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UPHA/American Royal - Friday Night

Friday night here at Kansas City has ended the same way for three years in a row. Two years ago, the UPHA Pink Ribbon Class came into being, and there has only been one winner. "He really loves this ring," said owner and rider Gayle Lampe. "He" in this instance is the one and only 16-years-young CH Callaway’s Born To Win. He certainly does love it. As phenomenal as his Louisville performances have been over the years, Born To Win seems to find another gear here in Kemper Arena. And when you have that much talent, another gear is really something to talk about. He and Gayle brighten every show ring they enter, and she thanked the crowd for their applause as the judges walked the line. Peter Fenton interviewed Gayle after the class before sending her out for one last pass. Gayle dedicated her win to her good friend, who had been present in center ring for Born To Win’s previous two wins in this event, but lost her battle with cancer this past August. It was a touching moment and an important reminder that the true purpose of the event is the $82,000 raised to fund the fight against this terrible disease. The Reserve National Champion is a relatively new face on the scene, Let’s Roll. By Haven’s Hero and out of Taste Of The Town, Let’s Roll has been teamed with Jannie Giles all throughout the year for Jennifer Pitt. This big, bold gelding has really come on strong at the end of the year, finishing with a bang here tonight as one of the last two standing in the ring as Peter Fenton called the results out in reverse order. Callaway’s Cassis and Carol Hillenbrand finished in third in this fabulous nightcap for the Carriage Lane banner, while Callaway’s Annabel Allison and Debbie Foley were fourth for Silver Brook Stables.

The first class of the night was the AHHS Hackney/Harness Pony Youth Medallion National Championship. Traditionally the lightest of the Medallion finals, four talented ponies came to show tonight, with Cherry Royale and Caroline Rainbolt Forbes taking the tri-color for the Rainbow Princess Farms. Trained by Randy Cates, the dark pony with lots of white was all flash and dazzle tonight. Long the partner of Patsy Loeb, Lightning Up was the Reserve National Champion for the second time. They claimed the same title in 2007 under the direction of Rick Wallen.

The Amateur Three-Gaited National Championship was another entertaining event. Making her first trip back to Kansas City since 2006, Barbara Goodman Manilow was up for the win aboard Glenview’s Excelalante. The big and rangy Designed gelding was high in the bridle, as Kenny and Donna Smith called out instruction from the rail. The two-time defending Amateur Ladies World’s Champion of Champions is just finishing up his five-year-old campaign, having won with Barbara as a junior horse. Boston Legal has had a highly decorated career to this point in his eight-year-long life. He was purchased at three by William Shatner and came to prominence as the Junior Three-Gaited World’s Champion of Champions the next year. Two years later he was the Amateur World’s Champion of Champions with Elizabeth Shatner up. He was in that top form once again, as he was the Reserve National Champion here under the Grey Ridge banner.

Heartland Undeniable is a beautiful combination of pony power and elegance, a great duo for the cobtail division. All of that and more was on display for an Amateur Hackney Pony National Championship with Kate Frieberg driving for Reedannland. With her dad Doc Raun heading her up, Frieberg made another winning drive to take the tri-color. Undeniable is by The Postmaster and out of a Dun-Haven Crescendo mare. The Amateur World’s Champion of Champions was reserve again tonight, as Seamair Simply Awesome teamed with John Wrather under the direction of Janet Crampton. Simply Awesome is by Dun-Haven Truly Awesome and out of Heartland Simplicity.

In the American Royal Saddle Seat Equitation Championship, Brittany McGinnis was the tri-color recipient aboard Soli Deo Glori. Finishing second earlier in the day in the qualifier, Brittany put it all on the line tonight, executing a picture perfect pattern to win this Championship. She was the Triple Crown winner in 2007 as a 14-year-old rider. Winner of the 16-17 qualifier, Angela Darrow continued a magical run here in her final week as a junior exhibitor, taking the Reserve Championship with Tango Till Dawn for the Knollwood banner.

Reserve National Champion the past two years, Calvin Hobbs really tore up the track tonight with Kevin Ingram to move up that one notch to take home the tri-color for James R. Dellinger Jr. Directed by Hollow Haven, the familiar tri-color silks were blazing a trail down victory lane tonight. The Canadian-bred Alexandra was the Reserve National Champion with Jessie Pettie. They moved up a spot from their finish in the qualifier with the famous equine artist at the lines.

Go For Broke made another solid solo performance to take the Roadster to Wagon title with Michael Bacon driving for Brad Bacon. Always a fun one for the crowd, the Friday night audience got into this exhibition with gusto.

Showing for new owner recently married Andre Nicole Perry Block, Todd Miles made a blue ribbon ride on Ro & Me’s Lady Godiva in the Junior Three-Gaited class. This Junior Three-Gaited Over 15.2 World’s Champion is another young star by Trust Fund. She is out of a Catalyst mare, Buffy Bronze. Really stepping strong down the rail, she will be a sight with Andi Perry in years to come. The popular reserve winner was Hilheiry Duff. Lisa Strickland rides this obviously Supreme Heir daughter for Mimi Bahcall. They were the Junior Champions at Lexington and were the Junior Three-Gaited 15.2-and-Under World’s Champions. This is one is all up and down park trot animation for Strickland and Bahcall.

