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UPHA/American Royal - Saturday

One of the greatest individual seasons in saddle seat equitation history drew to a close at the end of the Saturday matinee. Faye Wuesthofen put the final finishing touches on one for the record books as the USEF Saddle Seat Medal National Champion. Putting on a ride that was brimming with confidence throughout the first two phases of competition, including two rail works and two workouts, she saved her best for last. In a move that hadn’t been seen in the USEF Saddle Seat Medal Finals since 1986, the judges called for a horse switch. Kate Harvey ended up the winner that year after her ride aboard Betsy Kiltz Stallings’ Magic View. It was two of the very best to grace the saddle that squared off as Wuesthofen was up against her DeLovely teammate, Ellen Medley Wright. Teamed last year with Kalu’s Can’t Stop The Magic, Wright was the NHS Good Hands National Champion and UPHA Challenge Cup National Champion with this one jewel of the Triple Crown eluding her. She was aboard Brittany McGinnis’s Soli Deo Glori for the first four go-rounds and ended up with Kiss Of The Zodiac for this final workout. For all of the equestrienne elegance of Ellen Medley Wright, Faye Wuesthofen took it to a whole new level once she was on top of Soli Deo Glori. Moving out and strutting down the rail, she put together a performance that earned her the choice of all three judges. This has become somewhat of a trend throughout the year. Lexington: Unanimous Senior Saddle Seat Equitation Champion. Louisville: Unanimous Senior Saddle Seat Equitation World’s Champion of Champions. NHS Good Hands Finals: unanimous National Champion. UPHA Challenge Cup Finals: unanimous National Champion. USEF Saddle Seat Medal Finals: unanimous National Champion. Five of the most highly sought after prizes in the business, and she won all five with all 15 first place votes. The versatile and multi-titled Ellen Medley Wright finished as the reserve national champion. Both DeLovely riders took a final turn of the track together.

The first class of this extended Saturday performance was the Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited. Showing for the first time in the three-gaited division, RF Bella Notte was the winner with Clark Clouse up for Robert and Kim Grom. By Nocturnal, Bella Notte is out of Miss Marian, an Attache’s Born Believer mare. Chris Reiser debuted a youngster with a lot of upside to pick up reserve. This was Hollywood Affair. Owned by Ed Rhoads, Hollywood Affair is by Madeira’s Caramac and out of Cuddle Up, by The Mean Machine.

CH Callaway’s Pretty Penny and Nancy Anderson completed their undefeated season for the Brown/Anderson Farms when they captured their eighth straight victory in this class. In 14 trips to the ring this year, they came away the victor all 14 times. The big bay daughter of Callaway’s Full Power never fails to deliver, and the "Queens of Country" sang a victory tune once again. Directed by Wes and Sena Bowling, Lady’s Great Night Out and Amie Rowe put together another great drive to earn the reserve national championship. They made the move to this division at Springfield Charity, earning two blues there, and they have consistently been in the top ribbons since then.

The under saddle version of the AHHS Hackney Pleasure Pony Medallion was held here on the final day of the American Royal as the driving division was Friday, allowing for cross entries. Reserve in harness Friday, Queensbury Debutante moved up a slot with the saddle on to take the national championship. Patsy Loeb was at the lines Friday and in the irons this afternoon to earn the tricolor. Loeb had never won a Medallion National Championship but had been reserve with different entries in 13 previous national championships. A winner all over the Midwest this year, Reedann’s Special Delivery was reserve with Avis Van Zomeren for parents and trainers, Mark and Renae Van Zomeren.

Ashley Creekmore finished out the year on a high note when she topped a nice field of five in the UPHA 10 & Under Walk & Trot Challenge Cup. Directed by Hollow Haven, Creekmore finished in the top ribbons all throughout the season, winning twice at Tanbark and once at Asheville. Zack White finished in reserve in this one. Always a crowd favorite, White received his usual round of cheers, just as he had in finishing second twice at Louisville under the direction of Ray Krussell.

