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More Sunshine & Bright Competition at Tampa

by Diana Davidson and Katherine Hansil

The Tampa Charity Horse Show was held at the Florida State Fairgrounds March 7-11. However, the second week on the sunshine circuit began a day early at the home of Mary Jo and Richard Schmidt. The Schmidts open their house for great hospitality and food for those who stay over between weeks or arrive early to show. The show is known for its hospitality, not only before the show, but also during as it also has a great progressive barn party on Thursday and an exhibitors' party Friday featuring food from Outback Steakhouse. This year the show had a few changes with one of the most talked about being the decision to drop the “A” rating with the USEF.

This year Becky Buffington was at the helm as show manager with her staff of Cris Gard, Jane McIver, Beth Snider, Scott Snider, Don Baker, Peter Fenton and Tanker Pruitt making sure everything ran smoothly in their respective roles. Bill Waller was on hand to mark the cards for the Saddlebreds, Hackneys, roadsters and equitation, Pierre Loiselle judged the Morgans and Morgan equitation and Mary Jo Schmidt handled the Academy judging. Howie Schatzberg stayed to capture the winning moments for the second week and Dale Stone made the trip in to set it all to a tune.


In his debut under saddle A Genesis, the new contender from Judd Stables, had everyone talking. Purchased recently from Redd Crabtree this game chestnut has been at Judd Stables for only a short time. He put on a great show with Maria Gilman in the irons for Barbara Woods to win the Five-Gaited Jackpot Championship. This new star is by Attaché's Born Believer and out of Frosty Miss who is also the dam of Swish. Reserve honors went to another crowd favorite, My Teddy Bheir and Anne Judd.  This well-matched team also put on a thrilling performance to garner the blue ribbon in the ladies qualifier. Katie's Rob Roy and Mary Jo Schmidt added another title to their list winning the open qualifier.

Riva's Periaptor and Vicki Schaffer were back to add two more titles to their list after sweeping the amateur division. Both red ribbons went back to the Judd banner with two solid performances from Sun Time's Commander and Trisha Long. CH Tigerlee and Ali DeGray earned back-to-back trips to the winner's circle. The winter has really agreed with them, as they are stronger than ever. Reserve honors went to Allied Heir Strike and Jillian Schaffer.


Ruth Gimpel was in the irons to capture the tricolor in the Three-Gaited Championship with the flashy An Heir Of Magic for Pixie Dust and Steel. This was the second trip to the winner's circle as Helen Rosburg piloted her to the blue. Reserve honors in the championship went to the high-motioned Smoke Gets In Your Eyes and Maria Gilman for Jayo Family Corporation, after earlier in the week garnering the red ribbon in the ladies qualifier. Champagne Reve and Mary Jo Schmidt made the trip to the winner's circle in the open qualifier while the Fox Creek bred Baby Fox brought Maria Gilman back to the winner's circle for Barbara Woods in the Denver/Junior Three-Gaited.

Capturing both amateur ribbons was the elegant CH Caramac's Norma Rae with Stacey Bare aboard. Reserve in the championship went to the well-matched team of CH Sanibel and Elsa Hackett. Once again in the junior exhibitor division Keeper Of The Stars and Favorite Things went head-to-head. Topping the championship this time was the picture perfect Keeper Of The Stars with Jackie de la Parte after an earlier reserve finish in the qualifier. Favorite Things and Jillian Schaffer were the judge's favorite to win the qualifier and return to accept the red ribbon in the championship.

Three-Gaited Park

The high-headed A Perfect Affair and Euchee Matthews topped the competitive Three-Gaited Park Championship for Pine Haven Stables making it a two victory pass week after earlier garnering the blue in the Denver/junior qualifier. Capturing the red ribbon in the championship and the blue in the qualifier was the high-stepping Forty-Two Karats and Mary Jo Schmidt for True Blue Saddlebreds. Reserve in the open qualifier went to Vertical Horizon with David Chretien for Paul Richardson while Wee Pee's Sable and Nicole Jefferson earned the red in the Denver/novice qualifier.

With a comeback ride Dollar For Dollar and Lisa May earned the tricolor in yet another competitive park class, this time in the amateur division. Under the direction of Steve Demjen, this was the first appearance for this team in this division. Reserve championship honors went to Boutonniere and Helen Rosburg while Hidden Agenda and Joy Rodak captured the red ribbon in the qualifier. Discover and Jenna Palmeri looked like they had been a team forever as they once again swept the junior exhibitor park division. This week Ali DeGray was in the irons with Callaway's Tobar to earn both red ribbon performances for Pixie Dust and Steel.

Fine Harness

Winning the Fine Harness Jackpot Championship was River Wild and Dee Dee Gordon under the direction of William Dooley. In the Denver/Junior Fine Harness Rebel Of Forty-Second Street debuted with Mary Jo Schmidt for True Blue Saddlebreds. By Forty-Second Street ERB and out of Hattiesburg this three-year-old put on a solid first showing for the blue ribbon.


