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A Week Of Star-Studded Competition at Midwest...Part One



The top two characters from last year’s Five-Gaited Championship were back at it again this year, although one half of the duo had a new mount. In 2003, Larry Hodge rode Adelita to win the mare class and then win the Championship against Callaway’s Forecaster in an exciting face-off. In 2004, owner David Rudder stepped aboard Adelita for the first time and showed her to the Five-Gaited Mare Stake title over the always-busy Lady Caramist who was presented by Dick Obenauf.

Continuing to ride that euphoric wave, Nancy Leigh Fisher was back to defend her 2003 title with World’s Grand Champion Callaway’s Forecaster. They started with an impressive-warm up in the stallion/gelding qualifier in which Hodge was aboard his new stake contender Lakeview’s Rare A Phi for the reserve streamers.

Championship night came down to the top two from the stallion/gelding class, and they were joined by John Wallen and the Burden/Schilling entry Absolute Starheart to make for a light finale. Fisher and Forecaster cranked it up again to take the unanimous decision and end another phenomenal show for Hollow Haven Farm. This was the same path Fisher and Forecaster followed last year on their way to the roses. Owned by Misdee Wrigley, Hodge’s reserve grand champion is as handsome as they come, and with each show is proving to be in the top flight of challengers for ‘04.

Many titans of the gaited division were found at Midwest providing fans with several knock-down battles and thrilling performances. For example, how’s this for a lineup? The Ladies Five-Gaited Championship was filled with talent above and below the saddle. Elisabeth Goth and the dynamic Title Bound repeated their 2003 Ladies Five-Gaited Championship, again riding from Kalarama Farm. This year they were challenged by reserve grand champions CH Like An Admiral and Nancy Leigh Fisher. They finished in the same order in the qualifier.

Adding great depth to the class, My Chanel and Owen Weaver made some big-time passes to garner some big-time applause on their way out with the yellow streamers. They were followed by Mahvalous Asset and Donna Pettry-Smith in fourth and Mary Lou Greenwell aboard Callaway’s Place Your Bets with fifth.

Then you move to the Amateur Ladies Five-Gaited Championship where Boo! once again struck with that “Nobody told me I’m small” attitude to sweep the division. Barbara Goodman Manilow was in the irons for both victory passes. Dynamic with every step the black sports model’s closest challenger was the big motored Puttin On The Charm who had just won Madison’s Amateur Five-Gaited Championship a few weeks earlier with owner Sara Van Galder riding. Right behind Van Galder and Puttin On The Charm were Misdee Wrigley and Kalarama Co-Ed, followed by Alice Unger and Downtown Strutter.

On Friday night the judges asked two entries to go back to the rail for the Amateur Five-Gaited Championship and in that second round Gabe Deknatel and Callaway’s Weatherman turned on the jets leaving no doubt that this would be their third amateur title in as many years under the direction of John Conatser. It was also the third year this team wore the amateur gentlemen’s blue.

Reserve in the amateur qualifier, My New Year’s Eve and Elisabeth Goth finished as the Amateur Five-Gaited Reserve Grand Champions. Cash Back and Kristen Pettry had won that qualifier which would be their only performance of the week. The third place performance in the Amateur Five-Gaited Championship came from the world class team of Himalaya and Dr. Owen Weaver. There wasn’t a whole lot of room between those top ribbons as Amateur Gentlemen’s Five-Gaited Reserve Champions Bill Marple and Great Day Rising were pretty impressive as well and finished in fourth.

This year’s group of junior exhibitor riders had but one thing on their minds and that was covering some ground. The need for speed cost a few of them with a break here and there, but man did they entertain. When the dust had settled Got The Ticket and Whitney Irwin gave the Kim Crumpler Stables another tricolor title. Reserve grand champion honors went the way of qualifying winners Maguire Hall and My Teddy Bheir. Chelsea Ruxer and The Coolrunner moved up into third place.

In the first junior exhibitor class, Hall and My Teddy Bheir defeated the world’s champion team of Lisa McClaren and CH Chandler as well as a host of other challengers including third place finishers Christy Bennett and The Champagne Tiger.

When the ribbons were awarded in the Junior Five-Gaited Stake Virgil Helm and She’s Gone Blonde were the first names called out. Trey Investments Corporation was listed as the winning owner. The panel deemed Tammy DeVore and Believe Her the reserve champions for Dodie Stockton.

