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Performance Classes Begin On Monday At Morgan Grand National

Monday Coliseum     An array of performance classes, the first of the week, started off the Monday morning session with lady riders aboard classic pleasure geldings 15.1 and over. It was mostly a collection of some of Morgandom's grand veteran performers who are still providing great enjoyment for their owner/riders. Associated with Rick Lane for many years with countless victory passes, Limerick Pepper Don topped the classic competition with Carolyn Gibbard in the irons. Strike It Rich and Sally Lawing were second, followed by Mallory Square and Tammy Mucklestone in third.     For the past few years Kiss N Tell has dominated junior exhibitor competition on the west coast as well as the famed Oklahoma coliseum ring. This year the Issues ‘N Answers daughter was the star of the Ladies English Pleasure Mare division with Stacey Hennessy riding for DreamMaster Morgan Farm. Reserve in the good class belonged to Jane Doe MEM, a gifted mare ridden by Melissa Cribley-Wahl for Maine Event Morgans.     There was a nice collection of talent in the Three-Year-Old Park Harness Mare and Gelding class in which the top votes were spread around. Showing for Terry Titus, Mike Carpenter presented the Liberation First Star daughter, Stardavari, to make the victory pass. Patchwork Simply Amazing, a beautiful black daughter of Simply Maserati, picked up several fans and a first place vote on her way to reserve honors with Jim Taylor at the whip for Janet and Eugene Siddle.     It looks as if the Ladies English Pleasure World Championship is going to be a great showdown as the ladies gelding class, the second ladies qualifier of the morning, featured a top group of household names which will be challenging the mares for the world title later in the week.     Small but mighty, Silversides Toy Soldier prevailed again for owner/rider Mary Fisher. The Krista Dent trained team was just ahead of former Three-Year-Old Pleasure Driving World Champion VVM Wrapped In Roses. Jenny Taylor presented the Vegas Valley Morgan entry. Next in line for a Grand National prize were hometown stars Abendlied Aristocrat and Ronda Collins and they were followed by Erin Thomas and Think About MEM. The Classic Pleasure Driving Junior Exhibitor 14-17 competition featured a New Engalnd tricolor sweep as last year's world championship duo of Manhatten Design and Caitlin Harrison brought top honors back to the Broadmoor banner. The popular team of Hermitage Avatar and Steven Handy claimed the reserve award with a polished drive.     A bright group of Four-Year-Old English Pleasure Mares displayed their talents next. Emerging with the 2004 title was Hillwood Irish Claddagh, an expressive Irish Revelation daughter ridden by Debbie Lukas under the direction of Jean DeGutis. Amateur riders claimed the top two prizes as Cindy Vogels rode AMHF Double Miss C to the red streamers while under the direction of The River's Edge.     The east coast won the battle in the Ladies Classic Pleasure Saddle Mare class. Multi-titled Rumor Has It earned the rights for an OKC victory pass. Barbara Irvine directed the winning performance with Elizabeth Young Fina in the saddle. The Washington state team of Goldencrest Aleksis and Inge Johnsen picked up the red streamers for trainer Bill Grundmeyer.     Ben’s Rhapsody was the winning sire from the Grand National Four-Year-Old English Pleasure Stallion/Gelding competition. Knowing the family well, Jim Lowry presented Kriskroft Choirboy to claim the top honors for Donna Zimmerman. Connecticut Morgan winner KGA Picasso was reserve for Mike Carpenter and owner Maggie Hood. Both of these top two finishers have shined under saddle and in harness this season.     A large group of contenders vied for the blue prize in the session ending Ladies Classic Pleasure Gelding Under 15.1 Hands class. When it was all said and done, Anne Speck greeted Debra Hurst Walters and VVM Litigator in the winner’s circle. Reserve honors went home with Cristina Di Gioia and the heralded Rum Brook Immortal Mystic. It was Di Gioia’s first time in the Oklahoma show ring as directed by Arcuri Stables.     When action resumed for the afternoon session Steven DeBolt and Pine Creek’s Noble Vision were the lone contestants for the Three-Year-Old Park Harness Stallion class with the other three-year-olds apparently headed for the Futurity class later in the week. This handsome Nobility son earned his second title of the early week for Michael and Mary Penn.     