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River Ridge Charity Horse Show


Judges: Richard Obenauf – Saddlebreds, Hackney/Harness Ponies, Roadsters

           Nancy Becker – Morgan, Parade, Saddle Seat Equitation, Open Classes

Manager: Barbara Dunham

Chairman Emeritus: Mildred Yaple

Secretary: Dayne Maple

USEF Stewards: Judy Peters, Evette Moody

Announcer: David Rice

Ringmaster: Tim Schubert

Paddock Master: Guy Brown

Organist: Gene Wright

Photographer: Howard Schatzberg

Farrier: Vernon Ridgley

Hospitality: Elise Becht Hauenstein

Vendors: Steve Moody

Stable Manager: Kuhlwein Services

Veterinarian: Michael Schmall/Ohio State University


by Claire Panke


COLUMBUS, Ohio - The 63rd annual River Ridge Charity Horse Show, held April 25-29, marked a highpoint in this venerable show’s long and happy history. Neither chilly temperatures early in the week nor rain on Friday could dampen exhibitors’ enthusiasm for the excitement taking place inside the Ohio Expo Center coliseum.


Despite some lean years in the past, River Ridge was definitely back with a bang in 2007 as top stables from all over the country poured into the Ohio State Fairgrounds. The show’s prime location drew not just Midwestern horsemen but also a significant number of barns from the East and Mid-south. Competition proved very deep indeed as world and national champion title-holders filled over 150 classes for Saddlebreds, Morgans, roadsters, Hackneys and equitation.


“I think this is the best show we’ve ever had” said Manager Barb Dunham. “There were approximately 470 horses entered and many stables came here for the first time.” Dunham credits convivial show dates and her hard working show committee for River Ridge’s success, noting that Jim Taylor’s supervision of the coliseum footing, upgrades on the fairgrounds, the parties and hospitality, plus “the friendliest office staff in the world” have all contributed to the show’s resurgence.


According to trainer and Ohio native Steve Wheeler, “The extra things the show does for exhibitors - the snacks, the parties, the way they try to please and improve - are truly appreciated.”


One very popular innovation was the computer monitor set up in the show office for exhibitors. This screen was linked to the show office computer, which continuously updated class information throughout the day. Exhibitors could check the number of entries and the specific horses in any class with just a couple of clicks of the mouse.


Party time at River Ridge means that no one needs to leave the show grounds hungry. Exhibitors were greeted every morning with a bottomless supply of coffee and doughnuts courtesy of Shamrock Farm, John Nelson Stables, R. J. Becht & Son and Jeremy and Katelyn Kelly of Windgate Farms. Honey Baked Ham sponsored a well received grooms’ lunch on Tuesday before the show began. Jim Kuhlwein and River Ridge sponsored a pizza party Wednesday evening while the show hosted a dessert buffet Thursday night.


Chuck and Lynn Hutchinson and World Champion Horse Equipment sponsored a chili supper. Friday saw the return of the highly popular progressive aisle party, one of the high points of the week. This year the host barns offered up groaning tables of food and drink, including everything and anything from frozen margaritas and burritos to pasta to White Castles. The very gracious Beth Jones, High Hopes Farm, sponsored the main entrees with other participating barns including Windgate Farms, Meadow Dream Farm, Morgan Horse Farm, Crowne Pointe Farm, John Nelson Stables, Double D Ranch, Don Harris Stables, Grove Pointe Stables, Little Lexington Farm, Memory Lane Farm, Infinity Stables, Clouse Stables and Hallston Manor. The evening was capped off with music and dancing into the wee hours. Last but not least, Kroger sponsored the cookie decorating for budding artists.


An especially thoughtful gesture by the show’s hospitality committee were the snack baskets provided each evening for ringside box seat holders – nachos and dip during the week night sessions and chocolate dipped strawberries on stake night. Another nice touch were the gift bags awarded in the junior exhibitor classes which contained a raft of donated goodies including River Ridge Horse Show embroidered caps. Steve Moody supervised over a dozen vendors to provide a wide variety of shopping choices in the main stabling area, adding to the festive atmosphere.