Tom Scott again came to town with a nice selection of young horses, one being Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited Champion Callaway’s Duchess Of Caramac. Owned by Nancy Scott, Duchess Of Caramac was ahead of Historical Moment and Lana Gilpin.

With their second win in as many tries, Terri Anne Ullman and Lady Truffle represented the Goodman/Manilow families and their breeding program with the victory pass in the UPHA Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited Classic. Tom Scott was again in the top ribbons, this time riding Indigo Joe to the reserve money.

Rounding out the highlights of the gaited division, Neil Visser piloted Tornados Storm Warming to the winner’s circle of the Novice Five-Gaited class for R & R Farms. They were followed by Radio Flyer and Virgil Helm showing for Alice Sias Pippin. Three-Gaited/Park

It was a good week to be a fancier of exceptional walk-trot horses as they could be found in nearly every section that was offered. Many from this group of 2004 champions will have a chance to make a victory pass in the green shavings come August.

One of the first that comes to mind is Midwest Charity’s Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited Champion Marching Orders. The explosive son of Merchant Prince was tuned just right for his second win of the season. It was again under the direction of John Conatser for High Hickory Farm. Longtime Missouri breeder Jim Stewart had another youngster make show ring news as Gypsy’s Say When claimed reserve honors with Liz Kinney aboard.

From the youngsters to the open campaigners it was indeed a highly competitive division. The Three-Gaited Championship featured five challengers and all five had the credentials to win. And putting his stamp on a tremendous week for Obenauf Stables, Dick Obenauf and Another Asset were called to the winner’s circle for the Goodman/Manilow families. They had started the week with a victory pass against the over 15.2 contenders including reserve champion In My Soul, ridden by Neil Visser.

Right there with a championship caliber performance, under 15.2 champion That’s Chicago paraded as the reserve grand champion. Todd Miles presented the flashy star for Mary Jane Fredrickson. Robert Gardiner brought Made Ya Look back and had several people looking at their athletic passes to finish third ahead of Ms Veronica Lake with Ray Krussell and One Worthy Lady with Tom Scott. In the under 2 qualifier Audrey Hepburn was the sharp reserve champion with Morgan Wolin riding from the Ray Krussell Stables.

The Obenauf campaigners were firing on all cylinders as multi-titled Callaway’s Sugarplum triumphed in the Amateur Ladies Three-Gaited Championship and qualifier. Her well fitted partner, Barbara Goodman Manilow, picked her spots in both classes send this mare down the straightaway with style. Also stepping up to the plate in a big time way, Jessica Simien Curl presented four-year-old Callaway’s Haley’s Comet in the highest order to garner two top reserves. Brenda Benner has done a tremendous job of putting this young team together.

In the Amateur Three-Gaited Championship the panel called for a two-horse workout which livened up the crowd. On the second trip amateur over 15.2 reserve champion CH The Super Nova overcame the qualifying champion, Callaway’s Merry Go Round, with a performance that got stronger with every pass. Travis Van Zetten and Misdee Wrigley were the respective riders and their ringmanship made the workout that much more exciting. It was another tricolor title for Team Hollow Haven. The best of the remaining entries was In Due Time, a leg-waving machine owned and presented by Autumn Hunt.

Winners in the amateur under 2 qualifier included champion In My Heart with Carol Hillenbrand and reserve champion Carolinas Top Gun, presented by Joan Cantrell. They represented Carriage Lane Stables and the Jack Magill Stables, respectively.

Even if you’ve seen him a couple of times now the sight of CH Blackberry Delight coming down the rail is enough to give anyone goosebumps. He did it again twice at Midwest winning the Ladies Three-Gaited Championship and qualifier with Ericka Nelson riding like a pro every step of the way. Their biggest fans, Marilyn and Robert Gaiswinkler were leading the large cheering section.

Showing unbelievable depth in this division, the new team of Amelia Heir Cat and Laura Gralton also put on a world class performance to take reserve grand champion honors ahead of many times champions Melody Adler and City Lady who put on a solid performance of their own.

The order of finish reversed in a few of the walk-trot championships and the 14-17 finale was one of them. Presented by Whitney Irwin, Steel In Love was popping off all four corners to command the blue, red and gold streamers signifying the grand champion of the division. Their winning performance was for owner Katherine Andrews Cramer and trainers Kim and Fran Crumpler. Another new combination with spotlight quality written all over them, Rachael North and Something Ventured were the reserve grand champions. Tammy DeVore greeted them in the winner’s circle of the qualifying class. Also pressing hard were third place finishers Kristen Koenig and Heir to A Star.

