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Gasparilla opens the 2005 Season

The 21st annual Gasparilla Charity Horse Show ushered in the new show season on March 1-5. Once again this year Saddlebred, Hackney Pony, Roadster and Morgan competitors from throughout the United States converged in Florida to kick off the show season. The Sunshine Circuit started off with less than chamber of commerce weather, but that did not deter exhibitors from enjoying a great week of show ring competition.

Gasparilla again attracted exhibitors and horses from throughout the southern states as well as some from the Northeast and the Midwest. While the Sunshine Circuit starts off the year annually for many barns in attendance, some barns took part in the venerable circuit for the first time this year. They all gathered in the Charlie Lykes Arena at the Horse Show Complex at the Florida State Fairgrounds. The facility offers ample stabling with large stalls, outdoor work areas, as well as a covered warm-up ring under the same roof as the show arena.

The Gasparilla Charity Horse Show, a many time UPHA Honor Show, was once again for the benefit of Big Cat Rescue & Sanctuary (formerly WildLife On Easy Street), a nonprofit sanctuary and rehabilitation center for wildlife located in Tampa. In addition, Gasparilla Charity is also a supporter of The Special Olympics of Florida; and Kathy Gray, the three-time UPHA Exceptional Challenge Cup Champion, opened the Friday and Saturday evening performances with a demonstration of her award-winning riding skills.

The show was once again chaired and managed by Joanne B. Quade, a year round volunteer who was assisted as always by Joan Woodward. "The show ran very smoothly, and exhibitors and officials had a good time, even though we didn't have the best weather. We had some new barns and vendors come to the show this year which was great. I would also like to thank the sponsors and supporters for all their help," Quade added.

The exhibitor's party was the exclamation point of a great Friday night at Gasparilla. The fairgrounds' party pavilion featured a barbecue buffet, live DJ and dancing, and door prizes for the large group who attended. Several barn parties and birthday celebrations also served as unofficial gatherings throughout the week. Pam Roush and James Wallace added their names to the list of winners of the Gasparilla Sportsmanship Awards for the professionals and amateurs, respectively. Both were called to center ring to receive their awards from show manager Joanne Quade for their sportsmanship and constant support of the Gasparilla Charity Horse Show.

The judging duties for the week were handled by John Conatser (Saddle Horses, Roadsters, Ponies and Equitation), Lynn Peeples (Morgans) and Betty Gray (Academy). Show secretary Beth Snider kept the office running smoothly as always. The roster of returning Gasparilla officials also included announcer, Jeff Hyman; grounds and stall manager, Scott Snider; farrier, Richard Robinson; videographer, Richfield Video; organist, June Brune; ringmaster, William Whitley; USEF Steward, Bill Munford; paddock master, Tom Bloch; and photographer, Howard Schatzberg.

The highlights and complete results of the 2005 Gasparilla Charity Horse Show follow:


The awarding of the R. Todd Woods Memorial Challenge Trophy marked the traditional finale of the Gasparilla Charity Horse Show in the Open Five-Gaited Stake. It was CH Discover who began the season once again as the winning entry of this entertaining class of five. Don Judd tipped his hat to his cheering section as rode Barbara Woods' top winning campaigner to the tricolor honors. Ricky Cook and his impressive Callaway's Blackbeard enjoyed strong encouragement from their fan club as they turned in a bold performance for the reserve honors with an assist from John Willis.

Ricky Cook and his chestnut performers had a great time in their season debut as Heirobatic reigned supreme in the amateur division. They visited Gasparilla's victory lane twice as they garnered the Amateur Five-Gaited blue and tricolor. Jessica Anderson stepped out of the junior exhibitor division into the amateur ranks this season with Gypsy's Imagination as they returned to collect the Amateur Five-Gaited Reserve Championship under the Judd Stables banner.

Vickie Schaffer was all smiles as she cheered on Riva's Periaptor and Linda Weber to the Ladies Five-Gaited blue. The victorious team was met in the winner's circle by Abbott C. Wilson to carry top honors back to Hawkewood Farm.

Euchee Matthews had an attention capturing youngster in Out Go The Lights sired by CF First Night Out. The dynamic bay racked away with the Denver junior/novice victory for Cynthia Kueker.

Kelsey Olson enjoyed another spectacular debut at Gasparilla this year. This time she was matched with her new mare LA Boca Raton to take charge of the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited division. This vivacious pair swept the blue ribbon and tricolor over a competitive field of five directed by Judd Stables; this came after Maria Gilman started the week winning the open class aboard the game mare. Cassi Rath and her bold performing Small Packages were in hot pursuit with an outstanding ride for the reserve tricolor honors for Nelco Companies.


