Skip to content

UPHA/American Royal - Thursday Evening

What a great night for the young horses and riders it was, as Thursday night celebrated the up-and-coming three-year-olds in the UPHA Classics for Saddlebreds and the four-and-under entries in the Hackney versions. The UPHA Senior Challenge Cup National Champion was also crowned tonight, as the United Professional Horsemen’s Association’s signature night came off with a bang here in Kansas City.

A field of 13 entries were on the list for the UPHA Fine Harness Classic with 12 showing, an unheard of number in recent years and a great sign for the future. Besting this big group was a royally bred colt, the bold moving stallion Rose Arbor Destiny. Already the ASR National Three-Year-Old Fine Harness Futurity World’s Champion, Rose Arbor Destiney is owned and bred by Joellen Fisher Blount’s Rose Arbor Farm. By Undulata’s Nutcracker, Destiny is out of the grand World’s Champion walk-trot mare, CH She’s My Desire BH. John Conatser has guided the harness career of this young star, making the drive down victory lane tonight. The Elisabeth Goth entry, Carson Nation, a World’s Champion as both a two-year-old and a three-year-old, was the Reserve National Champion tonight. Neil Visser drove the bay son of Leatherwood’s Starlight and I’m Real in his signature style. I’m Real is by I’m The Prince and out of a Caramac mare. Futurette and Smith Lilly took the third prize for Tim and Marty Shea, while Scooter Scheurich earned one of the best prizes of his young professional career in fourth in this big class. He drove the Cascade Stables entry, Soquili’s Happy Hour LLC.

Just two showed for the UPHA Hackney Pony Classic National Championship, with Majestic Oaks harnessing both entries. Patrice Watson O’Brien has shown the three-year-old, Heartland Infinity, all season long since purchasing him after Midwest Charity. They have gone unbeaten, taking the Three-Year-Old Hackney Pony World’s Championship and the Junior Hackney Pony World’s Champion of Champions title as well. Tonight they added a National Championship to their resume for Joe and Patrice O’Brien’s Ashlyn Farms. Majestic Oaks trainer Juan Rios put in a good showing for the Reserve National Championship at the lines of The Great Gatsby. By X-Treme and out of Heartland Lasting Love, this one is a four-year-old. Great Gatsby was the Three-Year-Old Hackney Pony Reserve World’s Champion last year. He is now owned by Toni Nastali, debuting for Majestic Oaks tonight.

From a group of 15, Smith Lilly emerged with the tricolor in the UPHA Park Pleasure Classic National Championship. It was the big bay mare, Kalarama’s Studious Girl receiving the top prize here for WoodLea Farms. Winner of the ASR National Three-Year-Old Park Futurity World’s Championship this year, Studious Girl studied her manners well this fall to move to the park pleasure division. By the South African stallion Calif First Night Out, she is out of Kalarama Co-Ed, by Harlem Globetrotter. She is unbeaten in her last four outings, adding this American Royal win to her Louisville score. Keith Harger scored a good prize as the Reserve National Champion with Anutter Shot. The beautiful black son of Undulata’s Nutcracker and Moonshine Memories made the show of his young life tonight to earn the Reserve National Championship for Rashell Gouwenberg. Moonshine Memories is a black mare by Titleist Memory. Brookhill’s Express Yourself and Emily Abbott West were third for Stonecroft Farm, while It’s Sam I Am and Tiffany Wheeler earned the white ribbon in fourth.

The amateur drivers were up next for the UPHA Hackney Pleasure Driving Classic National Championship. Another by X-Treme, Exotica was the unanimous call here with Mary Gise at the lines. Showing under the Hollow Haven banner, Exotica is out of Seamair Dancer, by Dun-Haven Awesome Creation. A year ago, Exotica finished top three in the UPHA Road Pony Classic National Championship, ascending to the top of this new division just one year later. Sheila Clouse made the drive at the lines of Heartland Thundercrackin’ to earn the Reserve National Championship for Beth Jones. Trained by Matt Schuckert, Thundercrackin’ is by Heartland Code Of Honor and out of Heartland Something Sweet, by Dun-Haven Bandolier.

The centerpiece of the evening was the UPHA Senior Challenge Cup National Championship, with the country’s best equitation riders vying for this second jewel of the Triple Crown. The top two from the first jewel, the NHS Good Hands Event, held through to this week at the Royal, swapping places this time around, as Cameron Kay was called out as the National Champion, with Aleia Brown as the Reserve National Champion. The first time these two met in the show ring was in 2008 at the Morgan Grand National in 11-and-Under Saddle Seat Equitation. Their careers branched in different directions after that, with Cameron continuing her storied career in the Morgan breed then coming over to the Saddlebred world after her tremendously successful week in Oklahoma at the 2013 Morgan Grand National. She took the AMHA Saddle Seat Gold Medal and the Morgan Saddle Seat Equitation World Championship, coming up one spot shy, ironically enough, in the UPHA Morgan Challenge Cup. The Reserve National Champion in that one, she has now swept both of the UPHA Challenge Cup Finals she has shown in the Saddlebred industry. Winner in September of the UPHA Pleasure Challenge Cup National Championship, she was the UPHA Senior Challenge Cup National Champion tonight with CH Reedann’s Heir To Glory in his first campaign as an equitation horse. The DeLovely team has been tremendous all year long, earning three Reserve National Championships as well, including the NHS Good Hands Finals.

