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Citrus Cup - Where It's Florida for Sun, Morgans for Fun!

by Diana Davidson

NEWBERRY, Fla. - The Citrus Cup Regional Morgan Horse Show celebrated its 33rd anniversary in Newberry, Fla., on April 15-18. The Florida Morgan Horse Association slogan of "Florida for sun, Morgans for fun!" was clearly evident. With Mother Nature cooperating with sunny skies and lovely spring weather, approximately 100 Morgans along with their owners, trainers and support staff came to enjoy the fun at Citrus Cup.

Citrus Cup serves as the first AMHA Regional Championship Horse Show each season, and Region 4 is one of the smaller regions in terms of numbers. However, the show committee and exhibitors are proud to carry the banner and enjoy Citrus Cup for what it is. If you come to enjoy your Morgans and the weather that Florida provides, you came to the right place.

The hospitality at Citrus Cup began with coffee and pastries sponsored each day by Shoo-fly, Inc. The always-popular progressive barn party had a carnival theme as everyone made their way around the stabling area following Thursday night’s classes to enjoy some fun carnival games and a myriad of tasty treats. A wine and cheese party, courtesy of Arboria Morgans and its clients, was held prior to the Citrus Cup Yearling Sweepstakes on Friday evening. Following the conclusion of Friday's daytime session, a well-attended AMHA/USEF Rules Forum was held under the direction of Jane Blue and Pat West, followed by an FMHA meeting with President Kathleen Gatien. Everyone gathered for the show’s grand finale following the last class on Saturday night to toast the Citrus Cup champions at the afterglow breakfast in the show arena. The final results of the FMHA silent auction were announced during the party with winning bidders and generous donors helping raise funds to support the club.

Citrus Cup featured many special presentations held in center ring. Tracy Bell directed an outstanding field of youngsters in the Citrus Cup Youth of the Year Contest that featured Spencer Shelby Conklin earning a trip to Oklahoma as well as a replica of the Jennifer Montgomery Perpetual Trophy as the Senior Youth of the Year. The junior division featured Casey Stein earning top honors.

A quartet of high point awards were also presented on Saturday. The UVM Windfall Sport Horse Challenge Trophy was awarded to Phil’s Ridge Harry Potter and owner Kathryn Clarke following a busy week in dressage, carriage and hunter divisions. Jamie Clarke also collected the reserve honors in the dressage and working hunter divisions with the versatile gelding. PTR Joint Venture and owner Susan Milbrath combined for the Dressage High Score Award along with reserve honors in the sport horse high points. SPR Valerie’s Finale and Kelly Simpson cruised to the High Point Working Hunter Award. FCL Just A Miracle and Rebecca Jones drove away with the six blues on the way to the High Point Carriage Driving Award and the C. Brad Hammond Memorial Trophy for the fourth year in a row, with Felicia Schlemmer and her World Champion DBL F Commanding Officer following in reserve.

The Citrus Cup was presented by the Florida Morgan Horse Association under the direction of President Kathleen Gatien. On Saturday evening, FMHA and Citrus Cup honored Alicia Davis for her tremendous efforts on behalf of Citrus Cup as she closed out an amazing 25 years as Citrus Cup show chair following the 2008 show. In 2009, Gatien added show chair to her list of endeavors on behalf of FMHA. The list of show officials also included: Show Manager Jane Blue, Assistant Manager Glenn Winograd, Show Secretary Elizabeth White, USEF Steward Cecile Hetzel-Dunn, announcer Jeff Hyman, photographer Shane Shiflet, organist June Brune and ringmaster Conky Price along with numerous other committee members and volunteers. Steve Davis officiated in all of the show ring and carriage classes, while Dorothy Maxfield scored the dressage division.

The Citrus Cup show ring activity got off to a tricolor start on Wednesday morning with Grand Cru Chimay (Grand Cru Dom Perignon x Kenya) posing as the Grand Champion Mare with Cheri Barber on the lead for Debbie Ferrell. Thus began a show filled with victorious performances for the entries under the Cheri Barber Stables banner. Drs. Jerome and Shirley Modell enjoyed an undefeated show with their quintet of entries. World Champion Gradell Ring My Bell made a stunning transition as he jogged away with the Open Western Pleasure blue and tricolor directed by Cheri Barber. Gradell Angel Withaflaire (Noble Flaire x Gradell’s Seventh Angel) starred in her show ring debut as Citrus Cup Yearling Sweepstakes Champion. Adding to the blue ribbon count were Ladies Western Pleasure winner Gradell Delightful Wishes and Four-Year-Old English Pleasure winner Gradell Heaven Sent with Cheri Barber aboard as well as Ladies Classic Pleasure winner Gradell Mystic Melissa with Erica Dorwart presenting. Dorwart also enjoyed a blue ribbon drive with her own Stonecroft Liza in addition to her favorite show ring activity, cheering on daughter Kitty who went six for six to top the Walk-Trot English Pleasure with HVK Bold Monarch, Walk-Trot Saddle Seat Equitation with Miss Daisy, and jogging away with the Walk-Jog Western Seat honors with Hipp’s Prestige. Sally Ann Lyle’s lovely Better Be Good To Me carried home the Junior Western Pleasure blue and tricolor with Cheri Barber doing the honors. Stacey Resler and Cheri Barber teamed up to carry the blue ribbon down victory lane with DWS Wind Dancer in the Pro-Am Western Pleasure.

