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Business As Usual At Tanbark

ST. PAUL, Minn. - If you're looking for a horse show with a wide variety of classes this is your show. The Tanbark Horse Show celebrated its 48th season at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds this year, with nearly 300 horses participating. Tanbark has made an effort to combine the best of both worlds by offering performance classes for Saddle Horses, as well as several academy classes.

"This really gives the beginning rider a chance to not only compete, but to watch the professionals, and advanced riders. I think it gives them a goal....something to aim for in the future. They can see how hard work and determination can pay off," said Lavarre Hollingsworth, horse show secretary. "And of course, it's great to see emphasis put on the riding programs again. They are so important to this industry."

The popularity of the academy classes was quite evident, as were the juvenile and pleasure divisions. Some of the open and championship classes were light, however, which seems to be consistent with some of the other shows in the area. Judges Terry Stephenson, Lee Adams-Hudson, and Bo Lucas did a great job calling the wide variety of classes. Neva Van Ess was the learner judge.

Also popular at this show are the nightly parties. National Horseman magazine hosted a cheesecake party one evening, with a variety of desserts for exhibitors to enjoy. The following evening, the mood changed to Italian, with Cary Volz's spaghetti party in her aisleway. A food fight was rumored, but did not take place because there wasn't any food left! Tanbark staff forever plays the host, not only providing breakfast in the office each morning, but a party one night as well. Center Pointe owners, Judy Jensen and Todd Perkins held a beautiful breakfast on Saturday morning, which was perfect prior to getting the session underway at 10:30 a.m.

Unfortunately, all that was good was touched by tragedy on Thursday. During the morning session as the 10 & under walk and trot equitation riders were warming up, Santana's Moonlight Pearl collapsed and died from an apparent heart attack. His young owner/rider, Lyndi Skinner had not yet mounted, and fortunately was not injured, although certainly devastated. Later that afternoon, Sharon Vuinovich of Downer's Grove, Ill., lost her top pleasure horse, Attache's Best Chance. While standing in crossties in his stall, the horse was electrocuted. The exact cause of the shock was still undetermined by the show's end. Condolences to both Sharon and young Lyndi on their losses, and congratulations for having the courage to continue at the show!

Following are some of the highlights from the Tanbark Cavalcade of Roses. Please see the horse show results for a comprehensive look at all of the placings.

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