Aaron Stump and CH Undulata’s Perfect Gift have been stars in their division for the past few seasons and their performances just keep getting stronger. They added two more winning ribbons to the Carriage Lane tack room with the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited 13 & Under Championship and qualifying blue. World’s Champion CH Highpoints Fantasia made every pass count with sharp riding Shelby Gregory taking two good reserve titles for McConnell Stables. Brittany Baird and Crimson Blue have consistently finished at the top and they rode out with the yellow streamers.

More often than not a Hollow Haven entry rode or drove out with the top prize. Junior Three-Gaited Champion Callaway’s Little Dipper was one of many. This champion performer was owned by Mary Jane Gralton and presented by Lynda Freseth. Reserve to the winners was Tonosama, an entry shown by Mark Utoft for Theresa Vonderschmitt. Julie Anne Wroble also presented a nice youngster in third place finisher Havana Harry.

Billy Greenwell was the winning trainer/rider in the Novice Three-Gaited class. He presented Valhalla’s King Of Hearts to the title for Terri Kearney. The closest competition came from Virgil Helm and Wild Sweet Pea.

Coming off championship performances at Bonnie Blue, Corbin Smith and Justa Rascal were two-time champions at Midwest in the amateur park division. The John Conatser trained team had a strong group of challengers including reserve grand champions Vicki Reed and Harlem’s Gracious Lady who had just won the amateur championship at Chapter 5 and third place finishers Travis Van Zetten and MT Hopper who had just won the championship at Madison. In the qualifier Milwaukee Spring Amateur Park Grand Champion Shady Creek’s Genius and Lindsey Bade were reserve to Justa Rascal.

Ruxer Farms made an appearance at Midwest and presented some nice campaigners including Three-Gaited Park Champion Cry Me A Rainbow. Mark Utoft made the winning presentation ahead of Missy Hughes and I’m Radiating Too representing DeLovely Farm and owner Bonnie Terese. In the Open Park class Lynda Freseth piloted Too Explosive to the title for Patricia Treiber. Nicole Harrison showed Muriel and Paul Pederson’s Three’s A Charm for reserve honors. Neither of these came back in the championship round.

Another of the home-bred stars from the Goodman/Manilow team, Lady Cinnamon paraded as the Junior Park Champion with Dick Obenauf in the irons. Morgan trainer Jim Lowry had a strong ride with Tombo to take reserve honors for Ruxer Farms. Fine Harness

Following suit with the gaited and walk-trot divisions, the harness section had more than its share of world class stars starting with the Fine Harness Grand Champion and going all the way down to the young horse classes. Mary Sally Aylward is starting a collection of fantastic fine harness American Saddlebreds. One of her early acquisitions was Gone Platinum, a black dynamo who John Conatser presented to the Fine Harness Championship and open qualifying win just as they had done at Bonnie Blue. Reserve honors in both classes went to Mike Roberts and world title holder Ah What A Night, another of those beautiful and talented stars sired by CF First Night Out. Ah What A Night belongs to the Simone Sorenson Estate.

Having already enjoyed early season success, Karen Smith and CH Kalarama’s New Sensation were a lovely pair to top both amateur fine harness classes for Guy and Karen Smith. Both rounds were incredibly deep as Mary Sally Aylward and her Metro Heirea were the closest challengers to be named reserve champion twice. Margo Baird and Cary’s Moonraker earned a third place finish in the championship followed by Susan Bartlett and Harlem’s Santa Fe, as well as Dr. Scott Cairns and Simbara's Exclamation.

Baird’s daughter Ashley drove Star Spangled Steel to the winner’s circle for the impressive ASHA Foundation Youth Fine Harness Challenge. Barrett Clifton catch drove Ms. Greta Garbo for Morgan Wolin to earn reserve honors in the class.

Barbara Manilow and Mr. and Mrs. Charles Goodman enjoyed a terrific show with their outstanding stock performing at their best throughout the show. One nice young home-bred prospect topped the oh-so-deep Junior Fine Harness Class with trainer Dick Obenauf at the lines. Teuschers stretched his long neck and stood tall in the winner’s circle to collect his honors. Challenging the champion were Just Wicked and A.J. Bruwer, a property of Shirley Caudill Rinehart. This black sensation also garnered a lion's share of fans. Also outstanding in the class were It’s Double O Deuce, Wee Pee Meadows and So Fortunate.

