserve in the qualifying class were Linda Meyer and Simply Spool riding for the Brown-Anderson Farms. Callaway's Belle De Mac and Julie Hollingsworth came back to finish second in the championship. A limit class was also held for the gaited pleasure division and Andrea Nelson riding Daddy-O took home the blue from there. Carrie Warner riding her new gelding Forever Aptor was reserve.


Debbie Foley made a few victory passes in the three-gaited division as well, showing Callaway's Sugarplum to the open tricolor. Sugarplum also won the over 15.2 class earlier in the week, and Dick Obenauf was reserve with Another Asset. Reserve in the championship went to Lady Maya and Dick Obenauf for the Goodman family. Lady Maya was the winner of the 15.2 and under class. Callaway's Mandate and Tom Bombolis were reserve in the under two class for Glen Werry.

It was Worthy Prince and Wendy Caudill taking the novice division for Rinehart Farms, with Bret Day riding Sweet Jane to the reserve. Robert Gardiner rode MBA Farm's Crimson Blue into the winner's circle for the junior three-gaited honors, and Tom Bombolis finished second riding Nordic Prince for Glenn Werry.

In the three-year-old classics, Mary Jane Gralton's Callaway's Little Dipper made a blue ribbon performance with Scott Matton in the irons and Mike McIntosh finished second on Miss Believin'. Ray Krussell and his fancy mare Matilda Smalls were the winners of the two-year-old division for Beth Clifton of Lexington, Ky.

It was Vicki Reed who took home top honors in the amateur three-gaited division with Firecracker Jack. This talented combination won the amateur stake and the amateur over 15.2 class. Jennifer Karnes and I'll Take The Stars were reserve in both of those classes. Santana Lace and Elisabeth LeBris topped the 15.2 and under division. Reserve were Jonelle Chovanec and Beneficiary.

Megan Archer dominated the junior exhibitor division winning both the qualifying class and the stake on Undulata's Gypsy. Crimson Blue,with Brittany Baird, was reserve in the qualifying class while Chelsea Patterson, riding Up In The Heir, was reserve in the championship.

FINE HARNESS DIVISION Lisa Antalek's junior horse made two outstanding performances to win the junior class and came back to win the Fine Harness Championship. In Touch with Andrea Nelson was reserve in both of those classes. Jayne Tillman and her CH Ledgewind's Final Touch made the victory pass in the open division and Ann Thibo drove Revelation's Glory to the reserve.

Dr. Raun won a large three-year-old class to qualify for the UPHA Classics driving It's Double O'Deuce. Placing second in the Fine Harness Classic were I'm Irresistible Too and Bonnie Lee. Bret Day drove Mystic Pointe to a nice win in the two-year-old class, with Rosemont's Penny Lane and Debbie Foley coming in reserve. Callaway's Head Over Heels and Mary Gise made two flawless performances to win both the amateur qualifying class and amateur championship. Just About Perfect and Ellyn Dorsey were reserve in the qualifying class, while Florence Merkin and CH Tasty Charm finished as reserve champions.


The Park division was well-filled at this show, with all six park classes, and three park pleasure classes boasting big entries. Topping the division in the open stake this year was Shady Creek Genius with Lindsey Bade. This duo also won the amateur qualifying class out of 10 entries. Finishing reserve in the stake were Corky's Asset and Jo Musser. Harlem's Gracious Lad and Vicki Reed were reserve in the amateur qualifier, and came back to win a large class in the amateur stake. Coming in reserve in the amateur stake was Andy Hutson riding The Top Banana.

Winning the open park division was Scott Matton showing Midnight's Prime Time for Sandra and Megan Sandee. Viper and Jessica Timmington were reserve in both the open and limit classes. MBA had another winner in the junior park class with Robert Gardiner aboard Star Spangled Steel. Ray Krussell and I'm Remarkable were reserve in that class.

In the limit division Kerry Honkamp and Whatever Works made the victory pass for owner Susan Honkamp.

Completing the Classics events was the Park Pleasure UPHA Classic won by Hard Day's Night and A.J. Bruwer for the Tillman Stables. Dreaming Of Bobby Jack was reserve, with Ryan Rongers the owner and rider. In the junior class, it was another Goodman entry winning the top prize. This trip to the winner's circle was made by Effervescent Lady and Dick Obenauf for Charles Goodman.


As always, the Midwest region has a dominant pleasure division, with many grand pleasure horses coming from this part of the country. Shows in the Midwest support this large population of pleasure horses by offering a variety of classes. This show was no exception, hosting a total of 33 classes and championships for show pleasure and country pleasure horses. Please find the championships from this division listed here, with complete results from the pleasure division listed on our web site

Finishing up as the best of the best in the junior show pleasure division were Mary Jane Gralton and A Magic Spell, also winners of the junior qualifying class. In the junior exhibitor 14-17 championship, Abby Krempasky showed her beautiful brand new mare, Absolutely Exquisite to a tricolor and a blue in the qualifying class.

In the junior exhibitor 13 and under championship, it was Sarah Werry who defeated a large class on Chief's Rage, also winning their qualifying division earlier in the week.

Finally, in the Adult Show Pleasure Championship, Amazed and Andrea Bilotti were named the champions and were winners in their qualifier as well. In harness it was Irish Tribute and Toni Nastali who were called out for the Show Pleasure Driving Championship.

In the Country Pleasure division World's Champion CH The Shadow Knows and Karen Smith won their large adult qualifying class and championship. Ashley Alden riding Pheiress Wheel was named the Junior Exhibitor Country Pleasure Champion. World's Grand Champion Callaway's Pretty Penny and Nancy Anderson dominated the country pleasure driving division, winning both their qualifying class and championship. Color Me Proud and Grace Meyer received the top honors in the Country Pleasure Hunter Championship, while Susan Honkamp showed In The Zone to the tricolor in the western division.

For complete horse show results, please visit our web site

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