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UPHA Brings About Major Changes At Madison

by Bob Funkhouser

It seems to be an awful good year for UPHA chapter shows across the country as more and more, "What does UPHA do for me?" is answered by improved horse shows and horse show conditions: the main reasons Tom Moore and a handful of other Midwest professional trainers founded the United Professional Horsemen’s Association back in 1968.

Like many shows, the UPHA Chapter 3/4 Madison Classic has seen its peaks and valleys and likewise has moved back and forth from the Aliant Center Coliseum to the current location in the smaller ring located in the hockey annex next to the coliseum. A much homier feeling is derived from the smaller ring although working space and warm up have been major factors in keeping some people away from this show.

The idea of creating an indoor warm up space in one of the barns that houses stabling has been kicked around for a few years and finally a handful of the powers that be said enough is enough and got it done. One of the back barns was cleared of stalls creating an indoor work area and then a wide straightaway was made from that work area up through the barn that opens to the small warm up area outside of the annex ring. That indoor straightaway was wide enough and long enough to work up and down as well and the footing was excellent in both the work area and straightaway.

"I think we’re on the right track to building this horse show back up," said Scott Matton. "Everyone has been positive about the changes that were made."

"We came back from the UPHA Chapter 14 roundtable at the UPHA Convention in New Orleans fired up and added a few of those things to our show and I think really helped it," added Lynda Freseth. "The Farrier’s Challenge was a lot of fun and we had some great items that were made by our local blacksmiths."

Jeramiah Sprague was the winning farrier at the first ever Madison Classic Farrier’s Challenge. Also new to the Chapter ¾ show was a nightly drawing for $100. Trainers that had horses at the show had to be ringside at the conclusion of the last class each night to win the $100. A few trainers missed out on the Ben Franklin when their names were drawn and they weren’t present, so as the week went on, the crowd at ringside for the evening’s finale, grew and grew. Those, along with "Judge With The Judge" were additions that gave the show even more flavor. This addition allowed adults the opportunity to judge a class in center ring with official judge Lynn McNamara and then McNamara would discuss the ties following the class resembling a learner judge process. It met with great approval, especially by judge McNamara.

"I think it was great," she said. "I know one barn had all of their customers sign up for this. I think it makes them better exhibitors to have to stand out here and tie the whole class, not just the top horse or two. They all told me what a great experience it was for them," said McNamara.

"It was a lot of fun seeing the changes being accepted and enjoyed by the exhibitors," added Lynda Freseth, who as chapter chairperson, assisted manager/show secretary Vicky Holston in running the show. "As busy as I am showing horses it was still a lot of fun putting it together. I can’t wait until next year!"

That enthusiasm rubbed off on the other exhibitors and officials and with Chamber of Commerce weather and the World’s Largest Bratwurst Festival going on at the same grounds, how could it be any better? Actually that was better too. While the horse show exhibitors and officials have appreciated people from the festival wandering over and watching the show, in past years that same general public has wandered through the extremely tight make up area, many with baby strollers in tow. Needless to say that has been a dangerous situation but was taken care of this year by blocking off the foot traffic around the outdoor warm up area. Another job well done!

Joining Holston on the official family were many familiar faces: ringmaster John Frye, photographer Rick Osteen, announcer John Owens, organist Groff Bittner, barn announcer Peter Remender, ring secretary Michelle Wojcik, farrier Jeff Couch, and veterinarian Dr. Hank Clemmons. The entire crew was part of a horse show that trainers and exhibitors were glad to be a part of.

Maybe as happy as anyone on the grounds was Ray Krussell as he won both the Three-Gaited and Five-Gaited Championships. Earlier on Saturday evening Krussell was solo in the Three-Gaited Championship aboard Debra Hoffman’s finely chiseled The King’s Lady Anne who gave a tricolor type performance. Back in the evening’s finale, Krussell again delivered a tricolor ride, this time with Mary Adams Five-Gaited Grand Champion Radiant Rhapsody. Reserve grand champion honors belonged to the always-entertaining Roja Rosa, ridden by Todd Perkins.

Sunday afternoon’s Amateur Five-Gaited Championship was bittersweet for Dr. Sarah Thordsen. Although she won the championship and qualifier with Sensational Charm, that was the last time she will be showing for a while as she embarks on her medical career.

