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Showtime In Madison

by Bob Funkhouser

MADISON, Wisc. – The second round of back-to-back shows at the Alliant Energy Center, the 17th annual UPHA Chapters 3 / 4 Madison Classic had its own distinctive flavor May 25-28 filling up nearly 500 stalls. First of all it’s Memorial Day weekend and the surrounding lakes, especially those across the street from the Alliant Energy Center, were buzzing with activity. Add to that the thousands upon thousands of people who converged upon the grounds of the show facility to attend the World’s Largest Bratwurst Festival and you’ve got a lot of action happening on either side of John Nolan Drive.

Unfortunately, the horse show doesn’t get much of the local Memorial weekend crowd inside the coliseum, but hundreds of general public were exposed to the Saddlebreds and few Hackneys that were shown at Madison. Passing down the lane between the horse show and Brat Festival, many families stopped at the fence to watch the horses warming up. A few were interested enough to wander inside on this beautiful weekend and they were treated to a competitive and entertaining horse show.

There was a good size audience from the exhibitors and Saddlebred enthusiasts alone, however. The barn side of the coliseum stands was packed on Saturday with some people even sitting in the upper level and on the opposite side.

After being directed for many years by the enthusiasm and vision of Grant Herrman, this was the first year for manager Liv Moyer who grew up locally with the show through her mother’s La Fleur Stables. In fact, Marlene and Dan La Fleur opened the doors to their beautiful home and farm to host a pre-show party. That was the first of a non-stop social schedule which included a Friday evening dessert party hosted by MBA Equestrians, Saddle & Bridle, Brendan Heintz and Ra-Don; a Saturday evening exhibitors’ party at the Coliseum Bar, hosted by the horse show; and daily breakfast gatherings hosted by Bellaire Farm, Inc., La Fleur/Van Ess Stables, John Willis Stables and Clasen European Bakery, respectively.

“Mom asked me if I’d be interested in managing the show after Grant [Herrman] retired,” explained first time manager Liv Moyer. “I’ve never done anything like this, but I love to stay busy. It was a challenge that I have really enjoyed. There is a lot more work that goes into a show than you realize.”

Also separating the Madison Classic from the WREA Spring Show the week before was the grand old tradition of the Madison Brass playing in center ring on the weekend evening sessions. This great group of musicians adds so much to the atmosphere each year. Speaking of tradition, Jackpot Judging was back. For $5, anyone could purchase a judge’s card for specified classes and anyone who exactly matched the six ribbons got the pot. There were no winners for Friday and Saturday’s chosen classes so the rules were changed on Sunday to the person with the closest card. A single winner went home $700 richer.

Another added flavor for the show occurred in the equitation division. Dr. Morgan Wolin donated a special Douwe Blumberg bronze to the winners of all equitation classes. Additionally, the show awarded three $500 savings bonds to equitation riders who were drawn at random. Gabrielle Zimmermann, Deanna Lanigan and Meaghan MacQueen were the fortunate recipients.

Besides this being Moyer’s first year as manager, it was also the first year for a three-judge panel. Although there were a few glitches with the computer system and some classes took an awful long time to tabulate, many of the exhibitors were appreciative of the chance to show in front of a panel instead of a single judge.

“We have a few things to work out with the wireless system, but we did have a lot of nice comments on using the three-judge panel,” said Show Manager Liv Moyer.

Fern Bittner, Peter Cowart and Midge Hunt were the three with judges’ cards in their hands. John Frye was back as ringmaster, as was Rick Osteen in the photographer’s role. John Owens handled the announcing duties from center ring, while Cheryl Rangel manned the office as show secretary. Scarlett Mattson made the trip from
Kentucky to serve as USEF steward and Peter Remendere was a repeat official as barn announcer.

The action inside the show ring matched the level of effort made by the show committee. There were world and national champions in many divisions and several new teams who appeared to have what it takes to make headlines at an even higher level.



As he has done many times before, Rick Wallen put the finishing touches on the Five-Gaited Championship to take the Bill Matton Perpetual Memorial Trophy, this one for owner Janene Becker. Being prepared for Becker, Saint Bart was their winning grand champion. From the beginning, the crowd was with WREA’s Five-Gaited Grand Champion and Madison’s open winner The Man Of The Hour and they stayed with him to the very end. Neva Van Ess was in the saddle again for Jean Ann Gundersen. Bob Griffin and CH Hank Heiron were reserve to The Man Of The Hour in the qualifier.

