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Another (UPHA 14) Premiere Show for New England

by Bob Funkhouser

W.SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - For 27 years now, the Saddlebred, Morgan and Hackney enthusiasts in New England have found a way to put aside their differences and egos so that the big picture - namely the UPHA Chapter 14 Spring Premiere Horse Show - can be a huge success for the entire show horse population, not just an individual barn or breed. Lately the Friesian folks have joined that cause and the result is a fun, competitive show run in a professional manner with the horseman in mind.

After a long, cruel winter in New England and an economy to match nationwide, trainers, owners, caretakers, vendors and everyone else involved with the show horse industry were eager to get out and see their equine friends while at the same time trying to beat them in the ring.

For the second year, Bill Beckley and Cindy Mugnier co-chaired the show, working hand in hand with Show Manager Kent Moeller and technical coordinator Jason Lawrence. Other than the heavy rain that hit the day before and the first day of the show, making the Eastern States Exposition outdoor rings mud pits, it was a week of positives for Chapter 14.

"We were strong on horses and sponsorships," said Mugnier. "We were really pleased to be as strong or stronger than last year with the economy and all."

"I couldn’t have been happier with the way everyone has responded," added Beckley. "The classes were super, the weather turned out great, the party went off well and I think everyone really enjoyed themselves this week."

Still riding high from the record breaking amount of money they raised for the UPHA’s Ride For The Cure cause, the members of Chapter 14 worked hard to come back with another strong show and commitment to the fundraising efforts in the battle against cancer. This year the show designated the UPHA Young Trainer’s Silent Auction as the fundraiser for the Ride For The Cure. They made it available for exhibitors to give back their prize money from Friday night’s amateur championships, the highlight being the 16-horse UPHA Pink Ribbon Ladies English Pleasure Championship.

Sandy Sessink judged this one and put three horses back out on the rail for additional work: a Morgan, a Saddlebred and a Friesian. Her move got the large audience really into the class and the meaning behind it. In the end, announcer Mark Farrar called Lauren Johnson and Bad To The Bone to the winner’s circle for Bob Moseder to snap the presentation picture. Ringmaster Billy Whitley was there with winning trainer David Rand.

Between the silent auction, Chuck A Duck, other drawings and prize money donated back, more than $14,000 was raised for the Ride For The Cure program.

Following the shortened Friday evening session, Chapter 14 once again hosted its annual Exhibitors’ Party/Awards Banquet. Held on the Eastern States grounds at Storrowton’s famed Party Barn, the party again honored the chapter’s award winners from 2008, offered great food from Storrowton and had exhibitors dancing until the wee hours with the music of Soul Kitchen.

"I hardly ever go to an exhibitors’ party, but I heard this one was a must," said USEF Steward Mary Lynn Whitley, and they were right. "I’ve never had so much fun and haven’t danced like this in 15 years. I can see why people love this horse show."

"The party and the band are one of main reasons we go to the Spring Premiere," said exhibitor Mike Mattozzi. "Each show has its own thing that separates it from the rest and for this show, it’s the party."

Mattozzi and the Northgate Stables/Rocking Horse Stables group worked the morning hospitality at UPHA Spring Premiere. Each morning Mattozzi and his crew had coffee and doughnuts waiting for exhibitors and as an added bonus, Courtney Cahill and Ken Logan loaded up the hospitality cart with the same and visited the different barns, bringing their morning coffee right to their aisleways. Beside the hospitality rooms, Barbara Irvine had a wonderful display of pictures of the 2008 UPHA Chapter 14 Award winners. Each year she outdoes herself with this display of chapter champions.

It’s the many little things like this that make the Spring Premiere a horseman’s horse show. They have the manpower to cover every little detail and other than the sloppy footing outside when it rains, you can count on those details being covered.

Even with all the extras it would not be a good horse show without good horses, and the Spring Premiere had world’s champions and regional winners in all divisions this year. From the backyard amateur trainer to those who made victory passes at New England Regional, Louisville, Kansas City and Oklahoma last year, it was competitive from top to bottom.

"I was really impressed," said Saddlebred Judge Susi Day who made her first visit to New England. "They had something for everyone and the classes were really strong."

