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Monterey Springfest, A Beautiful Beginning

The West Coast American Saddlebred faithful converged on Monterey's County Fairgrounds April 9-12 kicking off their show season with a bang. It is hard to beat Monterey, Calif., for a more picturesque setting for a horse show. The sun beams through crisp cool skies to a showgrounds surrounded by beautiful trees and blooming foliage. Friendly horse show exhibitors drive whatever distances necessary to come together as a community and to show off their very best horses.

Unfortunately there aren't as many horses on the West Coast as there once were, but the quality of the stock is strong. Part of the fun at this point in the season is predicting which horses will knock our socks off back east come August.

Monterey also offers hospitality after virtually every session. Bob Facciola hosted a barbecue on Thursday. Diamond Hills had an incredible champagne and dessert party Thursday night complete with crystal champagne flutes. Friday's night's exhibitors party was a popular event with dinner and dancing among all the exhibitors - American Saddlebred, Tennessee Walking Horse, Icelandic Horses, Missouri Fox Trotters, and Friesians.

The diversity of the schedule due to the number of breeds participating made it much easier for trainers to have horses ready and in their peak condition before every class. Manager Rae Deane Stone and her office staff also made a crucial decision on Friday. Due to impending weather predicted for Saturday, the 11:00 a.m. day session was moved up to start at 8:00 a.m. With a one hour break between day and evening sessions, the classes were held straight through. This proved to be a very smart move as the light misting rain turned into a steady downpour just as Helen Cherry picked up the tricolor ribbon in the Five-Gaited Stake with Just a Tad Bad.

Jim and Helen Cherry are consistent winners on the West Coast with their Zazen Ranch horses. Jim injured himself slightly early in the week, but that didn't stop him from being right on the rail to cheer on Helen and daughter Allison to blue ribbons. Helen rode the chestnut gelding Just A Tad Bad to the top in both five-gaited open classes. Gail Hooker's Callaway's Cover Page picked up the reserve in both classes with Bill Tomin directing two outstanding performances.

No stranger to the winners circle wherever she shows, Laurel Nelson posted her tricolor from the Amateur Five-Gaited Stake aboard Spirited Revival on Dick Boettcher's tack room. Sally Nottage was thrilled with her new mount Celestial Wings to take the reserve in the stake. Look for more great things from this team as they get to know one another.

The five-gaited amateur or lady to ride qualifier featured five strong entries. After an injury sidelined He's Too Much for more than two years, most owners would have given up on him. But Rick Daigle's patience and trust in Jannie Giles paid off with a triumphant return to the show ring. He's Too Much and Giles topped the class with Spirited Revival earning the reserve spot.

Top quality horses and performances are the rule at Diamond Hills and Meghan Hill and her brother Jared deliver no matter what type of horse they are on. Five-gaited, equitation, western, Friesian, the list goes on and on . . . these kids can ride. Part of the fun is watching the friendly sibling rivalry when these two riders are in the ring together.

Meghan posted wins in both junior exhibitor five-gaited classes. The Irish Ember is owned by Meghan's parents, Doug and Janine Hill, and was quite a standout in the five entry classes.

Julie Devault is another junior exhibitor who likes to do it all. She directed Kalarama's On A Roll to the reserve in the junior exhibitor five-gaited stake for the Devault Farms under Bill Tomin's supervision. Kendall Weber earned the reserve ribbon in the qualifier with a good ride aboard Jack-A-Lope.

Karen Lachman was thrilled with her new youngster Doubletree's Caper Style. Don Deardorff directed the chestnut gelding to the Denver Junior/Limit Five-Gaited title. Longtime California winner Barbara Beamer earned the reserve tie aboard Black Comedy, an entry owned by her Seaview Farm.

Martha Keck and Lady Treasure really put it all together to start off 2003 with a bang. They topped both five-entry amateur three-gaited classes with outstanding performances. Marcia Sola and Long Stem Rose made a strong improvement from their first ride to earn the reserve in the stake. Susan Valley Chen and Like Sunshine earned the reserve tie in the qualifier.

The multi-titled CH Xs and Os and Allison Cherry repeated their victories from 2002 winning both junior exhibitor three-gaited classes once again in 2003 for Zazen Ranch. Julie Devault earned the reserve tie in both classes, this time aboard Marilyn McCoo for Devault Farms.

