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Show Pleasure, Country Pleasure and Park

As with every major breed showing today the pleasure division is always the largest of the show. Show management went to great lengths to try and police this division (making sure that horses that showed in pleasure at Louisville were campaigned as pleasure horses throughout the year). Although some trainers complained about the required six classes before a horse could show at Louisville in the division it certainly helped the local shows throughout the year and it made sure that horses crowned world's champions were indeed shown in the pleasure division.

It kicked off on Monday morning with the 21-horse Three-Gaited Show Pleasure 18-29 World’s Championship. Raking up a crowd-pleasing victory, Travis Van Zetten was aboard Uncle Abe and greeted in the winner’s circle by Lynda Freseth, something which has happened often this year. Under the direction of Biggins’ Stables, Born To Be Blue and Stacie Williams were thrilled with their reserve in an extremely competitive class. Shady Creek’s Genius and Lindsey Bade finished third. Prince Of The Day, Broadway Tune, Mr. Ted E. Bheir, Seismic Force, and What A Star accepted the remaining ribbons.

Twelve turned out in the class for the 30-40 year-old riders. Paula Frenette’s navigational skills allowed her entry, Absolutely Exquisite to stand out in the group, capturing the duo with a big win for owner Elsa Hackett. This winning pair showed under the direction of Thomas Welch and Linda Weber of Hawkewood Farm. John Scheidt and The King’s Man were the chosen winner’s for the reserve ribbon. Supreme Wind Dancer and Stephanie Ridder happily claimed the yellow ribbon after making many victory passes throughout the year.

Two divisions were necessary in the 41 and over age group. There were 17 entries in the first and the new sensation in the pleasure ranks, I’m Simply Radiant and Judy Werner tied first under the guidance of Delovely. Following the victors, World's Grand Champion The Bess Yet and Carol Hillenbrand topped off their winning season with reserve. Third was awarded to Sultan’s Gold and Coe London. Bi Mi Magic Winter, Sultan’s Hot Copy, New York’s Best M & N, Bella Marietta and Worth’s World Traveler also placed in the ranks of this large class.

Fourteen entries filled the second division and when the decision is unanimous in a large class you know the winner was a knockout. That’s the way it was in this class as firsts across the board landed Drops Of Jupiter and an ecstatic Cheryl Innis a world’s championship with the help of their trainer, Ricky Harris. A red ribbon was in store for Heiron Spelling and Beth Werry, who ride under the direction of Tom Bombolis. Another Heir and Barbara Manilow finished with a solid third among this all-star cast.

"I've been showing here forever and this is my first win," said Cheryl Innis shortly after her class. "Just a few weeks ago we were sixth at Ct. Summer Classic and I said to Ricky[Harris], 'Why are we going to spend the time and money to go to Louisville?' He told me not to worry that we would have him ready by the time we got there. I guess I'll start listening to him from now on!"

The championship allowed 20 back in the ring for another go on the green shavings. It was again a poised and polished performance by the picture perfect team of Travis Van Zetten and Uncle Abe who stepped up to garner the world’s grand championship in this intense division. Cheryl Innis had another great ride for reserve with Drops Of Jupiter. I’m Simply Radiant and Judy Werner placed third and the remaining places went to The Bess Yet, Prince Of The Day, Broadway Tune, Colin Powell, and Born To Be Blue.

There were 11 in each of the two divisions of the Three-Gaited Show Pleasure Junior Exhibitor, Riders 11 and Under qualifier and Simbara’s Samba Jamba with Megan Ryan up showed off their talents and captured the win in division one. Trained by Gary Guz this team has enjoyed starring roles the past few years but they put it all together for this Louisville victory pass. The Cricket Hill-trained Hakeem The Dream followed in reserve with Elizabeth Dirth up. Third place went to a very happy Faye Wuesthofen aboard Shiny New Penny.

A New York Rebel and Rachel Shoemaker were up for the challenge in division two. They succeeded and enjoyed every second of the trip down victory lane. Peter Palmer prepared the pair for the winning ride. Jordan Hardison and CF Super Early had a good go for reserve, adding to the Delovely collection of top ribbons. Olympic Charm and Sammy Jo Galica, champions throughout the Midwest, finished third.