The River Ridge management tries to accommodate both the elite and the entry-level segments of the horse industry. The show committee is not afraid to try new approaches to encourage growth and participation. Classes are offered for open to all-breed pleasure divisions, amateur-owner-trainers and new this year, an “Elite” division for beginning riders 55 and older. Although the Elite classes were not well supported in 2007, management is willing to give this innovative experiment another shot in 2008. Much more successful was the ringside commentary during the evening classes by noted trainer-instructor Ann Judd. A trial run for a more expansive color commentary concept to be launched later this year, Judd’s background information and anecdotes were well received by the general public.


On a more somber note, popular trainer Chad Reiser was hurt Friday night after the show in a training accident while exercising a horse in the coliseum. Fortunately, Reiser’s injuries were not serious, although he was confined to a wheelchair on stake night – certainly not a place he had planned to be Saturday night.


Happily, most exhibitors experienced a grand time at River Ridge 2007. With its exhibitor friendly attitude, prime dates and accessible location, the River Ridge Horse Show is an event on the upswing. According to Dunham, exhibitors can expect even more improvements and refinements to the physical plant in 2008. The ingredients are in place for this show to continue as a major force on a national level.




The Five-Gaited Championship was truly the climax of the show as a full field of horses and riders barreled through the gate Saturday night. Initially appearing to be a closely matched group, the class eventually developed into an exciting battle between the elegant and lofty going limit winner, I’m Something Wicked, piloted by Chuck Herbert, and last year’s champion, the dynamic and speedy Beringer Red with Jenny Taylor aboard. When the dust had settled it was the brilliant newcomer, I’m Something Wicked claiming the crown for owners Karen and Jerome Rader. Beringer Red, owned by longtime Ohio exhibitors Fred and Phyllis Rhue, never gave an inch and pulled up for reserve. The beautiful and airy Whimsicality and Mike Richardson, riding for Robert Grom, were close behind for third.


Earlier in the week Beringer Red was the popular winner in the open stallion/gelding class, with the bold and speedy Thunderstorm Warning, shown by Ricky Cook for Bruce Williams, in second. Whimsicality was in fine form to take the blue in the open mare class which saw Radiante in strong reserve for Don Harris and owner Pamela Boyers. Second in the limit class was Desert’s Gates Of Fire, ably shown by Jimmy Robertson for Burbank & Collins.


Linda Fischer debuted the multi-titled Bono in a new role, taking the Ladies Five-Gaited class for sister Karen Fischer Mayer. This team is ideally suited for their division in what is sure to be the first of many blues. Hot on their heels were Dena Lopez and Belle Reve Farm’s Courtier.


Emily Hess Levine started the year in fine fashion with two perfect rides on Caramac’s Bogart. This duo claimed the amateur stallion/gelding and the amateur championship with authority for Southwood Partners LLC. Slick-racking CH Globetrotter’s Fantasy and owner/rider Ann Moro-Gioffre were close behind for reserve in the championship. Bill Marple turned in a smooth performance with his new Hartfelt Legacy for third.


Carson Kressley was on top of his game to pilot the very expressive and swift Enchanting Memories to the amateur mare title over CH Globetrotter’s Fantasy. Second to Caramac’s Bogart in the amateur stallion-gelding qualifier were Dr. Mary Reams and her competitive The Whole Town’s Talking.


Justin Cowley had the audience on its feet in a great comeback ride as he and Colonel Hoss blazed down the rail like an open stake team to capture the junior exhibitor championship. The appealing duo of Sipping Champagne and Thea Ervin had everything in order for reserve.


In the junior exhibitor preliminary Roseridge’s All Mine and Rachel Kelly were letter perfect for the blue, with the pretty grey Heirrison Ford and Jillian Schaffer in reserve.


One of the main pleasures of attending River Ridge is catching the seasonal debut of outstanding young stock. Last year’s three-year-old world champion, Callaway’s Born For This, has blossomed over the winter under the guidance of Nelson Green, defeating a very good group of four-year-olds in the Junior Five-Gaited Stake. Stonecroft Farm is the lucky owner of this exciting young star. Second in the class went to the bold and striking Zippers And Snaps, shown by Steve Wheeler for Chris and Jean Nalley.


The Nalleys were delighted with the assured performance of their very talented three-year-old Temptress Too, the rousing winner of the UPHA Five-Gaited Classic with Tiffany Wheeler up. Clark Clouse had Elmo Greer’s promising Legacy’s Super Idol in for reserve.


