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UPHA/American Royal - Tuesday Matinee

It is Mo/Kan day here in Kemper Arena, as the UPHA/American Royal National Championship starts its five-day run in its customary Kansas City home. Just a three-year-old, Born To Charm took the first class of the day, the Missouri-Kansas Fine Harness Stake. Mike Wessel was at the lines for Mike and Jacqueline Wessel. Out of the mare A Gay Event, Born To Charm is by I’m A Lucky Charm, the very same stallion who was the winner of this class from 2007 to 2009. Alfredo Chavez drove Shamrock’s Dream Weaver to second for Janie and Robert Fiehler.

A natural-born rider, Morgan Brison topped the Mo/Kan Equitation class with Soquili’s Sir Galahad. Directed by her parents, Bob and Tonya Brison, Morgan was also the 16-Year-Old Equitation World’s Champion this year, her second full campaign back in the equitation ranks. Jerrah Biggerstaff knows these grounds well. His final Academy performance came in the Hale Arena at the Peeper Show in March, and his first show out of Academy was also in that very same ring at UPHA Chapter 5! Now moving to the other side of the grounds, he was second in his Kemper Arena debut aboard Sultan’s Savannah Anna.

The Hackney Ponies debuted for the week in the Limit Hackney Pony class, with four showing. Darrel Kolkman brought Heartland Love Ya Later out for the first time to earn the blue for Heartland Hackney Farm. By Heartland Head Of The Class, Love Ya Later is out of Heartland Marry Me, by Dun-Haven Bandolier. Gib Marcucci took the red ribbon with the current Junior World’s Champion of Champions, Pinkerton. Sired by Dun-Haven Lord Of The Ring, Pinkerton is out of Papagena, by reigning World’s Grand Champion Hackney Pony Nabucco. Mary Campbell owns this three-year-old cob-tail.

A consistent performer all over the Midwest, Marty McFly looks to be ready to take on the pleasure division, as he bested a field of 17 with trainer Mark Utoft aboard in the Park Pleasure qualifier. Owned by Seven Oaks Farm, Marty McFly is a 3-T product through and through. He is by Roseridge Heir and out of a Worthy Son mare. Toni Knight Utoft joined for the victory pass. Reserve in this good class was Go For Glory, with Tracy James Rossouw up for James Orr. By CH Heir To Champagne, Go For Glory is out of Great Treat, a full brother to CH Mark Ye Well.

Murphy McSemek’s project until the beginning of the fall semester, The Straight Guy is now being shown for William Woods University by Lauren Greenwald. She did a great job today to win the eight-entry Mo/Kan Country Pleasure class. This is her second win in as many trips with the hinged-up chestnut gelding with lots of chrome. Murphy was reserve with The Straight Guy in his Lexington qualifier. According to the Saddle Horse Report show records, the most complete and accurate in the Saddlebred world, the only time Rochele Cochrane has shown Santana’s Star Status in the past two years has been in Mo/Kan classes. In 2009, they swept the division, while they were twice reserve a year ago. They were reserve once more today, their third such finish in this class in the past four Royals.

Undefeated together since the USTA Roadster to Bike Classic at Louisville 2008, Emerson and Raymond Shively kicked it into high gear at around high noon to win the Roadster to Bike qualifier. The two-time defending World’s Grand Champion came to the ring in high style and left with the blue ribbon for DeLovely. Winner of this class a year ago, Beaucourt Boy was reserve today with owner Charlie Jones at the lines, directed by his longtime sweetheart, Jan Lukens. There would have to be a long search to find two gentlemen that enjoy the road horse division more than the top two drivers in this class.

One-word names were apparently the order of business in the Mo/Kan Three-Gaited Open class, with Schuller taking top honors for Lisa Hillmer and owners Ed Robin and Kate Lewis. Sired by Revival, Schuller is out of a Yorktown mare. This was Lisa’s first show with the chestnut gelding. Rusalka earned reserve for Middendorf Farms. This gelding is by Adriatic and out of an Attache’s Thunderbolt mare. Rusalka, outside of the Saddlebred world, is actually the name of a Czech opera. The only Schuller we could find was Robert H. Schuller, the televangelist founder of the Crystal Cathedral in California. (Research sponsored by Google and Wikipedia)

Gib Marcucci had another strong entry in the Limit Harness Pony class, this time claiming the blue with Twin Willow’s Bronson for Julie Witthoff. Julie has been at the lines of this four-year-old for several wins on the year. He is by Twin Willow’s McMillan and out of a Vindicator mare. Stacy Hupfeld drove her Spunky Brewster to reserve under the direction of Mike Herron. Also a four-year-old, this one is by Heartland Mighty Delight.

