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Numbers Steady As Temps Drop In Des Moines

DES MOINES, Iowa - The Des Moines Springfest was held the weekend of April 28 - May 1. This was the first show of the year for many stables and numbers were consistent with last year. Temperatures were cool, definitely cold at night, and the wind added a further bite to the air.

Barbara McDannald, show secretary, stated, “The weather was miserable, but the people were nice.”

Show officials go out of their way at Des Moines to make it enjoyable for the exhibitors. Judge Steve Joyce kept the classes moving in a timely fashion. Lenard Davenport, show manager, had things running smoothly. Announcer John Owens and organist Randy Roberts kept the crowd entertained and informed. Farrier Brian Wolfgram spent little time in the ring as there were no thrown shoes, only one broken band to be fixed the entire weekend.

Management had many social gatherings for the exhibitors throughout the weekend. Thursday evening The National Horseman and John Aschenbrenner Family hosted a dessert party in the main horse barn. Following Friday morning’s performance was a luncheon hosted by Reedannland. Saturday there was a junior exhibitor and academy rider brunch. There were also prizes and it was a great time for the kids to interact and get to know one another. Saturday evening everyone headed to Diamond Jack’s for food, drinks, and dancing to a live band. The show also took great care of all the hard working grooms. They offered pizza, tacos, and daily coffee and doughnuts.

There are many people behind the scenes of this show that make sure nothing is overlooked. The show is truly outstanding and a wonderful way to kick off the season.

The stands were filled with people especially Saturday evening. One of the main attractions was the dog costume class. Creativity abounded and ranged from characters from The Wizard of Oz to a Great Dane pulling a jog cart. All participants were rewarded with a bag of treats. The class was a lot of fun and highly entertaining. After that class it was time for the young kids to shine in the stick horse class and lead line class.

Repeat winners abounded in Des Moines. Rob Kritzler had Premier’s Jean Baptiste hustled to the win in both the Five Gaited Open and stake classes. Neva VanEss coached the team of Nick Neviaser and CH Harlem’s Hot Ticket to the win in the Five Gaited Novice Amateur class and Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Stake. The Perfect Face and Ashley Johnson claimed the junior exhibitor qualifier. Kristen Pettry has taken over the job of showing Mahvalous Asset and won both the Five Gaited Amateur qualifier and stake. Katie Coup and Allied Heir Strike took the blue in the ladies qualifier. Amberwood’s Double Delight and Louis Louw were the winners in the junior horse class. The UPHA Classic was won by Mountainview’s Buttercup and Monty Wallen. This combination also came back to win the Fine Harness UPHA Classic class.

In the three gaited open division Rick Wallen guided To Die For to the win in the qualifier and stake. The UPHA Classic went to Guided By Magic with Louis Louw showing for Barbara Molland. The ladies class was won by Our Red BMW with Rachalle Stezovsky in the irons for Jean Graeff. Linda Quinn made a sweep of the amateur division winning both the stake and qualifier. Brittany Balagna and her chrome trimmed chestnut gelding, Tip O’ The Hat, claimed the wins in the Three Gaited Novice Amateur Rider and the junior exhibitor stake. Ashley Alden guided former equitation mount Prince Of The Day to the win in the qualifier. Blues Song and Louis Louw took the blue back to Reedannland in the junior horse qualifier.

Matching Spirit won the Park Stake with Tom Thorpe and the amateur qualifier with Kelly Williamson. CH Whitney Houston and Natalie Stezovsky won the 17 & under class. The junior horse class belonged to Callaway’s Queen Of Crimson owned by Susan Aschenbrenner. Cash Back and Kristen Pettry were the ones to beat in the open qualifier.

Tim Lockard showed Caveat’s Who’Da Thunk It to the blue in the Fine Harness Open class and the championship.

