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Alltech National Horse Show, 130th Edition, Wrap-Up: October 29 - November 3, 2013

Written by: Rebecca Walton
Client: National Horse Show
Release Date: 2013-11-04

Lexington, KY – November 4, 2013 – The demanding coursework required of a Harvard University student is enough to keep anyone busy. Now imagine adding competing at the international grand prix level to that schedule. Juggling the two is hectic, but for Katie Dinan it is paying off in a big way.

Dinan flew in for the Alltech National Horse Show on Wednesday, and by Saturday she was at the top of the leader board. After piloting her veteran mount Nougat Du Vallet to a flawless double clear effort in the challenging Alltech $250,000 Grand Prix CSI-W 5* presented by LIFEFORCE ELITE, Dinan will return to Harvard with a big check and valuable points in the World Cup standings.

Thirty-six of the world’s top horse and rider combinations took center stage in the Alltech Arena this evening as the highlight event got underway. Course designer Conrad Homfeld challenged riders with large fences and technical lines that led to a four-horse jump-off.

The pathfinder during the second round was McLain Ward of Brewster, NY, with Sagamore Farms’ Rothchild. The pair flew around the short course, easily leaving out strides and taking all of the inside options. Their luck ran out though as they galloped to the final vertical, incurring four faults in a time of 42.06 seconds, which would hold up for fourth place.

Dinan watched her trainer’s round carefully and decided to give it everything she had with Nougat Du Vallet, while also being careful enough to leave each rail intact. She left out a stride down one of the last lines, but chose to do the correct number to double combination. Her plan proved to be the perfect answer to the test and she finished in 44.85 seconds, which would hold up for the win.

Belgium’s Nicola Philippaerts was tasked with trying to best Dinan’s time riding Cortez for his father, Ludo Philippaerts. He had a conservative gallop to the first fence, but started making up time by taking all of the inside turns. His clear round came close, but not close enough, breaking the beam at 45.02 seconds for second place.

The final rider to show was Russia’s Ljubov Kochetova with Aslan, and while they did keep the rails in the their cups, Dinan was able to celebrate her victory when Kochetova took the outside turn midway through her effort, leading to a time of 46.42 seconds and the third place award.

Dinan was thrilled to add this exciting victory to her resume, and it made leaving school early this week well worth it. “This month has been a little bit hectic,” she admitted. “The great thing is when you have nights like this, it makes it all seem worth it. When you don’t, it kind of makes you wonder what you’re doing. I wasn’t able to do the classes at the beginning of the week, but I’ve been trying to do as many Indoors as I can because I have a good string of horses, and I feel like my horses are going well. I want to try to maximize that, but at the same time I am a little bit busy going back and forth with school.”

Alltech Founder Dr. Pearse Lyons concluded, “Boy that was exciting! This year we decided that we needed to do something different, and that somehow or another we would engage the city of Lexington. We are delighted that the city has responded, and that so many businesses have responded. There was passion, there was fun, there was engagement. I don’t know anywhere in the world where you can get footing, stadiums or barn after barn and demonstration after demonstration. It certainly wasn’t me, but whoever built the horse park way back, that made this event really come into a whole new level.”

Lillie Keenan Wins 2013 ASPCA Maclay National Championship Title

In many ways, it came as no surprise when the champion of the 2013 ASPCA Alfred B. Maclay National Finals was announced as Lillie Keenan of New York, NY. The young phenom has been at the top of the sport since she was a pony rider, and this has been an exceptional year for her career. It began with the 2013 North American Junior and Young Rider Championships Show Jumping Gold Medal, followed by her first grand prix victory at HITS-on-the-Hudson and a win in the USEF Junior Jumper Individual Championship. Just a few short weeks ago, she won her second big equitation championship, the Pessoa/USEF Hunter Seat Medal. Sunday, after three rounds of competition, presented by C.M. Hadfield’s Saddlery, at the Alltech National Horse Show, she earned her third major title, all before turning 18 years old.

“For a really long time I wanted this, along with wins at other finals, more than anything,” expressed Keenan. “I am glad to say that I do know the history of this class, and every rider on the trophy is extremely well respected and extremely successful. Being on a trophy with them, I am over the moon, but also what that entails for my future is very exciting. I am at a loss for words.”

