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Great Beginnings And A Special Ending...At The Tampa Charity Horse Show

The 72nd annual Tampa Charity Horse Show continued its grand tradition on March 8-12, 2005. This venerable show has been a mainstay on the Sunshine Circuit throughout the years with many different formats and venues. Since 1993 Tampa Charity has called the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa its home. The show, which is sponsored by the Tampa Horse Show Association, Inc. once again this year, benefited The Scottish Rite of Florida, which provides clinics for the treatment of childhood language disorders. Of major significance in the history of this show has been its long established tradition of supporting Tampa's charities. Not only has this show been a major and colorful sporting event, it has also provided additional resources for many fine causes.

The storied history of Tampa Charity would not be complete without the many dedicated volunteers who have helped the show earn so many accolades throughout the horse show community and the local community. Tampa Charity is also richer for some of the great people and horses that have attended this fine show.

On Saturday evening, two exhibitors who are also positive role models were honored for their continued support of Tampa Charity. Tim Roesink was presented the Director's Cup For Good Sportsmanship by a professional, while Elsa Hackett added her name to the impressive list of winners on The NCNB American Sportsmanship Award for amateurs.

Committee member and former show chair Becky Buffington is certainly one of the most staunch supporters of the show. Buffington is quick to credit the volunteers and officials of Tampa Charity for the show's success. She wanted to especially acknowledge show secretary Beth Snider. "This was Beth's 20th year to be Tampa Charity's show secretary. I think that is pretty special. She is so organized and is such a help to us. I think I have been associated with Tampa Charity for 19 years. My, how the time flies!!" Buffington reminisced.

Although both of the Sunshine Circuit shows are held at the same location only days apart, there are many changes in the cast for the Tampa Charity Show. While some stables shipped out on Sunday, a new group of stables joined in for the second week of competition. Although the weather was cooler than the chamber of commerce ordered, it was still nice enough for exhibitors to enjoy the many area attractions to pass the time.

Tampa Charity is famous for its hospitality as was in evidence throughout the week. Beginning on Tuesday afternoon trainers and grooms were treated to a welcome pizza party sponsored by the Tampa Horse Show Association. A well-received progressive barn party followed Thursday night's performance. James and Helen Rosburg along with Dr. Carlos and Tracy Garcia sponsored a very entertaining exhibitor's party ringside on Friday night with Outback Steakhouse providing the food for the large and festive crowd.

The lineup of officials at Tampa Charity saw show manager Scarlett Mattson and show chair Cris Gard enjoy their second year in those positions. Merrill Murray and Larry Bolen handled the judging assignments along with Cheri Barber in the academy division. In addition to Beth Snider serving as show secretary for the 20th year, Scott Snider continued his reign as grounds manager for the second week in a row. While Howard Schatzberg and crew remained as official photographer, Richfield Video as official videographer and Bill Munford as USEF Steward, a host of new officials filled the lineup for the second week on the Sunshine Circuit. Peter Fenton (Announcer), Marion Vande Wall (Ringmaster), Tanker Pruitt (Paddock Master), Ed Gilbert (Veterinarian), James Witherspoon (Farrier) and Dale Stone (Organist) were welcomed as returning Tampa Charity officials.

There were several show ring highlights on the week including many outstanding team debuts by the likes of Albelarm Radiant Lady and Bob Phillips, Waltz and Tricia Bonati, MEM Heart And Soul and Shelley Silber, Callaway's Maelstrom and Caitlin Leith, Stonecroft Sundial and Maria Gilman, Dragonsmeade Carnegie Hall and Bill Silber, Future Treasure and Victoria Woodruff, and Attache's Irish Wine and Mollie Kregor. There was also a very special and unexpected ending as during her victory pass in the Roadster To Bike Championship, it was announced that World's Champion Special Rose was making her final show ring appearance. It was a heartfelt decision by her owner and trainer Mary Jo Schmidt, and one that earned them a standing ovation from their friends and fans.

