by Jennifer Styskal

The second morning of the 71st National Celebration opened up with cool temperatures that promised to heat up as the day progressed. However, the competition in the show ring was anything but cool, with talented entry after talented entry hitting the gate for the judges’ approval. Mike Carpenter, Rollie Beard, Jennifer Bingham, Jamie Bradshaw and Sam Sorrel held court in center ring.

The Model Pleasure Walking Stallions or Geldings kicked off the morning schedule with 14 beautiful horses answering the call. The judges took their time walking the line up, each one carefully analyzing the conformation of the entries. When the cards were turned in, the first blue ribbon of the day was awarded to Trigger Treat with Jeff Givens at the lead for owner Jo Ann Dowell. Jeff Givens swept the model pleasure division, already having won the mare class the previous morning. Trigger Treat was reserve in this class last year with Givens as the handler, and the team turned it on to take top honors this year. The crowd gave its rousing approval for reserve champions, The Texas Lexus and Jamey Thompson. World champion in this class last year, Texas Lexus was groomed to perfection with Thompson showing off his entry to his best advantage for owners Roger and Rebecca Emerick.

The western horses took to the ring in class 13 for the Owner-Amateur Western Trail Pleasure, Adult Riders Section A. Twelve teams hit the gate and put on a great show. Earning a reserve world championship the day before, Paige Bennet returned to the show ring to capture a world championship with She’s Pretty Jazzy. This team was indeed jazzy to best a nice group of trail pleasure horses for Bennet and Kaitlyn Rippy. Marty Irby and Ms. Streetwalker had their share of the crowd’s support when they rode out of the ring with the reserve honors. Ms Streetwalker won this section last year and made another great show with Irby in the saddle for Ralph Pinner and Irby.

Section B of the Owner-Amateur Western Trail Pleasure, Adult Riders class brought 14 entries into the ring, all riding their hardest. After all entries were put to the test, I’m Rose Walker captured the title for rider and owner Lauren Hamilton. This was the second world championship for the team, who won a top ribbon the previous day. Pulling into the center for the reserve title was the sporty pair of Jared Carrier and Santa Emelia. Winners in this class last year, they carried the red ribbon back to Kentucky after capturing titles from the Spring Fun Show, the WHOA/PWHAK Franklin show and the International Championship.

The performance horses made their first appearance of the morning in class 14, Amateur Owned & Trained Walking Horses, No Professional Training Within 90 Days (Canter). Making the stroll down victory lane with a unanimous decision was the team of Push In Command and Kenny Compton. They added a world championship to their 2009 resume of wins from Wise County Classic, Foothills Classic and Tazewell Classic. Shaking and strutting their stuff, Jacob Baum and The Ultra Doc took home the reserve honors in a competitive class of five entries. The Ultra Doc and Baum had already captured a blue from the Lexington Lions Club Horse Show earlier this year.

Only two entries took to the rail in the Park Pleasure Driving, 2 or 4 Wheel Vehicle. After a brief timeout, the class got back underway. Earning the victory pass and the judges’ decision was Santana’s Coin. Wallace Brandon made the winning drive for McNeely and Landrum. Santana’s Coin has enjoyed a near undefeated year with blue ribbons from Mississippi Charity and PC Splash. Laurie LaFontaine teamed up with her Score’s Heartbreaker to drive out with the red streamers. Score’s Heartbreaker captured wins from Liberty Lions Club and the International Championship before coming to the Celebration.

Back under saddle for class 16, the Owner-Amateur Riders on Plantation Pleasure Walking Horses, Lite-Shod were up next with 11 entries making the class. It was a tough class with each entry putting on a good show. Rising above the rest and walking to the winner’s circle was Honor My Cash. Debbie Parmer was in the saddle this morning after trainer Patrick Thomas earned a world championship the previous morning, continuing their undefeated season. Going all the way back to Utah, Nancy Lovato directed Kasidy Petty’s Elegance Of Design to the reserve ribbon. A twice world champion, Elegance Of Design picked up a win at the Tony Rice Center Horse Show before making an appearance at the Celebration.

A fine group of 13 young horses took the spotlight next in the Park Pleasure Walking Horses, Two & Three Years Old. Jazz Valor and Nathan Clark proudly accepted the top honors in the division for Clark Farms of Arab, Ala. Before capturing a world championship, Jazz Valor made a victory pass at the WHAA Charity & Alabama Futurity. Annapolis and Jamey Thompson made a polished performance for Brassy and Dunn of Chino Hills and Newport Beach, Calif., to ride back home with the reserve.

