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Gasparilla - Favorites & New Teams Shine Their Way To The Top!


by Diana Davidson and Katherine Hansil

The 22nd Annual Gasparilla Charity Horse Show kicked off the horse show season with great style and great weather offering a chance for everyone to shake off the winter blues. The show was held Feb. 28 through March 4 at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa, Fla. This year Edward “Hoppy” Bennett served as the judge for the Saddlebred, Hackney, Roadster and Equitation divisions and Bonnie Sogoloff marked the cards for the Morgans and Academy divisions. Joanne Quade, show manager, and her staff made sure all the details were tended to while William Whitley, Beth Snider, Jeff Hyman and Tom Bloch made sure the show ran smoothly as ringmaster, show secretary, announcer and paddock master respectively. Howie Schatzberg was on hand to capture the winning moments on film while June Brune set it all to music.


The Five-Gaited Championship closed out the show with another win added to the banner for Hawkewood Farm. Vicki Schaffer and Riva's Periaptor were crowned the winners of the coveted award after a solid showing under the direction of Abbott Wilson and Linda Weber. This team also earned the win in the Denver/junior qualifier. Reserve in the championship went to the explosive Katie's Rob Roy and Mary Jo Schmidt. As one of the most talked about teams at the show they also won the open qualifier.  Reserve in the Denver/junior qualifier went to the David Crocket owned Beyond Good Looks with Debbie Koning in the irons.

The blues continued to flow for Hawkewood as they presented the winning team for the ladies division. My Teddy Bheir and Anne Judd gave the crowd a thrill with their top performance for the win. Reserve in this class went to Reedann's Whispering Leaves and Ruth Gimpel. The ever-improving team of Sun Time's Commander and Trisha Long had two flawless rides to sweep the amateur division for the Judd Stables banner. The junior exhibitor division also was a sweep this time for the Hawkewood team of Allied Heir Strike and Jillian Schaffer. This was the debut for this team. Also debuting together was the R Farm team of Azabache Charm and Andres Herrera. This homebred and raised young star proved to be well-suited for Herrera as they earned both red ribbons.


Repeating their win from last year, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes and Maria Gilman were solid to win the Three-Gaited Championship for Jayo Family Corporation. This team also won the open qualifier with Brilliant Amber and Debbie Koning in for reserve for David Crockett. Reserve in the championship went to the Avalon team of Local Illusion and Amy Lee after a win in the Denver/junior qualifier. The sporty team of Classic With A Twist and Debbie Koning earned the red ribbon in the Denver/junior qualifier for David Crockett.

American Wine and Jessica Anderson were at the top of their game to claim back-to-back wins in the amateur division for the Judd Stables banner. The elegant team of CH Sanibel and Elsa Hackett had a comeback ride to win the reserve championship title. Reserve in the qualifier went to Prince Of Soul and Rosemary Gonzalez with a flawless performance. Anitya Marlowe riding Amber Lager took control of the Ladies division adding another win to the Judd Stables banner. Reserve went to the flashy team of An Heir Of Magic and Helen Rosburg.

In the junior exhibitor division the top two performers dueled it out. The team of Keeper Of The Star and Jackie de la Parte began their career together last year at this very show winning the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited. Once again they repeated that win.  Moving up a notch from their reserve finish in the qualifier was Favorite Things and Jillian Schaffer. This team claimed the tricolor for the Hawkewood banner. Turning in two explosive rides for two top three ribbons was the team of Worthy One's Rhythm and Andres Herrera.

Three-Gaited Park

The young star Tuffy's Patriot with Maria Gilman lit up the ring to win the Three-Gaited Park Championship for owner, Liz Smith. This team also won the Denver/junior qualifier during the first part of the week. Winning the park qualifier and the reserve championship honor was the high-motioned Forty-Two Karats and Mary Jo Schmidt for True Blue Saddlebreds. Vertical Horizon and David Chretien earned the red ribbon in the Denver/junior qualifier for Paul Richardson.

With a comeback ride, Without Prejudice and Allison Beard claimed the tricolor in the Amateur Three-Gaited Park Championship for the Silver Run banner. Reserve honors went to the winner of the qualifier, Boutonniere and Helen Rosburg. Reserve in the qualifier went to another Silver Run team; earning this honor was Heir To Success and Pam Sanders.

