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River Ridge – It Just Keeps Getting Better and Better!

by Leeann Mione

COLUMBUS, Ohio – For 61 years previous, the River Ridge Horse Show has been hosting various show horse breeds at the Ohio Expo Center at the Ohio State Fairgrounds. During those 61 years, the show has had its ups and downs. There was even a time when some wondered whether the show would ever get back to its “Glory Days” . . . the days when the barn aisles were full of the country’s top show barns and classes were not only full, but full of good stock. Well that day certainly came with the 2006 show.

Continuing the trend of the last couple of years, this year’s show was a stellar early season showcase of the best in the Saddlebred, Hackney, roadster, Morgan and Friesian breeds and class after class offered a glimpse of what we can expect to see from the Ohio and Midwest show circuits.

Show Chairperson Barbara Dunham, Show Chairperson Emeritus Mildred Yaple, Show Manager Andrew Shupe and the show committee members Kathy Boggs, Dayne Maple, John Nelson, Lynn Gutches Snowden, Steve Demjen, Stephen Moody, Judy Peters, Skip Shenker, Bob Morgan, Phil Price and Jenny Taylor worked hard from the time last year’s show ended to the start of this year’s show to listen to owners, trainers and exhibitors and make the show one that everyone would want to come to.

Their hard work paid off. More than 400 horses made the trip to the Ohio State Fairgrounds to show in front of Saddlebred, Hackney and roadster judge James Nichols and Morgan, equitation, Friesian, Parade Horse and open breed judge Anne Judd.

Last year’s show saw a big increase in numbers, making those involved hopeful that the upward swing would continue. This year numbers were actually very close to last year (there was a small increase in number of horses) but the quality was so great that it seemed as if 100 more horses had shown up.

Hospitality at the show included a pizza party on Wednesday evening, chili supper sponsored by Chuck and Lynn Hutchinson of World Champion Horse Equipment on Thursday evening and a progressive dinner on Friday evening. A cash bar was available each evening as well and coffee and donuts each morning. Rob and Julianne Wilson sponsored the coffee and donuts on Wednesday morning. Jimmy and Helen Robertson took care of Thursday morning and Damien Hyde Stables and Hidden Dream Farm sponsored the morning donuts on Friday. Houghton Sulky stepped up and provided the coffee and donuts on Saturday morning. Jim Kuhlwein sponsored the Saturday afternoon “cookie break”.


Nichols and Judd worked hard to keep classes moving along; with many, many classes per session that was appreciated by owners, trainers and exhibitors alike. Yvette Moody was the USEF Steward for the A rated show.

Gene Wright was the show organist, David Rice was announcer and Tim Schubert was ringmaster. Vernon Ridgley did double duty as the official veterinarian and official farrier. Guy Brown was paddock master. Howard Schatzberg was the show photographer and PM Productions was official videographer. Stable manager Kulhwein Services provided feed and bedding.

In many classes, entries were in the double digits and even in the smaller classes both Judge Nichols and Judd had their work cut out for them to pick the best of the best of top stock.


The Five-Gaited Stake provided a fitting conclusion to a great weekend of competition. Ten nice entries came through the gate ready to do battle for the early season tricolor and bragging rights that come with topping a nice, big gaited stake.

With one entry electing to be excused, nine horses lined up after a nice exhibition of talent across the board. With nine horses in a somewhat small ring and some of those entries having a little trouble with consistency, staying out of the crowd was the name of the game and when Nichols’ card was turned it, it was stallion/gelding champion Beringer Red and Jenny Taylor named to take the victory pass. Taylor rode for Fred and Phyllis Rhue. Colonel Hoss and Clark Clouse moved up in the ribbons from the open qualifier and finished as the reserve grand champions for Tri-Color Saddlebreds.

Angeline and George Knight took the blue prize in the mare qualifier for Georgia Herpin Baker. Angeline was just one of Baker’s winners with Knight during the weekend.

