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Florida Exhibitors Enjoy A Tricolor Summer's End

by Diana Davidson

OCALA, Florida- For Morgan exhibitors in the state of Florida, the show season starts early. Most stables make their season debut the end of February or beginning of March in Tampa, and by May they have already been to several shows. Due to the extreme heat the summer months, which are peak horse show times elsewhere, provide a break from shows in Florida. On Sept. 7-10 it was once again horse show time in Florida as it was Summer’s End!

The original thought behind having Summer's End was to have a final show in Florida to qualify or tune up for Oklahoma. Since all of the shows in the state are held in the spring, Florida exhibitors had to travel several hundred miles or more for any qualifying shows in the mid or late show season. In its first seven years, Summer's End has been the show where many horses have qualified for Oklahoma and several have gone on to win world championships. There are also a number of exhibitors who don't travel to Oklahoma, who enjoy the fun of competing at Summer's End.

Following the cancellation of Summer's End in 2004 due to Hurricane Frances and a close brush by Hurricane Katrina prior to the 2005 show, it was smooth sailing in the weather department in 2006. While it was still quite hot and steamy, there were no storms on the map, which is always a welcome relief for Floridians. The Southeast Livestock Pavilion played host to Summer’s End for the second year in a row. The permanent covered stabling with an attached covered show ring was the perfect setting for the show.

The show schedule and classes at Summer's End are designed with exhibitors and horses in mind. The show features morning and evening classes, thus leaving everyone to take off the hottest part of the day. In addition to the show ring competition, Summer's End always keeps everyone entertained at its parties with Debbie Ligas and Ian Ferguson serving as the hospitality committee. A progressive dessert party was held in the barn at the close of the Friday evening session with an outstanding selection of calories to be enjoyed by all. Another party followed Saturday afternoon's FMHA meeting directed by president Nina Spencer in the air-conditioned reception hall.

The Saturday evening session featured a “Fun Raiser” for the show as seemingly everyone on the grounds paid a buck (or five or 10 or 20) to chuck to a duck. And a good time was had by all with some crowd-pleasing chuck-offs to determine the winning chuckers.

Many members of FMHA volunteer as officials at Summer's End to help keep the show economically feasible. Jane Brown serves as co-chair as well as secretary, while Glenn Winograd also served again as co-chair. Jon Dunkle took his place in the announcer's booth. Lucy Sproul manned the gate and the paddock, while Omar Gonzalez took his place in center ring as ringmaster for most sessions. Jane Blue was ringside as USEF Steward. Exhibitors were happy to see official photographer Bob Moseder and wife Jean. Tim Roesink enjoyed his view from center ring as he officiated in all of the Summer’s End classes.

Summer's End championship highlights follow. Complete results can be found by clicking here.

The show began Thursday evening with a great exhibition of in hand entries. The sparkling Gulfwind Centerfold was crowned Grand Champion Mare. The yearling daughter of World Champions Centerpiece and Gulfwind Wild Solitaire struck the tricolor pose for owner, breeder and handler Margaret McKnight Karrh. The yearlings were on center stage as Gene Olesen presented Silk N Roses to the reserve in both outings to begin a tricolor show for Ken and Lynn McColl’s Echo Lake Morgans. Tom Johnson was back on the lead of FCF Protégé as he guided Cassie Bell’s sporty bay to the Grand Champion Gelding honors. Last year’s champion, THK Wild Adonis, followed in reserve with Jason Gray presenting for Mary Jean Bonfili and went on to be named Junior English Pleasure Champion later in the show. Kathleen Gatien introduced her yearling War And Peace son to the winner’s circle as he collected the Grand Champion Stallion honors.

The smile on Felicia Schlemmer’s face said it all as she rode her homebred four-year-old stallion DBL F Commanding Officer to the Amateur Park Saddle Championship in their first show together under saddle. It was “a dream come true” that earned the applause of their many friends including trainer Tom Johnson. The world titled team of HVK Noble Flame and Blanche Bauer enjoyed a pair of stellar performances as they prepared for Oklahoma with the Junior Exhibitor Park Saddle blue and tricolor rides under the Bobbin Hollow banner. Their Grand National Champion stablemates Lauren Griffen and Celebrity Marquee returned to the site of their debut of a year ago to claim the Junior Exhibitor Park Harness blue and tricolor as well.

The English Pleasure Championship saw Rebecca Watters earn her third tricolor of the show as she took over the reins of Karen Harry’s game Heyday Special Vintage to carry the tricolor back to the Rick Davis banner, with Jason Grey directing The Warlord to reserve for Ron Reid. Blanche Bauer enjoyed two impressive rides on her elegant Boxford Tia Maria to gear up for Oklahoma in the winner’s circle in the junior exhibitor division. Channing Ligas and HVK Acclamation continued their tricolor season with the reserve ride directed by Ian Ferguson.

