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UPHA/American Royal - Wednesday Evening



Tonight opened up with an offering from the Parade Horse division, with Pete Fenton guiding the crowd through the specs of a class that isn’t always seen at our horse shows throughout the year. They get a celebrated spot as the show openers tonight, with Marty McFly taking top honors with Toni Knight Utoft. It was a unanimous decision, as Toni’s red hair trailed out behind her steel gray parade outfit. She topped off the look with a mask aboard last year’s Parade Horse Champion. Dr. Cathy Harris is an ardent supporter of this division, showing in many of the iterations offered around the area. She showed Stonewall’s Ebony Angel to the reserve honors. Alicia Harris had shown to the reserve championship here a year ago with Ebony Angel.

Winning the Ladies Fine Harness class for the third year in a row, CH Our Brilliant Belle was once again a sight with Mary Gise at the lines for a unanimous win. Trained by Hollow Haven, this daughter of Joe Fabulous and Finally In Tune is the two-time defending Ladies Fine Harness World’s Champion of Champions. Her beauty and style combine with her tremendous talent to make for a perfect picture of a lady’s horse. Long a stalwart and a star of this division, Lady Vol made a grand performance in reserve for Chris Kaplan and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Inc. This team has won six times together here at the Royal, including three in this very event.

The unanimous streak continued in the Amateur Hackney Pony class. Returning to the Majestic Oaks string that took him to the 2009 Hackney Pony World’s Grand Championship, Heartland High Tech was the top call in this one with Ali DeGray. These two also swept the division at the Southern Saddlebred Fall Finale in their first trip under the red and green banner. They were World’s Champions this year in the Hackney Pony qualifier. The Amateur Gentlemen’s Hackney Pony World’s Champion this year and the 2013 Hackney Pony World’s Grand Champion, CH Heartland Globe-Trotter was up for the red prize with John Wrather driving for Charlotte Wrather. Also from the Majestic Oaks team, Globe-Trotter is the two-time defending National Champion in this division.

Wednesday night is the traditional place for the UPHA Junior Challenge Cup National Championship. It was a third Challenge Cup National Championship for 12-year-old Ainsley Budzinski. She and CH-EQ Oh What A Feeling have been a remarkable team for the Knollwood banner. Winning here in 2012 as the UPHA Walk-and-Trot Challenge Cup National Champions, they followed that up with the 2013 UPHA Junior Pleasure Challenge Cup National Championship. The celebration continued here, as the Junior Equitation Reserve World’s Champion of Champions reigned supreme tonight as the UPHA Junior Challenge Cup National Champion. Another former UPHA Walk-and-Trot Challenge Cup National Champion, Maisie Benfield rounded out her 13-and-under career with her third straight Reserve National Championship in this event. The 12-13 Saddle Seat Equitation World’s Champion this year, Maisie is directed by Zubrod Stables. Maisie was the Junior Equitation Champion at Lexington Junior League as well.

How about another unanimous winner? It was the celebrated Don O’Neill as the winner in the Three-Gaited 15.2-and-Under qualifier. Few horses can move like this son of Undulata’s Nutcracker and World’s Grand Champion Garland’s Dream. That grand mare was always a leg waver as well, with one of her most famous pictures coming at Louisville with her knee poking up over the rail. That was how gifted she was, and she has passed that on to this World’s Champion and Reserve World’s Grand Champion. Chris Reiser and World Calm LLC have teamed together well, earning the top prize in this one. Both of the top two here were out of Broodmare Hall of Famers. HS Daydream’s Celebrity is by Sir William Robert and out of A Daydream Believer. Bob Griffin got the call tonight, as Skyline Stables’ Kenny Smith injured his back. The entry of Barbara Goodman Manilow was also reserve in this class at Louisville, as the placings from that event repeated themselves here. Both horses are just five-year-olds, with royal lineage. Celebrity possesses a tremendous amount of curve and beauty, a hallmark of the offspring of Daydream Believer. Enchanted Kiss and Lionel Ferreira were third in this great group for Dr. Merrell Magelli.