Numbers increased drastically when the gate opened for the Hunter Pleasure Four-Year-Old Stallion/Gelding class. Adding another Grand National title to her storied career, Amanda DuPont rode Carreg Wen Nocturnal Hawk down victory lane. Mary Carlton turned in the reserve ride with Orrwoods Special Edition for new owner Timberland Morgans under the Keith Nelsen Stables banner.     Medomak Lady Of Fortune and Elaine Galatz were the talk of the Ladies Pleasure Driving Mare class as all three judges had them on top of the cards. Ann Anderson and Minion Starlette were the best of the rest of the challengers for Livingston Morgans.     It was becoming quite week already for the Forster family of Redmond, Washington. Kimberly Forster and Desiderata Tosca added to the family’s good fortune with a victory pass in the 11 & Under Classic Pleasure class. Lauren Little and Whistler’s Endeavor went home with reserve grand national memories.     Beside the number 342 the judge’s card read 1-1-1 for the Three-Year-Old Classic Pleasure Driving entries. It was KB Infinity And Beyond and Kathleen Mullaney who saw their names in lights as Jim McCleester directed them to the victory. Bruce Beckman and Thunder Beam earned the red streamers.     There was an impressive lineup for the English Pleasure 12 & 13 Year-Old Riders but none quite as impressive as champion Cabot French Pepper. A former World Champion English Pleasure performer, French Pepper was piloted by Alyssa Wick to the victory pass for Richard Cecchettini. Emily Orthwein and Bandelaro trotted up to accept reserve honors.     Some of the park harness classes for young horses weren't the largest but the two-year-old stallion class came through with four nice entries. The best of that group was a hook necked youngster named SpiceOLife Present Tense. Diane Conrady was the winning trainer/driver of the animated performer for David James Walker. The reserve finish went to the promising Liberation First Star son, BKC Valiant Star with Mike Goebig at the whip for the debut performance for the Brewer-Killian Committee.     Seventeen entries strong, the Western Pleasure Gelding Under 15.1h class had some of the biggest names in Western riders. It was a group of veteran trainers going for the title and in the end Mike Wahl and Cedarfarm Lancelot reigned supreme for Judy Corbin. PTR Raz Ma Taz was named the reserve champion with John McDonald tall in the saddle for Erin Hittesdorf.     After being teamed with the legendary Hyland Acres Command and winning a world title last year, Adriana Liberty returned to the winner’s circle at Oklahoma ‘04. This time the David Rand trained Ultra’s Proclaimation was her winning partner. The Howa/Arcuri team is always hard to beat and in the 14-15 pleasure class Zachary Howa and Minion Mademoiselle finished as reserve champions. It was a returning champion successfully defending her title for a new owner and trainer in the Roadster To Bike Mares. Here, the fleet of foot JW Romantic Ways introduced Frank Gibbard to the Oklahoma winner's circle under the direction of Cabot Morgans. AFF Narrow Margin and Peggy Alderman were in hot pursuit with the reserve finish for Claudius and Mary Ann Cole.     Rushton Stables claimed a unanimous decision in the 11 & Under English Pleasure class with Airegantlee and Rachel Miller. The Arcuri Stables trained combination of Outrageous Courageous and Stacia Klein also had a good go to take reserve.     The Two-Year-Old Park Harness Mare & Gelding class was one of those “Yeah Boy!” kind of classes as Kurt Hufferd drove SpringMill Renaissance to the title. Owned by SpringMill Morgans and sired by former Park Saddle World Champion The Master’s Touch, SpringMill Renaissance was the talk of the afternoon. They did have good competition from a number of teams, the best being reserve champions Century Oak Noblique and Judy Whitney Harris performing for Bob and Muriel Herrick.     All of the junior exhibitor pleasure sections were strong this afternoon. One of Oklahoma’s most popular stars over the past decade, Merriehill Hooligan led the way with Christin Ramsey aboard in the 16-17 age group. Having raised and started the legendary Hooligan, Merriehill Farm was reserve to the champion with Nicole Meyer riding Futurity Chicago Whitesox.     