Another 16-year-old National Champion, Oliver Twist earned the Amateur Harness Pony tri-color with Charlotte Wrather at the lines, directed by Janet Crampton. Enjoying his return to the longtail division, Oliver Twist exuded elegant animation for the win. A winner of three classes just last month at Mid-America Mane Event, Creation’s Windstar was the Reserve National Champion with Muffy Ernster driving under the Gib Marcucci Stables banner. This is another grand campaigner with a long history of success in the division.

Brought along in that slow and steady Virgil Helm style, What Was I Thinking got the nod in the Junior Five-Gaited class. Reserve in the Three-Year-Old class here last year, he is reminiscent of Bravo Blue, with almost identical coloring and style. However, he is no relation to the former Five-Gaited Gelding World’s Champion other than this one is also owned by TNT Investment Enterprises, former co-owners of Bravo Blue. That enterprise looks just fine with this one in the hopper. By Desert’s Supreme Memories and out of a Caramac daughter, he got the crowd’s blood pumping on Friday night. Wendy Bruwer rode the hair off Callaway’s Heather Ann in reserve. Motoring this Callaway’s The Gipper daughter around the ring, Wendy was cheered on by husband A.J. Bruwer, who rode the mare to a Junior Five-Gaited Mare Reserve World’s Championship. Redd Crabtree was third with a slick-moving Leatherwood Stud entry, Callaway’s No More Mr. Nice Guy.

As some of her Kalarama friends cringed as traffic in this big Adult Three-Gaited Show Pleasure National Championship threatened to close in around her, Peggy Councilman kept her cool. She moved her longtime partner, CH Tax Man, out of trouble and into the open, in clear view of all three judges, who all agreed that she and her golden chestnut were the National Champions. After finishing as the Reserve Champions at Lexington, this team turned it on to close out the season with four straight wins over green shavings. Showing for a first full season in Three-Gaited Show Pleasure, Heart Of Steel and Marsha Jons look like contenders for years to come for Wallen Central and James Wallen. Champions at Rock Creek earlier this year, they were Reserve National Champions tonight. James Wallen rode this high-headed and fixy General Steel-sired entry to the Park Pleasure Championship here last year. The 18-38 qualifier winner, CH Catalyst Commander and Maguire Hall were a bundle of blonde beauty to take the yellow ribbon, while CH Sultan’s Zorba, a horse that just always looks impressive in the show ring, was fourth for Margaret Biggs. CH Undulata’s Jimmy Hollywood got a nice ovation in fifth as he made his final show ring performance with the always-smiling Careen Dubuc aboard. CH Lightnin’ Lil and Nicolle Beltz Tolliver were sixth, while Sapphire On Ice and Katherine Meints were seventh. My Stiletto and Janet Sterba rounded out the ribbon winners in this impressive class.

Regal’s Special Effort LF certainly made one with Beth Oseroff to win the AHHS Road Pony 14-17 Youth Medallion National Championship for SGF Winning Ways Farm. Road Pony Champion at Pin Oak and Oklahoma Centennial, Special Effort qualified for this event late in the year with a win at the Louisiana Fall Festival. By Dun-Haven Regal Attraction, Special Effort is out of a Canterbury Conqueror mare. The longtime partner of Mike Schallock, Heartland Picture Perfect was the Reserve National Champion with Patsy Loeb driving for Mike and Jane Schallock and Rick Wallen Stables. By Dun-Haven Bandolier, Picture Perfect is out of Heartland Lace, by Sky King.

Pre-cursor to the grand finale of Pink Ribbon Night, the Amateur Roadster to Bike National Championship went home to a dominant force in the division, Jones and Bones. Charlie Jones and Mr’s Bones have all the flair you could want in a Road Horse team. The silver-haired Jones wears his silver and black silks and rates his gelding just right all throughout the class until it’s time to go for speed. That’s when he becomes a man possessed, calling on Bones for more and more, and he always seems to get what he asks for. And Charlie loves nothing more than to show and have fun with this superstar horse. That explains why he chooses to do things like show back in the Roadster to Bike World’s Grand Championship. They were riding an undefeated season having just won the Amateur World’s Championship, and they went for broke and had a blast doing it, finishing third to two of the best going in their third class of the week. So it will be no surprise if Jones and Bones hit the ring again on Saturday night to show for the Open National Championship. Regardless of how that one comes out, they have won 19 straight Amateur classes, having not lost one since Lexington Junior League’s qualifier in 2008. And oh by the way, they came back to win the Championship there. In the spirit of the evening, Jones donated his prize money back to the Pink Ribbon cause.

Partnered with Rebekah Cloninger since 2006, Royal Count is trained by Drowning Creek Farm. On Wednesday, this combination was fourth in the Amateur qualifier. On Thursday, they were third in the Roadster Under Saddle class, and today they were Reserve National Champions. Perhaps it’s they that should be showing back in the Open Stake if this pattern holds! This fast and fun team finished their season the exact same way last year as Reserve National Champions.

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