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Raleigh Continues to Reign

by Megan McClure and Katherine Hansil

Raleigh, N.C. - The Raleigh Spring Premier Horse Show marks the first show of the season for many barns that come from up and down the East Coast to compete at the James B. Hunt Complex in Raleigh, NC. Judge Dena Lopez of Versailles, Ky. presided over the Saddlebred classes while Judge Mark Bodner of Marengo, Il. took care of the Morgan and Academy divisions. Known for attracting competitive combinations and exciting new teams, this year was no different as there were many classes in which teams, both new and old, went head to head for top titles. When the dust settled, no matter who was announced as the winner, the horse show provided entertainment and left exhibitors and spectators looking forward to a thrilling season ahead.

Harlem’s Class Act and Matt Shiflet had the ring all to themselves in the last class of the show to be named five-gaited grand champions after taking reserve in the Open qualifier. The exciting Iconium thrilled the crowd in his only performance of the show to win the Open Five-Gaited event on Thursday night. Trainer Karin Smith was in the irons for her Windy Hill Farm.

Fort Chiswell’s The It Girl and Alexis Braswell started the 2011 season off right as they were crowned the Ladies Five Gaited Grand Champion and Champion. In the qualifying class, it was Rappe and Nancy Troutman trotting out with the reserve ribbon.

The Raleigh crowd was fortunate enough to witness the first outing of the season for current World’s Champions of Champions CH Callaway’s Born For This as she wowed them to become the Amateur Five-Gaited Grand Champion and Champion. As always, Allison Combs was in the irons under the direction of Mercer Springs Farm. The competitive team of Twilight Maxamillion and Josh Wall put in two good performances as they trotted and racked away with the reserve tie in both classes.

Imperial Asset and Cara Wolf are quickly making a name for themselves in the junior exhibitor five-gaited division. Wolf had the beautiful chestnut in top form as they were called out as the grand champions. Reserve honors on Saturday night went the big-hearted CH Diamond’s Hope with Drew Taylor Hewitt in the irons for Teri Longworth. These entries also finished one-two in the 14-17 qualifier. In the 13 and under event, Her Name Is Lola made the victory pass with Jessi McCurry for the Harrison Shiflet Stables’ banner. War Hart and Laura Plant took home the red ribbon in their debut performance.

In the Novice Five-Gaited class, A Holiday Affair and Brooke Jacobs found their way to the winner’s circle, while Red Handed and Karin Smith were awarded the red ribbon.

Mike Richardson had Nancy Ehle’s entry Blazing Sevens in top form to trot and rack away with the Junior Five-Gaited blue. Uwharrie’s Rare Gypsy and Suzy Shiflet put in a fine performance to take the reserve tie for Uwharrie Hills Farm.

Current World’s Champion Our Sonflower and Allie Poovey racked and trotted their way to the winner’s circle to become the Five-Gaited Pony Grand Champion after earning the red ribbon on Thursday night. Roseridge Many Tears and Tiarra Terra were awarded the Reserve Grand Champion and Champion honors after two good performances.

Already a winner in the Amateur and Junior Exhibitor division, Callaway’s Born With Style proved that the open division was also not a problem for her. She and trainer David Cater proved to be the ones to beat at Raleigh, as they earned the Three-Gaited Grand Champion and open champion titles. Matt Shiflet presented his own Famous Kiss to be called out as reserve grand champion after taking the blue in the junior/novice event earlier in the week.

Reserve in the open class was Attache’s Crown Jewels and Rick Felder for owner Jamie Hardison. Jessie Richardson presented Steven and Emily Vicari’s Platinum Asset to take the red ribbon in the Junior/Novice class before Emily would make her debut in the 8 and under equitation division.

Mary Marcum Orr debuted with the full sister to CH Our Charming Lady, Charm’s Royale at Raleigh to win the Ladies Three-Gaited event. Also, a bright bay, this eared up mare looks to be a true competitor in the division.

