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Roadsters and Ponies

The Kentucky County Fair Roadster Championship kicked off the competition for the Road Horses on the show’s first night. Seven pumped entries made up this class, leaving the judges with a tough task. All three judges had a different entry first. When calculations were finished, Misdee Wrigley and Guess Who, representing Kalarama, left as world champions. Following with the red ribbon and a first place vote from Euchee Matthews was the Todd Graham-trained horse Krewzyn Over, with Raymond Shively behind the lines for Carol Hall. The third horse to win a first place vote, Air Force One, was third with owner Danny Bugg at the whip.

On Tuesday morning, it was time for the amateurs to make their attempts at green spray in the Amateur Roadster To Wagon Stake. Trotting through the turns and sending green shavings flying gave Danny Bugg a unanimous decision and an unforgettable victory pass with The Secret’s Out. Owner Melissa Moore was their to assist. The reserve honors went to Meadow Demon and Kenneth Wheeler, who drove for Larry Gilpin.

Everyone knows Raymond and his Road Horses and even more so, what fun it is to see Raymond Shively navigate the ring with last year's Roadster To Bike World's Grand Champion Power Ranger. Louisville left this exciting pair with an Open Roadster To Wagon World’s title by unanimous decision. Much effort was also put forth by the reserve world champions, Despite It All and Steve Crabtree.

Another unanimous decision was in store for Shively later in the week. Shively and history making Power Ranger were right on the money, collecting the Roadster To Wagon World’s Grand Championship. Amateur stake winners The Secret’s Out and Danny Bugg made good show for the reserve world’s grand championship.

The Ladies’ Amateur Roadster To Bike was split into two divisions. For the first division, held Wednesday morning, Deborah Butler took charge of the ring with her popular entry, Dirt Devil, collecting the top prize from the Nelson Green Stables. It was the second consecutive world's title for the speedy team. Carol Hall was second in command with Krewzyn Over. In the other split, Elizabeth Shatner and All Glory thrilled the crowd and earned two out of three top votes, taking an exciting victory pass for Belle Reve Farm. Guess Who finished second with Misdee Wrigley for the Kalarama team. This was Wrigley and Guess Who's second consecutive ladies' amateur title as well.

The Amateur Roadster To Bike class also had to be split. Danny Bugg was on top of his game again, this time behind the lines of Gingerbread Man for trainer Melinda Moore and owner Chappy Chapman. Keeping it all in the family, Melissa Moore directed William Shatner and Spill The Ink to reserve.

Wearing red, white, and blue, Buck Davis and Dragster swept away the competition in section two. They have been strong all season on the Southeastern circuit but now they came to Louisville and crossed the finish line in first with proud trainer J.D. Gardner waving the checkered flag. Finishing in reserve, Westgate Villain and Michael Gordon, Sr. let their presence be known showing from the Paul Boone Stables.

In the amateur world’s grand championship, The Gingerbread Man returned to the ring seemingly faster than before and was up to task for the grand title. Just a year ago he wore the roses as the USTA Roadster Classic Grand Champion and now he successfully made the transition to the amateur ranks with veteran roadster driver Danny Bugg taking three first place votes back to Arrowhead Farm. Not satisfied with just a win in the qualifier Dragster was on target again for unanimous reserve world's grand champion honors with Buck Davis on the lines. J.D. Gardener had prepared this pair for two successful appearances.

Nine entries competed in the Ladies’ Roadster To Bike Stake. Two out of three top votes left Marilyn Macfarlane in the winner’s circle with Braveheart. With a long list of world's titles, The Natural and Crystal Everett turned in a tail flagging reserve performance for Crumpler Stables, Ltd. The crowd had picked up on Dora Huie and The Black Stranger and they cheered madly as this team trotted out with the yellow streamers.

Again in the spotlight and again with no question from the judges' panel, Raymond Shively and 2001 Roadster To Wagon World's Grand Champion Invincible Summer were at full force capturing the title in the Roadster To Bike Stallion/Gelding title this year. Gathering much attention from Louisville fans for the second year in a row, Quill was reserve with Jon Walker.