The competition got underway at 7 a.m. with 148 riders competing over a challenging track designed by judges Robert Ridland and Susan Humes, as well as Bobby Murphy. Precise lines were used to make riders showcase adjustability and style over gates, fan jumps, combinations and walls. At the end of the opening course, the judges invited the top 30 riders to return and showcase their skills in the flat phase. Sophie Simpson led the way, followed by Sydney Shulman and Keenan.

Riders had to complete an extensive test on the flat, where they worked their mounts at the walk, trot and canter. They had to show collection and extension, as well as perform the counter canter and sitting trot. The judges also requested that the riders perform half-passes at the trot and canter throughout different patterns.

After the three sections were complete, the top 20 riders were invited back for a final test with Keenan leading the way, followed by Simpson and Kelli Cruciotti, who jumped up from eighth in the rankings with a solid performance. The final test began with three oxers and a bending line that could be done in six or seven strides to the signature ASPCA jump. Riders then had to canter an oxer away from the out gate before trotting a gate and cantering in seven strides to an oxer. A left turn led to a double wall combination without standards. The riders had to get the counter canter and jump a fan fence followed by another bending line and a triple bar to a vertical-oxer double combination and a final oxer just past the in gate.

The test was certainly a proving ground, as Simpson dropped down to eighth place with a few rubs and a round that lacked brilliance overall. Michael Hughes and Spencer Smith had been ranked fourth and fifth, respectively, but they dropped out of the standings entirely when Smith had two refusals and Hughes had an awkward trot fence and a rail at the final fence.

There were rounds that were excellent though, including those of Gabrielle Bausano and Shulman, who ended up fourth and fifth, respectively, after keeping a solid pace throughout their rounds and easily answering each question that was asked.

Charlotte Jacobs of East Aurora, NY, had a standout round aboard Patrick, owned by Catherine Tyree. The pair had a direct approach through the first line and also excelled during the trot jump and the counter canter, jumping all the way up from eleventh in the standings to capture the third place award.

Cruciotti, of Elizabeth, CO, continued to showcase her consistent style with Monterrey.  They also had a direct approach in the bending line and were able to transition to the trot before the gate smoothly before exhibiting the counter canter. Her efforts throughout the day were rewarded with the second place prize.

The best test of the day came at the very end from Keenan and Clearway, owned by Heritage Farm. Keenan’s flawless style gave her the lead going into the test, and the talented young rider was not about to let it slide through her fingers. She landed the counter canter and made it smoothly through each of the combinations, demonstrating everything the judges were looking for: style, accuracy and effectiveness. After she left the ring, there was no question that she was the winner, adding another championship title to her resume to conclude a stellar year.

Jumper Highlights: Wednesday – Saturday

When $50,000 is up for grabs it brings out the best horses and riders in the world, putting their best foot forward. That is how the Open Jumper division at the 2013 Alltech National Horse Show kicked off Wenesday. Todd Minikus and Quality Girl left nothing to chance as they sped around Conrad Homfeld’s challenging track, besting the field by two seconds to win the Taylor Harris $50,000 Open Jumper Welcome Speed, presented by Sasco Creek. The second place award went to 17-year-old phenom Lillie Keenan, giving the professionals a run for their money.

When Todd Minikus entered the Alltech Arena with Chris Brems’ Quality Girl mid-way through the event, the whole class changed. He and the winning mare put on the gas and never held off, slicing fences and taking all the inside options, while utilizing her huge stride to quickly navigate the track. The duo blazed across the finish line in 57.70 seconds, leaving Shane Sweetnam and McLain Ward in the dust and claiming a commanding lead.

Francois Mathy of Belgium made a solid effort with Team Harmony’s Plinska Des Isles, but it was not good enough. Although they never touched a fence, Mathy and Plinska Des Isles broke the beam at 59.96 seconds, which would only be good enough for third.

Despite a member of the jump crew standing in the way of one of the oxers as she galloped over the track, Keenan showcased skill and style far beyond her years, navigating the course in a speedy 59.44 second to capture the second place ribbon behind Minikus.

