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UPHA/American Royal - Saturday Matinee

It was a National Championship in a new division for CH I’m Something Wicked and McGee Bosworth. The entry of Pair of Jacks Stables is by Santana’s Charm and out of a Penny’s Superior Stonewall mare. The chestnut gelding with lots of flair is trained by High Caliber Stables. Also the winners of the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Pleasure qualifier, this team will be one to reckon with in the coming season. Abby Mutrux moved up to take the Reserve National Championship prize aboard Start The Game. An entry of Equilateral Enterprise Inc, Start The Game is trained by Lowry Stables. Just a four-year-old, he is by Champagne’s Show Time and out of Melody Cascade. Stonecroft Rumor Has It and Jessica Cloud picked up the third prize, with CH A Dream In Color and Alexandra Bowlen fourth.

There was a scary moment in the Three-Year-Old Fine Harness class, as cart and horse were separated by a shaft through the lattice that lines the ring. Through the lattice and around one of the pipes that holds the hockey boards in place is a bad place for a shaft to go. Thankfully everyone both human and equine was ok. Rick Wallen rose above the fray to drive to the win with Axel’s Dark Knight. The liver chestnut gelding is by Our Axel Rose and out of Callaway’s Pretty In Pink, by Caramac. Dona Merg owns this Wisconsin-based entry. T.J. Santaferra was reserve here with Drizzle for the Kathy Capsuto Trust. This was a debut for the filly by I’m A New Yorker out of the grand harness mare, CH Dancing Up A Storm LCC. The last time these two were crossed? The horse was named Rain.

A Dazzling Diva might have been named after Sallie Mason Wheeler, and they do make a great team together. They earned a National Championship here today in the Road Pony Under Saddle division. Owned by Maureen Campbell, Dazzling Diva has long been a good one. She was the 2009 UPHA Road Pony Classic National Champion and the 2011 Reserve World’s Grand Champion. Now that Madison Pope knows that she is the proud new owner of Perfect Offering, she jumped up the prizes to claim the Reserve National Championship. Surprised with this news in the lineup the other day, Madison gave a huge hug to her new teammate. They made their first official ride a great one, with Kent Swalla heading them up.

The qualifier placings held up in the Country Pleasure Driving National Championship, with CH Callaway’s Cumulus taking a fourth consecutive title. Susan Aschenbrenner drives this product of one of the Callaway Hills consignments back in the days of the TSE/Tattersalls Fall Sale. By Callaway’s Blue Norther and out of Callaway’s Cloud Nine, Cumulus has been trained by Amanda Simpson for his entire show ring career and just continues to impress. Double Or Nuttin’ was the Reserve National Champion here, following a Reserve World’s Champion of Champions title at Louisville. Priscilla Marconi was once again at the lines for Tri-Color Ventures and Lowry Stables. This was the first season in the Country Pleasure Driving division for the bay son of Undulata’s Nutcracker and Beat The Odds.

Lily Goodman and Tangled In Blues took on the UPHA Walk-and-Trot Challenge Cup crew and earned a blue ribbon for Cape Cod Farm. Her first season out of  Academy has been a good one, culminating in this season-ending victory. Also in her first year out of Academy, Lexington winner Haily Miller scored the reserve prize with Miner’s Blessing. Top three in both of her Louisville classes, Haily is trained by Stephanie Sedlacko.

After the ring drag, Heartland Globe-Trotter added a National Championship to his World’s Grand Championship in the Hackney Pony division. By World’s Grand Champion Heartland Equality, Globe-Trotter is out of Heartland Ashley, by Dun-Haven Bandolier. Ashley is a full sister to World’s Grand Champion Heartland High Tech. It’s lucky for Globe-Trotter that he won the stake at Louisville this year, or he never would have heard the end of it at family reunions. Sandra Surber owns this star. Connie Smith completed her first show with Heartland News Leader as the Reserve National Champion for owner Beth Jones. With Matt Schuckert heading them up, they made a good drive in second. News Leader was the Reserve Champion in the Kentucky County Fair Championship this year at Louisville as well.

Both of the top two in the 13-and-Under Country Pleasure National Championship have impeccable headsets, a great thing to have in any division, but especially this one. Wil Rowland and Callaway’s Winning Number continued their dominant run, undefeated against 13-and-under competition on the year for Ever Glades Farm and trainer Missy Hughes Smith. Repeating their 2012 national title, Wil and Winning Number were also twice winners in Freedom Hall this year. Majestic’s Trust Me and Hannah Herbst took the Reserve National Championship title back to Clouse Stables for owner John Herbst. Trust Me finished the season on a run of five straight reserve wins, coming on strong as the season progressed for this new team.