The 72nd annual Tampa Charity show ring highlights follow as well as complete results:


The Five-Gaited Stake again served as the grand finale of the Tampa Charity Horse Show. World's Champion Reedann's Whispering Leaves made a tricolor return to the five-gaited division. Ruth Gimpel rode the sleek chestnut to the tricolor as well as the Billy Cox & Raise-A-Ruckus Challenge Trophy and the J.R. Ragsdale Memorial Perpetual Trophy for Pixie Dust & Steel. Steve Demjen enjoyed his trip to Tampa and collected the reserve honors along with way with Jacqueline Hawkes' Harlem's Gifted Treasure. Demjen also coached the well matched team of Dollar For Dollar and Lisa May to a pair of winning rides in the amateur qualifier and stake to earn a leg on the Herman Miles Memorial Perpetual Trophy.

Heather Boodey and her Ingleside Farm clients opened the show season at Tampa Charity and hung several blue and tricolor ribbons on the banner. Heather warmed up Caitlin Leith's sporty new mount Callaway's Maelstrom with the blue ribbon ride in the open class.

Maria Gilman directed a pair of Barbara Woods' entries to the winner's circle. Discover took another trip down victory lane as he trotted away with the ladies blue. The Denver Junior class featured the victorious five-gaited debut of the dynamic three-year-old Stonecroft Sundial.

Kelsey Olson closed out an undefeated Sunshine Circuit as she rode LA Boca Raton to the junior exhibitor tricolor following the qualifier blue under the Judd Stables banner. The fashionable pairing of Kate Spade and Mia Wilson followed up with the reserve tricolor in this entertaining division prepared by Cardinal Farms.


The show ring return of the undefeated 2003 World's Champion Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited Albelarm Radiant Lady was certainly a highlight of the horse show. Now under the training talents of Bob Phillips and the ownership of Louis Novak, this scintillating black mare literally stole the show to capture the Open Three-Gaited blue and tricolor as well as The Crowder Challenge Trophy. Maria Gilman teamed Smoke Gets In Your Eyes to the reserve tricolor performance for Jayo Family Corporation.

Helen Rosburg and her lovely new partner An Heir Of Magic enjoyed two fabulous victories in Tampa. They topped the ladies class to earn the Starheart's Showtime Memorial Trophy with style and elegance and came back for a tricolor finish in the Amateur Three-Gaited Stake to the delight of trainer Ruth Gimpel. After a blue ribbon ride in the amateur qualifier, Stacey Bare and her big motioned Caramac's Norma Rae collected the reserve tricolor directed by Steve Demjen.

Jackie DeLaParte was all smiles as she rode the fronty Keeper Of The Stars to the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited blue and tricolor ahead of an outstanding field of entries. Ali DeGray gave Callaway's Tobar a pair of bold rides to capture the reserve honors for Pixie Dust & Steel.

Three top winning miniature show ring stars battled for supremacy in the Three-Gaited Pony competition. Amy Hein came through with a flawless ride on her dynamic Bourbon County Rose to earn the tricolor. The precise team of Bi Mi Champagne Tate and Kristen Thomas rode away with the reserve tricolor following a blue ribbon ride in the qualifier.


The Fine Harness division featured one of the big surprises of the show as World's Champion Waltz burst through the gate in dazzling fashion with a harness and four-wheel buggy matched with owner Tricia Bonati. They danced to victory in the very entertaining five horse amateur class and returned on Saturday night to earn the Fine Harness Championship title prepared by Ruth Gimpel. It was an outstanding division of world's champions as Simbara's Sweet Lorraine and David Mount continued to progress as a team as they were named the reserve champions. Charlotte Kurtz and Images Of Blue added another blue ribbon to the Cardinal Farms banner as they collected the win in the open class for Blue Heaven Saddlebreds.


The Open Three-Gaited Park Stake saw Our Fallen Angel and Rob Byers open the campaign in tricolor fashion for Cheryl Friedman Allison following a dynamic victory in the Denver Junior class. Forty Two Karats was golden in her blue ribbon performance in the open class with Mary Jo Schmidt. They came back on Saturday night to collect the reserve tricolor for Frank and Betty Rozzo.

The Amateur Three-Gaited Park Stake featured a tricolor sweep for Silver Run Stables. It was Heir To Success and Pamela Sanders who stepped up with a great ride to earn a trip to the winner's circle to meet Bill Rodgers. Allison Beard and Without Prejudice added the qualifier blue and reserve championship to their great start to the season.

SS Success and Kate Biladeau continued their season of success earning their second tricolor victory in as many weeks in the junior exhibitor division. They started off with the winning ride in the qualifier under the Ruth Gimpel Stables banner. Harlem's Magic Circle and Kendall Flemming performed some of their own magic as the reserve champions for Donna Gauthier.