Sometimes it is a rail, sometimes it is an inside turn and sometimes it is just one-tenth of a second separating the winner from the losers. That is exactly what happened during the Double H Farm $100,000 International Open Jumpers at the Alltech National Horse Show. Todd Minikus was aiming for his second win in a row with Quality Girl, completing a clear jump-off effort, when Belgium’s Francois Mathy was faultless during the 14-horse jump-off aboard Polinska Des Isles, crossing the finish line a fraction of a second faster to capture the winning honors.

Beezie Madden of Cazenovia, NY, was the second to return for the tiebreaker with Abigail Wexner’s Amadora, and she wore a target on her back when she made tidy work of the course and left each rail in place to finish in 44.22 seconds, which would hold up for third place.

After Madden produced a faultless round, Todd Minikus of Loxahatchee, FL, left nothing to chance with his winner from last night’s Taylor Harris $50,000 Open Jumper Welcome Speed, Quality Girl, owned by Chris Brems. The pair was quick over the top of each fence, and they shaved off valuable seconds in each turn to best the clock with a time of 41.51 seconds.

The final double clear round in the jump-off proved to be the best of the night. Traveling all the way from Belgium, Francois Mathy’s focus is on Saturday night’s World Cup Qualifier, but Thursday night he proved that he and Polinska Des Isles, owned by Team Harmony, will be ready for the challenge. They stayed right on Minikus’ track and managed to finish just slightly ahead of his time, dashing across the finish line in 41.42 seconds to capture the victory by just 1/10th of a second.

The National Horse Show Association of America $50,000 International Open Speed, presented by Copernicus and the Coulter Family tested the foot speed of the top mounts over a faults converted track designed by Conrad Homfeld. About midway through the field it looked like young rider Catherine Pasmore had the win in her sights with Vandavid after carefully navigating each obstacle and breaking the beam at a speedy 65.73 seconds.

Unfortunately, Olympian McLain Ward went a few rounds later with his consistent partner Zander. The pair easily left all the rails intact and galloped efficiently through a bending line early in the course, as well as taking the direct route after one of the double combinations. The plan paid off, and they finished in 63.09 seconds to take a commanding lead.

Ward could not breathe a sigh of relief just yet though. The last rider to tackle the course was Meagan Nusz with Vesuvius, and they stayed right on Ward’s tracks. Taking sharp turns and leaving strides out they were on the money and it looked like they could take the win, but Nusz and Vesuvius stopped the clock at 63.95, just tenths of a second away from the lead for the second place prize, while Ward led the victory gallop.

Earlier in the day, the jumper action kicked off with the Deeridge Farm $10,000 Junior Jumper Welcome Stake. Eight combinations traversed the track without fault, but it was Victoria Colvin of Loxahatchee, FL, who proved to have the key to winning aboard her own Monsieur Du Reverdy. After competing in last week’s WIHS Equitation Classic, they transitioned back to the jumper ring, and Colvin utilized her mount’s improved rideability to best the track in 61.967 seconds and led the victory gallop.

The Chansonette Farm $10,000 Amateur-Owner Jumper Welcome Stake was up next, and the riders showed over the same speed course to determine the winning combination. Adrienne Sternlicht and Quidam MB set the bar very high midway through the class, easily clearing all of the obstacles and tripping the timers at 66.597 seconds to go to the top of the leader board.

Great Britain’s Tim Gredley is proving he is perfect in the Puissance. He began his reign of the specialty class during last year’s Alltech National Horse Show with Unex Valente, and just last week he won the event during the Washington International Horse Show. He kept his winning streak alive Friday night, going two-for-two during this year’s LIFEFORCE ELITE $50,000 Puissance. Gredley and Unex Valente soared over a wall set at 7-feet to capture the winning prize.

The night kicked-off with five entries and wall set at 5-feet, 9-inches, but as the wall got higher the entries got lower.  Aaron Vale of Morriston, FL and Smartie were finalists during the Puissance at the Washington International Horse Show. They made it through the third round set at 6-feet, 9-inches, but as the wall rose to the height of 7-feet, the challenge became too great. The blocks came to the ground, and for the second week in a row and the second year in a row it was Gredley who came out on top with Unex Valente.