Bringing the afternoon to a close, the Carriage Driving Turnout Single was split. Junacres Tandy and Anita Meinert were having a good week already, adding section A of this class to their collection. Beta B Provocative and Martha Wetmore had the reserve drive. In the next round CJS Cinergi and Cindy Fischer-Shepherd were on top with Bethesda Nickelodeon and Sherri Lower in reserve.     Monday night’s schedule wasted little time in cranking up the excitement level. Eleven high powered entries vied for the Amateur Park Saddle Mare & Gelding blue. Champions from the east coast, west coast and many points in between gave it their best shot and after a second trot the second way of the ring, the defending world championship team of Hylee's Dann Right and Annie Morgan were crowned the champions. It has been a tricolor season for the Cape Cod team representing Bob and Jean Morgan. HVK Man Of Distinction and Kristin Curreri made a strong show themselves in their Oklahoma debut to receive the red prize among the seasoned contenders. Leaving the friendly confines of the junior exhibitor ranks behind, Lauren Cojocar and King Lehr’s Bob A Loo enjoyed a solid third place finish.     Junior exhibitors had the coliseum to themselves in prime time. The 12-13 classic pleasure riders followed the outstanding park class and they kept the competitive level right up there. It turned out to be a family celebration as Tyler Hufferd rode Bery Banke Toot Toot to the winner’s circle in a large and competitive class.     “He actually listens to instructions. That’s not a family trait,” said uncle/trainer Kurt Hufferd.     Tyler's dad John Hufferd agreed that he didn't know where that gene came from. Emily Buchanan and her family had a celebration as well following her reserve ride with Irish O’Ryan.     The tack room curtain at Crystal Farms was already getting full with blue ribbons and team Carlton added yet another with Shaker’s Maribeles and Judy Fox taking the Amateur Hunter Pleasure Mare title. Whitney Singer Porter and Jax Noble Onyx were on their heels in reserve.     Always a large and competitive class, the Ladies Pleasure Driving Geldings did not disappoint. Everywhere you looked someone was making an Oklahoma caliber pass. In the end all three judges agreed that Melissa Morrell and Can’t You See MEM represented the specs of the class the best. They were Grand National Champions for Phyllis Frechette. Also unanimous, Stephanie Connor and Festival Calypso added a reserve grand national title to their long list of credits. Also strongly in the mix, Debra Hurst Walters and No Doubt trotted away with a third place finish.     Sired by World Champion Born To Boogie and out of Devan Melmore, Let’s Boogie was crowned the Three-Year-Old Hunter Pleasure Futurity World Champion. Year in and year out Kathleen Peeples scores Oklahoma titles in the Hunter division and this was another one for Cynthia Brown-Clark. Reserve money went to the Stonecroft Byzantine entry, Briar Oaks Pep In My Step, ridden by Belle Hufferd for Morgans Of Briar Oaks.     Con-sider Me Special was most entertaining as the Four-Year-Old Classic Pleasure Driving Grand National Champion. With a “look at me” expression, the aptly named entry was driven to victory by Connie Votava under the direction of Mike Slomkowski. Marilyn Hackett and JW Enjoyabelle represented Cedar Creek as the reserve champion.     A beautiful work of art, Grand Cru Beaujolais was the Western Pleasure Stallion winner with Keith Nelsen in the saddle for Debra Woolley Lee. Their closest competition came in the form of Eitan Beth-Halachmy and Charlestown Blue Moon in the stunning field of 11.     David Rand is as excited about each blue ribbon won by his customers as if it were his very first. He was beaming while running alongside Amy Gatewood and unanimous Grand National Amateur Park Saddle Stallion Champion PWF Good Will Hunting on the way to the winner's circle. The crowd also showed its appreciation for the athletic performance given by Key Biscayne and Lori Skover for the reserve title.     It was standing room only at the rail to watch the evening’s finale and what a good one it was. Speedster after speedster kept coming through the gate for the Roadster To Bike Stallion/Gelding class. And when the dust had settled, Tim Roesink and Primary Investment GP were called to the winner's circle for Kourt Jester Morgans. In just two days this was already an incredible week for the hard working young trainer from Ohio.     “That took me by surprise,” said Roesink. “I thought I had a good drive but I would look around and there were some other horses making good shows too.”     