Alexis Braswell made it four for four at Raleigh, as she guided the sporty A Silver Charm to the winner’s circle in both amateur three-gaited events. Reserve in both classes went to Gypsy’s Say When and Nick Antich under the direction of Suzy Shiflet. Tom Lewis and owner/rider Rick Daigle had the ring to themselves in the Amateur Three-Gaited 15.2 & Under class. The team at Fairfield South trains this combination.

CH Yes It’s True proved he still has what it takes at the age of 17, as he and rider Karly Morgan became the junior exhibitor three-gaited grand champions and 14-17 champions. Prom Dress and Allie Wellington rode away with the reserve tie in both classes under the direction of the Cowarts at West Wind Stables.The cute as a button team of Silver Exchange and Joanna Ricci trotted away with the blue in the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited 13 and Under class.

Going two for two was the Cater trained team of Powerful Tango and Dominique Bowlen as they strutted their way to the winner’s circle in both of the three-gaited pony classes. Taking over the reins from her big sister, Sallie-Mason Wheeler took home the reserve ribbons in both classes in her debut aboard Amelia Heir Cat. This adorable team is trained under the direction of Mercer Springs Farm.

In the fine harness division, it was A Magical Melody and owner/drive Jan Beardsley Blanco taking the top honors, as they became the grand champions under the direction of the team at Fairfield South. Reserve in the stake went to the open winner Starlight’s Rock A Bay and trainer Evan Orr for owner Linda Smootz. Father McKenzie and owner/driver Sharyn Lackey earned the reserve tie in the open qualifier on Thursday morning.

Silver Side Up was the lone entry in the Amateur Fine Harness event with Annette Greene at the lines.

Nutty Irishman and Kyle Gagnon had the ring all to themselves in the Junior Fine Harness event as they put on a show for owner Jan Beardsley Blanco.

Real Cool Cat made his first show appearance since acquiring a new owner and trainer a successful one as Kim Cowart directed him to the Three-Gaited Park Championship win and junior/novice blue. Karen McClure is the proud owner of this high-headed gelding. Open winner I’m Sky High and rider Kyle Gagnon rode away with the reserve tri-color to hang at the Fairfield South tack room. The red ribbon in the qualifying event went to CF A Rare Genius and trainer David Cater for owner Catherine McCool.

In their debut performances, Callaway’s Local News and Brittany Kale were the ones to beat in the amateur three-gaited park division. This Mercer Springs Farm trained team returned home with both the tri-color and blue. CH Our Silver Charm and George Anne Nash were awarded the reserve grand championship tri-color after a solid performance. In the qualifying class, it was the beautiful bay mare CH Meadowlark Jubilee with Jenna Norton who were called out for the red ribbon. Joan Sonnabend owns this nice mare.

It was a division full a debuts, as the junior exhibitor three-gaited park grand champions and champions were also making their first appearance together. CH Reedann’s Heir to Glory and McGee Bosworth were able to take the tri-color and blue back to the High Caliber Stables tack room. Reserve in both competitive classes was the well-matched team of CH Fox Grape’s Forever Yours and Elizabeth Ververeli under the direction of Kierson Farm.

In her under saddle debut, Call Me For A Date was guided to the red ribbon by Smith Lilly in the junior/novice class Thursday morning. Bill Beckley owns this nice entry.

The always popular and exciting team of Mr’s Bones and Charlie Jones raced all the way back to New York state with the Roadster to Bike Championship and amateur qualifying blue ribbons. Reserve championship honors went to the open champion team of Carl Julian and Bo Lucas for Lucas Equine Services LLC. Richard Harris directed his own Blue Sky to the red ribbon in the Amateur qualifier.

Vivacious added two more wins to her long list of accolades, as she and owner Dr. Holly Ackerman earned themselves the a pair of titles in the roadster under saddle division. Reserve both times out was Run Forest Run with owner Lauren Riggins in the irons.

Harry Daughtry drove his own Regal’s Citation LF to the winner’s circle in the Road Pony Championship and qualifying event. CH Zildjian returned to the road pony division to receive the reserve tie in both classes with Megan Whitby on the lines.

Seamair Premiere and Karen Voerg had the ring all by themselves in the Amateur Road Pony classes and sped away with the tri-color and blue.