Lynn Snowden has long been associated with a top gaited mount and she went to the winner’s circle with No Excuses in the ladies class under the direction of Bobby Murphy. The Murphy Stables contingent, like many of the barns in attendance, has been a long time supporter of the River Ridge Horse Show.

Macaroon and Lori Boyd Van Gordon have been a consistent amateur team and they added two impressive victories to their resume to contribute to the Infinity Stables count. Macaroon topped a nice amateur championship after having won the amateur mare class. Globetrotter’s Fantasy and Ann Moro-Gioffre have also done their share of accumulating prizes as a team and they finished as the reserve grand champions. Lauren Pope rode New York Showtime and worked hard to put the game gelding in all the right spots for owners Hickory Hill Farm. Pope’s hard work paid off with the stallion/gelding win under the direction of Tammy DeVore.

Whitney Bennett had a big weekend in Columbus including two winning rides with King Crimson for Robert and Monica Olson. They topped the junior exhibitor championship after winning the equally impressive qualifier. The new team of Walterway’s Headline Material and Grace Ann Walker did a great job in their debut and finished with the reserve streamers from DeVore Stables.

Don Harris with a top young horse is a picture we’ve gotten used to seeing over the years, and Travel In Style has put Harris in the winner’s circle over and over again. At River Ridge, they joined the junior horse ranks and put together the winning effort in a really nice class for Belcort Farm

Silver and Blue took the win in the UPHA Five-Gaited Classic with Jenny Taylor. After a great two-year-old season last year, Jan Henderson’s mount is on track to head to Kansas City.

A Cloudburst and Chris Reiser also topped a nice big class to earn a blue prize for Willowbank Farm. A Cloudburst was the limit horse champion. CH Sammyshine rounded out the gaited competition with the win in the five-gaited pony stake for Burlington Saddlebreds. Cyndi Simmons was up under the direction of Tammy DeVore.


Angela Lane was just one of the elegant entries in the Three-Gaited Stake and when she was called out as the winner an ecstatic Don Harris met rider Ricky Cook, assistant Gerald Moores and the mare named after his daughter at the out gate. Angela Lane had previously won the over 15.2 class. Send Her Roses, owned by Ruxer Farms, won the under 15.2 class before finishing as the reserve grand champion with trainer Mike McIntosh in the irons.

Kelly Cocagne put her daughter Savannah up in the saddle with her for the ride back to the barn after Summer Heir was called out as the winner of the ladies class. Cocagne rode under the direction of Clark Clouse.

His Heirness and Debbie Ecksten came back in a nice talent filled Amateur Three-Gaited Championship to add another tricolor to their resume. Sir Andrew and Margo Coleman, directed by Memory Lane, have also been consistent performers in the division since they teamed up and they claimed the reserve streamers after having won the good qualifier.

Directed by Claude Ridley of Grassy Run, CH Heart Of Blue and Brittany Kale made it two for two in the juvenile division. They topped both the championship and the 14-17 class with a strong display of teamwork for owner Tammie Kale. Heir Popper and Tara Grom were well supported by the crowd with their reserve effort in the championship and helped Revelation Farms have a successful show under the direction of Mike Richardson.

The 13 and under class was smaller and showcased two nice entries with the win going to Danielle Williams and Chance To Dream.

Led by trainer Bret Day and his wife Susi, the Grey Ridge group had a successful weekend in Columbus with winners in multiple divisions including Junior Three-Gaited Champion Hallelujah Chorus, owned by Fischer Sisters LLC.

FER Feel The Rush, with Chris Carrick up, took the win in the UPHA Three-Gaited Classic for Dr. Fernando Jara. Limit Three-Gaited Champion Son Moon & Stars added yet another win to the Clouse Stables total when Clark Clouse rode to the winner’s circle for Elmo Greer.

Emily Druckman and Manhattan’s Irish Cream performed like veterans even though they are a new team under the direction of Matt and Kristen Shiflet. They won the Three-Gaited Pony Stake to close out the three-gaited division.

