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UNDULATA'S JOHNNY REBEL
WCHS - Louisville, KY
Undulata’s Johnny Rebel and John Conatser won the World’s Champion of Champions title in Junior Park Pleasure. at the 2019 World's Championshiop Horse Show in Louisville, KY. This pair also made a victory pass after a unanimous win in the Section Two qualifier for owner Rhiannon White. Sired by Carl Lynn and out of the great producer, Cherry Cherry, “Rebel” won these same classes in 2018, as a three-year-old, for former owner Elisabeth Goth and former trainer Neil Visser. Just a few weeks after those victories, Rebel was selected by Rhiannon as her Adult Show Pleasure mount.
FOX GRAPE'S JUNGLE GARDENIA
Owner/Exhibitor Rhiannon White
Fox Grape's Jungle Gardenia — "Flower" is an exciting and game five-year-old mare (Deep Blue x WC Our African Violet). Purchased last year at Louisville and teamed with RhiannonWhite, she has transitioned to Park with great success. Winner of the UPHA Five-Gaited Classic Grand Championship as a three-year-old, she is a standout when she enters the ring. "Flower has enjoyed wins and reserves at Kentucky Spring Premier, Southern Saddlebred Spring Fling, Madison Classic, Lawrenceburg Fair and Blue Ridge Classic. Rhiannon and Flower captured the Blue Ridge Amateur Park Grand Championship in unanimous fashion.
New Owner Betsy Thomas
Breeder Joellen Blount of Rose Arbor Farm, congratulates Betsy Thomas on her purchase of Heidelberg RAF. "Mario" is a two-year-old gelding sired by WC Rose Arbor Destiny and out of Princess Mara, a full sister to WC Sir William Robert. Carriage Lane served as the agent for both parties.
Heidelberg RAF: Breeder Joellen Blount of Rose Arbor Farm, congratulates Betsy Thomas on her purchase of Heidelberg RAF.
The White family: Stacey, Rhiannon and Joe White — celebrating Undulata's Johnny Rebel’s 2019 World Champion of Champions win!
Undulata's Johnny Rebel: Undulata’s Johnny Rebel and Carriage Lane trainer John Conatser winning the 2019 World’s Champion of Champions title in Junior Park Pleasure.
Fox Grape's Jungle Gardenia — Madison: Fox Grape’s Jungle Gardenia and owner/exhibitor Rhiannon White winning at Madison Classic.
Fox Grape's Jungle Gardenia — WCHS: Fox Grape’s Jungle Gardenia and owner/exhibitor Rhiannon White showing at the 2019 World's Championship Horse Show.
CARRIAGE LANE NEWS
2020 UPHA CONVENTION
John Conatser Inducted into UPHA Tom Moore Hall of Fame
(Induction Tribute Below Slide Show)
Tammie Conatser Wins Sallie B Wheeler Distinguished Service Award
(Award Tribute Below Slide Show)
Carriage Lane Trainer Tammie Conatser Recognized with Sallie B. Wheeler UPHA Distinguished Service Award
Leadership is a thankless job, not meant for a lot of people. Those who do choose that path, do so out of a deep love for a cause and for tonight’s honoree that cause is the show horse industry.
The Sallie B. Wheeler Distinguished Service Award has gone to many individuals who have given in many different ways, but this honoree’s service has been exceptional and multi-dimensional, going back several years and showing no signs of slowing down.
A graduate of the Kentucky Belle Riding Academy, she began showing at the age of nine. She happened to live across the street from Jim B. Robertson who directed her first blue ribbon at Orlando on the old Sunshine Circuit. She later rode with Sam and Marie Brannon and then Don and Anne Judd before graduating with a law degree.
Like some of us in this room, she tried the real world as a practicing attorney for 10 years but the urge to be in a barn rather than an office or court room was too great. She became great friends and then the significant other of a guy with riding gloves in his back pocket. Their relationship is going on 30 years, 25 of those married.
Together they’ve built a thriving training and breeding business, keeping the numbers small enough to give each individual the utmost attention, whether they are in the training barn, the breeding shed, or the pasture. She is hands on with every aspect of their business and her positive attitude and organizational skills have worked greatly in their favor.
“She stays very steady, patient and positive, regardless of a particular result on any given day,” said Gabe Deknatel in a past interview. “If you have a bad ride or make a mistake in the show ring she knows in the long run things will come together. She doesn’t get too wrapped up in a single moment; she keeps things positive and forward facing.”
It is with those attributes and a very take charge personality when needed, that our honoree has been so successful as a leader in the industry. She’s passionate, understanding and extremely loyal.
Starting out as the co-chair of Kentucky’s UPHA Chapter 9 she was asked to be on the national board by then president James Nichols. Dedicated to the fundamental purpose of the UPHA and its members, she worked her way up from two years as Secretary, two years as Second Vice-President and two years as First Vice-President, before taking the hot seat for three years. During her time as Madame President her knowledge of law was of great benefit. She worked tirelessly with our other organizations in the battle to get a positive response with the USDA APHIS ruling on the Trotting Breeds; helped establish the UPHA Code of Ethics; helped put on the Super Convention in Boston; this past year was part of a lobbying group that traveled to DC and met with various members of Congress about the PAST ACT; and chaired the UPHA committee that developed a Consent and Waiver Form to assist members working with minor athletes.
