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Saturday - A Stand And Deliver Finish For The Morgan Grand National



The final day of competition at the 2005 Morgan Grand National kicked off with 20 talented young riders entering the ring to compete in the first 14-15 year old World Championship in the hunter pleasure division. Previously these young riders were combined with the 16-17 year olds for one World Championship competition. Commanding the class was BlkOrchid Ace Commander directed by Jordan Cusumano under the direction of Katie Mair. Shannon Fox and Twin Peak Heritage earned the reserve honors under the direction of Mary Cockriel.

An amazing group of 23 ladies amateur English pleasure entries entertained the crowd in their World Championship. The competition was fierce with outstanding entries from coast to coast. In the end it was a pair of entries hailing from Eugene, Oregon who swept the tricolor honors. Stephanie Connor earned her first personal saddle world championship as she continued her winning streak at Oklahoma. Connor directed Man In Command to a fantastic performance and then to the winner’s circle where she met trainer Tim Arcuri. Reserve in the good class went to Karie Miller and the bold performing Versace, an entry owned by Donna Woolley and trained by Keith Nelsen.

The outstanding field of top ten performers also featured Futurity's Miss Munitions and Becky Dodson Krupp, IGF What's The Question and Lynn Muir, HVK Obsidian and Ling Fu Wylie, About Last Night and Carolyn Gibbard, Upper Echelon and Alex Wille-Irmiter, Turning Pt Simply Divine and Tara Lindeen, French Episode and Ann Maile, and NAS Rickenbacker and Nancy Murdock.

The Two-Year-Old Pleasure Driving World Championship was host to 13 promising youngsters and their drivers.  After one entry asked to be excused, 12 lined up for the judges’ consideration. Jim Lowry directed the winning entry as Sacred Path Indiana Jones went into the record books as the world champion for proud breeder/owners Diane and Lon Seitz’s Sacred Path Morgans. Reserve honors went to the flashy chestnut RJMF Barrymore and Jason Wolfe performing for Robert Morgan family’s Morgan Horse Farm.

The Walk-Trot Classic Pleasure 9 & Under Finals was the next featured attraction with family and friends on hand to encourage the young riders. The next generation of Morgan horse show lovers is secure with both of the top entries coming from strong Morgan families. Talia Stewart rode Bri-B Guinevere to the top spot representing Jim and Linda Stewart as well as Brian Stewart with coaching from Kathleen Flower. John and Georgie Green’s granddaughter Mattie Willard rode Roadshow Texas Playboy to the reserve honors (and one first place vote) to the delight of her strong fan club from Windswept Place.

                           Bob and Sasha Klein and Serena-Lynn Brown 

The Junior Exhibitor Park Harness World Championship featured the combination of returning champion and an accomplished equestrian from another division combining forces to earn the ultimate tricolor. The unanimous selection of the judges was the brilliant FZM Encore and Sasha Klein guided by Lynn Peeples. It was the second world title in as many years for the Stonecroft Masquerade son, who was shown in 2004 by Kylee Cochran, while Klein added to her many world titles earned in the hunt seat divisions. Steven Handy closed out his junior exhibitor career in style with a reserve world championship with RFF Stars N Stripes under the direction of Ann Anderson.


                                          EKL Command The View

Fifteen entries vied for the judges’ attention in the Three-Year-Old Hunter Pleasure World Championship. One entry cast a shoe, which was replaced, before the competition continued. Lynn Peeples made his second trip in as many classes to the winner’s circle to meet Kathleen Peeples and EKL Command The View, the unanimous choice of the judges for the world championship. Eli Lapp, Jr. of Colonial Stables bred and owns this outstanding entry making her the first Amish bred and owned World Champion Morgan. Mary Carlton directed the reserve winner, Century Oak Gallivant, a polished entry owned by Robert and Muriel Herrick’s Century Oak Farm.

