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UPHA/American Royal - Friday Afternoon

Friday morning featured the first phases of both the UPHA Walk-and-Trot and Exceptional Challenge Cups, with strong groups putting on excellent performances for their National Championship honors.

The matinee session began with the Missouri-Kansas Country Pleasure Championship. There was a big cheer from the Fairview crowd, as Abigail VanBuren was the winning entry. Elizabeth Clark made the winning ride for Allen and Kelly Clark. Junior Exhibitor Champions at St. Louis, this team started off the day with a trip down victory lane. Winner of this class a year ago, Santana’s Star Status was the Reserve Champion with Rochele Cochrane up. They were Reserve Champions in 2008 as well.

With no age group Championships, all of the junior exhibitors showed back in one phenomenal class for the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Show Pleasure National Championship. Beating some of the very best in the business and doing so with the support of all three judges was the World’s Champion of Champions, The Majestic. Maya Manilow made her second National Championship ride in this division in as many years with this impressive (in both stature and talent) gelding. Sired by Supreme Heir and out of Shady Bay Lady, The Majestic is owned by Barbara Goodman Manilow and trained by Skyline Stables. Donna and Kenny Smith joined Maya in the winner’s circle. Taking on the "big kids" and doing it with style, Kaitlyn Creekmore earned Reserve National Champion honors aboard CH Heir’s Halo for Thomas R. Brock Jr. This Hollow Haven team took on the tough competition and made a show that was a perfect fit for the division, pleasure perfect to a tee. Riding deep into the corners and coming out early, Ashley Bryce put on a stellar show with Supreme Spotlight for Bryce Heritage Investments and Jack Magill Stables. They were third in their qualifier as well, coming back and making an even better show today. Caroline Skinner finished fourth with CH Royal Messenger.

The qualifiers for the American Royal Saddle Seat Equitation National Championship came to the ring today, with the 11-13 riders hitting the ring first. Today, Fairfield South became Fairfield Midwest, as they dominated with their riders taking both of the top spots. Winning this class for the second year in a row, Kailin Elizabeth Baechle was in top form once again aboard Platinum Asset. Gary Garone joined her for her victory pass. Kailin was also victorious earlier this year as the 13-Year-Old World’s Champion. Second in that 13-Year-Old class, the Junior Equitation World’s Championship and this class today was Gavin Gagnon. Gavin continues to improve as his career progresses under the direction of the Garones. Reserve National Champion in the Junior Challenge Cup, Brooke Boyer was third here for Glendale Stables.

Hannah Sette put together a fantastic ride in the Missouri-Kansas Amateur Five-Gaited Stake, heading to the winner’s circle giving back number 444, Callaway’s Golden Wonder, a big pat on the neck. Mary Catherine Lyckman also had one of her best performances with On View, earning the reserve title for John Lyckman. By Desert’s Supreme Memories, On View is out of That Wonderful Girl.

Tachycardia is a medical term that refers to a rapid heartbeat. Tachycardia the road pony had hearts racing today as well, especially that of rider Leslie Mechling, as her number was called out last, denoting a National Championship victory in the AHHS Road Pony Under Saddle Medallion. An entry of Dr. Chip Pugh, Tachycardia is an exquisitely fine pony. Squatting way down and making a freaky show, she strutted her stuff with Holli McDowell heading up the victory pass. Even Shannon Ella’s silks can’t be beat this week, as Leslie was wearing the familiar maroon and gold. Avis Van Zomeren got the call once again aboard Unique Star Attraction, winning a Reserve National Championship for Deborah Jahn. By Truly Unique, Star Attraction is out of a Cassili’s Debonaire mare.

The 14-15-year-old riders were up next for their Equitation qualifier, with Taylor Newton taking the top prize. The 15-Year-Old Reserve World’s Champion this year, Taylor has been World’s Champion in her age group every year from 2005 to 2009. Ray Krussell headed up the round of honor. The Van Zomeren team had reason to cheer yet again, as they took back to back reserves, this one with Nadine Van Zomeren leaving with the red aboard Final Act.

