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Santa Barbara National Horse Show

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Deep Purple, the rock band that wrote the song Smoke On The Water, was singing about the fire that burned down the Montreaux Casino in Montreaux, Switzerland when that song was written in December 1971. The lyrics, however, could not be more appropriate in reference to Santa Barbara, Calif., the weekend of July 2-5, 2008. Traditional Fourth of July fireworks were overshadowed by the fireworks taking place in the surrounding hills around Santa Barbara.

The Earl Warren Fairgrounds became not only the site of a really nice horse show for Saddlebreds, Hackneys, roadsters and Friesians, but also the staging area for the firefighters who were battling the fires that surrounded Santa Barbara. Each night, as the ash fell from the sky like snow and the sun turned a brilliant shade of red, a great group of horses came through the gate to compete in front of Judge Armon Effinger.

Daytime sessions were actually held on warm, beautiful, sunny afternoons with barely a cloud in the sky. Barns from throughout California, Arizona and Oregon put winners in the ring and the numbers, especially in the pleasure divisions, were great.

Rae Deane Stone and Harriet Landrum teamed up once again as competition manager and show secretary, respectively, to keep things running smoothly. Sessions moved quickly due to Effinger’s quick tabulation and with nightly power outages due to the nearby fire, most sessions were concluded just as the sun was beginning to set. That made for plenty of time to relax and socialize after the show and Santa Barbara provides a great place to do that.

Cecile Hetzel-Dunn was the USEF steward; Malcolm Rossell announced the classes in his inimitable style and Grace Yaglou again made the trip from Maine to serve as ringmaster. Sheri Hurst served as assistant show secretary along with Mary Kay Hartman. Ron Hood took care of the data processing duties and Jim Kurtz was the awards coordinator.

Rick Osteen returned this year to serve as the official photographer and Jim Trader was the show organist. Take One Video was the show videographer. David Booth and Anne Blecker both served as paddock stewards. James Waldsmith, DVM completed the official’s list as show veterinarian.

Liz Bolton Stables, Fair Hills Farm, JL Dixon Stable, Seaview Farm, Sabino Equestrian Center, Zazen Ranch, Bugle Boy Stables, David Becker Jr. Stables, Friesian Focus, Monarch Stables, Crown Valley Farm, Rockridge Farm, Wallen West, Rancho Del Mar, Emerald Hills, Majestic Stables, Friesian Quest, Black Sterling Friesians, Scripps Miramar Ranch, Jim Bennett Stables, Woodhaven Farm, Michael Craghead Stables and Shakespeare Farm all returned home with blue ribbons by show’s end. Owners Ruth Page, Diana Dover and Nelle Slack also joined the list of winners.

Numerous barns traveled to Santa Barbara and claimed top ribbons including Deardorff Stable LLC. On a very sad note, all six horses that competed under the Deardorff Banner perished in a trailer fire as Don and Allison Deardorff made their way home to Oregon Sunday morning. The horses lost included Roadster To Bike Reserve Grand Champion The Intimidator, shown by Don Deardorff and owned by Jim Nottage; Open Harness Pony Reserve Grand Champion and reserve open champion Truly A Masterpiece, owned and shown by Colleen Gadbois; Five-Gaited Pleasure Reserve Grand Champion and reserve champion Doubletrees Caper Style, owned and shown by Karen Lachman; Adult Three-Gaited Pleasure Reserve Grand Champion Doubletrees Royal Request, owned and shown by Leslie Pierce; Doubletrees Bouquet Of Blue, owned and shown by Lisa Fulgaro and Country Pleasure Reserve Grand Champion CH Doubletrees Lymrique, owned by Patrick and Kelle Howard and shown by Kelle Howard.

The presence of Deardorff-trained horses at Santa Barbara and in fact, all the West Coast shows they attend, always make the competition even tougher. Champions trained by Don and Allison Deardorff read like a who’s who and the number of wins and reserves they have accumulated over the years is a very long list. Santa Barbara was a better show for them being there and the loss of their six grand competitors is too difficult to even comprehend.