                                         Rum Brook Immortal Mystic

Closing out the morning session, the Walk-Trot Classic Pleasure 10-11 Finals earned the full attention of the supportive audience. Winning the tough class was perennial favorite Rum Brook Immortal Mystic who gave Lauren Lang a great ride and a huge thrill as she earned the tricolor in just her third show ever. Proud parents Cary and Jennifer Lang thoroughly enjoyed the moment as the top team took their place in the winner's circle directed by Bill Grundmeyer. Jim and Linda Stewart's Lookaway Farm continued their tricolor morning as Kathleen Flower prepared the reserve championship in this good class, Lookaway’s Howitzer who was matched with Shelby Clark.

                                                  Stonecroft Neoclassic

The two-year-old park harness entries were the first scheduled to perform on the final afternoon session. Judy Whitney Harris had directed the two-year-old standout JW That Special Flaire to the open world championship Friday evening, after having won the two-year-old futurity class earlier in the week. With that said, the class was wide open as the remaining youngsters paraded through the gate with their sights set on the roses. In her first trip to Oklahoma Dianna Rannells made the winning drive behind the lines of the Stonecroft Masquerade son Stonecroft Neoclassic for John Scheidt and Don Spear, with Joan Lurie coaching the winning team. Bob Hughes and Jessebelle, an elegant young mare by Tug Hill Whamunition, drove away with the reserve streamers for Helen and John Crawford.

This year was the first year the show offered a Master's section in the western and hunter pleasure divisions. This addition was a welcome one as it was responsible for quite a drop in entries in the normally excessively oversized Amateur Western Pleasure World Championship. This year's world championship was still very deep with 17 multi-titled entries, but much more comfortable for those showing in the class. For the third year in a row, He's Simply Marvelous and Virginia Adams shined above their rivals. Garn Walker made the familiar trip to the winner's circle to meet the history-making team. The Dragonfire Farm cheering section roared as Melissa Hart and the elegant Briar Oaks Pep In My Step were called out as the amateur reserve world champions to the delight of owner Sandra Nelson of Madison Avenue Morgans.

He was a world champion as a two-year-old and MEM The Patriot came back to Oklahoma this year to put on a repeat performance. Kurt Hufferd had the Futurity French Command son in perfect order for the World Champion Pleasure Driving Three-Year-Old victory for SpringMill Morgans. Dragonsmeade Carnaros and Mike Carpenter cruised into the reserve position, adding another impressive mark on Dragonsmeade's Oklahoma résumé.

Seventeen hunters hungry for the thrill of world championship victory answered Bill Carrington's call for the Ladies Hunter Pleasure World Championship. Another victory for Dragonsmeade came when Keely Sogoloff directed Dragonsmeade Crescendo to a commanding performance, which landed them the victory. LR Ami Sultan with Mallory Mignott up for Anne Mears maintained their momentum throughout the long class and were more than pleased to gallop to the presentation area for the reserve championship.

Excitement levels increased in the stands as the entries in the Four-Year-Old Park Saddle Championship boldly trotted down the chute and into the coliseum. With plenty of presence and attitude, CN The Master's Flyte with Mike Goebig up represented the Morgan breed to precision and they earned a unanimous victory in this class for Cindy Nord. The always hard-riding Jenny Taylor and the expressive Simply Maserati daughter Patchwork Simply Amazin made a striking pair and they trotted away with the reserve ribbon and roses to continue a tricolor show for Donna Zimmerman.

                                                    Star Of Midnight

As mentioned earlier, the World Champion Western Pleasure Amateur Masters class, a class established for riders over 50, was a new addition in 2005. Fifteen entries, most who would have shown had the class not been added in the amateur division, participated in this Saturday afternoon class. This class gave Virginia Adams a chance to show both of her world titled entries as she made history by winning both amateur world championships. This time
Adams was matched with Star of Midnight, last year's four-year-old world champion, to complete an undefeated show for the sleek black mare who made her fifth trip to the winner's circle. It was yet another tricolor sweep for Garn Walker as the popular team of Corrick and Connie Melendy capped off their phenomenal week as the reserve world champions.

