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UPHA/American Royal - Wednesday Afternoon

Phase I of the UPHA Junior Challenge Cup National Championship was mercifully pushed back a half hour, as seven riders completed their initial rail work and patterns. That took about half an hour, and after that, it was two hours until the beginning of a junior exhibitor-centric session of horse show, featuring nearly 20 classes.

First of these was a class moved from yesterday’s schedule, as Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Park hit the ring. This class was about a mile deep, as top entries were out in abundance. Best of these was Brookhill’s Passion Punch, as Callie Smith directed the big, flashy mare to the winner’s circle. A Reserve World’s Champion in this division this year, Passion Punch is trained by DeLovely. She is by Attache’s Royal Assets and out of The Lady Pizzazz BH, by CH Harlem Town. Last year’s 14-and-Under Show Pleasure Reserve National Champion, First Class Heir, was reserve again today, this time back in the Park ranks with Brianna Meyer still aboard for Brown-Anderson Farms. A Hollow Haven entry, First Class Heir was twice a winner at Mid-America Mane Event last month. Drew Taylor Hewitt made a catch ride aboard the talented Brookhill’s Periday to take third for James Sigmon. CH Ya-Ya and Ashley Bryce finished fourth for Bryce Heritage Investments.

A big, burnished chestnut, Reedann’s Why Not was the Two-Year-Old Fine Harness winner with Dr. Alan Raun driving for Dan and Kate Frieberg, his daughter and son-in-law. Sired by the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited horse Que Pasa, Why Not is out of Callaway’s Mother May I, by Blue Norther. Second in the class also had Callaway Hills blood. This was Fluffy. Yes, Fluffy. By Callaway’s The Gipper and out of a Talent Town mare, Fluffy was shown by Jan Lukens for Charlie Jones.

A well ridden and hard-fought event, the 13-and-Under Five-Gaited entries came ready to rock and roll here on Wednesday morning. The reigning 13-and-Under World’s Champion of Champions, CH Sprinkles, was more of a caramel color with sprinkles than her usual chocolate color with sprinkles after the customary Kansas City body clip. No matter the color, she was on fire again today, earning the unanimous blue for Eleanor Rainbolt Forbes and Rainbow Princess Farms. It was another blue on the morning for DeLovely, as this hard to beat team was on top of their game. Looking like a mini Don Harris, Wil Rowland got the crowd whipped into a frenzy with reserve winner CH Champagne Bob for Ever Glades Farm. Wil made the leap from walk-and-trot to five-gaited this year, and he put on a show today for the red. Morgan Billig made a wonderful performance with 13-and-Under Reserve World’s Champion of Champions Heirrison Ford to take third for uncle Carson Kressley.

Emily Abbott has made some famously great catch rides at Kansas City, and today she added to her resume, winning the 18-38 Three-Gaited Show Pleasure in her first show aboard Sir Richard Dale for Tri-Color Ventures and Lowry Stables. A five-year-old by Sir William Robert and out of Completely Elegant, by Attache’s Liquid Asset, Sir Richard Dale is open and free-moving, working light in the bridle, trimmed in blue. Two years ago, Emily was aboard Five-Gaited Pleasure National Champion CH Callaway’s Where There’s A Will. Another five-year-old, Redesigned was reserve with Kristen Olson riding for Tom and Sherie Nelson. With nine blue ribbons on the year, they were twice winners at Wisconsin Futurity in September. Keeping their good season going, Stocco and Amanda Murchison finished third under the direction of Cater Stables.

In Amateur Three-Gaited Over 15.2, Brittany Baird had a breakout performance aboard Callaway’s Rosemary And Thyme. Normally the mount of sister Ashley, it will be tough to get the riding assignment away from Brittany after the phenomenal work she put in today. Directed by Scott Matton, Rosemary And Thyme never seemed to back an ear, as she looked through the bridle and simply marched down the rail. Ashley Baird was aboard in Louisville for a 14-17 Reserve World’s Championship. Organist Stacy Beam had the crowd confused for a second, as he played a slow tune for the victory pass until it was noted that he was playing Scarborough Fair… "Parsley, sage… Rosemary And Thyme!" Second in the class was Harlem’s Showman, with Beata Lilja putting on one of her best rides under the Landmark banner. Ladies Three-Gaited Reserve Champions at Lexington, Beata and Showman made a pass into the lineup that turned plenty of heads. Boston Legal and Elizabeth Shatner were third for Belle Reve, while CH Mega-Star and Coe London finished fourth.

