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OKC Divisional 2003

Classic Pleasure

The Classic Pleasure division has greatly expanded the participation level in the Morgan breed, a breed already known and loved for its great versatility. Since its inception at the Grand National and World Championship Morgan Horse Show in 1989, the division has grown to include a complete schedule from young horses to junior exhibitors to ladies and of course the world championships for both riding and driving.

Evidence of this would be 22 entries in this years Classic Pleasure Saddle World Championship. Household names from across the country vied for the title and this year a new champion was crowned. Delivering a world class performance Cinemax and Mindy Duran took over the winner's circle in this highly competitive class. Under the direction of Luman Wadhams, their journey to the world title began with a victory pass in section B of the ladies gelding qualifier and actually earlier in the year it began with championships at Connecticut Morgan, New England Morgan, and Mid-A.

Section A ladies gelding winner, Futurity's Flamboyant, was the reserve world champion for the second consecutive year with hometown girl Kimberly Ruffel in the irons. This winning combination is kept in high order by Ronda Collins.

Last years world champion, Intrepid Immortal Beloved finished third in the large championship for Leslie Hurst. They too came from the ladies division, winning the mare section over 11 other entries including reserve champions EBM Diamond Lady and Susan Ellis.

In the classic saddle qualifiers the Kenny Guell trained EBM Diamond Lady and Susan Ellis took a unanimous decision in the mare class in which Barbara Tardy and Carlyle Can Can received the reserve nod. Unanimous decisions were also awarded to Noteworthy and Terry Jones Brennan in the under 15.1 stallion/gelding section where they performed in victorious fashion for owner Lexie Ellsworth and trainer David Torrey. Kimberly Ruffel and Futurity's Flamboyant also visited the winner's circle in the 15.1 & over stallion/gelding class. Riverside Buckingham with Robin Vergato and CSH Corydon's Eclipse with Jan Marie Evans were the respective reserve champions in the stallion/gelding qualifiers.

Fifteen entries made the gate call for the Ladies Classic Pleasure Saddle World Championship and in this one Kimberly Ruffel and Futurity's Flamboyant came through with a unanimous decision. Their star studded performance topped a number of strong challengers, the closest being reserve world champion Lookaway's Howitzer, owned and ridden by Linda Stewart. Stewart and the polished bay had been reserve in section B of the ladies gelding qualifier. Third place in the championship belonged to Noteworthy and Terry Jones Brennan, also the third place finishers behind Futurity's Flamboyant and Riverside Buckingham in section A of the ladies gelding class.

With large qualifiers in the age groups, the Junior Exhibitor 14-17 World Championship was a hard fought battle and most of the top placings were a lot different from the qualifiers. Moving up four places from their 16-17 qualifier Serena Chaves and Raintree Valedictorian emerged as the world champions under the direction of Dottie Brittingham. Max and Barb Rudicel were the winning owners. Tatum Willard did the family proud riding Roadshow Texas Playboy to the reserve world championship after having already received the reserve grand national prize in the 14-15 qualifier. This was their first year in the older age group after having won the 13 & under world title last year. Also moving up several places, Desiderata Tosca and Elizabeth Forster commanded third place honors in the championship.

Qualifying winners included Rumor Has It and Caitlin Harrigan (16-17), Lindsay Errington and Guns & Roses (reserve 16-17), and KAK Command Dancer with Brittany Davis (14-15).

The 13 & Under Classic Pleasure Saddle World Championship was 10 entries strong and making their second victory pass of the show, Jennifer King and Stoneledge Step A Side wore the roses signifying world champion status. Trained by Jenny and Jim Taylor this winning combination started the week with a victory pass in the 12-13 age group following a workout victory stemming from a natural three-way tie. Also from that qualifier, Leigh Fitzgerald and Bono In Command GIN left the coliseum as the reserve world champions for the second year in a row to the delight of trainer Cindy Mugnier. The Oklahoma City team of Scandias Mark Of Destiny and Caitlin Novotny took the yellow prize for the hometown fans after the reserve tie in the 12-13.

