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Hats Off To The Citrus Cup Regional

By Diana Davidson

The Citrus Cup Regional Morgan Horse Show serves as the first of ten AMHA Regional Championships throughout the country each season. While AMHA Region 4 is one of the smaller regions in terms of numbers, this region does a great job of recognizing its strengths and building on them. A rule change implemented by the AMHA recently was to allow classes for non-Morgans at AMHA Regional shows. Citrus Cup was quick to jump on the bandwagon by inviting horses from other breeds to compete in several Open and Opportunity classes in the show ring as well as Working Hunter and Jumper classes. The support of stables in Florida and Georgia in these divisions as well as the traditional Morgan divisions helped Citrus Cup entries to rise from last year.

Those stables and exhibitors who supported Citrus Cup enjoyed wonderful weather, good competition and lots of good times. Thursday night’s always-enjoyable progressive barn party featured the Mad Hatter theme with a class of the same name held as the final class of the evening session leading into the party. Several barns had creative decorations to go along with the theme, while many party attendees donned some fun hats of their own.

The hospitality at Citrus Cup began with coffee and pastries sponsored each day by Shoo-fly, Inc. A wine and cheese party courtesy of Arboria and its clients was held prior to the Citrus Cup Yearling Sweepstakes on Friday evening. Following the conclusion of Friday's daytime session, a well-attended AMHA/USEF Rules Forum was held under the direction of Jane Blue, AMHA Region 4 Director Pat West and FMHA President Rick Davis. A brief FMHA meeting followed the forum. Everyone gathered for the show’s grand finale following the last class on Saturday night to toast the Citrus Cup champions at the afterglow breakfast in the show arena. The final results of the FMHA silent auction were announced during the party with winning bidders and generous donors helping raise funds to support the club.

Citrus Cup featured many special presentations held in center ring. Tracy Bell directed an outstanding field of youngsters in the Citrus Cup Youth of the Year Contest that featured Mattie Rohs earning a trip to Oklahoma as well as a replica of the Jennifer Montgomery Perpetual Trophy as the Senior Youth of the Year. The junior division featured Emma Banks earning top honors.

A quartet of high point awards also took center stage on Saturday. The UVM Windfall Sport Horse Challenge Trophy was awarded for the second year in a row to Phil’s Ridge Harry Potter shown by Jamie and Kathryn Clarke following a busy week in dressage, carriage and hunter divisions. Sara Elizabeth Castleberry performed for the Dressage High Score Award with Malverns Rapid Fire with reserve honors going to stablemate Mattie Rohs. Morgan Eddy and MKM Imperials Reflection cruised to the High Point Working Hunter Award with Jamie Clarke and Phil’s Ridge Harry Potter following in reserve as they also did in the High Point Carriage Driving, where Felicia Schlemmer and her world champion DBL F Commanding Officer earned top honors and the C. Brad Hammond Memorial Trophy.

The Citrus Cup was presented by the Florida Morgan Horse Association under the direction of president Rick Davis. After a one year hiatus, Citrus Cup welcomed back Alicia Davis as show chair as well as manager. Davis has given tremendous effort on behalf of Citrus Cup for nearly all of the show’s 34 years. The list of show officials also included; show secretary Carlie Evans, USEF Steward Cecile Hetzel-Dunn, announcer Jeff Hyman, photographer Shane Shiflet, organist June Brune and ringmaster Conky Price along with numerous other committee members and volunteers. The judges for this year’s show were Lyle Wick, Karen Homer-Brown (carriage), William Woods (dressage) and Sarah Gove (learner judge).

The Citrus Cup show ring activity got off to a tricolor start on Wednesday morning with in hand champions first to visit the winner’s circle. World Champion Gradell Angel WithAFlaire posed as the Grand Champion Mare with Cheri Barber handling the lead of the daughter of Noble Flaire and Gradell’s Seventh Angel for owner/breeders Jerry and Shirley Modell. The Grand Champion Stallion sash was also hung on the Cheri Barber banner as Treble’s High End Piece (Centerpiece x Stonecroft Chanel) collected the honors for Manasota Morgans LLC.

