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Top Talent Floods Rock Creek

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The aged, leafy trees, the bright lights, the colorful tents, the concession stands -- Rock Creek Horse Show is picturesque and the epitome of how to spend a summer night in Kentucky. This quintessential horse show held at the Rock Creek Riding Club within the quaint neighborhood of Rock Creek Drive in Louisville, Ky., is steeped in tradition, known for top talent and associated with tricky weather. Rock Creek offers horse lovers six nights of competition they could only dream about. And this year's edition was no exception as the show schedule avoided any serious weather making for a top-notch show. 

"I and the Rock Creek Riding Club Committee appreciate the turnout of horses on Friday and Saturday night,” said show manager Scarlett Mattson. “Even with the rain they came and showed, I truly admire and respect those who elected to brave the elements and show their horses."     

High humidity and a couple nights of rain did not deter the many talented entries from entering the fabled ring of Rock Creek. Spectators were able to watch many seasoned veterans, debut performances, young stock, and established world champions making the 2005 Rock Creek Horse Show one to remember.

Mattson was joined by many hard working officials including show secretary Beth Snider of Cox's Creek, Ky., announcer Peter Fenton of Murrieta, Calif., USEF Steward Nancy Noble of Lexington, Ky., and photographer Doug Shiflet. The three judge panel included the following skilled officials: Ellen Beard Arnold of Paducah, Ky, Peter Cowart of Statesville, N.C., and John Whalen of Monroe, N.C.

The final class on Saturday night featured four quality entries. Melissa Moore guided the striking, deep black entry The Echo of Thunder to the unanimous Five-Gaited Stake win for Nunley Saddlebreds after their unanimous win in the open class. Reserve in the stake was awarded to The Apprentice and Wyatt DeHart for Robert Shields while the open reserve went to Heir Dazzle and Kris Knight for Pleasantview Farm.

Have You Ever and Barclay De Wet topped the deep competition in Ladies Five-Gaited to win the qualifier and championship unanimously. It's More Than Likely and Tracy James were right behind earning reserve in both classes.

Swish and Carol Hillenbrand added two more blues to their winning season: the unanimous Amateur Five-Gaited Championship tricolor and the Amateur Five-Gaited Stallion/Gelding blue. Reserve in the championship as well as the stallion/gelding was awarded to the hard working team of Callaway's Kit Carson and Susan Shepherd. For the second year, Amusing and Amy Dix Rock made the victory pass for the Five-Gaited Amateur Mares. Marmalady and Fatima Wazir were reserve.

Ali Judah rode Doreen Weston's Inphallible to the Five-Gaited Junior Exhibitor tricolor, qualifier blue, and received many cheers from the crowd. The reserve grand champion was Callaway's Lloyd Stark with Tate Bennett riding for Sarah Lange while second in the qualifier went to Champagne For Two and Katherine Wright.

Don Harris made one of his trips down victory lane aboard the elegant Heirrison Ford in the Junior Five-Gaited Championship for Sandra Corney after earning reserve in the Junior Stallion/Gelding class. Reserve in the championship was awarded to Lauren's Diamond and Wendy Winstead for Hill Country Acres. Debbie Foley guided Callaway's My Blue Heaven to the Five-Gaited Junior mare blue for Silver Brook Stables. Reserve went to Fiesta Fling and Kris Knight. Reserve Junior Stallion/Gelding Champion was Finally Free and Maurice Matson.

Harris was back in the winner's circle with Traveling In style in the Five-Gaited Three-Year-Old class for Belcort Farm. Captain Roseridge and Mike Felty were reserve for Shields and Associates, Inc.

For the Five-Gaited Novice Horse class, Oak Groves Tom Cat and Mike Tunstall were called as champions for Cindy and Rick Luft. Nelson Green campaigned McGwire to reserve for Stonecroft Farm.

Callaway's Exception To The Rule and Alexa McWilliams were the Five-Gaited Pony Grand Champions. Rachel North rode Our Sonflower to the reserve championship for Hickory Hill Farm. Champagne In Winter and Rebecca Deutsch were the winning Five-Gaited Pony qualifier team earlier in the week and reserve in the class was awarded to Homecoming Heir and Tate Bennett for Silver Brook Stables.

CH Rejoice and John Field trotted home with the Three-Gaited Grand Championship for Dr. and Mrs. Don Petit after a reserve performance in the open class. The reserve grand champion was April Hi Lite with Lance Williamson in the irons for Rank and Penny St. Charles. In their only appearance, Lime Twisted Gin and Clark Clouse earned the open unanimous blue ribbon for Liberty Saddlebreds.

Sarah Rowland made her debut with three-time world's grand champion An Heir About Her, winning the Ladies Three-Gaited Championship and qualifier both unanimously. Scarlett Evening and Liz Cortright received the red ribbon in the qualifier.