A qualifier winner here a year ago, CH Take A Guess was the 18-38 Five-Gaited Pleasure winner with Michelle Krentz up for Mary Krentz. Last year it was Morgan Brison riding to the blue here in the Missouri-Kansas Five-Gaited Pleasure class. Since then, this gelding with the chess piece headset has moved east to Grey Ridge Farm under new ownership and direction. This is the ninth victory pass of the year for this team, the biggest of which came on the biggest stage, as they are the reigning Five-Gaited Pleasure World’s Champion of Champions. The pressure was on Gabe Deknatel, as he got the catch ride aboard Hey Joe, an entry of Burlington Saddlebreds, normally shown by Cydni Simmons. Last year, Cyd was aboard in a fantastic workout in the Amateur Five-Gaited National Championship. Still directed by Tammy DeVore, Hey Joe was reserve today, his second show in the pleasure ranks. Gabe made the phone call afterwards to go over his ride with Cyd, letting her know that his mom had the class videotaped so Cyd could give him some pointers!

Two of the best classes of the day featured junior exhibitors with their gaited horses. The senior section of that came to the ring next, with CH Platinum’s New Look taking the top prize in the 14-17 Five-Gaited ranks. Hunter Chancellor put him to work for Steven Chancellor and the DeLovely banner. World’s Champions in their qualifier and Reserve World’s Champion Of Champions, "Tonto" was the winner of the younger age group National Championship and qualifier here in 2009. The red ribbon also went back to DeLovely with Brittany McGinnis and Stravinsky showing hard for Fish Creek Stables. The winners of the second section of the 14-17 qualifier in Freedom Hall, Stravinsky moves down the rail with his head tucked high and tight. Juice Box and Tyler DeVore were third for Margaret Lane Allen, while Tyler’s former mount, Out With The Ladies, was fourth with Maya Manilow.

Smith Lilly had one of the standout performers of the day, as he had the unanimous winner of the Junior Fine Harness class, Caraway’s New York Minute. Sired by I’m A New Yorker, this dark chestnut gelding is out of Caraway, the impeccably fine and fixy walk-trot mare shown by Nancy Leigh Fisher to World’s Championship honors. New York Minute combines the best of both parents, as he has the muscled up look of I’m A New Yorker with still that touch of fineness from his dam. He has grown by leaps and bounds since his debut at North Carolina State Championship, making a crowd-pleasing performance today for the blue. Jim Lowry had his Junior Fine Harness Mare Reserve World’s Champion looking strong in reserve, as Undulata’s Fashion Plate earned the red for Tom Fiedler. A horse that you look at and say, "That one’s by Nutcracker," Fashion Plate has all that athleticism that we’ve come to expect from Nutcracker offspring and that big, powerful look about her to go along with it.

Jim Lowry returned a class later, but this time it was to head up the winner in the 13-and-Under Three-Gaited class. This was daughter Audrey Lowry taking a unanimous trip down victory lane aboard Undulata’s Just Plain Nuts. An entry of Margaret Strano, Just Plain Nuts is also by Undulata’s Nutcracker and out of the great CH Madame Machine. A World’s Champion in this division earlier this year, Just Plain Nuts is bright chestnut with lots of chrome. Audrey Lowry has teamed this walk-trot winner well all year long. Eleanor Rainbolt Forbes returned again to take another strong prize, winning reserve with CH The Great Gaspar. Double winners at Mid-America Mane Event, Great Gaspar and Eleanor made one of their best shows together today. The talented gelding looked every bit the part of his famous family to earn the red.