Competition in so many classes was first rate and in the largest classes, just earning a ribbon, let alone a tricolor or blue, was an impressive accomplishment.

The Five-Gaited Stake hosted seven strong competitors Friday evening and was a very competitive class. The return of reigning World’s Grand Champion Five-Gaited CCV Casey’s Final Countdown, after showing in Fine Harness at Del Mar, was a highlight of the class and Effinger named him the grand champion with Michele Macfarlane up for SiSi Stables and Scripps Miramar Ranch. Dave Hysaw exited the ring with a lot of crowd support for the effort of reserve grand champion Endolane Esquire owned by Nicola and Dean Bird.

Debbie Tomin returned in the amateur stake with Tip Me Do and moved up to finish with the tricolor for Rockridge Farm under the direction of her husband, Bill. Royalee Cleveland and CH Callaway’s Arbitrator won the qualifier and came back to take reserve in the stake under the direction of Jennifer Dixon.

Brigitte Scholl met Sarah Dawe and Su Casa in center ring for the presentation of the tricolor after they were named the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Grand Champions for owner Dana Van Sistine. Patrick Weber took the reserve tricolor for Sabino Equestrian Center.

Other winners in the gaited division included junior exhibitor blue ribbon winner All Show and Samantha Lyttle, junior/limit winner Our Sweet Addison and Roman Marcos and three-year-old winner Walterway’s Kickin’ Assets with Bill Tomin.

Victoria Lynn has many, many three-gaited stake tricolors to her credit and she added another one at Santa Barbara with Helen Cherry in the irons for Zazen Ranch, after winning the open class. CH Like Sunshine followed up the win at Del Mar with the tricolor in the amateur stake with Julia Chen up. Chen rode under the direction of JL Dixon Stable. Nani Barnes directed Hilarie Thomas to the reserve tricolor in the stake. A beautiful group of elegant walk-trot horses claimed the remaining blue ribbons in the three-gaited division including amateur blue ribbon winner A Solar Flare with Julie Greenbaum Belgrad from Emerald Hills. A Solar Flare made a single appearance at Santa Barbara. Natalie Grunnan rode Red Sable to add the junior exhibitor tricolor and blue ribbons to the Seaview Farm tack room wall. Barbara Beamer directed the Seaview Group to a great show. I’m High ‘N Mighty picked up another junior/limit blue with the win at Santa Barbara with David Blevins up for Jennifer Sandefur. Trainer Eric Antman rode Callaway’s Preservation to the blue in the three-year-old class for Jill Halper.

Owner Lauren Kaplan and Peritime took the tricolor in the park stake under the direction of trainer Tara Weber. The remaining ribbons in the park division went to open winner Brookhill’s Periday with Jim Cherry and junior/limit winner CH The Full Monty with Julie DeVault.

Barbara Beamer and Robb Wallen battled it out in the Fine Harness Stake with Beamer heading to the winner’s circle with CH The Savoy. Wallen, with Van Cleef And Arpels, took reserve for Chuck O’Donnell. CH No Jacket Required swept the amateur division with Sally Spalding under the direction of Michael Craghead to add two more wins to their already long list from this season. Fusilier and Keith Roberts were reserve in the amateur stake under Beamer’s direction.

Hollywood’s Surprise Ending, owned and bred by Fair Hills Farm, took the blue in the junior/limit class with Derek Repp driving, and Casablanca’s Fortune Teller won the open class for Seaview Farm.

Bob Facciola and Muddy Waters moved up in the ribbons from the open qualifier to win the Road Horse To Bike Stake for Woodhaven Farm. Fidencio Maturino drove for Facciola to win the open class with Main Man.

Kendall Weber had DF Tres Chic in top form to win the Roadster Pony Stake with a move up in the ribbons for Sabino Equestrian Center. Marie Peyman and P.T. Cruiser won the open class then returned to take second place in the stake for Woodhaven.

