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A Winning Move For The Buckeye Morgan Challenge

by Linda Stewart


This year's edition of the Buckeye Morgan Challenge was held at the beautiful new Eden Park Equestrian Park on September 5-7. This brand new facility in the center of Ohio's farmland provided a wonderful stage in which to showcase many Oklahoma contenders in their final preparation for the Grand National. The indoor show arena is expansive with plenty of seating for spectators and a restaurant where you can watch the show while dining. The large warm-up arena is connected to the show arena, and there are also outside rings to use for exercise. A lounge area complete with television and large comfortable couches is available for those wishing to take a break from the horse show action.

Handling the judging duties were Gerry Rushton, Gavilan Hills, California in the In Hand, Performance and Carriage divisions; and Dagmar Zimmermin from Novelty, Ohio officiated the dressage division.

This year was a special one as barn manager Bob Fraunfelder and his wife Pat celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary on Saturday and the show committee surprised them with a specially decorated cake in their honor. As always, on Saturday evening following the last class, the annual exhibitor's party was hosted by the Ohio Morgan Horse Association in the restaurant area. Plenty of food and lively conversation kept exhibitors there until late.

The Julie Harris Memorial Scholarship Fund awarded scholarships to three deserving students at this year's show. The funding is made possible by donated stallion services sold by silent auction. This year's recipients were Andres Guardiola, Christina Rock and Jolene Mikoch.

Friday morning began with the in hand classes. Carrying home the honors of Grand Champion Stallion was Will-O-Way Moment In Time handled by David Earehart for Elmer Gross and Mary Ann Davis. The reserve champion award went to Patchwork Legend shown by Tim and Shirley O'Gorman for Janet Siddle of Cochocton, Ohio. Tim Roesink led Grand Champion Gelding Adventure's Priority down victory lane for Rebecca Burns while reserve honors went to Prairie Run Smoke N Pride led by Joel Ziemer and owned by Tom Bidlack. Kay Evans was very excited as her Dreammaster Anjelica was chosen Grand Champion Mare shown by Tim Roesink. Andres Guardiola led Flaire For Love for Patty Guardiola to the reserve title.

The Park Division showed us a vision of things to come at the Grand National. Judy Whitney and Key Biscayne were victorious in their season opening performance in the Junior Park Saddle class for Ron and Lori Skover. Minion Valentino trotted his way to the blue in the Open Park Saddle class with trainer Brian Stewart aboard for Minion Morgans. Hylee's Dann Right and Anne Morgan continued their unbeaten streak in the Ladies Park Saddle class and then went on to win the Open Park Saddle Championship for the Morgan Horse Farm. Another top winning pair, Jan Evans and her beautiful mare, About Last Night, turned away all comers in the Amateur Park Saddle with a flawless performance under the watchful eye of trainer Tim Roesink. Jessie Piatt had an awesome ride on her CHR Can't Dodge Glory to be pinned Reserve Champion Open Park Saddle after winning the Junior Exhibitor Park Saddle class.

Bert Earehart showed Grand National Champion Whispering About Me to the blue ribbon for owner Jane Steffenhagen in the Junior Park Harness class. In his only appearance at the show, Minion Millennium with Brian Stewart at the whip turned away all comers to take the victory pass for Minion Morgans in the Open Park Harness class. On Sunday afternoon, David Earehart had Will-O-Way Moment In Time performing to perfection to win the Park Harness Championship for Elmer Gross and Mary Ann Davis.

The Bodyguard with Tim Roesink riding for Laura Braddock turned in a blue ribbon performance in the Four-Year-Old English Pleasure class, while Prairie Run Smoke N Pride with Kathryn Schwartz won the three-year-old qualifier. In the Junior English Pleasure Championship, Marsha Seward piloted her Rosedust Electric Velvet to the victory lap with reserve going to The Bodyguard and Tim Roesink. The Open English Pleasure Championship was impressively won by Exceptionallee, ridden by Gene Boggs for the Morgan Horse Farm. He was also victorious in the Stallion and Gelding qualifying class. Reserve Champion English Pleasure honors were won by Cedar Creek Samurai with Nancy Flower riding for Mary Lou Arhar. This team also won the Ladies English Pleasure class. A very pleased Jeanne Fuelling rode from the ring with the tricolor ribbon in the Amateur English Pleasure Championship. Her mount, Hall's Melt Down, is owned and was bred by Jeanne's dad, Howard Hall. A new horse and rider team proved to be the best in the Junior Exhibitor English Pleasure Championship. Susie Sessink, aboard RKB Sizzle owned by Rebecca Burns, turned in a picture perfect performance to win this class directed by Tim Roesink.

In the Pleasure Driving division, Tim Roesink had MEM Heart and Soul tuned to perfection to win the Junior Pleasure Driving Championship in his debut show for Bill and Shelly Silber's Kourt Jester Morgans. Lois Magisano drove her Aquila's Eve N Lea down victory lane in the Amateur Pleasure Driving Championship for Mirror Lake Farm after winning the Amateur Owned/Trained/ Shown qualifying class.

In the Open Pleasure Driving Championship, Rebecca Burns gave Adventure's Priority a great drive to receive the tricolor ribbon under trainer Tim Roesink's watchful eye.

John Evans made his classic driving debut in style at the Buckeye show with CSH Corydon's Eclipse by winning the Classic Driving Stallions & Geldings class and then claiming the Classic Driving Championship much to the delight of trainer Tim Roesink. Reserve went to Tom Burick and Knight On the Town, owned by Elizabeth Burick and trained by Jim and Jenny Taylor. Tug Hill Charisma and Elizabeth Thomas were a perfect pair as they won the Classic Saddle Championship with reserve going to Joy Scala and My Wildest Dream.

Lori Marino-Beasley won double honors at the Buckeye by claiming the Junior Western Pleasure Championship with Circle Z Noble Signature owned by Chris Verbal and then winning the Open Western Pleasure Championship on Tampa Bay for Erin and Marie Thomas of Brighton, Mich. Claridge Nobl Ricochet, owned and ridden by Jan Evans, topped the Amateur Western Pleasure Stake with a smooth performance.

The Hunter Pleasure division was dominated by Jacket Required and Tommie Mead. This pair turned in flawless performances in the Open and the Amateur Hunter Pleasure Championship classes, and was awarded the top prize in both classes. Nicole Ziemer aboard MME Rustler was reserve in the Hunter Pleasure Championship and Meadowayne Magic Moment with Laura Lyons in the irons was reserve in the Amateur Championship. The Junior Hunter Pleasure champion was JAX Black Jack owned by Kathryn Schwartz.

Caroline Gaker was named the Saddle Seat Equitation Grand Champion while Sarah Taylor won the reserve title. In the AMHA Saddle Seat Medal, these two riders switched places with Taylor winning the Medal and Gaker being named reserve. These two lovely riders both ride out of Cape Cod Farm and were coached by Erin Boggs. Brittany Clark claimed both the Champion Western Seat Equitation and the AMHA Western Seat Medal classes. The AMHA Hunt Seat Medal on the Flat winner was Caitlyn Scholl and the Hunt Seat Equitation Champion was Gillian Kusnik from Spencer, Ohio.

Overall, the Buckeye Morgan Challenge had a lot of good horses and fierce competition. It's a fun show to go to and this year's move to the new Eden Park facility was a nice change. Complete results follow and can also be viewed on the Internet at

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