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Put On Your Easter Bonnet And Trot Over To The Diamond Jubilee

by Diana Davidson

DEL MAR, Calif. - The Diamond Jubilee Morgan Horse Show opened the West Coast show season as it has for the past 32 years. This show features a wonderful facility in the Del Mar Fairgrounds; a fabulous setting in the oceanside town of Del Mar; and a hardworking group of horse show volunteers and officials. Diamond Jubilee certainly has many things going for it.

Nonetheless, the show seems to be one of many smaller shows that is suffering from dwindling attendance. As the first show of the season, Diamond Jubilee once attracted eager exhibitors from throughout California as well as the Pacific northwest and many southwestern states. For a variety of reasons, this is no longer the case with only a portion of California stables attending with an occasional out-of-state stable joining in.

Diamond Jubilee is fortunate to have some energetic volunteers who do a fine job with class sponsorships, show activities and careful budgeting in order to keep the show financially sound. Many small shows are not so lucky. It is crucial that trainers and exhibitors support the smaller shows, as many in attendance at Diamond Jubilee do each year, or our industry will suffer with the loss of many shows which make up an important part of our show schedules. We need these type of shows to start out young horses, young riders and new combinations. Our sometimes overzealous desire to only show at the "big" shows may in fact cut many people out of our industry if only the big shows are left.

One of the factors that worked against Diamond Jubilee this year was the fact that it was scheduled for Easter weekend, April 9-11. This show has wound up on Easter weekend several times in the past, but this time it seemed to have the largest impact on entries. Many of those who were in attendance took the opportunity to have some Easter fun and sport some innovative Easter bonnets and bunny ears to add to the spirit of the show.

Diamond Jubilee featured many ways in which to celebrate the holiday weekend with parties and special events. Exhibitors were welcomed with a pizza party Thursday prior to the show's Friday morning start. A number of barns took part in the progressive barn party between Friday's afternoon and evening sessions. Young exhibitors got the chance to have some added fun in Saturday's stick horse class as well as Easter Sunday's egg hunt. Starbucks also sponsored a ringside Sunday brunch for all in attendance.

This year’s Diamond Jubilee was again presented by the Morgan Horse Club of San Diego County with Ann Miller and Kim Arnold heading the hardworking show committee. The list of repeat show officials included show manager Mary K. Hartman, show secretary Beverly Hurst assisted by Sheri Hurst, paddock steward Kent Moeller, and photographer Howard Schatzberg. In addition to serving as barn manager along with Tracy Putnam, Bill Hartman stepped in for an ailing Barbara Patison as announcer and music director.

Kurt Hufferd and Jonalyn Gwinup were selected to officiate this year’s show along with Linda Fairbanks and Cauleen Glass who judged the open carriage classes and the dressage division respectively. The Diamond Jubilee also hosted the AMHA Judging School for the fourth time with a dozen judges and applicants joining the group headed by Harry Sebring and Cindy Mugnier.

The show ring highlights of the Diamond Jubilee Morgan Horse Show follow with complete results in this issue as well as on our web site at


The Gelding In Hand classes got the show underway Friday morning with Cowboy Up collecting the first blue of the weekend. Carlos Alas presented Anne Speck's sporty chestnut CCR's Grand Command son to the honors in the Two and Under Geldings as well as the Reserve Grand Champion Gelding award. The Giesick Morgan breeding program got off to a winning start with GMH Dancers Image. Frank Miller showed the typey bay to the three and over blue along with the Grand Champion Gelding tricolor.

Miller was right back in the winner's circle with another Giesick entry as GMH Gladiator struck a pose as the Two-Year-Old Stallions winner. The statuesque bay went on to be crowned Junior Champion Stallion.

It may have been spring in Del Mar, but for Linda Sheridan it was A Winter Day to remember. Sheridan was all smiles as A Winter Day, the look-alike son of world champion Liberation First Star, make his grand entrance under the direction of David Young to be named Three-Year-Old, Senior and Grand Champion Stallion.

The division featured some outstanding competition as last year's champion MLF Sharper Image strutted his stuff for owner Craig Sommers under the direction of Gerry Rushton Stables as the Reserve Senior and Reserve Grand Champion Stallion following the five and over win. Martin and Glenda Drake enjoyed another blue ribbon start to the year courtesy of Deer Creek Count De Monet. Last year's reserve champion posed for the four-year-old top honors and returned the following day for the Amateur In Hand win.