Seven entries in the Roadster To Bike Mare Stake gave the judges a run for their money and the marks showed that coming to a decision was tough. Calculations left Mary Jo Schmidt in the winner’s circle with Special Rose. This was the umpteenth world's title for the special mare. Willow Wind’s athletic entry, Sweep Lips finished behind the world’s champions with Jimmy Robertson providing the drive for the Raque family.

Combining all of the open stake classes provided the crowd with much to cheer about on Saturday night. Raymond Shively and Invincible Summer charged through the gate at top speed and were first straight across the boards when it was all over. Shively just keeps setting record after record in the roadster division. Also unanimous for second, Danny Bugg finished off a good week as the driver of the Reserve World’s Grand Champion Geronimo. Bugg never backs off a challenge and it seems that Raymond is right there every time he looks up.

The $15,000 USTA Roadster To Bike Classic has become a most sought after title and eliminations had to be held in two splits with the judges selecting 11 to come back on Thursday evening for the actual class. Even though this was a green group they showed the polish of veterans, especially Imagine That who stood out in the crowd and sailed down victory lane with Ruth Gimpel in control for the Pixie Dust and Steel. Merrill Murray drove Hilltop Latham to the reserve victory, receiving nice applause for David Latham. Mike Barlow was again near the top with third place finisher Stopwatch.

Getting right down to business in the amateur under saddle world’s championship, All Glory was all trot and a straight-across-the-boards success finishing off the week for Belle Reve’s versatile Elizabeth Shatner. Making a clean show for reserve was the ever-popular black gelding The Black Stranger and his jockey Meredith Tye.

The open under saddle class was even more heated as nine set forth on the green shavings. The familiar face in this division, and to the winner’s circle, of Danette Musselman, was seen riding the Lady Hawke to the world’s championship for Scott Bennett. Not quite catching the the winning pair, but making a solid show nonetheless were Air Force One and Melinda Moore for Danny Bugg.

Jimmy Robertson warmed up Sweet Lips early in the week but it was owner Katie Raque for the win in the Youth Roadster To Bike 15-21Years-Old. The eight-horse class left Whitney Hahn and Special Rose in second after Mary Jo Schmidt’s victory driving this sporty entry earlier in the week.

The Roadster Pony division was thrilling all week long with the best of the best fighting for top status among their peers. This year, we were able to see one of the best ponies of all time retire. I’ve Arrived and Anna Johnson made a tear-provoking performance Wednesday night and reminded us all just how good a pony could be. While I’ve Arrived is a standard future contenders will be comparing themselves to for years, several ponies this year proved themselves to be incredibly exciting.

It started with the Kentucky County Fair Roadster Pony Championship and an impressive performance by Lexington's champion Heartland Production and veteran Mary Gaylord McClean. The new dynamic duo defeated 14 entries to wear the roses. An awesome show for second was made by Debbie Foley with Debbie Gabbert's Amadeus. Five-year-old Buckwheat showed against the veterans and with owner Ann Fitzpatrick, proudly accepted the yellow ribbon in this tough class.

Six ponies showed up for the Three-Year-Old Roadster Pony Class, providing many a glimpse of future champions and on this day the winner already looked like a big-time champion. Golden Creek’s Tom Lowry had Kilbro’s Artsy Craftsy up for the challenge and they put on a world class performance. Putting in a good fight for reserve was Captain Proud and Lambert Jr. Schut.

Moving up a year, we saw Early Edition take home the title with Larry Bacon for Bent Tree Farm. Last year’s three-year-old world’s champions, Seamair Strutter and Josh Greer settled for reserve with Rich Cambpell at their side.

Having taken reserve in the first class, Josh Greer was ready for a showdown in the junior championship. There was a ring full of season long champions from top to bottom so it would take a spectacular performance to win the title. The look on Greer’s face showed pure excitement as he sped away behind Semair Strutter with the world’s grand championship streamers. The youngster of the bunch, Kilbro’s Artsy Crafty took reserve grand champion honors with Greer's good friend, Tom Lowry at the whip. Rick Wallen had a good third place finisher in Dun-Haven Majestic Motion.

Ten came together for the Amateur Roadster Pony 18-50 qualifier and in it were some of the season’s best. Having no trouble making their presence known to the judges nor crowd, Ferocia continued a winning year, receiving a unanimous decision with a Jeoff Bodenhorst driving. Cash Lovell greeted this sharp pair in the winner’s circle. A warm applause left Special Impression and Anna Marie Knipp pleased with their performance from the Jimmy Miller Stables.

