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NWSA Fall Classic Works Hard to Make It Fun For All

by Leeann Mione

SALEM, Ore. – Once again owners, trainers and exhibitors made the trek to Salem, Ore., for the Northwest Saddlebred Association Fall Classic Horse Show and Northwest Regional Championship Sept. 26-29. The Oregon State Fairgrounds has proven to be a comfortable and reliable venue for the show regardless of the weather, which this year indicated winter isn’t as far away as we had perhaps hoped.


Once again this was a show designed for fun and competition and in that order. Special activities to include the kids, lots of food and libations to tempt the palate and an easy schedule all make this show one that brings horses and humans from throughout the Northwest and Canada to participate.


Once again hospitality was high on the list of priorities for show management and organizers and whether it was coffee and donuts each morning, the welcome pizza party Wednesday afternoon, the patron lunch Thursday, the aisle party Friday night or the pie and ice cream social Saturday that featured a wide variety of homemade pies. If anyone went hungry it’s only because they weren’t paying attention.


Thursday and Friday evening this year, the show decided that a fun fundraiser for the association would be “When Pigs Fly” contest. Those that wanted to participate purchased a pig for $5 and gathered as a group in center ring before the horse show to throw their pig. The pig that “flew” the farthest got a portion of the total money raised. The remainder was used to benefit the horse show and association. Pigs sold out very early and those that purchased pigs had as much fun decorating them and naming them as they did throwing them. Those that participated had a great time and most likely next year, the contest will be even bigger and raise even more money.


Another very innovative approach to raising money for NWSA and mixing things up a bit in the ring was this year’s inaugural Jackpot claiming class. All entry fees for this class were jackpotted. Owners had to declare a claiming price for their entry of $7,500 or less. Anyone that wanted to could pick up a claim ticket up until the start of the class. Those tickets were date and time stamped. If two people wanted to claim the same horse, the ticket picked up first won. Claim tickets were treated as a bound contract to buy the horse, which was sold “as is” unless a vet certificate was provided to withdraw a horse without penalty. The NWSA received a five percent commission on the sale.


Susan Gianella received 40 percent of the jackpot when Garone named her horse, Red Heart Rum, the winner of the class. Sired by CH Heir To Champagne and out of Merrilee EMH the five-year-old gelding had a claiming price of $7,500.


Wenatchee Warrior, sired by (SA) Dorian Warrior’s Song and out of Ta Ra Ra Boom De A, finished second and received 30 percent of the jackpot. Annalize van der Walt was up for the reserve for Singing Hills. Third place paid 20 percent and fourth place paid 10 percent.


The class was just one more unique touch added this year to make the show special. It also provided a great showcase to sell horses in a lower to medium price range that might otherwise be shipped to Kentucky for Tattersalls at great expense to the owners.


Saturday afternoon’s dog show may not have raised as much money, but it was one more fun activity geared towards kids and family and it was impressive to see how much time and effort went into the costumes and presentations of the long list of dogs that competed.


Dick Boettcher, Preston Paparo and

Gracie Paparo were a huge hit in the

dog show costume class.

Several special presentations were held during the weekend including the presentation of the Kaulua Of Silver Oaks High Point Versatility Memorial Perpetual Trophy. This year it went to a horse from Canada, Heavenly Country Fire, who is owned by Michelle Hetu, shown by Monique Hetu and trained by Archie Hurst. The beautiful punch bowl with eight cups, representing the eight divisions that Kaulua showed in with Allison Deardorff, was donated by Bev Roth and Allison Deardorff. The keepsake trophy was donated by Don and Brooke Deardorff, and Brooke made the presentation.


A new trophy was also presented in the Amateur Five-Gaited Stake in memory of Barbara Blacklaw of Singing Hills Stable. Martha Keck received the beautiful bronze when she won the class with CH Full Spectrum.


The Ed and Janet Ross Perpetual Service Award was presented to Courtney Hayden in a special ceremony by Ed and Janet Ross (see separate story).


As one of the final stops on the Pacific Saddlebred horse show circuit, NWSA Fall Classic seems a fitting place for the retirement of a special horse. Last year, Posse Man retired at the show and was presented by Harry Chapman. This year, the Hayden family presented CH Harlem’s Special Music (see separate story).