Earning a ribbon in the championship round, Nicholetta Burroughs rode JJF Fear For Your Life to a unanimous decision in the 11 & under qualifier directed by John McDonald. They finished ahead of the reserve team of Emily Buchanan and Irish O'Ryan.

The youngest of the youngsters also enjoyed their time in the Oklahoma spotlight. All three judges agreed that AFF Elusive Dream and Chelsea Flynt were the top choice in the Grand National Walk-Trot Classic Pleasure 10-11 Finals. This La Mirage trained team's performance topped six other teams. Christopher Bernard had a priceless expression as he and Unforgettablee were announced as the reserve champions coached by Jennifer Lalone.

Showing the stamina and versatility of the Morgan Horse, Desiderata Tosca had already shown in two classes and now younger sister Kimberly Forster was aboard to win the 9 & under walk-trot finals. They collected the tricolor for Toodie Connor directed by Holly Gellner. The highly decorated Nemours Hallmark was crowned reserve grand national champion with Samantha Burroughs aboard prepared by John McDonald.

There were also plenty of up and coming classic pleasure stars as 10 entries competed for the Classic Pleasure Saddle Junior Finals. Mary Hunter Novonty teamed up with Scandias Mark Of Destiny to collect the championship tricolor. The fancy, black SPR Black Magic turned in the reserve tricolor showing with Joel Chauran presenting for Tom and Teri Brisco under the Rock Walker Stables banner.

Not quite as strong in numbers as the saddle division, the Classic Pleasure Driving section had plenty of quality entries pushing for Grand National and World Champion titles. In fact, the newly crowned world champion was winning pleasure driving and English pleasure titles most of the year and then at Morgan Medallion made the move to Classic Pleasure Driving. Driven by Cricket Coleman of Loveland, Colo., Stonecroft Sedona was called to the winner's circle as the 2002 Classic Pleasure Driving World Champion, defeating 11 other teams along the way. Representing The River's Edge, Stonecroft Sedona and Coleman began their world champion week with a stroll down victory lane in the stallion/gelding qualifier. Last years world champion, Cedar Creek Rambunctious had to settle for the 2002 reserve world championship. Owned and driven by Tara Farm's Frances Pugh, Rambunctious was also reserve behind Sedona in the 14-entry stallion/gelding class.

Doing double duty, Intrepid Immortal Beloved was the unanimous winner of the Grand National Classic Pleasure Driving Mare class with Art Perry at the whip for Intrepid Farms. Reserve honors in that round belonged to Douglas Coats and Morningside Cassandra.

The Gentlemen's Classic Pleasure Driving Finals also featured several entries that performed in both the saddle and driving divisions. Coming from Canby, Ore., Gordels Paramount Command and George Campbell drove away with a tricolor finish to an outstanding season. Forest Nealon prepared the winning team. They earned the gentlemen's title placing ahead of nine other teams including reserve champions Lookaway's Howitzer and Jim Stewart who added another tricolor to the Lookaway Farm collection.

When the qualifiers from the two ladies sections came together for their championship Noteworthy and Terry Jones Brennan turned in the winning performance for Alexandra Ellsworth. This finished out a winning season from Morgan Classic Royale and Morgan Medallion with the tricolor and roses prepared by David Torrey. They won the 11-horse ladies gelding qualifier to get to the championship round. Reserve World Champion honors returned to Manlius, NY, with Equinox Wild Card and Susan Evans. Sally Lindabury directed this fancy, bay gelding.

Enjoying Oklahoma victory passes under saddle and in harness, EBM Diamond Lady was first on the card in the ladies mare class with owner Susan Ellis in control. Jane Elliott and Charlestown Jennifer Ann picked up the red prize in this outing.

There was pretty much a new group competing for this years Junior Exhibitor Classic Pleasure Driving World Championship. Shown in the ladies division last year, Southbrook Ultimatum was the newly crowned world champion in owner/driver Jill Chiecko's first trip to Oklahoma. They made a big jump from the qualifying round, although they had had a good year in the Northeast winning titles at New England Regional, Mass Morgan and others with Cindy Mugnier's training.