The World Champion Pleasure Driving Four-Year-Old class was called to order with 12 bold performing pleasure horses and their drivers working the ring for judges Price, Matthews and Eckard. The crowd was enthusiastic as it was during the regular portion of the class, but when Bill Carrington announced there would be a four-horse workout, spectators went wild. When that was complete, the judges decided that FRF Seattle Reign would earn his second world title in as many years as Richard Boule' took over the lines of the HVK Courageous Flaire son for Jeffrey Gove and Taylor River Farm. With style and quality to spare Dragonsmeade Carnegie Hall, Tom and Stephanie Connor's newest acquisition, trotted away with the reserve world championship in his final performance with Tim Roesink on the lines. Third went to the aptly named chestnut CN Grand Style and Jim Taylor performing for Karen Strickland and Ann Maile, while Paradigm Tokyo Rose and Steven DeBolt picked up fourth in this exciting class for John and Judith Kemper.

As the afternoon began to wind down, a fresh group of three-year-olds met up of the World Champion Park Saddle Three-Year-Old class. Repeating their victory from earlier in the week and earning two winning votes, WWW Virtual Reality bested the field with Melissa Wahl riding for the Nielson Living Trust. Debi Jeppesen piloted the elegant daughter of HVK Bell Flaire and JL's Deer Sal, Morgan Ridge Bellaragazza to reserve following the World Futurity victory for James Hangley and Tracy Fietz.

The final AMHA Gold Medal was awarded as the Hunter Seat On The Flat Gold Medal Final closed out the Saturday afternoon session. Twelve talented riders returned after the original field was narrowed from 37 earlier in the week. The riders had their turn in the coliseum as they put forth their best efforts in hopes to wear the gold medal out of the ring. Following the railwork, the judges selected five of the 12 riders to perform a workout that was posted on the screen in coliseum during the class, something rarely seen.    

                                                       Laura Pecherski

Laura Pecherski's precision paid off as she polished off the win to continue an amazing week for trainer/instructor Katie Mair. Nicole Morrison closed out a great junior exhibitor career by  turning in a flawless performance for reserve under the Northgate banner. The field of top winning riders also saw Ann Weeks finish in third, Alyssa Rumsey picked up forth and Caitlin Novotny carried out the fifth place ribbon in the good class.

As the coliseum filled Saturday night with eager spectators and participants, the grand finale had arrived. The colors were presented and the National anthems were sung, and the final chapter was about to be written on the 2005 Morgan Grand National. As it turned out, several entries repeated their wins from earlier in the week while in other cases it would take a strong comeback to capture a world championship title.

The crowd was strong and supportive from the onset, but it definitely grew as the night went on, proving that the Saturday conclusion of the show, as opposed to the  Sunday conclusion that exhibitors were used to, was indeed a good idea for boosting the crowd for the show's finale. Those in the stands for the first class really got into it and saw an impressive group of horses make their way into the coliseum for the Amateur Park Harness World Championship.

                               Donna Zimmerman with Jenny and Jim Taylor

A great season of competition in this division from coast to coast made for an exceptional world championship. It was a fitting climax to conclude an undefeated season for Evolution and owner/driver Donna Zimmerman. Following in his sire HVK Courageous Flaire's footsteps this athletic and well mannered four-year-old collected the roses and tricolor as Jim and Jenny Taylor prepared the world championship pair for their spotlight victory pass. It was a tricolor sweep for the sons of HVK Courageous Flaire as CN The Commanding Touch and a brilliantly attired Brenda Varney turned in a strong comeback drive prepared by Rick Stevens to earn the reserve world championship.

As the crowd discussed the previous class and the upcoming schedule, they also took time to recognize the equitation champions who had competed in all seats throughout the week. The dedication and skill of the riders and the versatility of their mounts were rewarded once more in this parade. It was a great way for the crowd to show its appreciation for the talented young riders of the industry, who had for the most part shown in the Show Arena all week.