The new team of Discover and Jenna Palmeri were flawless sweeping the junior exhibitor park division. Reserve championship honors went to Silver Blue & Gold and MacKenzie Ligas moving up for the walk-and-trot division in 2005. Super Gun and Nicole Hernandez captured the red ribbon in the qualifier.

Fine Harness

Denzel and Yvonne Herrera began their season in winning form earning both the Fine Harness Championship and Amateur Fine Harness titles. River Wild and Dee Dee Gordon earned the red in the Amateur class.


The Dream Thief and Ruth Gimpel sped off with the Roadster To Bike Jackpot Championship title. Reserve honors went to the popular Road Kill and Susan Whitaker. In the open qualifier the team of Imagine That and Ali DeGray earned the win with the multi-titled Scruff and Debbie Koning in for reserve in their only appearance.

With death-defying speed, Top Star Willie and Paul Misiewicz captured the amateur scene earning both the tricolor and the blue for the Avalon banner. Reserve in both classes went to Humdinger and James Rosburg. Road Kill and Susan Whitaker were back in the spotlight winning the Road Horse Under Saddle with Punch Bowl and Carly Duggan in for reserve.


Fiendishly Clever and Jessie Pettie took control of the ring to sweep the open road pony division. Reserve in both classes went to Slick Willie and Marita Mirabole. Jessie Pettie continued her domination of the division sweeping the amateur division as well this time with Surprise Me. Moving up with an awesome drive Heartland High Fashion and Yvonne Herrera earned the red ribbon in the championship with Tia Maria and Madrian Jenkins capturing the red ribbon in the qualifier. In their single performance Seize The Moment and Ali DeGray took home the junior exhibitor blue with Cherry's Wild Dream and MacKenzie Ligas accepting the red ribbon.

Stephany Monteleone's Delightful time went three-for-three winning the Harness Pony Championship and the open and amateur qualifiers with both Monteleone and Abel Vega taking turns at the lines. Reserve in the amateur class in their debut performance was Boxford Bobbi Socks and Debbie Koning. Debbie Koning piloted the magnificent Black Merlin to the winner's circle in the Open Hackney Pony in their only appearance. Winning the championship and the amateur qualifier and reserve in the open qualifier was Highlander with Jessie Pettie at the lines for Gina Stopher.

Heartland Heiress and Helen Rosburg topped the Hackney Pony Pleasure Driving Championship and qualifier with two great drives. The team of Heartland Fireworks and Pam Thomas had an outstanding drive to capture the reserve championship honors. In the qualifier the red ribbon went to It's About Time and Stephany Monteleone, debuting in their new division.


Winning the Five-Gaited Show Pleasure Championship was the R Farm team of Talk The Talk and Andres Herrera moving up a notch from their early reserve finish. Winning the qualifier and the reserve in the championship was the flashy team of The Denali and Jessica Anderson.

For a third year in a row CH Sweet Virginia and Barbara Woods topped the Adult Three-Gaited Show Pleasure Championship once again with a flawless performance. This team also captured the qualifying blue. Reserve in the championship went to Piatt Steele and Piatt Steele trained by Avalon.

Seismic Force was a force in the junior exhibitor division winning the combine championship and the 14-17 qualifier with Amy Greenberg in the irons. The Silver Run team of Invitation Required and Marcy Scardino had two strong shows to capture the reserve the championship and the 14-17 qualifier. Winning the 13 and under qualifier was the Judd Stables team of Magic Mahogany and Christine Thomas riding for Lynne Martin. Pikachu and Melanie Mullis earned the red ribbon in the 13 and under qualifier.

Winning the Florida Owned and Trained was the R Farm team of Bouquet O Hearts and Andres Herrera. Kim Boros was aboard Piatt Steele to earn the red ribbon. Mamba and Amber Pitts received the Novice Rider Three-Gaited Show Pleasure with Upcoming Storm and Kelley Donegan in for reserve.

Irish's Earth Wind and Fire with Maria Gilman had a comeback show to win the Three-Gaited Park Pleasure Champion for Jane White. Capturing the reserve in the championship and qualifier was the bay beauty Eloquent and Mary Jo Schmidt for Britney Hughes. Winning the qualifier was Nothin But A Good Time and Kim Boros for the Knapp family.

Rosie O'Brien and Rebecca Overbey earned back-to-back wins to sweep the walk and trot pleasure division under the direction of Darcy Gordon.

