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It’s Showtime In Michigan

by Laurie Hipps


EAST LANSING, Mich. - Rainy weather did not dampen the spirits of the MJMHA Morgan Showtime exhibitors on May 25-27. The Michigan State University Pavilion in East Lansing came to life with gatherings every night of the show. Friday night opened with a sweet treat of an ice cream social sponsored by Northern Winds Stable.


On Saturday night the aisles sparkled with decorations and streamers as the exhibitors and their families enjoyed a Mardi Gras themed dinner. Authentic food was set out in the main aisle along with Mardi Gras beads and masks. A parade lit up the barn with horses and people dressed up in flashy gold hats and bright, vivid wigs. With music, laughter and dance, this will be a night for everyone to remember.


Sandy Sessink judged all classes from equitation to carriage driving and everything in between throughout the three-day show. James Sanders came in from Ohio to judge the trail classes. Steward Kay Lawter made sure everything at the show ran smoothly. Jeff West was the ringmaster, making sure all of horses and exhibitors in the ring were safe and orderly. Exhibitors performed to the music of Madge Ladd, who played the organ with skill and precision. Debbie Uecker-Keough caught the moments on camera in the ring for exhibitors to remember the show. Co-managers Martha Edwards and Maril Zbik were seen all around the fairgrounds, making sure everything was up to par. Farrier Eric Terry of South Lyon, Mich., was available for thrown shoes during the entire horse show. Kathy and Jennifer Rose manned the ribbons as exhibitors left the ring. A silent auction took place at the horse show organized by Laura Kay and Diane Ervin.


Although the park saddle division was small, Will-o-way In Due Time and Celia Salmon worked hard to be the winners of both the Pro-Am Park Saddle and Park Saddle Championship.


The English pleasure division had many exciting rewards and prizes. Junior exhibitors were given the opportunity to win a $250 Michigan Education Savings Program award sponsored by Alan and Karen Barry in their English pleasure championship. Taylor White walked away with the Junior Exhibitor Pleasure Saddle Championship ribbon and MESP award with Sunforest Loaded.


A drawing was held to determine which amateur championship would be the $2,000 championship, where the winner of the class receives $1,000 and their trainer receives the other $1,000. After the judge blindly picked a piece of paper out of the basket, the announcer was happy to convey that the English Pleasure Amateur Championship would be the $2,000 class of the show. The lucky winner of this class was Paula Messier riding Le French Renaissance followed by Halls Melt Down ridden by Jeanne Fuelling.


In the classic pleasure saddle division, HVK Drive Em Crazy took home the blue ribbons in both the ladies class and the championship with Janice Lazar on board. Coalition X-Static ridden by Lynda Graves was the reserve champion, as well as the winner of the Classic Pleasure Saddle class.


The hunter pleasure division was the largest division in the show, having up to 13 exhibitors in the Hunter Pleasure Novice Horse class. This class was won by Hylee’s Altaire with Aaryn Lautzeneiser on board, followed by Kriskroft Concertmaster ridden by Bert Earehart in second place. Hylee’s Altaire also won the blue in the Hunter Pleasure Ladies class, along with second place in Hunter Pleasure Senior Mares.          


Boxford’s Unbridled Passions left her mark with rider D’Anne Hayman winning the Hunter Pleasure Amateur Limit Rider class. She also earned second place in both the Hunter Pleasure Ladies and Hunter Pleasure Amateur Ladies classes, and took home the reserve champion ribbon for the Hunter Pleasure Amateur Championship. The Hunter Pleasure Championship was won by Kriskroft Concertmaster ridden by Bert Earehart who also won the Hunter Pleasure Gentlemen class. Cedar Creek Times Square earned the tricolor ribbon with Jessica Marino in the Hunter Pleasure Amateur Championship. This team also won the Hunter Pleasure Amateur Ladies class, Hunter Pleasure Youth, and was second in the Hunter Pleasure Senior Stallions and Geldings.


Junior exhibitors could earn the MESP award sponsored by Sue, Howard and Debbie Simon in the Hunter Pleasure Junior Exhibitor Championship. The rider who won the blue ribbon and took the MESP award home was Kaitlin Emmerson riding Punchline, who also earned the blue in Hunter Pleasure Junior Exhibitor 13 and Under. Renaissance Machiavelli and Katie Hill earned the reserve place and won the Hunter Pleasure Junior Exhibitor 14-17 class.


The western pleasure division was tough, with many consistent horses and talented riders. Tampa Bay and Lori Marino-Beasley won the Western Pleasure Championship as well as the Western Pleasure Senior Horse class. Tampa Bay also had wins in the Western Pleasure Youth class with Jessica Marino and earned second place in Western Pleasure Amateur 50 and Over with Marie Thomas. Poplar Eldorado was the reserve champion with Shannon Verbal in the Western Pleasure Championship, and won the Western Pleasure Amateur Championship.


Another lucky junior exhibitor had the chance to win the MESP award sponsored by Crystal Farms for the Western Pleasure Junior Exhibitor Championship. Melissa Torok took home the tricolor ribbon and award, riding Battons Maestro. Chisholm took home the reserve ribbon with Leah Soubel on board.


The equitation division was very competitive with many skilled and talented competitors. The AMHA Medal was available for hunter seat, western seat and saddle seat equitation divisions. Kali Erin Hutchinson won both the Hunter Seat Medal on the flat with Hylee Blood Sweat & Tears, and the Western Seat Medal on Hylee’s Fanflaire. Jordan Cusumano earned the AMHA Saddle Seat Medal and the Saddle Seat Equitation Championship with Swanbrook Masterplan. Ellery Walker took home the blue ribbons for Western Seat Equitation 13 and Under, Hunter Seat Equitation 13 and Under and the tricolor ribbon for the Hunter Seat Equitation Championship. Hutchinson, Cusumano and Walker all ride under the direction of Crystal Farms. Melissa Torok took home the reserve champion title for the Western Seat Equitation Championship as well as won the blue ribbon in Western Seat Equitation 14-17 on Battons Maestro.


The walk and trot division was very large and competitive with 11 riders in the Walk and Trot Hunter Seat Equitation class. This class was won by Jenny Miller riding Morgan Valley Apollo, followed by Kaylan Hayman and Katharina in second place. Jenny Miller also won the Walk-Trot Hunt Seat Equitation Championship, with Shelby Martin and Aspenglow’s Evolution earning the reserve ribbon. Madison Memering and Poplar Eldorado won both the Walk-Trot Western Seat Equitation class as well as the Walk-Trot Western Seat Equitation Championship. The Walk-Trot Saddle Seat Equitation class was won by Cameron Kay on Sarde’s Sinful, followed by MJK Assets N Attitudes ridden by Sara Heidenreich.


Walk and trot riders had three opportunities to win the MESP award, in hunter pleasure, saddle seat pleasure and western pleasure. Sue, Howard and Debbie Simon sponsored the Walk-Trot Hunter Pleasure Championship which was won by Kaylan Hayman riding Katharina. Emma Hayman rode FCF Limoges to win the Walk-Trot Saddle Seat Pleasure Championship with the MESP award sponsored by Alan and Karen Barry. The Graves family sponsored the Walk-Trot Western Pleasure Championship that was won by Madison Memering riding Poplar Eldorado.          

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