It’s been a few years since the UPHA Spring Premiere has hosted a gaited division as strong as the 2009 edition. The open division was the only part light on numbers but, oh my, what a jackpot stake it was with Attache’s Crown Royal and Worthy’s World To Know putting on thrilling performances with their respective trainers/riders, Billy Greenwell and Rob Turner. These were definitely two open horses cranking their legs and covering ground like locamotives. The crowd thoroughly enjoyed the performance and in the end Susi Day had Attache’s Crown Royal at the top of her card as the Five-Gaited Jackpot Stake Champion for Park Avenue Partners LLC. Billy Greenwell also had the winning ride in the open class. Overcoming a bobble at the first of the class to really pour it on, Worthy’s World To Know was the reserve jackpot champion with Turner riding for Riverdreams LLC.

Friday night’s Amateur Five-Gaited Championship was a made for prime time event. It featured last year’s Amateur Five-Gaited Grand Champion, A Dream In Color, against last year’s Five-Gaited Jackpot Grand Champion, Beautiful Stranger OCF, along with three other worthy contenders. Under the direction of Rob Turner, Kate Codeanne and A Dream In Color put on an absolutely spectacular performance to command the blue in the amateur qualifier and then came back Friday night to once again earn the tricolor streamers representative of the grand champion.

Gary Guz had Dr. Jennifer Makem and last year’s jackpot champion. Beautiful Dream OCF, in hot pursuit to land reserve honors both times out. Champagne’s Irish Sea, LA Lady Pedro and CH Rastafarian all had good passes to round out the ribbons.

New to the area but certainly not the winner’s circle, Callaway’s Where There’s A Will got from one end of the ring to the other in a hurry to sweep the juvenile gaited division with new owner/rider Dominique Bowlen in the irons. The 2008 Adult Five-Gaited National Champion was also representing Cater Stables for the first time. Teamed with Instant Attraction, Megan Ryan rode away with second place honors in the qualifier and championship.

Sired by Designed and out of Margaret Biggs former world’s champion pleasure mare, CH Kiss For Luck, the homebred Who captured the UPHA Five-Gaited Classic with Jan Lukens riding for Biggs. Darlene Wright rode Bi Mi’s Southern Rose to reserve for Maureen Quackenbush.

Rob Turner’s stock stayed in the top ribbons all week long. Among the winners was Three-Gaited Jackpot Grand Champion CH Sightline. For the past six years "Max" has won either the jackpot stake or the Amateur Three-Gaited Championship and was reserve once for the Holli Esposito/Rob Turner team. Coming from a reserve in the junior/novice class, David Arnold rode Lou and Delia Fox’s Supreme Heir daughter, Born An Heiress, to the reserve championship title. Turner took the open class aboard SJ Smart Lady.

Two multi-titled bay mares went head to head in the amateur walk-trot division and they finished the week with a split decision. In round one, Jessica Warren had Callaway’s Buttons And Bows marching off all four corners as she paraded down the straightaways in blue ribbon fashion. The red prize went the way of the gifted CH Steel In Love, once again ridden by Dr. Geraldine Meanor.

In Friday night’s championship, both horses stepped up to another level and there didn’t seem to be an inch of difference between the two. Judge Day asked for an extra trot following the second way canter and after that, the tricolor went the way of the General Steel daughter, World’s Champion CH Steel In Love. Nealia McCracken joined Dr. Geraldine Meanor and the grand champion in the winner’s circle. Making the reserve champion victory pass was the Fairfield South trained duo of hard riding Jessica Warren and Callaway’s Buttons And Bows. Glen Gonsalves and Know No Boundaries were twice third.

One of the best catch riders in New England, the Kristen and David Cater trained Caroline Rose, was aboard Sally Gallagher’s My California Girl to win two very competitive junior exhibitor three-gaited classes. The athletic, white-legged mare’s closest competition in the championship came in the form of Romantic Manifesto and Laura McGee, one of many top teams put in the ring by the Garone family of Richmond, N.H. Guz Stables had the reserve honors in the qualifier with Megan Ryan piloting the big-doing Titleist Patrick.

