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UPHA American Royal – Friday Show Coverage

(Editor’s note: All equitation and AHHS Youth Medallion championships will be covered in separate stories.)

Friday Morning

Six promising young two-year-olds opened up the morning in their fine harness class. Last year Kathy Capsuto captured this class with Sister Sally. This year she outshone with her high-headed two-year-old, Rain. Rob Tanner drove Brookhill’s Kool As Ice to the reserve for the O’Brien Family Trust.


The Missouri-Kansas Country Pleasure Championship had five pleasurable entries. Magikal Marissa and Betts Coup, under the direction of Mike Roberts, claimed the tricolor. From William Woods University, Trefethen and Yvonne Rodman took home the reserve tricolor.


Fourteen entered the gates to vie for the first national championship awarded this week. Topping the Junior Exhibitor Show Pleasure Championship after wining the 15-17 division were Thea Ervin and The Grand Master. This world champion team hung their tricolor on the Cedarwood Farm’s curtains. Last year’s champions and current world’s champion of champions, CH New York Style and Maguire Hall, claimed the reserve tricolor to take back to Milligan Stables. Third place award went to Callaway’s Queen Of Crimson with Erich Aschenbrenner in the saddle.


Another group of two-year-olds came in for their three-gaited class. Robert Gardiner continued a blue ribbon streak by claiming this class with Silver Exchange for Chris Kaplan and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Louis Louw took the reserve back to Reedannland on Dance By Design for Dr. Alan Raun.  


The Missouri-Kansas Three-Gaited Stake took to the ring and coming away with the tricolor was La Matrera. Mandy Martin was in the irons for Hollett Farm and Stable. Brenda Benner made a nice ride to capture the reserve win with Budmeister for Jennifer Warner.


Four rising stars entered for the Two-Year-Old Five-Gaited class. Looking mature for his age, Legacy’s Super Idol racked away with the blue with Clark Clouse in the saddle for Elmo Greer. Chantel Coetzee rode up for the red ribbon on the big bay A Bolt From The Blue for Cindy Maloney.


A large class of park pleasure horses worked next for their championship. Looking sharp through the bridle, Knock Knock Who’s Heir took the tricolor back to Sunrise Stables with trainer Melissa Moore in the saddle. Judy Skinner owns this horse who also won the qualifier earlier in the week. Star Spangled Steel was a star to come away with the reserve with Pat McConnell up for Margo Baird. The yellow ribbon went to Gotcha Covered with Kent Swalla riding.


Sixteen vied for the Adult Show Pleasure Five-Gaited National Championship. After a competitive class, CH Executive Dunk and Judy Werner took their second victory lap of the week. They carried the tricolor back to the DeLovely curtains. Christy Bennett and The Champagne Tiger rode out of the crowd to pick up the reserve after winning the 18-38 division. William Woods University stayed in the money by earning third with The Great Gazoo and Alex Willie-Irmiter in the irons.


The junior exhibitors took over the ring next for their national championship with their five-gaited show pleasure horses. With a unanimous decision, CH Assets And Attitudes returned to the winner’s circle for the second time this week. Sarah Sessoms was all smiles as she rode down victory lane for her grandmother Pat Moore. CH L.A. Boca Raton defended their reserve spot from the qualifier with Kelsey Olson in the saddle. Veteran CH Callaway’s Capitol Reporter claimed the third prize with Katie Jarve in the irons.


In the Missouri-Kansas Three-Gaited Amateur/Junior Exhibitor Stake, Callaway’s Abigail Adams had a comeback ride to wear the blue. Angie Noah was up for William Woods University. She’s Poison and Cortney Lynch carried back the reserve honors.   


Friday Night


Friday night started off with a bang. Nineteen world class horses came through the gate for the Amateur Three-Gaited National Championship. Bursting out of the pack, it was CH An Heir About Her who took the tricolor and victory pass. Edward “Hoppy” Bennett greeted rider/owner Sarah Rowland in the winner’s circle. The lofty trot of CH Callaway’s Merry Go Round caught the judges’ attention for the reserve championship. Christy Bennett was aboard for the ride. Andrea Nicole Perry and Gypsy’s Say When left the ring with a well-earned third place ribbon. Fourth went to I’m Sky High and Rick Daigle.


