Carolina Dreamin

Lil Dreamin Magnum & Jeremy Gates • Photo by Kelsey Pecsek

Tying for the Carolina Classic Derby Level 4 Open win in 2016 was a great achievement for Lil Dreamin Magnum and Jeremy Gates, but the team refused to settle. They returned to the show this year with their eyes on the prize, and that focus was rewarded with all the glory from the Level 4 Open Championship.

Bred by Spence Bell, of Maysville, Oklahoma, Lil Dreamin Magnum (Magnum Chic Dream x Myo Starlight x Paddys Irish Whiskey) is a 6-year-old stallion owned by Kathy Biesecker, of Honeoye Falls, New York. He has been a consistently talented show horse for Gates, who trains out of Bloomingburg, New York. That reliability was further proven when Lil Dreamin Magnum scored a 222.

“It’s very exciting,” said Gates, who showed in romal reins. “[My plan was] to just show the horse I had. He warmed up good, so I knew he would be good. I just didn’t know how good.”

According to Equi-Stat, a $78,457 record accompanied Lil Dreamin Magnum to Williamston, North Carolina. That now totals $95,145 after the stallion amassed $16,688 for winning Levels 4 and 3 in both the Carolina Classic and Atlantic Breeders Incentive (ABI) Derby Open. Gates’ lifetime earnings exceed $285,000 after the performance.

Boom Shine Boom (Boom Shernic x Shining Little Peach x Shining Spark) and Matthew Palmer came in from draw 13 to challenge the leaders, but fell short by 1 point with a 221. The duo finished as the Carolina Classic Derby Levels 4 and 3 Open Reserve Champions, earning $7,064 for owner KC Performance Horses LLC, of Bayfield, Colorado.

Carolina Classic Derby Levels 2 & 1 Open

Just one day after his client dominated all four levels of the Carolina Classic Derby Non-Pro, Dan Sanborn picked up the Levels 2 and 1 Open championships. Riding John Balko’s PS Electric Chic, the trainer from Salisbury, New Hampshire, marked a 219.

PS Electric Chic (Electric Code x A Promising Chic x Smart Chic Olena), bred by Patsy Schutz, of Pottsboro, Texas, is typically shown by Balko, of Hermitage, Pennsylvania, in the Non-Pro. Considering how well the 6-year-old mare performed with Sanborn, though, Balko admitted he’ll likely be sharing more in the future.

“I’ve had her at home. She’s not been with a horse trainer since I got her. When I get to horse shows, Dan tunes her up,” Balko said of “Patsy,” who he purchased as an early 3-year-old. “He [Sanborn] said he wanted to show her in the Open and I was a little apprehensive, but he certainly made it work.

“She’s a great mare and so good-minded. Obviously we’re going to keep her and keep showing her.”

Sanborn is known for his coaching style with a team of non-pros who all live by his barn slogan – “One Team, One Dream.” Still, he was excited to get the chance to really push PS Electric Chic and show how much potential the mare has.

“I’m elated, proud and thankful,” said Sanborn, who added $3,594 to his and the mare’s lifetime earnings at the event. “He [Balko] gave me the opportunity to go show her tonight. He believed in me and believed in her, and it worked out. I had to step up and go show a little bit tonight, and that’s the best thing about this sport. That’s what I love.”

The Derby Levels 2 and 1 Open Reserve titles went to Ms Chics Einstein (Einsteins Revolution x Ms Chic Poco Pine x Smart Chic Olena), bred by Wolf Hills Farm LLC, and Christian Roux, of Spartanburg, South Carolina, who also owns the 2012 stallion. The duo missed the top of Levels 2 and 1 by merely a half-point and finished in the top five of Levels 4 and 3, garnering paychecks worth $3,742.

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