Heartland Expectation closed out her season just as she had begun it, with Lynda Freseth driving down victory lane. Amateur Harness Pony World’s Champion of Champions with Mary Gise, she was the Harness Pony National Champion for owner Priscilla Gise. John Wrather and Seamair Sensation moved up a slot from their 2008 finish to earn the reserve national championship for Charlotte Wrather and trainer Janet Crampton.

Tammy DeVore put a fantastic youngster on display in the Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited class when she sent Twice The Dice to the winner’s circle as the unanimous choice of the judges for Rolfe and Susan Hanna. By Supremacy’s High Time and out of a Harlem’s Hot Dice mare, Twice The Dice debuted to a blue at Shelbyville earlier this year. He is a racking machine, as all of DeVore’s charges seem to be, and he set this Saturday crowd ablaze. The Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited Mare Reserve World’s Champion, Thunder’s Fair Lady, was reserve for Smith Lilly and Cross Timbers Enterprises. By Attache’s Thunderbolt, she is out of a Royal Return mare.

Cowboy Dave Lopez had his western mount, Willie Angel, in top form to win the Western Country Pleasure National Championship. Owned by Dave and daughter Alyssa Lopez, Willie Angel is a pretty bay gelding who has won top ribbons at every show he has been to this year. The big, chestnut partner of Jessica Moctezuma, I’m Goin’ Out Tonight was the reserve national champion for Margory Brown and Nealia McCracken. It was a father/daughter team in first and a mother/daughter team in second.

Billy Jewel’s debut performances in Kemper Arena left no doubt about it when he and Caroline Rose were the unanimous winners of the Five-Gaited Pony National Championship for Clara McCool and trainers David and Kristen Cater. This shimmering blonde stunner was once again in high style, wearing yet another tricolor as the Five-Gaited Pony Triple Crown winner. Teamed once again with Tyler Miles, Moon Charmer was the reserve national champion for Belle Owen. They were also reserve in the qualifier. Their previous ride to that was as the Five-Gaited Pony Reserve World’s Champions in 2008.

Just a three-year-old, Be My Cover Girl was the Junior Harness Pony winner with Larry Bacon at the whip for Mr. and Mrs. Art Birtcher. By Heartland Code Of Honor, this filly is out of a Heartland Triple Crown mare. Reserve in the amateur qualifier earlier in the week, Anna Marie Knipp was reserve here as well with Estoban, a four-year-old son of Mr. Amigo.

With last season’s move to the pleasure driving ranks, the career of CH Titleist Symbol and Rachel Machamer went through the roof. They captured their second consecutive ASHAF Youth Pleasure Driving Challenge National Championship under the Hollow Haven banner. This always elegant team earned the Junior Exhibitor Pleasure Driving Reserve World’s Championship in August. Coming from the deserts of Arizona to make their American Royal debut together, Hannah Rahav and CH J. Peterman were the reserve national champions under the direction of Roman and Cayce Marcos.

Jayne Romano and CH Candle Dan put together a fantastic show under the direction of Jan Lukens to top a field of the very best in the Pleasure Driving National Championship. It was their ninth victory pass of the year together and certainly one to be remembered for this topnotch combination. The beautiful black mare, CH Open Arms, was reserve with Linda Fischer driving for Griffin T. Day. "Amy" was the national champion a year ago under the Grey Ridge banner. Coco Loco and Corbin Smith put on another good show to earn third for Fritz and Candace Meili.

The hot pink coat once again reigned supreme in the Three-Gaited Pony ranks when Hunter Chancellor made the final pass with CH The Attache Orchid. Their 12-class winning streak started here a year ago when they won their qualifier and championship. In between, wins at Pro-Am, Asheville, Lexington and Louisville were the order of business for Chancellor and "Trixie." Long a star in this division, Manhattan’s Irish Cream was the reserve national champion with Dylan Hines. They were 14-17 world’s champions this year under the direction of Tammy DeVore.