A consistent competitor in the classic divisions, Amabayus made his way to the winner's circle as the reserve world champion with Julia Jones at the whip. They had been reserve behind the top winning team of KAK Command Dancer and Brittany Davis in the 14-17 qualifier. From the 13 & under qualifier Abacus Mad Max was the unanimous winner with J.T. Brannon taking a spin down victory lane for Jerry and Peggy Hutcheson. Are We Having Fun Yet and Holly Sprinkle drove away with the red ribbon.

Three-Year-Old Classic Pleasure Driving Grand National Champion Equinox Giovanni came back to also take the 11-horse Junior Classic Pleasure Driving World Championship as well. Owner Suzanne Segal twice had the winning drive with Anne Benson's coaching. Mona Skager and her elegant Miss Voodoo stepped it up to take the reserve world title guided by David Torrey A Grand National plaque was awarded to refined bay Graycliff Kilo in the four-year-old competition with J. Travis Higgins in the cart for Graycliff and trainer John Hufferd. Julie Schmidt and Priceless Jule turned in a polished performance to receive the reserve award among 11 promising entries.

World Champion Three-Year-Old Futurity competition produced another world title for Gulfwind Morgans. Mary Ann McKnight-Cantey and Gulfwind Temptress were the winners of the tricolor under the Luman Wadhams banner. Jim Stewart and Lookaway's Empress garnered the reserve tricolor, after also collecting the second prize in the open three-year-old class.

SHR....OKC Edit - In Hand division bob In Hand

A horse show within the horse show, the in hand division is highly anticipated each year and always sets the tone for the week. This year, however, the opening session of the Grand National and World Championship Morgan Horse Show was met with confusion and anxiety as the way the in hand horses were shown was changed, actually a few times during the same session.

Instead of coming into the ring all at the same time and then performing individually, the entries were brought in one at a time, but the real disruption came with how the horses were to be shown once they got into the ring.

“It should have been implemented at the Regional level, not at Oklahoma,” said trainer Lynn Peeples, a veteran of in hand competition. “You don't get to the world championship show and then ask us or the horses to show in a way we've never shown before. I also think it took some of the thrill out of it. When you have all of the horses in there together one gets to flagging himself and then the next thing you know a few others are and you have a horse show. Also, with the old way all of the horses are in the ring the same amount out time. No one has the advantage or the disadvantage of the luck of the draw.”

Theoretically the draw would balance itself out but to put even more disharmony into the new system, Ann Anderson and Jaisen von Ballmoos showed five in hand horses and drew the dreaded number one spot four of the five times.

“The committee wanted to try something different and it had worked in the Saddlebred and Arabian industries,” said manager Fern Bittner. “We kept making adjustments through the day and by Sunday night I think everyone had gotten accustomed to it and it wasn't that big a deal. In hind sight it should have been tried at the Regionals before putting it in here.”

Trainer Luman Wadhams saw the pros and the cons of the new system. "I thought that it took away from the excitement by bringing in the horses one at a time as the horses usually feed off of each other. On the other hand, I like the fact that it was more organized and there was less jostling at the gate coming in the ring," Wadhams added.

The new system wasn't a big deal for the first class of the show as only three entries competed for the Grand National Yearling Gelding title. The Bourbon Street son, Arboria Hundred Proof took the unanimous decision and it was announced that Sue Ellis was the new owner of the Tom Johnson trained entry who was bred and formerly owned by Arboria Morgans. Mark Bodnar presented the smooth and tasty Bacardi to the reserve title for Susan Brooks.

Numbers were better for the two-year-olds as eight competed. Following their individual presentations Raintree Picasso (Nobility x FCF Lalique) knocked off last years World Champion Junior Gelding to claim the Grand National Two-Year-Old Gelding title. John Hufferd was the winning trainer for longtime owner/breeder Barb Rudicel. The 2001 Junior World Champion, Granprix, did receive reserve honors with Gerry Rushton on the lead for a crowd pleasing performance for Debbie Uecker-Keough.

When the top two youngsters from the yearling and two-year-old classes came back for world honors, Raintree Picasso stood above the rest giving the Hufferd/Rudicel team yet another victory. Yearling winner Arboria Hundred Proof continued his tricolor presentations as the Reserve World Champion Junior Gelding.