The Roadster Pony Amateur Championship and qualifying class were won by Mary Campbell and Heartland Memory. Winning the Roadster Pony Open and the Roadster Pony Championship classes were Thunderation and Rick Wallen driving for Denise Steinhauer. The UPHA Classic winner was Snapshot owned by Steve and Leann Golden.

The Harness Pony Championship and the open qualifier was won by Wait & See’s Winter Day shown by Dr. Alan Raun and owned by Randy Wells. The UPHA Harness Pony Classic belonged to Awesome Souvenir and Gib Marcucci. Seamair Spectacular claimed the victory in the Harness Pony Amateur class.

Royal Canadian and Muffy Ernster won the Hackney Pony Championship and amateur class. The UPHA Classic was won by Cadet’s Foxfire and Roger Lucas for James Stober. In the open class it was Man On The Town and Mary Campbell. Seamair Dear Sir took the Hackney Pony Pleasure Driving Championship and qualifier. The AHHS Youth Medallion went to Domino and Lynn Baldwin. The UPHA Classic in this division went to Truly Marked, yet another entry from Reedannland.

In the Show Pleasure Driving Championship and Junior Exhibitor qualifier, judge Steve Joyce called out the world's champion combination of Showboat’s Casino and Lyndi Skinner. The 18 & over qualifier was won by Ann Simien Curl and CH Harlem’s Proud Mary.

The Five Gaited Pleasure Championship and 18 & over class belonged to Forever Aptor and Carrie Warner. Collective Soul and Erich Aschenbrenner won the 17 & under class. In the Park Pleasure Stake and open qualifier it was the bay mare Glendale’s Bonnie Lass with Neva VanEss claiming the win. Another world title holer, May Issue, with Allison Rohloff in the irons, took the win in the Three Gaited Show Pleasure Junior Exhibitor Stake and 13 & under qualifier.

Corky’s Asset and Kurt Antonacci were the winners in the 18-38 class and Open Pleasure Combination. In the 18 & over stake Cory Eickholt guided Reedann’s Sniper to the win for Dorian Stulberg Anderson. The Country Pleasure Grand Champion and 18-38 winner was the successful combination of Magikal Marissa and Elizabeth Coup. One of the most successful combinations of the show was Westwood Farm’s rider Chrissy Radintz and Lady Poinsettia. They claimed the Country Pleasure Junior Exhibitor Stake and qualifier. They also claimed the same honors in junior exhibitor driving and the Country Pleasure Driving Championship.

Open english pleasure winners included CH Shiny New Penny with Faye Wuesthofen, Peppermint Kiss and Michele Sprengelmeyer, Amberwood’s Show Stopper and Nancy Schned, CH Bright Wind and Nick Neviaser, and Apt To Parade and Sherri Nitti. Braveheart of Silver Oaks and Kim Gallenberg won both the Western Pleasure Stake and Saddle & Bridle Western Pleasure class. Tiggeriffic and Ardie Kennedy won the Western Country Pleasure AOTR Stake while Stonewall’s Supreme Look and Bailey Knapp won the qualifier. Classy News and Kim Moore rode away with the win in the Hunter Country Pleasure Stake and the Saddle & Bridle Classic class.

Ashley Alden and her bay mount, L.A. Blues, took home wins in the Equitation Championship and UPHA Challenge Cup. Meaghan MacQueen won the USEF Medal. Lyndi Skinner won the 17 & under qualifier. Brianna Meyer won the UPHA Challenge Cup 10 & Under Walk/trot. She also won the Open Walk’Trot 10 & Under. Nick Neviaser continued his winning streak with the 10 & under win. Adrian Bell won the 18 & over class. The UPHA Pleasure Challenge Cup, Pleasure Equitation Championship, and Pleasure Equitation Medallion were won by Sara Stucker. Andra Trakalo won the Pleasure Equitation 17 & Under with Pixie’s Wonderland.

This highlights the Des Moines Springfest Horse Show. Complete results follow and they can also be seen, searched, and printed out from our web site at

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