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UPHA/American Royal - Saturday Evening

The final night of the show season began with a win for Laurel Nelson and Imperiaptor in the Ladies Amateur Five-Gaited National Championship. Winning a gaited class for the first time since Shelby County Fair 2009, Imperiaptor made a strong return to the division this week after his spectacularly successful career as a Park horse. By Periaptor and out of UF Playboy’s Debutante, Imperiaptor’s re-reinvention was a solid one with tricolor results. The beautiful chestnut mare, My Rosalita, was the winner of the Junior Five-Gaited class here a year ago. She and Barbara Goodman Manilow teamed up tonight for a Reserve National Championship from Skyline Stables. Amateur Ladies Five-Gaited Mare Reserve World’s Champions this year, Barbara and My Rosalita were the champions of this division at Midwest Charity.

Alex Rudder scored the unanimous win in the 13-and-Under Three-Gaited National Championship, running her undefeated career at the American Royal to two wins now. What she lacked in Kemper Arena experience, she more than made up for in style, showing CH The Proof Is In The Heir under the direction of Wingswept Farm. Winning for the ninth time on the season, they matched their mark from a year ago, taking nine victory passes in 2012 as well. The 2012 World’s Champion of Champions in this division made another strong campaign this year, finishing up as the Reserve National Champion. Bubble Bath was ridden to this honor by Laura Plant for Tom and Patsy Plant. High Caliber Stables directs this team that earned the same reserve win at Lexington this year.

Longtime family friend and also the tabulator in center ring, Beth Snider presented the Parade Horse tricolor to Toni Knight Utoft and Marty McFly. The Parade Horse debut for Marty McFly came just the other night with a reserve win. Tonight, he had it all figured out to claim the top prize for Seven Oaks Farm. Stonewall’s Ebony Angel and Alicia Harris were reserve champions for Dr. Cathy Harris. Top three in this class a year ago, Ebony Angel moved up one notch this time for the reserve tricolor.

The Fine Harness Championship had everyone on the edge of their seats, with an incredible level of competition. There were also 10 horses in the ring together. It got rather hairy, with the second harness accident of the day. One of the exhibitors had an equipment malfunction, causing the harness cart to hit the horse in the hocks with every stride, leading to said horse taking off at a run. The driver held on, while announcer Peter Fenton spoke to her directly while also working the rest of the ring into position. Ringmaster John Frye made the save, grabbing a line as the horse went by and grinding him to a halt. If there were ever a case in point for why horse shows need to have professionals in those two positions, this was it. Kudos also to driver Annika Bruggeworth for keeping her cool and doing a good job of not letting this turn into what could have been a bad situation.

While some of the momentum was knocked out of the sails of the class, the talent picked right back up, with Wild Carrissima winning a third-straight unanimous National Championship. Bret Day drove once again for Dr. Chip Pugh. This was the 20th win of Bret’s career with the wild-going bay gelding. Solomon Gallegos was recognized as the caretaker of the winner with a blue ribbon of his own. He was also the caretaker of World’s Grand Champions Sky Watch, Memories Citation, and Wild-Eyed and Wicked, not too bad a resume. The beautiful flaxen mare, Our Brilliant Belle, earned the Reserve National Championship with Lynda Freseth driving for Priscilla Gise. The Ladies Fine Harness World’s Champion of Champions this year, Lynda and Brilliant Belle were Reserve World’s Grand Champions in 2012. Vienna Waltz and John Conatser made a good showing in third, followed by Roselane’s Clemency and Lisa Strickland in a well-received fourth. When is the last time there has been this much talent in the ring at one time?

Kentucky Proud came through once again with the promise he showed in Freedom Hall, winning the Ladies Three-Gaited National Championship with Ceil Wheeler. The entry of Ceil and Kenny Wheeler is trained by Mercer Springs Farm. Smith Lilly rode him to the Open Three-Gaited Over 15.2 World’s Championship this year. The son of Undulata’s Nutcracker and Enchanting Elizabeth was twice a winner at ASHAV this year as well. Winner of the Over 2 qualifier, Brookhill’s Glam Slam was the Reserve National Champion for owner and rider Elizabeth Ghareeb. Bret Day trains this beauty of a black mare. These two have been up high in the prizes all year long. They debuted together here just a year ago.

At 17 years old, Impress My Daddy continues to impress with the longevity of his horse show attitude and presence. He always lights up when he hits the ring. Juliet McDonald drove him to the Harness Pony National Championship tonight for Majestic Oaks. This was Impress My Daddy’s third year in a row to win this title, but all with different drivers! Chip Wise and Front Page News park trotted out with the Reserve National Championship. Brian Yount directs this team. They are often found in the winner’s circle all over the Ohio show circuit.