The in hand mares graced the ring to open the Saturday morning session with Frank Miller and Courtney Zimmerman presenting the white trimmed JJSK's Keepsake to the Junior Champion Mare honors as well as the yearling blue for James and Sandra Flanagan.

World champion Deer Creek Tiffany made her 2004 debut under the direction of owners Jennifer and Craig Sommers as she followed her winning saddle performance with a trio of impressive in hand wins. The Black Tie Affair daughter modeled her way to the Senior and Grand Champion Mare titles following the four-year-old blue.

It was the flashy AW Wishful Thinking who collected the Five and Over Mares blue with Frank Miller presenting for The Three S's LLC. However, Dragonfire Joy Ride turned the tables in the Senior Mare Championship where she posed for the reserve tricolor for new owner Paula Garcia with Mark Shultz on the lead. They went on to capture the Reserve Grand Champion Mare honors.

Kimberly Caruso and JMF Midnight Express took the winning route in the Hunter Type In Hand competition for owner Ann Taylor. The Western Type In Hand saw Heather Luedtke show the Simply Maserati son Raffaello to victory for Carol Marsden. Shana Abbott and Mister Blackwell topped the fashion list for the blue ribbon in the Classic In Hand competition. The Most Classic Morgan victory along with the Mac Wilson Memorial Perpetual Trophy were awarded to Drake's Standing Ovation with a winning performance for Martin and Glenda Drake.


David Young and his clients enjoyed their trip to Del Mar to begin the new show season with a clean sweep of the park classes. Young had his amateurs and their horses ready to excel as they returned to sweep the open championships. It was Linda Sheridan who closed out the 2004 Diamond Jubilee in tricolor fashion as she was in the irons of the ever-showy Merriehill Home Town Hero for the Open Park Saddle Championship honors following the winning ride in the Amateur Park Saddle. Gerry Rushton and Debbie Uecker-Keough's fronty four-year-old Granprix turned in an animated show for the Open Park Saddle Reserve Championship.

David Young was in the irons of the athletic Arboria Silhouette to earn the Open Park Saddle blue in their debut for new owner Lynn Pichette.

It was the Locher family who had the honors in the park harness division. Tony Locher enjoyed his time in the ring with the multi-talented Gable's High Water as they drove away with the Junior Exhibitor Park Harness blue. Proud mom, Connie Locher took over the reins of the dynamic bay to capture the Open Park Harness Championship.


The English pleasure division had a nice complement of world champions and future stars performing in Del Mar. It was the always-entertaining Nocturnal Flash who lit up the ring with his color and presence to conquer the open blue and tricolor with Frank Miller guiding for The Three S's LLC. Kingsgrove Carbon Copy made a tricolor show ring return for Dolores Nickel as Stacy Hennessy rode the Fletcher Banjo John son to the English Pleasure Reserve Championship.

World champion UVM Farrah and owner Linda Sheridan teamed up for a pair of lovely performances to start off the season in winning fashion. They topped the five entry ladies class and returned to best the Amateur English Pleasure Championship. Laura Dorwart and her handsome Atticus made their presence known as the Amateur English Pleasure Reserve Champions directed by Liz Bolton.

Debra Hurst Walters has always had a great fondness for her hometown Del Mar show, and this year daughter Tayler shared her wonderful MLF Caliente with mom. The fancy bay and Debra Hurst Walters teamed up for the Amateur English Pleasure blue as well as the Ladies Pleasure Driving win. This was only a prelude to the winning performances Tayler and Caliente would enjoy.

Tayler Walters and MLF Caliente are one hot new combination for the walk-trot division. They closed out the show by earning the Walk-Trot Pleasure Championship over a versatile six-horse field to the delight of the family and friends. This followed their blue ribbon ride earlier in the day in the Walk-Trot English Pleasure coached by Anne Speck. The well-matched combination of Almost An Angel and Malia Meyer followed up with the reserve tricolor directed by BJ Schaefer.

World champion Park Place Pledge was bright and eager in pursuit of top honors to begin the new season. This year Pledge laid claim to the Junior Exhibitor English Pleasure Championship with a new partner in Katie Richardson. The effervescent bay trotted to the winner's circle in the 14-17 class as well performing as always for owner Jennifer Green and trainer Anne Speck. RWF Miss Saigon and Katherine Cota turned in a stellar performance to dominate the 13 and under class with blue ribbon results. They returned Sunday to capture the reserve tricolor honors in the competitive seven horse field.

Deer Creek Tiffany showed off her style and good looks in her premier outing under saddle as Jennifer Sommers guided the Black Tie Affair daughter to the Four-Year-Old English Pleasure victory.