Alicia Davis enjoyed several top show ring performances starting off with Raindrops Chisum (Three Wishes x Touch Of Minx) posing as Grand Champion Gelding. Full brother Raindrops Tiburon took his turn in the winner’s circle in Limit Classic Pleasure. Davis also guided Patchwork Legend down victory lane in the Adult Classic Pleasure and as Classic Pleasure Saddle Reserve Champion. Euchee Matthews also took a turn on victory lane with Legend in the Gentlemen’s Pleasure, cheered on by co-owners Jean Rothe and Alicia Davis. Matthews also brought DJE Answer To Destiny out for two dynamic rides for the Open English Pleasure blue and tricolor.

The entries under the West Coast Morgans banner enjoyed an outstanding show. Trainer Valarie Siemer introduced Lora Dunlap’s CBMF Trading Up to the newly created western dressage division top with top scores for a pair of blue ribbons in addition to the Open Trail victory. Siemer also debuted Be My Hunk O Spunk to the Junior Hunter Pleasure blue and tricolor, while his sire Be My Prince William topped the combination pleasure for Barbara Nesse. Doris Bazzini and Bel Cavallo Prima Donna jogged away with a pair of blues in the masters and amateur mares on the way to the Amateur Western Pleasure Reserve Championship. Casey Stein celebrated a memorable week with Grand Cru St Emelion earning the Junior Exhibitor Classic Pleasure Saddle blue and tricolor in addition to the Classic Saddle Seat Equitation Reserve Championship. CBMF Danger Zone and Kelsey Thomas started off the season in top form with the winning performances in the Hunt Seat Equitation Championship and AMHA Hunt Seat Medal in addition to the Junior Exhibitor Hunter Pleasure Reserve Championship. The dazzling new combination of Million Dollar Baby and Rachel Roth starred as the Junior Exhibitor Pleasure Champions. In her final junior exhibitor season, Spencer Shelby Conklin teamed with Tara’s Zeus to earn the Junior Exhibitor Western Pleasure and Western Seat Equitation Championships for the third year in a row under the West Coast banner in addition to a trio of qualifier blues.

Les and Debbie Conklin also cheered on daughters Spencer and Caralee in several other classes and disciplines. Spencer slid away with the AMHA Reining Seat Medal aboard R-Two Siringo, while Caralee rode Sheradin’s Noteworthy to the Ladies Amateur Western Pleasure win. In addition, Debbie’s horse, Double M Adam, earned a pair of top scores in the dressage division matched with Anne Wilde.

Tom Johnson and his clients had another busy and successful week at Citrus Cup. Chloe Hooper continued a flawless season with Formal Protest as they swept top honors in the Saddle Seat Equitation division to earn the tricolor following blue ribbon rides in the qualifier and AMHA Medal. Graywoods Kera has made a lovely transformation into a tricolor winning hunter as Madye Bell matched up with her bold striding mare for the Open Hunter Pleasure Championship following the pro-am win with Tom and Madye as well as the ladies blue with Valarie Siemer providing a winning catch-ride. Felicia Schlemmer and DBLF Commanding Officer added a pair of blues with dynamic carriage performances while Lua Cheia (sired by Commanding Officer) made a trio of victory passes in the three-year-old, junior championship and open championship in the pleasure driving division with Tom Johnson presenting the athletic bay for Joao Fernandes and Claudio Moreira. The Skovgaard family enjoyed a winning show with Beverly driving Sunny Acres Sinful to the Ladies Pleasure Driving win, while daughter Erica rode the black mare to the Ladies English Pleasure win and the English Pleasure Reserve Championship, and her daughter, Amber Grant, did a great job showing Savenac’s Dixianna to a pair of blues in the exceptional classes. SPR Valerie’s Finale and Kelly Simpson added a quintet of blues to the banner as they enjoyed a successful Saturday morning in the working hunter division.