Seamair’s Dear Admiral also made a great show in the pony division and won the open class and Harness Pony Stake with Lance Bennett driving for Scott Hickey.

Joanne Weiner and Heartland King Of Kings have been consistently at the top of the card in the pleasure driving division and they won the championship and qualifier from Rockridge Farm. Give Us This Day, owned and presented by Joan Richardson, was the reserve grand champion under the direction of Greg Carstens.

Gail Hooker and CH Forever Aptor were on top of their game to win both five-gaited pleasure classes under Tomin’s direction.

A nice group of four competed in the park pleasure stake and rode hard but when Effinger’s card was turned in, it was the David Becker Stables entry Imagine The Dream, named as the grand champion for Jan Darden. Breen Cullen and Callaway’s Liberty Valance represented Jim Bennett Stables with the reserve effort in the stake. Wild Whipoorwill and Liz Bolton took the blue in the open class for the Kilbourne family.

The biggest class of the show, the Adult Three-Gaited Pleasure Stake, showcased 13 top teams and this was one of those classes that was hard fought to the bitter end. Mackenzie Lyttle showed Dian and Ronnie McNab’s entry Ina Brown to the win in the qualifier and they were named the grand champions to represent Rancho Del Mar in the winner’s circle.

CH X’s And O’s has had much success in the pleasure division but is most often seen with Allison Cherry in the irons. At Santa Barbara, younger sister Caroline took over and she won the junior exhibitor pleasure stake for Zazen Ranch. Explosive Material and Shelby Jackson were next in line for a ribbon in the stake. Other show pleasure winners included CH J. Peterman and Hannah Rahav in a single appearance to win the junior exhibitor qualifier and Zinfandel & Ice, winner of the junior/limit class with Liz Bolton riding for the Kilbournes.

CH It’s Good Karma kept the Emerald Hills wins coming and took the title in the Show Pleasure Driving Stake and qualifier with Julie Greenbaum Belgrad. The Pacific Ambassador was reserve with Robin Wilhite for Kaitlin Richardson, showing from Wallen West.

North Of Sunset, with owner Diana Dover up, won the Five-Gaited Country Pleasure Stake and qualifier.

The Three-Gaited Country Pleasure Stake featured nine entries and the Kilbourne family came out on top again. April Kilbourne rode Silversmith to victory under the direction of Liz Bolton. Kendall Weber and CH Highpoint’s Abba Zabba, who suffered a nearly fatal rattlesnake bit earlier this season, was in top order to win the even bigger adult qualifier. Owner Kendall Weber topped nine other teams for the blue.

Sabino teammate CF Prowler’s Keepsake moved up in the ribbons to win the Country Pleasure Driving Championship with Amy Vickers-Smith. Shari Rainwater and The Flame Of Highpoint were reserve for Rainwater Farms. Sunlight And Shadows displayed her versatility with appearances in two different divisions at the show. She won the driving qualifier with Macfarlane in the buggy.

CH Fiasco topped a great eight-entry Western Country Pleasure Stake and nine-entry qualifier to add two more wins to Doug Glick’s total this season. The reigning Western Country Pleasure World’s Champion Of Champions was directed to both wins by longtime trainer Michael Craghead. Sunlight And Shadows took the reserve tricolor and also won the Saddle & Bridle Shatner Western Pleasure class.

CH Like Thunder and Macfarlane swept the opportunity western pleasure division with both wins and was followed in the ribbons in the stake by Doubletrees Next Step with Patrick Bright riding for Kathleen March.

Richard’s Time ERB won the Hunter Country Pleasure Stake with owner Patty Ladd showing from Jim Bennett Stables. Open winner She Be Fine, with owner Nelle Slack up, won the qualifier and took reserve in the stake.

Liz Bolton Stables captured the top two slots in the OTAB English Pleasure Stake with Zinfandel & Ice taking the tricolor with Kilbourne riding and Periaptor’s Chief Executive taking reserve with Bolton up. Other winners in the division included open winner Callaway’s Glory Glory with Susie Robinson and Gypsy’s I’m Your Man with Allison Gann.

