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California Springs Into Show Season At The Diamond Jubilee

By Diana Davidson

Del Mar, Calif. - For the 39th year Diamond Jubilee ushered in spring in southern California. Exhibitors gathered in the lovely seaside enclave of Del Mar to compete for top honors in the American Saddlebred, Hackney Pony, and open to all breeds pleasure and carriage classes in addition to a full Morgan division. The 150+ classes were held in the Del Mar Fairgrounds main arena, which now features an elaborate cover to protect exhibitors and spectators from the elements. Mother Nature gave everyone a pleasant surprise with warmer than normal conditions to start along with plenty of sunshine for the show held on April 1-3. With a world-renowned location, wonderful facility, great weather and a nice schedule of classes, Diamond Jubilee has a lot to offer horse show exhibitors.

The Diamond Jubilee features many ways in which to celebrate the start of show season including parties and special events. Exhibitors were welcomed with a pizza party hosted by America’s Finest Morgan Youth Club on Thursday prior to the show's Friday morning start. The stabling area was also the site of a progressive barn party hosted by many of the stables between Friday's afternoon and evening sessions. Exhibitors young and old enjoyed the chance to have some added fun in the jog cart race and chuck-a-duck fundraiser on Saturday afternoon. Following Saturday evening’s abbreviated session, a large group gathered at Chevy’s for the Golden West Region VII High Point Awards Banquet (see separate story).

Diamond Jubilee is fortunate to have some energetic volunteers who do a fine job with class sponsorships, show activities and careful budgeting in order to keep the show on solid financial footing. Many small shows are not so fortunate. It is crucial that trainers and exhibitors support the smaller shows, as many in attendance at Diamond Jubilee do each year.

This year’s Diamond Jubilee was again presented by the Morgan Horse Club of San Diego County. The list of show officials included show manager Mary K. Hartman, show secretary Beverly Hurst assisted by Sheri Hurst, barn and paddock manager Bil Hartman, USEF Steward Adele Mauer, ringmaster Tracy Donaldson, announcer Dave Kalb and photographer Howard Schatzberg. Heather Boodey and Jaisen von Ballmoos shared the judging duties at this year’s show. A large group of current and prospective judges were on hand for the AMHA Judging School under the direction of Cindy Mugnier and Larry Bolen.

The Saddle Seat Equitation Championship was one of the show’s major highlights with 10 top riders vying for the tricolor as well as the Corrigan Family Perpetual Trophy. Lila Tatar followed her tricolor victory at Carousel Charity to start the season with a repeat victory at Diamond Jubilee. Here she was matched with LGH Destiny’s Treasure who was also her blue ribbon partner in the AMHA Saddle Seat Medal and Morgan Saddle Seat Equitation 14-17. With victory passes in the Saddle Seat Equitation, Hunt Seat Equitation and English Pleasure divisions, Lila closed out the show with the High Point Junior Exhibitor 14-17 Award under the Lawson Creek Farm banner directed by Anne Judd and Jenna Domanico.

The Blackridge team kicked off the season with winning performances in the Morgan division with dynamic showings by dual Saddle Seat Equitation winners Katie Kabel and L.A. Ricochet, repeat Amateur English Pleasure Champion Dragonsmeade Vivace and Greg Holzschuher, and Classic Pleasure Driving blue ribbon winner Indian Creek Warbird and Lexie Ellsworth.

Premier West under the direction of Nicole Johnson enjoyed a banner show at Diamond Jubilee to follow their winning start to the season at Carousel. The Lents family were frequent visitors to the winner’s circle with Dianne showing three-time Western Pleasure blue winner HDD Wild Thing, Hackney Pony Pleasure Driving Champion Seamair’s Winterfest, and debuting with Western Pleasure Champion Pondview Park Avenue. Emily Lents also earned trips to victory lane with a trio of horses Junior Exhibitor English Pleasure Champion MEM Bad Boy, western and in hand winner Holiday’s Bonita Fe, and classic pleasure saddle winner Plum Haven Capistrano. Rum Brook Immortal Valor rounded out the Lents family blue ribbon string with a victory pass in the Western Pleasure Stallion/Gelding class with Nicole Johnson.

