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Ohio State Fair

Manager: Bob Geesaman

Secretary: Judy Peters

Announcer: David Rice

Ringmaster: Randy Dinius

Photographer: Linda Wollaber

Farriers: Vernon Ridgley, John Reynolds

USEF Stewards: Kandyce LaZarrus, Kathryn Lawter,

Judges: Bob Ruxer, Ann Speck, Chris Gantley


by Claire Panke


COLUMBUS, Ohio - When scores of Saddlebreds and hundreds of ponies converge upon the Buckeye capital, it can only mean one thing: fair time at the Ohio Exposition Center.  The Ohio State Fair held its annual show July 24-29, packing over 500 classes into six days. The classic attracted 687 equines large and small from all corners of the Buckeye state, plus Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Tennessee, Illinois and North Carolina.



Bob Ruxer, Ann Speck, Chris Gantley


“I was especially pleased by several new stables that were here,” said show secretary Judy Peters, noting a favorable trend. Peters has to be one of the hardest working officials in the industry, keeping this complex show running smoothly despite the daunting logistics of coordinating a huge schedule and multiple breeds. Although Hackney entries were slightly down this year and equitation competitors were few, pleasure classes of all kinds were well filled and few stalls were empty in the stabling area.


Ohio’s prospects weren’t always rosy. Exhibitors in the 21st century are not eager to attend multiple state fairs with overlapping dates. Once upon a time the Ohio State Fair backed up against Louisville’s juggernaut at the end of August. Show management, concerned about the show’s long-term viability, faced some tough decisions.  Their choice to move this show before the start of the actual Ohio State Fair has proven to be a wise one – the show now enjoys a more comfortable distance from its Kentucky rival. Without fair activities, horse people experience a much more relaxed show environment and a considerably cleaner facility. They also see much smaller audiences in the stands. But most exhibitors are happy to trade the hustle and hassle of fair time for the convenience of parking near one’s stalls and being able to move in and out with ease. Some fair traditions remain, however, the most popular being the ice cream bar in the Dairy Barn next to the coliseum.


Boasting an all-inclusive show schedule, prize money incentives with futurities and ASGN, plus good facilities, Ohio State Fair should be near the top of many more exhibitors’ itineraries.




Four determined pairs of gaited contenders returned for the championship, drawing from several preliminaries. The advantage see-sawed among the entries, with Judge Ruxer giving the nod to the sharp eared, coal black Castaway, owned by Hundred Acre Wood farm and ridden by trainer Paul Snyder to the tricolor. Owners/breeders Karen Grady Carver and Lauren Carver Noe were delighted with their homegrown hero.  Vernon Wise had the open winner Callaway’s On Line cranked to the max for a close reserve.

Castaway and Paul Snyder


Dollar For Dollar and Lisa May had perfect ride for the victory in the ladies class, with Autumn Hunt and Meet Your Match close behind in second. The amateur championship was another laurel for the Hundred Acre Wood Farm’s homegrown contingent as Karen Carver teamed Uhlen’s Look Of Love to top honors. Fast racking Hawkcrest and Kim Blakely took reserve. The qualifier had these placings reversed.


The junior exhibitor division saw the pretty Four Ever A Dream and Catie Ray Clark rack up a pair of good wins, with Sync Heir Swim and Kaitlin Klucas in second. Ann Moro Gioffre had Highpoint’s Last Dance in good form for the blue in the Ohio owned class. Hi Lite’s Fashion won the novice for Bob Phillips and owner Faydelle Schott.


The junior class saw another victory for the sporty three-year-old Superior Revelation, bred, owned, shown and trained by Joan Hammond.  Phil Price had Tina Stodd’s very attractive Thunder Over The Amazon up for second. The Denver Junior Five-Gaited saw a new star revealed in the cocky Showtime’s Raggity Andy, making his show ring debut a winning one with Greg Reason. Bill Waller and darkly appealing Raisin Cookie took reserve.