Fine Harness

In the Fine Harness division, the open numbers were small but ladies, amateur and UPHA Classic classes were nicely filled.

The Social Butterfly, with Bret Day driving, took the tricolor as the Fine Harness Grand Champion after Candy Hyman took control to win the open class earlier in the week for her Hy Horse Farm. He’s My American Soldier and Jimmy Robertson were reserve in the championship for Iris James

Harlem’s Santa Fe and Susan Bartlett have posted numerous wins in their career together and they teamed up from Cedar Wood Farm to win a nice ladies class amongst good company. They then came back in the amateur championship to take the tricolor streamers. Gothic Breeze and Eleanor Pederson were reserve in the amateur championship.

Last Tango In Paris and Whitney Bennett were successful in the ASHAF Junior Exhibitor Fine Harness Driving Challenge in earning the blue ribbon for Liberty Saddlebreds.

Surfer Boy, now taking on the junior horses, claimed the win in the Junior Fine Harness class for Georgia Baker from George Knight Stables.

Bret Day was teamed with another top young horse and he drove Open Arms to the win in the talent filled UPHA Fine Harness Classic for owners Jeff and Janet Sterba.

Three-Gaited Park

Albelarm Radiant Lady stepped up to the challenge of a tough park division at River Ridge and she proved ready and able. Bob Phillips rode to the win in the Open Park Championship after winning a big section two qualifier for Louie Novak. Hillside Sensation and Mike McIntosh put on a good show for Patrick and Laura Lockwood to take the reserve title in the championship. Horace Taft and Bret Day won the big section one park class to continue the Grey Ridge momentum.

Undulata’s Jimmy Hollywood and Abby Campbell debuted in a new division at River Ridge and came away with the Amateur Park Championship tricolor and amateur qualifier blue in two very good classes. The park division overall at the show was very strong and the amateur riders had to work exceptionally hard to earn a ribbon from Nichols. Perfect Vengeance and Kaitlyn Grom were the amateur reserve grand champions and left the ring to a big round of applause for their efforts. Lenore’s Prairie Whoopster, with Steve Wheeler up, won the Junior Horse Park class for owners and breeders John and Dorothy Lenore.

Roadster Horse and Pony

The roadster ponies had to work hard to maneuver through the competition in their well-filled division, while the road horse classes were considerably smaller. Jennifer Robertson drove Rum’s Last Shot to the win in the Road Horse To Bike Championship after winning the amateur class. Rosetta’s Sergio and Travis Smith, directed by Connie Smith of High Hopes Stables, was reserve in the road horse championship for Virginia Powell.

Aarobrook’s The Aviator and Dr. Robert Flint topped a talented group to take the tricolor in the Roadster Pony Championship. Just Watch and Lindsey Hensler won the junior exhibitor class then returned to be named the reserve grand champions. Pure Country and Holli McDowell won the open class for co-owner Lisa McMackin. Buckwheat and Ann Fitzpatrick made a single appearance at River Ridge and it was a good one. They won the amateur class, which was full of nice ponies, under the direction of Chad Graham and Julie Kaufman.

Shooting Star was just one of Beth Jones’ winners at River Ridge. Trainer Connie Smith drove to the blue in the novice class to close out the road pony division.

Hackney and Pleasure Driving Ponies

Autumnwood’s Rumor Has It took Beth Jones to two more blue ribbons under the High Hopes Stable banner. The pair topped the Hackney Pony Pleasure Driving Championship and qualifier. Christjon Sannes-Mielke drove Heartland Spectacular to the reserve title for Blue Haven Saddlebreds.

The Final Contender high-stepped to the tricolor in the Hackney Pony Championship with Linda Lewis driving under the direction of Jim McIntosh. Lewis and her pony had previously won the amateur qualifier. Reserve grand champion Lady Juliet was the open winner with Jimmy Robertson driving for Iris James.