Jan Lukens always brings a string of nice champions to UPHA Spring Premiere and this year Finally A Prince earned a Junior/Novice Three-Gaited blue to add to the cause.

Saddlebred park classes were quite entertaining and competitive. With enough expression for two horses, Limebank’s King Of Clubs twice defeated the 2007 UPHA Chapter 14 Saddlebred Of The Year, Pearl Buck’s Lead Lady, among others. Billy Greenwell took both winning ribbons back to Annika Bruggeworth’s Siren Song Stables. David Arnold was again riding the many times New England champion Pearl Buck’s Leading Lady for Gail Dearth.

Siren Song went four for four in the open and amateur park divisions. Their second winner was CH Sue Me, the lofty going bay horse ridden to the Amateur Three-Gaited Park Championship and qualifier by Annika Bruggeworth. There was lots of talent as Suzanne Brochu rode My Windfall to the reserve grand championship, followed by Mystery Guest and Catie McCool in third. CH Desert’s Supreme Lady and Margaret Biggs were second in the qualifier with Diane Mathieson back in the Northeast to ride Rosewall’s Late Nite Affair to third.

Now with a world’s champion class available at the Kentucky State Fair, the junior exhibitors rode their park horses even harder. Moving up a notch from the well-filled qualifier, No Time To Worry and Meghan Morey looked every bit the part as the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Park Grand Champions. The Cater Stables team topped reserve grand champions He Is The Heir and Anne Kennedy for Phoenix Prophecies LLC. T.J. Santaferra had the winning ride in the first round, putting Too Attached in the winner’s circle against a talented group of challengers.

Trimmed in four white legs and gifted with expression, Reggie’s Indigo Jim exited the ring with the blue ribbon from the Junior/Novice Three-Gaited Park class. Holli Esposito turned in the winning ride for the Turner/Esposito partnership. They had to be outstanding because Billy Greenwell pushed every step of the way with a grand youngster in Ridgewood’s Hat Trick, an entry owned by Greenwell and his wife, Kelley. Robin McGahey also made a good show for the yellow streamers aboard Royal Crest’s Oliver Stone.

There were a couple of top bay horses competing for the Fine Harness Championship and they traded places from the qualifier. In the championship round it was Kyle Gagnon driving Rick Daigle’s It’s Ballistic for the last pass down victory lane. In her last show ring performance before retiring to the broodmare band, the many times champion Tornaado’s Tidal Wave was the reserve grand champion for Joellen Fisher Blount after winning the qualifier.

Speaking of many times champions, Kendall Jackson did it again to top the Amateur Fine Harness Championship and qualifier with owner Nancy Reed driving from High Tail Acres. The Canadian team of Deerhaven’s Riverboat Gambler and Lucie Croteau was twice reserve.

Dr. Grace Steere has thrilled the UPHA Spring Premiere audiences over the past few years with her roadsters and Morgans. Roadster To Bike Grand Champion and open class winner CBMF Double Down was both. The David Rand trained team twice defeated Endignant and Mary Chuckowski.

In the Morgan division, Dr. Steere and the 2007 Morgan Park Saddle World Grand Champion and 2008 Amateur Morgan Park Saddle Reserve World Champion Lamborghini In Black again brought down the house with his extreme presence and athletic ability. This year he had plenty of competition, as it was great to see a nice turnout in the park saddle division.

While there were some talented challengers, none could topple the mighty Lamborghini In Black in either class. The closest competition came from Luman Wadhams and Starboard’s Blitz Krieg who entertained most of this crowd at last year’s Octoberfest Show with a couple of great performances.

David Rand trained entries had a tight hold on the park saddle division as Casey McDonald and her gifted amateur World Champion BKC Valiant Star came back to earn the tricolor streamers in the amateur championship, topping Set To Dance and Stevie Meder and qualifying winner FRF Outerlimits with Moniqua Dube who also shows under the Rand banner.

There was an outstanding Junior/Novice Park Saddle class early in the week and coming out on top in that one was the Misty Meadows entry shown by Scott Neidlinger, Stonecroft Sudden Impact. Rick Lane entertained the crowd with reserve champion MEM Forever Yours.