Jamie Bo Lucas put in a great drive with Outside The Lines to be named the Junior Exhibitor Road Pony Grand Champion. The Kierson Farm trained team of CH Heartland Victory Maker and Alex Ververeli were announced as reserve grand champions. In the qualifying AHHS Medallion event, the two teams were reversed in order with Victory Maker taking the blue.

McGee Bosworth made two more trips to the winner’s circle, this time with Wait & See’s Postmaster. The team added the Roadster Pony Under Saddle Grand Champion and championship titles to their long list of accomplishments. Racing away with the reserve titles in both classes was Perfect Offering and Madison Morgan for proud parents Fred and Pam Morgan.

High Stepper’s Simply Awesome and Harry Daughtry were the lone entries in the Harness Pony division putting on a wonderful exhibition of how a harness pony should look.

Starting the season where they ended the last one, Heartland Parade Time and owner/driver Tamra Arndt drove away with the Hackney Pleasure Pony Driving Championship and qualifying titles. Reserve in both classes was Mahalo and Brooke Jacobs.

CH Recoup and Brooke Jacobs started 2011 off with two big wins in the competitive Park Pleasure division. Brooke and the bright chestnut earned the blue and tri-color under the direction of father Brent. JD Gardner put Tony and Paula Barr’s entry Will Called through his paces to earn the red ribbon both times out.

Matt Lightner guided Martha Clark’s Grand Kid to the winner’s circle in the Junior/Limit Park Pleasure class on Friday morning. The reserve red went home with Best Day Ever and owner/rider Barbara Matthews.

In the Three Year Old Park Pleasure class, Lightner made yet another victory pass. This time it was aboard the chestnut gelding Dare to Care for owners Burbank/Collins of Louisville, Kentucky. Reserve went to No Cover Charge and Kyle Gagnon for owner and fellow Farifield South trainer Devon Garone.

The Adult Five-Gaited Show Pleasure classes proved to be some of the most competitive of the show with big name after big name trotting through the gate. On Saturday night, Melody Murphy put her chestnut gelding Direct Effect in all of the right spots to be named the grand champion. This ecstatic team is trained by Matt Shiflet. Reserve grand champion honors went to the current World’s Champion team of CH Titliest Right Tonight and Allyson Ehle.

In the qualifying event, it was two different teams who rode away with the top prizes. Another current World’s Champion, Take It To The Top, made his first show ring appearance with new owner Janet Sterba in the irons. This Mercer Springs trained team started their career off on the right foot, as they became the Adult Five Gaited Show Pleasure champions. The always-popular team of Mojo and Megan Bush Barrett moved into the amateur ranks in style, trotting and racking away with the reserve tie.

The team of CH Desert’s Supreme Kid and Catherine Wheeler started 2011 off right as they left the Raleigh arena with the tri-color in the Junior Exhibitor Five Gaited Show Pleasure Championship, to go along with the red ribbon they received earlier in the week. McGee Bosworth made her debut with the famed CH Sunken Treasure and after a good performance this team became the reserve grand champions. In the qualifying event, it was Out of Reach and Ashley Stewart who were called out as the winners for proud owners John & Kim Stewart under the direction of Cash Lovell.

Raleigh was a show of debuts, as Barbara Matthews made her debut aboard Mahvalous Knight. The beautiful black gelding became the Adult Three-Gaited Show Pleasure Riders Over 30 Grand Champion and champion under the direction of the team at Mercer Springs Farm. With a comeback ride reserve grand champion honors went back to the Cater Stables tack room with Stocco and Amanda Murchison. Santa Ana Wind and Stacy Halloran took home the red ribbon in the qualifying class in their first show of the season.

Why Do You Love Me went two for two in the Adult Three-Gaited Show Pleasure Riders 18-30 division. Whitney Bennett presented her to receive the tri-color on Saturday night, while Andrea Athanasuleas piloted the bay mare to the blue ribbon earlier in the week. Game of Passion and Brittany Keel caught Judge Lopez’s eye to be awarded the reserve grand championship title. The reserve tie in the qualifying event went to Smokin’ Joe Frasier and Erin Silvestri for owner Glen Mosser, Jr.