A longtime campaigner on the Wisconsin and upper Midwest circuits, Mercantile Exchange debuted in his new division at Wisconsin Futurity, with Kennedy Biederman riding to the Junior/Novice Country Pleasure blue. Directed by Ginger Schinktgen for Dale and Kennedy Biederman, Mercantile Exchange was the Western Country Pleasure winner here on Tuesday afternoon. He thought about going back to his Show Pleasure days once it was victory pass time but was a perfect gentleman all class long. The Colorado team of CH Dark Fantasia and Michelle Beyer grabbed reserve. Saul Simental trains this team. They were undefeated in eight trips to the ring on the year coming into this class. They were winners here in 2009.

The Mo/Kan Five-Gaited Pleasure class was up next, with Morgan Brison taking her second Mo/Kan win of the day, this time aboard Soquili’s Southern Comfort for Bob and Tonya Brison. Southern Comfort is by Undulata’s Nutcracker and out of Callaway’s Bravura. Morgan was also the winner of this class in 2009 with Take A Guess, who would go on to be the World’s Champion of Champions the following year. Winner of this class a year ago, CH Quidditch was reserve today with Janet Thompson once again in the saddle. Partnered since 2005, this owner-trainer-rider team continues to shine on every level of competition.

The Mo/Kan Park class was split into Amateur and Open divisions, with James Orr’s Wrapped In Rainbows Farm figuring into the blue ribbon in both. Emily Abbott rode the liver chestnut Orr’s Fired Up to the Amateur win for William Woods University. This one, bred by James Orr, is by the Orrs’ Capitol Fire and out of a Champagne Fizz mare. That is a whole lot of Missouri right there, between the grand equestrian institution, the Orrs’ stallion, and the great Champagne Fizz. William Woods beat out Stephens College in this impromptu intercollegiate event, as She’s A Starburst was reserve with Elizabeth Viera. By Star Material, Starburst is out of The Last Golden Sunrise.

In the Open ranks, James Orr was the winning owner behind Ryan’s Wish. Tracy James Rossouw made her second victory pass of the day, this time aboard this pretty bay four-year-old mare. She is out of Miss Tainted Love, by Time Out For Lovin’. Ryan’s Wish is obviously named after Jim’s granddaughter, Ryan Visser. She’s Absolutely Hammered always gets a reaction from the crowd when her name is called. She and Zach Duffy were reserve for Middendorf Farms. This is just the It’s Hammertime daughter’s second show under saddle.

The Three-Gaited 15.2-and-Over Stake was fully loaded with talent, even though there were just three entries. It was a unanimous decision of the judges that sent Let’s Talk to the winner’s circle, with Dena Lopez riding for Dena and Alyssa Lopez. This was the very same class where Let’s Talk made his debut as a walk-trot horse, finishing reserve in 2009. Since then, he has gone on to win the 2010 Over 2 World’s Championship and Reserve World’s Grand Championship and the 2011 Over 2 Reserve World’s Championship. By Sir William Robert and out of Soft Spoken, he looked every bit the part today to win the blue. Missy Smith (formerly Hughes) was reserve with He’s A Jim Dandy for Ever Glades Farm. This was Missy’s first show with the My Magical Moment son out of a New York Times mare.

Juan Rios and Regal’s Bandolero LF made their first victory pass together in the Limit Road Pony class, with Rich and Maureen Campbell watching the Majestic Oaks-trained pony from the gate. Dan and Leah Light own this speedster by Dun-Haven Regal Attraction and out of a Haven West Bandito mare. Debbie Foley had the Canadian-bred To Be Or Not To Be up for reserve for Beth Jones. Debbie had this pony a year ago as well, winning at the All American Horse Classic in this same event.

In the most exciting Mo/Kan Five-Gaited class in recent memory, Kent Swalla had to work overtime to come away with the blue. After the first go round, the cards came in with that true three-way tie at the top. Swalla used that extra work to put Sterling Price to the top as the Mo/Kan winner for Janet Danuser. Five-Gaited Champion at Illinois State Fair, Sterling Price is by El-Dorado’s Stonewall Jackson and out of Absolute Obsession. Tom Scott had the junior horse, Just Outrageous, up for reserve for Janet Wolf. It was a lot to ask of the Attache’s Royal Assets product, as it was just the second show ever for this one. A New York Surprise and Mike Breeggemann acquitted themselves well in third for Jess and Marjorie Bain to round out the workout. 

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