Entry numbers were high in the 12-13-year-old class as well. In the first division, Sweet Virginia and Kelly Ricker made their mark at the Kentucky State Fair with two first place votes and one meaningful victory pass. They had won an 11 and under title in 2001. Lynda Freseth coached Magic March and Abby Krempasky to reserve. Much More Radiant and Jessica Keyes were called out third in the 12-horse class.

There were 14 in the second section. Continuing a season of many blues, Ali Judah had the crowd’s support in full force as she exited as world’s champion aboard her beloved Riva Diva. Laguardia was next with Barrett Clifton up for team Delovely. Kelsey Price and Champagne’s Arrogance gave it their all for owner Brennan Baumer of Biggins’ Stable for third.

Competition was heated and there were several in tip top shape in the junior exhibitor 13 and under championship. From Milligan Stables the fancy pair of Sweet Virginia and Kelley Ricker were named world’s grand champions while Titleist Symbol and Whitney Anderson finished with a solid reserve grand championship from Northern Tradition Farm. The popular Simbara’s Samba Jamba was third with a pleased Megan Ryan aboard. Other ribbons went to Laguardia, Riva Diva, Hakeem The Dream, Much More Radiant and Magic March.

Nineteen teams crammed into the one class for the 14-15-year-old riders. Scott Matton was railside and proud to witness Louisville Lass and Kelsey Smith finish on the very top of this big bunch of contenders for Natalie Lukas. Piano Man and Hayne Clifton made no mistakes for a strong reserve finish. Third was awarded to CF Chief’s Rage and Rachael North. Who Needs Mama, Carrie Blue, Callaway’s Newscaster, Send Her Roses and Reedann’s Phlambeau finished off the ribbons.

The 16-17 class was large enough to split. Receiving two first place votes, Petra’s Beyond Belief and catch riding Sarah Thordsen earned top status with a big win for Irv and Natalie Udell. Playing it safe for second, Melissa Donovan was aboard Wild Harley with the help of trainer Lance Hayes. Andrew Garrison and Court Dance had a solid appearance for third.

The expression on Jamie Hitchin’s face was priceless has she enjoyed every moment of victory aboard In Neon with Bill and Lisa Waller guiding her throughout the competition. Lauren Pope and the impressive Over Achiever brought home the reserve to the Jo Cornell Stables. Third place went to The Excelsior and Jackie Warea and the other ribbons were passed out to Worthy One’s Party Dud, Street Of Fancy, Picard, Heirrelevant, and Callaway’s Carnegie Hall.

Having set the stage in their qualifier, Petra’s Beyond Belief and Sarah Thordsen returned to the ring in full force and loved every minute of their second trip of the week down victory lane, this time with the yellow roses signifying world's grand champion status. Tate Bennett and Who Needs Mama garnered a reserve world's grand championship for Biggins’ Stable and owner Marty Reynolds, while In Neon ERB and new owner Jamie Hitchin settled for third. CF Chief’s Rage, Court Dance, Wild Harley, Piano Man and The Excelsior also left with ribbons.

Moving to the driving section, Lisa Gumenick and Shamanic Dream made each and every pass count in the Show Pleasure Driving Adult, Drivers 18-45 qualifier. It paid off as the Ronnie Graham-instructed pair took home the unanimous blue ribbon for the Meadowlark York Limited Partnership. Having been at the top the past several years, Jenna Vannoy was thrilled to finish up as reserve world’s champion with CH Stuff And Nonsense. High Noon A.S. and Kelly Oselka did not go unnoticed for third. The following also kept the competition heated and received ribbons: Glenview’s Supreme Success, Lightnin’ Lil, Chief Tomahawk, Heir’s Town, and Sand Kalamehameha.

The 46 and over class was broken down into two sections. Receiving two first place votes, 2001 Pleasure Driving World's Grand Champion River Dance came out on top with owner and driver Randall Finken in the cart. Judi Toundas and High Time’s Spartan, who are under the direction of Sena Bowling, followed the champions with reserve. Harlem Heat and a smiling Lib Jones made their way to the winner’s circle in division two while Miriam Adams was behind the lines of Santana’s Night Moves for reserve. Both of these gracious ladies have enjoyed blue ribbon passes this season.