Ted and Eutha Giesick's fine crop of youngsters features the talented GMH Flash Dance. The refined bay showed a world of style as Frank Miller rode her to matching blues in the three-year-old and maiden classes.

Silversides Panache showed off his talent and charisma as Jill Yerger guided the full brother to world champion Silversides Toy Soldier to the Limit English Pleasure blue.


Key West looked eager for the start of the new season as he made a pair of outstanding showings with Connie Locher. They captured the Amateur Pleasure Driving blue and tricolor to the delight of trainer David Young and their cheering section. Craig Sommers and MLF Sharper Image stepped up for the reserve tricolor to begin their second show season together under the Gerry Rushton Stables banner.

The Junior Exhibitor Pleasure Driving blue also went back to David Young Equestrian Services as Danielle Cota and KHF Nikko Blue enjoyed their winning drive for Sheryl Cota.

Debbie Uecker-Keough and her sporty Simply Maserati son Mazatlan made a trip down victory lane in the Three-Year-Old Pleasure Driving.

Gerry Rushton introduced Flintwood Kir Royalle to the winner's circle in the Novice Pleasure Driving for Bill and Kathy Taylor.


The western pleasure division was chock full of quality and quantity with numerous Oklahoma winners along with new combinations beginning the season at Diamond Jubilee. It was the combination of owner Virginia Adams and trainer Garn Walker that won the lion's share of top honors. The sleek, black Star Of Midnight has an impressive mature look this season. The daughter of world champions Liberation First Star and WBC Midnight Madness closed out the weekend as the Open Western Pleasure Champion following matching blues in the junior and open classes with Garn Walker aboard.

He's Simply Marvelous and Virginia Adams started off, right where they finished off in 2003 - the winner's circle. They jogged away with the 14-entry Amateur Western Pleasure blue and returned for the tricolor victory. Kane Creek Riccochet is the newest of the Adams/Walker winning team as Garn Walker presented the steady bay to a trio of victories in the stallion/gelding, senior and novice classes.

LSR Jack Daniels earned another Diamond Jubilee reserve tricolor this year as trainer Heidi Torres presented the handsome bay to the Open Western Pleasure Reserve Championship for Mike and Kathy Christenson.

World champion DLH Dakota Blues continues to be the trendsetting entry in the ladies division as he proved with owner Julie Chan taking over the reins from trainer Jennifer McFall to begin the new season in the winner's circle in the 13-entry competition. They finished up with the reserve tricolor in the highly competitive amateur division.

The Junior Exhibitor Western Pleasure Championship featured a tricolor repeat for Evil Knievel and Hollie Luedtke as they earned the tricolor once again for Jill Smith as well as the 13 and under blue. A trio of blues in the western pleasure division also went back to the Sterling Hill banner as Heather Luedtke guided Tahitian Belle to the three-year-old, maiden and first year green blues for Peggy Ashford.

Stone Pine Juliette and Nikki McGinnis took a trip to the winner's circle for their performance in the Western Pleasure Mares for ALS Majestral Morgans.


The Hunter Pleasure Championship and the Benstrom's Challenge Trophy were the grand prize for a busy weekend for Ryan's Starbeam and Caprice Soltice-Zoumaras. They also netted the Amateur Hunter Pleasure Reserve Championship prepared by Frank and Ann Miller. Ellen McCook was obviously overjoyed with the performances VVM Aleesa as Heather Luedtke rode the fancy bay to the Open Hunter Pleasure Reserve Championship following blues in the 12-entry ladies and novice classes.

The world champion team of GPM Genesis B and Melissa Walker look ready for another great season as they began the year in the winner's circle in Del Mar once again. The perfect combination of boldness and precision made them standout winners of the Amateur Hunter Pleasure Championship following the blue ribbon ride in the 16-entry qualifier, the largest class of the show.

The Junior Exhibitor Hunter Pleasure Championship featured a tricolor start to the season for the pairing of Talamar Enstarment and Allison Smallridge. They also topped the stallion/gelding qualifier directed by David Young. The 14-17 blue also went back to the David Young banner as JMF Shadow Express and Adele Holzman-Charchuk made the victory pass with a stylish performance.

Samantha Schuring and Light Year were one of the promising young combinations to debut at Diamond Jubilee. They bested the 13 and under qualifier and returned for the reserve tricolor coached by Jennifer McFall. Big sister Melissa Hart was matched with Light Year to earn top honors in the always-competitive Scholars Pleasure class.