The amateur Hackney ponies returned for their national championship. Four cobtails strutted around the ring for their chance at the title. With a unanimous support of the judges, Oliver Twist trotted to the winner’s circle moving up from reserve in the qualifier.  Mia Blevins Morris drove the tricolor back to the Majestic Oaks banner. Classical Dancer and Edward Frickey came back to take reserve in the championship with Randy Harper heading them.


Five came back to work for the Amateur Road Pony National Championship. After earning the reserve in the qualifier, Mike Schallock and Seamair Strutter turned on the heat to take the tricolor back to Rick Wallen Stables. The national champion from last year was right on the heels on this year’s champion to take reserve. Heartland Victory Maker and Toni Nastali sped off with the red tricolor with Bob Griffin heading them.


Nothing more than blurs on the green backdrop of shavings, the road horses took to their championship. Returning with a comeback drive, Mark Turner and Power Ranger raced ahead of the pack to claim the tricolor for DeLovely Farms. Not one to be left out, Invincible Summer and Judy McNeish swept by to pick up the reserve championship.


The junior three-gaited horses thrilled the crowd with a star-studded performance. Everyone had their favorite, and after Peter Fenton faked the crowd out with a possible workout, Grande Lil and Neil Visser were announced as the winners for owner Joan Hamilton. The audience gave up a large round of applause for reserve winner, New York’s Perfect Gift, with John Conatser up for Betsy Thomas. Hallelujah Chorus and Bret C. Day also had a big support group as they were called out for third place.


Only one pony came in for the Amateur Harness Pony National Championship. On her birthday, Christy Weaver Gantley drove her high-stepping Minute Maide to the victory.


The ladies took to the ring to battle it out for their five-gaited national championship with a ring full of multi-titled horses. With a cry of surprise, Ceil Wheeler rode over to the winner’s circle where she met Nelson Green. The judges all agreed that CH Walterway’s Remember Me should wear the tricolor. CH Callaway’s Born To Win came back after winning the qualifier to claim the reserve championship with Gayle Lampe aboard. Misdee Wrigley was happy with her ride on CH Title Bound as they picked up the third place vote.


The Three-Gaited Adult Show Pleasure National Championship entertained the crowd next. Fourteen hard riding entries came in and when everything settled CH Sweet Virginia was called to the winner’s circle. Barbara Woods rode her mare down victory lane with Maria Gilman and Don Judd instructing. Carol Hillenbrand gave a shout of joy when she and CH Just Special were announced as the reserve winners. The fancy bay CH Lightnin Lil and Nicolle Beltz Tolliver carried the yellow ribbon out of the ring. Topping a nice group of pleasure horses, Barbara Goodman Manilow and Teuschers took home the fourth place award.


The road horses raced around the ring for their amateur championship. Seven entered for the tricolor, but it was Belle Reve Farm’s All Glory who sped away with the unanimous victory. Judy McNeish catch drove this entry trained under the direction of Danette Musselman. Go For Broke and Brad Bacon captured the reserve championship with a great drive. Cosmical and Danny Bugg turned it on to earn the third place vote.


The junior five-gaited horses ended an exciting Friday night. Fourteen powerful horses were worked through their gaits, each one making one great pass after another. When the dust had settled and the cards were turned in, the crowd gave its rousing support as Callaway’s Unsolved Mystery racked down victory lane. Bob Brison was up for the ride for owner B & T Vonderschmitt LLC. The copper chestnut Stonecroft Sundial also had a large following as Melinda Moore rode up for the reserve ribbon. Donna Moore owns this bold entry. Neva Van Ess was thrilled with Keep Me Posted’s performance and was pleased to take the third place award out of the deep class. Rounding out the top four, Megan Nicole Harrison was up on Take A Guess for owner Roberta Rassieur. 

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