Mr. Park Harness, Harry Sebring, won yet another UPHA 14 Spring Premiere Morgan Park Harness Championship, this time with NDT French Impressionist. In the first round David Rand had the reserve winner in Queen’s Newport Storm.

Making his first drive with Intrepid Dynasty, Brandon Kelley looked like a seasoned veteran driving down victory lane as the Morgan Amateur Park Harness Grand Champion over Chris Kelley and Azeedad’s Lucky Star. This was the second victory pass of the week for the grand champions.

Driving for Chapel Hill Morgans, Jaisen Von Ballmoos guided GVB Cape Town to the top of the Junior/Novice Park Harness class. This impressive campaigner also went home with the UPHA Park Harness Classic money. David Rand and Queen’s Newport Storm picked up their second red ribbon of the week in the junior/novice class.

This year’s Spring Premiere was blessed with world-class entries in all divisions and right at the top of that list was the multi-titled World’s Grand Champion Free Willy. With new owner/driver Jayne Romano and new trainer Gary Garone, Free Willy displayed his beyond belief athletic ability and presence to handily take the amateur road pony qualifier and Road Pony Jackpot Championship. For the second consecutive year Raye Lynn Funkhouser and Heartland Double Trouble wore the reserve tricolor streamers from the jackpot championship. They were ahead of open class winner Heartland River Dance, a cocky new entry shown by Rodney Hicks for Susanne Harrod.

UPHA 14 has several top of the line road ponies including Amateur Road Pony Grand Champion Dun-Haven Highly Impressive. Shown by Don Spann from Cater Stables, Highly Impressive was just that to earn yet another championship title. Courtney Cahill and AG Houdini were right on their heels for the reserve championship from Lil Gilpin’s Rocking Horse Farm.

A star on the rise, Prince’s Witch Doctor LF made the last pass as the UPHA Road Pony Classic Champion with Ricky Harris driving for Innis and Hicks. Hicks had the reserve champion in Extremely x Tra, an entry owned by Copper Beech LLC.

The Rodney Hicks Stables entries swept the remainder of the pony championships. Those champions included Truly Naughty By Nature (Amateur Harness Pony Championship); Exhilarating (Hackney Pony Championship); and Heartland Unique Fashion (Hackney Pleasure Driving Pony Championship).

Saddlebred pleasure horses were in abundance and they brought their A-game to the Eastern States Coliseum. There was a large turnout in the Five-Gaited Pleasure Championship and qualifier, and Judge Day kept the top three the same in both rounds. Paula Percoco catch rode Rick Daigle’s Liquid Thunder to command championship and qualifying honors. In their show ring debut, Cheryl Innis and Harlem’s Class Act proved to be a well-suited team as they were twice reserve for Somersdream. Kate Codeanne and her new project, Doubletrees D Cisions D Cisions, went home with the yellow streamers twice.

New York trainers Jan Lukens and Peter Axtell were among those who battled it out in the Park Pleasure Championship and qualifier. The red, blue and yellow championship streamers returned to the gray and black tack room of Lukens Stables as she rode Claudia Fletcher’s Midtown Magic to the title. Qualifying winner Sipping Champaign was also a sport to take reserve grand champion honors with Axtell riding for Lynn Carol Schweikert.

Rob Turner and the expressive Celebrity Son went two for two in the Junior Park Pleasure Championship and qualifier for Debra Faulkner. Jan Lukens and The Top Shelf rode away with the reserve grand champion honors for Charlie Jones.

Turner had the winner throughout most of the week as he also debuted the stunning black half sister to World’s Grand Champion Our Charming Lady, Nubiana. Owned by David Latham, Nubiana marched to the UPHA Park Pleasure Classic blue. Riding for Montview Vineyard, Jessica Verrill picked up the reserve money with Oh Spheir Me.

Ending the 2008 season at the Adult Three-Gaited Show Pleasure National Champions, Careen Dubuc and CH Undulata’s Jimmy Hollywood picked up where they left off, taking UPHA 14 Spring Premiere’s adult championship. They were joined in victory lane by stablemates Spirited Edition and Christie Milbury. In the adult qualifier it was the world’s champion team of Margaret Biggs and Sultan’s Zorba making the victory pass ahead of CH Undulata’s Jimmy Hollywood.