Heir’s Town made a huge comeback after a seventh place finish earlier in the week to capture a well-deserved world’s grand championship. Directed by Andy and Lynda Freseth, Alice Unger drove to the win. Reserve honors went to River Dance and Randall Finken, who performed nicely under the direction of George Knight. The elegant team of Lisa Gumenick and Shamanic Dream followed in third, while another great driving lady, Toni Nastali, finished fourth with Irish Tribute. Queensbury Coquette, Harlem Heat, and CH Santana's Night Moves and CH Stuff and Nonsense grabbed the remaining championship ribbons.

It was a unanimous decision that landed Highpoint’s High Adventure and Grace Ann Walker on top in the world’s championship for drivers 17 and under. Abigail Reising and CH A Supreme Sunrise made a fine show for reserve.

The ASHA Foundation Show Pleasure Driving Junior Exhibitor Driving Challenge Finals featured 10 prime contenders. Aliyah Asch and Advantage Me were at the top of their game for the win while My Annie and Holli McDowell stood out for the red ribbon.

Another flawless drive brought the winning combination Aliyah Asch, Advantage Me and Joy Ann Lazarus to the winner’s circle of the Junior Exhibitor Show Pleasure Driving Championship after again receiving first place votes across the board. Maintaining top form, CH Herculean and Shaye Coleman defeated many challengers in this 11-horse class. Alluring and Frank Polley were calculated to be third.

The five-gaited pleasure division was another in which every class was full of top notch entries. The Five-Gaited Show Pleasure Riders 18-35 jump started this division with a 16-horse class and an impressive and stand-out performance by CH Specialty Item and Lori Mitchell. Kristen Pettry was aboard Peppermint Sonburst for an exceptional reserve ride. Callaway’s High Roller finished third with Amy Dix Rock. Remaining ribbons went to Rastafarian, Harlem’s Hot Ticket, Man To Man, She’s A Rockefeller and Doubletrees Confederate Gray all champions throughout the season.

Fourteen entered the ring for the 36 and over division one class. Adding another top ribbon to the dynamic pair's impressive collection, Michele Macfarlane and Sprinkles showed off in winning style for the win. Without any problem at all, Callaway’s No Problem and Marie Gwinn accepted reserve. Third went to Chris Nalley and Callaway’s Rockaway.

Cats Don’t Dance and Sally Jackson paved their way to the winner’s circle of the second division following their grand championship at Lexington just a month earlier. DeLovely Farm's team directed Sally Wood to a reserve ride aboard A Touch Of Heir. Deborah Butler and the world titled James Lewis trotted up for third.

Competition came to a head in the Five-Gaited Show Pleasure Adult Championship as winners of two of the three qualifiers, Specialty Item and Sprinkles, battled it out for victory. When all was said and done, Specialty Item was named the world’s grand champion, giving Lori Mitchell an incredible season with this Louisville veteran. Callaway’s Rockaway and Chris Nalley turned in an impressive performance to capture reserve grand champion honors from the Nelson Green Stables. Sprinkles and Michele Macfarlane put forth great effort but slipped, nonetheless, to the third spot. There was tight competition for the remaining ribbons which went to Callaway's High Roller, CH My Korbel, CH Peppermint Sonburst, Harlem's Hot Ticket, and Rastafarian. It just doesn't get much better than this company!

Performing stellar as always and having fun while working hard, Bongo made the highest mark on all cards in the junior exhibitor five-gaited pleasure division one qualifier, racking and trotting his best for Corbin Smith. John Conatser greeted the winning pair. Abigail Reising and Highpoint’s Mahogany Prince secured reserve while Grady Lane and Kate Bryan placed third.

Nine showed up for the second division in which CH The Bodega Bay and Tasha Sandler knocked out the competition for the world’s champion title which went back to Bill and Nancy Becker's Shadow Run. This brilliant bay horse has long been a favorite of Becker's. CH Perrier and Dakota Willimon put up a good fight for reserve for owner David Nierenberg.

Corbin Smith and the much heralded Bongo put on another fantastic show in the championship and there was no doubt in any of the judges' minds that the duo should be crowned world’s grand champions.

"We worked hard for this one," said a smiling John Conatser. "Corbin has done a great job riding this horse."

Dakota Willimon showed back for another reserve finish, but this time she was aboard Mollie Bennett’s entry, Champagne Shenanigans. Champagne Shenanigans is trained by Kris Price. The yellow ribbon went to Titlesist Commander and Jessica Pare representing Somersdream. Remaining ribbons went to Grady Lane, The Denali, Mmmbop, Hot Irish Nite and The Bodega Bay.

