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UPHA/American Royal - Wednesday Night

The touch of blue from the blue ribbon looked just right with the all-white outfit Ann Curl wore to drive A.R.C.’s I Can Teach You To Tango to the Ladies Fine Harness blue, opening the Wednesday night session in high style. Bob Brison directed the round of honor here, as the junior gelding by The Spanish Tango was a wonderful winner to kick off the session. This talented bright chestnut was a Three-Year-Old Fine Harness Stallion/Gelding World’s Champion a year ago. La Renaissance made a Fine Harness debut tonight, with Danette Musselman making the drive to the red ribbon for Meadows and Connor. Kay Meadows has shown the entry by Belle Reve’s Renaissance Man in Pleasure Driving previously. Samantha Conlin was lovely as always in all black to take third with Callaway’s Preservation.

Once the lady drivers were cleared of the chute, the UPHA Junior Challenge Cup National Championship sent its second and final phase of competition blasting into the ring. The Reserve National Champion was called out first, and it was a unanimous decision for Brooke Boyer and The Crowd Favorite. As tradition dictates, the young riders filled out questionnaires, answering questions such as "Trainer’s Favorite Saying." Brooke’s answer for the lesson she has learned from riding was "Never give up." Directed by Kent Swalla, she certainly has not given up, working hard and claiming her biggest prize to date in her young career here tonight. Brooke listed "The Person You Would Most Like To Meet" on her questionnaire as Courtney McGinnis. That worked out nicely, as the National Champion was also the unanimous choice of the judges. This was indeed Courtney McGinnis, adding another huge win to her already burgeoning resume. Kiss Of The Zodiac was once again the mount for young Courtney, who rides as a 12-year-old. Directed by DeLovely, Courtney was the Junior Equitation World’s Champion of Champions, 12-Year-Old World’s Champion, and NHS Good Hands Reserve National Champion already this year, a pretty impressive string of accomplishments for any age rider, let alone a 12-year-old.

Misdee Wrigley Miller has lost one class with Trio Bolero G. That one class was exactly a year ago in the Amateur Roadster to Bike class here in Kemper Arena. Tonight, she avenged that lone defeat in speed demon style, racing down the rails and flying over the green shavings as the crowds have become accustomed to him doing. Their undefeated season continued under the Kalarama banner, as they added to their World’s Championship rounds of honor with another here tonight. Mr’s Bones was once again on top of his game with Charlie Jones in the bike. Directed by Jan Lukens, Jones and Bones earned the reserve win. Their resume is also quite impressive, as they were winners of this class the past two years as well as winning the National Championship. Amateur World’s Champions, they returned on Saturday night to claim the Reserve World’s Grand Championship on Saturday night.

Two of the most highly decorated road ponies in the business faced off in the Amateur Road Pony qualifier, with CH Calvin Hobbs taking the unanimous win with Kevin Ingram at the lines for James R. Dellinger Jr. and the Hollow Haven crew. Calvin was the Amateur National Champion just a year ago and won the Open 50-52" World’s Championship just a few months ago in Freedom Hall. Winner of this class last year, CH Free Willy earned the red streamers tonight, as Jayne Romano made another speedy drive for the Lukens Stables banner. Willy always has seemed to like this ring, winning a class here in 2006, 2007 and 2008 as well.

Miracle On Forty-Second Street seems to have found a home for her exceptional ability, as she has taken her talents to the Park Pleasure division, winning the Open class with Matt Shiflet aboard for Miracle Stables. A World’s Champion in harness as a two-year-old, this mare by Forty-Second Street ERB has dabbled in five-gaited and park this year before moving to this division that seems to be a perfect fit for her high-headed style and ears up attitude. Jack Magill had a drop dead gorgeous liver chestnut in reserve, as The Fabulous Truth earned this prize for Kathy O’Brien. They were double winners at Alabama Charity in this division last month. By CF First Night Out, she is out of Xena, by Supreme Heir.

Neil Visser got the call once again to captain Callaway’s Clemency to a blue ribbon performance. It was owner Elisabeth Goth aboard in Freedom Hall as the 15.2-and-Under Three-Gaited World’s Champion. Tonight it was Visser as the partner for Clemency as she took another Under 2 victory pass in her same charismatic style. The wildly gifted mare is by Caramac and out of Callaway’s Bluegrass Girl, by Callaway’s Blue Norther. VHF Belle Epoque got a nice round of applause from the crowd in reserve, as Robert Gardiner rode his chestnut mare to the red ribbon. World’s Champion of this division in 2008 and 2009 and winner of this class a year ago, Belle Epoque was the 2009 Reserve World’s Grand Champion. Also a popular choice was The Road Less Traveled, with Jim Lowry riding to the yellow ribbon for Thomas R. Brock Jr.

First show at the National Championship event? No problem! That was the attitude of Carol Hillenbrand and the Carriage Lane team, as they presented Mighty Thor to the 39-and-Over Three-Gaited Show Pleasure blue in a field of 13. Tammie Conatser headed up the round of honor for this big, impressive son of Tornaado out of an Heir To Champagne mare. He looks through the bridle and never backs an ear, making a pleasure perfect show tonight. The reigning World’s Champion of Champions, Kalarama’s Twister, earned reserve here with Cindy Hettinger Carcione aboard yet another Tornaado product, this one directed by Biggins Stable. They were reserve in their Louisville qualifier as well, coming back to take the last pass in the Championship. Harley Rally and Elisabeth Goth were third here, with iTunes and Joan Cantrell fourth for Joan’s Horse Adventure.