There was a feel good moment in the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Show Pleasure 14-17 Championship. The horse bug has really bitten Tyler Lampropoulos, the son of trainers John and Sheri Lampropoulos, over the past year and this winter he had his very own training project, a Saddlebred mare named Val Hallelujah. After taking reserve in the 14-17 qualifier, Lampropoulos came back strong to make the victory pass in the championship. Emulating his idle, Don Harris, Lampropoulos held his hat high in the air while making his championship victory pass. Reserve grand champion honors went to Elusive Love Affheir and Kate Owen, with qualifying winners Emily Nichols and Doubletrees Number One Son in third.

No stranger to the winner’s circle, Chi Town Willy visited once again as the 13 & Under Show Pleasure Grand Champion and qualifying winner with Savannah Pike. Catherine Dwyer and Secret Vision were reserve grand champions.

There were also a few novice pleasure classes. Marcy Caton and Roseridge Get Ready topped the novice rider section, while Ann Jones and Nothing But Class won the novice horse blue.

It was a good winter for Jan Beardsley Blanco and Unclaimed as they finished the 2008 season with a victory pass at the American Royal. They started this year off with the Show Pleasure Driving Championship and qualifying blue from Fairfield South. Kathy Osnoe and the former harness champion, Harlem’s Beau Dandy were twice reserve under the direction of Jon Douglas.

The adult country pleasure division was filled with impressive stars, but none quite as impressive as the many times champion CH Evening Dazzle. Beginning her new division, the white-faced mare was a standout in the championship and novice rider class with Catie McCool providing the winning rides. Turning in two really sharp performances, Alex Battista and Middle March were twice reserve champions. In the qualifier they were reserve behind Danielle Benson and Bi Mi Malahene.

A strong group of young riders went head to head in quest of the Junior Exhibitor Country Pleasure Championship and that group was headed by the team of Alexandra Percoco and Heads Will Turn. Coming off victories at Raleigh Spring, Percoco and Heads Will Turn turned back challenges from several top teams including junior exhibitor qualifying winners and eventual reserve grand champions Highpoint’s The King’s Sun who represented Cater Stables. Taking a reserve in the novice rider class, Carly Vento and Spark’s Flame came back strong to take third in the large championship.

Also in the country pleasure division, Annika Bruggeworth and Right On Target were blue ribbon winners in the novice competition, just ahead of Dr. Geraldine Meanor and Prince Of The Day.

Several championship prizes went the way of Lukens Stables and adding to that total was Country Pleasure Driving Grand Champion Prince In The Park. Driven by owner Joellen Fisher Blount, Prince In The Park overcame a reserve to the homebred Callback and Bob Funkhouser in the qualifier to command grand champion honors. Sharon Stoltz and her talented Harlem’s Last Call were the reserve grand champions.

The best of the Western Country Pleasure Championship turned out to be qualifying winner I’m Going Out Tonight, an entry shown by Jessica Moctezuma for Brown/McCracken. Barbara Adams Grasso and Memories Of Forty Second Street were reserve grand champions, while Shatner winner El Empresario and Pat Johnson were third in the championship.

Judge Day said she was impressed with the quality of New England equitation riders and her pick as the Senior Saddle Seat Equitation Champion was Fairfield South’s Olivia Prentiss who had also won the NHS Good Hands class. Blue ribbon rider in the 14-17 age group, USEF Medal and limit class, Alexis Taylor Pearson was the reserve grand champion from Verrill Stables. Also in the older age group, Meghan Bradley triumphed as the UPHA 14-17 Challenge Cup Champion and the AMHA Saddle Seat Medal.

Gavin Gagnon delivered another title to Fairfield South with the Junior Saddle Seat Equitation Championship which followed his 12-13 blue. Reserve in both events went to Cater Stables’s Margaret McCool. Stablemate Owen Binnie captured the 11 and under class where Nicole Percoco was reserve.

