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UPHA/American Royal - Thursday Matinee

Susan Aschenbrenner opened the Thursday morning session with a win for the second year in a row, capturing the Country Pleasure Driving blue at the lines of CH Callaway’s Cumulus. Amanda Simpson trains this team out of her Iowa-based operation. Cumulus went on to win the National Championship a year ago, setting off an incredible run that he has carried throughout this whole season. This is the 16th victory pass of the year for Cumulus and Susan, including a World’s Championship drive in their Louisville qualifier. They have been beaten just three times all year long, and two of those were by the billion-times World’s Champion Callaway’s Pretty Penny! CH It’s Good Karma, the reigning World’s Champion of Champions, was reserve today with Elisabeth Goth once again driving under the direction of Visser Stables. This team has finished no lower than second all year long, with the dark bay gelding stretching that long, long neck way up high in the bridle. Long a staple of the West Coast, It’s Good Karma is enjoying his new job and new locale.

Elizabeth Shatner cruised down victory lane for the second year in a row as the Roadster Under Saddle winner aboard All Glory. This entry of Belle Reve is trained by Steve and Tiffany Wheeler. Reserve World’s Champion of Champions a year ago, All Glory and Liz have been teamed together now for about a decade! Since 2002, they have racked up 11 World’s Championship wins, an incredible record. Rebekah Cloninger got a nice round of applause in reserve aboard the Jon Walker-trained Royal Count. These two debuted together in 2006 and have been strong contenders everywhere they’ve gone since then.

Mo/Kan Amateur Five-Gaited winner here a year ago with Sarah Rowland, Here I Am Again was the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Pleasure winner today with granddaughter Marjorie Townsend aboard. Missy Hughes Smith and the Ever Glades family have had a spectacular week so far, and it continued here with Marjorie’s excellent performance. Newly teamed for 2011, this was one of their best rides yet. Here I Am Again is by Roseridge Heir and out of a Caramac mare. World’s Champions in their split this year, CH Sunken Treasure and McGee Bosworth pinned reserve in this class for the High Caliber banner. They have won their last two championships at ASHAV and NC State Championship coming into the Royal. Callaway’s Dream Big and Ashley Bryce always figure into the top prizes, and they did just that again today, finishing third.

Offset nicely against the blonde leather of her saddle, the black mare, CH Dark Fantasia, got the Colorado faithful wound up as they cheered her Ladies Western Country Pleasure win with Michelle Beyer up. Saul Simental joined them in the winner’s circle. They were reserve in the Western class yesterday. Ross Tarkington trains the reserve finisher, Gaitway’s Patriot Blue, for rider Denise Baker. Twice winners at NTASHA before coming up to the Royal, Patriot Blue and Denise have been teamed together since 2008, enjoying much success in the Lone Star State.

Oak Grove’s M’Lady In Red and Emily Teehan have made noise all year long in the Country Pleasure division, winning the 13-and-Under Country Pleasure class today. Third in the 13-and-Under World’s Championship this year, this team is directed by Ginger Schinktgen. M’Lady In Red was bred by the inventor of the Limited Breeders Stake concept, Dr. Rick Luft. Junior Exhibitor Champions at Lexington, Erin Rae Beever and Star Sighting were reserve here for the Lowry Stables banner. By Con Heir, Star Sighting is out of Beat The Odds, the dam of CH His Supreme Reflection.

Jim Lowry brought out the next class winner as a four-year-old in 2005. Since then he has been a winner for multiple young riders throughout the Midwest, now finding a home at William Woods University. Harlem’s Irish Dancer has looked fantastic this week with Corie Jean Allen up for Team William Woods, winning twice, including this Mo/Kan Three-Gaited Show Pleasure Championship. The Reserve Championship honors went to Junior Exhibitor qualifier winner Sara Baker with Talladega Red. With 14 entries this year, an Adult/Junior Exhibitor split was not needed, so Sara and Talladega Red remain the reigning Mo/Kan Junior Exhibitor Champions without even having to defend their 2010 title!

Misdee Wrigley Miller made her first drive with Heir’s Treasure a successful one, winning the Amateur Fine Harness class, an event her husband James was reserve in last two seasons. The Kalarama-trained son of Supreme Heir was all lofty park trot to earn the top spot. James was at the lines to win Lexington’s Amateur Fine Harness Championship the past two years. Dr. Chip Pugh and Bret Day have shared the lines of the gray horse, CH Revolver, this year, with excellent results. Reserve in this class today, Revolver was the Kentucky County Fair Fine Harness Champion on Sunday night in Freedom Hall. He was the reserve champion the year prior. By Sultan’s Great Day, “Freckles” is out of Attache’s Galatea.