Good friends Melissa Moore and Danette Musselman took the top two spots in the Fine Harness Stallion/Gelding class, with the unanimous choice of the judges being Hi On Heir, an entry of Sally McClure Jackson. Melissa Moore was the driver tonight, her first time showing him since Louisville 2008, when they were Junior Fine Harness Stallion/Gelding World’s Champions. Sally Jackson took over the reins after that, earning the Amateur Reserve National Championship. Danette Musselman had a relative newcomer to the show ring, Call Me Johnny Ringo, in reserve for Joyce Cashman. Sired by CH Call Me Ringo, Johnny Ringo is out of Heir’s Curtain Call, by CH Heir To Champagne. Johnny Ringo’s debut came just last month at the Alabama Charity.

It was a rousing ovation from the crowd that sent Faydelle Schott to the winner’s circle in the Amateur Hackney Pony class, where she was met by trainer Bob Phillips. It was Phillips at the lines for two Freedom Hall wins earlier this year, the second of which was the Hackney Pony World’s Grand Championship. Miss Faydelle put on a perfect performance tonight to take the Amateur Hackney Pony blue. Amateur World’s Champion of Champions the last three years, Seamair Simply Awesome was reserve in this class for the second year in a row. John Wrather once again drove for Charlotte Wrather under the direction of Janet Crampton. This was their 13th trip to the ring this year and the first time they have left with anything but the blue.

The First Lady of the American Royal, Sarah Rowland, was the winning rider in the Missouri-Kansas Amateur Five-Gaited class, taking the last pass aboard Here I Am Again under the direction of Missy Hughes for Ever Glades Farm. This was Sarah’s first show aboard the Roseridge Heir gelding. She certainly made the most of her debut performance! Longtime Missouri resident Heir’s Sugar N Spice WRF was reserve with Rachel Kufeldt riding for Carol and Gary Mandernach. They have been reserve in this class three years in a row after winning it in 2007. They were also reserve in 2006.

Combining huge size with an elegance and fineness, Glenview’s Excelalante made a winning return to Kansas City, winning here for the second year in a row. A year ago it was in the Amateur Over 15.2 ranks, tonight it was a Ladies Three-Gaited Over 15.2 win for the Designed-sired gelding and Barbara Goodman Manilow. Trained by Skyline Stables, Excelalante and Barbara are now three-time defending Amateur Ladies World’s Champion of Champions, having never been beaten in that event. Last year’s Junior Over 2 World’s Champion, Ro & Me’s Lady Godiva was reserve tonight with Andrea Nicole Perry Block. Andi Perry is no stranger to Kemper Arena, having won smashing victories here with Amandari on her way to the Saddle Seat Equitation Triple Crown. Lady Godiva is a mousey brown color with her body-clipped presentation, combining that with a flaxen tail to make a striking picture. CH She’s My Desire BH and Joellen Fisher Blount rounded out the top three in this highly competitive event.

Winning the Roadster to Wagon class for the second year in a row, Go For Broke and Michael Bacon took the blue prize back to Bacon Stables for Brad Bacon. They were Roadster to Wagon National Champions last year and Reserve World’s Champions this year in Freedom Hall. Glenn A. Werry Jr. continued his return to the driving ranks with a reserve finish here behind Raising The Bar. Long a supporter of this division, Werry looks right at home in the road wagon, sliding the turns just as he did in taking the Roadster to Wagon World’s Championship this year.

It was a year ago in this Amateur Five-Gaited Stallion/Gelding event that Gabe Deknatel made a stunning debut with The Daily Lottery, winning it in high style for High Hickory Farm and the Carriage Lane banner. This year, the result was no different, as the multi-talented Deknatel made an even more polished and professional performance for the blue. The Amateur Gentlemen’s World’s Champion returned to take the Amateur Five-Gaited World’s Championship on those other green shavings. An Amateur Ladies Gelding Reserve World’s Champion the last two years, CH Callaway’s Kit Carson was at it once again with Maguire Hall, making their usual strong show under the direction of Randy Cates. They left with the red ribbon in this one. They were Amateur Stallion/Gelding winners at Lexington earlier this year. What Was I Thinking and Lisa Duncan finished third for TNT Investment Enterprises, while Courtier and William Shatner were a well-received fourth for Belle Reve. Angela Darrow and CH Freaky Links rounded out the top five.

Last year’s National Champion and the reigning World’s Grand Champion, Heartland Expectation was the Amateur Harness Pony winner tonight with Mary Gise doing the driving once again for Priscilla Gise. The exquisite pony was all power and presence as always for the Hollow Haven team. Anna Marie Knipp and Estoban finished reserve in this class for the second year in a row for High Spirits Farm. Just a five-year-old, Estoban is by Mr. Amigo and out of Beyond Imagination, by Grand Impression.

With Merrill Murray on the sidelines for this year’s Royal recovering from his gall bladder surgery, the Five-Gaited Gelding division was wide open. The competitive event turned into a unanimous breakthrough performance for Heir Comes The Man and Mark Turner. An entry of Glenn A. Werry Jr, Heir Comes The Man was the Five-Gaited Gelding Reserve World’s Champion this year, making a spectacular show there as well. This was his biggest performance on the National stage, putting it all together to earn top honors. Matt Shiflet had the reserve winner in Callaway’s Born A Winner for Jennifer Fisher. Sired by the practically unbeatable in Kemper Arena Callaway’s Born To Win, Born A Winner is out of Bellamie GSM. This was one of his best performances to date, as Shiflet pushed him and he got even bigger and brighter throughout. Tim Arcuri finished third with He’s A Big Wheel for Arcuri Stables, while Varsity Blues was fourth in this well-filled class with Clark Clouse for Mitchell Walker.

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