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Saddlebreds Star at San Antonio Rose Palace

by Lauren Greenwald

The San Antonio Charity Horse Show has been a long-standing tradition in the San Antonio area since the founding of the San Antonio Saddle Horse Association in 1973. After 23 years, it took a brief break; key people in its resurrection included Megan McAngus, Lynnie Bunten, Judy Jordan, Michael Beasom, Marty Allen and Susan Wooten Wernle, Beth Jones, Nita Mountain and Stace Rust. Their goal is to bring the best of American Saddlebreds across the country together for competition.

There was also a new addition to the show this year, a progressive party following the final class on Saturday night. Since the facilities are so spread out, the tables were moved to one hallway, where each barn set food out and everyone had a wonderful time enjoying the good food and great company.

This 2008 show was exactly what the founders would have hoped for, with large numbers and competitive classes. The show’s crown piece was the Five-Gaited Jackpot class Saturday night. Eight entries answered the gate call for the final class of the evening schedule: Sandy Currier aboard Bluebonnet’s Farm entry Reedann’s Talked About, Michael Beasom on Keaton, Night Of A Thousand Stars piloted by Jack Magill, Tabasco’s Lady Of New York exhibited by Paul Cates, Bluebonnet Farm’s second entry Select Fire with Janie Hamilton catch riding, Jenn Holdren on Katherine Goodwin’s new gaited horse True Blue Cat, Koren Mercer on Bueno Day and Dan Flowers on It’s East Wing.

The class was by far the most exciting of the horse show as every spectator backed an exhibitor and most could not resist getting on their feet to watch as each horse made pass after pass of brilliance. When the numbers were called, the crowd and the judge agreed that Jack Magill and Night Of A Thousand Stars shone the brightest to capture the win. The hometown Keaton, with Michael Beasom aboard for his mother, Judy Jordan, performed outstandingly for the reserve. Reedann’s Talked About and Sandy Currier received third, followed by Paul Cates’s Tabasco’s Lady Of New York for fourth.

In addition to the tricolor in the Five-Gaited Jackpot, Jack Magill Stables’s red and black stall drapes were ornamented with a plethora of blue ribbons. Karmen Robles led the charge by adding a championship and qualifying blue with her horse Northbound in the junior exhibitor five-gaited classes. They have formed into a wonderful pair and are a force to be reckoned with. The slick-racking Desert’s Favorite Memories and Joan Cantrell made the move to the five-gaited pleasure division last year. They have found a home there, winning at such shows as the 2007 Lexington Junior League and American Royal and the team’s record was not blemished as they racked away with the tricolor and qualifying blue at SASHA. Magill also debuted his new harness horse, SGF Winning Ways Farm’s entry Leatherwood’s Colors Up to capture the Fine Harness Jackpot. In addition to these champions, Jan Myers finished reserve with her amateur gaited horse, Thunder Beauty, and with her bay pleasure horse, Matrix, whom Karmen Robles showed back in the Three-Gaited Show Pleasure Championship.

Michael Beasom represented Victory Lane Farm well. With Beasom aboard, Mountain Trail’s Rhett Butler marched away with the blue in the Park Pleasure Open and a large Park Pleasure Championship. He also topped a highly competitive Three-Gaited Park Jackpot with his horse, Simply The Top. The three-gaited horse In Perpetual Motion, owned by Jim Simmons, won the Three-Gaited Jackpot. After finishing second in her qualifying class, Stace Rust returned with her partner, Moutainview’s Good Day Sunshine, to win the Country Pleasure Championship.

Patty Milligan’s stables were well represented in the winner’s circle, capturing the final class of the show, the Amateur Five-Gaited Championship. Attache’s Heart Of Gold and Rachel Shupp’s turned in an outstanding performance, topping a highly competitive class of horses. Jenn Holdren aboard Denise Hurst’s exciting new park pleasure horse Roseridge’s Night And Day were the champions in the Junior/Novice Park Pleasure class. Holdren also put several winning combinations in the ring for the academy division.

Bluebonnet Farms brought a large string of horses that, as always, were top-notch quality. The Supreme Rose and Cindy Biddinger won the highly-competitive Three-Gaited Show Pleasure Championship. Kevin Berman’s pony Albert Kaponey, after winning this past fall at the American Royal, started off the 2008 season where they left off: in the winner’s circle capturing the Junior Exhibitor Road Pony and the Road Pony Championship. Berman also showed Xuxa to the blue in the Show Pleasure Driving Championship after his grandfather, Ed Perwien, had qualified the mare earlier that week. Only a three-year old, IPOD, with Sandy Currier in the irons, earned a reserve finish in the Park Pleasure Junior/Novice Horse class.