Lovie Smith and Muffy Ernster took a nice solo drive to win the Junior Hackney Pony class. This Nabucco son was the reserve national champion in the Classic section with Gib Marcucci.

Long the partner of Sarah Luft, part of Wisconsin’s own Worzalla clan, The Bourne Supremacy is now teamed with Caitlin Donohue under the direction of Kenny and Donna Smith. High-headed and never backing an ear, this star combination debuted to two blues at Wisconsin Futurity. With a comeback ride this afternoon, they earned the national championship honors. The 13 and under World’s Champion of Champions Callaway’s Winning Number was the reserve national champion here for Alice Rowland and Ever Glades Farm. With Missy Hughes guiding them, this team has had an absolutely stellar season.

The defending national champions did just that in the Adult Country Pleasure Championship and did it in unanimous style. Second in the qualifier, their only loss of the year, League Of Nations and Carol Hillenbrand stepped up to the challenge and brought the tricolor back to the Carriage Lane curtains. It was another in a series of consistently brilliant goes for this scintillating team. The beautiful gray newcomer to the division, Jessie Cole, was the reserve national champion for Amanda Dellinger and owner James R. Dellinger Jr. Trained by Hollow Haven, Jessie Cole and Dellinger put on one of their best shows to take reserve. Qualifier winners Sir Winston C and Allyson Ehle rounded out the top three in this fantastically deep class.

The Four-Year-Old Road Pony Reserve World’s Champion Twin Willow’s McDreamy hit his stride in the Junior Road Pony class to take the blue for Dr. Alan Raun and Deborah Jahn. Holli McDowell and Heartland Dressed To Impress were reserve for Mr. and Mrs. Darrel Kolkman.

Two third place winners from Freedom Hall squared off in the Three-Year-Old Fine Harness class. Darrell Case had the national futurity third place recipient looking blue ribbon ready with Tchaikovsky as the winner for Cherokee Saddlebreds LLC. By Undulata’s Nutcracker, he is out of the grand show mare, CH Heir Style. Third in his stallion/gelding class at Louisville, Roselane’s Ready To Jet was reserve here with Mike Roberts driving for Frank Cook. By Buck’s Co-Star, Ready To Jet is out of a Callaway’s Blue Norther mare.

Possibly the best class of the Saturday matinee, the Amateur Park Championship hit the ring with a field of great ones. All three judges selected one horse as the greatest of them all, and it would be difficult to argue with CH His Supreme Reflection. Winner of this class a year ago and the open championship the year before, His Supreme Reflection and Jacqueline Manzo are also the two-time defending world’s champions in the Amateur Park ranks. Directed by Tom Sworm, His Supreme Reflection is owned by Kimberly Jones. He exemplifies this division, moving with athleticism and presence, ears pricked forward as he marches down the rail. Making another catch ride, Mandy Martin took the reserve tricolor with Princess Mara, last year’s Open Park Champion. Trained by DeLovely and owned by Joellen Fisher Blount, the full sister to Sir William Robert looked right at home under saddle once again. Major Buck and Kathryne Stief were a hard-earned third for Jim and Fay Lowry.

Alex Ververeli and Heartland Victory Maker continued their undefeated beginning together with a unanimous win in the Junior Exhibitor Road Pony class. In their fifth trip to the ring, they looked like grizzled veterans of the road pony wars, working through the traffic in this field of seven for Kierson Farm. Surprize Surprize and Kirstie Buerkley were second in this repeat of the placings from the AHHS 13 & Under Road Pony Medallion National Championship. Surprize Surprize is owned by Donna Whatley and trained at Majestic Oaks.

Kaitlyn Creekmore took her cue from little sister Ashley when she took a round of honor, winning the 10 & Under Equitation class for Hollow Haven. She was the reserve world’s champion in this age group in August. Shenia Beyer finished in reserve in her first foray into the cantering ranks.