Sir Surreal has been a winner from day one. Winner of both the ASR Kentucky Weanling and Yearling Futurities, he has certainly been surreal for owners and breeders Kathy Capsuto Walker and Paula Schmidt. By Sir William Robert and out of Harlem’s Irish Lass, Sir Surreal has won nearly $40,000 in prize money in his three-year-old life. T.J. Santaferra has him in top order, winning the always competitive Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited class here in unanimous style. Jacqueline Beck debuted with her latest acquisition, Tefnut, to earn the reserve prize for Golden Lantern Farms and Visser Stables. Full brother Double Or Nuttin’ also showed to a reserve prize today. Neil Visser showed the bay filly to a Reserve World’s Championship this year in Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited.

Olivia Schumacher’s first show in this new division went the same way as it did at Twin State Octoberfest last month. Showing her new teammate, The Rest Of The Story, Olivia was reserve in her qualifier then came back with a vengeance to claim that tricolor. Today, that tricolor came with the title of Five-Gaited Pony National Champion for owner Lorraine Schumacher and Kierson Farm. Not bad for a pony who had previously left Kentucky once, and that was to Tennessee. Since then, he has gone to a new home in New Jersey, shown in Massachusetts, and then taken the long, long ride out here to Kansas City. Winner of this class in 2011 and the Reserve World’s Champion of Champions in 2012, Silvashay was back for a Reserve National Championship win with Eleanor Rainbolt Forbes. The Rainbow Princess Farm entry is trained by DeLovely.

CH Irresistible Design has been right on point this fall, winning all four of her classes with Elizabeth James Lipscomb. Sweeping the division at Mid-America Mane Event, they did it again this week, claiming the Show Pleasure Driving National Championship for Susan and Elizabeth James LLC and Hollow Haven Farm. The exquisite bay mare is by Designed and out of I’m Irresistible Too. They were Reserve National Champions a year ago as well as the Reserve World’s Champion of Champions. Nattily attired as always, Eddie Norris drove American Art to the Reserve National Championship today for Jack Magill Stables. Also a Reserve World’s Champion this year, American Art and Eddie completed a great season with this prize. The big chestnut gelding is by Dorian Wild Temper and out of Rebel’s Miss America. Jack And Coke and Jack Pool were third in this big class of Oak Hill Saddlebreds, with Spend The Night and Cindy Kolmeier fourth for Destiny Farm giving Texas three of the top four prize winners.

There was only one to challenge for the title of National Champion in the ASHAF Youth Country Pleasure Driving Challenge National Finals. This was Metropolis, with Nicole Jackson as the owner and driver. Nicole’s pedigree includes grandparents Joe and Sally Jackson. A local girl, Nicole is trained by Peeper Ranch. KristenTramposh headed up her victory pass here today.

Virgil Helm had a slick chestnut colt in the Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited class, winning the blue for Virgil Helm Stables. Owned and bred by Virgil and Sandy Helm, C’mon Man is by their favorite boy, Desert’s Supreme Memories, and out of Fort Chiswell’s Blue Memories. The bottom line of this pedigree is quite interesting as well. Blue Memories is by Northern Blues, sire of Bravo Blue, and a cross of Callaway’s Blue Norther and the great producer Yorkshire Pudding. Her dam is none other than Royal Memories, a phenomenal gaited specimen and World’s Champion herself. Reserve winner Ashlyn’s Only Charm makes a lot of sense once you hear the story. She is out of Like A Lady and by none other than Ashlyn’s Voodoo Charm, now the five-gaited teammate of Eleanor Rainbolt Forbes. Looking very much like her sire with all that curve and beauty, Only Charm is the only horse ever sired by the now-gelding. Like A Lady is out of Callaway’s Country Gal (BHF), the dam of World’s Grand Champion Callaway’s Forecaster. Jim Lowry rode Only Charm to the red ribbon today for Patrice Watson O’Brien. Master Suite and Kenny Smith were third for Barbara Goodman Manilow. El Cadete and J.D. Chavez got a rousing ovation in fourth.

In the Three-Gaited Pony division, the National Championship went to Nuttin’ But Style and Eleanor Rainbolt Forbes for the Rainbow Princess Farms. Their team debut went quite well, as they swept the week for DeLovely Farm. Just a year ago, Nuttin’ But Style was the celebrated winner of the Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited class here at the Royal. CH Powerful Tango was the Reserve National Champion, with Emilea Stinnett riding for Woodlea Farms. Trained by Smith Lilly, Powerful Tango is by Arborlane Tangos Wee Pee and out of Powers Divine, by CH Kourageous Kalu.