It was a good weekend for Gundersen and her gaited horses trained at La Fleur/Van Ess Stables. She rode In Between The Lines to win the Ladies Five-Gaited Championship and qualifier. Beth Hampel and Town Fizz exited with the reserve championship.

Exhibitors went all out in the amateur division. A large cast was on hand for the qualifier, which went to Roseridge’s Gold and Doug Lindstrom with a strong performance. Cary Bartz had Lindstrom and the busy gelding ready for round two as they came back to win the Amateur Five-Gaited Championship as well. Stepping up with a big time performance was Reserve Grand Champion Mac A Daisy, ridden by Jennifer Duffy under the direction of Lance Hayes. Susan Halverson’s Wing Admiral scored the red streamers in the qualifier.

Some of the hardest fought battles came in the junior exhibitor gaited division. Much like the WREA show, there was a cast of proven performers and there were more of them this week. Trainer Bob Griffin couldn’t have been prouder of Whitney Anderson and The New World Man. They were clicking on all cylinders to take tricolor honors. For the second consecutive week, qualifier champion CF Night At The Castle was the reserve grand champion. Pat McConnell had Brittany Baird and the hard charging gelding fit for intense battle. Still ahead of a cast of stars, Nick Neviaser and CH Harlem’s Hot Ticket were third in the championship.

Callaway’s Petra was the name on the top line of the final judge’s card in the Novice Five-Gaited class with Rick Wallen riding for Albert Kelm. Why Not Wyatt and Terri Anne Ullman followed in reserve.

For the second straight week Neva Van Ess and Keep Me Posted thrilled the crowd as the Junior Five-Gaited Champions. New to the Van Ess string this year via Martin Cockriel, this cocky gelding entertains every time he hits the ring. Fonzie Del Rio was the closest challenger aboard My Heiristotle.

With legs churning, the ground-covering Entitlement captured the UPHA Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited Classic with Andy Freseth in the irons for Barbara Baron. Bruce and Rusty Rademann’s Royal Crest’s Shot On The Rocks and Wes Wick went home with the reserve money.



A couple of big shows around the country have had the problem of a light open three-gaited division. Dr. Morgan Wolin and the multi-titled World’s Champion Audrey Hepburn put on an exhibition in the Three-Gaited Championship. Trainer Ray Krussell had the same exhibition in the qualifier.

Showing her own Highland Cavalier, Bonnie Kegley added to Northern Tradition’s winning totals with a victory pass in the Ladies Three-Gaited Championship. Ms. Veronica Lake paraded as the reserve grand champion for Dr. Morgan Wolin. Meredithe Steinhauer and World’s Champion To Die For marched down victory lane in the qualifier. They were also on top in the Wisconsin owned class.

Madison was the debut show for Dr. Morgan Wolin and CH The Super Nova. Ray Krussell coached the Amateur Three-Gaited Grand Champions who were followed by qualifying winners Up Close & Personal WRF and Kate Baumann. Their winning ribbons went back to the LaFleur/Van Ess tack room.

Competition was deep in the junior exhibitor walk-trot classes, however it was another La Fleur/Van Ess team on top. World’s Champion Nelmar Tango 4 Ever was picture perfect with new owner Emily Scharpf to win both the championship and qualifier. For the second consecutive week Andrew Slater and Tantalize Me LCC were reserve grand champions.

Other walk-trot winners included novice champions Born Independent and Sandy Kropidlowski as well as Junior Three-Gaited Champions Sophisticat and Ryan Rongers.



As usual the Three-Gaited Park Stake was highly competitive with the top star making his under saddle debut. A world’s champion fine harness performer, His Supreme Reflection was also fancy under saddle with Andy Freseth riding the park trotting machine to the championship and qualifying wins for Marilyn Gaiswinkler. Pat McConnell and Gigolo Joe are just getting together and they were quite impressive as the reserve grand champions. In the large qualifying class, Tom Thorpe and The Majestic were second.

