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Summer's End Joins In To Celebrate The Morgan

by Diana Davidson

OCALA, Florida - The weekend of Sept. 10-11 was designated by the AMHA as Celebrate The Morgan, a national event to showcase the Morgan breed. For the hardworking promoters of the Morgan breed in the state of Florida, there was plenty to celebrate and show off. Following the cancellation of Summer's End in 2004 due to Hurricane Frances, the show was back in a new location and bigger and better than ever on September 8-11, 2005. Following a glancing blow by Hurricane Katrina to the southeastern part of the state two weeks earlier, the show and its exhibitors did their part to donate to their stricken Gulf Coast neighbors.

Summer's End featured lovely late summer weather as exhibitors enjoyed the move to the Southeast Livestock Pavilion with permanent covered stabling attached to the covered show ring. The original thought behind having Summer's End was to have a final show in Florida to qualify or tune up for Oklahoma. Since all of the shows in the state are held in the Spring, Florida exhibitors had to travel several hundred miles or more for any qualifying shows in the mid or late show season. In its first six years, Summer's End has been the show where many horses have qualified for Oklahoma and several have gone on to win World Championships. There are also a number of exhibitors who don't travel to Oklahoma, who enjoy the fun of competing at Summer's End.

The Friday evening session began with ten outstanding representatives of the Morgan breed taking part in the Celebrate The Morgan Period Costume Class as part of a national Celebrate The Morgan event. Morgan Horses played a major role in the history of our country. Jamar's Show 'N' Tell and Caralee Conklin depicted Justin Morgan and the horse Figure, the foundation of the breed. Foxbrush Roulette represented the great war horse Winchester with owner Roxanne Gerry portraying General Sheridan. Rebecca Watters and Hi Time's Wild Pistol represented General Stonewall Jackson and Fancy of the Confederate Army of the Civil War. UVM Windfall and Valarie Siemer carried the American flag to represent the Spirit of the All American Morgan.

Charlestown Mystic with Cheryl Gonzalez on the lines represented the Morgans and pioneers who helped settle the West. Claudia Parkhurst dressed as a Pony Express rider on Forever Spring Wild Willow and Bill Parkhurst was a western explorer on the lead of Bridlewood Beau Brumel. Anne Winograd riding I'm Irish in an antique sidesaddle represented the pleasure Morgan of the 1800s. Arboria Matinee Idol was hitched to an antique road cart for his performance with Tom Johnson. Marion County Sheriff's Mounted Unit Officer Mike Farrell and HP Hearts Desire represented Black Jack, the famous riderless horse in the moving finale of this group. It should also be noted that the majority of these horses successfully compete in a multitude of show ring as well as sport horse divisions further proving the traits of Morgans throughout history remain today.

The show schedule and classes at Summer's End are designed with exhibitors and horses in mind. The show features morning and evening classes, thus leaving everyone to take off the hottest part of the day. In addition to the show ring competition, Summer's End always keeps everyone entertained at its parties. A barbecue exhibitor's party was held at the close of the Friday evening session. West Coast Morgans sponsored a sundae party, which followed Saturday afternoon's FMHA meeting directed by president Nina Spencer and the AMHA/USEF Rules Forum with Jane Blue presiding.

Many members of FMHA volunteer as officials at Summer's End to help keep the show economically feasible. Jane Brown serves as co-chair as well as secretary, while Glenn Winograd is the other co-chair and also puts in time as barn manager. Jon Dunkle took his place in the announcer's booth. Omar Gonzalez rounded up all of the exhibitors as paddock master, while USEF Steward Jane Blue kept everything by the rules. Felicia Schlemmer served as dressage coordinator, while James Witherspoon was the official farrier. Exhibitors were happy to see official photographer Bob Moseder and wife Jean. Virginia Norris got her chance to judge the show ring entries this year following last year's cancellation, while Susan Woods scored the dressage entries.

The show began Thursday evening with a great exhibition of in hand entries. The sparkling Junior Champion Arboria Emerald Coast was crowned Grand Champion Mare. The two-year-old Stony Hollow Ice Man daughter posed for the tricolors presented by Tom Johnson for Arboria Morgans. The yearling winner Little Rare Wish enjoyed her show ring experience as the Reserve Junior and Reserve Grand Champion Mare with Cheri Barber leading for Joanne and John McCollum. The Grand Champion Gelding honors went to the THK Wild Adonis with Jason Gray presenting for Mary Jean Bonfili.

Arboria Victor's Pride enjoyed a tricolor return under the ownership of Arboria Morgans as Tom Johnson drove to the Open Park Harness blue and tricolor. Lauren Griffen celebrated a winning debut on the lines of her handsome new partner Celebrity Marquee in the Amateur Park Harness under the Bobbin Hollow banner. Felicia and Frank Schlemmer were delighted with their athletic three-year-old stallion DBL F Commanding Officer as he earned the Park Saddle Championship following the junior blue.

The English Pleasure Championship saw Jenna Domanico take over the reins of the multi-titled CFP Time Chaser to earn the tricolor for Rachel Sacks with open qualifier winner The Warlord in reserve with Jason Gray up for Ron Reid. Glenn Winograd was all smiles as he had a polished ride aboard HVK Flaire Park to win the Amateur English Pleasure Championship following the qualifier blue. Kerry Carson and her handy bay FCF Protege followed in reserve in both classes as well as topping the ladies driving class. Elise Merrill and RJH No Doubt continued their winning ways in the junior exhibitor division while the promising new pairing of HVK Acclamation and Channing Ligas followed in reserve.