Trainers competing in the World Champion Western Pleasure faced deep water as 15 top of the line entries participated in the class. Santa Fe Renegade, in what would be the first of three unanimous decisions of the evening, added to his stallion victory from earlier in the week for the world championship title. Ridden by trainer and co-owner Eitan Beth-Halachmy, Santa Fe Renegade earned the roses for a record third time. Bear Brook Supreme Bar and Sammi Hazen pressed the champions hard and finished with reserve, giving Hazen a very special birthday gift to conclude a great week for this handsome gelding.

In what was a great week in Oklahoma for Kourt Jester Morgans, Intrepid Mortal Beloved and Shelley Silber added the World Champion Classic Pleasure Saddle Ladies title their huge collection from the 2005 Morgan Grand National. Tim Roesink greeted the winning team for a beautiful spotlight ride. The reserve streamers went to the northeast with Whispering Rhythm-N-Blues and Michelle Aulson earning their second tricolor of the week, under the direction of Sheri and John Lompropoulos.


The Amateur English Pleasure World Championship turned into a full fledged battle among the all star cast of entries competing. The class of 21 was intense enough as it was, but add a workout to that and you get one of the most exciting classes of the 2005 Grand National. No Doubt and Debra Hurst Walters, winners of the gelding qualifier; Nicoria, the 2004 Amateur English Pleasure World Champion, shown by Amy Gatewood; and CCR's Outrajus Corajus and Karie Miller, winners of the stallion qualifier, had everyone in the crowd sitting on the edge of their seats as they turned the heat on in the three-horse workout.

The workout was challenging as the horses worked at the walk, pleasure trot, road trot and canter both ways of the ring. When the tabulations were turned in, Amy Gatewood had tears in her eyes as Nicoria became the first horse to ever be named Amateur English Pleasure World Champion two years in a row. It was a crowning achievement for the Gatewood Family's DanTree Farm and the Futurity French Command son who was prepared for this victory by David Rand.

With one first place vote, Karie Miller and CCR's Outrajus Corajus, who picked up a wrong lead during the workout -- but quickly corrected it -- received a standing ovation for their reserve finish. Debra Hurst Walters and No Doubt concluded their tricolor partnership with the third place finish hailing from The River's Edge. The fabulous lineup of top ten finishers also included Boston's Big Whammy and Cassie Stevenson, Baccarat's Noble Cause and Teri Rumens, Silversides Toy Soldier (2002 World Champion) and Mary Fisher Davila, HVK Man About Town and Kevin Schengrund, Cabot French Pepper and Nan Wille-Cecchettini, French Flambeau and Shannon Connor, and Whispering Whammunition (2001 and 2003 World Champion) and Elizabeth Melanson.

The momentum from the previous class certainly did not lessen as six speedsters plunged through the gate next for the Roadster To Bike World Championship. The judges were in sync through most of the placings in this class, and they were in complete agreement that HVK Baymarch and Bob Hughes would earn the roses for the third time. This handsome and athletic bay added the title to those won in 2002 and 2003 under the ownership of Sally Longenecker/Saralin Farm. MEM No Inhabitions, a long striding chestnut mare by Cedar Creek Harlequin, faced up to the boys just fine and took home the reserve championship with Jeff White on the lines for Maine Event Morgans.

CN's Stylish Debut with Allyson Nord Wandtke handled his competitors just fine as he captured his third and final win of the week in the Ladies Park Saddle World Championship. Mike Goebig has had a lot of practice greeting this pair in center ring as their resume is quite impressive, but the smile on his face as he congratulated the winners proved this win was like no other. Last year's world champion in this division, Bellisimo, with Judy Whitney Harris up, were right on the winner's heels as they were named the reserve world champions with one first place vote.

Following the ladies park saddle, the Youth Of The Year Award introductions were made. Following an intense competition by many of the winning youth contestants during the season the winners of the oral presentation, written exam, horsemastership and judging categories were announced. At this time the Overall Youth Of The Year Awards were presented with Kerry Shanley earning the title along with a trip anywhere in the world as a Morgan ambassador, while Amie Van Dorn was named Reserve Youth Of The Year and earned a one week stay to learn from any professional Morgan trainer.