It doesn’t seem possible that the dauntless gaited pony CH Sammyshine is 17 years young. One would never know it by his spirited performance winning the Five-Gaited Pony Stake. Owner/rider Cydni Simmons knows this campaigner through and through, giving him a confident ride that pleased his legion of fans. The versatile Casey Morgan Tibolet seems able to ride the hair off anything as she did here to capture the red ribbon with Heiress To Champagne.




World Champion Hallelujah Chorus, purchased for newcomer Kimberly Jones at the American Royal last year, made her 2007 bow in style with Tom Sworm in the saddle for a win in the under two and a dazzling victory in the Three-Gaited Championship. Trainer Tom Sworm had her marching down the rail in a true, high cornered park trot without the least need for speed. Reserve tricolor in the championship went to Carolyn Stuart’s high-headed and very elegant Callaway’s Blue Waltz, presented by Chris Reiser. This limber-legged full sibling to Callaway’s Sugarplum won a very competitive limit class earlier in the week. Clark Clouse had the bold and cocky Last Tango In Paris in good form for third, having been second to Hallelujah Chorus in the qualifier.


Bret Day had Tom Galbreath’s handsome My Elegance On Parade just right to claim the over two class, with Mikhail nicely presented for second by John Warner for Nelson Gaker. Second to Callaway’s Blue Waltz in the limit was Charming Babette, stepping up for the red ribbon under the direction of Walden Bullard for Osborne and Partlow.


Kim Skipton showed Poser Farm’s elegant and precise The King’s Lady Anne to claim the Ladies Three-Gaited title. Our Embraceable Lady and Lori Boyd Van Gordan were sharp to capture second.


Making a vivid impression in both the amateur qualifier and the Amateur Three-Gaited Championship was the white-trimmed His Heirness. This sporty gelding never put an ear back and was boldly shown by Debbie Ecksten for owner Linda Lewis. A strong reserve in the championship were Lori Van Gordon and Our Embraceable Lady, while the consistent team of Sir Andrew and Margo Coleman were third. Second in the qualifier to His Heirness were Carson Kressley and the leg waving Page Six.


The very cute and perfectly mannered Like A Rocket marched down the rail to capture both the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited qualifier and championship for a very happy Jackie Schutt and owner Barbara Schutt. The aptly named Absolutely Exquisite stepped up to reserve for Tara Grom with Chelsea Patterson, and Stonecroft Front And Center closely contesting for third. Following Like A Rocket in the 14-17 qualifier were Lindsay Hensler and Number One Girl for Horizon Saddlebreds. Shown by Kelsey McDonald, the many times champion Heir Popper continued his winning ways for Robert and Kim Grom in the 13 and under class. Bippity Boppity Boo stepped up for second for Alec Kerns.


The large Junior Three-Gaited class was hotly contested by a very competitive group of youngsters. Marching out with the blue ribbon was the white trimmed, big moving Heir By Design, beautifully shown by owner Cindy Maloney. Reserve was the ultra-refined, cameo-like Milady A La Lucie and Mike McIntosh for Judy Houck.


Only two entries answered the call for the UPHA Three-Gaited Classic but what a class it was! Expressive and going the kind of extreme trot that had the audience cheering, Glenview’s Excelante was perfectly presented by Chuck Herbert for proud owners Martha Schriver and Ed Elliott. Reserve was Alice Nunley’s bright and cocky young star Silver Exchange, with Ricky Cook in the irons.


Fine Harness


The fine harness division was full of quality and interest. Although the two-year-old class was cancelled, it must be noted that not many two-year-olds are ready to show in April.


Marching out with the tricolor in the Fine Harness Championship was the appealing The Social Butterfly, smartly driven by Candy Hyman for the Hy Horse Farm. The open class was a victory for the very athletic and impressive newcomer Legend Of Troy, with George Knight on the lines for Poser Farm, while The Social Butterfly settled for second in the qualifier.


The amateur championship saw four determined drivers competing for top honors. Iris James and CH Kool Tyme BH could not be denied, adding this tricolor to their already considerable collection of championships. Reserve was the popular One’s Dizzy Lizzy, displaying her typical bold performance style for owner-driver Jackie Hammond. Rounding out the top three was the pert Hoof Prince, owned and shown by Jill O’Hara. The amateur preliminary was tied in the same order.