Gene Olesen was at the lines of a quartet of pleasure driving winners to dominate the division. Three-Year-Old winner Hearts N Roses showed off her winning style in the Pleasure Driving Championship for Ken and Lynn McColl and Echo Lake Morgans. Echo Lake also had the Two-Year-Old Pleasure Driving Champion in the bold performing Switchmaster and the open qualifier winner Maximum Wham. WSG Mystic Finale delighted owners Bill and Shirley Givens as Gene Olesen guided the bold bay mare to the Junior Pleasure Driving Championship.

Cheri Barber had a pair of impressive chestnut driving horses in four-year-old winner and reserve junior champion Gradell's Sensation for birthday boy Jerry Modell and wife Shirley Modell. Grand Cru Dom Perignon put on a strong showing for Beau Cheval Partnership as the Open Pleasure Driving Reserve Champion.

Darlene Farabee enjoyed a victorious return to the show ring on the lines of the elegant Arboria Cashmere as they earned the Amateur Pleasure Driving blue and tricolor. They were followed by the multi-titled Stonecroft Wish Me Well and Chauncey Felker in both outings.     

Alicia Davis and Raindrops Good As It Gets turned in a stellar ride to earn the Adult Classic Pleasure Saddle Championship for co-owner Jean Rothe. The qualifier winning team of DAF Monte Cristo and Lori Felker Roberts collected the reserve tricolor. The new team of Under Fire and Christina Bauer turned in a confident ride to earn the Junior Exhibitor Classic Pleasure Saddle Championship following the 14-17 blue. The 13 & under winning team of Whispering Marquise and Alexis Polanis followed up in reserve.

Emeraude DRC Legacy was paired with Richard Hanlon to collect the Classic Pleasure Driving Championship, while the qualifier winning team of Willowick Double Vision and Paul Smith drove away with the reserve tricolor. Megan Dunkle and Annapolis continued their victorious streak in the Junior Exhibitor Classic Pleasure Driving competition directed by Valarie Siemer.

Mr. Versatility himself UVM Windfall swept top honors in the western pleasure division as owner Lora Dunlap jogged away with a quartet of wins in the open and amateur divisions preparing for Oklahoma. Stablemate Pine Lyne Tia Maria and Doris Bazzini followed up with the reserve tricolor in the amateur championship, while Pat West showed Caduceus Quasar to the red streamers in the open championship.

Caralee Conklin added to her laurels from her final junior exhibitor season as she guided Ensbrook Commanding Force to the 14-17 blue and the junior exhibitor western tricolor. Castlebar Knickee proved her versatility earning the 13 and under blue as well as the reserve tricolor with Chelsea Joiner aboard. Rick Davis was aboard Coutscroft Diamond Blaze to jog away with the junior horse blue and tricolor, titles that were repeated in the hunter division with Jenna Domanico riding for Amy Couts. Bel Cavallo Prima Donna stepped up to the ladies division to earn top honors in her only performance with Cheri Barber presenting for Doris and Peter Bazzini.

Lindsay Levert continued her winning streak at Summer's End as she rode the bold performing WSG Independence Command to the Open Hunter Pleasure blue and tricolor. The junior riders had all the right moves as SPR Valerie's Finale and Kelly Simpson followed in reserve. Kane Creek Calypso and Margie Blaik swept top honors in the amateur division as well as earning a blue ribbon in the Sport Horse Suitability. Fox Brush Roulette and Roxanne Gerry followed in reserve in the amateur championship as well as posting two victories in the dressage competition. Channing Ligas and Monnington Soul were the victors in the largest division of the show as they topped the junior exhibitor championship coached by Ian Ferguson. PTR Vigilannie and Erin Long carried the reserve tricolor back to the Bobbin Hollow banner.

The walk-trot division showed the promise of the future with large and competitive classes. The Walk-Trot Pleasure Championship featured the awarding of the first Jim Hooper Memorial Trophy. It was a heartfelt and much applauded victory for Chloe Hooper and MEM Reality Check directed by Valarie Siemer. Alison Sifton teamed up with RW String Of Pearls for the reserve tricolor performance after the qualifier victory for Lark Henry. Paige Colson added the walk-trot hunter and western blues to the Bobbin Hollow banner, while stablemate Ariana Varveris rounded out the Bobbin Hollow walk-trot team with the equitation blue and championship with True Gold. This adorable combination also earned the blue ribbon in their team driving debut.

Kelly Venza swept top honors in the Saddle Seat Equitation division with Jennifer Scotto in reserve. Channing Ligas picked up her second tricolor with Monnington Soul in the Hunt Seat Equitation Championship where Kelly Simpson was named the reserve champion. Caralee Conklin closed out a tricolor show with the Western Seat Equitation Championship where Savannah Burns jogged up for the reserve. Rebecca Watters showed off her winning form with Hi Time's Wild Pistol in the Classic Saddle Seat Equitation division.

Cheryl Gonzalez and Charlestown Mystic enjoyed a clean sweep of the carriage driving division and went on to earn a pair of Training Level Dressage wins as well as the trail blue. I'm Irish showed off his versatility in earning the Hunter Hack blue for Lora Dunlap under the West Coast Morgans banner.


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