The team of Kelly Williamson and CH Matching Spirit were again tricolor winners of the Amateur Three-Gaited Park Championship for Bonnie Kegley. They again represented Northern Tradition Farm. Coming from the winner’s circle of the junior exhibitor class, Tuff Hedeman and Brittany Baird stepped right up with a top performance and reserve grand champion honors for MBA Equestrians. The amateur qualifier had a different set of winners with Nancy Leigh Fisher’s highly decorated young mare Princess Ruby Begonia occupying the winner’s circle. Paula Beck and CH Majolica followed them.



Making the transition from under saddle to fine harness, All Buttoned Up and Irv Udell were sharp making the tricolor victory pass. The Bell View Acres’ team also won the amateur class. Both times Philipp Meyer and Private Sultan commanded reserve. They also put on an exhibition in the open class. Also uncontested, Cayla McKibbage and The Soprano were sharp to take the ASHAF Youth Fine Harness Driving Challenge.

Fine harness was light in numbers as it is in many places. Cat Ballou and Robert Nesson were by themselves in the Junior Fine Harness class. World’s Champion Miracle On Forty Second Street was a year older and bolder to again dazzle the Madison crowd. Trainer John Willis sent her down the straightaways with authority for Ted Klint and John Willis to win the UPHA Classic class. Also making a big-time impression was the Two-Year-Old Fine Harness Champion Princess Alison. Owner Jennie Bailey had horses with Bill Matton 30 years ago and now his son Scott is representing Bailey in the winner’s circle.



World’s Champion Valiant debuted under the Lance Hayes Stables’ colors and trotted away with the Roadster To Bike Championship and open class for Ben and Lyssa King. Scott Matton and Dick Francis scored both reserves for Jonelle Chovanec Gardiner. Dick Francis did get the top prize in the under saddle class with his owner in the irons. Laura Griedl jockeyed Valiant to the reserve title.

There were a host of current world’s champions in several divisions. World’s Grand Champion Calvin Hobbs put it in overdrive to again win the Road Pony Grand Championship and open class for trainer Andy Freseth and owner Priscilla Gise. The Wizard LF was twice reserve, once with Junior Ray and in the championship with owner Barbara Friedman.

Last year the amateur road pony competition at the Midwest shows was stronger than any place in the country and this season it looks like it could be right up there again. With a lifetime of world titles, Heartland Sundust continues to tear up the track with Mary Gise sweeping the championship and qualifier. Their winning ribbons were hung on the blue and red curtains of the Hollow Haven tack room.


Also with a trophy cabinet of world and national titles, Heartland Victory Maker and Toni Nastali set sail to garner the Amateur Road Pony Reserve Championship while representing Bob Griffin and Tom Thorpe. Denise Steinhauer and Dun-Haven Majestic Motion crossed the finish line in reserve for the qualifying round.

Quite the young roadster driver, Tyler Volz captured the AHHS Youth Medallion with POS Time To Shine. Kara Petruzzelli drove A Touch Of Magic to the reserve ribbon. One of several UPHA Classic winners for Heartland Hackney, Heartland Ten Ten Two Twenty won the roadster section for Darrel Kolkman.



Minnesota exhibitor Donna Beck had a great weekend in Wisconsin. She drove World’s Champion Heartland Love-Me-Up to win the Harness Pony Championship following a reserve finish in the qualifier. Winner of that open class, Creation’s Wind Star was the reserve grand champion with Lisa Antalek in the viceroy for Natalie Udell.

Heartland Hackney trainer Craig Hannah put several top ponies in the ring; unfortunately they were mostly by themselves. Darrel Kolkman drove Heartland Most Wanted to win the UPHA Harness Pony Classic for Heartland Hackney. He also drove Mary Dell Pritzlaff’s Seamair’s Simply Awesome to win the UPHA Hackney Pony Classic and the Open Hackney Pony title. There were two others in the open class. Reserve winner Tommy Hilfiger and Bob Richards went on to win the championship uncontested.

Richards also had the winning drive in the Hackney Pleasure Driving Pony Championship. He guided Final Answer to the tricolor over eight other contenders. Reserve grand champion honors went to Wait & See’s Rasberry with Donna Beck. Jennifer Siegel and Game Boy won the qualifier, just ahead of Romeo’s Poet LF and Rita Weintraub.