Not shy about multi-tasking, she has worn many hats in her quest to make the sport of showing horses better for everyone. Co-Chair of the Conference Committee, Chair of the Governance Committee, Co-Chair of the Kentucky Fall Classic Horse Show, member of the American Royal Steering Committee and UPHA Classics Committee, and the World’s Championship Horse Show Advisory Board are among her other appointments.
Currently? Still as involved as ever, she’s serving on two committees for UPHA.
“She has the unique power to inspire people and the compassion to listen to the needs of others,” said Nancy Becker who has worked with our honoree for numerous years through the UPHA Foundation.
“She has championed UPHA with her integrity, courage, determination, and competitive spirit and she continues to help move the organization forward.”
An accomplished horsewoman, a USEF judge, a former president of the United Professional Horsemen’s Association, a leader in the trenches involving the most pressing issues, an organizer of conventions and horse shows, indeed, Distinguished Service.
Recognizing Tammie Conatser with the UPHA Sallie B. Wheeler Distinguished Service Award isn’t near enough thanks for the hours and insight she has given and continues to give, but we hope she knows this token of our appreciation is extremely heartfelt.
Carriage Lane Trainer John Conatser Inducted into UPHA Tom Moore Hall of Fame
Growing up the son of a legend and trying to follow in his footsteps is not for the faint-hearted, especially in a sport as demanding as ours. When that father was the second person inducted into the UPHA Hall of Fame the bar was high and that’s just how the son liked it.
He wasn’t just following his father’s career; the son had his own passion for the American Saddlebred. Starting at an early age he put in the hard work and proved he belonged. Then with dedication, honesty, loyalty and longevity he became and continues to be one of the top horsemen of our time.
The Middle Tennessee State University graduate with a degree in Aerospace Administration, thoroughly enjoyed getting a pilot’s license and still enjoys his time in the sky, however, the call to the barn was too great. After all, he had already gotten a Master’s Degree in horsemanship from his father, in addition to learning from great horsemen like the late Jim B. Robertson for whom our honoree took care of world’s grand champion Forest Song.
Going to Louisville as a professional for the first time in 1973 with his father, our honoree won his first of 10 career Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited World’s Championships. Belle Supreme GTR was that world’s champion. She later became a Broodmare Hall of Fame matron, with such offspring as CH The Phoenix SM and CH The Groomsman.
The next year, on his own at Grape Tree Farm, he won his second consecutive three-year-old walk-trot world’s championship, this one with the beautiful stallion, Sensational Spirit. Other three-year-old greats for our honoree include Shaman, CH Marching Orders, and CH New York’s Perfect Gift. His mastery of a high-headed, four-cornered walk-trot horse has stayed with him throughout out his career, a career which has included the 1980 Three-Gaited World’s Grand Champion Seymour’s Finest Hour.
You would think with three-gaited stars like the above mentioned, tonight’s recipient would be labeled a trainer of great walk-trot horses. Quite the opposite, he has proven to be a trainer of great horses, no matter the division. His entries have won the Amateur Five-Gaited World’s Champion of Champions title eight times, the Ladies Five-Gaited World’s Champion of Champions three times, 10 amateur gentlemen’s world’s championships and a Five-Gaited Reserve World’s Grand Championship.
His gaited horses have always been known for their explosiveness and brilliance. This group would include CH Seymour’s Southern Heir, CH Natural Rights, CH A Touch Of Champagne, CH The Phoenix, See The Sights, CH Range Rover, CH Callaway’s Weatherman, CH Walterway’s Remember Me, CH Swish, CH Callaway’s Criterion and CH The Daily Lottery. Let that list of greats sink in.
Fine Harness: Think back to the sensational Joe Friday lighting up Freedom Hall as the 2006 Three-Year-Old Fine Harness Stallion/Gelding World’s Champion with our honoree. Two years prior to that on Thursday night of the UPHA/American Royal he won the Fine Harness Classic Grand Championship with CH Coco Loco, the Harness Pony Classic Grand Championship with Heartland King Of Kings and the Three-Gaited Classic Grand Championship with CH Marching Orders. A complete horseman indeed.
Much like him, his horses might be wired a little tight, but it’s all about being the best they can be. His formula has also worked well in the pleasure ranks with world’s champion standouts like CH Dom Perignon, CH League Of Nations, CH Just Special, For Reference Only and Callaway’s Kix.
Other world’s and national champions associated with our honoree include CH Zeberdee, Second Souvenir, TNT, Valley Venture, CH Polo Town, CH In My Heart, Metro Heirea, CH Gone Platinum, Real Action, CH-EQ Coco Mojo, Rose Arbor Destiny, Undulata’s Secret Rendezvous, CH Evolution, Spanky McFarland, CH Work It, CH He’s In Style, CH Lulu Guinness, CH That’s Chicago, Undulata’s Johnny Rebel, and I’m On Fire.
