With extreme heat warnings and "feels like" temperatures ranging from 104-113  looming over the Berrien Springs Youth Fairgrounds on Saturday, it was no surprise that the competition was just as hot.

Triple Challenge Maiden Two Year Old Sale Class Brings Big Checks

The Tom Powers Triple Challenge Maiden Two Year Old Western Pleasure Sale Stakes saw a total purse of $50,000 awarded between the Open and Limited Open divisions. All horses shown were required to sell through the Tom Powers Yearling Sale in 2017. The program has been running for five years now. The champions in both divisions of the class this year were sired by Batt Man.

In the Open division, Chattanooga Lucy and Becky Schooler won the check for $25,000 for owner Alicia Ritsema, and also won the Harris Challenge bonus check for $3,000 for riding in a Harris saddle.

“We bought her at the Madness,” Becky said. “Aaron Moses trained her, and we just thought she would be the perfect horse for Alicia to show as a Non-Pro. She’s so pretty, and her ears are always up. She has lots of rhythm and she’s easy to ride. It was a blast to show her today.”

Alicia will be showing her in the Limited Non-Pro Two Year Old classes and I plan to keep showing her in the Intermediate Open Two Year Old classes.

Lauren Louw got a catch ride that became the Sale Stakes Two Year Old Limited Open Western Pleasure champion when she showed Batters Up for Stanley and Susan Scott. The team earned an $8,000 check for first place as well as earned $1,000 in the Harris Challenge for showing in a Harris saddle.

“Jason and Jamie English had her super broke and ready for me,” Lauren said. “I just rode her once yesterday and once this morning and then showed her. She’s so quiet and has a great feel. This is an early futurity, so they have to be pretty good minded to come here and do well. She’s not super tall but she is very strong. She was super consistent. She is a great jogger and just throws her front leg out in front of her.

“I have to thank Jason, Jamie, Stanley and Susan for letting me show Polly. It was a lot of fun.”

Hunter Highlights 

Judy Zeitler was on fire – in more than one way – in the Hunter Under Saddle futurity classes on Saturday. She won back-to-back Tom Powers Triple Challenge championships in the Three Year Old Open Hunter Under Saddle and Two Year Old Open and Limited Open Hunter Under Saddle classes, just as the temperatures were starting to heat up Saturday morning.

Judy showed Al Night Long to win the Three Year Old Open Hunter Under Saddle for owner Anya Danielson, making the team a repeat Powers champion after a win the Three Year Old Novice Horse Hunter Under Saddle on Friday. The gelding is by Allocate Your Assets.

Judy jumped back in the irons in the very next class to win the Two Year Old Open Hunter Under Saddle and Limited Open division as well, showing Lucky To Sleep for Amy Bucholtz.

“We got him from BSB Quarter Horses,” Amy said. “He’s by Too Sleepy To Zip and out of Dynamic Fashion. I got him in February. Judy’s been my trainer for a long time, and we’re best friends, and she thought he would be the right horse for me. This is my first Powers championship, and I’m estatic.”

Western Winners

In the Western pen, the morning began with the champions named in the Maturity Open and Intermediate Open Western Pleasure.

Aaron Moses piloted VS Lady In Red to win the Open division for Kristen Galyean.

“She was so good,” Kristen said of her red roan mare, known as Annie. “She’s had a long week and she did great.”

Ashley Lakins showed RR Magical Moonlight to win the Maturity Intermediate Open Western Pleasure for Dennis and Debbie Martin and their granddaughter, Kiley Wiseman.

“That was a really tough group of horses,” Kiley said. “It is the best of the best out there. It’s a lot harder for me to watch Ashley show than when I show, because I want to critique everything. Plus the heat was really a challenge for everyone.”

‘Mouse’ and Kiley will show at the Buckeye Classic and the AQHYA World Championship Show later this summer. “Mouse will be going to the NSBA World Show, but I start school in the tenth grade that week, so I won’t get to show,” she said.