Returning to the western division, the Owner-Amateur Riders on Western Plantation Pleasure Walking Horses, Lite-Shod (Canter) came into the ring with four teams vying for the title. Announcer Mark Farrar Jr. called Red Sunday’s Best to the winner’s circle after earning a reserve world championship the previous day. Jared Carrier was in the saddle for Carrier and Toone. A sweep of blue ribbons at the International Championship helped prepare this team for their world title success. Jose’s Quervo Gold and Joanne Davis teamed up for the red honors for Williamson and Davis. World champions of this class in 2008, Quervo Gold and Davis continue a stellar season that already includes eight victories.

Western remained the theme of the day with 14 teams answering the gate call for Section A of the Owner-Amateur Novice Western Trail Pleasure, Novice Adult Riders. And what a class it was! After the rail work and an intense examination by the judges in the line up, the world champion of this section was announced as Gigi’s Majestic. Jennifer McElroy made the winning ride for the second time this week on Gigi’s Majestic. They earned a world championship Wednesday morning for Martin, Hankins & McElroy. Victoria’s Got A Secret didn’t keep anything from the judges and was named the reserve champion. Fred Benjamin was in the saddle for Benjamin and Morgan. Two wins at the Indiana Celebration rounded out this mare’s impressive 2009 resume.

Eighteen entries in the second split of the Owner-Amateur Novice Western Trail Pleasure, Novice Adult Riders made their way down the chute to show off their smooth gaits and gentle manners. Topping the deep class with a unanimous decision by the judging panel was Bustline. Vicki Benjamin rode the repeat world champion to the winner’s circle for Barker and Benjamin. Rolling Commander commanded the reserve honors in a very competitive class with Ashley Say in the irons for the Womack and Say families. A TWHBEA National Futurity champion in 2008, Rolling Commander added this reserve world championship to wins from Jack Keltner Memorial, WHOA Versatility Shelbyville, Cornersville, PC Splash and Moore County.

Another nice groups of novices came into the ring in class 20, the Owner-Amateur Novice Riders on Novice Park Pleasure Walking Stallions or Geldings. With a careful inspection of the rail work and line up, the judges called A & D’s Regal Prince and Anna Clark to ride out of the novice division with one final trip down victory lane. Regal Prince had also picked up a win at Arab Park & Recreation Horse Show with Nathan Clark in the irons. Aspen For Cash and Donnie Headrick gave the champions a run for their money and claimed the reserve title. Headrick and Aspen For Cash captured a blue at Spring Hill, only a few weeks before walking into Calsonic Arena.

Walking and shaking around the ring, the Owner-Amateur Riders on Plantation Pleasure Walking Horses, Four Years & Under, Lite-Shod, brought 11 excellent entries into Calsonic Arena. Gen’s Million Dollar Baby looked like a million bucks with Jimmy Laughlin directing him to the winner’s circle for 4-J Land & Cattle Co. This unusual roan-colored horse continues his impressive season with other wins from Heart of America Spring, Laclede County and Rick Inman Memorial Horse Show. Keeping it in the family, Jeff Laughlin rode Arm’s Scarlett O’Hara to the red ribbon in a very nice class. This was Arm’s Scarlett O’Hara’s second reserve world championship in as many days.

Despite the increasing heat from the early afternoon, the crowd made its voice heard when six entries walked into the ring for the Plantation Pleasure Walking Horses, Lie-Shod (Canter). Claiming his third world championship in two days, Honor My Cash earned the unanimous vote of the judging panel to carry the blue ribbon back to Elizabeth, Pa., with trainer Patrick Thomas in the irons for Donnie and Debbie Parmer. Brock Tillman made the catch ride for Patrick Thomas on Major Orders to claim the reserve championship. Brenda Gey of Monteverde, Fla., is the proud owner of this horse, who has already worn a world champion blue from the ring on Wednesday morning. 

Twenty-eight entries made for a full class in the Owner-Amateur English or Western Trail Pleasure, Three Years Old, Adult Riders. After the initial rail work was completed, 14 teams remained in the ring for a workout while the rest were excused.  Finishing a second round of work, Jose’s Rhythm Lady made the ride into the winner’s circle with Liz Gassaway in the saddle for Thomas and Gassaway. This was the mare’s career debut, and what a way to start out. Jared Carrier was proud to pick up the red prize with Copper’s Morning Glory. Sired by Mr. Copper Top, Morning Glory added to his resume of three blue ribbons, including a TWHBEA National Futurity championship from Wednesday night. Rounding out the top three to close out the morning session was Gigi’s Halberd with Jennifer McElroy making the ride.