Brittany Cloutier and Extremely Fortunut completed a tremendous campaign with a 14-17 Country Pleasure National Championship. The unanimous winners showed in top form for Cater Stables and owners Roland and Laura Cloutier. By Undulata’s Nutcracker and out of Miss Moriarity, this big chestnut mare with four whites has been a star in this, her five-year-old year. A World’s Champion and the Reserve World’s Champion of Champions, she has certainly earned her keep this season. Long a favorite in the Midwest, CH Hard Day’s Night TS was the Reserve National Champion with Alison McMillin. “Baby Ringo,” as he was dubbed by breeder Jayne Tillman, is a black son of CF First Night Out and Georgia Day Dream, by Sultan’s Great Day. Ray Krussell has had him for many a year now and he continues to produce good results. He and Alison also picked up a win and a reserve at Mid-America Mane Event this year, with the win coming on Alison’s birthday. Royal Valentine and Drew Taylor Hewitt finished up in third on the final day of her juvenile career.

In one of the most exciting classes of the week the Junior Exhibitor Park National Championship came down to a two-horse workout between the past two World’s Champion of Champions. The two numbers were called out, and Hunter Chancellor and McGee Bosworth went back to the rail for additional work. With a masterful performance, it was McGee to be crowned the winner with CH Let’s Talk. With arms raised in the air, Mary Marcum Orr even gave a little leap as she came through the gate to greet her unanimous National Champion for the Pair of Jacks Stables. The 2012 World’s Champion of Champions had to be right on point and never missed a beat to win the title. CH I’m McDreamy and Hunter Chancellor pushed them every step of the way as the Reserve National Champions for Steven E. Chancellor and DeLovely Farms. Unbeaten in any class on the year up to today, these two have had an incredible juvenile career together, finally claiming a blanket of flowers at Louisville as the Junior Exhibitor Park World’s Champion of Champions this year. Their final tally comes to 37 wins and four reserves in juvenile competition.

Formerly a National Champion in 2010, Alex Ververeli returned to that tricolor winner’s circle today, this time with Kharbon Steel as the Junior Exhibitor Road Pony National Champion for Toni Nastali. An entry from Majestic Oaks, Kharbon Steel was the Road Pony Champion at Devon this year with Toni at the lines. He was the Amateur Road Pony Champion at the Royal Winter Fair last year. My Kryptonite got plenty of love from the Kemper Arena crowd as the Reserve National Champion. Cute as a button Kate Lewis made the drive with this talented entry of Ed, Robin, and Kate Lewis. Directed by Lisa Hillmer, My Kryptonite is by Heartland Equality and out of Heartland Summer Song, a half sister to greats like Heartland Rain Song.

It was step-up time for the walk-and-trotters, as the 10-and-Under Saddle Seat Equitation class here on Saturday afternoon continued the tradition of welcoming next year’s canterers to the division. The 2012 Walk-and-Trot World’s Champion of Champions, Cara DeForge rode to her first cantering blue for Kierson Farm. Cara had a great career in walk-and-trot, finishing in the Top Ten in both of her years in the UPHA Walk-and-Trot Challenge Cup National Finals. Isabella Wild finished her first year out of Academy by performing three gaits to earn a reserve win. She rode Platinum Asset to this prize under the direction of Wes and Sena Bowling. She was also in the Top Ten in the UPHA Walk-and-Trot Challenge Cup National Finals this year.

The USEF Saddle Seat Medal National Finals lived up to their billing, with 10 returning for Phase Two of the competition. Each phase is weighted equally, with 25% on the morning railwork, 25% on the morning pattern, 25% on the afternoon railwork, and 25% on the afternoon pattern. It makes for a stressful day, with about a four-hour period of downtime between the two rounds. It doesn’t really give enough time to head back to the hotel for a while or even leave the grounds for any extended period of time. Dealing with the nerves while staying primed and ready is something that all 10 of these young ladies had to fight.

The afternoon pattern was highlighted by an element rarely if ever seen. The riders were asked to come out of a trotting circle and without stopping, drop their irons and trot the remainder of the rail. The dropping of the irons without stopping was taken in stride by this extremely talented group, but it’s always nice to see the judges try to throw in a little monkey wrench.