The stage was set for a showdown, and so was the crowd in attendance. The biggest audience of the week filed in to get ready for the Saturday night performance, with those that were coming in close to the 7 p.m. start time quickening their stride to not miss a second of the Fine Harness National Championship faceoff that topped the schedule of events. What they forgot was the event that was not on the schedule, the honoring of all of the Equitation Champions from the week. Into the ring came all of the winners and reserve champions from the week’s events, along with their parents. Pete Fenton made special note of the contribution of the horse show parents, who make this dream a reality for their children.

Vern Serex’s call heralded in one of the most anticipated classes of the horse show season. The mare and the gelding came to the ring and got the crowd going from the very start. The DaVinci Code slinked her way down that first rail to the delight of those in attendance and watching at home, oozing that wild charisma that has become her calling card. Kathy Capsuto-Walker had her moving on more than she did at Louisville for the Paula Schmidt and Kathy Capsuto Trust. Geof Dixon is also part of the training team that had this phenomenal talent firing on all cylinders. She was a sight, exciting the fans and judges alike to take the national championship. Previously undefeated in Kemper Arena, CH Casteldream is just that, a champion. Fine Harness National Champion in 2007 and 2008, the chestnut son of Castle Bravo had his big park trot on display for Larry Hodge and Hillcroft Farm. Just missing that elusive third jewel of the Triple Crown, the world’s grand champion made another fantastic performance for the Kalarama team.

An absolutely elated Sara McDonald was in tears when she prepared for her round of honor with Conway, the Ladies Three-Gaited National Champion. Reaching for the stars and looking through the bridle, this Kalarama-trained team capped off their first season in the walk-trot division with their biggest win to date. Thunder Cloud Nine, who was the Three-Gaited Reserve National Champion last year, was the reserve champion here with Erin Obenauf aboard. Winners of the Ladies 15.2 & Under Three-Gaited qualifier, they made one of their best performances of the year. Stonecroft Nightlight and Fay Lowry were third for Karrie Graham and Dwaine Kinderknecht, while Kent Brockman and Bridget McNeese were fourth for Catherine Carter McNeese.

It was a four-horse workout in the Amateur Five-Gaited National Championship when Ava Gardner, Callaway’s Carnival In Rio, Hey Joe and Worthy’s World To Know headed back to the rail for additional work. If you want to see a textbook example of raising your game in a big moment, then look no further than Ashley Alden and Ava Gardner. Directed by Tammy DeVore, this team finished a somewhat disappointing fourth in the amateur mares qualifier, a division they had won at Lexington and Louisville this year. They came back with a vengeance and put together a solid go in the first work. This CF First Night Out mare exploded in the workout. The more they went, the more Alden asked of her, the more she gave. She was the choice of all three judges as the national champion. In their first full season together, Callaway’s Carnival In Rio and Sally McClure Jackson have come together nicely under the direction of Melissa Moore. Just a five-year-old, Carnival In Rio is by Callaway’s Blue Norther and out of a Supreme Heir mare. He always seems to have his head set in just the right way as he rolls down the rail. They went twice to pick up a hard-earned reserve national championship. Cyd Simmons is one that you would not want to bet against when the chips are down. She is going to ride the hair off of any horse she shows and consistently gets the best from each and every one of them. She was third with the second DeVore-trained entry, Hey Joe, in the final field of four. A recent purchase, Worthy’s World To Know debuted at Kansas City with Careen DuBuc for Phoenix Prophecies LLC. Under the direction of Rob Turner, the only one to have shown this For What It’s Worth gelding prior to this week, they finished fourth, showing great promise with a winter ahead to work out all the kinks of a new team.