"That’s the last one that dad will be paying for," exclaimed the new doctor. "I’ll be going to work and getting my career started, but I plan on showing again one day."

The hard charging Benelli put on two really nice shows for reserve in both amateur gaited classes with owner Dr. Jane Keil in the irons for Northern Tradition Farm.

In addition to Sensational Charm, Knollwood Farm also claimed the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Championship and qualifier with The Whole Town’s Talking and Katie Koeppel delivering the goods in impressive fashion. Emily Collins and Que Pasa pushed the winners as twice reserve champions.

Year after year Sarah Worzalla Luft shows a nice young horse and this time it was Junior/Novice Five-Gaited Champion Bada Bling who wore the blue from the ring ahead of Tom Thorpe and Benelli and several other ribbon winners.

Walk-trot horses were light at this year’s show as evidenced in the open and amateur championships where there was only one entry each. Sandy Bernd and Born Independent went uncontested in the amateur division.

It was much stronger in the junior exhibitor division where the bright, young star Callaway’s Rosemary and Thyme scored the tricolor with Ashley Baird riding under the direction of Hollow Haven Farm. Winner of the qualifier, just ahead of Rosemary and Thyme, Tango Til Dawn and Jamie Winquist were the reserve grand champions from Knollwood.

Minnesota was represented by a couple of top barns and one of the blue ribbons going back to that state belonged to Junior/Novice Three-Gaited Champion Trust In Love, ridden by Cory Eickholt for Bob Jensen Stables. John Willis exited with the red prize, riding The Camera Man.

Continuing his good season, Aphrodite’s Tears swept the open park division with Scott Matton. Unfortunately they had to walk out of the ring in the second round as he threw a show as he started to make the victory pass. Ray Krussell had the reserve champion in Captain Calypso.

Scott and Carol Matton, Eric Griedl, Kelsey Smith and the entire Knollwood crew went to the ring with a contender time and time again. Their next champion the multi-titled CF Burn Out who captured the Amateur/Junior Exhibitor Park Championship for the sharp riding young lady, Jenna Winquist. Marching out with a blue ribbon in the amateur qualifier, CH To Die For and Meredithe Steinhauer were reserve grand champions under the Rick Wallen Stables banner. Caitlin Carmody and Grandiloquent picked up the blue in the junior exhibitor qualifier. Matton took home another Knollwood blue with Junior/Novice Park winner A Redneck Girl.

No stranger to making victory passes in Wisconsin, Phillipp Meyer drove Oban to the Open and Fine Harness Championship, both times ahead of The Doesn’t Dance and Heather Linzmeier. Rick Wallen and Queensbury Starquest made the last pass as the Junior/Novice Fine Harness Champion with Jimmy Bushard and Callaway’s Before Sunset in reserve.

There were some nice young harness horses with the likes of Royal Crest’s Built Like A Rock, the UPHA Fine Harness Classic Champion with Pat Wessel driving for owner/breeder Royal Crest Farms LLC. Rick Wallen had a nice colt himself in reserve winner Heavenly Prophet.

John Willis entertained on Sunday morning with the harness debut of a beautiful two-year-old black stallion sired by Forty-Second Street out of a Secret Someone granddaughter. That cross has worked before and it sure looks like it has worked again as Enough Four Two paraded down victory lane as the Two-Year-Old Fine Harness Champion with Willis driving for Andrea Dudkiewicz. Dave Trussell had the athletic reserve winner, Lipstick Letter.

Willis had the hot driving hand as he also guided the big-motored Regal’s Lady Bess LF to the Road Pony Championship and open class blue. The Ted Klint entry comes out of a turn looking to get down the straightaway and that she did. On her heels were twice reserve champions Nightheir and Rick Wallen.

Mary Gise had been patiently waiting her turn to get behind Romeo’s Kristy Lee LF and this was her chance. The Amateur Road Pony winners looked like anything but their first time together as they smoothly crossed the finish line in first. Ryan Vogt and Daddy’s Little Girl pushed the issue as the reserve champions.

From the farm that produced Regal’s Lady Bess LF and Romeo’s Kristy Lee LF, Regal’s Wild Card LF was the outstanding UPHA Road Pony Classic Champion for trainer Erik Kirsch and owner/breeder Dan Light. Reserve money went to Queensbury Partynight and Rick Wallen for Queensbury Farm LLC.