The Devault Farms entry of Cash Crop won the Denver Junior/Limit Horse Three-Gaited Class with Bill Tomin aboard. Nani Barnes and Long Stem Rose earned the reserve tie in this class for owner Marcia Sola.

Patti Devault herself has loved and shown horses all her life, but she has waited a long time to enjoy one as much as She's My Desire. This beautiful black mare topped the five-entry Denver Junior/Limit Horse Three-Gaited Park Class and returned to win the Three-Gaited Park Stake.

David Blevins directed Peri-made to the reserve tie in the stake for Maynard and Linda Brittan. Don Deardorff showed his own Doubletree's Lymrique to the reserve in the Denver Junior/Limit Park qualifier.

Jannie Giles was back in the winners circle with her own entry, Clove, to win the Three-Gaited Park Open qualifier. Richard Swiger and Time to Boogie earned the reserve tie for Carol Jane Singleton.

Don Deardorff topped the Fine Harness Stake and open classes with a beautiful chestnut stud, Doubletree's Classic Design, that he owns with his daughter Allison. Bill Tomin drove the entry of he and his wife Debbie, Our Buckaroo, to the reserve title in the Stake. Barbara Beamer and her multi-titled CH Royal Winter earned the reserve tie in the open qualifier.

Sally Spalding made two beautiful solo performances with her No Jacket Required to earn the amateur fine harness titles. Bill Tomin also enjoyed a solo performance with Canadian Storm to take the Denver Junior/Limit Fine Harness title for owners Shari and Sarah Rainwater.

One of the most talked about horses on the showgrounds was the three-year-old fine harness winner driven by Dick Boettcher, Full Spectrum. Plans call to show the gorgeous youngster in five-gaited competition, but his first trip to the show ring was in harness, and he attracted more than his owners, Martha and Carlton Keck's attention.

Debbie Tomin loves her horses and Saturday she was hot, hot, hot. Picante was on fire to top the Show Pleasure Stake. Karen Lachman and her CH Grande Dam left no room for error with a strong reserve finish after winning the qualifier earlier in the week. Kevin Michael and CH Superfine's Hobo earned the reserve ribbon in the qualifier.

Julia Chen and Magic March were at the top of their game to earn both junior exhibitor show pleasure classes under the Diamond Hills banner. Kendall Weber and Mr. Rockefeller earned the reserve tie in the stake for owner Shari Rainwater. Julia Martin and Tabasco Sauce won the reserve ribbon in the qualifier for Patty Martin.

Stephanie Duck was aboard Umaidmeluva to claim both wins in the Limit Rider Show Pleasure competition for owner Julia Barrow. Sherry Morrow and The King's Strut earned the reserve ribbon in both classes.

Linda Brittan and Fair Hill's Mountain Man swept the show pleasure driving division with two strong performances. Gary Hayden and Harlem's Special Music won the red ribbon in both classes.

Miss Strawberry Wine and Judy Barmeier Ferguson fine tuned their performance to top the Country Pleasure Stake. Alexandra Brittan and Fast Forward earned the reserve in the seven entry class.

Megan Van Dyke and Doubletrees So Sassy won the Country Pleasure qualifier with Doug Cason and Decorated Lady RKR following in second place.

Country Pleasure Driving competition was fierce with Shari Rainwater and her Sugar Smacks earning the stake title. Bob Facciola and his Teardrops and Roses earned reserve in the stake, after the places were swapped in the qualifier.

The Five-Gaited Show Pleasure Stake featured Laurel Nelson and Beyond Reality in the winner's circle. Jeff Fetzer and Sweetest Odds earned the reserve tie in this class as well as the qualifier. Janet Homberg and her Haute Haute Haute topped the eight entry Five-Gaited Show Pleasure qualifier.

Five-Gaited Country Pleasure competition is popular in California. Sarah Hudson and Saki earned the stake win for owner Mary Teter. Cathy Sauer and CH Spirit of Champagne earned a reserve in the stake and won the qualifier, followed by Hudson and Saki.

