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UPHA/American Royal Wednesday Evening

Undefeated in Kansas City qualifiers, CH Castledream was the Ladies Fine Harness winner tonight to open up the evening session with Misdee Wrigley Miller. The longtime Kalarama-trained gelding has eight World’s Championship to his credit, including the 2009 Fine Harness World’s Grand Championship. By Castle Bravo, Castledream is out of the great A Daydream Believer. Winner of this class from 2007 to 2009, Lady Vol earned the red ribbon with Chris Kaplan at the lines for Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Inc. Mike Roberts Stable trains this longtime tandem. They were the Ladies Reserve World’s Champion of Champions this year in Freedom Hall. ARC’s I Can Teach You To Tango was third with Ann Simien Curl at the lines, directed by Bob and Tonya Brison.

Heartland Rough And Ready earned a unanimous win in the Amateur Hackney Pony class. Rich Campbell headed up the Majestic Oaks team that has been spectacular all year long, winning for the ninth time on the season. Their only defeats on the year came in Freedom Hall where they were Amateur Ladies Reserve World’s Champions. CH The Final Contender was up for second place with Linda Lewis driving under the direction of Jim McIntosh. This is the seventh season for these two to be teamed up.

Tonight is the night for the young riders to vie for their UPHA Challenge Cup National Championship. Nine entries showed for this Junior crown, with home court advantage proving to be the order of the day, as Alice Rowland was called out as the National Champion aboard Callaway’s Winning Number. The two-time defending 13-and-Under Country Pleasure World’s Champion of Champions team, Winning Number and Alice were the UPHA Junior Pleasure Challenge Cup National Champions a year ago and the Saddle & Bridle Pleasure Equitation Medallion Reserve National Champions this year. She is trained at her family’s Ever Glades Farm by Missy Hughes Smith. It was a one-two sweep for the pleasure horses, as Sydney Budzinski picked up the Reserve National Championship aboard Oh What A Feeling. This Knollwood team was headed up by Carol Matton. Winner of all three Junior Pleasure Equitation National Finals this year, Sydney was the 12-Year-Old Saddle Seat Equitation World’s Champion this year as well. Also in the Top 10 were Lynn Martin, Aleia Brown, Maisie Benfield, Caroline Cherry, Alexandria Murr, Macey Miles, and Caroline Rainbolt Forbes.

The Three-Gaited 15.2-and-Under Stake had 10 entries gunning for the top prize, but all three judges agreed on just one. This was Swing An Singin. Smith Lilly took the phenomenally gifted mare through her park-trotting display tonight for Ceil and Kenny Wheeler. World’s Champion in this division at Louisville, Swing An Singin was the popular Reserve World’s Grand Champion on Stake Night. By Designed and out of a Supreme Heir mare, this beautiful walk-trot horse epitomizes that classic park trotting look. VHF Belle Epoque is enjoying her new Missouri home, showing to reserve with Robert Gardiner aboard. Reserve in this class a year ago as well, this bright chestnut mare went on to win the Three-Gaited National Championship on Saturday night.

CH I’m McDreamy is straight out of the new school of the three-gaited division, showing with that power-packed style that has become the custom. Hunter Chancellor never seems to miss a step in the show ring, as she took McDreamy to a third straight Royal qualifier blue for Steven Chancellor and the DeLovely team. If you are going to wear a bright white formal coat, you’ve got to back it up, and Hunter does just that every time. She had to work hard for this unanimous victory, as Maya Manilow and CH Marching Orders received a nice ovation in reserve for Charles Goodman. This new team for 2011 has come together nicely under the Skyline Stables banner. They have given Hunter and McDreamy all they could handle all year long, making for great classes in this friendly rivalry. The Mighty Mouse and Hannah Houske were third, also receiving a nice round of applause. They are the reigning 14-17 World’s Champion of Champions as well as Lexington winners under the direction of Milo Jones.