The Amateur Five-Gaited Mare class was about the best three-horse class you could ever hope to see, with bigtime winners filling all three places. The unanimous decision went to the two-time World’s Champion of this division and the reigning Amateur Five-Gaited National Champion, Ava Gardner. Winner of a famously competitive workout last year, Ashley Alden was once again riding for Alden Farms and the DeVore Stables banner. She was all punch and pizzazz once again today for the blue. Fresh off debut wins at ASHAV, Pucker Up and Ceil Wheeler were a strong second for Kenny and Ceil Wheeler and the Mercer Springs team. Smith Lilly has teamed this impressive mare to top prizes all year long. Last year’s Amateur Ladies Mare World’s Champion, A Dream In Color, was as beautiful as ever in third with Kate Codeanne riding for Cedarledge Farm.

Debbie Foley has been showing No Fear all year long, but today it was Tyler DeVore that got the catch-riding call for Doris Crumpler’s entry. It was a strong decision, as Tyler piloted the flaxen-tailed gelding by The Caveat to top honors in the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Pleasure class. Debbie called out instruction all the way to the end of the victory pass, as No Fear made a pass with the blue ribbon in tow that was a sight. Lexington’s Reserve Champions, Ashley Bryce and Callaway’s Dream Big, were reserve here again under the direction of Jack Magill. They made passes that left no doubt they were in it to win it. Dream Big is by CH Callaway’s Gold Rush and out of Callaway’s Dream On, by CH Caramac. Five-Gaited Pleasure National Champion in 2008, CH Callaway’s Where There’s A Will was third with Dominique Bowlen up for the Cater Stables team. Drew Taylor Hewitt also made a strong catch ride aboard Callaway’s Jack Frost, earning fourth for Dr. Tina Mayes.

Twice a Reserve World’s Champion in 2009 and a former World’s Champion of Champions, One More Time was the Hackney Pleasure Driving winner with Anna Marie Knipp all smiles in red at the lines for High Spirits Farm. Charlotte Wrather made one of her best drives in the pleasure pony ranks with Boxford Courageous Spirit. They finished reserve under the direction of Janet Crampton.

It was the biggest group of two-year-olds you’ve ever seen in the Two-Year-Old Three-Gaited class, and we mean that quite literally. They were all huge! The top prize went back to Rum River Farm with Undulata’s Crystal Clear and Tom Scott. Spectacularly the winner of this class two years ago with Real Action, Tom Scott was back at it again and in the winner’s circle with this son of Undulata’s Nutcracker and CH Crystal Illusion, the multi-titled World’s Champion harness mare. This is a full brother to Alde-Mar’s Crystal Pistol, the three-time World’s Champion, once in hand, and twice in harness. A Two-Year-Old Three-Gaited World’s Champion this year with Tre Lee, it was A Night In Vegas earning reserve for Smith Lilly and Robin McKenzie Vuillermet. Another young star by the Golden Creek owned and bred six-year-old stud, Northern Vegas, Night In Vegas is out of Sultan’s Lady’s Night Out.

Tchaikovsky composed a masterpiece in the Junior Park Pleasure class to take top honors with Paula Percoco aboard for Jayne Romano and the Lukens Stables banner. Winners in Amateur Park a few weeks ago at Twin State Octoberfest, this new division was no trouble at all, as the dark brown Undulata’s Nutcracker four-year-old was pleasure perfect. A product of the Callaway Hills consignment of the 2008 Tattersalls Fall Sale, Callaway’s Pundit was reserve with Amanda Simpson riding for Dreamacres LLC. Winners all over the Midwest, they were most recently winners of this very class at Mid-America Mane Event.

Kaitlyn Creekmore has had an absolutely fantastic season with CH Heir’s Halo. Nine blues, one red, and one yellow have left the ring in her possession, the yellow coming in the 13-and-Under Show Pleasure World’s Championship. One of the blues came from Louisville as well, as they were World’s Champions in their split of the qualifier. An entry of Thomas R. Brock Jr. trained by Hollow Haven Farm, Heir’s Halo is cute as a button and a dream of a fit for this division. They proved that again today with a blue ribbon ride. Adult National Champion a year ago, CH Tax Man has already taken two World’s Championship titles in the 13-and-Under division this year with Jessica Cloud. Directed by Jack Magill, Tax Man was once again a star performer for Jessica, taking the red ribbon in this six-horse field.