It's always safe to bet that any class in the hunter division is going to be a deep one and riders who face this division have to have a lot more than a great horse. They have to have the maneuvering skills it takes to be seen in such a large class. With Wednesday night's amateur world championship under their belts, Glacier Dreamin' and Monty Kugeler bested the 22-entry field to add the Amateur Ladies Hunter Pleasure World Championship. The River's Edge cheering section had reason to celebrate once more as the Denver-based winning team showed the style and athleticism needed to earn the honors. En Excess NKS and Julie Chan put the final exclamation point of the week up for Garn Walker as they trotted away with the bold and polished ride for the reserve honors.


                                                     SLB Andiamo

Another extraordinary lineup answered the call for another popular Saturday night class, the World Championship Pleasure Driving. The nine entries represented many winning performances from
Oklahoma and around the country. It was another historic performance as the phenomenal three-year-old SLB Andiamo became the youngest horse ever to earn the blanket of roses for this victory. With unbelievable crowd support, SLB Andiamo and Robert Hughes earned the impressive title for owner and breeder Sheryl Bartolucci and SLB Farms. LPS The Boogie Man added another tricolor to an already historic show as the three time World Champion Stallion showed off his good looks and style as the Pleasure Driving Reserve World Champion with David Rand on the lines for Michael and Nancy Ramsey.

It was finally time! The Park Saddle World Championship hosted the 2005 version of the best of the best and suspense levels were high among audience members. Ever since Tuesday night's finale in the Grand National Park Saddle Stallions there had been a great deal of discussion about how the show would end. After working both ways of the ring, the four stallions -Stonecroft Trilogy, Stand And Deliver, Queen's Romeo and Analyze That - were asked to perform once more at the park trot with members of the large audience urging on its favorites. The crowd participation escalated during the conformation judging as the trainers presented their stallions head to tail in the lineup.

                                                       Stand And Deliver

After the final cards were signed, the entries retired to the in-gate where the four trainers anxiously awaited the winning announcements as did the rest of the crowd. After the cards were tabulated, announcer Bill Carrington welcomed Stand And Deliver and Mike Goebig to the winner's circle after delivering a performance worthy of the roses to the delight of owner/breeder Tara Lindeen. This was a fabulous way to end the five-year-old's premier season under saddle following a world championship junior career in harness. Stonecroft Trilogy, a year older than Stand And Deliver had earned the same harness world titles in 2001 and 2002, also made quite an entrance in the saddle ranks in 2005. Dianna Rannells had only shown Trilogy at one show this year prior to the Grand National and they put on a quite a show for the reserve world championship for Stonecroft Farm.


Announcer Mary Loy Brown opened the afternoon session by introducing the judging panel of Cassenti, Hughes, and Staciak for World Champion Western Seat Junior Equitation. Six riders jogged in, ready for their final equitation competition of the show. Is it really the last day? At times the week has seemed like a never-ending marathon. But now on the last day, opening day seems like yesterday.

                                                    Lauren Little

After performing their rail work, each rider was asked to perform a short pattern that consisted of loping to the ringmaster, backing, and then jogging a loop back to the lineup. Moving up a place from her age group finish on Wednesday, Lauren Little jogged Evil Kneivel to the winner’s circle as the unanimous 2005 Western Seat Equitation World Champion where she was greeted by Kelly Kraegel-Bates. Sarah Shimmer began quite an afternoon as she was called out the reserve champion to the enthusiastic cheering of her fans aboard Vega Santa Fe. Instructor Mary Carlton was proud of Shimmer’s success in multiple seats.