Wild Wonderful and new teammate Suzanna Crews stepped up and won the nice Five-Gaited Pleasure Championship under the direction of Matt Shiflet to showcase their skills in a competitive division. Perry Como and Justin Cowley were reserve for Paul and Leetta Beachum. Callaway’s Another Winner and Debbie Owens continued their successful career with a nice win in the qualifier from Infinity Stables.

Mahvalous Guy turned heads last season with owner Jeffrey Fetzer driving. This season, Bret Day took over and he rode the big gelding to an impressive victory in one of the show’s nicest classes, the Park Pleasure Championship. It was a talented group that came through the gate in the championship and in fact, the entire division was well supported with entries. CH Uncle Abe and Piper Granger, from Sugar Knoll, were reserve with a powerful effort.

Protector and Whitney Hunter won the amateur class and topped four other teams for the win. Danger High Voltage and Susannah Sherman, directed by Chuck Herbert, won the good junior horse class. Steve Wheeler went to the winner’s circle with He’s The Real Deal in the UPHA Park Pleasure Classic, which was full of a talented group of three-year-olds. Wheeler rode for Ronald and Ann Miller.

Newlywed Sheila Clouse was met by husband Clark when she drove The Bay Princess to the win in the Park Pleasure Driving class for owner Suzanne Moses. They returned in the championship to make it two for two. Bold Irish Spirit and Cindy Maloney were reserve grand champions for Iris and Frank James.

The three-gaited pleasure division also showcased top talent and helped cement the reputation of this year’s River Ridge show as one of the best in recent memory. VHF York’s Coppertone and Kaitlyn Grom won the Three-Gaited Pleasure Championship with a strong effort in the competitive class. Their win made it two in a row as they also won the adult qualifier. Simply Enough and Jessica Sexton teamed up for reserve under the direction of Cape Cod Farm.

Tara Grom, like her sister, added two more wins to the Revelation Farm total from the pleasure division. Callaway’s Torch Bearer won the Junior Exhibitor Section One championship after having won the section one qualifier. Laura Stone and What A Girl Wants were the section one reserve grand champions with a strong effort.

The Bess Yet and Lizzie Edgar, directed by Tom Sworm, won the section two championship and section two qualifier to also make it a clean sweep. This new team took on tough competition in their division, which was as well-filled and competitive as section one. Rhythm Makes Me and Tonia Brayton won the AOTR class to close out the division.

Royal Crest’s Freedom Rocks swept the show pleasure driving division with two different drivers showing for Bruce and Rusty Rademann. Bobbie Jo Rademann drove to the winner’s circle in the championship and Don Jolliff drove in the qualifier. It’s Tea Time and James Salerno were the reserve grand champions under the direction of Bob Phillips.

Toree Lewis Hefner and Highpoint’s Fancy Cat moved up in the ribbons to win the Open English Pleasure Championship for her TLH Farm. Hefner topped three other entries for the win. Perdita Rose and Erin Obenauf won the amateur class before finishing as reserve grand champions for Bonnie Zubrod under the direction of Chris Reiser. Ryan Stodd rode Thundersnow to the win in the Open English Pleasure class, also from Reiser Stables. Thundersnow is owned by Willowbank Farm.

Claridge Armani and Sarah Lawson swept the junior exhibitor English pleasure division for owner Margaret Williams. Desert’s Supreme Estate was reserve in the championship with Lauren Merwin for Ronald and Therese Merwin.

Hackney Horse Wentworth Lucifer and Beth Jones were in good company for the win in both the Open Pleasure Driving Championship and qualifier.

Country Pleasure

The country pleasure division also showcased top talent and CH Bi Mi Add Lib, with Kendra Fisher up, added two more wins to their team. They were named the Country Pleasure Grand Champions after winning the AOTR class. CH Spike Leigh and Jacqueline Manzo won the competitive adult qualifier then returned in the championship to earn reserve honors.

The new team of Piano Man and Lori Jordan added a blue to the Cedarwood Farm total with their impressive win in the Junior Exhibitor Country Pleasure Championship. America’s Lass and Alexandra Sowell took the reserve victory pass from Infinity Stables after winning the qualifier with a strong effort.