The Town Branch Bourbon $50,000 International Open Jumper Speed took center stage earlier this evening, where the first section of the class proved to be the best of the day. Candice King, of Wellington, FL, was the first to show over Conrad Homfeld’s winding speed class aboard Quality Stud’s Antigone Quality. Despite the pressure of being the pathfinders, King and Antigone Quality were perfect over each fence and set the time to beat at 60.07 seconds.

Belgium’s Nicola Philippaerts was next in the Alltech Arena with Frans Lens’ Carlito C, and they made sure King did not hold on to the lead for too long when they also managed to navigate the track with ease, leaving each rail intact and breaking the beam at 58.95 seconds.

Four rounds later Kent Farrington of Wellington, FL, entered the ring with Blue Angel, owned by Robin Parksy. The pair picked up a very quick gallop to the first obstacle and never left off the gas, shaving off seconds through each turn and not wasting a moment in the air. They managed to leave each fence standing while blazing across the finish line in 53.26 seconds. The five second difference would prove unbeatable as Farrington led the victory gallop after the 23 remaining riders tried to catch his time, followed by Philippaerts in second and King in third.

The Chansonette Farm $15,000 Amateur-Owner Jumper class was the first jumper event of the day, where Frances Land of Alpharetta, GA, managed to best a five horse jump-off with Vieanne. Despite adding not one but two strides down the final line, the pair’s quick pace and turns to the other obstacles proved uncatchable with a time of 35.428 seconds.

The Deeridge Farm $15,000 Junior Jumper class was up next, and Thursday’s winner Victoria Colvin of Loxahatchee, FL, proved that she is on quite a roll. She was the first to return for the tiebreaker with Monsieur Du Reverdy, and once again she was able to make quick turns without touching a single rail, stopping the clock at 34.263 seconds, a time which she proved only she would be able to beat.

She returned four rounds later with her second mount Don Juan, and without planning to do so she managed to best her own horse. The duo was quick to each fence and never wasted a second in the air as they tripped the timers at 34.033 seconds to win the class and relegate to second place. The only other rider to come close to catching her time was Katherine Strauss of Southampton, NY, aboard her consistent partner Chellando Z, who broke the beam at 35.052 seconds for the third place award.

In show jumping there is often a focus on the future of the sport and riders that might someday be a part of it. Saturday at the Alltech National Horse Show, spectators had the opportunity to see the best in the country as they competed during the $50,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Series Championship Grand Prix, presented by Elizabeth Miller and The Dinan Family, The Oken Family, The Straus Family, and the Tyree Family.

Twenty-nine riders who worked all year to compete at this event gathered at the Alltech Arena for the first round. Conrad Homfeld’s technical track yielded only five clear rounds, and riders returned for a speedy jump-off that only one would be able to master.

Michael Hughes of Ocala, FL, aimed at the top spot with Luxina, owned by Christina Fried, but they four faults. Their time of 44.612 seconds was good enough for third place. Adrienne Sternlicht of Greenwich, CT, and her own Quidam MB blazed through the shortened course in the fastest time of 43.201 seconds, but the effort resulted in a costly back rail and four faults for second place.

When Friday’s winner Frances Land of Alpharetta, GA, walked into the ring and mounted Vieanne, she knew that all she had to do was leave all the rails intact. In an effort to be careful over each fence, Land kept a conservative pace. Although she crossed the finish line in 48.811 seconds with a single time fault, her perfection over the course captured the victory.

Hunter Highlights: Tuesday – Saturday

The Kentucky Horse Park hosts numerous, top-of-the-line horse shows throughout the year, but only once a year is the Alltech Arena transformed into the beautiful home of the prestigious Alltech National Horse Show. The final destination on the indoor horse show circuit, the Alltech National Horse Show welcomes the nation’s top hunter and jumper riders. Among them are Kelley Farmer and Scott Stewart.

Both riders are bringing to a close a remarkable show year, so it is only fitting that they would continue their winning ways straight through to the end. Farmer kicked off the first day of the Alltech National Horse Show with wins in both the Regular Conformation Hunter Model and the Green Conformation Hunter Model, both with Quotable, owned by Kenneth and Selma Garber. From there, Farmer and Stewart alternated turns atop the leader board, as Stewart next took the win in the first Regular Conformation Hunter class aboard Everly, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker.