The ASB Pleasure division again featured some of the largest and most competitive classes of the show. Sweet Virginia and Barbara Woods were pure perfection as they claimed the Adult Three-Gaited Pleasure Stake for the second year in a row following the qualifier blue. The competition was outstanding as The Billy Bob and Cheryl Friedman Allison turned in a signature performance for the reserve honors.

The Florida Owned & Trained Three-Gaited Pleasure blue also went back to the Judd Stables banner as Magic Mahogany and Lynne Martin turned in a polished show for the victory.

So Audacious and Kelsey Olson put an exclamation point on the Sunshine Circuit as they earned top honors in the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Pleasure Stake as well as the 13 & under qualifier. Trink Or Treat and Amanda Rhodes put on a confident show to collect the reserve tricolor for the second year in a row.

Amy Greenberg and Seismic Force teamed up for the winning ride in the 14-17 qualifier for the second week in a row. Invitation Required and Marcy Scardino earned an invitation to the winner's circle as they topped the novice rider class directed by Bill Rodgers.

Lois Vartanian and What A Keepsake took home two more keepsakes from their Sunshine Circuit debut in the form of a blue ribbon and tricolor in the ASB Pleasure Driving qualifier and championship. Lisa Misiewicz took over the reins of Paul Richardson's Vertical Horizon to earn the reserve honors directed by Anne Judd.

Jenna Palmeri and Dance Card duplicated their win from the previous week as they topped the ASHA Foundation Junior Exhibitor Show Pleasure Driving for Susan Craddock.

After closing out last season with two great rides in Kansas City, Stonewall's Stargate and Patrice Watson were back on center stage in Tampa to garner the ASB Five-Gaited Pleasure blue and tricolor under the direction of Premier Stables. Andres Herrera and Talk The Talk had them all talking with their bold ride as they followed up with the reserve tricolor streamers for R Farm.

The Adult Country Pleasure Stake saw Helen Rosburg and her beloved Kalarama's High Roller emerge victorious for Pixie Dust & Steel. The colorful markings of Dali stood out as the reserve champion with Britni Ruyle in the irons for Frank and Betty Rozzo.

CH Future Treasure and Victoria Woodruff were perfectly matched by Heather Boodey to earn the Junior Exhibitor Country Pleasure Stake as well as the 14-17 blue in their team debut. They had some outstanding competition including the reserve champion I'm Good To Go and Ali DeGray as well as the 13 and under winning team of Law Me and Amy Hein.

Imaginary Lover and Michelle Maynard enjoyed two visits to the winner's circle as they collected the Adult Country Pleasure and Florida Owned & Trained Country Pleasure blues.

Stephanie's Stonewall Dancer and Victoria Von Baillou paired up for a picture perfect ride to earn the Novice Rider Country Pleasure win for Billie Rae Wilkes. Norm Dawson took over the lines of Stonewall Dancer to collect the top honors in the Country Pleasure Driving Stake. Trefethen and James Rosburg added to their wins from the previous week as they won the Country Pleasure Driving blue in their only performance of the week.

Reva's Roman Design and Lauren King matched up for top honors in the ASB Country Western Pleasure Stake as well as the qualifier for Erika Gilbert. Richard Robinson took time off from shoeing to ride Saguerro to the reserve championship as well as the Saddle & Bridle William Shatner win for Doshia Stein.


MacKenzie Ligas had the winning smile as her new horse Silver Blue & Gold collected the red, blue and yellow ribbon as they won the Walk-Trot Pleasure Championship. Mary Jo Schmidt greeted the winning pair. Graywood's Kera and Madye Bell continued an outstanding start as the reserve champions. CH Attache's Irish Wine and Mollie Kregor added the Walk-Trot Pleasure qualifier blue to their equitation winnings under the Premier banner.


The Roadster competition on the Sunshine Circuit has featured some memorable show ring battles throughout the years. The conclusion of this year's competition ranks right up there with some of the most memorable as a Sunshine Circuit mainstay for most of the past 15 years bid her fond adieu to the show ring in tricolor fashion. World's Champion Special Rose raced to the Roadster To Bike Championship to conclude not only two undefeated weeks on the Sunshine Circuit, but also her long and successful career. It was a heartfelt decision by owner and trainer Mary Jo Schmidt. They made their final tricolor pass with a standing ovation from their friends and fans. Paul Misiewicz and Top Star Willie made a pair of game showings for the honor of being reserve to Special Rose.