Three-Gaited and Park


The championship saw two of Ohio’s winningest walk-trot teams contending for the tricolor. Stacey Bare turned in a flawless ride on her gifted CH Caramac’s Norma Rae to garner the championship.


Stacey Bare and CH Caramac’s Norma Rae


They previously captured the ladies event over Worthy Wonder and Debra Saul. John Nelson rode Dorothy Anderson’s popular star Nakooma to the reserve championship, having been reserve in the Ohio owned class. The open event went to an emerging star, the fiery Silk Empress and owner-rider Autumn Hunt. Tony Potts guided By Honor Bound to second.


In the amateur division, Gypsy’s Santana Lady never put an ear back for Jessica Saul. This attractive duo marched to wins in both the qualifier and championship over Maxed Out and Dana Cook Baer. 


Trainer Bobby Murphy greeted

Jessica Saul and Gypsy’s Santana Lady


Lexi Rueff continued her conquest of the juvenile division by guiding Lady Latte to the championship and preliminary. Patrick Hall and Safe Harbor stepped into the reserve spot. Donna Grieder was the happy winner as her Never Worry took the prize in the Ohio owned stake.


The novice competition was a blue ribbon ride for Larry Gardinier aboard Southern Tango. Gloria Edwards’s Santana Dancer took the red rosette. Elizabeth Snyder and First Night’s Attraction were the winners in the Denver Junior Stake.


The three-gaited park division proved to be one of the most competitive in the show. The open championship saw Rare Genes and Jodi Mezan Bartagnolli turn in a perfect performance to take the tricolor home to Lakeview Farm. Royal Crest’s Stone Beautie and Jeremy Kelly contended every step of the way but had to be content with reserve. This team had previously captured the qualifier for owner Ray Blanton. The Lady’s Heir dominated the amateur and amateur championship. This gorgeous gelding is owned and shown by Lynn Gutches Snowden. The impressive Caramac’s Counterclaim and Susan Hall marched up for reserve in the stake and qualifier.


Fine Harness


Refined and lofty, Tropical Treasure captured yet another tricolor in the championship for Susan LeVally and owner Linda Litzinger. Hot on their heels was the junior stake winner, A March Day, owned by Rhonda Black and shown by Steve Demjen. The gifted entry of Happy Valley Farm, A Conversation Piece, was driven by Bill Waller to second. The open qualifier was a blue ribbon drive for Margot Geyer and Santana Review over Endolane Dreamer and Charles Semones.  Tropical Treasure took the first prize in the Ohio owned stake over the appealing Unbelievable Blonde, driven by Anthony Edwards for Jon Catlin. Untamed Obsession got the judge’s nod in the novice class for Clayton Caldwell, with Let It Roll up for second. 

Tropical Treasure and Susan Levally           


One’s Dizzy Lizzy and Jackie Hammond turned in two exciting performances to take top honors in both the ladies and the amateur stake. Untamed Obsession notched another reserve in the amateur division, while Out Of Town Man and Katie Brittian took second in the ladies class. Side Show Bob nabbed the blue in the Scarlet & Grey Classic for Phil Price and Bill and Kathy Hickman. Juan Banuet drove the cute She’s Forever Timeless to the three-year-old title. The Walter Murphy Memorial two-year-old class highlighted two soon to be stars. The limber legged Magical Attraction and Matt Schuckert took top honors for Julie Wigton with the pretty Curtis Lowe and Steve Demjen driving away with reserve.




With Ohio State Fair home to the AHHS National Futurity and Sweepstakes, plus the Ohio performance futurities, it’s no surprise several top Hackney exhibitors make the trip to Ohio.


The open road pony championship was a highlight of the division. When the dust had settled, it was a brilliant performance from Kilbro’s Wolfgang and Kayla Sapp that garnered the tricolor, with the exciting open class champs Diamond’s Skye’s The Limit taking a good reserve for Terry McKenzie. This duo was also winners of the AHHS Sweepstakes. Kilbro’s Wolfgang was the blue ribbon recipient in the ladies class over the speedy Regal’s Poetic Moment LF and Amber Estis.