Dragonfire Farm started the season with a number of top performers. It was Century Oak Make My Day who strode down victory lane in the seven entry open class with Earl McFall presenting for Sandra Nelson. Multi-titled western pleasure champion Dancity Martial Art has a new look for the new season as he made a winning transition to the hunter pleasure division as Jennifer McFall presented him to the first year green win for Julie Chan.

Debbie Uecker-Keough has been working hard on her youngsters over the winter as was evident in R-Royale Prophecy's two winning performances in the mares and maiden classes.

The Giesick Morgan Horse contingent featured a variety of young stars in a variety of divisions. GMH Love To Command was the winning hunter model as Caprice Soltice-Zoumaras presented in the three-year-old and junior competitions.

TGR Society Girl and Kimberly Caruso gathered the limit blue with their winning ride for Ann Taylor. Madeline Berry and Park Place Bonaparte were the crowd-pleasing winners of the Walk-Trot Hunt/Western Pleasure with a polished ride prepared by Lauri Cummings-Blake.


The Classic Pleasure Saddle Championship rounded out the competitive division with a repeat ending to last year as VVM Litigator and Eric Kessler enjoyed the tricolor ride. This well-matched pair earlier triumphed in the Junior Exhibitor Classic Pleasure for the second year in a row as well. It was a tricolor sweep for Rancho Del Mar as Eric Antman and On The Move were the charismatic reserve champions. They were frequent visitors to the winner's circle as they topped the junior and novice classes for co-owner Anne Speck. Eric Antman earned another pair of blues teamed with Dreammaster Irish Emperor. The stylish bay drove away with top honors in the Open and Junior Exhibitor Classic Pleasure Driving.

The Open Classic Pleasure Saddle saw the white trimmed AW Wishful Thinking and Sharon Shedroff earn top honors under the Miller Equestrian Services banner. The Ladies Classic Pleasure Saddle featured a memorable win for Abacus Mo' Betta Blues and Alison Lester competing from Sterling Hill Farm.

The Classic Pleasure Driving Championship featured a victorious return to the show ring for DFM Keep The Faith and Holland Bean as they drove away with the tricolor prepared by Lance Bennett. The world titled team of Tomeri Tiamo and Teri Brisco followed up with reserve tricolor to start the season.

Miller Equestrian Services prepared a pair of classic pleasure driving winners. It was Cedar Pond Bays Command and Linda Yule who topped the Novice Horse/Driver Classic Pleasure Driving, while Rachel Nemes guided GMH Dancer's Image to the junior win for Ted and Eutha Giesick.


The Equitation division was filled with promising young riders to begin the season. World champion Ariana Corrigan made an effortless transition to the senior division as she teamed with Festival Troubadour to capture the Saddle Seat Equitation Championship. Anne Speck also coached Ariana to a pair of qualifier blues in the 14-17 age group and UPHA Challenge Cup. Brooke Yule earned the reserve tricolor for the second year in a row. This year she was matched with Bulgari for the AMHA Saddle Seat Medal victory instructed by Ann Miller.

A competitive group of six participated in the Saddle Seat Equitation 13 & Under, and it was Kaitlin Gibson and Century Bold Spirit who earned the top honors prepared by Lance Bennett.

The Novice Rider Saddle Seat Equitation also featured six promising riders. It was Katie Richardson who bested the field matched with the indomitable Park Place Pledge under the direction of Anne Speck.

Tayler Walters had a big cheering section as she and her new partner MLF Caliente started off a great weekend earning the blue ribbon honors in the Walk and Trot Saddle Seat Equitation instructed by Anne Speck.

Samantha Schuring and Light Year must have put in a lot of practice time over the winter as they showed in their Diamond Jubilee performances. They were smooth and confident as they earned the Hunt Seat Equitation Championship and the 13 and under qualifier blue coached by Jennifer McFall. Lauren Gorfinkle enjoyed a great debut show with Talk Of The Town LPS. They collected the reserve tricolor to the delight of the Garn Walker Stables cheering section.

Eric Antman showed his versatile equitation skills as he teamed CCR's Royale Edition to the Hunt Seat Equitation 14-17 win. Sarah Laderman and ION Best Kept Secret matched up for a pair of blues in the Novice Hunt Seat Equitation and AMHA Hunt Seat Medal.

Hollie Luedtke and Evil Knievel added another blue to their winning streak as they jogged away with the Western Seat Equitation 13 & Under. Karissa Weathersby was the winning cowgirl with JJSK's Keeps Shamrock in the Walk-Trot Hunt/Western Seat Equitation.

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