Gothic Bronze displayed his trademark lofty, four-cornered trot for a happy Eleanor Pederson to claim the Ladies Fine Harness class. Reserve honors in that class went to Shezacat and Monica Olson.


The Junior Fine Harness class was overflowing with quality and talent. Earning the judge’s nod with a beautifully measured combination of style and athleticism was Open Arms, shown by Bret Day for Jeff and Janet Sterba. Pressing their own case were the elegant Supreme Spotlight and Dena Lopez, while the handsome Callaway’s Clemency and Ricky Cook took third.


The three-year-olds took the spotlight in the UPHA Fine Harness Classic, which provided a trip to the winner’s circle for Susan Whittington’s impressive A Travelin Man and Dena Lopez. Stonecroft Sweet Connection captured the red ribbon for Stonecroft Farm and Nelson Green.




This popular division offered some of the deepest competition of the show, with quality horses from first place to last. One of the most talked about park horses of 2006, Hillside Sensation, was brilliant to dominate both the open and the championship. Mike McIntosh perfectly orchestrated both outings for owners Laura and Pat Lockwood. Reserve was the determined pair of Ya Ya and Dena Lopez, stepping up in superb style for Elizabeth Shatner and Dorothy Anderson. Hallston Manor’s sporty The Proof Is In The Heir was a good third for Libby McLemore. The open qualifier saw the top two finishers in the championship battling it out for first resulting in the same order of finish.


The amateur three-gaited park division saw a double victory as the gifted Stonehedge Supreme Contender and Erin Obenauf strutted to the winner’s circle for Carolyn Stuart in both the qualifier and championship. Reserve in the championship went to the colorful and bold CH Undulata’s Jimmy Hollywood, Abby Campbell aboard and riding hard in a comeback performance for mom Kris Campbell. Rounding out the top three were Stephanie Wright and Tango Blues.


The amateur qualifier saw French Kiss and Bill Marple in sharp form to take reserve to Stonehedge Supreme Commander. The very cute Allied Heir Strike was looking through the bridle to bring home the blue ribbon in the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Park class for owner/rider Jillian Schaffer.


A veritable herd of talented four-year-olds came through the gate for the Junior Three-Gaited Park class, each one laying a claim to top honors. The bold and exciting Mac’s Blue Attack took first place for Jim and Jenny Taylor. This young star was sold to Bullet Concrete Materials Inc. immediately following this class. Hot on this horse’s trail were Libby McLemore and Roi du Soleil, who true to his name, lit up the ring for co-owners Julie Lynn Andrew and Hallston Manor.


The Park Horse Novice class was a victory ride for Namaste and Kathleen Sullivan for the Diamond 5 Farm.




No horse show seems quite complete without the excitement of the crowd-pleasing roadsters to keep things lively. Driving away with top honors in the Roadster To Bike Championship was open qualifier winner Shake N Bake with Derrick Westbrook in the bike for Tammy DeVore. Reserve champion was the amateur winner, Rosetta’s Sergio, owned by Virginia Powell and shown by Travis Smith.


The Roadster Pony Championship was captured by the dynamic Heartland High Command with Connie Smith driving for popular owner Beth Jones. This same duo was triumphant earlier in the week in the open class. Mark Utoft drove the reserve champion Unique Star Attraction for Seven Oaks Farm LLC. Second in the open qualifying class were the cute Desert Fox and Steve Demjen for Linda Park.


Do you know what time it is? At the 2007 River Ridge show it was “Go Time” as the dynamite road pony It’s Go Time stepped up to nail both the Amateur Roadster Pony and Amateur Roadster Pony Championship in fine style for Becky Brayton Buhl. Second in both classes was the determined duo of Desert Fox and Linda Park. Lindsay Hensler looked like she was having a great time steering the darling Just Watch to the Junior Exhibitor Roadster Pony blue. Kilbro’s Must B Dreamin’ was a close second for Casey Bray at the lines for Steve and Bill Kildow.


Kim Crumpler and Kate Spade raced away with top prize in the Novice Roadster Pony. Matt Schuckert had High Society Memories Legend percolating in second.


Hackney Ponies


River Ridge enjoyed a good turnout of Hackney ponies, including some of the best in their respective divisions, ensuring that competition for this division was keen indeed.