Just As Unique and Cassi Rath put on a performance to win the Show Pleasure Driving Championship after an earlier win the junior exhibitor class under the direction of Silver Run. Reserve honors in the championship and adult qualifier went to High Time's Spartan and Dee Dee Gordon. Winning the adult qualifier was Callaway's Tobar and James Rosburg adding another blue to the Ruth Gimpel banner.

Kalarama's High Roller and Helen Rosburg kept the blues rolling for Ruth Gimpel Stables after two flawless performances, sweeping the adult country pleasure division. Dali and Britni Ruyle earned the red ribbon in the championship for True Blue Saddlebreds. In the qualifier the red ribbon went to Chairman's Fancy and Claire Karst for Maria Gilman.

I'm Good To Go and Ali DeGray returned and moved up a notch to win the Junior Exhibitor Country Pleasure Championship. Receiving the reserve title in the championship and the blue in the qualifier went to First Snow and Alice Frost.

CH Shamanic Dream and Helen Rosburg turned in two great drives to sweep the country pleasure driving division. Haitian Vacation and Jose Herrera earned both red ribbons for the R Farm banner.

Galahad's Gold Mine and Jean Johnson were flawless to win back-to-back trips to the winner's circle in the western country pleasure division.


Morgan King went two-for-two under the direction of Bill Rodgers to capture the Saddle Seat Equitation Championship and the UPHA Challenge Cup qualification blue aboard Piesporter. Reserve in the championship and the UPHA Challenge Cup went to another top rider from the Florida circuit, Kristen Thomas, coached by Anne Judd. Marissa Gillispie made the trip down from New York winning the 14-17 qualifier aboard The Pinnacle, under the direction of Darlene Trento-Wright. Jayna Taylor took the reserve in the 14-17 under the direction of Darcy Gordon. Ashley Judd stepped into the 13 and under division earning the blue aboard Pagan Prince with Jackie Taylor winning the red ribbon.

In the walk and trot division Michaela Gillispie aboard Phoenix Suns Shine earned the championship blue under the direction of Darlene Trento-Wright.

Winning the UPHA Challenge Cup qualifier was Hannah Knapp and Nothin But A Good Time in their debut performance. Reserve in the UPHA Challenge Cup went to Cassie Bell aboard FCF Protégé. Amber Pitts instructed by Pam Roush captured the Saddle & Bridle Pleasure Equitation Medallion while Lisa Overbey earned the blue in the adult equitation.


Saturday afternoon belonged to the academy riders. Winning top ribbons in their divisions were: Carolyn Danco, Tori Adams, Patrice Felver, Joanna Nelson, Katie Evans, Tori Dennis, Mallory Suarez, Stephanie Oltohoff, Brianna Terry, Dana Scerbo, Rachel MacMillen, Brianna Anderson, Stephanie Wineburg, Andie Lloyd, Katie Commons, Nicholas Villamizer, Nine Citere, Stephanie Sutter, Jen Rose Kratz and Radi McIlwaine.


The Morgan division featured a blend of proven combinations and new teams this year at Gasparilla. The Park Saddle Stake featured the Florida return of the world championship team of HVK Noble Flame and Blanche Bauer. They turned in a crowd-pleasing performance to carry top honors back to the Bobbin Hollow banner. Gaetana D'Alesio Spina enjoyed her show ring debut aboard the animated HVK Hot Ember, who was also making her first show under saddle, to claim reserve honors directed by Chrislar Farm.

The park harness competition also featured a tricolor showdown of proven Oklahoma winners. It was World Champion Arboria Victor's Pride who claimed the top spot with Tom Johnson guiding the charismatic chestnut for Arboria Morgans. Lauren Griffin piloted her sporty, bay Celebrity Marquee to the reserve finish for Glenn and Lorrie Griffin.

Euchee Matthews earned the Open English Pleasure blue and tricolor for the second year in a row. This year he was aboard his fronty DJE Answer To Destiny to make a pair of impressive showings. Matthews also guided a promising new entry to the winner's circle in Patchwork Legend, the winner of the junior/novice class for Dick Shea. Will Vidler matched up with Paul and Nancy Jo Smith's Willowick Double Vision to claim the English Pleasure Reserve Championship under the Arboria banner.

Alicia Davis was one happy lady as she guided her homebred Reserve World Champion Raindrop's Chisum down victory lane in the Amateur English Pleasure Championship. Euchee Matthews directed them in their team debut show. Laloma Wild Command and Trisha Brutus came through with a polished performance for the reserve tricolor.

