Thursday evening at the Alltech National Horse Show, American Saddlebreds showed in Three-Gaited, Park Horse and Five-Gaited classes. The favorite breed of enthusiasts like William Shatner and Carson Kressley, they are known for style, stamina and bold, high-stepping way of moving.
|Heir to a Kiss and Dr. Merrell Magelli (Brooke Jacobs photo)|
|David Rudder and Phind the Treasure (Brooke Jacobs photo)|
|Gabe Deknatel and CH The Daily Lottery (Brooke Jacobs photo)|
“They’re both three-gaited- walk, trot and canter,” said Marie Billings with the American Saddlebred Museum at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY about the difference between Three-Gaited and Park Horse classes. “The Three Gaited horses are shown with a roached mane. They are the ultimate in beauty and refinement with their graceful head carriage and the animation and action of their movement.”
“Park horses are shown with a full mane and may wear a tail set. Both Three-Gaited horses and Park Horses are shown at a show walk and are judged similarly for their showy brilliance,” said Kim Skipton, also from the American Saddlebred Museum.
The Five-Gaited horses are shown at a walk, trot and canter, plus two man-made gaits that they were bred to perform: the slow gait and the rack. The slow gait is a highly collected gait with each of the four feet striking the ground separately. It is executed slowly but with distinct precision, full of style and brilliant restraint. In the rack, each foot meets the ground at equal, separate intervals. It gives a smooth ride while the horse performs in a slightly uninhibited manner, with great animation, speed and correct form.
The $1,000 Three-Gated Amateur Stake proved lively and exciting as the engaged audience called to their favorite horse. The judge gave the nod to Heir to a Kiss, a beautiful mare ridden by Dr. Merrell Magelli. Callaway’s Another Saturday Night and Misdee Miller were second.
“This is only the second time I’ve ridden her in a show,” said Dr. Magelli. “She was actually a Park mare we found and decided we would trim her. I absolutely love her. She loves to show. She loves to be ridden. It’s a team.” Dr. Magelli had been doing reining and the Quarter Horses until trainer, Mark Webster, got her started into the Saddlebreds. “I was with Mark until he closed his barn. I’ve been with Lionel and Georgia Ferreira and Monnington Farm for about two years. It’s the old Helen Crabtree farm in Simpsonville. I live in Omaha and fly out about once a month.”
In the $1000 Park Horse Amateur Stake David Rudder and Phind the Treasure were the victors, performing with brilliance to the delight of the crowd. CH Kent Brockman ridden by Bridget McNeese took the second place honors.
She’s trained by Kalarama Farm in Springfield, KY and owned by Joan Hamilton, said Rudder, a lifelong horseman with 41 world championships to his credit. “She was second in the World Championships in the same division and she was second at the World Championships the year before. She’s a wonderfully bred mare. She’s young- she’s six. She’s coming into her prime right now.”
“I’m keeping my fingers crossed it will grow with its Saddlebred divisions,” said Rudder about the return to the Alltech National Horse Show. “The Saddlebreds bring some fun and excitement and hopefully some entertainment. I remember when I was a kid at the Garden- that was always special.”
An audience favorite, the $1,000 Five Gaited Amateur Stake went to Gabe Deknatel and his CH The Daily Lottery for their outstanding and brilliant performance in the ring. The red ribbon went to Cavalia ridden by Misdee W. Miller.
“If you were to look at him in his stall at home, you’d never realize what a big horse he turns into in the show ring. He’s very calm, he saves up all his energy for the show,” said Deknatel about CH The Daily Lottery otherwise known as “Studly.”
Deknatel has ridden all his life, his mother grew up with Morgans and his sister grew up with Arabians. “About the time I was born we became a Saddlebred owners. I have always competed as an amateur. Nowadays I practice about once a week during the show season.” He trains with John and Tammie Conaster at Carriage Lane Farm in Nicholasville, KY. When Deknatel is not riding, he plays music with a band called Thirty Spokes, an original music rock band that has a good following in the horse industry.
On Friday evening, the Saddlebred classes continue with the Three Gaited Championship Stake, the Fine Harness Open Championship the E.S. Roadster Cup and the Five Gaited Championship Stake.
For more information go to http://nhs.org