Let’s just let the results speak for themselves. The Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited 14-17 qualifier might have been the deepest group of walk-trots that we have seen anywhere in the last five years. Here is the top four: CH A Travelin’ Man, CH Platinum Moon, CH Hi On Heir, and CH Swing An Singin. Not only do all four possess their Saddlebred Record “CH” designation, there are two Reserve World’s Grand Champions, a World’s Grand Champion, and a horse that was top three in a World’s Grand Championship in that group. That is beyond remarkable. That is amazing. That is spectacular. That is… Find a thesaurus to come up with even more superlatives. Juliette Dell made one of her best rides ever aboard CH A Travelin’ Man for the 6D Ranch and DeLovely Farm. The 12-time World’s Champion was the 2010 Fine Harness Reserve World’s Grand Champion. Juliette teamed up with the grand gelding son of Tornaado and Travelin’ just last year. She had to be absolutely on point tonight to take the last pass, and she delivered in high style. The 2012 Three-Gaited World’s Grand Champion CH Platinum Moon was up for the reserve win in this one, with Courtney McGinnis making her American Royal debut with the beautiful dark bay gelding. By Periaptor and out of Harlem’s Moondance, Platinum Moon is owned by Fish Creek Stables and is also trained by DeLovely. The reigning World’s Champion of Champions in this division, Platinum Moon will mount a challenge for the National Championship later on this week. Top three in the 2012 Three-Gaited World’s Grand Championship, CH Hi On Heir was third here as well. Kara Hachigian always looks as though she is having the time of her life when she shows this horse for Texas K Club LLC and trainer Sandra Currier. The 2011 Three-Gaited Reserve World’s Grand Champion, CH Swing An Singin rounded out the top four with Catherine Wheeler for Ceil and Kenny Wheeler and trainer Smith Lilly.

Winning the 39-and-Over Three-Gaited Show Pleasure class here for the second year in a row, Mighty Thor took the unanimous round of honor with Carol Hillenbrand. Trained by Steve and Tiffany Wheeler, Mighty Thor has been a force over the last two seasons. He was the 2013 World’s Champion of Champions, taking his qualifier there this year as well. He and Carol returned for the Championship there to be named Reserve World’s Champion of Champions. They made a good show tonight for their eighth victory pass of the season. Lisa Holt and Nuttin’ To Lose are newcomers to the division. They took their best prize to date as a pleasure team tonight, leaving with the red ribbon in second for Holt Oaks Farm. By Undulata’s Nutcracker, Nuttin’ To Lose is out of Ridin’ On Heir, by Supreme Heir. They were reserve in both Amateur Park classes here in 2013. Trust In Love and Nancy Ehle were third, with Stick To Your Guns and Bill Grey in fourth.

Yet another unanimous call came in the Road Pony Under Saddle, as Sallie Mason Wheeler rode A Dazzling Diva to yet another top prize. Twice winners here last year, they were twice reserve this season in Freedom Hall, leaving as the Reserve World’s Champion of Champions for owner Maureen Campbell and Majestic Oaks. Gilcrest’s Amigoizer kept the Majestic Oaks run going in second with Cheyenne Mabey aboard. An entry of Sandra Surber, this was the Majestic Oaks debut for Amigoizer, by Mr. Amigo and out of Late Night’s Flair.

It just keeps getting better for Helen Rich, as her great week continued in the Junior Fine Harness class. Derrick Westbrook debuted with Happy Boy to win the blue. Still another unanimous decision from this panel that has stuck together all night long, Happy Boy is one of the newest additions to Helen’s string. Trained by DeVore Stables, this was the first win of the beautiful son of Molligny Don’t Worry Be Happy’s career. He is out of Natalie Wood, by Revival. He has always been lauded and celebrated each time he has hit the ring, coming out with the blue tonight. Belle Reve’s Sgt. Pepper continued a strong season as the reserve winner with Melissa Moore. By CH Call Me Ringo and out of New York’s Crown Jewel, he was the Junior Fine Harness World’s Champion of Champions this year with Melinda Moore.

The collegians of Missouri rose to the top in the Mo/Kan Amateur/Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited class. Reserve in this class two years, the 2011 winner returned to the winner’s circle this time around, as Gypsies Tramps And Thieves wore the Royal blue with Emily Nichols riding for William Woods University. Another scoring his best finish in this class was Arrowhead’s Dreamcatcher. Delynn Utecht represented Stephens College well aboard the son of Periaptor and a Champagne Fizz mare. Amateur champions at Boone County and Bridlespur this year, Dreamcatcher has been a star for the girls of Stephens.