Unanimous at Louisville, unanimous in the NHS Good Hands Finals, unanimous in the UPHA Challenge Cup Finals, and now unanimous in the USEF Saddle Seat Medal Finals, Jessica Wuesthofen completed her Triple Crown today in the traditional style, all three wins coming in the same year. Riding a horse that she speaks of as so much more than a means to an end, Jessie made a perfect match for CH-EQ Chanti’s Prayer. She praised “Button” and said that she wanted to win this Triple Crown as much for her horse as much as for herself. She made the comment that she thought the mare deserved to have a Triple Crown win to her credit and made good on that goal today. She also gave us the keys to that downtime between phases: Relax with a nice walk with family and have a good, healthy lunch. What was the lunch of champions this year? A hot dog and a Snickers! So there you have it, the formula to fuel a champion.

We will get this out of the way and state the obvious that everyone knows and has discussed in depth. Jessica and Faye Wuesthofen are the first two sisters to ever win the Saddle Seat Equitation Triple Crown. It is a testament to their family and their barn family as well. It takes more than a village when it comes to that kind of brilliance. But today was about the determination and drive of a young lady who wanted it for all the right reasons. Jessie is about as kind and caring as a young girl can be. After winning the NHS Good Hands Finals last month, she told step-brother Glenn T. Werry that she was “just really happy for my mom.” As nice as she is, she is also a tremendous competitor. The amount of work that she put into the results of this season is incredible. And it paid off today. She and her sister could not be more dissimilar as riders. Faye was just a force of nature in the show ring, with a killer instinct that said she was going to beat anyone that got in her way. Jessie was going to outwork you. She dotted every “i” and crossed every “t,” breaking down the things that she needed to work on with Lillian Shively, and then putting in the hours to get it done. Emotionally spent after this whirlwind season, she brightened back up when she got to talk about her horse. And that bond between horse and rider is what equitation is supposed to be about.

Nadine Van Zomeren is another such young lady. The Reserve National Champion was greeted in the winner’s circle by her entire family today. During the UPHA Challenge Cup Finals presentation, the other three Van Zomerens ran in almost in perfect stride. Today, sister Avis outpaced her parents and was the first to get there to congratulate her sister. Parents Mark and Renae Van Zomeren were not far behind, beaming with pride. Nadine has been cheered loud and proud by the crowds from Springfield, Illinois to right here in Kansas City, and all she has ever done is thank them for their support. She delivered for them today with an absolutely pinpoint pattern. She had a huge hug for her flaxen teammate Heirronic after their pattern as they exited the ring to mom Renae with her fists in the air. It was a thing of beauty. Heirronic represented the Pleasure Equitation mounts extremely well this fall for young Nadine. He not only had to take on the schedule of the Saddle Seat Equitation Triple Crown competition, he also took Nadine to a trifecta of Pleasure Equitation Triple Crown wins this year. The special horse will certainly be missed by his partner as they part ways here at the end of her juvenile career. Top three in the NHS Good Hands Finals, Top three in the UPHA Challenge Cup Finals (they don’t place it in the ring past second, but they post the cards, and come on, who doesn’t look?), and now the Reserve National Champion, Nadine will not soon forget her final campaign as a juvenile. This wonderful family greeted a slew of well-wishers back at their aisle, as all of the hard work paid off in this moment.

We said it on Thursday and the same rings true today, there isn’t a rider that didn’t age out of Equitation today that has placed higher than Courtney McGinnis in any of these National Finals. Heading into her 16-year-old year with one of the all-time great equitation mounts, CH-EQ Kiss Of The Zodiac, still by her side, it just might be her year to follow the sister act of Jessie and Faye with one of her own. She finished third today with another great performance, her second year in a row to finish in this spot. Juliette Dell will certainly factor into that equation in her final year next season. She and Imagine My Surprise were fourth here today, their same spot from the Challenge Cup on Thursday. Sydney Budzinski showed this season in just her 14-year-old year. She and Royal Tryst made Knollwood proud, finishing fifth in both this event as well as the NHS Good Hands Finals. Lexington champion Aleia Brown came back with a vengeance today aboard Madeira’s Fame. She took the sixth award back to Cape Cod, having finished fourth in the Good Hands. Macey Joan Miles was the youngest to make the callback, earning a seventh place finish in her 13-year-old season. She was also seventh in the Good Hands and made the Top Ten in all three National Finals. Kaelin Baechle was eighth here with Harley Rally, showing under the Fairfield South banner. She enters her final year as the reigning age group World’s Champion for the up and coming 17-year-olds. Finishing off her Equitation career, Caroline Moeller made another great show to finish in ninth. She was a strong contender in all of the Pleasure Equitation Finals this year as well. Kaitlin Kelly was another from upper echelon of the Pleasure Equitation girls to round out her 17-year-old season today. She rounded out the Top Ten with La Zingara for trainer Cindy Boel. 

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