Three year olds and two year olds were next on the show schedule. Casey Willis showed KM Sudden Fried Chicken to win the Three Year Old Open Western Pleasure for Masterson Farms LLC. By the Mastersons stallion RL Best Of Sudden and out of the mare Zippin Good Chicken, a Congress champion and Superior earning mare, the filly known as ‘Biscuit’ has royal bloodlines.

“I’m really just catch riding her,” Casey said. “Blair (Townsend) showed her all last year and was a reserve champion at the Congress with her. She got hurt, and has a bit of a layoff and she’s just coming back – this is her first show this year. In fact when we came here, she still had a long mane and we had to give her a spa treatment before we showed her.”

“She’s a great mare,” added Blair. “She has the best attitude, and she loves to show. She’s a lot of fun to show.”

Ashley Lakins showed Bettin The Goods for Mr. and Mrs. William Wilkes  to win the Three Year Old Intermediate Open Western Pleasure.

In the Two Year Old Open Western Pleasure, Aaron Moses found the winners circle once again with Heart Stoppin, showing for Voge Quarter Horses. By RL Best of Sudden and out of the Voge’s mare One Hot Mouse, the colt is a full sibling to Its Best To Be Hot, Its Best To B Me, and Irresistably Hot.

“He was just so natural even as a yearling,” noted Julie Voge. “He’s always been really great minded, and he’s just handsome.” The stud colt will be shown at the NSBA World and the Congress. “After that we don’t know,” Justin Voge noted. “For now, we’re just enjoying the ride! It’s always fun to get a win at the Tom Powers.”

In the Two Year Old Intermediate Open Western Pleasure, two horses and riders tied to win the champion title. Bill Hatten showed Suddens Leading Lady for Shane Eide, while Danny Desmond showed SST Lollipop for Steve and Susan Thompson.

Super Sires Crowns Non-Pro Champions

The Western Pleasure Super Sires saw seven horses vie in each class for the Three Year Old Non-Pro and Three Year Old Limited Non-Pro titles.

Nancy Ditty showed Struttin For Jackie to win the Three Year Old Non-Pro title, earning a check for $10,000. The red roan mare, whose barn name is Jessie, is by Struttin On The Range and out of a Jack Bar mare.

“This is the best win ever,” Nancy said. “This is the first horse I’ve ever stroke a check for myself, which meant a pre-purchase exam, insurance and everything. I have a whole new appreciation for what my family has done all these years.

“I just got her May 5th from Olivia Hoecker, and she had never been to a show except for the Congress Longe Line. She handled everything great. I just love her. We haven’t thought much past this show, but we’ll do the Three Year Old Non-Pro classes for the rest of this year.”

In the Super Sires Three Year Old Limited Non-Pro Western Pleasure, owner Rebecca Smiecimski showed Touch Me Touch Me to the win, also earning $10,000. The bay mare is by A Touch Of Sudden.

“I’ve had her since her two year old year, and I had this class in the back of my mind when I got her,” Rebecca said. “I just saw a great horse in there. She’s honest. What you see in the practice pen is what you see in the show pen.

“Jennifer Stein is my trainer, and she is amazing. She makes it easy for me, because just when you think you’ve got it all, she gets 110 percent from the horses. We will be doing the Three Year Old Non-Pro classes this summer at the NSBA World Show and the Congress."

Super Sires participating stallion VS Code Blue was awarded the Sire of the Year award.

Special Awards

Two special awards were presented throughout the day for achievements at the Tom Powers Triple Challenge.

Judy Davis was presented with a special award for her success with the mare Just Like June, who won Triple Challenge Hunter Under Saddle futurity classes as a two year old, three year old and maturity horse, making the mare a true Triple Challenge champion.

Masterson Farms LLC was recognized for their stallion RL Best Of Sudden, whose offspring have dominated the Tom Powers Triple Challenge for a number of years making him the highest winning stallion of the futurity. A special Horse of the Year award was presented to Ken Masterson, Casey Willis, Blair Townsend and Houston Huff for their participation and success in the Tom Powers Stallion Trust, which is in its 20th year.

Attendees enjoyed a bar-be-que dinner prior to the start of the 2018 Yearling Sale Saturday evening. 

The Tom Powers Triple Challenge continues through Sunday.