A trio of tricolor walk-trot teams also starred for Premier West. Victoria Walz matched up with Kingsgrove Dynasty to top the competitive Walk-Trot Equitation Championship as well as the saddle seat qualifier. Ben Stout enjoyed a fabulous debut with AMHF Bal Du Masque to earn the Walk-Trot Pleasure Championship in addition to a blue and reserve tricolor in equitation. Natalie Wiley and Indian Creek Broadway Joe matched up for the reserve tricolor streamers in the Walk-Trot Pleasure Championship.

Emma Pedersen and Bold Jangles paired up for a memorable show to finish off with the Junior Exhibitor High Point 13 & Under Award following five victory passes in the Junior Exhibitor Western Pleasure and Western Seat Equitation divisions. SpringMill Stardust earned the first tricolor of the show for the Premier West banner as Grand Champion Gelding for Michelle and Jillian Hansen. Carlene Bunn had a big cheering section as she added the Academy Walk-Trot Pleasure Championship aboard Kingsgrove Carbon Copy.

The Sturm Family of Las Vegas enjoyed their annual trip to Diamond Jubilee. Shaunicy Sturm graduated from the walk-trot division and is off to a great start with blue ribbon performances with VVM Well Deserved in Junior Exhibitor English Pleasure and Willowick Mafia Princess in Pleasure Driving. Savannah Sturm and Festival Atomic Energy maintained top billing with dual tricolors in the Junior Exhibitor Hunter Pleasure and Hunt Seat Equitation Championships. Savannah also took over the lines of Classic Pleasure Driving blue ribbon winner Charlestown Jennifer Ann. Brooke Yule added the Park Saddle blue and tricolor to the BJ Schafer banner with GLB Sanatra, while Linda Yule visited the winner’s circle with Raffaello.

Mary Cockriel and Bob Kellert made the long trip from Colorado to the delight of their southern California clients. Tayler and Debra Walters teamed up with Man In Command for victorious drives in the Classic Pleasure Driving division, and Tayler matched up with Boston Big Whammy to earn the UPHA Challege Cup victory. Mary Cockriel visited the winner’s circle three times with the elegant GMH Teddy’s Girl for the Junior Hunter Pleasure blue and tricolor as well as the mare class victory with Eutha Giesick cheering them on.

Another promising youngster bred by the Giesicks made the victory pass in the Limit Hunter Pleasure as Madline Lee rode the white trimmed GMH Jumping Jack Flash directed by Glynis Snowden. PAF Ecstasy also added a blue and reserve tricolor to the Glyn-Rae banner in the Mares In Hand division.

Garn Walker introduced a trio of new entries to the winner’s circle at Diamond Jubilee this year. The well-matched new team of Kathy Gomer and Roy-El’s Messiah jogged away with the Amateur Western Pleasure Reserve Championship. Garn Walker directed NSM Hollywood Nights to the Open Western Pleasure blue and new owner Joanna Rykoff earned a top-three finish in the amateur championship. Roy-El’s Valentina enjoyed a blue ribbon debut under the Garn Walker Stable banner as she topped the Western Pleasure Mares for owner Lindsay Naas with Garn Walker aboard.

Rushton Stables followed up their season debut at Carousel with several winning Diamond Jubilee performances including those by Pleasure Driving Champion Tomeri Awemunition and Grand Champion Mare Tomeri Symphony for Tom and Teri Brisco. Danica Brisco enjoyed a blue ribbon debut with World Champion Extreme Obsession in the Ladies Pleasure Driving. Madison Sanderson and World Champion Airegantlee also teamed up for a blue ribbon debut in the Junior Exhibitor Classic Pleasure Saddle cheered on by proud grandmother/owner Mari Sanderson. Stacy Hennessy and I’m In Heaven continued their winning streak in the OTAB Pleasure Driving for Patricia Peters.

Craig and Jennifer Sommers enjoyed a trio of victory passes in their debut with Highlander Tequila Chaser with Craig winning the Amateur Pleasure Driving blue and tricolor while Jennifer topped the Novice English Pleasure. Jennifer Sommers also directed Kristen Klepper and Wee B Sweet Emotion to top honors in the AMHA Hunt Seat Medal and the Hunt Seat Equitation Reserve Championship.