It is safe to say that CH The Daily Lottery and Gabe Deknatel have a special bond. That special bond began right here in 2009, when Gabe rode “Dudley” to the Amateur Five-Gaited Stallion/Gelding qualifier blue. John Conatser showed him back in the championship that year to win the Five-Gaited National Championship. Since then, Gabe and Daily Lottery have been nearly untouchable. The three-time Amateur Five-Gaited World’s Champions Of Champions added a third Amateur Five-Gaited National Championship tonight. Callaway’s Karla and Jo Ann Griffin made Debbie Foley proud as the Reserve National Champions. They were also Reserve Champions at Midwest and Blue Ridge this year. Winner of her Amateur Mare qualifier, Karla is by Callaway’s Blue Norther and out of Callaway’s Twice The Spice (BHF). Mark Of Perfection was a popular third with Jessica Curl, followed by Finest Hour Spent and Danny Cummins in fourth.

Magical Promises and Anna Marie Knipp put on a smashing show to win the Amateur Fine Harness National Championship. The big chestnut mare had her fastball working again tonight for High Spirits Farm. The amateur champions at Lexington and Midwest as well, Anna Marie and Magical Promises have been a formidable team in this their first year together. Misdee Wrigley Miller added a Reserve National Championship to her two blue ribbons won already with HS Baby Steps. The three-time World’s Champion mare is by Sir William Robert and out of I Am The Dream, by Attache’s Born Believer. Trained by Kalarama Farm, she was the Junior World’s Champion of Champions this year for Hillcroft.

In the battle of the bays, it was the mare that won tonight, avenging the qualifier placings with a win in the championship round. CH Swing An Singin and Catherine Wheeler debuted here just last year, winning the 13-and-Under Three-Gaited National Championship. Mom Ceil clearly couldn’t win the battle of who was going to show the mare this year, as Catherine got to show the phenomenal daughter of Designed and Reedann’s Supreme Glow all season. Even with the move to the older age group, the results were the same, another National Championship, this time in the 14-17 Three-Gaited division. Qualifier winners Platinum Moon and Hunter Chancellor settled for the Reserve National Championship tonight for Steven Chancellor. The DeLovely team had not been beaten in a tricolor round all season long, including the 14-17 Three-Gaited World’s Championship and wins at Asheville and Midwest. Watermark’s A Kiss For Luck and Caroline Rainbolt Forbes finished third for the Rainbow Princess Farms, staying in the top prizes as they have all year long.

Just a five-year-old, Hawkeye’s Dream Boy has certainly enjoyed great success in his first season in the show ring. With a chiseled look and beautiful way of moving, he and Toni Nastali made fast friends this season, winning 10 times for the Majestic Oaks team. They added the Hackney Pleasure Driving National Championship to their list of 2013 accolades. They had also been the champions at Devon, ASHAV, and in a three-pony workout at Midwest. Faydelle Schott got her usual rousing round of applause and greeted it with that sweet as can be smile. She was the reserve champion here with Extremely Supreme, a pony that won eight times on the year for Faydelle and trainer Bob Phillips.

It couldn’t have been scripted any better for Robert Gardiner and the great VHF Belle Epoque. They went out on top as the Three-Gaited National Champions. It was a final show ring appearance for the grand mare, grabbing her third win of this class. The sometimes-fractious campaigner has been an unequivocal labor of love for Robert Gardiner. She was given to him as a young horse, and he has been one of only two people to ever show her. By Bluebell Banner and out of Broome Street, by I’m A New Yorker, Belle Epoque has won 27 times in her career. She has also garnered 11 reserves, including the 2009 Reserve World’s Grand Championship. She has twice been the 15.2-and-Under Three-Gaited World’s Champion, including Robert’s breakout year of 2008, when he won both the Under 2 and Over 2 Stakes. He speaks of this mare in reverential tones, and you can tell that his bond with her goes deep. She has given him some of the most memorable moments of his life, and you can tell in his voice how much he appreciates her and the ride that she has taken him on. She left the ring for the final time with tricolor in tow and to the roar of a standing ovation. The 14-year-old mare was pushed every step of the way by the reigning World’s Grand Champion, Sir Silver Knight. Melinda Moore put in a solid show for Annika Bruggeworth, settling this time for the Reserve National Championship. It has been a tremendous season for this dark chestnut stallion, coming up just one spot shy of the Triple Crown.  This team also represented the American Saddlebred at the highest level winning the Alltech National Horse Show Three-Gaited Grand Championship just two weeks ago.