Trainers had the chance to pick up a little extra cash in the Trainer’s Purse classes, which paid $100 to the winning trainer. Bill Tomin was one of the recipients when Debbie Tomin rode CH French Silk Stockings to the win in the Adult Three-Gaited Pleasure Stake. Dick Boettcher received $100 for Keck’s win in the Amateur Five-Gaited Stake. Ed Morris, as the trainer of show pleasure driving qualifier winner Heir Rage SRS, also picked up the cash. Dana Paparo was the fourth winning trainer when Mr. Freckle Face won the Adult Western Country Pleasure class with Robyn Hayden.


In addition to Tomin, Boettcher, Morris and Paparo, the list of winning trainers at NWSA Fall Classic was a long one. Whether Saddlebred, Hackney, roadster, equitation or academy, a bounty of top horses and exhibitors finished the weekend with blue or tricolor ribbons on the tack room wall.




Friday night’s Five-Gaited Stake was a great class for several reasons. As had been the norm for much of the night, there was a long gate hold just prior to the class to accommodate an exhibitor’s necessary tack change. Since there was no horse show organist in center ring, the music played during the weekend encompassed a wide variety of CDs. Country, rock, pop and oldies all accompanied the action at some point.


As boredom began to set in with the crowd during the long wait, suddenly “YMCA” by The Village People came on. It started slowly, but soon almost the entire crowd was on its feet singing along and doing the motions for the song. It seemed no matter their age almost everyone knew it and were quite happy to show their skills in acting it out in front of the crowd.


The mood changed and again everyone was having a great time. When the horses finally came through the gate, the jubilant crowd cheered each exhibitor wildly. And they just kept coming and coming. Originally expected to be a class of five entries, the stake ended up showcasing nine talented teams.


Gary Garone had his work cut out for him as all nine put on a great show, but when his card was turned in, it was the Limit Five-Gaited qualifier winner Walterway’s Love Me Forever selected as the Five-Gaited Grand Champion. Gene van der Walt showed the hardworking mare for Singing Hills Stable. Her accomplishment was even more impressive due to the fact that she is six months in foal to (SA) Dorian Warrior’s Song.


Walterway’s Love Me Forever

with Gene van der Walt

She’s Quite A Honey came into the stake having won the open class with Don Deardorff and she finished as the reserve grand champion for owner Emily Swanson. Doubletree’s Chancealot and Dana Paparo, C.O.’s Star Of Zion and Don Mace, Megawatt and Charles Court and Hopeful’s Roamin Prince with Troy Corbett claimed the remaining ribbons in that order.


Full Spectrum and Martha Keck swept the amateur division with both the amateur stake win and amateur qualifier blue under the direction of Dick Boettcher. Keck would have two more ribbons for the weekend before it was over. Gail Hooker also had a great weekend at NWSA with her horses and she put together the reserve grand championship effort in the amateur stake with Undulata Prophet under the direction of Bill Tomin.


CH Full Spectrum and Martha Keck


Leanna Hanika and Alexis Bishop traded places in the junior exhibitor division. Hanika rode Harlem’s Supreme Luck to the tricolor for owner Georgia Knowlen. Hanika rode under the direction of Troy Corbett. Alexis Bishop and Tip Me Do turned in the blue ribbon effort to win the qualifier, then returned to be named the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Reserve Grand Champions from Rockridge Farm.


Hero’s In Command, with Shelah Franklin in the irons, moved up in the ribbons to win the junior/novice stake for owner Pamela Heiman. Reserve grand champion Hurricane Dave won the qualifier with Jennifer Dixon up for Bruce Dixon.


Annalize van der Walt took her turn in the winner’s circle in the gaited division when Garone named My Balalaika the winner of the UPHA Five-Gaited Classic for Singing Hills.


Doubletree’s Pretty ‘N Pinq and Tasha Kelke won the limit horse stake, showing from Deardorff Stable for owner T.J. Huck. Rocket Rip City and owner Margo Hepner-Hart took the reserve tricolor in the three-entry class.




Archie Hurst rode Dresden Queen to the title of Three-Gaited Grand Champion for owner Larry Ward after Andrea Ward qualified the mare in the amateur class. Black Knight On Broadway and Brenda Corbett won the open class and the reserve in the open stake for owner Georgia Knowlen.


