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One thing that you can always count on from the folks in Florida is a lot of hospitality and a well-run horse show; the staff and volunteers of the first annual Florida State Academy Horse Show did not disappoint this tradition. Benefiting UPHA Chapter 16, the show was managed by Pam Roush and My Klein with the assistance of many other are trainers and volunteers. Joey Dorignac of Metairie, LA capably handled the judging duties, filling in for Barbe Smith who could not make it due to a family emergency.

Held Dec. 7 and 8, 2002 at the lovely Cypress Trails Farm in Odessa, Fla., the show featured two days of stiff competition between area riders, all vying for the tile of Florida State Champion in their respective divisions.

Lest things become too serious, there was plenty of fun to be had as well. Exhibitors were treated to complimentary coffee, juice and pastries in the mornings and there were drawings for door prizes held throughout the show. The exhibitor’s party on Saturday afternoon featured delicious food catered by a local restaurant and a competition of its own.

Following the food, the kids formed teams for the Battle of the Barns and the rest of the day was filled with shrieks of delight and laughter as they battled it out in tug o’war, sack races, three-legged races and many others. The success of this show is due largely to its volunteers and sponsors, but also to the support of the areas’ many riding programs. How exciting to see the strength of the American Saddlebred in Florida!

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