Gene Olesen was at the lines of a pair of pleasure driving winners again this year. Three-year-old Switchmaster made a pair of bold showings to earn the Junior Pleasure Driving blue and tricolor, while full sister Hearts N Roses won the open blue in her only performance for Ken and Lynn McColl and Echo Lake Morgans. The perfectly matched team of True Gold and Ariana Varveris geared up for Oklahoma with the tricolor drive in the Amateur Pleasure Driving Championship along with a blue ribbon ride in their one saddle performance.

Euchee Matthews and his young Morgan string stopped by Ocala just long enough to earn a trio of blue ribbons. The promising MLB Capo Di Capo topped the Two-Year-Old Pleasure Driving for proud breeder Laurie Shroyer Faust. Matthews also guided Dick Shea’s handsome Patchwork Legend to the Junior English Pleasure victory. Alicia Davis rounded out the winning trio as she gave Raindrop’s Chisum the winning ride in the Amateur English Pleasure.

Rick Davis teamed up with Merlot to close out the competitive western pleasure division with a tricolor ride while owner Lauren Tyner did the honors in the junior exhibitor championship. Cheri Barber stepped up to the top, winning junior mare Gradell’s Delightful Wish to carry the Open Western Pleasure Reserve Championship to Jerry and Shirley Modell. Spencer Conklin had an outstanding show with Tara’s Zeus including the reserve tricolors in both the Junior Exhibitor Western Pleasure and Western Seat Equitation Championships under the West Coast banner. Brittany Simmons enjoyed the tricolor ride in the Western Seat Equitation Championship.

Mr. Versatility himself UVM Windfall swept top honors in the amateur western pleasure for the second year in a row as owner Lora Dunlap also directed him to the trail blue ease. Gerry Auermann and Hidawayhill Highlander carried home the Amateur Western Pleasure Reserve Championship. Cheri Barber and Brenda Varney’s white trimmed Pembroke’s Sweet Treat jogged away with top honors in the Junior Western Pleasure qualifier and championship. Margaret McKnight Karrh introduced another promising youngster bred by her parents in reserve champion Gulfwind Wild Finale.

The hunter pleasure entries from Echo Lake Morgans continued their winning streak at Summer's End. Spiceolife Night Cadence was in perfect form as Tracy Roy guided the sleek black gelding to the Open Hunter Pleasure Championship as well as the ladies blue. Lindsay Levert and her bold performing partner WSG Independence Command carried the Amateur Championship as well as the open and amateur blues back to the Echo Lake banner.

Coutscroft Diamond Blaze and Kelsey Thomas were the victors in the largest division of the show as they topped the junior exhibitor championship following the 13 and under blue for Gail Latlief. Reserve tricolor honors went to Standean Chancellor and Brittany Hawkins, who were also the Hunt Seat Equitation Reserve Champions. Meanwhile Hawkins also guided Hidawayhill Bold Captain to the Open Hunter Pleasure Reserve Championship. Spiritwoods Misty Memory and Erica Heck teamed up for the Junior Hunter Pleasure Championship following a pair of qualifier blues under the Arboria Morgans banner. The Arboria banner also displayed a trio of blue ribbons along with the Hunt Seat Equitation Championship won by Kelly Simpson and her new mare Sonatina Dolce.

The walk-trot division showed the promise of the future with large and competitive classes. The Walk-Trot Pleasure Championship featured an impressive win for Ms Hot Tamale and Jessica Stone as they earned the Jim Hooper Memorial Trophy. FCF Protégé and Cassie Bell followed up in reserve and came back the next time to come away with the Walk-Trot Equitation Championship with Jessica Stone in reserve.

The Adult Classic Pleasure Saddle Championship featured a tricolor victory for the qualifier winning team of DAF Monte Cristo and Lori Felker Roberts with Mary Jo Schmidt directing. La Loma Wild Command and Trisha Brutus turned in a polished ride for reserve honors following the ladies blue. All Hail To The Chief and Rebecca Watters continued a flawless season with a quartet of victories as they swept top honors in the Junior Exhibitor Classic Pleasure and Classic Saddle Seat Equitation qualifiers and championships. The reserve tricolor team in the pleasure class was Whispering Marquise and Alexis Polanis, while Kelly Venza turned in a poised ride for the equitation reserve honors.

The Classic Pleasure Driving Championship featured the third tricolor performance in as many shows for the stylish Maximum Wham and Lindsay Levert directed by Tracy Roy for Echo Lake Morgans. Lori Felker Roberts took over the lines of DAF Monte Cristo for her dad, Chauncey, who is out of commission for a while with a broken arm, and added the reserve tricolor. Megan Dunkle and Annapolis continued their victorious streak in the Junior Exhibitor Classic Pleasure Driving competition picking up the blue and tricolor directed by Valarie Siemer. Kelly Venza paired up with Really Keene for the reserve tricolor.

Chloe Hooper swept top honors in the Saddle Seat Equitation division aboard MEM Reality Check. Madye Bell showed off her riding skills as the reserve champion while also showing her elegant mare Graywood’s Kera to the Junior Exhibitor Park Saddle Reserve Championship.

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