Judges Peggy Alderman, Phil Price, and Kathryn Schwartz had eight entries to evaluate in the Grand National Three-Year-Old Gelding class and that title went to the very talented Man Oh Man CPM. A son of 1997 World Champion Stallion Man About Town LPS, the three-year-old gelding winner was shown by Mike Carpenter for Dan and Leslie Kelley. The team of Melissa Ann Cribley-Wahl and June Schaffer had been successful before and Reserve Grand National Champion On A Mission MEM added to their Oklahoma title holders.

JP’s Livin On The Edge (Clearview Commander x Weatherwell Finale) was the first name called from the three-horse Four-Year-Old Gelding class. David Earehart led the champion for Paula Cook. Jim Lowry presented the Pot Of Gold son, Strike It Rich, to the reserve title for Debbie Mentler.

The excitement level picked up as seven Five & Over Geldings competed for their Grand National title. After the initial individual work, three horses were pulled out for a second look and they included last years Five & Over Gelding Champion SMS Image That, last years Four-Year-Old Reserve Gelding Champion Med-E-Oka Nobel Prize, and the 2002 Far West Regional Grand Champion Gelding HVK Flash Back.

When the second leads were completed, royally bred HVK Flash Back (Noble Flaire x Rapidan Jessica) stood in the winner’s circle with Bill Grundmeyer presenting for Fire Run Farm. Jessica Smeed’s SMS Imagine That was the Reserve Grand National Champion for trainer Anne Benson, followed by Ken Swanson and Med-E-Oka Nobel Prize.

In the World Champion Senior Gelding competition the judges reversed an earlier decision, something that would occur a few times throughout the day, and put three-year-old On A Mission MEM (Futurity French Command x Suwanee Sweet Dreams) on top. Melissa Ann Cribley-Wahl and Mark Wahl showed the newly crowned world champion for June Schaefer. Three-Year-Old Grand National Champion Man Oh Man CPM was the Reserve World Champion Senior Gelding for Mike Carpenter and Dan and Leslie Kelley.

After a short break the top winners from the junior and senior divisions returned but none could top On A Mission MEM as the young gelding made his second victory pass of the morning with world champion roses. Again, Man Oh Man CPM was the reserve world champion.

“This was something we kind of did as an afterthought,” said winning trainer Mark Wahl of On A Mission MEM. “We only qualified him a few weeks before the show. He was the two-year-old pleasure driving gelding winner at Oklahoma last year and is a really nice horse in harness. He’s also long necked and conformationally correct so we decided to try and get this out of the way early in his career.”

Sixteen yearling fillies were on parade to start the afternoon session off right. From that group the judging panel selected six entries for a closer look. The best of the group turned out to be a daughter of Hylee's Galaxy Seven and HVK Noble Wine named Hylee's Vega. She was presented by Joan Lurie for Dragonsmeade. John Hufferd and Aljaks Miss Ladeeda made a strong case for top honors and finished reserve for Wendy Penn. Showing for Richard and Linda Hawkins, Garn Walker took RLH Electra to the yellow streamers.

Starting a winning trail to a world title, Queen's Victorian Lady (Mizrahi x Queen's Tiffany) marched and modeled to a unanimous decision as Grand National Two-Year-Old Mare. David Rand was on the end of the lead for Pete and Sandy Hendrick and Queens River Farm. Susan Overstreet's Ultras America Rising commanded reserve honors among the seven entries with Mark Wahl presenting.

Judges were quite sure of votes in the World Champion Junior Mare competition as Queen's Victorian Lady was the unanimous World Champion and Hylee's Vega was the unanimous Reserve World Champion.

Of the nine entries in the Three-Year-Old Mare class, four were pulled out to the in gate end of the ring for another look. Posing to perfection, DreamMaster J'st Sharper was a shining product of her world champion heritage. The daughter of World Champion Sharp Shooter and J’st Coastn Countess (the dam of Born To Boogie) topped the three-year-old section for the team of Gerry Rushton and Bill and Connie Myers' DreamMaster Morgan Farm. They had defeated the always flashy 2001 World Champion Junior Mare Aljaks Miss Wham I Am, again shown by John Hufferd for Margaret VanMeter.