In the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Show Pleasure 14-17 championship, Top Gun’s Mandate and Anna Ergish trotted their way to the winner’s circle to receive the tri-color for proud owner/mother Patience Ergish. This sporty team were also named reserve champions in the qualifying event. Mojito and Elizabeth Ververeli exited the ring with the reserve grand championship tri-color to hang at the Kierson Farm tack room. Drew Taylor Hewiitt catch rode Mildady Huntley in the qualifying class to take the blue for owner Alexandra Foster.

CH Power Source and Molly Codeanne were the team to beat in the junior exhibitor three-gaited show pleasure 13 and under division as they took the tri-color and blue back to the Cater Stables tack room. Lady Gabriella and Emma Sanchez put in a good performance to be named the reserve grand champions under the direction of Peter and Kim Cowart of West Wind Stables. In the qualifying event, it was Heir’s Intoxication and Carver Semans who exited the ring with the red ribbon in their first canter appearance.

The pleasure walk and trot 12 and under classes had so many entries, it was split into two divisions for both championships and qualifiers. In Section A, Stuck On You and Jamie Bo Lucas showed their stuff to become the grand champions and champions. Reserve in both classes was the cute as a button team of CH Santana’s Night Moves and Audrey Kim.

Section B found Morelli and Olivia Horan gracing the winner’s circle to be presented both the grand championship tri-color and qualifying blue. The reserve grand championship title went to Daddy-O and Olivia Schumacher for proud owner and mom Lorraine Shumacher. In the qualifying class, it was GA Town Harlett and Gracie Cox who trotted away with the red ribbon.

The eye-catching Blue Dragon bested the field of entries in the Three-Gaited Show Pleasure Novice Rider Championship. Joy Hicks was aboard for she and David Hicks. Cat Attack and Amanda Pongratz earned the reserve grand championship and reserve championship honors after two good performances. In the qualifying class, it was Unpretentious with owner Lynne Hege in the irons, who was called out for the blue.

The Ingleside Farm trained team of Simbara’s Stars and Stripes swept the English Pleasure Pony division as they rode away with the tri-color and blue. The flashy Sunkissed Supreme and Graham Troxell took reserve in both classes.

Looking as though they’d been together for years, My Stiletto and Debbie Marcum made their debut a success as they were called out as the show pleasure driving grand champions and champions. Reserve in both classes went to Sassy Dawn and with her owner Brenda Pulis at the lines.

It was CH Sir Winston C. and Allyson Ehle who topped a competitive Adult Country Pleasure Grand Championship class. This Kierson Farm trained team returned from a reserve placing in the qualifier to take the tri-color. Donna Finch garnered the reserve grand championship title aboard Talkin’ To You for she and her husband Jack. In the qualifying class it was the Boone’s Farm trained team of My Tee Time who made the victory pass. Barbour Childress was up for owner Andi Everett.

Stonecroft Ring Leader and Alexandria Cedrone went two for two in the junior exhibitor country pleasure 14-17 division to hang the tri-color and blue on the Boone’s Farm & Stable tack room. Philosopher and Caroline Anderson earned themselves the reserve in the competitive championship class for proud grandmother Sharon Anderson. Taking home the red ribbon on Friday night was The Nutley News with Meredith Macy in the irons.

In their debut performances Pull The Trigger and Allie Poovey pulled out all of the stops to go home with both the Junior Exhibitor Three Gaited Country Pleasure 13 And Under Grand Champion and champion honors. Reserve grand champions were Callaway’s Party Time with owner Allison Gann riding. Keep Me and Jordan Burks trotted away the reserve tie in the qualifying event on Thursday evening for owners Alexandra and Cheryl Palmore.

Barbara Matthews made yet another victory pass, this time with her own Horace Taft in the Amateur Trained Country Pleasure class. Stand And Watch and Sara Robertson earned the reserve tie.

