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Twin Rivers Horse Show


Judge:  Bill Waller

Ringmaster: Walter “Skeeter” Williams

Announcer: David Rice

Secretary: Judy Peters

Show Chairwoman: Leslie Backus

Photographer: Linda Wollaber

Ring Clerk: Meredith Baker

Farrier: Vernon Ridgley

Stall Manager, Party Coordinator: Darrell Baker

Party Co-Chairwoman: Barbara Blanton

Sponsorships: Leslie Burlingame


by Claire Panke


DELAWARE, Ohio – Another year, another sold-out success! Billing itself as the “friendly home town show”, the 37th annual Twin Rivers Horse Show, held June 28-30, remains one of the treasures of the Midwest show circuit. Run by exhibitors for exhibitors, this is one event that knows exactly what its fans want: a spotless facility, a good judge, a wide variety of classes, a relaxed atmosphere, a super exhibitors’ party, extras like the children’s coloring contest and the silent auction – what’s not to love?  The show season is in full swing, the pressures of Lexington and Louisville still lie ahead, so why not kick back at Twin Rivers and just have fun?


The show is fortunate in its location, the charming, college town of Delaware, Ohio, close to metropolitan Columbus and easily accessible to motels and restaurants. More significantly, Delaware is home to the Little Brown Jug, one of the Standardbred world’s premier pacing events. Delaware takes horses seriously and it has a serious fairgrounds to back up its reputation. This facility is one of the main draws for the show, boasting wide swathes of manicured green lawns, shady trees, ample stabling, a large warm-up area and parking right by the your stalls. Exhibitors came ready to party, with many barns pitching pavilions or tents next to their stalls, the closer to kick back in the shade with the cool beverage of one’s choice. Fortunately for this time of year, the large, handsome show ring is well drained and maintains good footing. Despite a rainy opening night, the arena was in tip-top shape by the following morning. With its verdant background and beautiful white rail, the show ring makes a perfect backdrop to the three-day competition. Indeed, photos from Delaware are instantly recognizable.


The show committee has worked together for many years, with the result that Twin Rivers appears to happen effortlessly. This apparent ease of execution masks a lot of very hard work by the show’s tireless volunteers - and nowhere is this more evident than during the traditional Friday night exhibitors’ party. Mountains of great picnic food and ice cold drinks were merely the prelude to a festive climax: karaoke! The festivities were standing room only, as lines of hungry horse people filed past the enticing displays of silent auction items. This appears to have been a most successful fundraiser. Another new touch was the $500 added raffle, generously sponsored by Windgate Farms, Ray and Barbara Blanton.


Twin Rivers began as an all-amateur show and retains much of that tradition. Classes have expanded over the years, featuring a variety of classes at all levels, from academy to open.  But the emphasis remains focused on adult amateurs, junior exhibitors and pleasure horses. The final class and grand finale of the show was the Amateur Five-Gaited Championship, not the open stake. Last but not least, Twin Rivers presents an annual Amateur of the Year Award on Saturday night, recognizing sportsmanship and long time support of the show. Joan Hammond, Ohio’s well-known amateur-owner-trainer and breeder, was this year’s deserving recipient.


In 2007 Twin Rivers drew stables from Michigan, Indiana, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Tennessee as well as all parts of Ohio. With the help of UPHA 13, Twin Rivers added four UPHA classics to its schedule, classes much needed to fill the gap left by the demise of northeastern Ohio shows. The classics are sure to continue to be a magnet for exhibitors with young stock. The amateur and youth classes were stronger than ever - several classes had to be split due to the large number of entries. With over 375 horses entered, this show remains one of the shining success stories in our industry.




Both the strongly contested open grand championship and its qualifier turned out to be battles between the polished Shamrock’s Mysterious Man and the speedy Shamrock Commander’s Image, With every jockey in both of these nine strong classes riding hard, it was the hometown hero Shamrock’s Mysterious Man and Jimmy Morrison to wear the tricolor for very happy owner, Meredith Baker. Mindy McIntosh was a strong reserve in both classes aboard Shamrock Commander’s Image for Jim McIntosh.


Mindy Van Hellemont was picture perfect aboard the talented and flashy All Stirred Up to capture both the amateur stallion/gelding and amateur championship. Reserve in the stake was the aptly named Stylin for Alexandra Harper, while the qualifier saw Uhlen’s Dream and Lauren Carver Noe sharp for second. The amateur mare division was a blue ribbon ride for Uhlen’s Look of Love and Karen Carver. The junior riders were closely competitive. Allison Pullin teamed Isabelle Lenore to a great win in the championship, with Just Marvelous and Mia Wilson settling for reserve. The qualifier saw these two placings reversed.