From the Rick Wallen Stables, Patsy Loeb drove Lightning Up to the AHHS Youth Medallion title. Toby Hegner and Honest Impression provided the competition. Mayo Moctezuma put Jim Yonker and Fitz’s Phantom in the winner’s circle of the UPHA Hackney Pleasure Driving Pony Classic.



Much like the week before, the pleasure divisions were full of quality entries. New to the division, Hero’s Jumpin’ Jack Flash and Travis Van Zetten turned back a ring full of good ones in both classes. They were named Five-Gaited Pleasure Grand Champions and qualifying winners. Kurt Antonacci and Queensbury Jasmine garnered the reserve championship, while Laura Miller and Reedann’s Yes You May scored the red prize from the adult qualifier. Sammy Jo Galicia gave it all she had to put Heir’s Special Report past the competition to win the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Pleasure class. Lindsay Kellner and Callaway’s Don’t Panic were second in that one.

Janene Becker was one happy owner by the week’s end. In addition to Saint Bart winning the Five-Gaited Championship, her So Fortunate was the Park Pleasure Grand Champion with Rick Wallen. Kati Salvi and the multi-titled champion CH Petra’s Beyond Belief were reserve grand champions, following trainer Ray Krussell’s winning ride in the open qualifier.

Mr. Catch Rider himself, Kurt Antonacci was at it again, piloting Rick Wallen’s Rosemont’s Mystre to the blue prize in the Amateur Park Pleasure class. Jennifer Layton’s Longshadow Moody Blue was reserve.

Brookhill’s King Of Kool has made the transition to the park pleasure division in winning style. Andy Freseth had the young star primed for the Junior Park Pleasure class ahead of Rosemont’s Mystre and seven others. Kris Martalock and Royal Crest’s Stone Quest were the lone team in the UPHA Park Pleasure Classic.

Coming from the winner’s circle of the Novice Three-Gaited Pleasure class, He’s A Royal Pepper and Nancy Leigh Fisher marched right to the top of the 39 and Over Pleasure Championship. They were followed by the sharp team of Bobby Bling and Trond La Fleur, winners of the 39 and over qualifier.

Jared Ratzloff introduced the fancy team of Epiphany and Jessica Timmington, winners of the 18-38 Show Pleasure Championship and qualifier. Reserve grand champion honors went to Mandy Chmieleski and Lightning Annie.

Moving to the juvenile division, Aimee Langer and Closing Scene closed out the 14-17 Pleasure Championship with a victory pass. Reserve in the qualifier, She Phloats On Heir was the reserve grand champion with Nicole LaRoussa. Kara Petruzzelli and Heirs To You topped the 14-17 qualifier.

The versatile and talented Fine By Me took both the Juvenile Show Pleasure 13 and Under Championship and qualifier with owner Alicia Sacotte in the irons. Her closest competition in the championship was CH Shiny New Penny, ridden by Natalie Haugen.

Dee Dee Maier and Inviting made the trip down victory lane in the 10 and under class ahead of Cameron Gallenberg aboard Smith and Wesson. Gabrielle Zimmerman rode Tantara’s De Phi All Odds to win the 10 and Under Walk and Trot Pleasure class.

Gretchen Bentz and Turn Up The Heir were the first names called from the Wisconsin Owned Three-Gaited Pleasure class. Next in line for a ribbon were Magnificent Allusion and Tracy Kobs.

Representing Hollow Haven Farm in tricolor fashion, Bluegrass Jazz and Bailey Freeman were standouts in the Junior Show Pleasure Championship and qualifier. Winner of the junior stake the week before, Jack Nicholson was the reserve grand champion with Jourdan Schaye riding from Northern Tradition. Dr. Morgan made her debut aboard Ms. Betty Grable to command reserve honors in the junior qualifier.

For the second consecutive week, Elizabeth James-Lipscomb and Shot With Glory topped the Show Pleasure Driving Championship. Their stylish performance was placed ahead of B.J. Reedman and the homebred Royal Crest’s Freedom Rocks who handily won the Junior/Novice Show Pleasure Driving class. In the qualifier it was the talented new team of Diane Nyhammer and Magna Carta earning the trip down victory lane. John Willis directed them. Reserve in that round went to another consistent champion, Callaway’s Candy Apple with Walter Healey.