HVK Acclamation and Channing Ligas followed their stunning tricolor fall debut with a pair of impressive rides at Gasparilla. Ian Ferguson had the pair tuned up to win the Junior Exhibitor English Pleasure qualifier and championship. Chloe Hooper and MEM Reality Check stepped up from the walk/trot division with confidence to earn the reserve spot in both classes along with a treasured blue ribbon in the 13 and under Morgan equitation.

The Gasparilla audience enjoyed a pair of winning performances by the magnificent True Gold and Nicola Varveris. Ariana Varveris shared her Grand National champion partner with her mother as she drove him to top honors in the Pleasure Driving Championship as well as the amateur qualifier. Grand Cru Dom Perignon returned to the site of his victorious performance debut of a year ago as he earned the Open Pleasure Driving blue as well as the reserve tricolor in bold fashion. Cheri Barber guided the charismatic chestnut stallion for the Beau Cheval Partnership.

The dynamic Grand Cru Taittinger made his presence known as he enjoyed his performance debut at Gasparilla. The fronty John and Karen Teller entry starred in his trip down victory lane in the Junior/Novice Pleasure Driving with Cheri Barber on the lines.

The father and daughter team of Chauncey Felker and Lori Felker Roberts enjoyed another winning start to the season at Gasparilla. Chauncey drove the sporty bay Stonecroft Wish Me Well to the Amateur Pleasure Driving Championship while Lori rode to the Amateur English Pleasure blue directed by Mary Jo Schmidt. They also paired up with DAF Monte Cristo for a clean sweep in the Classic saddle and driving division earning a pair of blues as well as a pair of tricolors.

The fancy white-trimmed chestnut RW String Of Pearls was paired with Mary Adams to earn the reserve honors in the adult Classic Saddle qualifier and championship directed by Bobbin Hollow. Richard Hanlon and Emeraude DRC Legacy carried home the reserve ribbons in the Classic driving for James Wallace.

Alexis Polanis made grandmother Gerry Auermann proud as she rode the elegant Whispering Marquise to the Junior Exhibitor Classic Pleasure Saddle blue and tricolor. 3D Devilinside and Morgan Cunningham were matched by Kris Cole to earn the reserve awards.

Lark Henry coached the top two teams in the Morgan Walk/Trot Championship. It was Jessica Stone and Ms Hot Tamale who stepped up with a pair of impressive rides to earn the blue and tricolor. Ariana Varveris showed off her versatile talents as she matched up with PTR Vigilannie in hunt seat attire to claim the reserve tricolor.

Pat West made headlines at Gasparilla as she topped the Amateur Western Pleasure Championship for the third year in a row with a different horse each time. This time she was aboard her newest partner, former World Champion Hipp's Prestige. The polished performing bay earned the tricolor as well as the qualifier blue over an impressive field of entries coached by Cheri Barber. Mr. Versatility himself UVM Windfall started off another season in tricolor fashion as owner Lora Dunlap guided him to the top spot in the Open Western Pleasure division as well as reserve in the amateur. World Champion Metolius made his tricolor Florida debut for new owner Rhonda Campagna as Valarie Siemer guided to the Open Western Pleasure Reserve Championship.

Spencer Shelby Conklin and the versatile TOMF All That Jazz paired up for two victorious performances in the Junior Exhibitor Western Pleasure division for proud mom Debra Conklin. Arborwind Black Market and Kris Cole jogged away with the win in the Junior/Novice Western Pleasure with a smooth and steady showing.

Robyn Alan and Snip A Pepper enjoyed a clean sweep in the Hunter Pleasure competition. This precise team earned the Hunter Pleasure Championship after matching blues in the open and junior exhibitor classes for Linda Barrick and directed by Valarie Siemer. Will Vidler matched up with Kelly Simpson's SPR Valerie's Finale for the reserve tricolor. Be My Magic Moment and Barbara Nesse carried home the blue ribbon in the Amateur Hunter Pleasure.

The Morgan Saddle Seat Equitation Championship featured Kelly Venza showing command of her skills to earn the tricolor. She started off with a blue ribbon ride in the 14-17 coached by Kris Cole. Madye Bell graduated from the walk/trot division in a big way as she earned the reserve tricolor to the delight of her cheering section at Whispering Oaks.


Complete results may be viewed, searched and printed by clicking on Show Results.

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