In the amateur class for drivers 51 and over the panel had some differences in opinion but when all was said and done Amadeus and driver Debbie Gabbert came through in full force for the win. Cowboy Magic finished next in line in the 14-entry class with Ed Frickey in control. Late Nites’ Magic Moment placed third with Kathryn Nichols.

The Amateur Roadster Pony Championship was a sight to see and the crowd was all into this 13-entry class. Full of life and bold as ever, Ferocia captured the world’s grand championship with Jeoff Bodenhorst again behind the lines. Cash Lovell was there to share the winning moment. Without losing any momentum, Denise Steinhauer drove Thunder & Lightning to the reserve world’s championship. Third place went to Late Nite’s Magic and Kathryn Nichols.

Holli McDowell was overjoyed when her number was called out Friday morning in the junior exhibitor under saddle class. She skillfully road Rowdy Yank to top honors for Charlotte Goodman under the instruction of Bill Knight. The talented Renee Zubrod was aboard Heartland Masterpiece for reserve. Heartland Masterpiece is owned by Gary Dickherber and trained by Jimmy Miller.

Wednesday morning concluded with 12 brave junior exhibitors vying for victory in the 13 and under road pony class. Free Willy and Ali Rosburg toppled the competition under the expert instruction of Ruth Gimpel. Another exciting combination, Pocket Money and Kaitlin Elizabeth Klucas, were greeted by Martha Murdock after being called out as reserve world’s champions.

With never a foot out of place Free Willy and Ali Rosburg confidently stormed through the ring for the championship class later in the week and finished on top once again. Moving up a notch from the qualifier, So Irresistible and Scott Songer captured one first place vote for reserve grand champion honors under the direction of Don and Lisa Pyburn.

Fifteen pairs felt the need for some major intensity in the Roadster Pony Junior Exhibitor 14-17 class. Heartland Sundust and Devon Garone were once again right on the money and graciously accepted another world’s championship with the guidance of parents Gary and Marsha Garone. Following the champions in this extremely heated class was another tried and true junior exhibitor, Dakota Willimon, who was behind the lines of Dun Haven’s Grandiose for reserve. Another Louisville title holder, Twin Willow’s Broadway Joe, followed in third with Margaret Schmitt.

Eight met back for the rematch on Saturday afternoon. Making an unforgettable performance for the roses after receiving three first place votes was the perfect pair of Devon Garone and Heartland Sundust. This grand pony has never met defeat in Freedom Hall from junior to junior exhibitor. Order from earlier week wasn’t touched as Dakota Willimon and Dun Haven’s Grandoise happily took home the reserve.

The Road Pony Stallion/Gelding Stake left Cappuccino and Steven Gassen with the winning title for Brenda Kelly. Johnny Lucas directed this team to the win. Laurel Nelson stepped up to the competition with last year's world's grand champion Lamborghini and finished reserve with the assistance of Mitch Clark.

For the mares, an explosive Material Girl and Jeff McClean captured two out of three top votes and took the victory pass for Golden Creek Farms. This newcomer is well on her way to stardom after that class. Just a junior pony, Heartland Wonderful Miss was next in line for reserve with Darrel Kolkman at the whip for new owner Abby Jones and Creekridge LLC.

"We had won the long-tail and cob-tail championships with junior ponies and wanted to try it in the road pony division with this grand mare," said Darrel Kolkman.

Saturday night's $10,000 Road Pony Championship had 12 contenders vying for a pass with the red roses. It was a class that went back and forth but when the green shavings had settled, a smiling Mary Gaylord McClean was headed to the winner's circle with Heartland Production. Purchased right before Lexington from Jerry Cummins this son of Dun-Haven Awesome Creation has fit right into the Jeff McClean Stables' program. Another Awesome Creation offspring, Dun-Haven’s Awesome Image slid into reserve with Jimmy Robertson providing the reserve world's grand champion drive for Blevins Farm. The all-star lineup of ribbon winners included Lamborghini, Material Girl, Heartland Wonderful Miss, Cappuccino, Buckwheat, and Desert Prince, each and every one of them a champion in their own right.

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