Following Everly and Stewart’s win, it was again Farmer’s turn to ride away with the blue, this time in the Regular Conformation Hunter Handy, again with Quotable – as their back and forth winning continued for much of the day.

Farmer earned two more victories with Quotable in the Green Conformation Hunter division, sponsored by Dr. Kenneth Garber. Their success gave them a clean sweep of the division thus far and an overwhelming lead in the point standings going into the championships.

In the First Year Green Hunters, it was again the Farmer and Stewart show as Stewart earned the first over fences victory of the division, sponsored by Goshen Hill, aboard Rose Hill Farm’s Starmont. Farmer took the top call in the handy round aboard Larry Glefke and Quail Run Partnership’s Skorekeeper.

Stewart continued his winning streak in the High Performance Hunters, sponsored by Mr. Richard L. Duchossois, and the Performance 3’6” Hunters, sponsored by SBS Farm, this time with Dr. Betsee Parker’s Dedication. They earned the win in the first class of each divison.

In the handy round of the High Performance Hunters, a new name topped the leader board as Peter Lombardo upped the ante for the win with Ante Up, owned by Janie Andrew. In the handy round of the Performance 3’6” Hunters, the victory went to another Dr. Betsee Parker owned mount, Way Cool, ridden by Victoria Colvin.

In the Second Year Green Hunters, sponsored by Oare & Adikes-Hill, it was Hunt Tosh who dominated with Queen Latiffa – a mare that has now led the Second Year Green Hunter division throughout major horse shows all year, including the Devon Horse Show and the Pennsylvania National Horse Show. Tosh and Latiffa earned back-to-back blue ribbons in Tuesday’s classes, to lead heading into Wednesday.

In the Performance 3’3” Hunters, sponsored by, Hunt Tosh and Designated captured the blue ribbon prize during the first class. During the handy round, it was Peter Lombardo and Typecast earning the top call to wrap up the day.

The Alltech National Horse Show is a horse show steeped in tradition and responsible for countless treasured memories. That holds particularly true for the Wheeler family, on Wednesday everything came full circle as Douglas and Kenneth Wheeler’s horse, Queen Lattifa, ridden by Hunt Tosh, was named the Grand Hunter Champion.

After earning 36 points in the Second Year Green Hunter division, Queen Lattifa was presented with the Isgilde Challenge Trophy, donated by Ken Wheeler Sr. and the late Sally Wheeler in memory of their esteemed hunter, Isgilde. With both Ken Wheeler Sr. and Sally Wheeler, Isgilde earned countless accolades in the hunter ring, but more than that she was a beloved part of the Wheeler family.

Things also came full circle Wednesday for Elisabeth McFadden. McFadden’s Serafino earned the First Year Green Hunter division championship with Melissa Feller at the reins, and for McFadden, the Alltech National Horse Show also holds a special place in her heart.

The First Year Green Hunter division reserve championship came down to a tie between Kelley Farmer and Skorekeeper and Scott Stewart and Starmont.

In addition to her successful showing in the First Year Green Hunters with Skorekeeper, Farmer has seen remarkable success with Quotable, owned by Dr. Kenneth and Selma Garber. Quotable was named Grand Hunter Champion at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show and again at the Washington International Horse Show, and Wednesday he claimed the grand championship title in both the Green Conformation Hunters and the Regular Conformation Hunters.

The reserve championships in the Green Conformation Hunters was awarded to Peter Lombardo and Academy Award, while the reserve championship in the Regular Conformation Hunters was presented to Scott Stewart and Everly, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker.

Stewart and Everly were also successful in the High Performance Hunter division, where Stewart earned the eventual reserve championship aboard Dedication, also owned by Parker. Peter Lombardo returned to the winners’ circle during the High Performance Hunters, this time to claim the championship with Ante Up.

In the Performance 3’3” Hunters, the championship went to Typecast and Sybil Rose, while the reserve championship went to Liza Boyd and Fenway. In the Performance 3’6” Hunters John French and Small Affair rode away with the championship tricolor and Scott Stewart and Dedication claimed the reserve. French also had a successful day, earning the Second Year Green Hunter division reserve championship with Small Celebration.