Gypsy’s Bragging Rights has bragging rights in the Missouri-Kansas Three-Gaited Stake. By Gypsy Santana and out of Arrive At Five, Bragging Rights was ridden by Zach Duffy for Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Inc.

Apparently the combination of Shannon Ella in white and a black pleasure pony with four white socks is a winning one. For the second day in a row, it proved to be National Championship caliber. It was a unanimous victory for Ella and Nashville Cat in the AHHS Hackney Pleasure Driving Youth Medallion National Championship. The Majestic Oaks-trained entry is owned by Lisa McMackin and Charlotte Goodman. Last night’s winner was also in a different division this year in Freedom Hall. Nashville Cat was the Road Pony to Wagon World’s Champion with Lisa McMackin at the lines. Taking a second major reserve title on the year, Garrett Weiler was dressed in all black with a white tie. The gangster look worked well for him, as he drove Honest Impression to a Reserve National Championship. Earlier this year, he was the Junior Exhibitor Hackney Pleasure Driving Reserve World’s Champion of Champions for Amy Weiler and trainer Mayo Moctezuma. Knight’s Commander and Katrina Fox were third for De Reul Royalty Farms, while Pacifico’s Standing Ovation and Zach Meyer were fourth for Brown-Anderson Farms.

Peter Fenton said "Tyler DeVore has No Fear as he wins the National Championship." That sent Tyler and the Doris Crumpler entry to the winner’s circle in the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Pleasure National Championship. Debbie Foley and George Schmid joined the impressive son of The Caveat for the round of honor. No Fear is out of a Champagne Fizz mare. He was a star here this week, sweeping the division. Ashley Bryce put on another showmanship clinic with Callaway’s Dream Big to earn the reserve title for Bryce Heritage Investments. This was a repeat finish from the qualifier as well for the Jack Magill-trained team. Dream Big was also the Reserve Champion of this division at Lexington. Dominique Bowlen and CH Callaway’s Where There’s A Will were third, also a repeat from the qualifier.

While 444 was a winner earlier today, it was 555 in the Park Pleasure Stake. This was Miracle On Forty-Second Street. Matt Shiflet put in another winning ride on this big mare. When we say big, we mean 17 hands if she’s an inch. Huge works better, as they call her "Big Mama," but she wears it so well. High headed and rocked back, it opens up her front end and gives her an extra six inches of trot. She was an impressive winner for the second time this week for Miracle Stables. Winner of the Junior class, Tchaikovsky was the Reserve Champion with Paula Percoco riding hard for Jayne Romano. This team looks all sorts of ready to take on the Pleasure division in Tchaikovsky’s five-year-old campaign. Rob Turner and CH Sightline came in third for Holli Esposito.

The 16-17 Equitation blue went back to DeLovely with Alexandra Lawson. Karen Medicus and Mandy Martin were racing across the green shavings to the winner’s circle. Reserve National Champion in the UPHA Pleasure Challenge Cup and the Pleasure Medallion, Lawson was also the Reserve World’s Champion of the 16-Year-Old division. Caitlin Donohue made one of the best rides of her Equitation career, partnering with Bourne Supremacy under the Skyline Stables banner for reserve honors. She was the Silver Medalist in the 14-17 Pleasure Olympics this year.

Alex Ververeli made it two years in a row to win the AHHS 13-and-Under Road Pony Medallion National Championship with CH Heartland Victory Maker. The reigning Reserve World’s Champion of Champions was working in high style today for the Kierson team and Kathleen and Alex Ververeli. Trimmed in Kierson blue, Alex made his 11th victory pass of the year. Caroline Rainbolt Forbes was in the hunt as the Reserve National Champion behind Surprize Surprize for the Rainbow Princess Farms and DeLovely Farm. This was just the second show ring drive for this team. They qualified with a win at Mid-America Mane Event. Regal’s Special Effort and Kirstie Buerkley were third for SGF Winning Ways Farm. The biggest cheers of the day came for fourth place finisher Madison Pope with Ricky Bobby. Her cheering section was made up of all of her friends from her elementary school. They took a field trip to the horse show and made the most of it, cheering loudly for their classmate, who played along, waving and pointing to them during the lineup.

