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Quality Rules At The Morgan Classic Royale

by Diana Davidson


MONTEREY, Calif. -   The old theory that "it's the quality not the quantity" was proven true at the Morgan Classic Royale once again this year. While numbers were remained light with just over 60 horses, the quality was high. Over half of the horses visiting the picturesque grounds have earned victory passes on the national and world championship level. Not many shows can boast that percentage. Some of the classes were particularly entertaining with a group of world titled performers meeting head to head. The show featured a plethora of the West Coast's top performing champions opening the season in Monterey on May 17-19 with the promise of an exciting show season ahead.


With the light numbers, show officials decided to switch the evening session to late afternoon, so all of the classes were over each day by 6 pm, which left the evenings free for everyone to enjoy the many splendors of the Monterey Bay area. The schedule was heartily enjoyed by all as it left plenty of time for everyone to visit, work horses and enjoy the world-renowned beaches, shops, restaurants and attractions that draw tourists to Monterey from around the world.


This marked the seventh year that the Morgan Classic Royale has been held at the picturesque Monterey County Fairgrounds. The show committee was once again headed by Mona Skager with Harriet Landrum returning as show manager. The show officials also included; secretary Roxanne Hood, USEF Steward Liz Alward, paddock masters Adele Maurer and Susie Morgan, announcer Malcolm Rossoll, ringmaster Terry Brennan and photographer Debbie Keough. Cliff Swanson served as the judge for all of the classes at the 2007 Morgan Classic Royale.


The 2007 Morgan Classic Royale featured many memorable show ring performances highlighted below. Full results can be found by clicking here.


The park division featured the team debut of the captivating World Champion DMH Back In Black and owner Kathleen Kabel as their cheering section encouraged them to the Ladies Park Saddle blue under the Blackridge banner. Shannon Connor enjoyed a grand start to the show season with her bold performing Grandemeanor as they swept the Amateur Park Saddle blue and tricolor. Kathy Papola stepped aboard her fronty Plum Haven Capistrano to debut for the reserve honors directed by Bill Grundmeyer for Baccarat Farms.


Shannon Connor and Grandemeanor

directed by Tim Arcuri.


Bob Hughes had Dragonsmeade Fusion looking through the bridle and pumping his legs on his way to the Open Park Harness blue and tricolor with the Fu family of Dragonsmeade Farm cheering on their impressive performer. World Champion Intrepid Dynasty has taken on a new look this year as Carole Bradford took over the reins of the Lee/Woolley family’s dynamic gelding to turn in a pair of stellar drives for the Amateur Park Harness blue and tricolor directed by Keith Nelsen.


Keith Nelsen was right back in the winner’s circle as he closed out the show by directing the charismatic En Possession NKS to the English Pleasure Championship victory for the Lee/Woolley family. Stacy Hennessy matched up with Mariann Brown Carrasco’s OH Independence Hall for the reserve tricolor, while Gerry Rushton directed the sporty gelding to the Gentlemen’s Pleasure Driving blue. A Winter Day was a striking presence in the open division as Bill Grundmeyer piloted Linda Sheridan’s dynamic stallion to the victory pass in the Open English Pleasure qualifier.


The elegant world-titled team of HVK Obsidian and Ling Fu Wylie started the season with a pair of polished performances to earn the Ladies English Pleasure blue and tricolor for Dragonsmeade and Blackridge. The new team of Cindy Stiers and JW Thinketh Blue turned in a fine ride to collect the ladies reserve tricolor as well as the first year green win coached by Cathy Grimes.


Shannon Connor was right back on victory lane to successfully defend the Amateur English Pleasure Championship and once again earn the Bettina Bancroft Memorial Trophy. She directed her bold-moving French Flambeau to the winner’s circle under the direction of Arcuri Stables in the amateur qualifier and championship. Lisa Howa enjoyed showing in Monterey once again as she paired up with the elegant Minion Mademoiselle for the Amateur Ladies English Pleasure blue as well as the amateur reserve tricolor under the Blackridge banner with family and friends cheering them on.


Natasha Rodley earned the prize for coming the longest distance to Monterey as she traveled from England to show Pacific Rim Take Aim to the top honors in the Junior Exhibitor English Pleasure qualifier and championship directed by Arcuri Stables.


Jessebelle enjoyed a stellar saddle debut as Debi Jeppesen guided the Tug Hill Whamunition daughter to the Junior English Pleasure Championship as well as the four-year-old blue for Boston Morgan Farm.       


The competition in the pleasure driving division featured a host of proven World Champions along with a dash of promising new competitors. The open division saw GLB Bell Of The Ball make a bold transition back to this division earning the blue with Gerry Rushton on the lines for Lorraine Bumb. The amazing pairing of Festival Calypso and Stephanie Connor started off the season in top form to carry home the Ladies Pleasure Driving blue and tricolor in many felt was the deepest and most exciting division of the show. Iann Fu Longenecker paired up with Prada for two fabulous performances to carry the reserve honors back to Blackridge.

Dragonsmeade Carnegie Hall and Stephanie Connor turned in two picture-perfect drives in Monterey as the audience cheered on the gorgeous gelding and his adept driver to the Amateur Pleasure Driving blue and tricolor. Nan Wille-Cecchettini enjoyed showing off some of her new entries in Monterey as she debuted with her elegant Dreammaster J’st Sharper for the reserve honors under the Rushton Stables banner.