Wallen put the lone long-tail in the ring, Lightning Up, driven by Neal Loeb. Likewise, Bob Richards was solo in the cob-tail division with Tommy Hilfiger. Richards also topped the highly competitive Hackney Pleasure Driving Pony championship with Final Answers, the reserve winner in the qualifier. Making a driving debut that made Papa Bob Anderson proud, Zach Meyer guided Pacifico’s Standing Ovation to the reserve grand championship. Also with world-class credentials, Wait & See’s Raspberry was the qualifying winner teamed with Donna Beck.

Saddlebred pleasure classes are always very competitive in this part of the country and the Madison Classic followed suit in every section beginning with the gaited horses. Bob Griffin and Tom Thorpe and their Northern Tradition crew had CH Hank Heiron and Kelly Williamson tuned to perfection to be crowned the champion for BRK Equestrian LLC. Five-Gaited Pleasure Reserve Grand Champion honors belonged to Cheerful Memories and Brittany Baird who was riding for Pamela Slater and trainers Lynda and Andy Freseth. In the qualifying round it was the veteran world’s champion CH Harlem’s Hot Ticket and Gretchen Bentz in the winner’s circle for La Fleur/Van Ess Stables.

Some more hardware went to Minnesota with Andra Trakalo and Champagne And Jewels’ tricolor performance in the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Pleasure Championship under the direction of Jared Ratzloff. CH Harlem’s Hot Ticket was also reserve grand champion in that division, this time with Devon Van Ess. Donna and Kenny Smith had Maya Manilow and Callaway’s Exception To The Rule on top in the junior exhibitor qualifier. Their only appearance of the week was a good one!

Winsome Farm has had a good spring and it carried right on over to the Madison Classic. Terri Anne Ullman won a hard-fought Park Pleasure Championship where the water was deep. Her grand champion was the Nina Kraus entry, M & N’s Buck Almighty. They had been reserve in the qualifier to Rick Wallen and Rosemont’s Mystre, the eventual reserve grand champions. Beth Bidon and Pierre Cardin were also making strong places to earn a top three among the good contenders.

The Ullman and Kraus team was also responsible for the Junior Park Pleasure blue, which went the way of Accepted Offer. Red streamers were awarded to Count Von Count and Ray Krussell.

Winning a blue ribbon in a competitive class is always a special feeling but when you breed, raise and develop them, it takes the pride to a whole new level. Such was the case with UPHA Park Pleasure Classic Champion Three Point Shooter. The son of Undulata’s Nutcracker and CH Kalarama’s New Sensation was ridden to victory by Andy Freseth for Priscilla Gise. Mayo Moctezuma had the reserve champion in the sporty Perfectas Perimo, an entry owned by Cheri Clerzen.

Adult show pleasure had to be split into two divisions and new stars topped each section. A reserve world’s champion as a walk-trot horse last year, Be Advised had personality plus on his way to the 39 & over championship with Susan Creekmore. Always at the top, Katherine Meints and CH Sapphire On Ice finished the weekend as the reserve grand champions after qualifying with a reserve in Sec. II.

Just a five-year-old, the regal bay Redesigned won his fourth consecutive class of the year as the 18-38 Adult Show Pleasure Grand Champion with his partner Kristen Olson. Moving up with a nice performance, Final Deklaration and Kerry Honkamp trotted out as reserve grand champions. Stacy Wessel and Royal Crest’s Rising Above the Rock rose above the competition in Sec. I of the qualifying rounds as well as the novice class.

Judge McNamara had the first three places of the 14-17 show pleasure qualifier in the same spots on her championship card. The Knollwood Farm team of Emily Mayer and Mocha’s Mudslide took the blue and tricolor and was followed by CH Laguardia and Evan Heniges as well as CH Fine By Me with Alicia Sacotte.

Sheri Brandl greeted Zack Cutting and Prime Time Player in the winner’s circle of the 13 & Under Show Pleasure Championship. They sharpened their game slightly from a reserve finish in the qualifier. Halley Wegner and Mojito delivered a reserve championship performance for Knollwood Farm. Kennedy and Steeling Home were the first names called by announcer John Owens in the 13 & under qualifier.