Dresden Queen and Archie Hurst

CH Like Sunshine has a long list of wins to her credit in her career with both Susan Valley Chen and Julia Chen. At NWSA, she added two more to her list when she was named the Amateur Three-Gaited Grand Champion and amateur champion. Susan Chen showed for both wins under the direction of trainer Jennifer Dixon. Owner Delores Glascoe rode The Great Santini to the reserve title in the amateur stake under the direction of Charles Court.


Annalize van der Walt headed to center ring for the presentation of the tricolor when A Genesis was named the winner of the junior/novice stake for Gene van der Walt. The win made it two for two for A Genesis after van der Walt showed to the qualifier win as well. Matchbox’s Glass Slipper and Don Mace were reserve in the junior/novice stake for Phyllis Crow and Kandi Kuck.


Eduardo Castillo presented Spurwing’s High ‘N Mighty to the UPHA Three-Gaited Classic blue ribbon for owner Charlene Hewitt to add another blue to the Boettcher tack room curtains.


Hyacinth Bouquet closed out the division with the win in the two-year-old class. Annalize van der Walt rode for Singing Hills and Bill Blacklaw.




Owner and trainer Ed Morris was up on E Ticket for the wins in both the open park class and the Three-Gaited Park Stake and topped a pair of talented competitors in the stake. Attaché’s Born To Boogie and Archie Hurst claimed the reserve tricolor streamers for owner Larry Ward. Andrea Ward rode Born To Boogie earlier in the week to the reserve in the amateur park stake.


Headed to Oklahoma for the upcoming Morgan Grand National and World Championship Horse Show with a big number of entries, trainers Tim and Ryan Arcuri made a stop in Salem with owner Catherine Gallo and her amateur park horse Intoxicating Heir. Their stop was as successful as it could have been when Intoxicating Heir was crowned the Amateur Three-Gaited Park Grand Champion and amateur champion. Like the amateur three-gaited division, the amateur park horses faced the biggest numbers of the division.


Evangelical and Lynn Robertson won the Junior Three-Gaited Park Stake under the direction of Don and Allison Deardorff. Winner of the qualifier, Call Me Mahvalous, made a single appearance to earn the blue for owner Mischa Leendertsen. Reymundo Gallegos rode for the win from Dick Boettcher Stables.


Fine Harness


Co-owner Gary Gustafson drove Kourageous Kat Of Silver Oaks to the win in the Fine Harness Stake after trainer Lisa Lesch, from Silver Oaks Saddlebreds, drove to the blue in the open class. Summer Of Forty Two and trainer Mel Lueck, also from Silver Oaks Saddlebreds, were the reserve grand champions for owners Tim Hopf and Bonnie Baker.


Sugar Pine and Grace Arnold teamed up to win both the Amateur Fine Harness Stake and amateur qualifier for Mary McLellan Williams. Arnold showed under the direction of Dick Boettcher. Bill Blacklaw and Lilly The Filly were named the reserve grand champions for Singing Hills Stables.


Blessed Beginning and Don Mace took the victory pass in the Junior/Novice Fine Harness Stake for owners Robbie and David Hunt. So Posh and Ed Morris were reserve in the stake and won the qualifier earlier in the week for owner Bonita Bell.


Grant Miller drove Wenatchee Warrior to the blue in the UPHA Fine Harness Classic for Singing Hills.




Lil Town Flirt and Run Forrest Run each took their turn in the winner’s circle in the road horse division, representing Court Stables and Deardorff Stable. Lil Town Flirt and Harry Chapman won the Roadster To Bike Stake from Court Stables and Ben Lachman drove Run Forrest Run to both the open and amateur wins before taking reserve in the stake for Don and Allison Deardorff.


Hackney Ponies


Make Way For Maybelline earned three wins in the roadster pony division with Kathy Howe driving to the winner’s circle in the stake and open class and owner Dorothy Rodney driving to the blue in the amateur class.       


Truly A Masterpiece won the Harness Pony Stake and open qualifier with Don Deardorff showing both times for owner Colleen Gadbois. Southern Royalty and owner Jeanine Quaintance were reserve grand champions.


Bobbie Anne Welch and Heartland Newsmaker were the Hackney Pony Grand Champions and open class winners.