After settling for second in the amateur harness pony class, Sally Grieme’s elegant Senor turned the tables on the competition, marching to the tricolor in the Harness Pony Championship. It’s Showtime, the colorful little stepper that thinks he’s twice as big as he actually is, settled for second in the championship but took the blue home to Showtime Saddlebreds earlier in the amateur class. Mat Schuckert drove High Society Of Memory to the blue in the Open Harness Pony for Shirley Sanislow.


The Hackney Pony Championship proved to be one of the most competitive classes in the show, with open winners Classical Dancer and Kathy Buente squaring off against amateur winners The Final Contender and Linda Lewis. These two exceptional ponies are very different in style and performance, but both were given great drives by their respective amateur-owners. In the end, a career best performance of The Final Contender captured championship honors for Linda Lewis. The graceful champion Classical Dancer and Kathy Buente picked up reserve.


The new team of Kathy Buente and World Champion Classical Dancer made a picture perfect show to take the blue in the Open Hackney Pony. Stepping up for second were Fran Crumpler and Heartland Twice As Nice for Swimmer Insurance. Romeo’s Warrior LF and Amber Estis collected the red ribbon behind Final Contender in the amateur class.


The Hackney Pony Pleasure Driving Championship proved a nicely competitive finale for its division. Trotting away with the tricolor and top accolades was Kay Marschel and the attractive Heartland Breaking News. Reserve champion was the dashing Chasing A Dream, driven by Dr. Bing Crosby. In the AHHSF Adult Pleasure Driving Challenge the top two were reversed, with Chasing A Dream capturing the blue and Heartland Breaking News up for the red ribbon.


Rose Marie Wheeler, daughter of long-time exhibitor Linda Fischer Wheeler, and Seamair Dear Sir made an adorable combination with a fine performance to win in the Junior Exhibitor Hackney/Harness Pleasure Driving. Second place honors went to the cute Knolland Liberty Belle and Lindsay Hensler.


Show Pleasure


The Adult Five-Gaited Show Pleasure Championship and qualifier went to a new horse in the pleasure division, one we’ll no doubt be hearing from in future. Formerly shown by Steve Wheeler in the open division, the black and classy Miss Genevieve, expertly piloted by Chris Nalley, suits her new job perfectly. Reserve in both classes was the terrific team of Callaway’s Another Winner and Debbie Seedorf Owens, a winning pair in their own right.


Top honors in the junior exhibitor division of the championship went to the entertaining gelding Perry Como, smoothly ridden by Justin Cowley, a young man who displays a real affinity for gaited horsemanship. Paul and Leetta Beachum are the owners.

The qualifying class for five-gaited junior exhibitors went to the multi-times champion Inphallible and owner/rider Lori Jordan, with Perry Como in for second.


Both the adult and junior exhibitor show pleasure divisions were like a who’s who of world caliber horses. Many nice horses left the ring without a ribbon to show for their hard work.


Seventeen top entries entered the ring for the Adult Three-Gaited Show Pleasure class. Despite the herd, a tall chestnut trimmed in white seemed to stand “head and ears” above the crowd. Thundersnow stayed bright and happy throughout the class, negotiating the heavy traffic with ease. Smoothly ridden by Erin Obenauf for Carolyn Stuart, Thundersnow proved to be Judge Obenauf’s top pick in both the adult championship and the adult preliminary class. The grand pleasure horse CH Uncle Abe and good riding Piper Granger were the second choice in the qualifier, finishing a close third in the championship. They placed a notch below the bay Santana’s Gypsy Gal and Shawn Stachowski who were the irresistible choice for reserve honors in the championship.


The Three-Gaited Show Pleasure 14-17 Championship attracted a stellar group of horses and riders. The beautiful champion The Grand Master and Thea Ervin couldn’t be denied the tricolor after turning in a perfect performance. Callaway’s Torchbearer and Tara Grom were the very competitive reserve champions, with VHF York’s Coppertone and Sarah Lawson pressing for a close third. In the 14-17 preliminary the game and colorful VHF Coppertone and Sarah Lawson marched up for the blue, with Brittany Kale and Ain’t She Something To Talk About taking the red for Tammie Kale.


In the 13 and under age group Tanbark Heiress and Taylor Deer turned in a flawless ride to nab the championship, with Doubletree’s Number One Son and Emily Nichols riding up for the reserve. The winning combination of CH The Bess Yet and Lizzie Edgar couldn’t be denied the first prize in the 13 and under qualifier. Tanbark Heiress took second this time around.


