Skip to content

Exhibitors Enjoy Fireworks Over The Pacific At Santa Cruz Morgan

by Melissa Walker

WATSONVILLE, Calif.- In Northern California, out in the middle of beautiful strawberry fields, is Watsonville. Your typical fairgrounds and show ring here in California except for the racecars and derbies that take place on Friday night. Every year the Santa Cruz Morgan Horse Club has their show here and treats everyone to one of the best run and without question, most hospitable show of the season. This year the dates were July 7-9, that put most here on the Fourth of July. This meant the added treat of fireworks over the Pacific Ocean for the approximately 100 horses and their riders that came to compete.

The Santa Cruz show has a full agenda of classes including a large trail and carriage division. The club also has the advantage of Richard Sereni living very near and coming out to judge the trail classes. The exhibitors were able to talk to Mr. Sereni and ask and have answered any and all their questions about their class. It was a wonderful opportunity that was greatly appreciated by all, especially the winners of the $500 stake class, Susan Carlino and WWF Super Trust. He was even helpful to exhibitors in the pleasure classes, but then, that’s just what kind of show this is. Relaxed, fun and helpful.

In the pleasure divisions, judged by Pierre Loiselle, there were several surprises in store for the exhibitors and spectators alike. This show has more world’s champions for its size than most but some of the faces had changed. In the western pleasure division for example, the familiar face and steady go of World’s Champion He’s Simply Marvelous was there, but this time ridden by Connie Melendy. Virginia Adams graciously loaned “Wiley” to Melendy, whose beloved Corrick had an accident at the Redmond show (he is fine but enjoying some R & R).

Another familiar face, Linda Sheridan, showed up in the English Pleasure class, but this time smoking the competition in her debut ride on A Winter Day. David Young, who trains this pair, may not get him back!

Then there was Merna Malouf and her new hunter Take The Stars. This is Malouf’s amateur hunter horse but for now Julie Adams is riding and training him. This new pretty face was good enough to win the Hunter Championship for the Futurity Farm team. Malouf will look good on this handsome boy.

One of the highlights of this show from a spectator’s point of view was the Open Jack Benny class where every year the David Young group gets together a behind the scenes bet. The exact amount is not known, but there are several zero’s involved when his amateurs challenge each other. This year the triumphant winner was none other that Jerry Estep on his western pleasure horse SP Peppertime.

And speaking of Estep, what would a Morgan show in California be without Julie Chan’s wonderful mule, Jerry. This year Jerry tied the Sit-A-Buck class with another veteran of this class Carrie Klooster riding Blue’s Shining Star. This class always fills and has the most spectators, which gives you the best overall feel of Santa Cruz. It’s a show of fun and camaraderie.

The Friday Tri-tip Dinner that the show committee put together was better than ever. Tri-tip, chicken, salad, veggie fresh from the field and garlic bread were cooked and served by the men, who also made the pancake breakfast on Sunday morning. The club served fresh pie to all after the classes on Saturday night and this year had a raffle for wonderful gift baskets put together by Virginia Adams and Julie Chan.

With the cost of gas and the struggle the Morgan shows have had in California and Oregon, it’s nice to still be able to have this kind of show stay alive. It is a show where you can forget to enter a class and still go in; if you need an extra minute or two before the class, a gate is held without a problem; and where everyone camps in tents and motor homes and the exhibitors ride together all day and have fun with each other all night. Once again, hats off to Show Chair Didi Howard and her amazing crew for a great fun and interesting horse show.

Complete show results can be found by clicking on SHOW RESULTS.

More Stories