Darcey Attig directed a number of winning teams at Diamond Jubilee including; Light Year and Sandra Gruen, Master Mark and Robert Jacobi, Shermandell Asgard and Nicoline Malkvist , WCS Holiday Falon and Jessica Hoyt, The Macblue Attack and Sharon Shedroff, and Intrepid Sabrina and Mary Scronce.

Sterling Hills saw VVM Aleesa and Ellen McCook bring home top honors once again in the Amateur Western Pleasure Championship. Whispering Incognito and Jill Yerger were again triumphant in the Open Hunter Pleasure division. Valerosa Immortal Dancer and Brittney Ellis earned several victory passes for Barbara Coroy. Madison McElhinney and JJSKS Spring Storm also enjoyed a repeat trip to Diamond Jubilee’s victory lane.

Anne Speck directed several top teams at the Diamond Jubilee from Rancho Del Mar. Amelia Coomber and her new partner CBMF Audacious earned the Junior Exhibitor Park Saddle blue. Kathy Scherer introduced Tayler Walters new partner Dragonsmeade Courante to the winner’s circle in the Open English Pleasure, while Tayler matched up with Mo’ Motion to add the Saddle Seat Equitation 17 & Under blue to the RDM banner. Stonecroft Make A Wish and new owner Shannon McTaggart debuted with a blue ribbon in the Walk-Trot Pleasure. Kristina Mauro graduated from walk-trot with a reserve tricolor ride on Callaway’s Glory Glory in the ASB Three-Gaited Pleasure Championship. Marissa Emery and Leader’s Legacy addeed the Maiden Hunter Pleasure blue as well as the reserve tricolor in the Junior Exhibitor Hunter Pleasure Championship. Savannah Adams and Sport Coupe teamed for the Academy Walk-Trot Equitation blue and tricolor with a pair of crowd-pleasing performances. Toni Nickell and Mountainview’s Crown Prince closed out the show on a high note earning matching tricolors in the ASB Country Pleasure and ASB Country Pleasure Driving Championships.

The Miller Equestrian Services banner boasted top ribbons including those earned by three-time winners Into The Cosmos and Helen Ragen who finished off with the ASB Three-Gaited Pleasure Championship. The ASB Amateur Five-Gaited blue and tricolor were earned by Sweet Peridise and Caprice Sotice Wilbur, while Frank Miller rode Open Park Pleasure winner Thomas McCleod. The Morgan contingent included Amateur Hunter Pleasure Champion ALS Bedazzle and Michellie Jones, and blue ribbon winners Festival Mariachi and Nichole Coufal along with Marin Five O One and Cierra Holtz, and Academy Reserve Champion Claire Fishman.

Eric Antman and Austin Eversman directed several top entries from Majestic Farms. Eric was aboard Who Do You Love to capture the ASB Park Pleasure Championship. Rachel Diggs and The Town Legend drove away with the ASB Show Pleasure Driving Championship. Champagne Barbara and Rebecca Shaffer teamed up for the ASB Country Pleasure Reserve Championship. Kim Bonta handled the lines of Callaway’s Despite The Odds for a blue ribbon and reserve tricolor in the ASB Country Pleasure Driving. Claire Brownie and Futurity’s Chicago White Sox claimed the Saddle Seat Equitation Reserve Championship with a poised performance.

Liz Bolton directed a trio of winning entries in ASB Three-Gaited Park Champion CH The Woodsider and Lori Legaz, ASB Adult Three-Gaited Pleasure winner Harlem’s Pretty Woman and Barbara Tardy, and Open Pleasure Champion Who’s The Fheirest and Kathy Kilbourne.

CH Hella Good and Grace Arnold teamed up for two dynamic rides to earn the ASB Five-Gaited Pleasure blue and tricolor for owner Holly McLellan and trainer Jim Cherry. The Fine Harness division featured a pair of charismatic performances by Fusilier and Keith Roberts to earn the blue and tricolor directed by Barbara Beamer. The Unforgettable Fire and Jamie La Fortune starred on victory lane in the ASB Three-Gaited Park qualifier and added the reserve tricolor. Inviting and Jaclyn Iiyama earned the Junior Exhibitor Country Pleasure blue for Firefly Equestrian LLC.

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