Designed By You moved up one spot from his qualifier placing to earn the tricolor in the Three-Gaited Park National Championship. Bob Brison once again did the honors for Linda Stone. These two were top three in their Louisville qualifier and reserve champions at Midwest Charity. Designed By You is by Doubletrees Classic Design and out of CH The New You. With only a t-shirt toss in between the two classes, Robert Gardiner was back again to earn the Reserve National Championship. This time he rode Anna Wintour for the High Spirits Farm. By A Superb Manhattan and out of CF Obscure Night, Anna Wintour switched over for this show from the Pleasure Driving ranks where she had wonderful success this season.

We will just go ahead and say it without doing all the research. James and Misdee Miller are most likely the first husband-wife team to sweep the Amateur and Open Roadster to Bike Championships at a Triple Crown horse show. Misdee provided the cherry on top of a great week tonight with a corner-skidding win with Live Action. The Open National Champion is trained by Kalarama Farm and owned by Hillcroft Farm. Named after “Turtleman” Ernie Brown Jr., Live Action got his name as Turtleman’s reward for capturing a snake and a possum at Kalarama Farm on his show “Call of the Wildman.” Bill Shatner drove the second half of his road horse duo to earn the Reserve National Championship. Also trained by DeLovely and owned by Belle Reve, Taking Care Of Business was the winner of the qualifier earlier this week. He was also the open champion at Midwest and Lexington.

The second standing ovation of the night went to another tremendous campaigner saying goodbye to the show ring. This one also went out on top, as CH Platinum’s New Look racked off into the sunset with the 14-17 Five-Gaited National Championship. Hunter Chancellor’s final performance as a junior exhibitor came with a tricolor prize, as Todd Miles headed up “Tonto’s” final round of honor. By For What It’s Worth and out of Can’t Touch Her, by Attache’s Born Believer, Platinum’s New Look has accumulated 57 Saddlebred Record “CH” points. Tonight marked his 51st victory pass. It was an incredible run for the 11-year-old chestnut gelding with all the chrome. He will be missed in the show ring by every fan of a game show horse. Another grand campaigner who stays at the top of his game year in and year out, CH Freaky Links was the Reserve National Champion tonight. At 13 years old, he teamed up once again with Jamie Winquist for a great ride. Sally Winquist owns the Knollwood-trained entry who was the champion of this division at Mid-America Mane Event just a few weeks ago. Ashlyn’s Voodoo Charm and Eleanor Rainbolt Forbes were third, followed by He’s Full Throttle and Drew Taylor Hewitt. Drew Taylor was also making her final appearance as a juvenile after a tremendously successful career.

While it is the Hackney Pony Championship that is the penultimate event at the World’s Championship Horse Show, the Roadster Pony National Championship holds that position of esteem at the Royal. The current 50-52” World’s Champion and the 2012 Reserve World’s Grand Champion just keeps chugging along like a mini freight train. CH Stat and Maureen Campbell were the victors for former owner Dr. Chip Pugh, his second big win on the night. We say “former” as Doug Mesker was announced as the new owner. This was the ninth win of the year for the grand pony. The three-time defending National Champion got a nice ovation, as Twin Willow’s McDreamy was the choice as Reserve National Champion tonight with Dr. Alan Raun. The entry of Deborah Jahn also earned title of Road Pony World’s Grand Champion this year. McDreamy looks as if Doc Raun has installed a turbo button, where he can cool his jets in the corner and then look shot out of a cannon on the straightaway.

Why not cap off an epic year with one more title? Debbie Foley took the reigning World’s Grand Champion into this week for the first time in her life. Her first winner of the gaited stake served her well once again this week, as CH Callaway’s Annabel Allison earned the Five-Gaited National Championship, having won the mare stake earlier in the show. Annabel Allison is by CH Caramac and out of Callaway’s Love Lucy. As Belle Epoque has been a labor of love for Robert Gardiner. Annabel Allison has been much the same for Debbie. Just nine years old, Annabel Allison has plenty more horse show left in her. Her trail to Louisville 2014 now leads outside for a bit, where she can enjoy some turnout time and relax. She has certainly earned it! Always a crowd pleaser with his big motor and bright look, It’s Double O Deuce was the Reserve National Champion with Melissa Moore. The entry of SGF Winning Ways Farm earned his second straight reserve win in this class. Five-Gaited Champion at Lexington the last two years, Double O Deuce is just a joy to watch do his job and tonight he was simply sensational the first way of the ring. Jack Magill and the giant bay gelding I’ll Bet You finished in third for Kathy Cummins. Magill and the newcomer mixed it up with the veterans to make it an entertaining class to close out another UPHA/American Royal National Championship,

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