Eddie Norris and I’m Fantabulous seem to just be made to show together. In five classes together so far this year, they have won four, including the 39-and-Over Five-Gaited Pleasure class here today. Another Jack Magill-trained entry, I’m Fantabulous is an entry of J & J Horse Interests by CF First Night Out and out of a Harrods Burg mare. A year ago, it was Nicolle Beltz Tolliver earning a top three finish in the 18-38 division of this class with Top Recruit. Today it was mom Linda Beltz moving up a notch to win reserve for Dr. and Mrs. Homer Beltz. By Slam Dunk HG, Top Recruit is out of a Santana’s Charm mare. Rain and Kathy Capsuto Walker were third, with Cool Down Papa and Kathy Scherer in fourth.

It was a wild and wooly 14-17 Three-Gaited class, featuring a Louisville rematch that was one not to be missed. No workouts were required today, as it was a unanimous decision that sent I’m McDreamy and Hunter Chancellor to the winner’s circle for Steven Chancellor. Hunter made a pro ride in a 10-horse class that seemed like at least 15 at times the way the traffic got backed up. Winners of the 14-and-Under group a year ago here, McDreamy came back to take the overall Junior Exhibitor National Championship. He was the World’s Champion of Section II in Freedom Hall. The Section I World’s Champion, CH An Heir About Her, was reserve today, as she was in the 14-and-Under qualifier a year ago. This year, however, it was the first time the World’s Grand Champion mare and Marjorie Townsend had left the ring with anything but the top prize for Ever Glades Farm. They were the 14-17 World’s Champion of Champions after that memorable workout in Freedom Hall. Hannah Houske was up for third with Mighty Mouse for Tom and Cindy Shelby.

The wildly talented Cataclysmic made one of the best shows of his six-year-old life to claim one of the biggest wins of his career, moving up a spot from his Louisville finish in Ladies Three-Gaited 15.2-and-Under to take blue ribbon honors today. It was Terri Anne Ullman getting the call once again to make the ride for Susan Halverson. A tightly wound bundle of energy, Cataclysmic is all sorts of park trot power. Memphis Gal was up for reserve with Danette Musselman riding for Dan Musselman. Another top prize winner at Kansas City by the stallion Ritz Kracker, Memphis Gal shares a sire with Peanut Butter, a winner here in 2008. The ageless CH Callaway’s Sunday Edit was third with Jennifer Elnicky aboard for Mike and Jennifer Elnicky.

Sired by Deep Blue, He’s In Style made a nice solo performance in the Two-Year-Old Five-Gaited class for Tracy James and DeLovely Farm. A half-brother to All American Cup Weanling Champion The Cat Walk, He’s In Style is out of a full sister to Bono and Take Me Away.

Some of the junior exhibitor classes from a year ago were listed as 14-and-Under events. This year, those are now 13-and-Under events. This would seem to impact the 14-year-old riders the most. One of these is Maya Manilow, who was the 14-and-Under Three-Gaited Show Pleasure National Champion a year ago with The Majestic, as well as a 13-and-Under World’s Champion in her qualifier. Instead of defending her 14-and-Under National Championship, Maya is taking on the older riders with the same results, winning yet another blue ribbon for Barbara Goodman Manilow and the Skyline Stables team. The reigning 14-17 World’s Champion of Champions was all rocked back and rolling down the rail for a well-earned victory pass. CH Royal Messenger made one of his best shows in the Pleasure ranks to finish reserve with Caroline Skinner for James and Judy Skinner. Directed by Biggins Stable, Royal Messenger looks right at home in his new division. Ashley Bryce rounded out a busy day with a top three finish with Supreme Spotlight. This was her fourth ride of the matinee session!

As Peter Fenton said, that was "the last class of an extended afternoon session." The first National Championship looms large on the horizon tonight, as the UPHA Junior Challenge Cup will crown its winner tonight.

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