CH Out Go The Lights and Nancy Ehle strutted around the ring in the novice rider country pleasure classes and were called out to receive the tri-color and blue. Tip Rogers with owner/rider Hannah Champion rode hard to take the reserve tri-color back to the Ingleside stalls. It was Keep Me and Jordan Burks who were awarded the red ribbon in the qualifying event earlier in the week.

CH Uwharrie’s Patriot Sage and Sarah Hecht were as cute as can be when they were announced as the winner’s in the Junior Exhibitor Walk & Trot Country Pleasure championship and qualifying class. Reserve both times out went to Radiantly Amazing and Caitlin Carey.

Head Will Turn turned the judge’s head to be named the Country Pleasure Driving Grand Champion and Champion with owner Kris Swanson at the lines. Callaway’s North Wind and Geoffrey Allen were awarded the red ribbon in both classes.

CH Cosmic Sunfire and Judith Gandarillas jogged and loped their way into the winner’s circle in both of the western country pleasure classes. Luanne Kilday was aboard her own Harlem’s Knight At The Apollo to take reserve both times out.

My My Boogies Shoes and Devon Broughton put in a good performance on Friday morning to be named the hunter country pleasure grand champions after earning the reserve tie earlier in the week for owner Alicia Rodenburg and under the direction of Krista Dent. CH Cosmic Sunfire and owner/rider Judith Gandarillas showed their versatility in another division as they swapped spots with them, taking the blue on Thursday morning and then returning for the reserve tri-color.

In her first performances out of the Academy division, Ally McHugh proved to that she was ready for the big time as she was named the Saddle Seat Equitation Grand Champion after her reserve in the 17 and under class earlier in the week. Reserve grand champion honors went home with Caroline Brown under the direction of Liz McBride.

Cassie Bystrack went two for two winning the open 17 & Under class, as well as the UPHA event qualifying her for the finals in November all under the direction of the Fairfield South team. Reserve in the UPHA class was High Caliber trained Ellie Kangur. Ellie also won the USEF Medal class while she was showing in Raleigh.

Also trained by High Caliber Stables, Meredith Macy showed poise and grace to become the Pleasure Equitation Grand Champion and champion. Reserve in both classes went to Kathryn Evans under the direction of Cater Stables.

Bambi Bollin topped the entries in the USEF Adult Saddle Seat Medal class. Sara Roberson put in a good performance to take reserve.

Hallie Ricci went two for two in the walk and trot equitation 9-10 year olds classes. Trained by Kierson Farm, Hallie is now taking over for big sister Joanna aboard CH Callaway’s Coraleen. Reserve in both of these classes went to the adorable Whitney Winslow.

In the walk and trot equitation 8 and under classes it was Jozy Unal who was announced to be the grand champion and champion. Unal debuted aboard Aces And Eights under the direction of Kathryn Rodosky. Sarah Madison Hecht took reserve both times out aboard CH Amandari.

JW That Special Flaire made his return to the show ring after over a year long hiatus. With trainer Ken Swanson at the lines, he was named the Morgan Park Harness Grand Champion for proud owner Frances Pugh.

Cedar Creek Flambeau made his debut with a new owner and a new trainer at Raleigh. With owner Krista Headley in the irons and trainer Ken Swanson meeting them in the winner’s circle, this flashy stallion park trotted away with the Morgan Park Saddle tri-color on Saturday night.

VVM Just The Ticket land owner/rider Bonnie Howard left Raleigh as the 2011 Morgan English Pleasure Grand Champion and Morgan English Pleasure Ladies Champion under the direction of Tim Roesink. Touché and Andree Vetrano earned the reserve grand championship tri-color for owner Zoie Marsh.

You Gotta Strut strutted around the Raleigh arena and was named the Morgan English Pleasure Open Champion with Krista Dent up for Ashley Lewis in their only appearance. Nathan Brachear presented Kelly Gordan Aguilar’s entry Singapore for the red ribbon.

Claridge Freedom’s Spirit and Natalie Tetterton returned on Saturday night to best the field in the Morgan English Pleasure Amateur Championship under the direction of Mary Ann Harris. Reserve grand championship honors went to AMHF Double Miss C and owner/rider Laura Whitney Austin. This team also earned the red ribbon in the qualifying event. It was Skywarrior and Mary Fisher Davila who made the victory pass in the qualifier earlier in the week.

