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UPHA/American Royal - Friday Matinee

The walk-and-trotters and Exceptional Challenge Cup riders had the morning session to themselves today, qualifying for their National Final callbacks later today. First class to be tied on Friday was the Mo/Kan Country Pleasure Championship. The Straight Guy held serve as the champion here for the second year in a row for William Woods University. The high-headed chestnut gelding was ridden by Ashton Street this year, having won it with Lauren Greenwald in 2011. The qualifier placings held up, as Tell Me More was the reserve champion with Paula Hildebrand riding under the direction of Kent Swalla. Tell Me More is by Harlem’s Valentino and out of The Jazz Dancer.

The qualifier placings held in the 14-17 Show Pleasure division as well, but it was the Section One top two  finishing top two in the championship. Jessie Wuesthofen and CH Brookhill’s King Of Kool made another of their trademark tricolor rides for Glenn A. Werry Jr. and DeLovely Farm. This incredible duo has now won 37 times in their five seasons together. They are remarkably consistent, having never finished outside of the top three, ranging all over the country, from Lexington and Louisville to the Midwest and Kansas City. The new team of Maya Manilow and CH Sapphire On Ice have enjoyed their inaugural campaign. They earned their second reserve of the week for Skyline Stables and Barbara Goodman Manilow as the Reserve National Champions. Maya has been a National Champion in show pleasure the last three seasons with The Majestic, now a top contender in Junior Exhibitor Park. Section Two winner Meritage Signed Sealed Delivered was third today with Morgan Billig, followed by Odeon and Abby Mutrux in fourth for High Spirits Farm.

Why not make it three in a row for the qualifier winners to hold up as the top two in the championship. Such was the case in the Mo/Kan Amateur/Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Championship. Harry Blackstone is owned and ridden by Abby Mutrux, who flexed her horsemanship muscles just last night as the UPHA Senior Challenge Cup National Champion. Today she put on another great show to take yet another tricolor. Murphy McSemek made an excellent show on Gypsies Tramps And Thieves to claim the reserve championship for William Woods University. Sired by Gypsy Santana, this one is out of a Titleist mare. He was the winner of this class a year ago with Shannon Garcia.

It was a unanimous decision making CH Jessie Cole the Adult Country Pleasure National Champion for the second year in a row. Amanda Dellinger was the winning rider once again for James Dellinger and Hollow Haven Farm. This was their fourteenth win of the season. Two years in a row now the National Champions, this team earned the Reserve National Championship the two years before that. Victoria McHenry had perhaps her best ride yet aboard CH Bella Marietta, taking the Reserve National Championship back to Cascade Stables. Bella Marietta is by The New York Times and out of CH Marie Stonewall LS  by Longview’s Supreme. CH Callaway’s Summer Solstice finished third with Carissa Marshall, followed by CH The King’s Man and Megan Dragich.

The DeLovely team took the next two classes, as back-to-back equitation age groups came to Kemper Arena. The 13-and-Under blue went to Eleanor Rainbolt Forbes, who made a great ride the other day as well in the UPHA Junior Challenge Cup Finals aboard The Bourne Supremacy. Eleanor has had a great first full equitation campaign, winning the 13-Year-Old Equitation World’s Championship and the Junior Equitation Reserve World’s Championship. Sydney Budzinski is no stranger to high stakes classes. She and her erstwhile three-gaited partner Royal Tryst made a good show for reserve in this competitive class. Sydney was the UPHA Junior Challenge Cup Reserve National Champion, 13-and-Under Pleasure Equitation Olympics Gold Medalist, Saddle & Bridle’s Junior Pleasure Equitation Medallion National Champion, ASHA Pleasure Equitation National Champion, UPHA Junior Pleasure Challenge Cup National Champion, and 12-Year-Old Equitation World’s Champion last season!