I’m Daddy’s Girl and Kathy Morrell were the judge’s choice in the Novice Rider Show Pleasure class. Second in this class were Sara Spencer and Misty Mountain Music.


River Ridge has been a strong supporter of classes for the amateur owners who train their own horses at home. This year the polished Captain Kaos and Joan Hammond received top honors in the amateur-owner–trainer to ride, with Major Cool and Candy Gierke completing the military themed exacta for second.


The usually crowded show pleasure driving division was surprisingly light this year. CH The Tonight Show was the single entry for the qualifier and championship, turning in polished performances for Ken Malek in both classes.


Park Pleasure


The growing park pleasure division was well supported at River Ridge. Steve Wheeler presented the tall and very handsome Lenore’s Prairie Whoopster to the Open Park Pleasure Championship as well as the open qualifier. John and Dorothy Lenore are the owners of this nice horse. Bret Day had Ornellaia in good form for reserve in the championship. Fox In Clover with Lindsay Lavery aboard for Chuck Campbell captured the red ribbon in the qualifier.


The UPHA Park Pleasure Classic was a big class chock-full of nice horses. Libby McLemore gave the talented and limber legged I Can Only Heirmagine a winning ride to take the blue ribbon.


The very pretty and well mannered CH May Issue and Linda Fischer Wheeler made all the right moves to capture the blue in the Amateur Park Pleasure for Chestnut Dream LLC. Tara Grom and Stonecroft Ringleader were a smooth reserve.


Cathy Simmons had the handsome grey-roan Catch The Moon just right to take the open and Park Pleasure Driving Championship for Burlington Saddlebreds. Gerald Moores and Magic Legacy settled for second.


Country Pleasure


A bevy of classes was offered for the country pleasure horses – whatever the discipline, River Ridge offered most exhibitors a niche for their horse.


Horace Taft was unstoppable in the adult and Adult Country Pleasure Championship classes. Janet Sterba rode him like a winner to take top honors in both events. Reserve in the championship was the consistent and many times champion CH Spike Lee for owner/rider Jacqueline Manzo. Jane Steinkamp had The Straight Guy looking good to capture the red ribbon in the adult qualifier.


Tara Grom marched the very nifty Uwharrie’s Patriot Sage around the ring to take both the junior exhibitor 14-17 and the junior exhibitor 14-17 championship. This attractive pair made a striking impression in this division. Lori Jordan and She’s Exquisite nabbed reserve champion honors for Clarissa Henry. Kristin Thorin and Callaway’s Big Deal bested the rest for second in the 14-17 preliminary.


A delighted Emily Rhoads was excited to hear her number called out for the 13 and under championship. She was aboard Beth Ann Rhoads’s Lucky Curve for the victory. You’re Lookin Swell Dolly was a close reserve for Caroline Walker and Betty Warren after besting the competition in the 13 and under qualifying class. Gorgeous And Talented GSN and Lauren Suddarth were the happy reserve winners.


The good thinking We Be Jammin and his very happy mom, Carolyn Stuart, were smooth customers, belying their novice status to take the Country Pleasure Novice Rider blue ribbon. Gorgeous And Talented was again second for Lauren Suddarth.


The aptly named Flashy Heir was all personality plus in the driving division. With Tess Cunningham on the lines, he took the victory pass in the Country Pleasure Driving Championship and qualifier. Theology and Iris James stepped up to take reserve in the stake with The Bay Princess and Mary Strang capturing the red in the driving preliminary.


With one exception, the pretty and versatile Stardust’s Ruby Tuesday and owner Donna Spears swept the western and hunter divisions. This team took the open and amateur-owner-trainer slots in the western classes and notched the open hunter, Saddle & Bridle Hunter Classic and hunter pleasure championship. A strong reserve in the hunter classes was the good moving champion Emily Grey for owner Joan Todd. Reserve in the western amateur-owner-trainer event as well as the Shatner class was Lynn Shaw and My Genius Private Secretary.


Jill Wilson had a flawless ride on the colorful Intellectual High in the Country Western Pleasure Championship to capture divisional honors but had to settle for second in the Shatner class. In that qualifier for St. Louis, Joan Todd had a perfect ride on the very elegant Heir Express. This new team should go far in this division.