The Three-Year-Old Stake was light but John Conatser ensured that the crowd was still entertained. Fritz and Candace Meili’s new property Coco Loco made a terrific presentation which left the audience wanting more. John Oder and Sheri’s Midnight Dancer earned a reserve finish in the class for owner Judy Righter. This talented team was the only entry in the UPHA Fine Harness Classic and made a nice solo presentation to entertain the crowd themselves.

Also light on entries, the Two-Year-Old class featured Mike Roberts and Belle’s Warlock in the winner’s circle for Douglas Huffman. Victor Gonzalez and Absolutely Magical had to settle for the red ribbon. Roadster

There were lots of Roadster horses at Midwest, but they almost all competed in the amateur division. Guess they didn't want to butt heads with Raymond. And who would blame them with World’s Champion Power Ranger in the house? Shively and Power Ranger did their best to wow the crowd on Saturday night with a solo presentation in the Roadster to Bike Championship. They also strutted their stuff in the open qualifier, but Danny Bugg and Meadow Demon gave them a challenge to make it much more exciting.

Eight entries competed in the amateur class and six of these returned for the amateur championship. Dirt Devil and Deborah Butler sent the coliseum dirt flying to capture them both, with her smile beaming from the winner’s circle. Butler and Dirt Devil posted their ribbons on the Delovely ribbon wall.

Misdee Wrigley and Guess Who worked hard to earn the reserve championship, besting the reserve winner from the amateur qualifier, Brad Bacon and Delarenzo.

Cayla McKibbage and her Excess Is Not Enough made a nice solo run in the junior exhibitor section. Ed Murray took to the bike with Excess Is Not Enough to take his turn for a solo presentation in the novice class.

Another Delovely standout team, Judy McNeish and Invincible Summer topped both the Roadster to Wagon Championship and the wagon qualifier. Pres Oder and Lucky Break were reserve in the championship for Glenmore Farm. Susan Whitaker and Roadkill were reserve in the open qualifier.

A fun class was the Roadster to Wagon with Appointments to keep the tradition alive. Each wagon presented the judges the items they would have traveled with, including moonshine whiskey, which the judges verified was real (by sniffing). Brad Bacon and The African Queen topped the class followed by Pres Oder and Lucky Break.

There was also plenty of competition in the Roadster Under Saddle classes. Melody Adler bested a field of six in the Roadster Under Saddle Championship with world title holder Where Are We Now. The talented team also won the qualifier. Mary Lou Greenwell rode Hia Gal for Tom Fiedler to earn reserve titles in both classes.

The smaller version in the roadster division were some of the best filled pony classes. An incredible young pony Dasani and Jeff McClean claimed the Roadster Pony Championship amid a large field after also claiming the UPHA Classic title earlier in the week. Lonnie Quarles directed Long Time Gone to the reserve honors in the championship for owner Anne Marie Dempsey, after also finishing in reserve in the limit class.

Mary Campbell and her Heartland Memory topped a field of six to claim the Open Road Pony title. Rick Wallen directed Thunder and Lightning to the reserve spot in the good class for Denise Steinhauer. Steinhauer’s daughter Meredithe topped the Junior Exhibitor Roadster Pony competition with Dun Haven Majestic Motion. Max Kaplan and his Boxford’s Courageous Spirit were reserve in this class.

Majestic Motion and Steinhauer were reserve in the AHHS Youth Medallion behind Ashley Baird and Bluegrass‚76 in a strong six-pony class.

Mary Gise and Heartland Sundust continued Hollow Haven’s winning streak by adding two more blue ribbons to the count. They bested a field of eight in the qualifier and four in the championship including reserve winner in both classes, Material Girl and Jeff McClean.

Watch for up-and-coming ponies from the junior division. The Junior Road Pony Class featured Larry Bacon and Mastercrafts Guess Who in the winner’s circle. Billy Greenwell and Deja Blues challenged the champion and earned the reserve ribbon.