                                                   Brooke Gove

If anyone thinks saddle seat equitation is on the wane in the Morgan world, they need look no further than the Senior Saddle Seat Equitation World Championship. Featuring sixteen riders loaded for bear, the championship enlivened the crowd who energetically whooped and hollered throughout. Of course a championship cannot be decided without a workout. Eight riders were called for a challenging test. It consisted of: trot one-third of the rail on the left diagonal and circle, canter the second-third of the rail on the left lead, change leads and circle the last third at the canter - stop, pivot, and trot back the length of the rail on the correct diagonal without stirrups. The test showed off the different strengths of the top flight riders with each judge selecting a different rider for first. This again proved the depth of the competitive field. When the cards were tabulated, AMHA Saddle Seat Gold Medal Champion Brooke Gove added another jewel to a memorable week as the Senior Saddle Seat Equitation World Champion. Not willing to take anything for granted, Brooke Gove rode with precision and aggressive confidence, as it appeared the workout made the difference. Kristen Spann and David practically flew across the ring to the winner’s circle as Gove’s fans screamed their approval upon hearing her called out as the World Champion aboard Hollybrook Romeo. Winner of the 14-15 age group and Senior UPHA Challenge Cup finals, Ariana Corrigan graciously accepted the reserve honors aboard Festival Troubadour. Jamie Cruz closed out her junior rider career with the third place tie along with the other first place vote mounted on HVK Latin Wild. The remainder of the top ten featured the talents of Tiffani Earehart, Emily Buchanan, Marlo Franco, Morgan Glenn, Catherine Hendrickson, Ashley Dragan, and Katie Goodpaster.


                                                Brittany Schilling

The Saddle Seat Classic Equitation World Championship was next on tap. Nine riders answered the call; four were called to perform an individual workout. Repeating the top two finishes from the 14-17 age group qualifier, it was a tricolor sweep for the Northeast. Brittany Schilling celebrated a unanimous decision as the world champion aboard Highover All The Rage guided by Jean DeGutis. Kahla Buthlay brought the reserve tricolor back to Maine with a polished ride matched with Elizabeth Sue. This was the first trip to OKC for both hard-working young ladies and certainly a trip they won't forget.

                                                     Sarah Shimmer

Eight riders returned for the Saddle Seat Junior World Championship. Following the railwork, four riders were chosen to perform a pattern. While the judges poured over their cards, riders waited in nervous anticipation. Before the champion was made known, it was announced that, in an unusual finish, the top four places were all unanimous. The final 2005 victory pass for Show Arena 6 was made by Sarah Shimmer who made the ride thanks to the loan by Holly Carlton of her all star mount Trophy J's Valentine. Shimmer joined Lisa Lewallen (1986 and 1987) and Nikki Rae Woodworth (1994 and 1995) as the only the only two-time Junior Saddle Seat Equitation World Champions. Amassing an enviable record throughout the season and at this year’s Grand National, Katherine Alderman was named reserve champion to close out a tricolor show for Cricket Hill Farm.

The action in Show Arena 9 came to a close on Saturday morning with a quintet of  crowd pleasing reining competitions. The young horses were first to compete with Mark Wilcher adding on to a winning record for owner Leroy Stockton. Wilcher guided Heartquest Rachel to the top score to earn the Reining Snaffle Bit/Hackamore World Championship. Phillip Meredith slid into the reserve spot aboard Rough Diamond Rock My Sox for Rough Diamond Ranch.

James Gallagher followed brother Shawn Gallagher, who earned the title in 2002, as he spun away with the AMHA Reining Seat Gold Medal aboard Challie's Firethorn.

                                            MorganQuest Native Son

The World Champion Reining featured eight athletic Morgans many who compete in open competitions with their trainers. The top score along with the world championship tricolor and rose blanket were awarded to MorganQuest Native Son who came back a few hours later to put on an entertaining performance to earn the Open Freestyle Reining victory as well. Heath Herndon rode the chestnut stallion who won the junior/snaffle bit or hackamore world championship a year ago for owners Duane, Shirley and Tane Burris. Heartquest Erin added the Reining Reserve World Championship to his impressive list of accomplishments with Mark Wilcher aboard for Leroy Stockton.

LSI Hollywood Hel Kat and Meredith Rosier-Cooke had the crowd's attention as they performed for the high score in the Reining Freestyle Non-Pro Finals victory and also earned the reserve tie in the freestyle open. Travis Filipek and Painters Pine Ridge closed out a great week of competition for Thomas Filipek and Lou Ellen Williams with the reserve ride in the non-pro freestyle.

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