The junior five-gaited class was another win for Thunder Over The Amazon, Phil Price up for Tina Stodd. Gone To War and Susan Sunday were second for Sunday Stables.  The UPHA Classic was a solid victory for Superior Revelation and Joan Hammond, with the very promising New Best Friend and Mary Waickman close behind in second.




Nakooma and trainer John Nelson made it two years in a row as they marched out with the tricolor in the three gaited open championship. Dorothy Anderson is the proud owner of this many times winner. Reserve in the stake was the gifted Santana Dancer and Mary Waickman. Roger Kearney had Vernon & Sarah Wise’s Our Beloved marching down the rail to capture the open qualifier in their only appearance. Nakooma was second in the open.


The adult amateur division featured two dominating performances by the white trimmed His Heirness, perfectly teamed by Debbie Ecksten. This nice horse captured both the amateur qualifier and the amateur championship for owner Linda Lewis. Gypsy’s Santana Lady and Debra Saul made a strong comeback to garner reserve honors in the championship, while the spirited Prophet’s Fantastic Fulfillment took the reserve in the amateur preliminary.


Hillary Frame may be a relative newcomer to the show ring but her mount, The Marrying Man, is certainly no stranger to the winner’s circle. This blue ribbon pair made it two for two capturing both the junior exhibitor and grand championship with two good rides. Final Reward and the versatile Lindsey Merrill were the happy reserve champions in the championship. Bravia and Danielle Mallia took the red ribbon in the qualifier.


The junior class was a victory pass for up-fronted First Night’s Attraction and Paul Snyder for owner Elizabeth Snyder. The first prize on the UPHA Classic went to Man of Liberty Jennifer Townsend for Four Willows Farm.




The three-gaited park classes were among the strongest in the show, with full classes and strong contenders top to bottom.  Debbie Ecksten turned in two persuasive performances aboard the expressive Mirrored Dancer to capture both the open park and open park championship.  The regal looking Doubletree’s Quite A Treasure was a strong reserve in the championship with Mike McIntosh presenting for Linda Johnson, while Abounding Faith and Beth Miller got the nod for second in the qualifier.


The Amateur Park Stake was one of the more hotly contested classes in this division. Top honors in the championship went to many times champion CH Heart of Blue, who turned in a rousing performance for Brittany Kale. Reserve went to another top entrant, Lynn Gutches Snowden’s elegant The Lady’s Heir. This duo was in fine form to march away with the amateur park class earlier in the show, followed by another winning team, July O’Reilly and her CH Champagne Splash in second.


All eyes were on the steamy black A Midnight Kiss and Clem Lee in the junior three-gaited park class. Pamela Boyers is the lucky owner of this gifted youngster. Reserve was a nice ribbon for Brookhill’s Tom Tom and Danielle Loar.


Fine Harness


Iris James and her beloved CH Kool Tyme BH turned in two terrific performances to win both the amateur harness and grand championship. Gothic Bronze and Ellie Pedersen turned in a strong performance for reserve in the championship. Jackie Hammond and One’s Dizzy Lizzy enjoyed a bold drive for the red ribbon in the qualifier.  The open class was a blue ribbon drive all the way for Let it Roll and Marvin Reichelderfer.


A March Day and Steve Demjen added the junior event to their list of accolades for owner Rhonda Black. Phil Price and Side Show Bob marched into the second spot for Bill and Kathy Hickman. In the UPHA Classic Juan Banuet drove She’s Forever Timeless to the blue for Christine Lance.




A strong contingent of ponies made interesting competition throughout the show. Linda Park and Desert Fox were sharp and on their game to race away with both the open and roadster pony championship. Joe Jenkins and Work In Progress had the reserve honors in the championship, while David Estis and Regal’s Poetic Moment LF drove hard for second in the competitive adult amateur.


Melbourne’s Classic Headlines and Chad Terry had the right stuff in both the junior exhibitor class and the Youth Medallion Roadster Pony. Dylan and McKenzie Maple hung tough for the red ribbon in both these events. The novice class was good win for High Society Memories’ Legend and Matt Schuckert for Shirley Sanislow.


Beth Jenkins was on the lines to pilot the snappy Knight’s Holiday Swinger to the Harness Pony Championship after a second place finish in the preliminary. Kilbro’s Patent Leather was the high stepping winner of the open class but had to settle for reserve in the stake.  The cob tail championship went to Linda Lewis and The Final Contender in a near perfect performance. This team is enjoying quite a year together! Reserve in both these classes was Kilbro’s Pit Boss and Beth Jenkins.


