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Fun Times and Good Competition Cap Florida Show Season At Harvest Days

The 2004 Florida show circuit closed on a high note at the extremely entertaining Harvest Days Horse Show. Just as the show season had begun eight months earlier, the grand finale was also held at the Expo Park at the Florida State Fairgrounds. This year marked the 37th annual hosting of Harvest Days by the Tampa Horse Show Association Inc. This association is the most enduring of its kind in the state of Florida.

The Tampa Horse Show Association Inc. also hosts the renowned Tampa Charity Horse Show held each Spring since 1931. Harvest Days is its less formal show which brings to a close the Florida circuit with a fun horse show that offers classes for horses and riders of various levels and means. Thanks to the success of these horse shows, the Association has aided the Tampa Bay area by awarding over $150,000 to its charities. The current charity benefiting is the Scottish Rite Foundation of Florida, which provides clinics for the treatment of childhood language disorders.

Adding to the entertainment value of this year's Harvest Days Horse Show were Friday night's activities. The Friday evening session featured 14 traditional classes for the Saddlebreds, Morgans, ponies and roadsters. However, it was the final three classes that many were really looking forward to. The Equine Costume Class featured a ring full of horses, riders and attendants sporting perfectly accessorized presentations. The show then really went to the dogs as the Pet Costume Classes boasted many entertaining entries. Everyone not in the ring for these classes was railside cheering on the entries, young and not so young. It was really hard to tell if the exhibitors or the audience enjoyed these classes more. The ringside picnic area was the site of the Exhibitor's Pajama Party which was the grand finale of a fun evening.

Show chair Stephanie Cejas and her hardworking committee put on a fun horse show for the exhibitors. Mary Lou Greenwell marked the cards in all of the 100 plus performance, equitation and academy classes offered. The officials crew also included photographer Doug Shiflet, announcer Jim Reynolds, ringmaster Tom Bloch, paddock master Tanker Pruitt, farrier James Witherspoon, organist Dale Stone and secretary Beth Snider.

The show ring competition held on November 5-7 featured two sessions per day finishing with the academy division on Sunday afternoon. The THSA Academy High Point winners for 2003-2004 were also presented while the participation in the academy classes showed the budding talents of so many riders. This is a testament to the many people wanting to become involved in riding and showing and the great work of Florida's many fine lesson programs.

The show ring competition featured an outstanding blend of proven show ring champions along with new teams just beginning their show ring careers. The tricolor victors from the five-gaited divisions featured Don Judd's newly purchased LA Boca Raton racking away with the open tricolor directed by Maria Gilman to close out the show on Sunday morning; while in the amateur/junior exhibitor competition Gypsy Imagination and Jessica Anderson rode away with a bold victory to finish off the Saturday evening session in tricolor fashion.

The three-gaited competition saw Rock and Rumba and Blair Redlhammer turn in a polished ride for the open tricolor victory, while Anitya Marlowe was the happy winner of the amateur/junior exhibitor championship with Amber Lager. Kristen Thomas rode away with a pair of tricolors as she guided Bi Mi Champagne Tate to the Three-Gaited Pony Championship and also matched up with Answered Prayer for the Senior Saddle Seat Equitation Championship coached by Anne Judd. Jackie DeLaParte and Santana's Keep The Faith showed their winning style in the Junior Saddle Seat Equitation Championship under the Judd Stables banner.

It was the sleek Denzel who repeated his fine harness tricolor victory under the R Farm banner to close out a great first season with Yvonne Herrera. A competitive field of Three-Gaited Park competitors saw Harlem's Odyssey and Nancy Fahlman perform for the open tricolor, while SS Success and Kate Biladeau moved over to the park division to best the competition as the amateur champions.

The ASB pleasure competition was extremely competitive with some the largest classes of the show. Delightful Diamond and Gale Lazarus paired up for a stellar win in the Adult Three-Gaited Pleasure Championship under the Bobbin Hollow banner. Cassi Rath and Man Of The House drove away with top honors in the pleasure driving competition for the second year in a row. Soulful Warrior and Kim Boros showed their polish and precision to best the five-gaited pleasure competitions. The new pairing of Seismic Force and Amy Greenberg bested a great field to earn the junior exhibitor show pleasure top honors.

The trio of James and Helen Rosburg and Ali DeGray earned championship honors for Pixie Dust & Steel under the direction of Ruth Gimpel. James teamed up with Trefethen for the country pleasure driving honors, Ali and I'm Good To Go repeated in the junior exhibitor country pleasure, and Helen and her wonder horse Kalarama's High Roller triumphed in the adult country pleasure. The ASB Western Pleasure Championship saw Saguerro and Jenna Domanico jog away with top honors. The All Breed Pleasure Championship also went back to the Ruth Gimpel banner as He's Real Bad and Tricia Bonati were awarded top honors. Sable Satin and Christine Freeman paired up beautifully to earn the Walk-Trot Pleasure Championship coached by May Klein.

Paul Misiewicz scored a big victory in the Roadster To Bike Championship with Top Star Willie for the second year in a row. The Roadster Pony Championship featured a family battle as Jose Herrera got the best of wife Yvonne in the championship with Twin Willows Main Street edging out qualifier winner Heartland High Fashion. The new combination of Wait & See's Postmaster and Ali DeGray earned the Pleasure Driving Pony Championship with a stylish drive.

The Morgan competition included a strong finish for Amateur English Pleasure Champions Stonecroft Wish Me Well and Lori Felker Roberts. Harvest Days was the site of the debut of the impressive new team of RJH No Doubt and Elise Merrill as they topped the junior exhibitor pleasure competition under the direction of Lark Henry. Frangelica's Spirit and Ginger Nutini earned top honors in the adult classic pleasure division. Channing Ligas and HVK Bold Diamond went three for three as they closed out the season with top honors in the junior exhibitor classic pleasure and classic equitation divisions under the Rick Davis Stables banner. Accel King Of Heart and John Scotto had the winning hand in the Classic Pleasure Driving Championship. Latour's I'm Willy Fancy and Brenda Matusik drove away with top honors in the Open Pleasure Driving Championship. PJM Sho-Bree-O and Allyson Hughes showed their winning style as they jogged away with the Western Pleasure Championship. Fox Brush Roulette and Valarie Siemer earned matching tricolors as they starred in the All Breed as well as the Morgan Hunter Pleasure Championships.

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