Country Pleasure was as high in numbers as always. Starting off the competition the Kenny Smith trained Callaway’s Scoop The News and Kristen Pettry toppled the challengers for the world’s championship in the Three-Gaited Country Pleasure Riders 18-30 qualifier. Absolutely Awesome followed with Shane Van Waardhuizen up. Third went to Kiss For Luck and Margaret Elizabeth Biggs.

Nine met up for the Three-Gaited Country Pleasure Riders 31-45 World’s Championship. Arriving on the scene this year with much excitement the horse of another color, Simply Striking, did not drop an ear and was bright as could be with rider Ramona Kolacki representing owner Marcia Fuller and MBA Stables. Karen Smith showed the highly decorated CH The Shadow Knows for reserve honors.

In the 46 and over class, Turn Of The Century, who is trained by John Biggins, finished on top with Charlene Edwards up for the win. Edwards' daughter, Lori Mitchell, had already enjoyed a victory pass with CH Speciality Item so this was even more memorable for the mother/daughter combination. CF Mad Night Out finished second in this country pleasure class with Andrea Bittker up.

Those lucky enough to show back in the championship were up against tough competition Saturday morning. No one could touch the bold presence made by the interestingly spotted Simply Striking and Ramona Kolacki, who were crowned world’s grand champions for Marcia Fuller. This ride made a moment Ramona Kolacki will never forget. "It was my first time showing at Louisville," said Kolacki. "I've been coming there for 12 years to watch and all of the sudden I was there. I had only learned that I'd be showing for Marcia a week before. I live in Chicago and they [MBA Equestrians and Marcia Fuller] called me and told me I'd be showing the horse. I got in my car with my two kids, drove to Austin, Texas from Wednesday to Sunday for a vacation we had planned, drove back to Chicago and then drove to Louisville. I had one practice ride at Louisville on Tuesday. I'd have to say winning at Louisville, besides marrying my husband, was the best moment of my life."

Turn Of The Century and Charlene Edwards took home the reserve world’s grand championship finishing a fantastic week for her family. Third in this 17-horse class went to Saboteur and Owen Weaver while remaining ribbons went to Mr. Gary Cooper, The Shadow Knows, DF Mad Night Out, Kiss For Luck and Mirific.

Kendyl Tracy aggressively took on the competition in full force and captured the blue in the first junior exhibitor country pleasure division for the 13 and under riders. Tracy was aboard the tried and true star CH Midtown Man for the win. Jamie Bridgewater met this happy team in the winner’s circle. What’s My Line and Margaret Lawrence, who are under the direction of Rob and Sarah Byers, finished reserve.

Part of a group of New England horses that did exceptionally well this week, Rob Turner directed I’ll Tell You What and Malory Newcomb to the win in the second division for an ecstatic Bruce and Cindy Dougherty, while The Gun Moll and Emily Doll were right on top as well with reserve.

Coming to a decision was tough in division one of the Three-Gaited Country Pleasure Junior Exhibitor 14-17 qualifier as all three judges picked different winners. When calculations came to a halt, Undulata’s Clean Sweep and former owner Kerry Honkamp made the victory pass for current owner Curt Kilgora showing under the Knollwood banner. He’s Real Bad and Kate Bryan finished second as Baron’s Dreams and Schemes and Megan Flod took home the yellow streamers. Other prizes in this 15-horse class went to Jenn-Heir, Callaway’s Bugle Boy, Noel Noel, Local Treasure, and Roaring Gap.

There was one less horse in the second division but quality remained the same. Callaway’s Congressman and Lauren Pope were shaped up for the blue ribbon under the direction of Jo Cornell. Madge Bass directed Christopher Koenig and Wild Lolita to the reserve ride while Independent Status came through for Sarah Traub in third. Other ribbons went to The Chicago Son Times, Brooklyn Beau, Callaway’s Splish Splash, Royal Crest Whispering Stone and Phancy Jamas.