Giving Fairfield South a sweep of the senior, junior and walk and trot championships, Molly Codeanne showed lots of confidence and expression in her second show of the season to win the Saddle Seat Walk & Trot Equitation 11 & Under Championship and UPHA 9-10 Walk & Trot Challenge Cup. Winner of the 11 and under qualifier, Clara McCool rode as the Walk & Trot Equitation 11 & Under Reserve Grand Champion. Following the family tradition, Carly Lettre was the UPHA 8 & Under Challenge Cup Champion.

This year a Morgan Saddle Seat Equitation Championship was held. Under the direction of Alicia Fraser at Scottsfield Stables, Kate Keilceski showed great horsemanship as the grand champion. The Nikki Woodworth trained Rachel Menard was the reserve grand champion as well as the Pleasure Equitation Grand Champion. Heather Mallette rode as the Morgan UPHA Challenge Cup Champion, while Lauren White captured the blue in the Classic Pleasure Equitation section.

Friesians have also become a part of the UPHA Spring Premiere landscape with intense competition among its exhibitors. Representing Bob and Loek Neimeth’s Misty Meadows, Danielle Paufve rode Wilco P to the Friesian Pleasure Saddle Jackpot Championship. They qualified with a blue ribbon ride in the open class. Reserve both times out in the seven-horse classes belonged to Ethel Nye and Hinke T.

Many times champion Gootizen fan Teaksyl was at it again with his partner Annika Bruggeworth. They took the winning prizes from the Friesian Amateur Saddle Championship and qualifier back to Siren Song Stable. Reserve grand champion honors went the way of Frans Fan E Hurrdravers DYK and Charmaine Delisie. Erin Gallagher and Timm V Ster topped the Friesian Open Walk/Trot Pleasure class.

Bob and Loek Neimeth made quite the pair driving Afko to the Friesian Pleasure Driving Championship and qualifying blue. Their closest competition came in the form of twice reserve champions Hamil and Nicoloe Byers.

A big hit with the audience, the Friesian Costume Class was won by Hinke T and Ethel Nye. Reserve among the great costumes was Hidde van de Kortmanshoeve with Shelly Crawford.

Back to the Morgan division and the many talented teams found in the different pleasure sections, Cherrydale Acapella represented trainer David Rand and owners, the Dan Kelley family, as the Morgan English Pleasure Jackpot Grand Champion and open class winner. It turned out to be a great week for Rand and the Kelley family. Richard Boule rode Sea Vu Justified to the reserve jackpot championship for Taylor River.

Taylor River got the nod in the Morgan Ladies English Pleasure class as Sarah Gove rode Queen’s Cocoa Puff to the blue for Donald and Hope Perreault. Roasalie Leary was aboard Catch Me If You Can for reserve honors.

Shannon Fielder and Justanotha Well Worth It would not be denied in the Morgan Amateur English Pleasure Championship and qualifier. Both classes were large and competitive, however, this team was letter perfect from start to finish. Returning to China Pointe with the reserve grand championship, Danielle Benson rode Rampage for Marcia O’Connor. Adriana Liberty had the reserve ride with AWS Icon in the qualifier.

Moniqua Dube and Lookaway’s Hot Ticket put it all together in the championship round to leave UPHA Spring Premiere as the Morgan Junior Exhibitor English Pleasure Grand Champions. The Rand trained combination knocked off several top teams, including reserve grand champions Think About It MEM and Alexandra Frangiosa. In the qualifier, Goldencrest Northern light and Betsy Coco were the names at the top of Judge Sessink’s card.

In novice competition, Carolann Smith piloted Season’s Supreme Challenge to the winner’s circle of the novice rider class, while Laurin Johnson and Bad To The Bone followed up their huge UPHA Pink Ribbon Ladies English Pleasure title with a novice horse blue.

It was great to see Luman Wadhams showing at UPHA Spring Premiere again and he brought a handful of top contenders including Morgan Junior English Pleasure Champion Epona’s Walk The Line. Richard Boule and Presario collected the red prize in this one.

Boule’s luck was better in the driving division where he guided the highly decorated FRF Seattle Reign down victory lane as the Morgan Pleasure Driving Grand Champion for Jeff Gove. This was their second win ahead of reserve champions Ann Anderson and Legacy’s Atlantis.