The pleasure ponies turned out in droves, necessitating a division in the qualifier. Making a strong comeback in the championship was the handsome team of Pride’s Perfection and owner Susan Happ. Stepping up for reserve was the top team in the Youth medallion, Amber’s Monogram and Jessica Wise. Heartland Diplomat and Sandy Zirkle took the blue in the first section of the qualifier, while Heartland Spectacular and Christjon Sannes Mielke drove up for second. The second qualifying split went to Shirley Sanislow and the consistent Canadian Club. Unanimous Success and Beth Jones were second.  The novice class was a good win for Ashley Brooks and Ashley Brooks for Julie Moro.


Show Pleasure


As at so many other shows this season, the five-gaited pleasure division was contentious at Twin Rivers. Grabbing both the qualifier and championship for this division was the bold and handsome Finally Free, Maurice Matson aboard.  Joan Hammond had Elegant Superiority looking polished for reserve in both classes.


The park pleasure championship proved another close contest. Wendy Nelson’s colorful She’s Unretouched made one of her best shows to capture the tricolor. Keeping it in the same barn, Kendra Fisher was aboard Out All Night for a strong reserve. These two were the respective amateur and open winners earlier in the show. Second in the open class was Sultan’s Ring of Fire and Elizabeth DeSarle for Jeanette Blake. Unsanctioned stepped up to second in the amateur.


The junior class was a blue ribbon ride for The Neptune and Eileen Wheeler for Alan and Ginger Failor. Margo Frazer showed the spicy Miss Albany to second.  First place in the UPHA Classic went to Dawn Bell’s Belhaven’s Rosebank presented by Cathy Christopher. Blue Jean Baby continued her winning ways for owner Linda Litzinger and trainer Susan Levally in the Park Pleasure Driving.


A big three-gaited show pleasure division saw the adult and novice classes split into two sections. Paula Monty had the impressive Capsaicin marching a four-cornered trot in the adult three-gaited championship – this duo couldn’t be denied their tricolor. Winner of the B Section of the novice class, Backstage Pass and Kathy Schueler were a very capable reserve. The perfectly named Call Me Lucky Blue had the title in the first adult class with Admiral’s Paladin and Roxanne Feldkamp good for second. CF Twenty One Again and Kelly Norris got the nod in the second novice split, with York’s Silhouette and Leslie Backus up for second.  Roxanne Feldkamp had a great ride on Admiral’s Paladin to take the AOT class, Candy Gierke and Major Cool had the red ribbon.  Kaitlin Klucas teamed Veronica’s Surprise to a good win in the Section A novice class. Kalarama’s Flo Jo and Eve Davis had a nice ride for second.


In what will surely be the first of many more blues to come, Courtney McIntosh made an exciting debut with her brand new mount Virtual Volcano to capture the 14-17 three-gaited junior exhibitor championship and 14-17 preliminary. It was a Hoosier exacta in the stake as Kinsey Raburne and her versatile Beau’s fair Play took the reserve spot. Second in the 14-17 class was Allison Boyd and Springhurst.  For the 13 & under division it was the sporty Ultimate Heir and Ann Pancake who could not be denied in their two events. Reserve to this team in the championship was Olivia Morrison and Tonosama for Taylor Made Stables. Reserve in the qualifier went to the top team of Tanbark Heiress and Taylor Deer.


High stepping and perfectly mannered, Catalyst’s Nip Of Wine and Joanna Barr held off all comers in the pleasure driving division to take the qualifier and championship.  Beau’s Fair Play added another reserve championship to his resume for Kinsey Raburne. Nichole Sedivec was on the lines of Highpoint’s Golden Flame for second in the qualifier.


Country Pleasure


One of the winningest duos in their division, the grand team of Spike Leigh and Jacqueline Manzo lived up to their reputation as they captured both the adult class and the adult championship. Heir To A Dream and Katie Singleton took the reserve tricolor, while Jackie Hawkes and Simon Gurty were the red ribbon winners in the adult class. Phi Phalutin RR and Amy Hein had everything their way for two good wins in the junior exhibitor country pleasure and championship.  Kristen Thorin piloted the very pretty Callaway’s Big Deal to reserve honors in the 14-17 and championship. Taylor Boyer made her first ride on Dance Card count as she captured the junior exhibitor 13 and under. 


Joan Hammond and Sunset Jubilee have proven formidable in the AOT classes this season. Here they added yet another blue to their roster, with Neon Deon and Melissa Seitzman with a good ride for reserve. In the novice class the letter perfect pair of Prairie Wind Dancer and Linda Boxdorfer were the happy winners over Natalie Saul and Starheart’s Best Man.  The winning team of Iris James and Theology powered their way to top honors in both the pleasure driving and championship. This has been a banner year for this duo. Reserve in the championship went to Paige Bundy and On My list, while Mary Strang and The Bay Princess drove to the red ribbon in the preliminary.


