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Diamond Jubilee Offers A Sparkling Start To The West Coast Show Season


by Diana Davidson

DEL MAR, Calif., - On April 7-9, the Diamond Jubilee Morgan Horse Show opened the West coast show season as it has for the past 34 years. This show features a wonderful facility in the Del Mar Fairgrounds; a fabulous setting in the ocean-side town of Del Mar and a hardworking group of horse show volunteers and officials. Diamond Jubilee certainly has many things going for it.

In spite of some recent heavy rains along the west coast, the grounds were in tip-top shape to welcome exhibitors eager to start the new show season. The faithful contingent of Southern California stables were joined by Garn Walker Stable from the north along with The River's Edge making the long trip from Colorado. They all enjoyed the beautiful weather with pleasant sunny days and typically cool evening ocean breezes that made for a great weekend.

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 financially sound. Many small shows are not so lucky. It is crucial that trainers and exhibitors support the smaller shows, as many in attendance at Diamond Jubilee do each year.

Diamond Jubilee featured many ways in which to celebrate the start of show season including parties and special events. Exhibitors were welcomed with a pizza party on Thursday prior to the show's Friday morning start. A number of barns took part in the progressive barn party between Friday's afternoon and evening sessions. Young exhibitors got the chance to have some added fun in Saturday's stick horse class. A ringside Sunday brunch was offered to all in attendance while final bids were being taken on nearby silent auction items.

This year’s Diamond Jubilee was again presented by the Morgan Horse Club of San Diego County. This year's show was held for the benefit of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, a charity near and dear to club members. Bill Crawford stepped up to bring in his expertise as this year’s show chairman. The list of repeat show officials included show manager Mary K. Hartman, show secretary Beverly Hurst assisted by Sheri Hurst, barn manager Bill Hartman, paddock steward Kent Moeller, ringmaster Tracy Donaldson, USEF Steward Adele Maurer, and photographer Howard Schatzberg.

Dwayne Knowles and Larry Bonnell were selected to officiate this year’s show. The Diamond Jubilee also remained a popular spot as it hosted the AMHA Judging School for the sixth time with nearly 20 judges and applicants joining the group headed by Harry Sebring, Cindy Mugnier, Larry Bolen and Terry Brennan.

The show ring highlights of the Diamond Jubilee Morgan Horse Show follow, with complete results available by clicking on Show Results.


The Gelding In Hand classes got the show underway on Friday morning with GMH Flashy Locomotion motoring his way to earn the first blue of the weekend in the three and over class. The Nocturnal Flash son began a winning show for always-busy Frank and Ann Miller as well as owners Ted and Eutha Giesick as he went on to pose as the grand champion gelding. Robroy Dawson brought the reserve grand champion gelding honors back to Wallen West. He returned the following day with Besty Viets Wallen to earn the Amateur In Hand blue over a four-horse field.

The mares followed with Heidi Torres presenting two and under winner HP Oughta Be Wild to the grand champion mare title for Hal and Stacey Parker. Carpice Zoumaras and her lovely Alleswell On Broadway followed up with the reserve grand champion mare award.

Queen’s Johnny Angel attracted a new fan club in his first trip to California as he posed for grand champion stallion honors. Bob Kellert was on the lead of Monty Kugeler’s dynamic Futurity French Command son for the tricolor following the three and over blue. Faragamo enjoyed his return engagement in Del Mar as the reserve grand champion stallion. Frank Miller guided the charismatic Mizrahi son to the honors for Caprice Zoumaras.

Bonnie and Alejandro Vigil collected a Diamond Jubilee blue ribbon courtesy of Monet’s Impression. Gerry Rushton and Stacy Hennessy presented the yearling son of Deer Creek Count De to the two and under colt victory.

The Most Classic Morgan victory was indeed a breeze for Acadia Breeze and Laura Thornton as they posed for the blue ribbon for Kathryn Clarke.


The park division was unfortunately small with only four horses competing in the entire division in six one-horse classes. The quality of the entries and their early season performances helped to make up for the lack of competition as they entertained the audience. Dragonsmeade Bulgari enjoyed two trips down victory lane as owner Barb Tardy started off with the Amateur Park Saddle blue with encouragement from the Blackridge cheering section. Debi Jeppesen followed up with a bold performance aboard the Mizrahi son for the Open Park Saddle blue.

It was No Contest in the Park Harness championship as Bob Hughes guided the impressive four-year-old HVK Bell Flaire son to the tricolor. Bill Crawford was on the lines of No Contest to garner the Amateur Park Harness victory to start a winning show under the ownership of Plan B.