The 14-15 blue ribbon went to Juliette Dell and her teammate, Reedann’s Rare Mystery. Showing at her first Louisville this year, she was top three in her 15-Year-Old Saddle Seat Equitation class, taking that good prize back to DeLovely and her Texas homebase. Reserve honors went back to Fairfield South with Gavin Gagnon and Kalarama’s Personality Plus. Gavin has been showing in equitation for what seems like an eternity, when in reality he is just a 15-year-old rider! Gavin was the 14-Year-Old World’s Champion a year ago and the 13-Year-Old Reserve World’s Champion the year before that.

The Junior Park Pleasure winner came back against the aged horses and more than held her own, as Nina Campbell was the Park Pleasure Champion with Andy Freseth riding for The Schedule Source. For those unaware, Nina Campbell is a world-renowned interior designer. This young mare continues a good week for horses sired by Belle Reve’e Renaissance Man. She is out of the World’s Champion Fine Harness Mare, Kalarama’s New Sensation. Andy was the winner of this tricolor a year ago with Nina Campbell’s half-brother, Three Point Shooter. A pleasure driving winner at Lexington this year with owner Priscilla Marconi, Double Or Nuttin’ was the reserve champion with Jim Lowry up. A Reserve World’s Champion in harness as a two-year-old, Double Or Nuttin’ is by Undulata’s Nutcracker and out of Beat The Odds, the Attache-sired producer of CH His Supreme Reflection and Star Sighting, also a resident of Lowry Stables. My Best Asset and Debbie Foley earned third for Doris Crumpler.

Top two in the qualifier were top two in the Junior Exhibitor Hackney Pleasure Driving Pony  Championship, as Rose Marie Wheeler continued her incredible winning streak in this division, spanning three different ponies. This one is Boxford Moment To Remember, by So Unforgettable and out of a Grand Impression mare. Majestic Oaks directs this one for Thomas Caisse. Pacifico’s Standing Ovation claimed the Reserve National Championship with Zach Meyer driving for Brown-Anderson Farms and the Hollow Haven banner. The reigning Reserve World’s Champion of Champions came back against the adult drivers at Mid-America Mane Event to take the Hackney Pleasure Driving Pony Championship. Seamair Dear Sir and Olivia Schumacher were a good third here for Kierson Farm.

Reserve National Champion last night in the UPHA Senior Challenge Cup Finals, Taylor Newton was the winner of the 16-17 Saddle Seat Equitation qualifier with CH-EQ A Sweet Sensation. This grand mare has been Taylor’s teammate for most all of her career. Shelley Fisher directs this highly decorated team. Emily Chapman made a good ride on Zagnut to claim reserve honors. Zagnut is trained by Steve and Tiffany Wheeler, while Emily is instructed by Zubrod Stables. The Arizona-based rider was the ASHA Pleasure Equitation National Champion and Saddle & Bridle’s Pleasure Equitation Medallion Reserve National Champion this year. The UPHA Morgan Senior Challenge Cup National Champion and Morgan Saddle Seat Equitation Reserve World Champion Tayler Walters was on her Morgan horse, Boston’s Big Whammy, today to claim third for Team DeLovely.

The 18-38 winner squared off with the 39-and-over winner to battle for the Five-Gaited Pleasure Championship. It was a masterful performance sending Most Outrageous and Barbara Goodman Manilow to the winner’s circle for the Skyline Stables team. This is a flashy chestnut gelding with a ton of chrome, now the winner of seven straight classes. This isn’t a division you would normally associate with Barbara, seeing her aboard high-octane walk-trot horses seems to be where she has made her mark in recent years. She has certainly got a good one for the gaited pleasure division, looking right at home in the winner’s circle. Winner of the 18-38 qualifier, CH Callaway’s Ariel was the Reserve National Champion, giving Stacey Kipper yet another great prize on the week. Five-Gaited Pleasure Champion at UPHA Chapter 5, Ariel has been teamed with Stacey ever since 2007. They have been in the gaited pleasure ranks for just over a year, making a tremendous pair of performances here this week. Rain and Kathy Capsuto Walker made a strong show for third, with CH Quidditch and Janet Thompson grabbing the Grand National money in fourth.