Elizabeth Duggan put in two winning rides with Valhalla's King Of Hearts for the Three-Gaited Amateur Championship and 15.2 and over class. Tonosama and Jackie Wahrmund were the reserve grand champions. Bad Moon Rising and Caroline Kamer for Apples and Oats Inc took home reserve in 15.2 and over class. The amateur under 15.2 champion was Suddenly Summer with Linda Shelor up.

The exciting team of Callaway's Buttons And Bows with Melissa Milligan brought the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited tricolor and qualifier blue to the Premier Stables tack room. Reserve in both classes went to Romantic Manifesto and Victoria Willock.

Renee Biggins rode junior horse winner, Boston Legal, for Belle Reve Farm. Callaway's Born A Star and Judy Harris were second in the class.

The novice horse winner was Gypsies, Tramps, & Thieves with Renee Zubrod up for Wildernest Farm. Reserve went to Cadillac Spirit and Jerry Hutson for Diamond Five Farms.

After a surprise fall, John Biggins hopped back in the saddle to win the UPHA Three-Gaited Classic class aboard Betsy Thomas' New York's Perfect Gift. Reserve in this quality class was awarded to Zoey Lately and Randy Stoess for Gary McBride.

In the competitive three-gaited pony section, Cloudsplitter and Olivia Weber were the team to beat winning the championship and qualifier. Lost Token and Yasmin Wazir were reserve grand champions while the red ribbon in the qualifier went to City Taste and Kelsey Price.

After placing second in the open park class, Wyatt DeHart had the championship ride with Beware The Fox. Captivate and Dianna Rannells were reserve grand champions for Stonecroft Farm. In their only appearance, Callaway's Forty Niner and Melissa Moore topped the park field in the open class for Nunley Saddlebreds.


The unanimous Amateur Three-Gaited Park Championship was awarded to the beautiful Another Bay and Betsy Thomas after picking up the red streamers in the qualifier. Callaway's Twister and Kelley Hollowell finished second to Thomas. In My Heart and Carol Hillenbrand, in their only appearance, won the amateur blue ribbon.

The fine harness division was full of top entries. Romanov with Mike Hylton at the lines for Sarah Riganti made the championship pass on Saturday night with reserve going to Last Tango In Paris and Melissa Moore for Liberty Saddlebreds. Callaway's Copyright and John T Jones were the top team in the open class in their only appearance for Fox Grape Farms Inc. while Romanov and Mike Hylton were second.


John Scheidt drove three different winners at Rock Creek including the amateur fine harness champion, The Great Gaspar. Candle Dan and Carl Nichols were reserve.

Carl Holden owns the junior champion, Peri Town, driven by Jerry Hutson. Eatonwood's Titleist with Don for Linda Hendricks had reserve honors. The UPHA Fine Harness Classic winner was General Spirit with Raymond Shively at the lines. Nelson Green drove the two-year-old winner Stonecroft's Ring Leader for Stonecroft Farm. Reserve was awarded to Simbara's Bountiful and Carter Cox for Dr. and Mrs. Simon Fredricks.


Unclaimed and Nancy Brannon paraded into the winner's circle for the ASHA Foundation Junior Exhibitor Fine Harness class with reserve going to My Silver Sea and Rachel Shoemaker.

It was Amaruk and Bill Knight for Leatherwood Farm who made the victory pass in Roadster To Bike Open in their only appearance. Reserve was awarded to Valiant and Danette Musselman of Alliance Stud. Geronimo and Danny Bugg were the roadster to bike grand champions and amateur champions. The amateur reserve title went to Rums Last Shot and Jennifer Robertson. Where Are We Now and Melissa Moore continued their winning form racing to the winner's circle in Roadster Under Saddle for Aurora Farms. All Glory and Danette Musselman were reserve for Belle Reve Farm.

Dasani and Jeff McClean were crowned the unanimous Open Road Pony Champions and grand champions. Reserve honors in both classes went to Buckwheat and Chad Graham for Rigby's Green. Georgia Blevins turned in two great drives winning the Amateur Road Pony Championship and qualifier with Dunhaven Awesome Image. Reserve in both was awarded to Material Girl and Mary Gaylord McClean. And the AHHS Roadster Pony Medallion Champion was Tijuana Souvenir and Dylan Hutson.

Jeff McClean was also at the lines of the Harness Pony Open class winner, Twin Willow's Wild Thing, for Golden Creek Farms. The Amateur Harness Pony Stake winner was Heartland Flirtation and Caroline Kamer for Apples & Oats Inc.

Black Merlin and Rudy Lewis of Majestic Oaks collected top honors in the Open Hackney Pony class with reserve going to Johnny and Dinwiddie Lampton. Lampton was also reserve in the amateur class with Oliver Twist. The amateur champion was another Majestic Oaks entry, Mr. Hawkeye and Sharon Lewis.