Seaview Farm was once again represented in the winner’s circle when Effinger named Time To Boogie the OTAB Pleasure Driving Grand Champion with owner Jane Singleton. Julie Goldman drove Ronald to the blue and reserve tricolor for Black Sterling Friesians.

A trio of hard riding young ladies competed in the Saddle Seat Equitation Championship and all three were from the 13 and under age group. Danielle Heuer rode Julia Roberts to the win under the direction of Dave Hysaw from Bugle Boy Stables in Arizona. Bryce Quinto and Undulata’s Tinsel Time were reserve for Jim Bennett. Heuer also won the 13 and under class and followed that with the win in the 17 and under challenge cup. Allison Gann won the 10 and under walk and trot class and the walk and trot challenge cup class.

Wodan and Lance Bennett followed up their Del Mar success with wins in the Friesian Saddle Seat Pleasure Stake and open class for owner Friesian Focus. Keimpe and Victoria Servin took the reserve streamers in the stake for owner Koreen Greenberg.

Jolmer and Kassandra Sapia also had a great show at Del Mar and followed it up with two wins at Santa Barbara. They won the Friesian Amateur Saddle Seat Pleasure Stake and qualifier under the direction of Robb Wallen. Ecko and owner Cathy Anderson represented Monarch Stables with their amateur reserve grand championship. Anderson’s other entry, Jelt, won the junior horse stake and qualifier with Brigitte Scholl riding. Julia Goldman and Jindert were reserve in the junior stake.

Winze, with Cathryn Hager up, added the tricolor from the Friesian Walk/Trot Pleasure Stake to the Friesian Focus total. Jalke and Julia Goldman followed in the ribbons and Robb Wallen rode Sjoerd to the blue in the open class for Xena Vimercati and Dr. Kip Johnson.

Ron Goldman took his turn in the winner’s circle for Black Sterling Friesians when Up’t fan Pan Hueys won both amateur walk/trot classes. Daen H. and Joan Fernandez were the amateur walk/trot reserve grand champions under Lance Bennett’s direction.

Otto and Bennett won the Friesian Saddle Seat Park Stake and qualifier to add two more wins to the Friesian Focus total. In the Friesian Park Harness Stake and qualifier, Barbara Beamer took both victory passes with Carole Gatti’s entry Tjalke.

Julia Goldman and Janna Weir Goldman added three more wins to the Black Sterling total. Julia and Ronald won the Friesian Country Pleasure class and Janna rode Black Sterling to both western pleasure titles.

Ate won both Friesian Dressage Hack classes, English Show Hack and Friesian Hunter Pleasure Stake with Janna Goldman to claim four wins in five appearances. Jocelyn Hamann rode Arjen fan’t Wytfean to the reserve in the dressage hack stake for Ruth Page and Rachael Stokes rode Mariken van Moerkenland to reserve in the hunter pleasure stake for Marilyn Lane after winning the qualifier.

Majestic and Janna Goldman won the Friesian Dressage Suitability Stake and open class. Hamann piloted Apollo to the reserve tricolor for Jackie Basagoitia.

Friesian stallion Dante Of Honor Bright, stallion Sjoerd, mare Elsje MLF and geldings Arjen fan’t Wytfean and Anne B. all earned blue ribbons in the Friesian In-Hand division.

Pegasus claimed the final ribbons in the Friesian division with the Period Costume Stake and open wins. Sandra Williams rode for Friesian Quest LLC.

Other Santa Barbara winners included So Extreme and Michele Macfarlane in the Parade Horse Stake and qualifier, CH Tommy Typhoon and Kevin Michael in the costume stake and open classes and Royal Crest’s Rock Island with Sue Valley Chen in the Side Saddle Stake and open class.

Santa Barbara despite the weird circumstances of the nearby fires, was a really nice show and proved once again why the competitors from California, Oregon, Arizona and surrounding states can hold their own anywhere in the country. We’ll most certainly see proof of that in Freedom Hall.

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