The Elite Walk–Trot Pleasure for riders over 55 is an interesting idea. The first of this kind of class offered, it was won by Katie Starbird and Gloria Becker for Nancy Krueger.


Although lightly supported, these colorful classes always please the crowd. Candy Gierke was queen of the silver at River Ridge as she and Major Cool made a flashy presentation. This duo marched away with the blues in both the Parade and Saddle Horse Western Equipment classes for Candy Cane Farms.




While not a large division at River Ridge, the caliber of horsemanship displayed by the equitation contingent was formidable. At any one time, four of the five riders in a given class might be world, national and/or UPHA national champions or reserve champions. Judge Nancy Becker had her work cut out for her scrutinizing the finest details of each rider’s ability and presentation, and mistakes could prove costly.


Making a flawless rail ride, culminating in a perfect, intricate workout, Sarah Jane Smith claimed the equitation championship, much to the joy of her mother Jamie Lanier and her instructors at Cape Cod Farm. Reserve was the polished Casey Morgan Tibolet with Emily Abbott coming on strong in third.


Talented Casey Morgan Tibolet had a great week, capturing the 14-17, the NHS Good Hands, the Morgan Equitation and reserve in the USEF Medal. Alex Lawson was a determined second in the Morgan equitation.


Elegant and long legged Emily Abbott was a star on the rail then nailed a tricky workout to triumph in the USEF Medal. Abbott returned to claim the blue in the UPHA Pleasure Challenge Cup under the direction of Kathy Conflenti and Mike McIntosh. Reserve in the UPHA was hard riding Sarah Lawson, who would return to demonstrate her polish by taking the pleasure equitation age group and championship under the guidance of Shelley Fisher.


The UPHA Senior Challenge Cup went to a promising new rider, Nicole Ferzst. Taylor Newton, who looks a formidable threat for the junior age group, claimed the UPHA 13 and under with easy authority. She is instructed by Shelly Fisher. Jennifer Fisher was the blue ribbon winner for the Adult Medal and UPHA Challenge Cup. Demonstrating her versatility, Casey Morgan Tibolet made it to the winner’s circle again in the five-gaited equitation division. Cydni Simmons turned in a terrific ride on CH Sammyshine to capture the Saddle & Bridle Five Gaited Horsemanship qualifier. Simmons is trained by Tammy DeVore.


The 10 and under riders were as engaging as ever, presaging good things to come from these future show stars. With a winter’s work Aleia Brown is now quite the young lady. She turned in two polished rides to capture the UPHA 10 and Under and the Walk and Trot Championship for Cape Cod Farm. Angela Mangine was all smiles as she put together two good performances to be reserve in this division.


Not to be outdone, the young Morgan riders were equally captivating in their 11 and under event. Zachary Clifton turned in an assured ride to claim the top prize, with Sydney Kent coming on strong to be second.


Jennifer Fisher was the lone adult equitation rider, but she made a striking picture with her handsome black horse to take home the trophy in the UPHA Adult Challenge Cup.




There weren’t many park horses on the grounds but the ones that were there were very, very good ones, worth watching even in solo performance.


Donna Jean Zimmerman brought her Patchwork Simply Amazin, last year’s Amateur Park Saddle Champion, back to River Ridge for another blue in the same division. This dark beauty has been one of the most successful amateur and ladies park horses in the country for Zimmerman and trainer Jenny Taylor.


Tim Roesink drove a top contender to take the honors in the Park Harness Open and championship, MEM Bonnie Blue, owned by John and Nancy Hendricks. For the UPHA Park Harness Classic, Roesink drove the emerging harness star CBMF Double Down, owned by Copper Beach Morgan Farm LLC, to the blue.


The English Pleasure Open and championship was yet another tricolor for the multi-titled Comiskey Park and Tim Roesink. No stranger to the winner’s circle, Comiskey Park is owned by Dr. and Mrs. William Silber. JPS Livin On The Edge enjoyed a good performance to take home reserve in the championship under David Earehart for Janice Devos. John Warner and Stonehill Jesper took the red ribbon home in the qualifier.


The handsome, high stepping Bad Company and Elizabeth Burick could not be denied as they marched to the win in the amateur championship. Wendigo’s Tenderfoot and Joy Scala captured the reserve in this stake. In the amateur qualifier it was the consistent top pleasure champion Almost Famous to the blue, a trip repeated in the English Pleasure Junior Exhibitor class. Ann Maile and French Episode secured the red ribbon the Amateur English Pleasure while Dragonsmeade Accolade and Rosie Seits took the red ribbon in the junior exhibitor class for Susan and Christy Sunday.