Gorgeous and Talented won the novice rider class with Lauren Suddarth up for co owner Kelly Suddarth.

Lois Vartanian turned in two great drives with her What A Keepsake to sweep the country pleasure driving division under the Indian Creek banner. Husband David was on hand to cheer her on and joined Kurt Hufferd and Shanna Gish for the walk back to the barn. Royal Crest’s The Ultimate Stone and Mike Korona were reserve in the driving championship.

Western and Hunter Pleasure

Emily Grey and Joan Todd proved their versatility and their teamwork skills at River Ridge with four wins between the western pleasure and hunter divisions. They topped a nice Western Country Pleasure Championship after winning the Saddle & Bridle Shatner Western Pleasure class. Night Spot and Gwen Carter Hyman won the western qualifier in their only appearance from Grey Ridge Farm. Reedann’s High Phlier and Sarah Brandt were the western reserve grand champions. River Ridge showcased a great group of western horses and all the classes were nicely filled.

Emily Gray and Todd were the Hunter Country Pleasure Grand Champions and open winners. Callaway’s For Always and Kathleen Scaggs won the Saddle & Bridle Hunter Classic then returned in the hunter championship to claim the reserve streamers.

River Ridge is one of the few shows left that offers a parade horse division and a couple of entries polished the silver and added the flowers to entertain the audience. Major Cool and Candy Gierke won both the championship and qualifier, with Better Than Bourbon taking reserve in the championship with David Swindler up.

Clear The Sky added two more wins to the Blue Haven total with a sweep of the Saddle Type Horse Western Equipment classes. Dr. C. R. Sannes rode for both wins. Major Cool and Gierke were reserve grand champions.


Tara Grom continued the Grom win streak with her win in the Saddle Seat Equitation Championship. Seven hard riding competitors put on a great show to get things started on a high note Saturday night. Grom rode her new mount CH Absolutely Exquisite and also won the NHS Good Hands class. Casey Morgan Tibolet was also on a new mount and she was named reserve grand champion. Tibolet rode Undulata’s Time To Shine, owned by Sarah Taylor, under the direction Cape Cod Farm.

Shana Jo Brown showed two different mounts to success in the equitation division under the direction of Memory Lane Farm. Cha Ching carried her to the winner’s circle in the 14-17 class and 14-17 challenge cup and Hatcher’s Pride won the USEF Saddle Seat Medal. Taylor Newton, from Sugar Knoll, won the 13 and under class with A Sweet Sensation and also won the 13 and Under UPHA Challenge Cup. Angela Maxine, riding Sparkling Heiress, won the Section One 10 and Under Walk and Trot class and the UPHA 10 and Under Walk and Trot Section One Challenge Cup. Hallie Sansbury and Highpoint’s Syncopated Rhythm, last year’s reserve triple crown champion with Emily Garten, were the section two walk and trot challenge cup champions and section two walk and trot equitation champions from Cape Cod.

Emily Abbott had a great year last year in the pleasure equitation division and with The Chicago Son Times, owned by Corbin Smith, picked up right where she left off. Abbott won the 17 and Under Pleasure Equitation class and UPHA Pleasure Challenge Cup.

Cydni Simmons and CH Sammyshine were the Saddle & Bridle Five-Gaited Equitation Champions from DeVore Stables.

Morgan Park Saddle/Park Harness

Two entries came through the gate in the Park Saddle Championship to compete in front of Judge Anne Judd. Open winner MSV Razzle Dazzle and Gina Torrez returned in the championship and were named the grand champions. HVK Beau Flaire was reserve with Mary Waickman up.

Evolution and Donna Zimmerman kept the blue ribbons coming for Memory Lane Farm with their win in the Amateur Park Harness class. They returned in the open championship to be named reserve grand champions behind Springmill Sequel and Will Huse from Indian Creek. Huse and his mount helped lead Indian Creek to a very successful showing in the Morgan division.