Daryl Portela and Winner have lived up to the gelding’s name at horse shows throughout the country, but the winning pair had never been to the Alltech National Horse Show at the Kentucky Horse Park until this year. They made their debut this week though – and quite the debut it was. Portela and Winner earned 36 points in the Amateur-Owner 3’3” 36 and Over Hunters to claim the division championship and the Grand Amateur-Owner 3’3” Hunter Championship title.

Portela had previously shown at the National Horse Show at Madison Square Garden, so she had high expectations coming to the Alltech National Horse Show in its new home at the Kentucky Horse Park. Those expectations were fulfilled as she came away with two championship tricolors. Finishing in reserve behind Portela and Winner in the Amateur-Owner 3’3” 36 and Over Hunter division were Missy Luczak-Smith and Positano.

In the Amateur-Owner 3’3” 18-35 Hunters, the division championship went to Katherine Oberkircher and Bozeman.  The pair took the blue ribbon in this morning’s handy round before being presented with the championship honor. Finishing in reserve in the Amateur-Owner 3’3” 18-35 Hunters were Christina Fisher and Johnny.

Katie Robinson has won championship and reserve championship honors at just about every show at which she and Rock Steady have competed. Despite standing for countless presentation pictures in the past, as she went forward to accept the Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Championship Friday at the Alltech National Horse Show she had to choke back tears.

Throughout the past two days of competition Robinson and Rock Steady have been neck-and-neck in the division point standings with Nancy Hooker and Castlewalk, owned by Richard Prant of Flemington, NJ. So when Robinson was called into the ring as champion of the Amateur-Owner 36 and Over Hunters, she was taken by surprise.

Hooker and Castlewalk finished the day with the reserve championship after winning Friday’s stake class. Robinson and Rock Steady earned the blue ribbon in Friday’s under saddle class to put them over the edge to take the championship.

Robinson rides with Andre Dignelli and Brady Mitchell of Heritage Farm, and she started off an impressive domination of the Amateur-Owner Hunters for them. In the Amateur-Owner 18-35 Hunters, both the champion and reserve champion tricolors went to fellow Heritage Farm riders Lexi Maounis and Callie Seaman. Maounis, of Greenwich, CT, earned the championship with Sienna, while Seaman, also of Greenwich, CT, finished in reserve with Aha.

Everybody dreams of having that once-in-a-lifetime mount, and for countless junior hunter riders that horse has been Lyle. His name has been synonymous with hunter championships for over a decade. With Taylor Sutton in the irons, Lyle swept all three over fences class in the Small Junior 16-17 Hunters to capture the division’s championship award Saturday at the Alltech National Horse Show. They went on to garner the Grand Champion Junior Hunter title for owner Stephanie Keen of Ocala, FL. Finishing in reserve in the Small Junior 16-17 Hunters behind Sutton and Lyle were Sydney Shulman and Good Humor, owned by Meridian Partners LLC of Boulder, CO.

Prior to Lyle being named Grand Hunter Champion, Ovation earned the grand championship title in the Junior 15 and Under Hunters with Victoria Colvin at the reins for owner Dr. Betsee Parker. In an impressive sweep, Colvin also rode away with the Small Junior 15 and Under Hunter division reserve championship aboard Canadian Blue, also owned by Dr. Betsee Parker.

Colvin again returned to the winner’s circle in the Large Junior 15 and Under Hunters, this time with Dr. Betsee Parker’s Way Cool. They finished with the championship honor, while the reserve championship went to Hunter Holloway and Cascina, owned by Hays Investment Corp. of Topeka, KS.  In the Large Junior 16 & 17 Hunters, the championship went to Samantha Sommers and Small Affair, owned by Iwasaki & Reilly of Calabasas, CA.

Saddlebred Highlights: Wednesday – Friday

The Veldt Queen, owned and ridden by Candi Aversenti, claimed the victory in the Five-Gaited Amateur Stake on Wednesday evening as the American Saddlebred Division, presented by James & Misdee Miller and Elisabeth Goth & Richard Shadwick, got underway at the Alltech National Horse Show.