Tim Roesink made another winning ride in this division, this time aboard One True Love for the Junior English Pleasure class. Rage, owned and shown by Annie Morgan, earned a nice second.


Driven by David Earehart and owned by Martin Doss, the typey Renaissance Prelude triumphed in the Pleasure Driving Championship after finishing reserve in the qualifier. Hawley Hill Dalton claimed reserve in both this class and the amateur class, driven by C. Timothy McKinley for Casey Morgan Tibolet.


The elegant HVK Sweet Obsession was a distinctive double winner for owner-driver Dr. Barbara Lindauer, claiming both the open and the ladies driving events with authority. This accomplished young mare has been tops in her division for the past two years. False Pretense and Kelli Gardner stepped up for second in the ladies class.


JPS Livin On The Edge returned to the limelight in the Junior Exhibitor Pleasure Driving class with Rebecca Devos on the lines. Dragonsmeade Accolade and Rosie Seitz were in for the reserve ribbon.


Tim Roesink showed another topnotch young driving horse in CBMF Stand By Me, owned by the Silbers and driven by Roesink to the junior pleasure driving blue. Claiming second place were Wind Blu Rolls Royce and Roger Barricklow. Copper Beach Morgan Farm’s LBJ Uptown Girl is one lovely and lofty going filly. She was a pleasure to watch winning the UPHA Pleasure Driving Classic. Second to her in the classic was RJMF Drama Queen and John Warner for Robert and Jean Morgan.


Fresh from their wins at Tampa Charity, CSH Corydon’s Eclipse and Donna Zimmerman dominated the classic English pleasure division with blues in the open and championship. The consistent and engaging Fateful Heart captured reserve in both events for Katrina Klump.


Copper Beach Morgans CBMF Can’t Touch Me was another double winner, claiming the blue in the qualifier and the championship tricolor in the classic pleasure driving division. HFF Thrill Seeker was next best in the championship while Shakers Shaka took the reserve in the qualifying class. Bonnie Howard enjoyed a great week at River Ridge, adding the Amateur Western Pleasure to her previous accolades aboard Claridge Nobl Ricochet.


The reliable team of SPR Don Juan and David Earehart stepped into the winner’s circle for LS Morgans Inc. in both the open and Open Western Championship. Nashboro Margarita Gold jogged away with second in the open.


The hunter classes were among the largest Morgan classes in the show. The handsome Aquilas Shazwham was a triple threat in this division, striding away with the blue in the open, plus the amateur and open championships. Cassandra Vujtech shows this consistent performer for the Mirror Lake Farm. Michelle DeVore gave Bear Brook Power Bar a great ride to win a very competitive Hunter Pleasure Amateur class. AMCF Booh Bear and Alyssa Plewacki were the tops in a good class of the junior exhibitors.




These “open to all breed” classes attracted a wide variety and types of horses, from Saddlebreds and Morgans to Hackney horses and Friesians. On the whole, these events were popular with exhibitors, allowing more flexibility for exhibitors in entering their pleasure horses.


The bright and colorful Satin Cat and Christine Newman prevailed against all other competition in winning the Open English Pleasure Championship. This same team had previously been second in the amateur open pleasure, a class won by the handsome steel grey Johnny B Good and Patti Carlton for Saddlebrook Farm. Chris Reiser had the strikingly handsome moving black mare Miss Photogenic just right to march off with the Open English Pleasure.


Alex Lawson turned in a sharp ride on her Morgan, Claridge Armani, taking the Junior Exhibitor English Pleasure Stake. Sassy Dawn and Sarah Crane were the winners of the qualifying class. In the pleasure walk and trot class for riders 10 and under it was the irresistible duo of CH May Issue and petite Rose Marie Wheeler that caught the judge’s attention. Worthy Spook was good for a big red ribbon in this class for Sidney Kent.


Beth Jones especially enjoys driving her versatile Hackney horse, Wentworth Lucifer, so it was a treat for the pair to be named open pleasure driving champions and as well as grand champions. Dolf, a Friesian entry, was second in both classes.

This concludes the highlights from River Ridge. Complete results can be found by clicking here.

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