Stardust’s Ruby Tuesday and Alesia Spears continued to demolish the competition in the western and hunter divisions. At Twin Rivers they annexed the western and hunter championships, the qualifiers in both divisions, the Saddle & Bridle Hunt Seat Classic plus the working western pleasure event for a grand total of six wins in three days.


Like daughter like mother, so keeping it all in the family, Alesia’s mother Donna Spears rode her Stardust’s Starworthy to reserves behind her daughter in the hunt seat championship, the hunt seat classic, the hunt seat qualifier and the working western class. Rebecca Overmyer and her distinctively colored Sport N’ Life’s Bold Gold demonstrated perfect western manners and style to capture the blue in the Shatner class and the reserve championship. Champagne’s Lover Boy GRF and Joyce Schuda jogged up for the red ribbon in the Shatner event. Second in the western qualifier was claimed by Romero Cassanova and Christine Johnson.


Parade/Western Equipment


Candy Gierke and Major Kool were the colorful winners of both the parade and saddle horse western equipment events, with Better Than Bourbon and David Swindler parading up for reserve. In what has apparently become an annual tradition, Candy packed a little something “extra” in her glittery cowboy shirt on stake night – she and ringmaster Skeeter Williams had the audience in stitches during the line-up and presentation.




Fresh from her 13 and under win at Georgetown, Lindsey Merrill and her mount CH Cartel continued their banner season by taking the 17 and under and the championship at Twin Rivers.  Cheyenne Mabey capped her show by capturing the blue ribbon in a very competitive UPHA Challenge Cup, with good riding Sarah Lawson in reserve.


A new chapter began for Emily Abbott at Twin Rivers when she made her debut on her brand new horse, All About Charm, a winning one. Emily was polished on the rail and in her pattern to win the pleasure equitation 14-17 and grand championship. Reserve in both these classes was the very accomplished Toria Heck. Taylor Deer turned in a strong ride in the 13 and under age group to bring home the blue ribbon. Cheyenne Mabey had to be content with second.


It seemed like it was raining ten and under riders at Twin Rivers – they seemed to come from everywhere when the gates opened. Show management wisely split these classes. Displaying poise and determination beyond her years, Holly Hein took both her section of the UPHA Challenge Cup and the first division of the 10 and Under Championship. Taylor Russell stepped up for reserve in championship after a good win in a section of the 10 and under age group. Taylor Hiestand was reserve in that age group. Finishing a good second place in the UPHA, Paige England displayed a perfect ride in her next class to capture the second split of the championship, with Tiny Delaney Webb a spirited reserve. Lauren Lake brought home the blue from the second division of the UPHA, with Lee Anne Hiestand snagging the red ribbon.  Cute Sierra Comer was a smiling winner of her division of the age group, ahead of Whitney Barker who trotted up for second.


The lead line 6 and under featured a full class of tiny, future show stars, on every size and/or shape of horse and pony imaginable, every one of them cuter than the next. When the difficult job of selection was through, Judge Waller had awarded the first prize to adorable Sienna Oberschlake, with the darling Avery Kelly in reserve.




Alex Lawson continued her winning ways this season with the terrific Claridge Armani, nailing the English Pleasure Championship, the junior exhibitor pleasure and the Morgan saddle seat equitation.  Reserve in the championship went to the adult amateur winner, Jebon Quick Time and Estill Tibbs for Springlake Stable.   Jane Jarvis had Lookaway’s Perfect Storm in perfect form to bring out the blue in the open English pleasure.  Jebon Quick Time was up for second again. In the ladies class FCF Immortal Affair and Lee Knake turned in a smooth performance for the top prize. The consistent Fateful Heart and Katrina Klump secured second in the ladies, junior exhibitor and the amateur.


Katrina and Fateful Heart found their forte in the classic saddle division, securing the blue ribbon in classic pleasure saddle and championship. Razor’s Edge and Candy Gierke were reserve. FCF Immortal Affair proved as talented in harness as under saddle winning both the pleasure driving amateur and the driving championship for Lee and Susan Knake. Big Bucks No Whammy was second with Anna Ruby on the lines. In the classic pleasure driving qualifier Tim Jenkins and Futurity’s Eclipse took home the blue ribbon. Championship honors went to Glick’s Red Enchantment driven by Anna Ruby.


Jogging away with the amateur western and the western championship was Springlake Farm’s ultra cool Fletcher T Bar, with Razor’s Edge and Cherylyn Howard in reserve in the championship. OFS Bourbon N Champagne was the open western winner for Tom Roe – this duo also jogged to reserve in the amateur. The hunter championship belonged to Streak’s Showoff, Tracy Robinson showing for Drema Croson. This smooth riding pair also won the open but had to settle for reserve in the amateur, which was won by Kara Maddix and Super Command for Sunday Stables.

This concludes the highlights of the Twin Rivers Horse Show. Complete results may be found by clicking here.

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