The next time the gate opened 5 & Over Mares appeared as there were no entries for the four-year-old division. Of the five in the older age group, Menomin Yankee Midora, a daughter of Green Meads Yankee, received the Grand National Champion plaque for owner Corine Crossmon with Bernard Parker handling the winning lead. JLH Coming Up Roses turned in a stunning presentation with Luman Wadhams and Diane Conrady Craig to collect the reserve awards for Jack and Leslie Hill.

A unanimous decision was bestowed upon DreamMaster J'st Sharper in the World Champion Senior Mare competition which was a repeat of the three-year-old class. For the second time J'st Sharper and Gerry Rushton had defeated John Hufferd and Aljaks Miss Wham I Am.

Top two from the junior and senior sections returned for a shot at world champion fame and rising from the ranks of the two-year-old class, Queen's Victorian Lady was a standout to receive the unanimous decision for Pete and Sandy Hendrick's Queens River Farm. David Rand made the extremely professional presentation of the Mizrahi daughter, himself the Reserve World Champion Stallion last year. Victorian Lady's two-year-old, junior and grand champion titles were a replay of her debut performances at Northampton earlier this summer. Three-year-old DreamMaster J'st Sharper added to her Morgan Medallion Grand Champion Mare title with the Reserve World Championship.

As things were finally settled down on how the in hand stars would be shown, the evening session started with 13 yearling colts gracing the ring one by one. For the second year in a row Rick Stevens showed the Grand National Yearling Colt Champion. This years entry, owned by Thom Ozycz, was Starboard's Blitz Krieg (Favorite Son x Liberation Bella Donna). Reserve honors went to the Stonecroft Farm entry led by Joan Lurie, Stonecroft Intuition (Stonecroft Masquerade x Century Enjoli) who was the 2001 Morgan Breeder Sweepstakes Champion.

There had been much talk about Keith Nelsen’s two-year-old stallion which had won the Grand Champion Stallion title at Far West, and the Centerpiece son didn't disappoint those who hadn't seen him. Presented by Nelsen for Mike and Karen Super, Analyze That was the unanimous winner from eight entries in the Grand National Two-Year-Old Stallions. Showing for Patti Berthelette, Jaisen von Ballmoos and Ann Anderson guided the tail-flagging Pondview E-Z Spirit to the Reserve Grand National Two-Year-Old Stallion title.

The two-year-olds came right back to dominate the World Champion Junior Stallion class with Analyze That marching a bold trot on the way to the winner’s circle. Also with great attitude and type, Pondview E-Z Spirit returned to Massachusetts with the reserve world streamers. CVH Celtic Command topped the Three-Year-Old Stallion section for the team of Bernard Parker and Catherine Haynes. The Futurity French Command son placed ahead of four other entries including reserve champion Key Biscayne, a white trimmed chestnut entry led by Ernesto Chavolla and Judy Whitney for Ron and Lori Skover.

West coast star PWF Good Will Hunting (DFM Keep The Faith x RHM Promise Me Roses) had enough votes to take the Grand National Four-Year-Old Stallion title over two other entries. Joan and Rollie Bowers made the winning presentation for their Morgan Manor. Tim Roesink had a good lead with well designed Claridge Armani to receive reserve honors for Todd Muller.

Next was the moment many fans had been waiting for. The 5 & Over Stallion class saw the return of two-time World Champion Stallion Born To Boogie. This marked the tenth anniversary of the first time Born To Boogie struck a winning pose for Oklahoma honors as the 1992 Junior World Champion Stallion. One of the most popular stallions of all time in the show ring, the finely chiseled son of TVM I Promise and J'st Coastn Countess started his quest for a history making third world championship title with a victory pass ahead of worthy contenders Stony Hollow Ice Man and CKH Spirited Gift. Lynn Peeples led the champion for Bryna Watson’s Honeytree Farm. Tom Johnson picked up the reserve prize with the always exciting Ice Man for owner Dale Farabee and Arboria Morgans.