Jan Lukens and Samantha Hegstrom joined the 39-and-Over Three-Gaited Show Pleasure winner, as Tchaikovsky and Paula Percoco took top honors for Jayne Romano. Sired by Undulata’s Nutcracker and out of the grand mare, CH Heir Style, Tchaikovsky danced his way down victory lane tonight. A new combination in this division, Periaptus Infinitus and Joan Cantrell were reserve under the Jack Magill Stables banner. They won twice in their debut at NTASHA, following that up with the red ribbon here tonight. Mighty Thor and Carol Hillenbrand finished third, with Shannon Sewell and I’m The One With The Roses in fourth.

Melissa Moore took top honors in the Junior Fine Harness class with the CH Great Day’s Came The Son son, The Delivery Boy. This was his first trip in this new division for Steve and Patricia Williams. The jet black gelding is out of a CH Harlem Town mare. It would have been hard for him to come out anything but black! Sandra Currier got a nice ovation in reserve with Until Next Time for Neartown Animal Clinic. By Unlisted and out of a Shoobop Shoobop daughter, Until Next Time is also black as night, with two hind whites.

Horse show organist Stacy Beam played Gypsies Tramps And Thieves on his iPod, as the horse of the same name made the victory pass in the Mo/Kan Amateur Five-Gaited class. Shannon Garcia made the winning ride for William Woods University. Megan Hulse was reserve for Stephens College aboard Callaway’s Golden Wonder. Golden Wonder was the winner of this class in 2010 with Hannah Sette.

How many times will the top three in a five-gaited class be two gray horses and a pinto? If these three horses continue showing against each other, the answer will be “Plenty!” The newcomer in the long-running rivalry between Heirrison Ford and CH Sprinkles stole the show tonight with a unanimous victory. Busting onto the scene was CH Callaway’s Born For This with her new partner, Catherine Wheeler. An entry of Ceil and Kenny Wheeler, the gorgeous gray mare is still in training at Mercer Springs. With her gaited pleasure World’s Champion sold to the Morgan girls, Catherine got a heck of a replacement in this many times World’s Champion. Beaten for the first time since June of 2010, CH Sprinkles was reserve with Eleanor Rainbolt Forbes. The three-time defending 13-and-Under World’s Champion of Champions is trained by DeLovely Farm. This National Championship will certainly be one to watch. Heirrison Ford and Morgan Billig finished up in third for uncle Carson Kressley and the Kierson Farm team.

The ageless wonder CH Free Willy came ready to take on all comers in the Amateur Road Pony class, leaving the ring with the blue ribbon. Jayne Romano followed up daughter Paula Percoco’s win earlier with one of her own, sporting the silver and black silks for Lukens Stables. They have been practically unstoppable this year, having won all but one class on the year since their Amateur National Championship in 2010. Also now the reigning Amateur World’s Champion of Champions, Free Willy has been the picture of consistency and excellence all season. Meredithe Steinhauer was excited in reserve with Thunderation, an entry of Denise Steinhauer, trained by Majestic Oaks. Thunderation has long been part of the Steinhauer family, showing first under their ownership in 2003! Misdee Wrigley Miller and Heartland Dressed To Impress were third, followed by Landon Rowland and The Wizard LF in fourth.

The reigning World’s Grand Champion held serve in the Fine Harness Stallion/Gelding class, as Wild Carrissima swept the first-place votes with Bret Day at the lines for Dr. Chip Pugh. Twice a winner in Freedom Hall this past August, Wild Carrissima lives up to his name with that wild way of going, putting on a wide-open Open show for the Grey Ridge banner. Jim Lowry had his Lexington Champion, The Road Less Traveled, up for the red ribbon for Thomas R. Brock Jr. Sired by It’s Hammertime and out of Absolute Charisma, The Road Less Traveled has had a phenomenal first year back in the harness ranks. Catalytic and Martin Cockriel were third in this one.