David Becker Jr. met owner Janet Overstreet and Seamair’s Winterfest in the winner’s circle when they won the Hackney Pleasure Driving Pony class and then again when they returned to win the stake.


Show and Park Pleasure


Martha Keck and Hella Good faced a competitive group of eight when they hit the ring for the Five-Gaited Pleasure class and they turned in the blue ribbon team effort to start their week off right. The pair returned in the equally competitive seven-entry stake and made it two for two. CH Forever Aptor and Gail Hooker were right there to claim the reserve tricolor.


Red Zone moved up in the ribbons to take the title in the Park Pleasure Stake with Vanessa Hamm riding for Whispering Winds and Sandra Lehrack. Reserve Grand Champion Imagine The Dream had previously won the open qualifier with Don Deardorff riding for owner Karen Lachman.


Red Zone and Vanessa Hamm

The four-year-old horses faced one of the biggest classes of the show, their junior qualifier. Eduardo Castillo and Pinnacles Midnight Event faced the deep water and headed to the winner’s circle in the 11-entry class and then returned to also take the title in the 10-entry Junior Park Pleasure Stake. Castillo rode for owner Jill Anthony under the Dick Boettcher Stables banner. Unchained and David Becker Jr. claimed the reserve streamers in the junior stake for owner Virginia Bergstrom. Buttoned Down and Grace Arnold faced a nice group of six to win the UPHA Park Pleasure Classic for Mary McLellan Williams.


Bill and Debbie Tomin are most likely still riding high after CH French Silk Stockings recent World’s Champion Of Champions win with Debbie at Louisville just a month ago. Frenchie wasn’t fazed a bit though by the eight-entry adult show pleasure division at Fall Classic. She and Debbie Tomin came away with both the Adult Three-Gaited Pleasure Championship tricolor and qualifier blue, topping a great group both times.


Cathy O’Donnell and New York Imagination turned in a strong effort to win the limit rider class and a big move up in the ribbons from the adult pleasure qualifier to finish as the adult reserve grand champions under the direction of Gail Erickson.


It was yet another Rockridge-trained team that claimed a tricolor in the pleasure division. Sami Bishop and Callaway’s Party Time made a big move up in the ribbons to win the competitive 10-entry junior exhibitor stake for Mark and Cynthia Bishop.


Sami Bishop and Callaway’s Party Time


Heavenly Country Fire had a very special week at Fall Classic. In addition to putting together a great performance with Monique Hetu to be named the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Pleasure Reserve Grand Champions, Heavenly Country Fire also received the Kaulua Of Silver Oaks High Point Versatility Memorial Trophy in a special presentation (see separate edit elsewhere in this issue). Representing Canada, Heavenly Country Fire joined a host of other Canadian competitors making their mark at Fall Classic under the direction of Archie Hurst. Stablemates Captain Jack and Samantha McWade turned in the blue ribbon team effort to win the junior exhibitor 10-entry qualifier.


Owner and trainer Ed Morris directed Sherry McCauley and Heir Rage SRS to a sweep of the show pleasure driving division, which hosted five entries for both classes and three entries in the ASHAF driving challenge class. Sacajawea Charbonneau and owner Phyllis Hawkins were the reserve grand champions under the direction of David Becker Stables. Jessica Bowkowy-Woodley drove Phi’s Aristocrat to the winner’s circle for owner and trainer Charles Court to win the ASHAF Show Pleasure Driving Youth Challenge class.


Ed Morris met Sherry McCauley and Heir Rage

after they won the Show Pleasure Driving Stake.


Boomerang and owner Raylene McWade headed to center ring for the blue ribbon presentation in the seven-entry Open English Pleasure class and then ended up right where they started when Garone named them the winner’s of the Open English Pleasure Stake. Bombay Bronze and Archie Hurst made it a one-two punch when they rode up for the reserve tricolor. Hurst rode for owner Pat Crowley.


Alex McConnell rode I’m A Hellcat to both wins in the English pleasure owner/trainer division. Trainer Jennifer Dixon met Ethan Feiber in the winner’s circle when CH Java Sea took the blue in the 10 and under walk and trot pleasure class.