The Three-Gaited division featured a blend of proven teams and promising new combinations enjoying season opening victories. Just as they had in the five-gaited division, Judd Stables took home the blue ribbon and the tricolor with two different horses in the open three-gaited division. It was the multi-titled Pagan Prince who wore the first blue of the show as Maria Gilman rode him to the honors for Diane Sembler. Gilman returned on Saturday night aboard Smoke Gets In Your Eyes to collect the tricolor award for the Jayo Family Corporation. Diamond Jay was a charismatic presence with Alavaro Zanella to be named the Three-Gaited Reserve Champion following a winning performance in the Denver junior/novice class for Ted Klint and Teri Shaw.

Judd Stables enjoyed a tricolor sweep in the Amateur Three-Gaited Championship courtesy of Amber Lager and American Wine. Amber Lager and Anitya Marlowe returned to the site of their victorious team debut of a year ago to claim the tricolor and the CH Collector's Delta Function Perpetual Memorial Trophy following the amateur qualifier blue. Meanwhile, American Wine and Jessica Anderson followed their memorable junior exhibitor career with a blue in the ladies to start the 2005 campaign followed by the reserve tricolor.

Jillian Schaffer and Favorite Things continued their tricolor streak to begin the new season. After joining forces at the end of 2004 with winning rides at Challenge Of Champions and Harvest Days, they began this season as the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Champions to the delight of proud parents Vickie and Jeff Schaffer and trainers Abbott Wilson and Linda Weber. They had some outstanding competition from the qualifier winning team of Keeper Of The Stars and Jackie De La Parte who enjoyed a dazzling blue ribbon debut in the qualifier under the Judd Stables banner.

Amy Hein and Bourbon County Rose enjoyed a pair of outstanding rides to secure the Three-Gaited Pony blue and tricolor in their team debut under the colors of Cardinal Farms. They had outstanding competition from the elegant reserve team of Highpoints Hot Chocolate and Amy Greenberg.


World's Champion Simbara's Sweet Lorraine enjoyed a winning return to the harness division as David Mount teamed the sleek black mare to the Fine Harness Championship following the open qualifier blue. The championship featured a friendly rivalry from Cardinal Farms as the amateur qualifier winning team of Images Of Blue and Charlotte Kurtz performed for the reserve honors for Blue Heaven Saddlebreds.

Peter Palmer enjoyed a working vacation as he brought World's Champion My Silver Sea and Rachel Shoemaker to Florida for one class. Their outstanding performance highlighted the trip as they visited the winner's circle in the ASHA Foundation Junior Exhibitor Fine Harness Driving Challenge for Willisbrook Farm.


The ASB Three-Gaited Park division featured outstanding competition starting right at the top with World's Grand Champion Waltz garnering all of the attention due a show ring star of his status. Following the qualifier blue with Ruth Gimpel in the irons, it was a beaming Gerald Moores who got the opportunity to show this charismatic performer to the tricolor for Bon Mar Farms. Darlene Trento Wright came from New York to start another season in the sunny South as she rode Corrina Arruda's Mr. Machine to the reserve tricolor.

Allison Beard and Without Prejudice served notice with a pair of dynamic rides to sweep the blue ribbon and tricolor in the amateur competition performing under the direction of Bill Rodgers. Helen Rosburg and Boutonniere made a tricolor transition to the park division as they earned the reserve honors for Pixie Dust & Steel Inc.

SS Success and Kate Biladeau enjoyed more show ring success as they carried the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Park Championship back to the Ruth Gimpel Stables banner to the delight of proud parents Mr. and Mrs. Charles Biladeau. The qualifier winning team of Man In My Life and Rosilie Jonassen enjoyed their first show together as they were also named the reserve champions under the direction of Judd Stables.

The Junior Three-Gaited Park Pleasure blue was also hung on the Judd Stables banner as Maria Gilman rode the expressive Lebanon to the honors for Barbara Woods.


Quality and quantity were the order of the week in the ASB Pleasure division. The Adult Three-Gaited Pleasure Championship closed out the division on a high note. The perfectly matched team of CH Sweet Virginia and Barbara Woods returned to the site of their team debut a year ago to earn the tricolor following the qualifier blue. Only Blues and Kelly Mount matched up for the reserve tricolor honors in this entertaining division.

The Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Pleasure Championship was the largest and certainly one of the most competitive classes of the week. The effervescent pairing of So Audacious and Kelsey Olson successfully defended their titles of a year ago as the earned the tricolor following the 13 and under blue. They received some strong competition from the reserve tricolor team of Seismic Force and Amy Greenberg who had topped the field in the 14-17 qualifier directed by Ruth Gimpel.

What About Bob and Morgan Wright earned a trip to the winner's circle as they topped the Three-Gaited Pleasure Novice Rider class to the delight of Judy Wright and trainer Chan Sutton.

Delightful Diamond and Gale Lazarus were the toast of the Florida Owned/Trained Three-Gaited Pleasure as Lark Henry greeted them in the winner's circle.

The ASB Pleasure Driving Championship featured Lois Vartanian on the lines of the top entry once again. This time she opened the season on the lines of her new partner What A Keepsake who trotted away with the blue and tricolor under the guidance of Don Judd. Charlaton and Paige McQuown teamed up for a pair of stylish reserve presentations under the Talley Oaks banner.

The ASHA Foundation Junior Exhibitor Show Pleasure Driving Challenge featured a winning drive for the team of Dance Card and Jenna Palmeri as they carried top honors to Susan Craddock and trainer Tina Schaefer.

Florida favorites Kim Boros and Soulful Warrior started off the season on victory lane by earning the Five-Gaited Pleasure blue and tricolor to add to the Ruth Gimpel Stables banner. Santana's Home On Thyme and Hope Norman maneuvered to the reserve honors for Frank and Margaret Sistrunk.

Dali and Britni Ruyle turned in a bright and polished ride to top the competition in the competitive Adult Country Pleasure Championship following a blue ribbon performance in the novice rider class. Frank and Betty Rozzo own the colorful performer who is directed by Mary Jo Schmidt. The always competitive team of Ooh La Latte and Claire Karst collected the reserve honors in both the qualifier and championship. The qualifier featured a sparkling victory for Imaginary Lover and Michelle Maynard performing for Cathy Blank.

I'm Good To Go and Ali DeGray started off right where they left off as they topped the Junior Exhibitor Country Pleasure qualifier and championship to add to a great show for Pixie Dust & Steel Inc. Amy Hein and Law Me reprised their title of a year ago as they collected the reserve tricolor coached by Adam and Desiree Clauson.

The Country Pleasure Driving Championship featured the first of two tricolor performances on Friday for James Rosburg. This time he matched up with the smooth performing Trefethen to capture the tricolor following the qualifier blue for Pixie Dust & Steel Inc. John Willis teamed up the new combination of Callaway's Conquista Rose and Monica Balleu for the reserve honors.

Jean Johnson and Galahad's Gold Mine hit the jackpot as they jogged away with a pair of stellar wins. They topped the ASB Western Country Pleasure Championship as well as the qualifier under the Avalon banner. The William Shatner Western Pleasure winning team of Western Fashion and Kristene Lundblad jogged up for the reserve tricolor.


Multi World's Champion Special Rose remained the queen of the roadster division as she and Mary Jo Schmidt once again claimed the Open Roadster To Bike blue and tricolor to the delight of their boisterous cheering section. Top Star Willie and Paul Misiewicz stepped up with a bold drive to carry the reserve tricolor back to the Avalon banner.

James Rosburg took over the reins on his newest roadster partner at Gasparilla and it was a Humdinger. The speedster named Humdinger raced away with the Amateur Roadster To Bike Championship for Rosburg and trainer Ruth Gimpel. They had some great competition including the always entertaining pair of Where's Reuben and Debra Clark who collected the reserve tricolor following a winning drive in the amateur qualifier.

The Roadster Under Saddle class featured Pam Roush once again flying down victory lane as she stepped aboard North Star for the blue ribbon ride for Bob Jenkins.

Jessie Pettie and Fiendishly Clever began a sweep of the Sunshine Circuit with the Open Roadster Pony blue and tricolor at Gasparilla with a pair of bold drives. Jamie Jankowicz and Hawkeyes Spit N Image challenged for reserve honors for Rick McQuown.

The eagerly awaited debut of Helen Rosburg and World's Champion Seize The Moment was a Sunshine Circuit highlight. They began their victorious reign in grand fashion earning the Amateur Roadster Pony blue and tricolor to the cheers of the Gasparilla audience directed by Ruth Gimpel. Jessie Pettie was in hot pursuit with Surprise Me to capture the reserve honors for the second year in a row.

Pixie Dust & Steel's string of world's champion road ponies also featured Free Willy and Ali DeGray speeding down victory lane with the blue ribbon flowing from the Junior Exhibitor Roadster Pony competition for the fourth year in a row.