Portrait Of A Lady was indeed the portrait of a Hackney pleasure pony winning the qualifier and championship with Paul Pippin at the whip. They train with Betsy Webb. Reserve was awarded to the talented High Life Pride and Walker Lee who are under the direction of Jo Cornell Stables.

The pleasure division was strong and deep as always. Sweeping the Five-Gaited Show Pleasure Adult section, Chris Nalley and CH Callaway's Rockaway won the championship in a class of 12 and the qualifier. The reserve grand champion title was awarded to Callaway's Jack Frost and Lucinda Hartley while reserve in the adult class went to High In The Sky and Pam Milligan. The Five-Gaited Junior Exhibitor Grand Champion title belonged to Covered In Sable and Abbey Gessmann. The new team of Allied Heir Strike and Alyssa Lopez remained in the top ribbons as they picked up the reserve grand championship ribbon. Results were the same in the qualifier.

Out of a field of 11, Callaway's Place Your Bets and Sara McDonald were the novice champions with the red ribbon go to A Child Of The Times and Christine Broder.

Qualifying for the American Royal, Mother Mary and Gabe Deknatel, riding for High Hickory Farm, won the UPHA Park Pleasure Classic in a field of 10. Reserve honors went to Into The Wind and Melissa Shields for Jacquelyn Shupe.

The Three-Gaited Show Pleasure Championship had 13 teams vying for the tricolor. CH Uncle Abe and Piper Granger maintained top form after winning the qualifier to win the championship. Pistolero and Mary Jane Peebles were reserve grand champions after winning the large, 17-horse novice horse class. The novice red ribbon went to Delightful Diamond and Gale Lazarus. HMS Royal Winds and Amanda Bell were reserve in the adult qualifier.

Also holding hot in tough competition, the junior exhibitor section highlighted 11 entries in the qualifier and seven in the championship. After earning the red ribbon in the qualifier, Megan Kucera and The Bess Yet came back with a tricolor ride to be crowned the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Show Pleasure Grand Champions. Stablemate and qualifier champion He Walks On Water, with Daryl Higdon in the irons for Malissa Welke, were the reserve grand champions.

John Scheidt showed his skills as he bested the competition in the Show Pleasure Driving class and Championship with the Last Straw. Reserve in both classes was awarded to Heir's Curtain Call and Joyce Cashman. The ASHA Foundation Junior Exhibitor Show Pleasure Driving Champion was CH Highpoint's Coming Attraction and Kaelyn Donnelly. Reserve went to Highpoint's The Kings Son and Kayla Mears.

The Country Pleasure Adult Championship drew an impressive crowd that wanted to see who would be the last standing. This time Callaway's Blue Agate and Carol Hillenbrand were called to the winner's circle after placing second in the adult class. CH Bi Mi Add Lib and Kendra Fisher earned the reserve championship after winning the adult qualifier.

Harlem's Half Moon and Kerri McDaniel, who train at El Dorado, finished as the Junior Exhibitor Country Pleasure Grand Champions and champions in unanimous fashion. What's My Line and Margaret Lawrence accepted reserve in the championship and reserve in qualifier was awarded to CH Highpoint's Abba Zabba and Kendall Weber. The Country Pleasure Novice class winner, Callaway's Betty Hearnes and Stacie Herron, had a top three performance in the championship. Schuller and Maurice Matson were reserve in the novice qualifier.

Theology and John Scheidt returned from a reserve performance in the qualifier to win the Country Pleasure Driving Championship. Heirithmatic and Heidi Bowie for Orlando and Donna Smith won the qualifier while the reserve grand champions were Countless Blessings and Kathy Snyder driving for Richard Pence.

Results in the Western Country Pleasure Championship and qualifier called for The New Millennium and Sharon Lewis to come out of the line up as champions and Sultry Eve and Andrea Steponaitis as reserve champions.

The Walk/Trot Pleasure 12 and Under winner was CH Attache's Irish Wine and Molly Kregor with reserve going to America's Lass and Alexandra Sowell.

Rachel Machamer added another equitation championship to her resume as well as the USEF Medal and 13 and under blue ribbons at Rock Creek. The Saddle Seat Equitation Reserve Grand Champion was Yasmin Wazir who also placed reserve in the USEF Medal and won the 14-17 age group earlier in the week.

Chelsea Jo Roby was reserve in the 13 and under age group and won the good hands class. Kelsey McDonald was reserve in the good hands qualifier. Nathan Stein won the UPHA Challenge Cup 17 and under with reserve going to Olivia Weber.

Taylor Newton was the 10 and Under Walk/Trot Grand Champion and the reserve grand champion was Angila Mandine. Results were the same in the 10 and under challenge cup.

Blair Barrett, who trains at Biggins Stables, maintained her winning ways as she earned the pleasure equitation tricolor and qualifier blue ribbon aboard Cecile. Riding under the Infinity banner, Joel Dorignac was the reserve grand champion. Eleanor Watkins was reserve in the qualifier.

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