Rushton Stables had a lock on the young horse competition. Paul and Danica Brisco’s elegant Nicoria daughter Extreme Obsession made the victory pass in the four-year-old class with Gerry Rushton on the lines. Stacey Hennessy and Gerry Rushton traded places with their entries in the three-year-old competition as Gerry earned the qualifier win with Mari and Gary Sanderson’s sporty Highlander Give Me Liberty, while Stacy drove away with the tricolor finish on the lines of Lorraine Bumb’s dazzling GLB Amazing Grace in the rematch.


The perennial blue ribbon team of Miss Voodoo and Mona Skager topped the classic competition earning the saddle and driving championships as well as the ladies blues under the direction of David Torrey. WWF Trade Mark and Genevieve Carlino matched up for the Ladies Classic Pleasure Saddle Championship as well as the open blue with bright showings. SA Santiago and Marcy Letvinchuck earned the reserve tricolors in the open and ladies saddle championships.


Mona Skager and Miss Voodoo


The western pleasure division contained some of the top winning entries from the west coast. Garn Walker closed out another fabulous show with Connie Melendy’s beloved Corrick making a tricolor return to the show ring after topping the gentlemen’s class. Jennifer Grimes and her Grand National Champion partner Liberty Bend Nickodemus jogged away with the reserve tricolor.


The Morgan Classic Royale marked the one-year anniversary of the partnership of Virginia Adams and DLH Dakota Blues. After a world titled 2006, they were back to once again make a clean sweep with a repeat quartet of wins in the ladies and amateur divisions directed by Garn Walker. Jennifer McFall and the elegant Briar Oaks Pep In My Step were dazzling in the reserve slot in the ladies division for Sandra Nelson who also debuted with fine performances in the amateur division. Kathy Papola and matched up well with her handsome Baccarat’s First Issue to jog away with the Amateur Western Pleasure Reserve Champion prepared by Ron Smith.


Madison Avenue Morgans sent another impressive youngster to the winner’s circle as Gulfwind Sir Patrick and Jennifer McFall collected the Junior Western Pleasure Championship as well as the three-year-old blue. They were followed in both outings by Mt. Echo Dance Dark Secret with Garn Walker aboard for Cliff and Vona Schuring. Virginia Adams and Garn Walker each enjoyed a trip to the winner’s circle aboard Adams’ elegant new entry Wildcard’s Satin Rose who jogged away with the novice and first year green wins.


Melissa Hart escorted Gulfwind Sir Patrick and Jennifer McFall


Garn Walker prepared Chintimini Bravo Charlie for wife Melissa by guiding the handsome chestnut to the Open Hunter Pleasure blue and tricolor. Café Chocolate closed out a busy show by being named Hunter Pleasure Reserve Champion with Jennifer Grimes aboard for Denise Groom. Merin Maggi also matched up with he long-strided performer to sweep the Junior Exhibitor Hunter Pleasure Championship and the 14-17 qualifier. Jessica Carlino introduced GLB Moonlight Sonata to the hunter pleasure division with a blue in the first year green as well as the junior exhibitor reserve championship.


Garn Walker and Chinitimini Bravo Charlie


Sandra Nelson’s elegant mares had a lock on the top spot in the ladies hunter division as Melissa Hart teamed up with QVM Gabrielle for the tricolor after Jennifer McFall guided CHC Blue’s Shining Star to the qualifier blue. Allison Smallridge and Talamar Enstarment were reserve in both ladies events as well as the amateur championship after taking the victory pass in the amateur qualifier under the direction of Garn Walker.


Kathy Smith was delighted with VCF Naughty But Nice as they enjoyed a very nice ride to garner the Amateur Hunter Pleasure Championship after matching blues in the limit and novice classes under the Dragonfire Farm banner. Jenny McFall also directed another promising new team in Alias and Barbara Fleming as they topped the Junior Hunter Pleasure qualifier and championship.


Tommy Brisco showed off his riding talents as he matched up with Chimera Wild Enchantment to earn the Saddle Seat Equitation victory pass to the delight of owner/instructor Debi Jeppesen. Courteney Kabel enjoyed two stellar rides with Marathon’s Electrafire as they brought the Walk-Trot Equitation and Friday’s pleasure blue back to their fan club at Blackridge. The Sanderson family was on hand to cheer on Madison Sanderson as she teamed up with Ryan’s Got The Beat to earn the victory pass in Saturday’s Walk-Trot Pleasure guided by Stacy Hennessy.


Courteney Kabel and Marathon’s Electrafire

with Debi Jeppesen.


Lauren Gorfinkle and Talk Of The Town LPS turned in polished performances to carry the Hunt Seat Equitation blue and tricolor back to the Garn Walker banner. Jessica Carlino put GLB Moonlight Sonata through her paces to earn the AMHA Hunt Seat Medal as well as the reserve tricolor.


The Trail classes took center stage between the two Friday sessions with a quartet of horses maneuvering in the six classes offered. Many time champion Pollyanna’s Round To-It and Sherrill Tompkins picked up the tricolor following blue ribbons in the open, senior and walk-jog classes. Last year’s tricolor team of WWF Super Trust and Susan Carlino earned the reserve championship this time around. Richard Tompkins also introduced Pollyanna’s Pamela to the winner’s circle in the novice class. Nancy Bonde and JPO Dynalite collected the top honors in the amateur class.

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