John Shea opened the season on the Sunshine Circuit as he has done for so many years with many of the top winning ponies competing. It was once again the fashionable Tommy Hilfiger who trotted away with the amateur and open blues as well as the tricolor in the Hackney Pony Championship for owner Bob Richards. John Willis was in the viceroy to guide Rita Weintraub's Newsflash LF to the reserve tricolor honors.

Shea also directed It's About Time and Stephany Monteleone to collect the Open Harness Pony Championship as well as the amateur qualifier blue with a pair of crowd pleasing performances. Abel Vega gave the leg-waving Shakira a great drive to capture the Open Harness Pony blue for John Shea as well.

Luv Ya Baby and Jessie Pettie were well matched for top honors by John Shea as they earned the Hackney Pony Pleasure Driving blue and tricolor for Gayle Kennedy over a top field. Wait & See's Postmaster added to the Pixie Dust & Steel tricolor string with the reserve this time out.


The season started off with a small but outstanding group of equitation riders performing at Gasparilla. The Saddle Seat Equitation Championship started off the Saturday evening session with Kristen Thomas earning the tricolor honors with a polished performance aboard Answered Prayer directed by Anne Judd.

Morgan King and her new partner Piesporter enjoyed a winning debut as they earned the 14-17 blue in their only performance of the week coached by Bill Rodgers.

The stylish pairing of Jillian Schaffer and her personable National Show Horse Bad Moon Rising LOA were on top of their game to post the victory in the UPHA Challenge Cup under the Hawkewood Farm banner.

Morgan Wright and What About Bob took their second trip of the week down victory lane as they claimed the Saddle & Bridle Pleasure Equitation blue instructed by Chan Sutton.

Adam and Desiree Clauson were delighted with their newest in a string of mighty walk-trotters as Cheyenne Mabey and the white trimmed My Amarillo topped the competition in the Walk-Trot Equitation Championship. Ashley Judd matched up well with Bright Copper to the delight of her strong cheering section as they captured the UPHA Walk-Trot Equitation blue as well as the reserve championship coached by Anne Judd.

After a winning equitation career as a junior rider, Claire Karst continued to display her skills as she captured the UPHA Adult Challenge Cup with a flawless ride aboard Night Memory coached by Maria Gilman.

Jennifer Scotto and RWF Titletown started off the season with a clean sweep of the Morgan Saddle Seat Equitation division as they topped the 14-17, AMHA Medal, and the championship. Emily Whiting turned in a polished ride to accept the reserve tricolor honors. Kelly Venza enjoyed a trip down victory lane as she earned top honors in the 13 & under competition.


The Morgan division featured a blend of proven combinations and new teams this year at Gasparilla. Felicia Schlemmer had quite a thrill as trainer Tom Johnson put her on the lines of DBL F Commanding Officer to drive away with the Park Harness Stake.

Reserve World Champion Raindrop's Chisum made owner/breeder Alicia Davis proud as Euchee Matthews rode the dynamic four-year-old to the Open English Pleasure blue and tricolor and a host of new fans. The Warlord and Jason Gray matched up for the reserve honors for Ron Reid.

Euchee Matthews had a pair of impressive young Morgans as DJE Answer To Destiny enjoyed a pair of victorious rides in the Junior/Novice English Pleasure qualifier and stake.

The father and daughter team of Chauncey Felker and Lori Felker Roberts enjoyed a great start to the season with Stonecroft Wish Me Well at Gasparilla. Lori rode the sporty bay to the Amateur English Pleasure blue and tricolor while Chauncey took over the reins for the Amateur Pleasure Driving blue directed by Mary Jo Schmidt. Chauncey Felker took another trip down victory lane as he drove DAF Monte Cristo to the Classic Pleasure Driving blue.

Elise Merrill and RJH No Doubt followed their stunning Harvest Days debut by sweeping top honors in the Junior Exhibitor English Pleasure qualifier and championship at Gasparilla coached by Lark Henry. Ashton Gamso and Highlander Coress turned in an excellent performance for the reserve tricolor finish.

Gasparilla was the site of the victorious performance debut of the charismatic chestnut Grand Cru Dom Perignon. The multi-titled in hand stallion garnered the Open Pleasure Driving blue and tricolor with Cheri Barber on the lines for Beau Cheval Partnership. Barber had a pair of award winning four-year-olds as Gradell's Sensation enjoyed a victorious harness debut as well. He collected the Junior/Novice Pleasure Driving blue and tricolor for Drs. Jerome and Shirley Modell.