Mother Mary has been a show horse since the day she was born. She has shown in at least one class every year of her now seven-year-old life. Her first Louisville blue came with Kenny Wheeler making a world’s championship lead in the Amateur Two-Year-Old In-Hand Futurity. Next up was a National Three-Year-Old Park Pleasure Futurity World’s Championship with Smith Lilly. She was the Junior Fine Harness Mare World’s Champion the following year. Two years later she returned on that one special Saturday night that turns horses into legends, winning the Fine Harness World’s Grand Championship with Sandy Lilly. Now with Anita Simpson at the lines in 2009, she has continued her winning ways, earning the Amateur Fine Harness National Championship with the support of all three judges. Driven to the Amateur Gentlemen’s World’s Championship by David Rudder earlier this year, Heir’s Treasure was the reserve national champion for James Miller and Hillcroft Farm. This dynamic Supreme Heir product matches the style of his debonair driver.

How many world’s championship titles can one ring full of horses hold? The Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited National Championship went a long way to try to figure that out. With two to his credit, I’m McDreamy and the hard-riding, yet cute as a button Hunter Chancellor took a unanimous decision as the national champions. Wearing the stark white formal coat that has become her signature with McDreamy, Chancellor put on a show for the DeLovely banner and owner Steven Chancellor. I’m McDreamy was the Junior Three-Gaited winner here last year with Kim Cowart doing the honors for the Chancellors and Team DeLovely. The reserve national champion was none other than CH An Heir About Her. Her first seven trips across Louisville’s green shavings led to seven world’s championships, including three Saturday night world’s grand championships. Marjorie Townsend was aboard for Ever Glades Farm, defending the home turf of Kansas City for the Rowland family. With three of his own world’s championships, CH Ostentatiously was third with Brittany McGinnis. Winners of the 15-17 qualifier, this was the exact same result as last year for this DeLovely team. In fourth was the great CH Yes It’s True, a 12-time world’s champion and the 2001 world’s grand champion. Ridden once again by Karly Morgan for Fred and Pam Morgan, this 15-year-young star always looks ready to go another class under the Mercer Springs banner. Talk about talent, this class had all that and more.

The two-time defending national champion made it three in a row when Stephany Monteleone and Mastercraft’s Namesake LF were crowned Hackney Pleasure Driving National Champions. Also the champions at Lexington Junior League this year, this was their 11th victory pass of the year. Namesake left the ring as the world’s champion of champions in 2007 and 2008. Directed by Abel Vega, he is one of the best to ever grace this division. Linda Fischer picked up a second reserve national championship catch drive of the day when she guided Heartland Breaking News to a reserve win for Kay Marschel. Also second in the qualifier, this team is directed by Dena Lopez. Breaking News was a world’s champion in his qualifier this year with owner Kay Marschel at the lines.

The last time CH Our Charming Lady left the ring with anything other than a blue ribbon was right here in Kemper Arena in 2006. She was purchased the following off-season by Jack and Donna Finch and met her new partner, Mary Marcum Orr. The rest, as they say, is history. As the unanimous Three-Gaited National Champion stood waiting to make her victory pass, Peter Fenton went through a list of her accolades and achievements. It has now been 34 trips to the show ring and 34 blue ribbon rides for this incredible team. This mare never backs an ear, never misses a step. She is as consistently brilliant as they come. Twice now the world’s grand champion, she earned her first Triple Crown in the open division, having done it in the ladies ranks in 2007. A newcomer on the walk-trot scene, Let’s Talk is making some serious waves for Dena Lopez. Owned by Dena and daughter Alyssa, he was the reserve national champion. By Sir William Robert and out of Soft Spoken, by CH The Talk Of The Town, Let’s Talk’s first show without a mane could not have gone much better. The crowd also showed its appreciation to VHF Belle Epoque, the under 15.2 winner with owner/trainer Robert Gardiner making one of their best performances to date.

It was a repeat finish from the qualifier in the Park Championship when the undefeated three-year-old filly, Nutcracker Ballerina, earned the tricolor for Clark Clouse and Bullet Concrete Materials. Impossibly high in the bridle and trotting to her nose, this superstar in the making will make waves whichever direction she goes in 2010. An entry of Priscilla Marconi’s Tri-Color Ventures, Designed For Blue was reserve with Jim Lowry aboard. Junior Park winner at Midwest and Blue Ridge, this four-year-old by Designed is out of a Callaway’s Blue Norther mare, Swak. Smith Lilly was third with ASHAV’s Park Champion, Reedann’s Heir To Glory, for Gary and Tammie Kale.