Two out of three first place votes garnered the win for CH Midtown Man on Saturday morning. Unassuming Kendyl Tracy was thrilled to take the victory pass and trainer Jamie Bridgewater was just as thrilled to watch. The Premier Stables team of What’s My Line and Margaret Lawrence made a solid go for reserve. Kate Bryan and He’s Real Bad were next in line for a third place finish. The remaining ribbons went to the following: I’ll Tell You What, Wild Lolita, Undulata’s Clean Sweep, Callaway’s Congressman, and Jenn-Heir.

The country pleasure driving division got started on Monday morning with 13 entering the ring in the adult class for drivers 45 and under. Lisa Gumenick was happy to hear her number called out as winner. She was behind the lines of a very pleasant Rockin’ The Blues. James Rosburg and Somersby had a clean go for the red ribbon. Reedann’s Phorsythia and Jeffrey Donovan graciously accepted third in the competitive class.

The 46 and over class was also full of nice entries. Callaway’s Pretty Penny and Nancy Anderson kept their winning season in tact and were right on the money for top honors. Sultry Heiress and Joan Adler also made a good presentation for reserve.

The Country Pleasure Driving Championship saw 14 vying for the world’s grand championship title and all of the top challengers had a long winning record behind them. Rising to the occasion former world's grand champions Sultry Heiress and Joan Adler delivered again for Sunrise Stables. Callaway’s Pretty Penny and Nancy Anderson had another nice drive but settled for reserve. Rockin’ The Blues was right in the mix and came away with third place honors.

The park division was so full of top notch entries who have experienced numerous victory passes thus far that anyone receiving a ribbon considered themselves lucky. There were 22 solid pairs that made up the Three-Gaited Park Amateur Stallions/Geldings qualifier. It was none other than Chris Nalley's popular horse Ninety-Eight Degrees, who stunned the panel and also left with the crowd's approval. Travis Van Zetten continued a winning week at Louisville, collecting a reserve world's championship aboard M.T. Hopper. Last year's world's champions A Step Of Time and Luanne Kilday were up for third and the following also stood out and collected ribbons: Summer Wonder, Ramses, The Foxy Prince, Quite A Guy, and Phi's Phortune Teller.

There were 11 in the mares class and spectators again saw a nice group on their best behaviors. Top This and Stacy Arnold Englert, who are trained by Rob and Sarah Byers, received two first place votes and made the victory pass for Mary Lou Koran. She's The Bess and BeBe Olcott had a nice show for reserve.

For the past few years the park championships have been some of the most entertaining title bouts of the week. They have featured some absolutely talented horses that fit this division well.

Thirteen heralded entries made the cut for the championship round and there was no room for a sub par performance. Chris Nalley and Ninety-Eight Degrees hit the show ring with another exciting ride to take two of the three first place votes and the world's grand champion title. Following the leaders in this class were defending amateur world's grand champions CH A Step Of Time and Luanne Kilday who rides under the guidance of Steve Hanks. Brooke Jacobs and CH Ramses also made a strong statement with a third place finish. They were follwed by Summer Wonder, M.T. Hopper, Phi's Phortune Teller, Promise To Dance, and CH Quite A Guy.

Blackberry Delight boldly made his presence known in the open park class for the stallions and geldings. A unanimous tie landed Lynda Fresyth a huge victory in this 25-horse class for new owner Marilyn Gaiswinkler. The final marks left Lance Williamson and Highpoint's Taste Maker with a great reserve finish. HMS Royal Winds and Amanda Bell impressively collected the yellow ribbon.

Stars at the Illinois State Fair, Kim Crumpler rode Steel In Love to a crowd-pleasing victory in the open mares park class. Richard and Katherine Cramer are the proud owners of this former three-year-old fine harness world's champion. Desert's Supreme Lady and Virgil Helm made a clean go for the reserve world's championship for owner Katrina Wood.

The championship brought 11 together on the final day of the Kentucky State Fair. Making an impressive comeback, HMS Royal Winds and Amanda Bell gathered a big cheering section and made their way into the winner's circle. They put it all on the line to take two of the three top votes. Todd Graham directed the world's grand champions. Following for a strong and well-deserved reserve world's grand championship was Blackberry Delight with Lynda Fresyth giving a world class ride for Marilyn Gaiswinkler. Tough competitors on the Midwest circuit, Neva Van Ess and Reedann's Phirestorm proudly collected third. Also receiving ribbons were Highpoint's Taste Maker, Green Top, Steel In Love, Love and Luck, and New York Entertainment.

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