James Wallace once again visited the winner's enclosure as he guided Partridge Hill Power Play to the Amateur Pleasure Driving Championship directed by Kristen Cole. Paradigm Bonzai and Pamela Kent collected the reserve tricolor with a bold performance to open the season.

The fancy white trimmed chestnut RW String Of Pearls was the big winner in the classic division as she earned the tricolor as well as the junior exhibitor blue with Lauren Griffin aboard for Bobbin Hollow Equestrian Center. James Wallace and Emeraude DRC Legacy carried home the reserve tricolor following the blue ribbon ride in the adult qualifier.

Jerry Modell and his elegant Gradell's Dresden Doll turned in a polished presentation to drive away with the Classic Pleasure Driving Championship directed by Cheri Barber. Paul Smith and Willowick Double Vision enjoyed an outstanding drive under the direction of Tom Johnson to garner the reserve tricolor in this competitive division.

The Western Pleasure Championship was the largest Morgan class of the show and it featured a ring full of top performers vying for the honors. It was the perfectly matched and turned out team of PJM Sho-Bree-O and Allyson Hughes who rose to the top of the competition. They jogged away with the tricolor following the open qualifier blue. Dare You All made a smooth transition to the western division as Betty Gray presented the entry of Marion Therapeutic Riding Association to the reserve tricolor following the junior/novice blue.

Pat West made headlines at Gasparilla as she topped the Amateur Western Pleasure Championship for the second year in a row. This time she was aboard her colorful Caduceus Quasar who also topped the qualifier under the direction of Cheri Barber. James Wallace paired up with Triagn Nor Easter and followed up with the reserve placings.

Kelly Simpson and SPR Valarie's Finale enjoyed a tricolor start to the season as Tom Johnson guided them to the Hunter Pleasure Championship victory. Standean Chancellor and Brittany Hawkins finished up with the reserve tricolor after dual blues in the open and junior exhibitor qualifiers.


A varied field competed for the walk and trot pleasure honors at Gasparilla. Sable Satin and Christine Freeman turned in a polished presentation to capture the Pleasure Horse/Pony Walk-Trot Championship to the delight of trainer May Klein. Following a win in the 11 & over qualifier Graywoods Kera and Madye Bell carried home the reserve tricolor honors. MacKenzie Ligas enjoyed a grand debut on Silver Blue & Gold as she made a winning transition to the saddle seat and Saddlebred competition. Mary Jo Schmidt guided this promising team to the 10 & under walk-trot blue.

Sisters Madye and Cassie Bell dueled it out in the Morgan Walk-Trot Pleasure competition and each got to take a trip down victory lane as Cassie Bell and VJ Opportunity topped the qualifier with older sister Madye and Graywood's Kera earning the tricolor with Cassie in reserve. These up and coming young riders are instructed by Andrea Whiting.


Many of the Florida barns as well as other stables competing at Gasparilla supported the Academy division with numerous riders experiencing the thrill of competing at a large horse show. Judge Betty Gray viewed approximately 80 rides in the 16 classes that were offered for the academy riders during the Saturday afternoon session. The railside was filled with the anxious riders along with family and friends on hand to offer moral support.

Lark Henry of Bobbin Hollow Farm brought in her large troop of riders and they rode away with many honors. The Varveris family enjoyed the competition with Alexandra (Lead Line), Ariana (Walk-Trot Equitation 8 & Under), and their mother Nicola (Adult Equitation and Showmanship) all earning blue ribbons. Nicholas Villamizer (Walk-Trot Hunt Seat Equitation and Showmanship) had a large cheering section as he closed out the session with a pair of winning rides.

Kristen Coonts (14-17 Equitation and Showmanship), Andrea Jenkins (Walk-Trot 14 & Over Equitation and Showmanship), Shelby Fahlman (Walk-Trot Equitation 11-13), and Stephanie Weinburg (Walk-Trot Showmanship 9-10) made up the winning team of riders from Avalon Stables.

Judd Stables added a pair of academy blues to the banner as Christine Thomas (13 & Under Equitation) and Katie Hawley (Walk-Trot Showmanship 8 & Under) visited the winner's circle.

Nichole McSweeney (13 & Under Showmanship) had the thrill of riding down victory lane as Linda Weber of Hawkewood Farm coached her to the win.

Jamie Jankowitz of Talley Oak Stable directed a pair of winning young riders in Julia Avery (Walk-Trot Showmanship 11-13) and Jessie Key (Walk-Trot 9-10 Equitation).

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