Part of our honoree’s passion has been pairing great horses with great riders. Some of those with multiple world’s titles have included Nanci Knox, Karen Waldron, Ceil Wheeler, Cackie Loughlin, Gabe Deknatel, Carol Hillenbrand, Betsy Thomas, and Tracy Garcia.
“I think one of the most interesting things about him is he would rather prepare a team to achieve success rather than show himself, even if that horse could be a top contender with him riding,” said Gabe Deknatel.
“He thrives on that aspect. As a coach he creates a culture of excellence that goes all the way to the farrier and the caretaker. He will prepare for a one-horse class at a one-day show just as hard and meticulously as he will for the Five-Gaited World’s Grand Championship.
“We had a couple of really game horses and he is great at being able to contain those horses without taking their show away and making it a good experience for the rider. He has found ways for me to connect with those horses.
“Pure meticulous effort and figuring out to make it work for horse and rider are what has made him who he is.”
Not only does our honoree love a great show horse (and University of Kentucky sports), he also loves the people and organizations which make up this profession.
He has served as UPHA Chapter 9 Chairperson twice, served as a UPHA representative on the World’s Championship Horse Show Advisory Board for more than 20 years and is currently chairman of the UPHA Classics committee.
Mentoring aspiring horsemen and women is another aspect in which he takes great pride. Trainers like Lee Adams Hudson, Joe Elam, Kurt Hufferd, Sarah Barwood Hoover, Jerry Hutson, Peyton Hamilton, Tiffany Wheeler, Scooter Scheurich, Kelly Lockhart, and current Carriage Lane assistant, Beto Ramirez all spent time with this master horseman.
“Intense. It was intense every day working for him, but that was okay because he was right there beside you doing the same thing. He expected a lot of me so I started expecting a lot from myself and that has stayed with me,” said Tiffany Wheeler.
“His work ethic is also something I’ve taken with me. The amount of time he gives to each horse is amazing. Most of them we would work twice a day, going out to jog or long line 10 or 15 minutes until they were warmed up and relaxed and then we would come in, strip them, put a saddle and bridle on, and go back out.
“On a personal note, when he got hurt it was the same thing that happened to me. It was odd we both had the same injury, however, since I had already had mine I was able to be the mentor and give him advice on what to expect and how to handle it. I was happy to be able to play that role and give back to him.”
Not only has our honoree made an impact on those who have worked for him, he’s also got several peers who share his drive for excellence and appreciation of turning out great show horses.
“He is the consummate horseman,” said Kim Cowart. “He is a perfectionist. He is a great caretaker as well as a great trainer. We have bought several horses from him and there is never a detail left out. He wants the horse to go on and do as well for you as it has for him. He is a professional in every aspect and honest as they come.
“If you don’t want to know the truth, don’t ask him. Not only does he have all my respect as a horseman, he is also a very, very good friend. He and Tammie are first class all the way.”
A 2014 inductee of the World’s Championship Horse Show Hall of Fame, a show which he has attended for 61 consecutive years, John Conatser becomes only the sixth son to follow his dad into the Tom Moore UPHA Hall of Fame. We know Marvin Conatser is beaming with pride.
Spanky McFarland Enjoying Retirement at Carriage Lane!
Spanky McFarland is reliving the "good old days" where he grew up. Now retired, the former show ring star and product of the Carriage Lane Farm breeding program is having a grand time playing with the yearlings and his running mate, Swish.
The 11-year-old is well-known for winning the 2012 ASR 3-Year-Old Sweepstakes and earning a Three-Gaited Over 15.2 Reserve World's Champion title in 2015. Carriage Lane trainer John Conatser was in the irons for both rides. Spanky closed out his show ring career with a win in the Kentucky County Fair Three-Gaited Championship at Louisville in 2018, shown by Kelly Lockhart.
Tipsy Parson & Salay Tompkins
This 7-year-old mare is teaming up in 2020 with 11-year-old Salay Tompkins. This duo debuted in the competitive Junior Exhibitor 17 and under Three-Gaited Class at Bonnie Blue, finishing as the top 13 and under pair each time out! Offered for sale, this mare is the epitome of kindness and talent.
Heir Force Blue & Salay Tompkins
This four-year-old gelding, owned and bred by Carriage Lane Farm, debuted with his young catch-rider, Salay Tompkins, at Bonnie Blue in the 13 and under Show Pleasure division. Sired by Deep Blue and out of the popular WCC WC CH Amelia Heir Cat, “Amelio” is available for purchase, safe, sound and 100% class!
Undulata's Johnny Rebel & Rhiannon White
Following their WC and RWCC victories at the 2020 World’s Championship Horse Show, Rhiannon and Rebel finished the season on top of the world. This duo bested a world-class group to be named Grand Champions in Adult Show Pleasure at the Kentucky Fall Classic.
AMERICAN SADDLEBREDS • NICHOLASVILLE, KY
AMERICAN SADDLEBREDS • NICHOLASVILLE, KY