Mayflower Blooms in Des Moines

Look through photos plus all-around results from April 29 to May 3 at the Iowa Quarter Horse Association State Show.

The American Quarter Horse Journal

Horsemanship, western pleasure, trail and showmanship classes drew four- to six-point classes at the 2015 Mayflower. (Credit: courtesy of bar H Photography exclusively to the Journal) Scroll down to view more photos.

Outstanding weather made it easy to love the Mayflower this month, as exhibitors and horses rolled into the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa, the week of April 27 for the six-judge AQHA show with National Snaffle Bit Association dual-approval. The sunshine and warm 70-degree weather was a delightful change from the two previous years, which had experienced both snow and rain.

The Mayflower is the Iowa Quarter Horse Association State Show. Revamped and energized four years ago by a core committee of four dedicated volunteers, the show includes six shows of the IQHA, its districts 1, 2 and 5, and the Iowa Quarter Horse Youth Association. With volunteers from each entity, the show has become a success, both financially and as promotion, for the Iowa affiliate.

This year’s show saw more than 6,500 total entries, including NSBA and a few non-AQHA classes. Western pleasure, trail, horsemanship and showmanship classes drew four- to six-point classes. Eight high-point all-around Mayflower cobalt crystal bowls and eight reserve all-around awards were presented, along with stall-bag awards for the high-point English horse, halter horse and western horse (sponsored by Knapp Farms), and circuit champion leather paddock halters for the 132 classes. The high-point western and English horses also received free ads from InStride Edition. Judging this year’s show was Rob Meneely, Judd Paul, Sissy Anderson, Valerie Kearns, Dean Bogart, Tony Burris, Lisa Krohn, Leo Fourre and Jim Dudley.

The show is heavy in exhibitor attention, with their “random acts of prizes” providing lucky-draw gifts and prizes throughout the show. Mayflower T-shirts and hoodies proved popular again this year for exhibitors and spectators to purchase, sharing the “Mayflower love” the group has worked so hard to create. The hide-n-seek contest rewards the exhibitor traveling the farthest to show at the Mayflower with a cowhide with the Mayflower logo branded into it. The kids showing in the 9-&-under classes get to cruise through the Kids Table to select their own prizes, filled thanks to donations, as well.

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Loving their sponsors as well, class sponsorships receive an entry into the drawing for a free stall, won this year by Travis Born Performance Horses. Level sponsors are put into a drawing for another coveted Mayflower-branded cowhide, won by Willybuptonogood, owned by Brickham Quarter Horses. The trade show vendors also have a chance at a Mayflower cowhide, won by Tack Room Inc. this year.

Show-help volunteers are thanked with a Mayflower volunteer T-shirt, sponsored by Custom Builders. The Volunteer of the Year was IQHA amateur Michele Osborne. Cindy Johnson, IQHA member and youth mom, was also recognized for her contributions in planning and coordinating the meals for show staff with a custom Mayflower ceramic flower pot created by Verlin Potts.

Other special activities during the week included the exhibitor party taco bar sponsored by Purina and Country Stores, the exhibitor pizza party sponsored by the Iowa Youth, the Iowa Amateurs Gift Basket Silent Auction fundraiser and the exhibitor hospitality cart by Lifeline Equine that greeted the arriving exhibitors with refreshments.

The annual IQHYA Pie-and-Cake Auction fundraiser always provides some excitement on Saturday, where baked goodies donated by Iowa youth families are auctioned off to the highest bidder as a big fundraiser for the youth. Jim Roth volunteered as auctioneer, selling more than $2,900 in sweet treats to the generous buyers.

Erin Lieurance showed Pass Code to win the inaugural Mayflower Jim Cooper Memorial Western Pleasure class. Continue reading for full coverage from the class. (Credit: bar H Photography)

The big class on Saturday evening was the Jim Cooper Memorial Western Pleasure class, held to honor a fellow IQHA member and supporter who died in March. Sponsored by friends of Jim Cooper, the class was won by Erin Lieurance showing Pass Code owned by Jodi Siamis of Marion, Iowa, to earn the $1,000 check donated by Dee Zee Manufacturing and the custom headstall created and donated by Roth Show Equipment. Erin and her partner, Jeff Cochran, donated the $1,000 to the Courage League Sports, the children’s charity close to Jim’s heart. Second through fifth places earned checks, sponsored by Rock Ridge Ranch and Adkins Quarter Horses, and Mayflower caps and medallions. Sixth through 10th received Mayflower medallions. Connor Griggs received a $100 bonus, sponsored by Lee and Lori Robertson, and a Mayflower-branded cowhide as the highest placing non-pro exhibitor out of 19 entries. From each of the entry fees paid for the class, $10 was donated by IQHA to Courage League Sports in Cooper’s name as well. Guest judges for the class were Brent Maxwell, Jeff Allen and Mitch Adkins.