Tim Roesink led the group from Grove Pointe to numerous wins in several different divisions, including his winning drive in the UPHA Park Harness Classic with One True Love, owned by Laura Braddock.

Morgan English Pleasure/Pleasure Driving


Grove Pointe earned four more wins with a great showing in the English pleasure division. CBMF Can’t Touch Me and Roesink won the English Pleasure Championship and open class for owner Carolyn Gibbard, and Paradigm Hot Chocolate and Shelley Silber won the ladies class before topping a really competitive amateur championship.

Harry Caray and Selvin Torrez were the open reserve grand champions for Elizabeth and Charles Wyandt.
Anne Maile and French Episode, directed by Jim and Jenny Taylor, were the amateur reserve grand champions for co-owner Karen Strickland after having won the talent filled amateur qualifier. JLH Valerian and Caitlyn Scholl won the junior exhibitor class, which hosted a couple of entries. Claridge Noble Ricochet and Courtney Howard topped the four-entry 11 and Under Walk and Trot Pleasure class.

The junior horse class also showcased a pair of top Morgans and NDT French Impressionist took the blue for Indian Creek with Kurt Hufferd up for A. Russell and Jeanette Quilhot.

Donna Zimmerman and The Last Don moved up in the ribbons to win the Pleasure Driving Championship to continue Zimmerman’s successful weekend in Columbus. MEM So Emotional was reserve with Tim Roesink driving for Ann Hailey after winning the open qualifier. False Pretense and Kelli Gardner teamed up to win the ladies driving class. Jack Rabbit Slim was the amateur champion from Indian Creek with Jacqueline Clapp driving for Priscilla Marconi Trust.

Almost Famous was the junior exhibitor winner with Carson Howard driving for Bonnie Howard to add another win to the Grove Pointe total. Trainer Damien Hyde closed out the English pleasure division with the win in the Junior Horse Pleasure Driving class behind JDS As Required By Law. Springmill Souvenir and Shanna Gish won the UPHA Pleasure Driving Classic.

Morgan Classic Pleasure


Lookaway’s Howitzer swept the classic pleasure saddle division with owner Linda Stewart up. Eire Crest Raymond was the classic reserve grand champion with Amanda McHatten up for Dr. William and Shelley Silber.

Marno’s First Lady and Stephanie Filippone won the Classic Pleasure Driving Championship after winning the open class. Ishi’s Legacy was reserve in the championship with Terry Mattingly-Sims.
Sting and Dr. William Silber teamed up to win the Morgan Roadster To Bike class for yet another blue ribbon for Grove Point.

Morgan Hunter Pleasure

BEF Elrond and Rita Adams won four of the five hunter pleasure classes including the division’s largest class, the amateur championship. In addition, Adams rode to the winner’s circle in the open championship, open qualifier and amateur qualifier. Trial And Error was right there with three top ribbons in the division. Caitlyn Scholl was up for the reserve in the open championship and amateur championship and took the blue ribbon in the junior exhibitor class.

Scholl also earned the blue in the 17 and Under Equitation class but this time rode KEW Cavalier, owned by Sally Sliman.

Miranda Scholl and JLH Valerian won the 11 and Under Walk and Trot Equitation class for Heidi Scholl.

Morgan Western Pleasure

Claridge Nobl Ricochet and Shayna Butts won the Morgan Western Pleasure Championship for owner Courtney Howard and also earned the blue in the open class.

Lakota Warrior and owner Laura Callesen won the amateur championship and qualifier.


Dolf was the Friesian English Pleasure Grand Champion with Kensie Hamilton riding and they also won the qualifier. Dolf switched gears with Alicia Stroble and swept the Friesian Pleasure Driving Division.
Debbie Ecksten continued her good show with a sweep of the walk and trot English pleasure division with Marko. Emily Abbott rode Hylke to the reserve grand championship.


This concludes the highlights from River Ridge. Complete results may be viewed by clicking on Show Results.  

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