Seven beautiful western horses competed in a variety of classes. Gen Hess and I'm Lucky topped the Western Country Pleasure Stake as well as the Shatner Western Pleasure competition. Kevin Michael and Perfect Adventure topped the Open Western Country Pleasure competition for owners Doug and Janine Hill. And, Highpoint's Tip Top and Shari Rainwater earned the tip top prize in the limit class.

Teddi Estes rode Kasey Ashley's entry, Honeytone's Supreme Belle, to the winners circle in both the Hunter Country Pleasure Stake and the Open Hunter Country Pleasure qualifier. Deborah Schuetz-Jones and her Thank Heaven won the Saddle & Bridle Hunter Seat Classic.

Brigitte Scholl had Ampli-Phi on the money to top both Park Pleasure classes for owner Julie Streitfeld. Cathy Sauer and Doubletrees Doubletake earned the reserve ribbon in both strong classes.

Sandra Surber had two outstanding solo performances with her multi-titled Heartland Candidate to earn the Hackney Pony Stake and open honors under the guidance of Bruce and Jennifer Dixon. Another outstanding Dixon team, Senor and Yvette Scandling, topped the Harness Pony Stake followed by Robert Lewis and Reedann's Aloha Lady, an entry owned by Alison Register. These two entries swapped places from the qualifier.

Julie Devault and First Choice topped the Hackney Pleasure Driving Pony Stake as well as the Junior Exhibitor Hackney Pleasure Driving class under Greg Carstens direction. Yvette Scandling and Heartland Entitled won the adult pleasure driving qualifier and earned the reserve title in the stake.

Bob Facciola's entry P.T. Cruiser is a sharp pony. Teamed with Marie Peyman, the little burst of speed topped both roadster pony classes. Mary Teter and her Awesome Spirit earned reserve honors both times out.

Facciola himself was feeling the need for speed in the Roadster classes. He won the open qualifier and was reserve in the bike stake with Batman. Jim Nottage had an outstanding drive with Air Force One to win the stake under Don Deardorff's direction.

It's not always easy to be the little brother, but friendly competition between brother and sister was evident in the Saddle Seat Equitation competition. Jared Hill beat his sister for the first time at Monterey earning the Saddle Seat Equitation Championship as well as the UPHA Challenge Cup. Meghan Hill settled for the reserve tie in both classes with both youngsters making beautiful performances under Michael Craghead's instruction. Jared Hill also won the 13 & under competition, this time followed by Stephanie Duck.

Melanie Galindo topped the 10 & Under Saddle Seat Equitation Class under Bruce and Jennifer Dixon's direction. Another Dixon rider Katie Jarve won the UPHA 10 & Under Challenge Cup aboard the cute Morgan Pondview Promises Promises. Sophia Roesch won the leadline class with Hunter Jones earning the reserve ribbon.

Meaghan Gerhart won the 10 & Under Pleasure Horse or Pony Class aboard Attache's Chaminade. Alex Johnson won the Academy Equitation Stake as well as the 13 & Under Academy Class and the two Academy English Pleasure classes. Kate Harwell made a nice solo performance in the Adult Equitation Academy Class.

The Friesian competition was delightful at Monterey. Janna Weir's perennial favorite Black Sterling was joined by the Diamond Hill Friesians. With the move of Jannie Giles and Peter Fenton to the West Coast to team with Jennifer Campbell, even more quality Friesians are in the mix.

Mainse and Jannie Giles attracted lots of attention wherever they went. The black beauty is owned by Jennifer Campbell and won both the Friesian Under Saddle Open Class and the Friesian Under Saddle Stake. Janna Weir Goldman and her Black Sterling earned the reserve ribbon in both classes.

Another entry owned by Jennifer Campbell, Keimpe Van Rijnwoude, topped the Limit Horse Friesian Under Saddle competition. Jared Hill directed Gysbert Fan Markate to the reserve ribbon in the four entry class.

Jannie Giles' own Robin ut de Warren topped the English Pleasure Open Class and the English Pleasure Open Stake with two beautiful performances. Janna Weir Goldman and Black Sterling took the reserve tie in both of these classes as well. Overall, it was a wonderful way to start the show season. The next show on most West Coast agendas is the new UPHA Chapter 1 show at Woodside in May. Look for more great West Coast competition there.

For complete and searchable results from the Monterey Springfest, check out the brand new website at

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