When prizes were passed out in the ASHAF Youth Show Pleasure Driving Challenge, Nicole LaRoussa’s She Phloats On Water was the first name called out for the blue prize. Red streamers went the way of Paige Guisfredi and Callaway’s Sportscaster.



Madison is one of a handful of shows to offer Five-Gaited Country Pleasure. Kitt Tovar and Riprap were named the winners in both classes for trainer Fonzie Del Rio. Kurt Antonacci rode Admiral Lee Memories to reserve grand champion honors, representing the John Willis Stables.


World and National Champion CH The Shadow Knows looked right at home with new owner Linda Meyer riding to the Adult Country Pleasure Championship and 39 and over qualifier blue. Showing for Ted Klint and Teri Shaw, Kurt Antonacci rode I’m Dreaming to the reserve championship after topping the junior/novice class. Clarissa Henry and She’s Exquisite topped the 18-38 qualifier, giving Hollow Haven winners in both age groups.

From the Lance Hayes Stables, Rachel Schreiber and 14-17 winner Ballerette commanded the top prize in the Junior Exhibitor Country Pleasure Championship for Metabolism Disease Consultants. No stranger to top awards, Heart O Summer was the reserve grand champion for Emily Scharpf. With a fourth place finish in the championship, CH Simbara’s Samba Jamba earned the right to make a victory pass in the 13 and Under Country Pleasure class.

The top two results switched in the Country Pleasure Driving Championship. Reserve qualifying winners, Kourageous Genius Supreme and Judith Manning, moved up a notch to finish the weekend with the Country Pleasure Driving tricolor. Qualifying winners, Sally Snyder Tesch and Highpoint’s Supreme Thunder, settled for the reserve championship in the large class.

Strolling down victory lane, Kim Gallenberg and Braveheart Of Silver Oaks took the Country Western Pleasure tricolor back to the Bob Jensen Stables. They had been reserve to Super Rooster and Lisa McClaren in the qualifier. Amy Weller’s Magic Ovation picked up the reserve grand championship as well as the junior/novice blue. Traci Mitchell’s CH Royal Crests Black Marble qualified for St. Louis with the win in the Shatner class.

The versatility of the American Saddlebred was featured with the Country Hunter Pleasure competition. Winning both the Country Hunter Pleasure class and the Hunter Seat Classic was Colour Me Proud, owned and exhibited by Grace Meyer.



Equitation competition was strong this year with an array of world and national champions in the mix. For the third show in a row, Knollwood Farm’s Michelle Krentz had been on the money winning the Saddle Seat Equitation Championship aboard CH Louisville Lass. Also the winner of the 14-17 qualifier, Krentz was followed in the championship by Northern Tradition’s Meaghan MacQueen.

From the La Fleur/Van Ess Stables, Faye Wuesthofen topped the 11-13 age group as well as the UPHA Challenge Cup. Sister Jessica Wuesthofen won the 10 and under class. Tuning her skills, Rachel Machamer rode as the USEF Medal Champion for Hollow Haven Farm.

Lynda Freseth also coached Brianna Meyer to two wins in the walk and trot equitation division. Jenna Winquist followed the grand champion in both classes.

On the other end of the spectrum, Dr. Morgan Wolin rode as the UPHA Adult Challenge Cup Champion ahead of Megan Mahoney, winner of the Adult Pleasure Equitation class.


Scott and Carol Matton’s Knollwood Farm had a strong hold on the pleasure equitation division. Their Deanna Lanigan won the championship and the UPHA Pleasure Challenge Cup. Stablemate Angela Darrow was the 14-17 winner and the reserve grand champion. Caitlin Carmody rode as the 13 and under champion, while Jennifer Sapko turned back a good group of challengers for the Pleasure Equitation Maiden blue.

The 17th annual UPHA Chapter 3 & 4 Madison Classic came to a close with an extremely competitive show in the books for first time manager Liv Moyer. With Chamber of Commerce weather, hospitality galore and lots of horses and exhibitors, it was hard to go wrong. Complete results can be searched by clicking on SHOW RESULTS.

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