Switching gears to the driving division, Phi’s Aristocrat claimed two more victories for owner and trainer Charles Court. David Brandson drove to win the Open Pleasure Driving Stake and qualifier. Snow Lovely Of Silver Oaks and owner Debra Moreno were second in the stake under the direction of Lisa Lesch and Mel Lueck.


Country Pleasure


The five-gaited country pleasure division was well filled with eight entries competing in both the stake and qualifier. Callaway’s Jenny Any Dots made one of the biggest comebacks of the week with Ashley Blu. They returned after being out of the money in the qualifier to top a great group for the championship title for owner and trainer Don Mace. I Told You So Of Silver Oaks won the first class and finished in second in the stake with Alia Hurst riding for Archie Hurst.


Ashley Blu and Callaway’s Jenny Any Dots


Endolane Queen and Tom McLellan were victorious in the Adult Country Pleasure Stake for owner Holly McLellan to add yet another tricolor to the Boettcher tack room. Six competitive teams made the adult classes entertaining and riders worked hard in an effort to get the nod from Garone. Déjà Vu Of Valley View and Lauren Milner were reserve for owner Janet Brinsfield after winning the adult qualifier.


Dana Paparo directed Demi Ruffatto to a sweep of the junior exhibitor country pleasure division. They topped two eight-entry classes to be named the grand champions and champions from Far Niente Stables. Doubletrees Twenty-One Guns and owner Chelsea Copenhaver were named the reserve grand champions under the direction of Lila Hunt.

Demi Ruffato and Will Rogers Showgirl


Deborah Perry drove her Yachting Class to victory in the Country Pleasure Driving Stake to make it two for two. The team won the qualifier earlier in the week under the direction of Ed Morris. Gary Gustafson and Kommotion Of Silver Oaks teamed up to take reserve in the stake for Derek and Gary Gustafson.


Mr. Freckle Face and Robyn Hayden added two more wins to the Far Niente tack room when they won the Western Country Pleasure Stake and adult qualifier for owner Gary Hayden. Laura Berg rode her Bacardi Silver to pick up the reserve tricolor and showed under the direction of Lila Hunt.


Doubletrees Twenty-One Guns and Copenhaver displayed their versatility by taking the blue in the Junior Exhibitor Western Country Pleasure class and the win in the Saddle & Bridle Shatner Western Pleasure class.


Prince Ash Of Tryton and Kristine Burton picked up two wins when they claimed the Open Western Pleasure Stake tricolor and open qualifier blue ribbon for owner Joel Olson.


Tygerluv Of Silver Oaks and Holly Bahr were unbeatable in the hunter country pleasure division, winning all three classes offered. They were named the Hunter Country Pleasure Grand Champions and champions and also won the Saddle & Bridle Hunt Seat Classic for Donna Bahr to add three more blues to the Lila Hunt-trained total. Keylijah and Kimberly Erickson were reserve in the Hunter Country Pleasure Stake for owner Melissa Olejniczak.


Holly Bahr and Tygerluv Of Silver Oaks


Futurity and In Hand


The futurity classes at the show are one of the things that make it so much fun. Beautiful babies abound and the competition always brings out lots of emotion and appreciation for the work it takes to present the youngest equine stars.


Beyond Evolution earned the futurity win for the three-year-old five-gaited horses with Ed Morris presenting for owner Ann-Marie Schurra. Owner Lisa Lesch was reserve with Miss Bellagio.


Kimberly Erickson rode London’s Time For Tea to the blue in the NWSA Futurity Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited class for co-owners Kathy and Linnea O’Brien. Emily Boring and Je Ne Sais Quoi won the three-year-old fine harness futurity and Spot My Excitement was reserve with Lisa Lesch. Lesch drove for the Gustafsons.


Allison Deardorff was in the irons to win the largest three-year-old class. She headed to the winner’s circle with Doubletree’s Foxglove to be named the NWSA Futurity Three-Year-Old Park Pleasure Champions for Don and Allison Deardorff. A Spot For Tea and Lisa Lesch, again showing for Derek and Gary Gustafson, were reserve.


Oh Good Knight topped a nice six-entry two-year-old three-gaited futurity class with Don Mace showing for owner Arlene Berg. Harlem’s King Of Music and Allison Deardorff picked up the reserve for Muriel Pederson.