For show information and results, visit

High-Point English Horse

The Blue Cowboy, a 2009 brown gelding (Its All About Blue-Glowest (TB) by Fleet Twist (TB)), owned by Whitney McIlvain of Prosper, Texas

High-Point Halter Horse
Acoolest Mocha, a 2011 bay mare (Acoolest-Mochas Finest Touch by The Finest Mocha), owned and bred by Robert Friest of Hubbard, Iowa

High-Point Western Horse

Heavenly Mac, a 2004 sorrel gelding (Macs Good N Plenty-Heavens Fantasy by Zippos Heaven Sent), owned by Knapp Quarter Horse Farms of Van Meter, Iowa

High-Point Open All-Around

Champion: Always Lopin Sober, a 2010 bay gelding (Lazy Loper-Always Invite Holly by Invitation Only), owned by Katie Grossnickle of Maple City, Michigan

Reserve: Heavenly Mac, owned by Knapp Quarter Horse Farms

High-Point Select Select All-Around

Champion: Heavenly Mac and Susan Knapp of Van Meter, Iowa

Reserve: Kinetic Krymsun, a 2009 bay gelding (One Hot Krymsun-Private Pleasures by Zippo Pine Bar), owned and shown by Dianne Schaefer of Lone Jack, Missouri

High-Point Amateur All-Around

Champion: Hes Wiser, a 2008 sorrel gelding (Hes Suddenly Famous-I Wiser by Potential Investment), owned and shown by Missy Merwald of Ankeny, Iowa

Reserve: Always Lopin Sober, shown by Katie Grossnickle

High-Point Level 1 (Novice) Amateur

Champion: A Special Invite, a 2003 sorrel gelding (Dee Invitation-Senorita Hobby by Red Dee Hobby), owned and shown by Christina Hansen of Gretna, Nebraska

Reserve: Lil Red Coupe, a 2004 chestnut mare (Custom Coupe-Ever So Moxie by Mr Moxie Man), shown by Rachel Nissen of Rochester, Minnesota

High-Point Youth 14-18 All-Around

Champion: Zips Bossy Chip, a 2008 bay mare (UK Mito Boss-Suzies Fancy Chip by Jessies Fancy Chip), owned and shown by Ellexxah Maxwell of West Mansfield, Ohio

Reserve: Hott Wheelz, a 2008 sorrel gelding (Blazing Hot-Barpassers Gal by Barpassers Image), owned and shown by Connor Elizabeth Griggs of Joplin, Missouri

High-Point Youth 13-&-Under All-Around

Champion: Cant Skip A Hot Chip, a 2006 bay mare (Blazing Hot-Chip Appeal by Zips Chocolate Chip), shown by Kendalyn Herlocker of Cedar Rapid, Iowa

Reserve: Sheez So Good, a 2008 buckskin mare (Good Terms-Fancy Te Walker by Cloud Walker), shown by Emma Schaefer of Norwalk, Iowa

High-Point Level 1 (Novice) Youth

Champion: Sheez So Good, shown by Emma Schaefer

Reserve: Sonnys Sweet Sierra, a 2004 bay mare (Red Sonny Siemon-Sonnys Nifty Sierra by Sonnys Double Tuff), shown by Abby McCormick of Indianola, Iowa

High-Point Youth 9-&-Under

Champion: Im Invited Too, a 1997 gray gelding (Invitation Only-Miss Double Show by Showboy Flit), shown by Piper Anderson of West Fargo, North Dakota

Reserve: Invitation To Dream, a 2004 bay gelding (Invitation Only-Princess Radical by Radical Rodder), shown by Lily Pearl Thorpe of Oakes, North Dakota

View all of the class circuit champions at