Reserve World Champion Stonecroft Notorious started off the season in fine form to earn the Open Park Harness blue in his only performance. Gerry Rushton guided Ted and Elaine Olsen’s new entry to the honors as Elaine got the chance to practice at the show for their upcoming team debut.

The Dragonsmeade Farm breeding program brought out a pair of promising And The Beat Goes On get at Diamond Jubilee. DMH Back In Black showed off his winning style for the Junior Park Harness victory with Bob Hughes presenting.


The English pleasure division had a nice complement of world champions and future stars performing in Del Mar. Five-year-old GMH Flash Dance showed off a world of style as Ann Miller rode the fancy bay to the English Pleasure championship honors for Ted and Eutha Giesick. Amanda Moon and KVA High Roller carried the reserve tricolor back to Judith Voss following a blue ribbon ride in the open qualifier.
Reserve World Champion Cedar Creek Scalawag enjoyed a victorious return to the show ring in his west coast debut. Debi Jeppesen was aboard the Dragonsmeade Farm entry to capture top honors over a strong field of entries.

Intrepid On Parade and Alison Lester turned in a polished ride to earn a stellar victory as the Amateur English Pleasure champions. Mary Luedtke guided the tricolor pair to the win. Deborah Phelan certainly enjoyed her first show with her new partner, World Champion No Doubt. They teamed up for a blue ribbon debut in the Amateur English Pleasure qualifier to the delight of everyone at The River’s Edge. They also carried the reserve championship back to Colorado in their first of what is sure to be many tricolor rides.

Katie Cook started off the season by capturing the Junior Exhibitor English Pleasure championship as well as the 14-17 blue for the second year in a row. This time she was aboard her 2005 Junior Exhibitor Pleasure Driving World Champion partner MEM La Vida Loca to make two brilliant showings under the Gerry Rushton Stables banner. The new team of Tamarisk On Target and Kaitlin Gibson made a bright showing to earn the reserve tricolor directed by Lance Bennett. The 13 and under qualifier saw Valerosa Immortal Dancer and Hannah Hunsinger earn top honors for Valerosa Morgans.

Grand champion gelding GMH Flashy Locomotion and Frank Miller added another blue to the Giesick Morgans haul as they topped the Three-Year-Old English Pleasure. Liz Bolton gave the sporty Layla a winning ride for Laura Dorwart in the Junior English Pleasure. Anne Speck was in the irons of Delaney Weed’s walk-trot partner Heir Rifle to direct the Tug Hill Whamunition son to the novice blue.


SLB Andiamo closed out the 2005 season with a history-making performance as the Open Pleasure Driving World champion. With new owner Helen Crawford on the lines, the dynamic four-year-old set a new standard in the amateur division as he captured the Amateur Pleasure Driving blue and tricolor performing for Boston Morgan Farm under the colors of Blackridge. The popular team of MLF Sharper Image and Craig Sommers turned in a pair of fine drives as well to garner the reserve honors directed by Gerry Rushton Stables.

Gerry Rushton was on the lines of a trio of winning young performers. Kingsgrove Dynasty continued the winning tradition for Dolores Nickel earning the novice blue. Highlander Tequila Chaser made new owner Jeff Shaw quite proud as he performed for the junior victory. It was a glorious debut for Glory Days as he drove away with the blue and tricolor in the two-year-old division.

The Three-Year-Old Pleasure Driving class was the largest and most competitive of the division. It was the captivating And The Beat Goes On daughter Dragonsmeade Wild Note who stepped up for the blue ribbon victory with Bob Hughes on the lines for Dragonsmeade Farm.


The Western Pleasure division was chock-full of quality and quantity with numerous Oklahoma winners along with new combinations beginning the season at Diamond Jubilee. It was clear that Garn Walker put in a good winter of work to follow up a sensational 2005 season. He was right back on top of the charts in Del Mar with the magnificent palomino UDM Goldmine glistening in the California sun as the Western Pleasure Champion. They also captured matching blues in the open and stallion/gelding classes for Michael and Karen Burridge. Ellen McCook’s top performing VVM Aleesa and Mary Luedtke followed up with the reserve tricolor.

Following a winning career in the in hand division, Dr. Bombay showed off his good looks adorned in silver as Garn Walker introduced him to the winner’s circle on the west coast. Michael and Sara Foy are the owners of the Man About Town LPS son who jogged away with the senior and novice wins.