The amateur stake was a contest between two strong winners from earlier in the week. Honors had been previously divided between the top two, but in the final contest, Richard Bevin’s gave Regal’s Country Squire LF a strong drive for the championship, while Junior Schut and Kharbon Steel had to settle for reserve. Kharbon Steel grabbed the adult amateur win over Regal’s Country Squire, while the latter sped away with the Ohio owned title.  Dun Haven Dapper Dan could not be denied in the amateur-owned-trained and driven class.  Matt Schuckert had another good one in High Society Memories Legend as they sped away with the three-year-old futurity title.


Kayla Schut and Noble Victory stepped up with a blue ribbon drive in the AHHS Youth Medallion. Bill Waller captured a trio of road pony wins, first with Mr. & Mrs. Darrel Kolkman’s sporty Heartland Landmark in the UPHA Roadster Classic, then with his own Heartland Fire And Rain in the novice and junior.


In the long tail division, Kim Becker was all smiles after driving Kilbro’s Patent Leather to both the Ohio owned and championship wins. This pair has enjoyed a winning year on the Tri-State circuit. Knight’s Holiday Swinger captured the amateur harness pony finale with Beth Jenkins at the lines. Main Impression and Charles Semones took the reserve tricolor for Charlotte Carter, having traveled all the way from Winston-Salem, N.C., to show. Mi Leonardo topped the amateur qualifier for Pam Ahrens. Renan Carter drove Renn Brook Maestro to the blue in the UPHA Classic. Crystal Creek Hot Shot was another top performer for Bill Waller and owner Kathryn Nichols, winning the AHHS three-year-old long tail futurity. Showtime’s So Impressive was just that for Greg Reason, winning the AHHS Futurity two-year-old harness pony division.


The cobtail division was light on quantity but saw several good performances. Taking home the first prize in the championship and open class were the cute Mr. MacGillicudy and Renan Carter. Kilbro’s Pit Boss and Beth Jenkins were sharp to march away with wins in both the amateur and amateur championship. Craycroft Sultan displayed an impressive, four cornered trot for Matt Schuckert, bringing home the blues for owner Rick McQuown in the AHHS four and five-year-old sweepstakes and UPHA Classic. Renn Brook Millenium Fire had to settle for second in the classic but took the win in the junior class. Prince Of Design was the AHHS three-year-old futurity champion for Vern Houston. 


Like other pleasure divisions at Ohio State Fair, the pleasure driving classes for the Hackneys proved to be large and filled with quality. Faydelle Schott had two great drives with the exciting Hawkeye’s Seven Eleven to win both the championship and the Ohio owned event. High Life Pride and Eric Hall took reserve in the championship with a nice drive after capturing the AHHS Medallion.


Eric Hall


Heartland Speculation and Allison Brenner were second in the Medallion. In their only appearance, Canadian Club and Shirley Sanislow looked super winning a competitive adult class over Knolland Liberty Belle and Bing Crosby.  Pony Vista’s Firezazz and Julie Moro turned in a smooth performance to take reserve in the Ohio owned class.


The novice driver class saw a new pleasure contender crowned when the very sporty BFC Armed And Dangerous and Missy Warner trotted up for the win. Portrait Of A Lady and Barbara Pippin were second. The UPHA Classic and AHHS three-year-old futurities saw another exciting newcomer prevail as Showtime’s So Tuff and Bing Crosby nabbed the blues in both. Renn Brook Sweet Sonata and Charlotte Carter were the winners in the junior division. Warren Finkbine drove To A Dark Star to top prize in the AHHS Sweepstakes four and five-year-old pleasure driving. The Ohio three-year-old pleasure futurity went to the sporty Last Call and Scott Seils.