The evening kicked off with the Fine Harness Open Stake, where B&T Vonderschmitt LLC’s Trust My Imagination, driven by Nelson Green, took home first place. Trust My Imagination, a 5-year-old mare, is new to Green, who started working with her in September.

The Hackneys made their debut in the Hackney Pony Amateur Stake, sponsored by Candi and Edmund Aversenti. Karen Frickey piloted her own Nobu to the victory in the class.

Misdee Miller had a successful evening, scoring victories in the Harness Pony Amateur Stake, sponsored by Candi & Edmund Aversenti, with Heartland Demonstrator and the Road Horse to Bike Amateur Stake, sponsored by Sylvia Covino, with Live Action. Both Heartland Demonstrator and Live Action are owned by Hillcroft Farm.

Elisabeth Goth and her own Sugarland won the Road Pony to Bike Amateur Stake, sponsored by Candi & Edmund Aversenti. Other winners of the evening included Susan Swope and her own Miss Can’t Be Wrong in the Three-Gaited Amateur Stake, Stephanie Sedlacko and Wingswept Farm’s CH Tipitina in the ASB Juvenile Three-Gaited Show Pleasure, and David Rudder and Joan Hamilton’s Phind the Treasure in the ASB Adult Three-Gaited Show Pleasure.

Melinda Moore of Lawrenceburg, KY, took home top honors in the American Saddlebred classes on Thursday evening at the Alltech National Horse Show, claiming both the $3,000 Five-Gaited Grand Championship and the $3,000 Three-Gaited Grand Championship with horses owned by Annika Moriarty Bruggeworth.

Moore started off strong in the Three-Gaited division, claiming her first grand championship of the evening with Sir Silver Knight. While stallions are rare in Three-Gaited competition, Sir Silver Knight has what it takes to stand out.

Moore followed up that winning performance later in the evening by pairing with Attache's Crown Royal to claim the Five-Gaited Grand Championship. An accomplished competitor, Attache's Crown Royal was on his game and wowed the crowd with his flashy gaits.

Patrice Watson O’Brien also took home a championship on the second evening of American Saddlebred and Hackney competition. She and Regal’s Special Effort LF, owned by S.G.F. Winning Ways Farm of Tomball, TX, claimed the Road Pony to Bike Championship, sponsored by Candi & Edmund Aversenti.

Lauren Pope rode Martha Pope’s Buster Jangle to the win in the Open Park Horse Stake, the first class of the evening. Other winners included Mitchell Tunstall, who took first in the Five-Gaited Junior Stake with Jack Cumber’s War Hart, and Alex Rudder, who won the Three-Gaited Junior Stake with David Rudder’s CH The Proof Is In The Heir.

The American Saddlebred Division, presented by James & Misdee Miller and Elisabeth Goth & Richard Shadwick, captivated the Alltech National Horse Show crowd on Friday night at the Kentucky Horse Park. The electric atmosphere in the Alltech Arena spurred the horses on to perform their best as the division concluded with big wins for David Rudder, Misdee Miller and Susan Swope.

“With the exception of Louisville, I don’t know that I’ve ever heard a crowd that loud and that enthusiastic,” said Swope, who rode her own Miss Can’t Be Wrong to claim the Three-Gaited Amateur/Juvenile Championship.

Rudder and Phind the Treasure, owned by Joan Hamilton of Springfield, KY, won the ASB Three-Gaited Show Pleasure Juvenile/Adult Stake. Rudder later paired with Candalight, owned by Crabtree Farms Inc. of Simpsonville, KY, to take the title in the Five-Gaited Amateur/Juvenile Championship.

Joining Rudder in taking home two titles on Friday evening was Misdee Wrigley Miller. She began with a first place finish in the Fine Harness Amateur Stake with H.S. Baby Steps, owned by Hillcroft Farm of Paris, KY.

Miller returned later in the night to claim the Road Horse to Bike Championship, sponsored by Sylvia Covino, with Hillcroft Farm’s Live Action. Miller and Live Action blazed their way around the ring, drawing cheers from an enthusiastic crowd as they showcased their speed and style.

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