Brookhill Farms was made proud in the Junior Exhibitor Park Stake, as two products of their breeding program took the top prizes. First up was the Champion, Brookhill’s Passion Punch. Callie Smith wore her pale pink daycoat here on Pink Ribbon Day to take the tri-color home for Calico Farm and DeLovely Farm. Qualifier winner here this week, Passion Punch was the Reserve World’s Champion in her qualifier. She is by Attache’s Royal Assets and out of The Lady Pizazz BH, by CH Harlem Town. The 2008 Park World’s Champion of Champions, Brookhill’s Periday, was the Reserve Champion today with Drew Taylor Hewitt making a strong ride for James Sigmon. They moved up a spot from the qualifier to take reserve honors. By Periaptor, the strapping bay is out of the Broodmare Hall of Fame mare, CH It’s A Beautiful Day. Third went to Ashley Bryce with CH Ya-Ya. Ashley’s classes all seem to fall in the same session, as this was her third trip on the day. "Yeah! Now you’re cookin’!" called trainer Jack Magill as Bryce put on a show with the 2009 Park World’s Champion of Champions. The New York Look and Maya Manilow earned top four honors for Barbara Goodman Manilow.

The Five-Gaited Pleasure National Championship went back to Biggins Stable, as Top Recruit received top honors with Linda Beltz making the tri-color ride for Dr. and Mrs. Homer Beltz. Reserve in the qualifier, the dark bay rose to the challenge today and left with the blue, red and yellow streamers. By Slam Dunk HG, Top Recruit is out of the Santana’s Charm mare, Bianchi LCC. Apparently, Janet Thompson was not up at midnight to see the premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 at the local theater, because she was all ready to rock and roll in this one for the Reserve National Championship aboard CH Quidditch. Qualifying as the Mo/Kan Five-Gaited Pleasure winner, CH Quidditch always seems to be right at the top of these big, competitive classes. He is always consistent under the direction of his owner and trainer, Janet Thompson. The reigning World’s Champion of Champions and 18-38 qualifier winner CH Take A Guess was third with Michelle Krentz up for Mary Krentz. Rain and Kathy Capsuto Walker rounded out the top four.

With five in the Missouri-Kansas Amateur Three-Gaited Stake, it was Strange Brew and Rachel Kufeldt moving up a spot from their qualifier finish to earn the Championship for the Carol Mandernach Trust. Very much a product of the 3-T breeding program, Strange Brew is by Roseridge Heir and out of a Worthy Son mare. Qualifier winner Enchanting Hour was the Reserve Champion for Avery Bul and William Woods University. By Phi Slama Jama, Enchanting Hour is out of a Talk Of The Town mare.

The Top 10 returned to vie for their UPHA Walk-and-Trot Challenge Cup National Championship to cap off the Friday afternoon performance. Katie Palmer, Scotty Bruggeworth, Jordyn Isgrigg, Sarah Madison Hecht, Harriet Townsend, Joanna Ricci, Payton Lynn Walker, Ashley Creekmore, Zachary White, and Maisie Benfield all returned to the ring for their big dance. The Reserve National Champion was called out first. A young gentleman who enjoys football and recess, Zachary White was the reserve winner aboard Freakness. Lisa Strickland and Jacques Marais ran out to greet the always popular Zach for his round of honor. Zach was twice a Reserve World’s Champion in the 8-and-Under division in 2009. The National Champion has been practically untouchable this season. In 13 trips to the ring, Maisie Benfield has come away with the number one prize 12 times. Directed by Zubrod Stables, today’s big winner was twice a World’s Champion this year in the 9-10 division and twice a World’s Champion last year in 8-and-Under. She and The Mystery Machine have been an unstoppable force all year. They were Reserve National Champions in this event last season. Cindy Boel and Renee Zubrod ran out to greet cute-as-a-button Maisie to gather up all the trappings of a National Championship victory.

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