Phillip de Bruyn’s horses were extremely successful during the week. On Friday night, Bill Marple rode Endolane’s Firecracker to the win the Adult Show Pleasure class. Marple also showed his hunt horse, American Sky, to a championship and qualifying blue. The Karen Nalle entry Courageous Gypsy was second in the large Park Pleasure Championship.

Dan Flowers’s Miracle Farm had a blue ribbon weekend. Tony Diamond’s It’s Wing Ka Hammer made the victory pass in the Junior/Novice Five-Gaited class on Friday afternoon. Also by Tony Diamond’s stud, It’s Star Spangled Hammer, shown by owner Chris Tresten, captured the win in the Amateur Five-Gaited qualifying class. Nancy Moreno made her way down victory lane four times during the weekend; twice with her chestnut park horse, Jigsaw Johnny, who epitomizes the park division. She also presented her western pleasure horse, Likely Suspect. Their 2008 record remained unblemished as they finished San Antonio the way they started it, undefeated for the year. Chris Tresten also guided her horse, Life’s A Dance ERB, to the reserve champion title and the red-dominated tricolor in the Five-Gaited Show Pleasure Championship.

At San Antonio, Lone Star Saddlebreds presented a group of new combinations for the 2008 season. Nicole Tucker, Fay Stephens, Hannah Houske, Megan Weise and Corrine Stith all showed with new partners. Corrine Stith was paired with her horse Screen Idol at the end of the 2007 season, and the match has proven to be an unbeatable combination as they have won every class they have entered. San Antonio followed suit as they swept the country pleasure driving division. Sara Bratcher and Executive Phorce took a reserve ribbon with a large smile in the Three-Gaited Show Pleasure Junior Exhibitor class. The other riders all earned good ribbons with their new partners. Nicole Tucker, only a 13-year-old, was paired with Blue’s Traveler to earn the reserve tricolor and qualifier in the amateur park division.

SGF Winning Way’s Farms had more than just the show to celebrate as their trainer Steve Chadick celebrated his birthday. The stall drapes were decorated with signs and balloons all for his birthday which fell on Saturday of the horse show. Equally celebratory were the performance of all of the Winning Way’s horses. The King’s Champagne and Sherry Frankel once again captured the blue in the Adult Country Pleasure class. Lauren Greenwald and her partner Shamrock’s Phi Guy made the trip down victory lane twice as they were poised to win the Pleasure Equitation and Pleasure Equitation Championship. Also Corey Randel took the Winning Way’s Farms entry Colonel Rourke to two reserve drives in the Country Pleasure Driving classes. Lauren Greenwald’s new pony, Regal’s Special Effort LF, sped her way to two reserve finishes in the road pony division.

Cross Creek made the trip all the way from Oklahoma to come and support the show. They brought new combinations and some familiar faces down for the weekend. Vegas Dreams continued his winning ways with his new rider, Jennifer Van Horn, as he captured the Three-Gaited Show Pleasure Junior Exhibitor class. Claire Talley showed the ever exciting Indigo Joe in the Five-Gaited Junior Exhibitor qualifier to a reserve finish. Sisters Caroline Rainbolt Forbes and Eleanor Rainbolt Forbes competed against each other in the Walk and Trot Saddle Seat Equitation 10 and Under, both under the direction of Randy Cates. Eleanor finished first with Caroline taking the reserve.

Paul Cates Stables brought a large variety of academy and performance horses. He had a few young ones mixed in as well, including Madeira’s Taste Of Reality who earned a reserve title in the Five-Gaited Junior Horse class. He also showed The Red Rocket to a reserve title in the Five-Gaited Novice class. Megan Pepper teamed her exciting bay horse Madeira’s Deliverance to a reserve tricolor in the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Championship. Limoges and Bo Ashlyn Cates performed elegantly Friday night to earn the title in the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited class. Madeira’s Will, owned by Paul Cates Stables, took the reserve in the Three-Gaited Park Jackpot with Cates aboard. Kristen Dunn showed her horse, Madeira’s Mystical Moment, to the blue in the Junior/Novice Three-Gaited class. Memories’ Dark Admiral earned a reserve in a highly competitive and large Five-Gaited Show Pleasure qualifier matched with Erin Dewitt. Kaci Roberts and My Little Beauty beat out a large group of country pleasure entries to be second in the Country Pleasure Championship.

Debbie Grave’s rider Ashley Bryce did well in academy, winning the Academy Performance Walk/Trot Championship after finishing second in the qualifier. Nicole Briscoe’s riders also did well in all their academy classes earning several good ribbons in tough competition.

Despite the weather, the show was wonderful and everyone had a great time. It was with a fairly unanimous consent that the show continues to be an excellent one, with the very best of management and facilities.

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