The Reserve National Champion tonight, Aleia Brown and Madeira’s Fame have been a remarkable team for the Cape Cod banner. Unanimous National Champions in the NHS Good Hands Event, they have been the Senior Equitation Champions at Lexington the past two years. This year’s 16-Year-Old Equitation World’s Champion will try for a second jewel on Saturday in the USEF Saddle Seat Medal, with a view to next season and one more shot at this UPHA Challenge Cup Final. Also making the Top Ten in this prestigious event were Sydney Budzinski, Eleanor Rainbolt Forbes, Courtney McGinnis, Juliette Dell, Molly Codeanne, Lauren Arquilla, Taylor Pszeniczny, and Ada Johnson.

The ponies bookended the Challenge Cup, as the four entries in the UPHA Harness Pony Classic National Championship were up next. Maureen Campbell was the first professional to win a pony Classic tonight, as she made it three for three for Majestic Oaks at the lines of unanimous winner Heartland Copper Illusion. An entry of Toni Nastali, Copper Illusion was the second three-year-old of the night to win one of these classes for four-and-under ponies. By Heartland Head Of The Class, Copper Illusion is out of Heartland Dixie, by Heartland Equality. Maureen also drove this one to the Three-Year-Old Harness Pony World’s Championship this year. Also a three-year-old, Radiant Doll was up for the Reserve National Championship with Brenda Benner. Susan Courtney had to have been thrilled with the performance of her pony, a daughter of The Extremist and Truly An Elegant Rose, by Truly Unique.

All four of the Saddlebred Classics featured class sheets with numbers in the double digits. We repeat. It was an awesome night for the future of the breed. From a group of 10 entries, it was Look Of Success emerging as the UPHA Three-Gaited Classic National Champion. Riding to the unanimous victory was Andy Freseth for owner James Dellinger. This absolutely breathtaking chestnut gelding could not have more of Judy Werner’s fingerprints on his pedigree. By Judy’s stallion, Designed, he is out of Glenview’s Successful, by none other than Judy’s longtime centerpiece, Radiant Sultan. Successful is out of the grand, black harness mare, Tra La La, famously the dam of Glenview’s Excelalante. That gives Look Of Success a great deal of the same blood, as Excelalante is also by Designed. This refined young superstar, Look Of Success is a spectacular individual. It will be exciting to see how he progresses over the winter for the Hollow Haven team. Not one to be left out of a young horse walk-trot class, Jim Stachowski had the Reserve National Champion, Lady Mandolin MS. Famously shown to the Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited World’s Championship by Allison Walker, she was then selected by Helen Lacey Reed and made the move to Mantua, Ohio. Jim went on to win the ASR Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited Sweepstakes with her just two weeks later. Brian Chappell had to make the qualifying ride for the UPHA Classic at Springfield Charity, as the Arabian world where Stachowski’s main focus lies, came calling. Lady Mandolin is by Undulata’s Nutcracker and out of Suddenly Summer, by Merchant Prince. Blue Excellence and Zach Duffy were a good third for Gayle Lampe, while Nut Too Sweet and T.J. Santaferra finished fourth for Paula Schmidt and Kathy Capsuto Walker.

It is rare indeed for Golden Creek Farms to be seen here in Kansas City. In fact, it was 10 years ago the last time Mary Gaylord McClean made a performance in Kemper Arena. Golden Creek trainer Tom Lowry got to make the trip this time, and it worked out splendidly, as he drove The Lone Ranger to the UPHA Road Pony National Championship in a field of nine. Finishing the season with seven wins in seven appearances, The Lone Ranger is by Dun-Haven Regal Attraction and out of Stargazer’s Glitter LF. The Junior Road Pony World’s Champion of Champions, Palisade’s LadyHawke earned the Reserve National Championship with Allie Wellington Nunley. Another from the Majestic Oaks team, they came into tonight unbeaten as well, winning all six of their classes from JD Massey all the way through Louisville. An entry of All-Well Farm, LadyHawke is by Heartland Blackhawk and out of What Luck, by Dun-Haven Ringmaster. Lisa Strickland scored a good prize in third with Heartland Steppin’ Out for Dr. Mary Ling, while The Mask and Juan Rios were fourth for Spann Equine LLC.

The UPHA Five-Gaited Classic National Championship held up to its billing as the ultimate event here on the UPHA’s signature night of the show season. With a field of 17 slated to show, it lit Kemper Arena up with excitement. In such a big class, it takes a remarkable effort to score all three first-place votes, but that is exactly what Bret Day did with There’s Something About Mary. An entry of Carroll Robertson Ray, this daughter of Undulata’s Nutcracker and Heirudite has a special quality about her that has carried her to three wins in three trips to the ring. The Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited Mare World’s Champion was in top form tonight to add this UPHA Five-Gaited Classic National Championship win to her resume. The pedigree gets even more impressive when you step back one line farther and find none other than the great producer and Broodmare Hall of Fame member, Carol Lynn, and one of the most influential stallions in Saddlebred history, Supreme Heir. That was the only time that cross was ever made. The girls were tops in this one, as I’m A Sugar Shaker was the Reserve National Champion. Neil Visser rode the filly by Undulata’s Heir Apparent to this prize for Elisabeth Goth. Heir Apparent is himself a son of Undulata’s Nutcracker and World’s Grand Champion An Heir About Her. Sugar Shaker’s dam is none other than CH Callaway’s Sugarplum, many times a World’s Champion in the three-gaited division. With all this walk-trot royalty on her pedigree, you would think Sugar Shaker would have shown earlier in the night minus a mane! It doesn’t take a long look at her Saddlebred Registry record to see the three lines back to Missouri’s own Will Shriver. There are few that could rack like him, and this young filly has all of that blood on board. Virgil Helm will always have something to say in a young horse class. He finished third here with Man On The Move for Gayle Lampe. Just A Blast continued Zach Duffy’s strong night in fourth for Sarah Thomas. 

To view ReporTV coverage of this session Click Here

For Judges' Cards Click Here

For Show Results Click Here

More Stories