A number of other blue prizes were awarded in the pleasure division including Reedann’s Yes You May and Jenny Jones (Wisconsin Owned), Karen Wilson and Bugsy Siegel (Novice Rider), as well as Liana McGregor and CH Wild Harley (Junior Exhibitor Novice Rider).

Heist stole the show in the Junior Three-Gaited Show Pleasure Championship with Abigail Schaefer as his partner. Moving up a couple notches, John Grant and One Hot Debutante went home reserve champions. Third in the championship, Sandra Dyer and The Sherman Show topped the judge’s card in the first round.

The Madison Classic had a couple notable graduates in attendance. Starting a law career, Corbin Smith proved her case with Coco Loco in the show Pleasure Driving Championship and Sec. II of the qualifier. Reserve in that qualifier, Shalagh Roell and Dos Periapatus also followed in the championship. A blue prize went to Heir Two Millions and Dede Disbrow in Sec. I. Mike Bletsoe and Supremacy’s Dare delivered blued streamers to the Lance Hayes tack room following the junior/novice driving class.

Utoft Stables sent Sandra Dyer to the winner’s circle on a number of occasions, one being the Five-Gaited Country Pleasure Championship with Mr. Smarty Pants. They had been reserve in the qualifier to Barb Fahey and the many times champion Alpha Priority.

The Ullman/Orphanos team was represented in the winner’s circle of the Adult Country Pleasure Championship by CH Bella Marietta and Claudia Sipp. It was their second trip of the week. Reserve to the grand champions were DLF’s Last Investment and Constance MacQueen. There was also a sweep in the junior exhibitor division where Matisse and Narin Avci were two for two. Mikayla Tenorio’s The Soprano was twice reserve. The Mayo Moctezuma trained Salt Heir and Garrett Weller were the 13 & under winners.

Lady Suzanne, Deker’s All American and Crovenay’s Springing Biscuit all had country pleasure blues with their respective riders Barbara Goodman Manilow, Gina Dulcamara, and Emily Teehan.

Donna Beck had success driving her Hackney and her Saddlebred. She guided Carissimo to the Country Pleasure Driving Championship ahead of Mary MacBride and More Than I Dreamed, among others. Third in the championship, Michelle Woiclk and Callaway’s Investigative Reporter were on top of the story in the qualifier.

One of America’s most beautiful Saddlebreds, CH Star Spangled Steel has been a star in whatever he has done. This time he was adorned in Western tack and was he ever impressive as the Country Western Pleasure Grand Champion with Ashley Baird riding under the direction of Mayo Moctezuma. Winner of the Shatner class, He’s Catalyst Delight jogged to the reserve grand championship with Mildred Crowley riding tall in the saddle. Susan Honkamp and CH In The Zone, Crowned Prince and Tom Thorpe and Dr. Jane Keil with Perazzi also received Western blues.

The versatility of the Saddlebred was on display again as High Alpine and Jennifer Miller rode to victory in the Hunter Seat Classic and the Country Hunter Pleasure events in which Halle Hallelujah and Corie Allen were reserve.

Of her Madison wins the Saddle Seat Equitation Championship might have been her favorite gauging by the smile on her face as she exited the ring with Scott Matton. The 14-17 winner defeated stablemate and NHS Good Hands winner Alexandra Friedrich for the title. Friedrich had also been reserve to yet another teammate, Allison Gutenkunst, in the UPHA Challenge Cup.

A reserve world’s champion of champions last year, Zach White has come back even stronger to take the Walk and Trot Saddle Seat Equitation Championship and UPHA 10 & Under Walk and Trot Challenge Cup. Monet Harrison proudly rode out as the twice reserve champion.

In a class of proven performance riders, Gretchen Bentz was the UPHA Adult Challenge Cup Champion ahead of Brittany Baird and Meredithe Steinhauer.

It was Cori O’Brien’s week in the pleasure equitation division as the top Knollwood rider captured the championship, 14-17 class and the Medallion aboard Steelin’ Home. Shelby Hader got the nod as the reserve grand champion. Zach Cutting and Lis Simonis also recorded pleasure equitation wins.

A full academy division was also offered making it a most complete weekend for beginners and seasoned veterans alike. Good competition and visible, positive changes gave the Madison Classic a needed jump-start on its way back up the mountain.

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