Show Pleasure


Like nearly everywhere else this season, the five-gaited pleasure classes at Ohio were strong and well filled. The colorful CCR displayed talent and show horse attitude to capture both the qualifier and stake for a delighted Susan Hall. Elegant Superiority turned in his usual smooth and happy performance to rack away with reserve in both classes for Joan Hammond.


The three-gaited pleasure contingent was also strong. The lovely The Wings Of The Dove was a star in her new division for owner Vernon Wise, capturing the Adult Three-Gaited Show Pleasure Championship. Uwharrie’s Street Legal and Dana Cook Baer topped a large adult class over CF Twenty One Again and Kelly Norris. In the junior exhibitor division, In Due Time and Hannah Stilwell proved unstoppable as they turned in three terrific performances to take the championship, the 14-17 and the novice rider classes. The handsome A Midnight Kiss stepped into reserve in the 14-17 and stake with Lydia Uhlyarik riding for Pamela Boyers. Alexis Salerno was reserve in the novice rider class aboard Roseridge’s Tip Top. The 13 and under qualifier went to the striking pair of Sweet Steel and Abby Santanello, followed by Pretty Fizzy and Zoe Reck.


Kaelyn Donnelly was thrilled with her championship performance aboard her fancy CH Highpoint’s Coming Attraction – this pair took the tricolor home to Louisville in the novice rider grand championship, proving they are just as good under saddle as they were formerly in harness.  Pamela Boyers had another class topper in the pretty and sharp-eared Kalarama’s Flo Jo. Katherine England teamed her to the blue in the Ohio owned three-gaited pleasure class. Alexandra Cousino had a good trip on Paragon’s Hi Lite for second in the class. The versatile Major Cool and Candy Gierke topped the amateur-owned-trained-shown event.  Everyone loves a nice grey horse, so the dappled grey Wyndenskye’s Flight Of Fiction proved a popular winner of the novice class for Walker Lee.


The show pleasure driving finale marked a breakthrough performance from On My List and Paige Bundy. This duo has found their niche, grabbing both the championship and the ASHAF Youth Driving Challenge.

On My List and Paige Bundy


King’s Harlem Rose was the reserve champion with Etta Caldwell in the buggy.  All eyes were on the handsome Eyes On You in the show pleasure driving qualifier, Gary Cook was on the lines for Pamela Boyer to bring home the top prize. James Salerno drove Roseridge’s Tip Top to the red ribbon.


Country Pleasure


Jessica Wilson and Cool Side continued their winning season, making two perfect shows to take the adult qualifier and adult country pleasure finale. Second in both of these were Happenstance and Teri Kearney. The Ohio owned was a score for Leslie Burlingame and Unforgettable Night, who also got the judge’s nod in the amateur-owner-trainer event. Vickie Siemon Webb and Uwharrie’s First Lady were reserve. Joan Hammond and pretty Sunset Jubilee added the novice blue to their collection. Cadogan and Cassie Cervantes were dual winners in the novice rider preliminary and championship, followed by Kiowa Kid and Cindy Long in the championship, and Willowbrook’s Great Day and Rebecca Combs in the qualifier.


The versatile team of Gone Ballistic and Stephanie Grudoski had things all their own way in the junior exhibitor classes, winning the 14-17 and championship, as well as nabbing reserve in the country pleasure driving and driving championship. Skyborn and Merissa Baquero took the second spot in the juvenile under saddle championship. Caralussa’s SoFarSoGood and Lindsey Goetzinger had second call in the 14-17. The 13 and under went to Belhaven’s Dalwhinnie and Reba Whitacre, followed by Dance Card and petite Taylor Boyer. The Bay Princess looked and performed like royalty for owner Mary Strang, receiving the judge’s approval for the driving championship and qualifier.


Intellectual High and Jill Wilson delivered two perfect rides to win the western and western championship. Stonewall’s Peavine Rex and Terry Elson got a well deserved win in the Shatner class as well as reserve honors in the championship. D Fire N Spirit was the red ribbon winner for Estill Tibbs in the Shatner. Yellow Rose Starafar and Susann Strayer took the blue in the novice event. Virginia Jeffries had Harlem’s Buck Eye looking better than ever to capture the hunter trifecta, taking the hunter classic, qualifier and hunter championship. The multi-titled Emily Grey was a close reserve in all three events.