James Rosburg was mighty excited about his winning drives with his new speedster Humdinger as they sped away with the Amateur Roadster To Bike blue and tricolor. The colors of MJO Stables were well represented in the amateur division by the reserve team of Where's Reuben and Debra Clark.

Jessie Pettie and Fiendishly Clever sped through the Sunshine Circuit in undefeated fashion as the repeated their wins from the previous week in the Open Roadster Pony competition. Their tricolor victory netted them a spot on the Hickory Furniture Company Challenge Trophy. Free Willy had to settle for the reserve tricolor this time out with Ruth Gimpel taking over the lines.

With a world of show ring presence, Seize The Moment and Helen Rosburg took over the ring to carry home the Amateur Roadster Pony blue and tricolor directed by Ruth Gimpel. The world's championship team of Zildjian and Conner Leith started off the season in high gear to top the Junior Exhibitor Roadster Pony and come back for a bold drive for the reserve amateur championship to the delight of their Ingleside Farm cheering section.

Tommy Hilfiger and Debra Hamelback finished off a clean sweep of the Sunshine Circuit as they captured the Hackney Pony blue and tricolor for Bob Richards. The top honors in the harness pony division also went back to the John Shea banner as Stephany Monteleone drove It's About Time to the tricolor following the qualifier blue ribbon performance with Abel Vega on the lines.

Ali DeGray and Wait & See's Postmaster stepped to the head of the Hackney Pony Pleasure Driving division earning the blue and tricolor for Pixie Dust & Steel. They were followed in both outings by Luv Ya Baby and Jessie Pettie performing for Gayle Kennedy.


Saturday night's Saddle Seat Equitation Championship featured a stellar win for Jillian Schaffer as she showed off her style and precision aboard Bad Moon Rising LOA to be awarded the Jimmy Glidewell Memorial Perpetual Trophy. Her proud parents and instructor Linda Weber were ecstatic with this impressive victory aboard a National Show Horse which followed a blue ribbon ride in the 14-17 age group. Kristen Thomas and Answered Prayer collected the reserve tricolor following the winning rides in the USEF and Good Hands Medal competitions.

Morgan King and her new mount Piesporter earned a stellar win with precision on the rail and the pattern in the UPHA Challenge Cup instructed by Bill Rodgers.

Mollie Kregor starred in her very first show with Attache's Irish Wine as they concluded with the Walk-Trot Equitation Championship after a blue ribbon ride in the UPHA Challenge Cup Walk-Trot directed by Rob and Sarah Byers. Madye Bell continued a great start with her new mare Graywood's Kera for the reserve championship as well as the Morgan Walk-Trot Equitation blue.

The Morgan Saddle Seat Equitation Championship concluded a flawless two weeks in the Morgan equitation division for Jennifer Scotto aboard RWF Titletown after topping the qualifier. Emily Whiting collected the reserve tricolor after exhibiting for the 13 and under blue under the Whispering Oaks banner.


The Morgan division contained a largely new cast of competitors who vied with some of the previous week's winners for tricolor honors. Shelley Silber had the thrill of debuting on her charismatic stallion MEM Heart And Soul as they brought the Park Saddle tricolor back to the Grove Pointe banner for Kourt Jester Morgans. The Silber family had plenty to celebrate in Tampa, in addition to being out of the snow and cold of Maine for a week. In addition to Shelley's debut, Bill Silber was ecstatic about the chance to show World Champion Dragonsmeade Carnegie Hall. They made a pair of sensational showings to earn the Open Pleasure Driving blue and tricolor. Meanwhile, Tim Roesink debuted the Beethoven son under saddle to win the Open English Pleasure blue.

The newest member of the Kourt Jester Morgans show string is Almost Famous. His winning saddle debut performances make him one step closer to being famous as Tim Roesink showed the Man In Motion son to the Open English Pleasure Championship following the junior blue. KMHF Penultimate and Cliona Curran made themselves known with the reserve tricolor showings in the open and amateur championships.