Luman Wadhams greeted Julie Rohrer and Sarde’s Manistique in the winner’s circle of the Morgan Amateur Pleasure Driving Championship. They moved up a notch from the qualifier as Scott Neidlinger had Bob Neimeth and the impressive MCS Bandini in blue ribbon form for that one. They finished as the reserve grand champions.

Jaisen von Ballmoos and Harry Sebring traded places in the Morgan Junior/Novice Pleasure Driving Championship and qualifier, however, Ann Hailey didn’t mind, as she owned both entries. Von Ballmoos and CBMF Bond Girl were the grand champions with Sebring and Comoshun’s Cracklin Rose the qualifying winners.

From Northgate Stables, the world champion team of Maxine Kenney and Med E Oka French Morocco looked like they were in Oklahoma form already by winning the Morgan Classic Pleasure Saddle Championship over a field of top contenders including reserve grand champions Molly O’Brien and Rum Brook Immortal Waltz, winners of the junior/novice class. This was Kenney and French Morocco’s second victory pass of the week.

A Morgan Classic Pleasure Ladies blue was awarded to Catch Me If You Can and Kathy Dowding, with IGF Coeur Et Ame and Erin Kelley in reserve.

Junior exhibitors aboard classic saddle entries came out in force but both times no one could knock off Daisy Beisler and Syncopation. Their winning form never wavered in either the qualifier or championship. Brieanna Teti and Liberation Madison Square applied plenty of pressure as the twice reserve champions. Winner of the novice rider class, the always-competitive George Liberty rode Gradell’s Wild Reflection to a strong third place prize in the championship.

Entries were much lighter in the Morgan Classic Pleasure Driving division where MEM Just Alike took the championship with Terri Travers at the whip for Debra Stockwell. They also won the junior/novice class ahead of Bob Neimeth and Cabot On The Edge. Neimeth and open winner Raintree Valedictorian were the reserve grand champions.

Very familiar with the UPHA Spring Premiere Morgan Western Pleasure Championship winner’s circle, Judy Nason rode Joanne Kieger’s FCF Montego Bay to yet another title. Winners of the open class with a picture perfect performance, Alicia Fraser and Candelite Superette took reserve to Montego Bay in the championship round. Fraser also took this champion to the top of the junior/novice competition.

Anna Tassinari and MCA Seawind Serenade jogged down victory lane with the Morgan Amateur Western Pleasure Championship in hand. Their first winning performance came in the junior exhibitor qualifier for Rand. Stablemate Briar Oak’s Pep In My Step carried George Liberty to reserve in both the junior exhibitor class an the Amateur Western Pleasure Championship. Joanne Kieger and FCF Montego Bay strolled out with the amateur blue in the qualifier, just ahead of Erin Kelley and Tolstoy.

The hunter exhibitors have supported Spring Premiere - and most all shows in New England - with great numbers. Leaving the show with a pewter plate signifying UPHA 14 Spring Premiere 2009 Champion, Sight Unseen held off strong charges from several winning combinations. Katelyn Merrill turned in the tricolor ride, just as she did in a very competitive junior exhibitor class. Reserve grand champion honors were bestowed upon RIG Park Avenue and Jennifer Lake, winners of the open class.

Alex Naijar and KSB Suite Topic were the team to remember from the amateur division. They swept the Morgan Amateur Hunter Pleasure Championship and qualifier where the world titled Springmill Madison and Tori Mattozzi claimed second both times.

We’ve watched Nicholas Roberts grow up in the show ring over the past few years and this past week the sharp riding young man delivered the knockout punch in the Morgan Junior Exhibitor Hunter Pleasure Championship with TJB Opinionated. Aunt Cindy Mugnier also cheered him on with his reserve in the qualifier.

From the novice ranks, Hasty’s Honor and Lauren Maggioli led the way for novice riders, while Suzanne Haberek took Cingate Susy Q to the top of the novice horse competition.

It was another successful year for the folks in New England. The members of UPHA Chapter 14 are passionate about everything they take on and producing a first rate horse show remains at the top of the list.

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