Lisa Lesch drove Visari to the win in the NWSA Two-Year-Old Fine Harness Futurity for Christen and Mark Hevern. The Knight’s Reflection and Harlem’s King Of Music finished in the same order in the NWSA Two-Year-Old In Hand Futurity as they had in the two-year-old three-gaited class.


Lynn Robertson showed her entry Lavash to win the two-year-old amateur futurity class under the Deardorff Stables banner.


It was again a battle between the Mace- and Deardorff-trained entries in the NWSA open classes for the yearlings. Kit Calafato’s Knight Time Revival came back from winning the colt futurity class with Mace to win the NWSA Futurity Yearling Championship. Doubletree’s Divine Design won the yearling filly class and was reserve in the championship with Don Deardorff.

My Rare Charm was reserve in the colt class with Deardorff showing for owner Karen Lachman. Owner Rhea Turner, showing from Far Neinte, won the amateur yearling futurity class with her entry Alivia.

Doubletree’s Very Fancy was indeed that and she was named the NWSA Futurity Weaning Filly winner with Don Deardorff showing for Don and Allison Deardorff. She came back to take the tricolor and title as NWSA Futurity Weanling Grand Champion. Doubletree’s Nirvana and Don Deardorff won the colt class and finished in second in the championship.

Doubletree’s Very Fancy, by Avant,

with Don Deardorff.


The Big Kahuna, owned by Sally Nottage, took the reserve ribbon in the colt class and Doubletree’s April In Paris was the reserve weanling filly with Allison Deardorff. Frankael and owner Lynn Robertson won the amateur weanling futurity class. Peggy Kelber showed Pinnacle’s Party Girl from Deardorff Stable to take reserve.




The Saddle Seat Equitation Championship was a very competitive class with nine entries. It was great to see the division so well supported especially at a time of the year when it becomes increasingly difficult for junior exhibitors to balance school and riding activities.

Although the championship was on Saturday, riders had to qualify in Thursday night’s 14-17 class, Friday morning’s 13 and under class or Saturday morning’s pleasure equitation class. The USEF Medal class was also held Friday morning and the 17 and under challenge cup class took place Saturday morning.

All of these classes led up to a well-filled equitation championship. Samantha McWade, riding Captain Jack, took the tricolor under the direction of Archie Hurst. Paige Copenhaver continued her busy week and took the reserve with Doubletree’s Times Squared. She had already won the pleasure equitation class earlier in the day under the direction of Lila Hunt.

Camille Barkman won the 14-17 class, riding Stand Up Guy for the win under the direction of Dana Paparo. Barkman followed up her qualifier win with the USEF Saddle Seat Medal blue ribbon.

Brienne Miller and Legacy Of Glory won the 13 and under class under the direction of Archie Hurst. Ethan Feiber took the blue from the 10 and under walk and trot class back to Atherton, Calif., when Garone named Feiber and CH Java Sea the winners.

Heavenly Country Fire carried Monique Hetu to the win in the seven-entry UPHA Challenge Cup class.

Katie McKnight, riding Doubletree’s Top Gun, won the Five-Gaited Equitation class to add another blue to the Deardorff Stable total.




Court Stables and Monarch Stables both brought Friesians to show at Fall Classic and both barns ended up with blue ribbons by the week’s end. Glor van de Bist, from Monarch Stables, won the Friesian Open English Pleasure class, with Brigitte Scholl riding, then returned to win the stake as well for owner Dana Leavitt. Scholl also took the victory pass with Glor in the junior/novice class.

Ferdinant van Gowo Zate was named the Friesian Amateur/Junior Exhibitor English Pleasure Grand Champion with owner Chaleen DeStephano after they won the amateur/junior exhibitor qualifier from Court Stables. Jelte and owner Cathy Anderson, from Monarch Stables, were reserve in the stake.

Charles Court drove Ferdinant van Gowo Zate to the Friesian Pleasure Driving Stake and qualifier wins for DeStephano to add two more victories to her total.

The Fall Classic provides a terrific wrap up to the season for many of the barns that attend and is also highlighted by the fact that many barns come from Canada and bring a lot of horses. Show management, staff and volunteers make a big effort to give those that attend a reason to come back next year and there are many reasons for owners, trainers and exhibitors to add this show to their schedule for 2008.

This highlights the NWSA Fall Classic Horse Show. Complete results can be seen and searched by clicking here.

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