Tim Roesink's string of debuts continued as he introduced JME Morgans' newest entry to the winner's circle. Jan Evans and husband Mike Offer were railside to cheer on the bold black Lorenzo De Claridge as he was named the Junior/Novice English Pleasure Champion following a blue ribbon ride in the novice class. Tracy Roy had a sporty new entry in Maximum Wham, the reserve entry in both classes for Echo Lake Morgans. Tracy Roy was also on the lines of Brittany Maranos' bold performing Heyday Special Vintage for the Open Pleasure Driving Reserve Championship.

Donna Zimmerman enjoyed the trip to Tampa once again to start the season. She had a big cheering section for two impressive rides aboard Kriskroft Choirboy to earn the Amateur English Pleasure blue and tricolor directed by Lowry Stables.

Channing Ligas and HVK Diamond Bold started off the season in winning style at Tampa Charity for the second year in a row winning the Junior Exhibitor English Pleasure blue. They came back to earn the tricolor to the applause of the Rick Davis Stables cheering section. The up and coming team of Jane Mitchell and Sunny Acres In A Flash carried home the reserve tricolor.

Stonecroft Wish Me Well and Chauncey Felker continued their winning ways in the Amateur Pleasure Driving qualifier and championship. After a pair of winning performances under saddle a week earlier, DJE Answer To Destiny and Euchee Matthews drove away with the Junior/Novice Pleasure Driving blue.

Kristi Buehrle stepped in for an ailing James Wallace to earn the blue ribbon and tricolor in the Adult Classic Pleasure Saddle with Emeraude DRC Legacy directed by Kris Cole. Gerry Auermann and her white trimmed Hidawayhill Highlander collected the reserve tricolor.

CSH Corydon's Eclipse has been a consistent show ring performer for everyone has shown him and sisters Caitlin and Courtney Howard are the latest to enjoy his talents. Caitlin earned three trips to the winner's circle in her very first show out of walk and trot earning the Junior Exhibitor Classic Pleasure Saddle blue and tricolor as well as the Classic Equitation win. Younger sister Courtney matched up with the bay gelding to earn the Morgan Walk-Trot Pleasure blue to the applause of the Grove Pointe cheering section. Alexis Polanis and Whispering Marquise were paired for the reserve tricolor in the junior exhibitor championship to the delight of grandmother Gerry Auermann.

Tampa Charity was the site a year ago of the debut of IGF Coeur Et Ame and Donna Zimmerman. This year they debuted in a new division to rave reviews as they drove away with the Classic Pleasure Driving blue and tricolor directed by Jim Lowry.

Rick Davis was aboard Grand National Champion Ensbrook Commanding Force to jog away with the Open Western Pleasure tricolor for the second year in a row for the Conklin family. This followed their earlier win in the open qualifier. Caralee Conklin began her final junior exhibitor season by winning the junior exhibitor qualifier on Commanding Force followed by a stellar victory in the amateur championship. Spencer Conklin followed older sister Caralee with the reserve ride in the junior exhibitor with Tara's Zeus after the bay gelding's winning junior/novice performance with Rick Davis.

Ann Smith was delighted with her open western reserve tricolor aboard WMF Secret Legend. Gerry Auermann collected another reserve tricolor as well as a blue ribbon with Hidawayhill Bold Image in the amateur western pleasure competition.

King Lehr's Debutante enjoyed a clean sweep of the hunter pleasure competition. Fay Lowry started things off with the open blue, while owner Christine Karas followed up with two top rides for the amateur blue and the Hunter Pleasure Championship. Lindsay Levert and Kalahari made a bold showing to garner the reserve tricolor for Phoenix Architects.

Channing Ligas and her picture perfect Monnington Soul topped an outstanding field of entries for the blue ribbon in the Junior Exhibitor Hunter Pleasure.


Many of the Florida stables again brought a large cast of aspiring riders to compete in the academy division. The stands were filled with supportive friends and family as well as a group of more aspiring riders looking forward to their chance to show. In all, over 80 entries filled the classes offered.

The winning riders from the day featured; Emily Knapp, Charley Goldman, Kiana Warren and Catherine Bornscheuer (Gimpel Stables); Lindsey Mazo (Bluff Creek Stables); Deborah Exelby (Silver Run Stables); Nichole McSweeney (Hawkewood Farm); Christine Thomas, Katie Evans, Kyra Ciotti and Rachel McMillen (Judd Stables); Kat Brown (Heirloom Stables); Paige Colson, Ariana Varveris, Nicholas Villamizar (Bobbin Hollow Farm) and Jackie Smith (Five Gaits Stables).

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