Debuting this week with Misdee Wrigley Miller, Trio Bolero G earned the Roadster to Bike National Championship for Hillcroft Farm. Qualifying in the amateur division, Miller told Amateur National Champion Charlie Jones that she had watched him closely in last night’s tricolor drive and learned all his tricks. She used them wisely when she sped down victory lane on a tricolor pass of her own. Jones’s own Beaucourt Boy was the reserve national champion with Brad Lukens driving.

To say Hunter Chancellor had a good week would be an understatement. She came in against "the big kids" from the older age division to win a second consecutive Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited National Championship with CH Platinum’s New Look. The white-faced son of For What It’s Worth put all of his athletic talent and ability on display, making a striking season-capping performance. Tyler DeVore rides with the go-for-broke style of his mom that always gets the crowd going. He was out with the ladies with Out With The Ladies, earning the reserve national championship in what was possibly his best show with this CF First Night Out son. Angela Darrow capped off her junior exhibitor career in third with Freaky Links. They were champions at Lexington as well as reserve world’s champion of champions. It was phenomenal final year for Darrow. Older age group winners Stravinsky and Brittany McGinnis rounded out the top four.

In a field of three, Romeo’s Kristy Lee LF continued her winning ways to top the Road Pony National Championship with Andy Freseth driving for Priscilla Gise. They teamed up for the UPHA Road Pony Classic National Championship a year ago. So fine and pretty, she always powers down the rail, making her a rare combination of elegance and athleticism. Mastercraft’s Julie LF was the reserve national champion for Samuel Garcia. By Mastercraft and out of Conqueror’s Juliet LF, she was the UPHA Hackney Pleasure Driving Classic Reserve National Champion in 2005.

The Five-Gaited National Championship capped off an absolutely awesome night of horse show, sending the Kansas City crowd into the cool evening air on a high note. With a field of seven answering the call, everyone in attendance was ready for anything. After the first work and conformation judging was completed, the judges conferred and sent three horses back to the rail. The world’s grand champion was given a chance to make the show he is capable of when Courageous Lord was called out with Merrill Murray. He made the most of his opportunity, putting on a stellar show in the second work. Our Sweet Addison went back for more work with Kenny Smith aboard. This mare never backed an ear while she rolled down the rail in high style. The Daily Lottery made the turn to the left out of the line with John Conatser in the saddle. He made a wide-open show in the workout, powering higher and higher, faster and faster, closing with the same energy he came to the ring with. The Deknatels certainly know what they have in "Studley," and as the crowd filtered out following a rousing round of honor by Conatser and The Daily Lottery, Gabe Deknatel stood in their box seats in almost a receiving line of sorts, accepting congratulations after congratulations on a stunning performance by his future teammate. Deknatel had qualified The Daily Lottery as the Amateur Five-Gaited Stallion/Gelding winner before the decision was made to go for it all in the open stake.

Reserve National Championship honors went to Our Sweet Addison and Kenny Smith for Barbara Goodman Manilow. This beautiful mare with a white stripe is by Desert’s Supreme Admiral. She was a sight to behold, never missing a beat in either go. What more can be said about Merrill Murray and Courageous Lord? Winners at Lexington Junior League and Louisville, the world’s grand champions took a shot at the Triple Crown, always a difficult feat to accomplish, especially for an open horse. Getting a horse’s peak performance three different times throughout the year is a difficult task, and Murray very nearly got it done for Marsha Shepard and Bill Carrington. Finishing third in this national championship may not have been the end to the season they were looking for, but the job that Murray has done this year has been second to none.

With that, the UPHA/American Royal National Championship drew to a close, with a thrilling showcase of some of the very best in the business. The opinion of all seemed to be that it was a vastly entertaining week of horse showing with a thrilling final night.

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