Just a year ago, Connie Melendy was making her very first rides aboard her new world titled partner Corrick. With an amazing 2005 season to remember, this pair started off 2006 by capturing the Amateur Western Pleasure championship as well as the ladies blue over an exceptional field of entries. It was another tricolor sweep for the Garn Walker-trained entries as the dynamic duo of He's Simply Marvelous and Virginia Adams followed with the reserve tricolor after a blue ribbon start in the amateur qualifier.

Virginia Adams was justifiably proud of her He’s Simply Marvelous daughter Soldier Creek Mystquenite who made a trio of trips to the winner’s circle. Garn Walker guided the polished performer to the Junior Western Pleasure championship following matching blues in the junior and first year green classes.

Christy Walter enjoyed her show ring return with her new partner GLB The Cutting Edge as they carried the Junior Western Pleasure reserve championship back to the Garn Walker banner as well.

Hollie Luedtke had the winning number in the Junior Exhibitor Western Pleasure championship for the fourth year in a row. She was aboard Carol Marsden's handsome youngster Raffaello to collect the tricolor as well as the 13 and under blue for the second year in a row. The Western Pleasure Mares blue also went back to the Sterling Hill banner as Mary Luedtke guided Fashion Statement to the win for Ardis Taschner.


The Hunter Pleasure championship and the Benstrom's Challenge Trophy were the grand prize for the smooth-striding LPS Mr. Jalapeno and Jill Yerger as they earned the tricolor following the stallion/gelding blue for the Pacifica Partnership. Sandra Nelson cheered on her new partner CHC Blue’s Shining Star as Carrie Klooster rode her to the reserve tricolor. Sandra enjoyed her own winning performance aboard the polished bay in the Executive Pleasure coached by Earl McFall.

VVM Aleesa showed off her versatile style in Del Mar as Heidi Torres guided the bold bay to the Open Hunter Pleasure blue for Ellen McCook. Debbie Uecker-Keough put her camera away to prepare R-Royale Prophecy for the Hunter Pleasure Mares blue for the second year in a row.

Julie Chan and her bold striding En Excess NKS started off the season with a pair of repeat victories for Diamond Jubilee’s Amateur Hunter Pleasure blue and tricolor. They also added the Ladies Hunter Pleasure victory to the Garn Walker Stable banner in some of the deepest competition of the show. The new team of Chuck Tuffli and MLF Dreams Of Glory were the toast of Dragonfire Farm as they captured the Amateur Hunter Pleasure reserve championship. Earl McFall also guided the smooth performing bay to the limit blue.

There was no smile brighter than that of Lizzie Holmes as she rode her new partner Fortuneaire to a pair of stellar victories in the Junior Exhibitor Hunter Pleasure championship and the 14-17 qualifier to the delight of their Garn Walker Stable cheering section. O To Be Blue and Caitlin Koontz carried the reserve honors back to owner Joanne Blankenship for the second year in a row.

With wife Jennifer in judging school, Earl McFall drew the riding assignment on Sandra Nelson’s lovely Dragonfire Nefertiti. They paired up for a stylish performance to garner the Junior Hunter Pleasure championship. MDMS Chantilly’s Golden Brigade and Laura Thornton earned the qualifier blue to go along with the reserve tricolor for Sandy O’Brien.

The hunter pleasure division drew a host of new entries to begin the season. MSV Rock Star showed off his winning good looks in a new discipline as Garn Walker introduced Anne-Marie Bumb’s stallion as the Novice Hunter Pleasure winner. RJH Reality, a son of park champions Futurity’s Avitar and MKS Destiny’s Echo, showed off his athleticism as the Maiden Hunter Pleasure winner with Earl McFall aboard for Sandra Nelson’s Madison Avenue Morgans. It was quite an exciting show ring debut for Little Bit Red as he made the victory pass in the First Year Green Hunter Pleasure with Jennifer Sommers showing for Jeffrey and Katherine Shaw.


The Classic Pleasure Saddle championship rounded out the competitive division with VVM Litigator earning the tricolor honors for an amazing fourth year in a row. Beau Rash was aboard the stylish bay to earn the tricolor following the junior exhibitor blue as well as the Road Hack win under the Rancho Del Mar banner. The Reserve World Champion team of AMHF Absolut Mystery and Debra Hurst Walters started off the season in top form earning the ladies blue as well as the reserve tricolor under The River’s Edge banner.

The deep division featured a blue ribbon start to the season for the stylish team of Armani and Laura Dorwart. They earned top honors in the Open Classic Pleasure Saddle coached by Liz Bolton. GMH Natasha Jade and Rachel Lindsay added to a winning show for Eutha Giesick as they earned the Junior Classic Pleasure Saddle blue.