Among those pushing the winners were reserve champions Arboria Victorious with Lynn Peeples on the lines for Paul Calandra, followed by Mary Cockriel and Oak Creek Doubletake in third. Show Arena 6     Across the lane in Show Arena 6 the Versatile Morgan Finals opened the day with Wintergreen Sultana and Jill Countryman presenting the well-rounded champion. Bruce Novak and Monogram Backfire commanded reserve honors.     Fifteen of the nation’s finest from the Western Pleasure Mare division came together on Monday morning. It was a much different group from last year's challengers and when the results were announced Burkland Elegant Lady and Jordy Johns strolled to the winner's circle for Dragonsmeade just ahead of Bold Eden and Joyce Swanson in reserve for Katherine O'Meara.     A blue ribbon was hung on the Cedar Creek tack room following work in the Grand National Amateur Hunter Pleasure Stallion/Gelding 15.1 h and Over competition. It was delivered via Sight Unseen and Jennifer Cooley. Reserve among the 17 entries was the world class team of Melissa Walker and GPM Genesis B, holders of numerous world and grand national titles.     Hollie Luedtke and Evil Knievel represented the best of the 11 & Under Western Pleasure class with a smooth presentation. They were followed by reserve grand national champions JL's Night Track and Kelsey Kay Osborne directed by Cheryl Woosley.     From the Mark Mason Stables, Jennifer Lalone and CHC Blue's Shining Star were at the top of the final card in the Four-Year-Old Hunter Pleasure Mare class. Valerie Siemer and TMB Wicked Smile made the long trip from Florida worthwhile with a reserve finish for Lynn and Steve Burch.     Numbers continued to stay in the teens in most all of the western and hunter classes this morning. Thirteen was the magic number in the Western Pleasure Gelding 15.1 h & Over event. Moving to the open division, last year's World Champion Amateur Western Pleasure Horse, He's Simply Marvelous, looked just as sharp to make the blue ribbon pass with Garn Walker in the saddle for Virginia Adams. A reserve grand national title belonged to Leave It To B and Dale Rickford.     Amateur riders on hunters also came 13 strong. This section was for stallion/geldings under 15.1h. There was a big smile on Julie Rhen’s face as she heard the name Denbury Irish Justice called out first. LR Ami Sultan and Mallory Mignot followed the champions for Anne Mears.     If Hunter Seat Equitation was your bag the AMHA Hunter Seat On The Flat Gold Medal Preliminary was the place to be as 33 polished young riders attemped to make the cut. Those that did survive included Lauren Cook, Kati Anderson, Rachel Miller, Nicholetta Burroughs, Kayla Suzanne Reser, Krystle Pennington, Jullian Zick, Kali Erin Hutchinson, Lynzee Arnold, Emily Rosini, Ashley Wright, Karlie Bagan, Caitlin Novotny, and Kara Hose. Show Arena 9     Heading into day two, Open Reining got ring 9 off with a blast. Mark Wilcher rode another Heartquest entry to a Grand National title. This one was Heartquest Erin, an entry owned by Leroy Stockton. Taking their second reserve in as many days, Morganquest Native Sun and Sterling Slemp were next for the Burris family.     From the afternoon session LMC Summit Rose and Jarvis Anderson left the ring with the Grand National title from the Four-Year-Old Snaffle Bit/Hackamore Reining event. Rough Diamond Rock My Sock carried Phillip Meredith to the reserve placing.     In the five-year-old competition for snaffle bit/hackamore reining Morganquest Native Sun and Sterling Slemp captured the blue after having already taken two reserves. Heartquest Erin and Mark Wilcher had to settle for reserve this time out.     Also in Show Arena 9, Mt Echo Mr. Bowtie and Earl McFall had the highest score among the Low Working Hunter 1 entries. Susan Garmier and Wintergreen Don Diego were the best of the rest of the 17 entries.     From William Woods University, Prairie Run Fools Gold and Betsy Irvin represented the storied school with a Grand National title in the Jumper 1 competition. LR Amie Savior Faire was the reserve champion with Kate Silberman.     Evening competition came to a close with nine entries entertaining the reining enthusiasts while ridin’ and slidin’ for the Reining Non-Pro World Championship. Texas came out on top in this one with Sherry Rivers and River Riders Rapture passing the tricolor test. Reserve world champion honors were bestowed upon Painters Pine Ridge and Travis Filipek.

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