When Boogie returned for the World Champion Senior Stallion competition he was even better and collected his second unanimous decision of the evening. This time Key Biscayne was reserve to the champion setting up what appeared to be a great battle for the World Champion Stallion title.

This was the strongest section of the in hand competition and the crowd loved every minute of it. Could the youngster defeat the veteran? Could an earlier reserve winner move up like a few others had done on this day?

By this time Boogie's competitive juices were really flowing and he would leave no room for a newcomer. At one point when the four regal stallions were lined up at the end of the ring he bowed his neck and looked around as if to say, “why are you all even here.”

Peeples and Born To Boogie did make history and with another unanimous vote Boogie became only the second stallion in history to win three World Champion Stallion titles, the other one being the first World Champion Stallion, the legendary Bennfield's Ace.

“He was a little flat in the 5 & over class when we came in and there were no horses in the ring,” said Peeples. “He didn't understand what was going on. By the time we came back he was ready to go and showed like the one of a kind performer that he is.”

Reserve World Champion honors did go to the two-year-old Analyze That, again led by Keith Nelsen for Mike and Karen Super. This youngster looks to have a bright future and a strong fan base to cheer him on.

In Hand World Futurity competition began Saturday morning with Peggy Alderman, Kathryn Schwartz, and Rob Wilson marking the cards. World Champion Yearling Gelding competition was the first to grace the ring. Stonecroft Farm has had great success over the years and world champion honors came their way again with John Scheidt leading Stonecroft Aristotle (Stonecroft Masquerade x Whispering Arielle) to the winner’s circle. Reserve money went to Arboria Hundred Proof, already a Grand National Champion with Tom Johnson presenting for new owner Susan Ellis.

Topping the 17-entry Futurity In Hand Yearling Filly section was Aljaks Miss Ladeeda. John Hufferd showed the smooth bay daughter of Aljaks Double Whammy and Century Oak Denali for proud owner Wendy Penn. Wendy Sogoloff and Rebellion, a War and Peace daughter, claimed Reserve World Champion honors with a polished presentation for Joanne Podles.

Moving to the World Champion Yearling Colt Futurity, Stonecroft After Midnight (Stonecroft Byzantine x JW Belle Aire) turned back 12 other young stallions to occupy the winner’s circle for presenters Dave Gowans and Carolyn Sebring and owner Copper Beach Morgans. Grand National Yearling Colt Champion Starboard's Blitz Krieg picked up the reserve world title for Rick Stevens and Thom Ozycz.

When prize money was awarded for the World Champion Two-Year-Old Futurity Gelding Raintree Picasso stood alone as the champion for John Hufferd and owner Barb Rudicel. They had already enjoyed success in the age group competition on the first day of the show. The Nobility son topped nine other entries including reserve world champion Granprix, shown by Gerry Rushton for Debbie Uecker-Keough. Granprix continued to bring home some big futurity checks as he was the Yearling Gelding World Futurity Champion last year.

Deercreek Morgans was the winning owner of the Two-Year-Old Futurity Mare World Champion. Presented by Stacy Hennessy, this daughter of Black Tie Affair and MXM Infinity defeated nine other mares for the world champion title. Her closest competition came from RJMF Symphonic Music, a Beethoven daughter shown by Mark Wahl for Robert and Jean Morgan's Morgan Horse Farm.

Sebring Stables landed another world title when Dave Gowans led CBMF Ruling Class to the winner’s circle of the World Champion Futurity Two-Year-Old Stallion class. Sired by GLB Bell Pepper and out of CEN Can't Touch This, the Comoshun Morgans entry was the head of the class. Mike Carpenter showed Phil and Gloria Blevins’ promising Noble Flaire son, HVK Noble Song to reserve honors.

Before winning a world title in the Futurity division, Deercreek Tiffany was the winner of the Two-Year-Old & Under Sire Auction Sweepstakes with Stacy Hennessy showing for owners/breeders Craig and Jennifer Sommers. Enjoying a great week, Raintree Picasso collected the reserve honors in this division for John Hufferd and Barb Rudicel.

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