Park Pleasure


The open championship saw the bold liver chestnut Unsanctioned deliver a strong performance for Vickie Siemon Webb for top honors. This same duo had two great drives to take the amateur driving and stake. The super-sporty Loony Tunes grabbed the blue ribbon for Autumn Hunt in the open class. My Lilly Marlene and Larry Gardinier took home first place in the junior park pleasure, while Phil Price had Julia Maxton’s Majestic Wing in fine form for the three-year-old victory. Joshua Jones and Wild Eyed Dream were the polished victors in the open pleasure driving championship. Turn My Head and Brian Yount gave a good account to win the qualifier.


For the amateur park pleasure division, top honors were taken by Black Copper and Eva Franzcek. Earlier in the week, the amateur preliminary was a walk in the park for Miss Albany and Erin Sparks, who took the blue back to owner Pamela Boyers.




Ohio State Fair holds the world championship events for both parade and saddle horse western equipment. The incredible team of Candy Gierke and Major Cool wore the silver with pride as they turned back all challengers to win every event in these two divisions. David Swindler guided Better Than Bourbon to reserve honors in all four classes.




Although the 10 and under classes were both well filled, overall the equitation division was lightly supported. The walk and trot classes were a delight however, with several good riding youngsters in the mix. Angela Mangine fit her horse to a T, then rode with aplomb and determination to take both the 10 and under class and the championship.  Skylar Rueff turned in a poised performance to earn the UPHA 10 and Under Challenge Cup victory, with tiny Delaney Webb a delighted reserve. Lydia Uhlyarik qualified for St. Louis by capturing Saddle & Bridle Medallion.


Skylar Rueff


In Hand


Kaitlin Klucas and Veronica’s Surprise were no surprise winning the pleasure in hand and pleasure championship – they’ve cut quite a swathe through this division in 2007. Reserve champion was CH Highpoint’s Coming Attraction with Kaelyn Donnelly. The country pleasure in hand blue went to Doc’s Double Dip and Candace Walters.


The yearling class had the incentive of ASGN added money. Cathy Christian was the happy winner with the very pretty Play The Odds. Clem Lee showed Pamela Boyers’s Masquerading Charm to second. Joe Russell came all the way from Illinois to contend in the Ohio futurities. He showed some fancy babies to sweep the weanling, yearling and two-year-old divisions with Dressed To Chill, White Lace Stockings and Wisteria Lane.

Dressed To Chill and Joe Russell


Joan Hammond showed the elegant Born Superior to reserve in the weanling class. Clem Lee had My Dear Lilly parked out perfectly to nab reserve in the yearling.


The AHHS Hackney Futurities boasted several in hand winners that are poised to impress. Tipsy Gypsy was like a little doll for Jerald Elmer to win the AHHS Futurity for Weanling Fillies. Roger Lucas showed the typey Fitz’s Wind Walker to a good victory in the weanling colts. Kilbro’s Major Impact was aptly named as he was quite something led to the blue in the yearling colts division by Bill Kildow. He was a double winner of both AHHS and Ohio futurities. Twin Willows Patriot was a nice colt for Ed Wilson in the AHHS two-year-old colts. Extremely A Dream was the feminine winner in the two-year-old fillies, capturing both the AHHS and Ohio futurities.


The Ohio Futurity was also competitive. Extremely A Dark Star was sharp for Jim Spurrier in the Ohio Two-Year-Old Colts and Geldings. Diamond’s Sexie Lexie cast her spell in the yearling fillies under the direction of Mark Shohayda. Skylord and Gerald Elmer were judged the best of the weanling colts with X Tremely Fancy being fancy for the win the weanling fillies.

This concludes the highlights of the Ohio State Fair. Complete results can be found by clicking here.

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