Road Pony Grand Champion Dasani and Jeff McClean claimed the UPHA Classic followed by Bob Griffin and the consistent young champion Heartland Victory Maker, an entry of Toni Nastali, who also claimed the limit class title. Ponies

Midwest is pony country and the pony competition is always tough, but as is often the case across the country, in several classes the numbers were disappointing. The Hackney Pony Championship featured another big-time three-year-old, Heartland High Tech,in the winner’s circle with Darrel Kolkman. The Rich Campbell-trained campaigner claimed the top money in the UPHA Hackney Pony Classic to start the week off right for Darrel and Sandy Kolkman's famed breeding program. The championship did have talent as Mary McClean drove Heartland Elise to the reserve tie; Larry Bacon and Man On The Town were in third; and Gib Marcucci and Nabucco were in the fourth place spot.

The open qualifier had featured Heartland Elise and Mary McClean making the victory pass followed by Marcucci and Nabucco in the five-entry class.

Muffy Ernster made a nice solo presentation in the Ladies Hackney Pony Class with Royal Canadian. She was also reserve in the Amateur Championship to Jackie Stred and the incredible Heartland Rain Song. While there were only these two in the amateur championship, the amateur qualifier also featured Rain Song, but this time besting the field of three entries including Heartland Newsmaker and Jeff McClean who earned the reserve tie.

Dan Light and Regal’s Shadow LF were the only entry in the Junior Hackney Pony Class.

Cindy Ireland and Austin Powers were in the top spot in the Hackney Pony Limit Class. Ireland is the daughter of trainer Gib Marcucci. Craig Hanna and Perfect Star LF earned the red ribbon in the class.

Only one long tail came back on Saturday night for the Harness Pony Championship. Gene Gallmeier and Seamair’s Sensation posted another blue to the already-filled Hollow Haven wall of ribbons.

The open qualifier featured two entries. Rick Wallen drove Conqueror’s Colleen to the win for the Beaux Reves Farm. Cindy Ireland directed Seamair Spectacular to the reserve for owners Gordon and Boyd.

These same two ponies competed for the Ladies Harness Pony title. This time Seamair Spectacular and Ireland got the nod. Owner Mary Ellen Golich drove her Conqueror’s Colleen to collect the reserve ribbon.

One of the largest pony classes, the Harness Pony Amateur Championship had five talented entries. Joan Jett and Mary McClean earned the decision for the second consecutive year followed by Heartland Triple Crown and Heidi Bowie. Triple Crown earlier won the AHHS Youth Medallion with Heidi’s daughter Samantha Bowie in the viceroy. Cayla McKibbage and Newsflash LF earned the reserve honors in the Youth Medallion.

Joan Jett also claimed the title in the amateur qualifier, besting a field of four including Harness Pony Grand Champion Seamair’s Sensation and Gene Gallmeier, who earned reserve honors in the amateur qualifier.

Heartland Hackney Farm showcased two smart young long tails in the junior and three-year-old classes. The junior class featured Heartland Head Of The Class and Darrel Kolkman in the winner’s circle. Kenny Guell and Pretty Impressive were reserve in the four-entry class for Susan Ellis. Pretty Impressive and Ellis had earlier topped the limit class with Ellis at the lines. Reigning Harness Pony World's Grand Champion Heartland King of Kings topped the UPHA Classic for Heartland Hackney, also with Kolkman at the lines. With incredible motion and exression this campaigner represented the best of the best from Heartland Hackney. Todd Gordon directed Tanglewood’s Awesome T to the reserve honors in the UPHA Classic.

World’s Champion Pacifico’s Standing Ovation and Bob Anderson were in top form to claim both Hackney Pleasure Driving Pony classes. The qualifier was quite a class as world's champion Heartland Special Special and Jackie Stred followed Anderson in the ribbons. Stred did not return in the championship, but Susan Ellis and CC Ryder challenged Anderson to earn reserve honors there.

The Junior Exhibitor Hackney Pleasure Driving Championship featured five entries. AHHS Youth Medallion National Champion Kelsey Herbert was all smiles to win with Heartlands Parade Time. Gabriella Flynn, always with a beautiful smile herself, earned reserve honors in the good class.

The Youth Medallion held earlier in the week featured the always smartly dressed Max Kaplan and Seamair’s Dear Sir in the winner’s circle. Kelsey Herbert and her champion Heartlands Parade Time earned reserve in the three entry class.

There were five sporty junior ponies at Midwest to compete in the pleasure driving section. Kate Frieberg and Wait and See’s Postmaster claimed the top prize for Reedannland. Kurt Antonacci and Queensbury Debutante earned reserve honors in the junior class after winning the UPHA Classic earlier in the week for Queensbury Farm. Frieberg and Postmaster were reserve in the UPHA Classic amid a class of four. See Midwest Part two.

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