The Three-Gaited Pony blue went back to Cater Stables for the second year in a row, attached once again to Powerful Tango and Dominique Bowlen. Winners all over once again in their third season together, Powerful Tango and Dominique were champions at Lexington Junior League and Reserve World’s Champion of Champions. CH The Attache Orchid and Hunter Chancellor were reserve in this one for the second straight year. Meeting anything but the blue prize for the first time all year, Hunter and Attache Orchid are the reigning World’s Champion of Champions and 14-17 World’s Champions.

Two sections of Show Pleasure Driving are in store for the horse show crowd today, with CH A Cinderella Story taking top honors in the first split. She made a stunning performance today with Karrie Graham at the lines for Karrie and her husband, Dwaine Kinderknecht. Directed by Jim and Fay Lowry, this was Cinderella’s best show of the year, earning her the unanimous acclaim of the judges. They were World’s Champion of Champions in 2010. Elisabeth Goth drove to her second red ribbon of the day, this time with Buck Be A Lady. Also directed by Neil Visser, Buck Be A Lady was a Reserve World’s Champion in her split this year. By CF First Night Out, she is out of the Buck Rogers mare, Lady Skybuck. She is a Kansas City chestnut, a term we’ve just made up to describe that almost mousy gray color that some body-clipped chestnuts display here at the Royal.

Stravinsky is three for three in his new division, winning twice in his debut at St. Louis with Todd Miles aboard and now once again with Brittany McGinnis up. He added the Amateur Three-Gaited Park blue to his resume today, looking every bit the part for Fish Creek Stables and the DeLovely banner. Sired by Nureyev, Stravinsky has that wide-open trot that works so well in this division. The reigning World’s Champion of Champions, CH Doctor Zhivago was reserve here in his first class since winning that title. Maguire Hall made another top ride under the direction of Dena Lopez. The black and white spotted gelding was the Open Park World’s Champion of Champions in 2010 and a Pleasure Driving World’s Champion the two years before that! Reserve World’s Champion of Champions Lady Bravada finished third here with Barbara Goodman Manilow in this all-star class which featured world titleholder after world titleholder.

The Adult Country Pleasure National Champion the past three years, CH League Of Nations began his quest for his first Junior Exhibitor National Championship today with a win in the 14-17 Country Pleasure class. Maya Manilow made the winning trip for Barbara Goodman Manilow. Kenny Smith directed the round of honor for Skyline Stables. The reigning Junior Exhibitor World’s Champion of Champions has been beaten just once all year, and that came in their Louisville qualifier. This was their seventh win in eight trips to the ring together. Drew Taylor Hewitt has done a fantastic job aboard CH Reedann’s Phine By Me, the long-necked chestnut gelding of Hugh and Marion Bryan. World’s Champions in their split of the 14-17 Country Pleasure qualifier, they picked up the red prize today, directed by the Grey Ridge team.

The American Royal is always a big event for young drivers and their Hackney ponies, and that competition got underway with the Junior Exhibitor Hackney Pleasure Driving event. Zach Meyer won this class for the second year in a row at the lines of Pacifico’s Standing Ovation. An entry of the Brown-Anderson Farms, Standing Ovation was headed by Andy Freseth. Horse show organist Stacy Beam played a standing ovation sound effect during their victory pass, thoroughly confusing Andy Freseth, who looked up at the speakers overhead for answers. Kirstie Buerkley made a good drive with Catch Me If You Can to place second for Sandra Surber and Majestic Oaks. Catch Me If You Can was the Hackney Pleasure Driving World’s Champion of Champions in 2010. Olivia Schumacher and Seamair Dear Sir were third for the Kierson Farm, making for another great Thursday morning class.

Junior Exhibitor Park Champions at St. Louis, Abby Mutrux and Guevarra topped the Mo/Kan Three-Gaited Park Stake. This entry of Katie Bowen is trained by Mark Hulse. Zach Duffy was reserve for the second time this week with She’s Absolutely Hammered. The It’s Hammertime daughter was the Open Park Reserve Champion at St. Louis.

The second split of Show Pleasure Driving went back to Texas with Spend The Night and Cindy Kolmeier. Trained by Steve and May Chadick, Spend The Night is having a great first year in this division. By CF First Night Out, this bay mare is out of Fancy Bloomer, by The Blythe Spirit. Anna Marie Knipp made a good catch drive with Salty Santana to earn reserve for registered owner Anne Rea. This bay gelding is under the direction of J.D. Gardner and Janet Green.

Eleanor Rainbolt Forbes made her best ride yet aboard Silvashay to take the Five-Gaited Pony blue back to DeLovely for the Rainbow Princess Farms. This six-year-old chestnut mare is by Santana’s Charm and out of CH Callaway’s Sweet Harmony. Clark Clouse gave a shout for his reserve winner, CH Red Flame Thrower. Drew Taylor Hewitt rode to the red ribbon for Barbara Goodman Manilow, just as she did in the 14-17 Five-Gaited Pony World’s Championship. 

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