The get of Centerpiece celebrated a tricolor show as Gulfwind Center Court and Margaret McKnight Karrh added the Grand Champion Gelding award to the Gulfwind Morgans list of Citrus Cup victories over the years. The Citrus Cup Yearling Sweepstakes kicked off the Friday evening session with UDM High Waters making a colorful presentation to earn top marks from judge Wick with Tami Johnson on the lead for owner/breeders Michael and Karen Burridge.

Alexandra Varveris and True Gold made a winning transition as they earned matching tricolors in the Walk-Trot Hunter Pleasure and equitation divisions under the direction of Lark Henry. RWF Titletown and Danielle Lail celebrated a tricolor victory in the Walk-Trot English Pleasure, while McKenzie Wunderle matched up with HVK Marquis to earn the Walk-Trot Saddle Seat Equitation Championship.

Tarryn Farnsworth and Krytonite continued their winning streak since their move to Florida as they swept top honors in six classes including the Open and Amateur Hunter Pleasure Championships. Taylor Ekovich and CBMF Trading Up continued their winning partnership earning the Junior Exhibitor Western Pleasure Championship, which they had also won at Tampa Charity.

Another repeat winner from Tampa Charity was Century Mardi Gras as Rebecca Watters rode the fronty gelding to the Amateur English Pleasure Championship for owner Kathryn Pope and trainer Rick Davis. Pop The Cork celebrated a victory pass in the Junior Pleasure Driving Championship as Cheri Barber handled the lines for Manasota Morgans LLC.

Cherrydale Melania and Allyson Hughes earned their second tricolor in as many shows as they jogged away with the Open Western Pleasure Championship, as they had at Tampa Charity for owners Pat West and William Shean. Be My Hunk O Spunk was a frequent visitor to the Citrus Cup winner’s circle as he topped judge Wick’s card in the Amateur Western Pleasure Championship with elated owner Barbara Nesse and returned for the Junior Western Pleasure Championship with trainer Valarie Siemer.

Lua Cheia and Jennifer Scotto teamed up to carry the Park Saddle Championship to owners Joao Fernandes and Claudio Moreira and trainer Tom Johnson. Chloe Hooper and Formal Protest added to their tricolor partnership as they earned the Junior Exhibitor English Pleasure Championship. Hooper also had a winning catch-ride on Seaway St. Lawrence in the Junior Exhibitor Classic Pleasure Saddle Championship for owner Ann Smith and trainer Betty Gray.

Monnington Soul returned to the familiar Citrus Cup ring as Samantha Delaney teamed up with the polished chestnut to earn the Junior Exhibitor Hunter Pleasure Championship and Hunt Seat Equitation Championship under the direction of Tricia Waclena.

Alexandra Layos earned matching tricolors on Saturday night as she guided two winning entries of Euchee Matthews. Layos and DJE Answer To Destiny continued their win streak in the Classic Pleasure Saddle Championship, while the CF First Night Out daughter The Suns Out topped the OTAB Park Saddle Championship.

RCV The One And Only and Lark Henry continued their win streak as they repeated their Tampa Charity victories for the blue and tricolor in the Junior English Pleasure for owner/breeder Kathleen Gatien. Channing Ligas and HVK Acclamation put in two fabulous rides as they closed out the show with the English Pleasure Championship victory under the Silver Run banner. Grace McDonell and Picabo Street had a big fan club cheering them on as they carried home the OTAB Walk-Trot blue and tricolor to Gamine LLC.

Narcisse and Christy O’Donnell put on two top showings to add the OTAB Pleasure Driving blue and tricolor to their Tampa Charity wins under the direction of Anne Judd and Zebra Ltd. Jenna Domenico matched up with the sporty chestnut Shame Shame Shame to carry the tricolor from the OTAB Saddle Seat Pleasure Championship to Anne Judd.

Glenn Winograd added a new dimension as he matched up with Tracy Garcia’s multi-titled For Reference Only to earn the blue and tricolor in the OTAB Country Pleasure division in addition to cheering on daughter Rachael to victory in the academy division. Rick Davis was another multi-divisional winner as he rode the handsome Sir York son Starbucks LTD to the OTAB Western Pleasure Championship for Karen Swain.

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