The Whispering Oaks troop of young riders enjoyed a successful show. Sisters Madye and Cassie Bell continued their equitation successes with Madye topping the UPHA Challenge Cup while Cassie earned the Classic Saddle Seat Equitation blue. Esme Yarnell matched up with PJM Time Factor for the Classic Saddle Seat Equitation Championship as well as the Junior Exhibitor Classic Pleasure Saddle Reserve Championship. The adorable pairing of Natalie Fernandez and Tara’s War Dance earned matching reserve tricolors in the Walk-Trot English Pleasure and Walk-Trot Saddle Seat Equitation Championships. Megan Dunkle and Annapolis drove away with the Classic Pleasure Driving Championship following the ladies win. Morgan Eddy and MKM Imperial’s Reflection leapt to dual wins in the hunter and jumper divisions. Jennifer Scotto also carried home a pair of blues with Limit Hunter Pleasure winner Like The Candy and Novice English Pleasure winner PJM Time Factor.

The McKnight family and Gulfwind Morgans celebrated another winning season debut as Gulfwind Sir William and Margaret McKnight-Karrh jogged away with the Amateur Western Pleasure Championship tricolor for the fifth time following the amateur stallion/gelding win. William also sired the sleek bay Citrus Cup Yearling Sweepstakes Reserve Champion Gulfwind High Fidelity (out of Stonecroft Chanel). Larry Bonnell catch-rode Gulfwind Centerfold to the Hunter Pleasure Reserve Championship to make a stunning entry into this division.

Returning to Florida and to the winner’s circle, Larry Bonnell also introduced UDM American Dream (UDM Goldmine x Aljaks Miss Whamerica) to the winner’s circle. Michael and Karen Burridge are the proud owner/breeders of the yearling colt who posed as Grand Champion Stallion.

Breeder/owner Chaucey Felker and trainer Mary Jo Schmidt added another to their long list of winners in Lithia Oaks Last Edition, the winner of the three-year-old class and Junior English Pleasure Championship where he added his name to the DAF Monte Cristo Challenge Trophy sponsored by Lithia Oaks.

Tarryn Farnsworth and Kryptonite have made the move to Florida from Colorado, and they enjoyed a winning debut in the Sunshine State, bringing home the Amateur Hunter Pleasure blue and tricolor.

Rick Davis guided a trio of winning geldings at Citrus Cup. Davis was aboard Mary Jane Bonfili’s handsome THK Wild Adonis for the Gentlemen’s Western Pleasure win and also led him to the Western In Hand blue. Davis teamed up HVK Marquis and Kaitlin Hall for a trio of victory passes in the junior exhibitor and open hunter pleasure classes as well as the Hunt Seat Equitation qualifier. The multi-titled team of All Hail To The Chief and Rebecca Watters moved up to the adult division with more tricolor results as they carried home the Adult Classic Pleasure Saddle Championship.

The Gray family of Hi-Time Farm saw Kathy and Castlebar Knickee earn the top score in a dressage test, while Jason drove Red Bay Ruby to the four-year-old blue and Junior Pleasure Driving Reserve Championship. Jason also directed Ron Reid and The Warlord to the Amateur English Pleasure Championship following the masters blue.

The eye-catching Triagn Midwatch jogged away with the Junior Western Pleasure Reserve Championship for Ann Smith with Rick Gervasio presenting.

In addition to a sensational show with Phil’s Ridge Harry Potter, Kathryn Clarke also brought PTR Wish In Time to match up for a quartet of victories in the walk-trot hunter division with Lainey Key.

Also making the trip from Georgia, Cynthia Skipper and her riders earned many titles in the performance and equitation divisions including Barbet Pistolero with Breck Jones and Hannah Wilson, who also rode Sir Black Ty-n-Tails, and Drops Of Jupiter.

Lauren Tyner graduated to the amateur ranks where she rode her gelding Merlot to the AOTS Hunter Pleasure blue. Anne Judd and her sporty mare Winterset Déjà vu Again brought their winning ways cross-country to Florida from California where they earned the Limit Western Pleasure blue.

Laurie Shroyer-Faust did a great job preparing her handsome MLB Capo Di Capo for the winning ride in the AOTS Western Pleasure.

Sunny Acres In A Flash and Jennifer Wayman exhibited for a pair of blue ribbons and finished off with a trip to the winner’s circle in the Junior Exhibitor English Pleasure Championship.

Karen Wolfsheimer and Suntime Celebration took home a pair of blue ribbons from the Suitability In Hand and dressage competition.

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