The 2009 Open World’s Champion Of Champions was the Junior Exhibitor Park winner tonight for Ashley Bryce and Bryce Heritage Investments. Continuing a great week for Jack Magill Stables, this pretty bay mare with multiple world titles to her credit matched well with Ashley’s gorgeous formal coat. They were Reserve World’s Champion of Champions in this division a year ago. This was the second class in a row for Lexington’s Champion to finish reserve, as CH Reedann’s Heir To Glory picked up the red prize with McGee Bosworth riding for Allen and McGee Bosworth. The High Caliber-trained team has been in the top prizes all year long, winning 10 times so far in their first campaign together. Elizabeth Ververeli and CH Fox Grape’s Forever Yours were third for Kierson Farm and Kathleen and Elizabeth Ververeli.

Brookhill’s Glam Slam was the unanimous winner in the Ladies Three-Gaited Over 15.2 qualifier, as Betsy Thomas put a grand ride on the black mare for the Carriage Lane banner. This Periaptor daughter out of the phenomenal Broodmare Hall of Famer, CH It’s A Beautiful Day, is the epitome of a Ladies horse, with her fine features. Glenview’s Excelalante and Barbara Goodman Manilow finished reserve here, having won this class the past two seasons for Charles Goodman. By Designed and out of the World’s Champion mare, Tra La La, Excelalante is trained by the Skyline team of Kenny and Donna Smith.

Postmaster Mike was the solo winner in the Roadster to Wagon class, as Raymond Shively drove to the winner’s circle for Fish N Fun Farms. Melinda Moore headed up the round of honor, the fifth win in a row for Postmaster Mike.

With no Amateur Ladies division at the Royal, we have been witness to some absolutely loaded classes, and the Amateur Five-Gaited Stallion/Gelding class was a prime example. There could be no dodging the competition here, as World’s Champion after World’s Champion came through the gate. The top two, in fact, are reigning World’s Champion of Champions! It was a matchup of the amateur titleholder and the amateur ladies titleholder, and they pushed each other every step of the way. It was Gabe Deknatel’s number that came to the top of all three cards, as it was CH The Daily Lottery taking the top prize in a phenomenal group of 14. This made three years in a row for Gabe and Daily Lottery to win this class, as they made their debut here in 2009 with blue ribbon results. The understated Mr. Deknatel said, “He was really rollin’ tonight.” A horse that just keeps getting better, Break On Through was reserve tonight with Laura Michelle Dozer Elliott. Three times now a World’s Champion in their past two trips to Freedom Hall, Laura and Jimmy were making fantastic pass after fantastic pass in this one, sweeping all three second-place votes under the direction of Steve and Tiffany Wheeler. Fight Night and Carson Kressley made their first show ring appearance together to take third with a grand display.

Linda Fischer is one of the best catch drivers in the business, and she proved that once again at the lines of Crystal Creek’s Commander, winning unanimously in the Amateur Harness Pony class for Sandra Surber and the Majestic Oaks team. Commander is so extreme with his motion, he seems to float down the rail. He was way rocked back on his hind end tonight, reaching for the bright lights of Kemper Arena. Linda Lewis and Mi Leonardo finished reserve for trainer Jim McIntosh. By Truly Unique, Leonardo is out of a Dun-Haven Ringmaster mare.

The night ended with a seventh straight unanimous decision, this one in the Five-Gaited Gelding Stake. Brian Chappell made a debut aboard Callaway’s No More Mr. Nice Guy to take this prize for Bruce Williams. Extremely gifted and going way above level, No More Mr. Nice Guy is by Callaway’s Blue Norther and out of Sweet Sachet. This cross should sound familiar, as it makes him a full brother to the promising young stallion, Callaway’s Guy Park, and the equally gifted gaited mare, Callaway’s Winning Ways. While the winner came from the Callaway Hills program, it was the 3-T program that provided the reserve winner, It’s Saturday Night Live. By Roseridge Heir and out of a Worthy Son mare, Saturday Night Live has been shown all year by owner Maria Gilman. They put on a strong show for the red ribbon. 

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