Size Me Up and Katie Langdon continued their winning ways on the Missouri circuit, topping the Mo/Kan Amateur/Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Championship, their sixth win of the year for James Orr. Deborah Orr rode this home-bred product to a Reserve World’s Championship last year in Ladies Under 2. Samantha Baker made sure the qualifier placings held true in the championship, earning reserve honors once again aboard Hot Couture. The entry of Ronald and Lori Baker is by Designed and out of an Attache’s Dream Weaver mare.

CH Dark Fantasia and Michelle Beyer’s trip to the winner’s circle in the Western Country Pleasure National Championship was remarkably similar to their journey a year ago. They split their qualifiers, winning one and placing reserve in the other, and came back to capture the tricolor. Saul Simental trains this team from their Rocky Mountain home base in Colorado. CH I’m Goin’ Out Tonight has been one of the best western horses going these past few seasons. Owned by Marge Brown and Nealia McCracken, the son of Desert’s Supreme Memories and Chansonette was the 2010 Reserve World’s Champion of Champions and the 2009 Reserve National Champion here at the Royal. Charming In Blue took the third place prize back to North Wind as well, with Erin German riding for Pat Johnson and Nealia McCracken.

It was a great way to end a great season for CH Redesigned and Rose Marie Wheeler. It was Rose Marie’s second victory pass of the day, and her second of the week aboard this gorgeous son of Designed and CH Harlem’s Town Scandal. Working way up high in the bridle, this Grey Ridge team made nine victory passes this season in 10 trips to the show ring. They were the 13-and-Under Show Pleasure National Champions today. Reserve in both classes this week went to CH Be Advised and Kaitlyn Creekmore for Thomas R. Brock Jr. This is a totally different type of horse, a bright chestnut with a completely separate look. The Hollow Haven team finished the season with three reserve wins over the two weeks of Louisville and Kansas City. That in and of itself is no small feat in a division that has become remarkably competitive over the past few seasons.

Next in a long list of homegrown Knollwood products appears to be Ainsley Budzinski, the UPHA Walk-and-Trot Challenge Cup National Champion. Instructed by Carol Matton, Ainsley has been brought up through the ranks of the Academy team at Knollwood, following in big sister Sydney’s World’s and National Champion-sized footprints. Nicknamed “Big Bud” and “Little Bud” by the Knollwood crew, these two sisters will be a force throughout their equitation careers, and they are both still in the 13-and-Under division. Ainsley saved her best show of the year for this afternoon’s Phase II, sending Scott Matton into tears of joy and her horse, Oh What A Feeling, to the winner’s circle. Ainsley’s answer for what superhero her horse reminded her of? Cartman from South Park and “Super Cookie Monster.” Her horse is none other than the very same horse that carried her sister to a World’s Championship and multiple National Championships a year ago. “Cartman” is now 17 years old, and has been part of the Knollwood team since 2006, when he teamed up with Nick Maupin, then Deanna Lanigan. Scott Matton counts over 20 World’s and National Championships for this veteran of many an Equitation battle.

Though she be small, she is mighty! That could be Emily Vicari’s tagline, as the mighty mite showed off all her skills aboard Imagination Station to claim the Reserve National Championship. This was the second straight year for Kierson Farm to claim this prize, as it was Hallie Ricci taking that spot in 2011. The very much in foal Jessie Richardson headed up Emily’s round of honor. The Kierson team has built an Academy program that produces many a new customer for the Saddlebred and Hackney breeds, much like the Knollwood crew. Also in the Top Ten were Cara DeForge, Haley Leighton, Reagan Campbell, Mae Luce, Remi Adams, Delaney Fitzgerald, Isabella Privitera, and Audra Grace Lee. 

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