Mari Sanderson and Airegantlee followed up their sensational 2005 season with a victorious start in 2006 as they added the Diamond Jubilee Classic Pleasure Driving blue and tricolor to their list of accomplishments under the direction of Gerry Rushton Stables. It was a duel of world title-holders as Smith & Wesson changed gears to the classic division with Bill Crawford taking over the lines. They added to a tricolor season debut for Boston Morgan Farm with the Classic Pleasure Driving reserve championship under the Blackridge banner.

McCartney played a trio of winning tunes with blue ribbons for the Wallen West banner. Zoe Christy was the pilot for a pair of novice rider/horse blues under saddle and in harness, while Danielle Andrews was on the lines for the Junior Exhibitor Classic Pleasure Driving blue.


The Equitation division was filled with some of last season's top winning young riders to begin the new season. World Champion Ariana Corrigan and Festival Troubadour looked polished and precise to once again capture the Saddle Seat Equitation championship. Anne Speck also coached Ariana to a pair of qualifier blues in the 14-17 age group and the AMHA Saddle Seat Medal. Rachel Miller enjoyed a fabulous debut show with her new partner Futurity Chicago Whitesox. They started off with the Saddle Seat Equitation 13 & Under blue and went on to enjoy reserve honors in the Saddle Seat Equitation championship and AMHA Saddle Seat Medal coached by Stacy Hennessy.

Brooke Yule and Bulgari showed off their winning style to bring the UPHA Challenge Cup back to the Miller banner. Cheyenne Banks Diaz was one happy young lady as Anne Speck greeted her following her blue ribbon ride in the Novice Rider Saddle Seat Equitation.

Tayler Walters and MLF Caliente started off the season with confident rides as they swept the walk-trot division with a quartet of winning rides. They earned matching tricolors in the Walk-Trot Pleasure and Equitation championships. They also added blue ribbon rides in the Walk-Trot English Pleasure and Equitation qualifiers to the delight of family and friends on hand to cheer them on. It was a tricolor sweep for Rancho Del Mar in the walk-trot equitation division as Claire Brownie teamed up with Dreammaster Irish Emperor for the reserve honors.

The Walk-Trot Pleasure championship featured JJSK’s Keeps Shamrock and Julie Folksman earning the reserve tricolor for James and Sandra Flanagan. They also topped the Walk-Trot Hunter/Western Pleasure coached by Courtney Zimmermann. It was the perfectly matched combination of Aspenglows Baryshnikov and Lila Tatar who turned in the winning ride in the Walk-Trot Classic Pleasure guided by Glynis Snowden.

Caitlin Koontz topped the charts in the hunt seat equitation division. She guided O To Be Blue to the championship following blue ribbon rides in the AMHA Hunt Seat Medal and 14-17 age group directed by Ann Miller. Lizzie Holmes added the Hunt Seat Equitation reserve championship to her debut show with Fortuneaire. Margo Odlum took her turn in the winner’s circle with the Novice Rider Hunt Seat Equitation win.

Hollie Luedtke repeated her victory of a year ago in the Western Seat Equitation 13 & Under as she guided Raffaello to the winner's circle.


Geoffrey Longenecker had a large group of family and friends on hand to cheer him on with World Champion HVK Baymarch as they followed up their winning debut of a year ago with a repeat performance. They sped away with the Roadster To Bike blue and tricolor to the delight of Saralin Farm and Blackridge. Adam Sherman warmed up the powerful bay with a spectacular blue ribbon ride in the Roadster Under Saddle. RRG Margarita and Alison Bendele looked like they are ready for an exciting year as they turned in a pair of excellent drives to garner the Roadster To Bike reserve honors.

Mackenzie Lyttle added to her future education as she guided Dreammaster Irish Emperor to the Scholars Pleasure win to the cheers of Rancho Del Mar. RTF Heir Apparent and Hillary Trower had the winning number in the Pre-Green Walk-Trot Pleasure competition. Carla Boeck enjoyed the winning lead in the Junior Exhibitor Showmanship category.

The Open Carriage competition featured a diverse field, but in the end it was a Morgan at the head of the class. Intrepid Sabrina and Mary Scronce captured the championship following the working pleasure blue. Cynthia Kirby-Shaw and her mighty mini Sunnyside Sandman were the crowd-pleasing reserve champions. LCS Ice Princess along with the Friesian Redmer also performed for Carriage Driving blues.

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