The gaited entries went back to back here, as the 13-and-Under Five-Gaited riders showed next. Sallie Mason’s winning night continued, as she made the quick change from silks to suit, riding CH Callaway’s Born For This to the win. This was a third straight year for the gray mare to win this class, taking the top prize a year ago with Sallie Mason and the 2012 win with sister Catherine aboard for Ceil and Kenny Wheeler and the Mercer Springs banner. Also a product of Callaway Hills, Callaway’s No More Mr. Nice Guy made his second show with Payton Walker a successful one. The bold-moving chestnut son of Callaway’s Blue Norther and Broodmare Hall of Famer Sweet Sachet is trained by DeVore Stables. Winners in their debut at Southern Saddlebred Fall Finale, they were reserve in this one. Ainsley Budzinski made a qualifying ride aboard Sensational Charm for third for Renae and Hailey Wegner, completing a memorable night for the young equestrienne.

Sugarland continued his sensational streak with another blue ribbon drive. Winner of the Amateur Road Pony class tonight in unanimous style, he was piloted once again by Elisabeth Goth under the Majestic Oaks banner. Now seven for seven on the season, Sugarland has not left the ring with anything but the blue ribbon in the last two and a half years. The two-time defending Amateur Road Pony World’s Champion of Champions was a star to claim this prize for the second straight year. Also from Majestic Oaks, Sirfistication earned the reserve prize with Patrice Watson O’Brien. An entry of Joe and Patrice O’Brien, Sirfistication was the Amateur Reserve World’s Champion of Champions, as those placings held true from August to November. Somewhat new to the division, Sirfistication was the Limit Road Pony winner here last year. Dimitri and Ellyn Dorsey finished in third for Dr. Mary Ling, with Dun-Haven Awesome Attraction and Meredithe Steinhauer in fourth.

It has certainly been a wonderful season for Nancy Leigh Fisher and CH My Wonder. Coming together for their first win at Blue Ridge, they carried that momentum into Louisville to sweep their classes, winning the Ladies Amateur Five-Gaited World’s Champion of Champions title. They topped that division tonight as well as the Ladies Amateur Five-Gaited winners. My Wonder is trained by Hollow Haven Farm. The 2012 Ladies Five-Gaited World’s Champion of Champions is by My Only Son and out of Callaway’s Kit & Caboodle, a Will Shriver mare. Drew Taylor Hewitt and Rockband were up for the reserve win for Harold Denton Jr. and Clouse Stables. Ladies champion at Alabama Charity last month, Rockband is by The Wish Card and out of Callaway’s Campaign Party. Callaway Hills appears once again quite heavily in their home state. Cavalia and Misdee Wrigley Miller were third for Hillcroft Farm, while Callaway’s Bookmark and Jo Ann Griffin finished fourth for Silver Brook Stables.

A nice group of five came to the ring for the Fine Harness Mare class. Tiffany Wheeler had the winner in this one for Sally Jackson. Tempt Me is by Dorian Wild Temper and out of a Belle Reve’s Renaissance Man mare. A Ladies Fine Harness World’s Champion this year, she was the Ladies Reserve World’s Champion of Champions as well, her third Reserve World’s Championship of her young career. Last year’s Fine Harness Mare World’s Champion, Roselane’s Clemency was up for the red prize in second with Lisa Strickland driving for Ready for Limelight LLC. By Sir William Robert and out of World’s Champion Callaway’s Clemency, this six-year-old mare was the Junior Fine Harness Mare Reserve World’s Champion in 2012.

Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Park National Champion here a year ago, CH Let’s Talk was the unanimous winner in that qualifier here this year. McGee Bosworth was aboard her longtime teammate for Pair of Jacks Stables and the High Caliber training team. By Sir William Robert and out of Soft Spoken, Let’s Talk has been a top contender in this division since joining it in 2012. The 2012 World’s Champion of Champions was reserve in this class here a year ago, moving up a spot tonight. The popular reigning World’s Champion of Champions, CH High Heat took Blake Crim to a reserve win tonight for Steven Myers. Blake is a fan favorite, as the crowd always appreciates the rare boy rider, and Blake plays into that with his great showmanship for the DeVore Stables team. He was also the champion at Lexington, setting himself up for the all-important Triple Crown shot later this week. Courtney McGinnis was up for third aboard CH HS Dignitary, while Zensation and Jacquelyn King finished in fourth.

The Ladies Three-Gaited Over 15.2 win went back to Kalarama with a sensational performance by HS Baby Steps and Misdee Wrigley Miller. Another unanimous winner by Sir William Robert, Baby Steps is out of a full sister to A Daydream Believer (BHF), I Am The Dream. Just a year ago, Misdee drove Baby Steps to the Amateur Fine Harness blue, coming back a year later for a riding blue. Four times a World’s Champion, this five-year-old was the Three-Gaited Over 15.2 World’s Champion this year with Larry Hodge. This was Misdee’s debut performance in the saddle of this top horse. Also newly trimmed this year, Jett Rink was the reserve winner with Lisa Strickland up. An entry of Diane Nyhammer, Jett Rink lost his mane at Louisville this year, scoring the Ladies Three-Gaited Over 15.2 World’s Championship. Jett Rink is a beautiful bay gelding by El-Dorado’s Stonewall Jackson and out of Closer Look, by Times Roman. Kentucky Proud and Ceil Wheeler finished in third, with Brookhill’s Glam Slam and Elizabeth Ghareeb in fourth.

With Papa Raymond above the border winning the Roadster to Wagon Championship at the Royal Winter Fair in Canada, Mark Turner took the lines of Ice Man for a solo drive in the Roadster to Wagon class. James Nichols took this entry of Betty Tucker to double wins here a year ago.

What a bigtime showdown it was in the Amateur Five-Gaited Stallion/Gelding qualifier, with CH Callaway’s Born To Ride taking top honors back to Autumn Hills Farm with Laura Elliott up. The entry of Stockings N Stripes LLC is by CH Callaway’s Born To Win and out of Callaway’s Carina, by CH Caramac. Born To Ride has a wide-open and wild style about him that Laura harnesses well, just as she did with her great CH Break On Through. This was a fifth win for Laura and Born To Ride, teaming up in July this year. The lady that Laura acquired Born To Win from, Elisabeth Goth, was up for the reserve prize aboard Fort Chiswell’s Royal Kiss. By Callaway’s Northern Kiss and out of the grand World’s Champion gaited mare, Royal Memories. Also reserve in this class a year ago, Northern Kiss was the Five-Gaited National Champion here in 2011. This top team has scored three World’s Championships together in the Amateur Five-Gaited Stallion/Gelding division under the direction of Neil Visser. Finest Hour Spent and Danny Cummins picked up the yellow ribbon in third, while Mark Of Perfection and Harold Denton Jr. earned the fourth prize.

The sporty, curvy stallion CH Crystal Creek’s Commander always looks like he is trotting on springs as he bounces down the rail. Sandra Surber made the winning drive tonight from the Majestic Oaks string. By Dun-Haven Center Attraction, Commander is out of HCH Commander’s Supreme. This was the fourth year in a row for Commander to win this Amateur Harness Pony qualifier. Seamair Sensation claimed the red streamers with Charlotte Wrather driving as part of the Majestic Oaks team. Six times a Reserve World’s Champion, Sensation is by Dun-Haven Awesome Creation and out of Heartland Simplicity.

With Justin Cowley laid up in the hospital, his new horse made him feel much better, as Tammy DeVore rode The Tango Dancer to a night capping blue in the Five-Gaited Gelding Stake. By Arborlane Tangos Wee Pee and out of Melly Meadows, The Tango Dancer is a former World’s Champion in Fine Harness. Tammy DeVore has him right on point, winning this class tonight. Top three in the Five-Gaited Gelding World’s Championship this year, Bodidly took the reserve win with Clark Clouse. An entry of Harold Denton Jr., Bodidy is by Heir Emerald and out of Callaway’s Crepe Myrtle. These two were the Five-Gaited Champions at ASHAV earlier this fall. 

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