RAM Wham Bam Precision and Anna Pugh went two for two in the Morgan Walk/Trot Pleasure Championship and qualifier. Taking the reserve ribbons in both events was Touché with owner Zoie Marsh aboard.

In the Morgan Pleasure Driving Championship, Graywood’s Lennox and Mary Daughtry returned from their reserve placing in the open qualifier to be the grand champion team. Barbwire and Chris Nelson earned the blue in the qualifier in their only appearance for owner Lisa Nelsen.

Dragonsmeade Carnaros and Nancy Hendricks went two for two in the Morgan pleasure driving amateur classes, taking home both the tri-color and blue.

Ken Swanson presented Frances Pugh’s Tara’s Bringin’ Sexy Back to win both the Morgan Pleasure Driving Junior/Limit Grand Championship and championship awards.

Hannah Medico had Rowenda Razzmatazz in top form to be called out as the Morgan Classic Pleasure Saddle Open Grand Champion under the Cater Stables banner. This team also took top prize in the open qualifier. It was Prada and owner Holly Pugh Johnson who rode away with the reserve tri-color in the championship class. Hollybrook Walk In Tall put in a good performance to take the red ribbon in the qualifying event with owner June A. Davis in the irons.

Boogie Nights and owner/driver Bonnie Howard swept the Morgan Classic Pleasure Driving division as they made the victory pass in both the Grand Championship and Open qualifier. Reserve Grand Champion honors went to LBJ Uptown Girl and her owner and driver Frances Pugh. In the qualifying class, it was Hollybrook Independence and Mary Daughtry who earned the red ribbon.

In the Morgan Western Pleasure Championship, it was Treble’s Front and Center who took the top honors with Anne Marie Biron in the irons. This team also rode away with the qualifying blue for Overtime Farm LLC. Briarmead Lady’s Pearl and Rob Marsh earned the reserve tri-color for owner Karen Sansom. Chris Nelsen presented Patricia Wyatt’s Lorenzo De Claridge to receive the reserve placing in the Morgan Western Pleasure Open class.

After tying reserve in both the Morgan Hunter Pleasure Amateur Championship and qualifying class, Tashota’s Black Dove and Dane Weiner came back to win the Morgan Hunter Pleasure Championship on Saturday Night. Winner in the Morgan Hunter Pleasure Amateur Championship and qualifier was Glorious Answer and Natalie Tetterton for Marshburn/Tetterton.

One More Harlem and Brittney Varney bested the field of entries to become the OTAB Local Pleasure Horse Grand Champion. This sporty team also earned the red ribbon in the qualifying class. Irish Cappuccino and Anna Rebecca Hart trotted away with the reserve tri-color for owner Amy Rawlins. In the qualifying class, it was Hang A Left and Amanda Pongratz who made the victory pass for Jacquelyn and Sara Bankes.

Saturday afternoon belonged to the Academy division. As always in the Carolinas this division was bursting at the seams. Winning titles in their classes were: Ranae Koski, Mickey Kangur, Rachel Sanchez, Clara McCool, Mary Margaret Adams, Kayla Lacoste, Ashley Rock, Rachel Witt, Sarah Adams, Jordan Dowdy, Kathy Hall, Felicia Elliot, Mackenzie Todd, Emily Stokes, Sydney Beason, Sue Rutz, Olivia Helvey, Devin Bunnie, Molly Crim, Emma Robinson, Judy Matthews, Lillian Boyd, Madison Hunt, Madeline McElvine, Emily Hallman, Seline Yaleinkaya, Avery Riley, Frankie Sue Snider, Megan Parr, Morgan Miller, Camille Brinkley, Merrick Semans, Sadie McAuley, Bella Weise, Madelaine Seeber, Emma Grace Lovell, Elizabeth Marshall, Elizabeth Stewart, Scarlett Brinkley, Caitlin Peal, Grace Allison and Lily Jordan.

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