The Dream Thief and Ruth Gimpel were back to repeat their win from Gasparilla by capturing the Roadster To Bike Jackpot Championship as they look forward to the USTA class. Reserve honors went to the speedster Shooting Star with Bob Jenkins at the lines. In the amateur division Top Star Willie and Paul Misiewicz added a third blue ribbon to their list with the win in the qualifier. This team returned to earn the red ribbon in the championship. The championship win went to Humdinger and James Rosburg as they moved up a notch from reserve in the qualifier. Road Hill and Susan Whitaker were back in the spotlight to garner the blue in the Roadster Under Saddle with Punch Bowl and Carly Duggan in for reserve.


Fiendishly Clever and Jessie Pettie once again topped the open road pony division winning both classes. In the qualifier the sporty Heartland Exceptionallee and Maria Gilman received the red ribbon in their only appearance. Jessie Pettie remained the limelight winning both of the amateur classes this time with Surprise Me. Both red ribbons went to Tia Maria and Madrian Jenkins. In the championship the junior exhibitor ream of Cherry's Wild Dream and MacKenzie Ligas gave the adults a run for their money as they found their groove and drove like the wind to earn a strong third. This team also received the red ribbon in the junior exhibitor team with Seize The Moment and Ali DeGray earning the blue in their only appearance.

Delightful Time and Stephany Monteleone went two-for-two again to sweep the Harness Pony division. Another John Shea team, Highlander with Abel Vega swept the Hackney pony division. Stephany Monteleone was back to the winner's circle this time with It's About Time as they won the Hackney Pony Pleasure Driving. This team returned to earn the red ribbon in the championship. Taking home the championship tricolor was Wonmore Diamond's Choice and Jamie Bradley in their debut season together.


Ali DeGray teamed up with Reedann's Whispering Leaves to sweep the five-gaited pleasure division. Reserve honors in both classes went back to Ohio with Harlem's Gifted Treasure and Jacqueline Hawkes.

Debuting in their new division Out Go The Lights and Cynthia Kueker swept the three-gaited park pleasure division with two outstanding performances under the direction of Euchee Matthews. Also in a new division Soulful Warrior and Kim Boros went home with both red ribbons.

CH Sweet Virginia and Barbara Woods continued to add to their list of titles with two more wins and flawless performances in the adult show pleasure division. An excited Deborah Exelby earned the red ribbon in the championship with Man Of The House under the direction of Silver Run. This new team also earned the red ribbon in the novice rider qualifier. Winning the novice rider qualifier was the new Pine Haven-trained team of Radiant Even and Erika Clements. Nothin But A Good Time and Kim Boros earned another blue together this time in the Florida Owned And Trained Three-Gaited Show Pleasure. In the adult qualifier and the Florida owned qualifier both reserves went to Waltz Awhile and Joy Rodak.

Magic Mahogany and Christine Thomas kept the ribbons coming for the Judd Stables banner with the win in the combined Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Show Pleasure Championship and the 13 and under qualifier for owner, Lynne Martin. Reserve in the championship went to Seismic Force and Amy Greenberg after an earlier win the 14-17 qualifier. Turning in two top performances, Invitation Required and Marcy Scardino earned the red ribbon the 14-17 qualifier and a strong third in the combined championship. The cute time of The King's Romancer and Reilly Thatcher received the red ribbon in the 13 and under qualifier under the direction of May Klein.

Ice Storm and Dee Dee Gordon earned both trips to the winner's circle in the show pleasure driving division.

Winning the Walk and Trot Pleasure Championship was FCF Protégé and Cassie Bell with Nothin But A Good Time and Hannah Knapp in for reserve. Hannah and her horse also won the qualifier with Sultan's Lucky Flair and Nina Rivera receiving the red ribbon.

Kalarama's High Roller and Helen Rosburg would not be denied as they turned in two more strong performances to sweep the adult country pleasure division. In their new division, Black Copper and Paula Frenette were a great addition to this competitive division. This Hawkewood team earned both red ribbons.

I'm Good To Go and Ali DeGray kept up the country pleasure domination from the Ruth Gimpel/Pixie Dust and Steel team with a clean sweep winning the combined junior exhibitor championship and the 14-17 qualifier. Earning two red ribbons in the combined championship and the 14-17 qualifier was the flashy team of First Snow and Alice Frost. In the 13 and under qualifier the blue ribbon went to the Ruth Gimpel trained All Systems Go and Madison Zimmerman. This team also received the red ribbon in the Novice Rider Country Pleasure.

Telemark's Choice and Kristen Weisblat topped both the Florida Owned and Trained Country Pleasure and the Novice Rider Country Pleasure for the Avalon banner. Sable Satin and Christine Freeman earned the red ribbon in the Florida Owned and Trained Country Pleasure under the direction of May Klein.

In their only appearance of the week, CH Shamanic Dream and Helen Rosburg earned the victory pass in the Country Pleasure Driving. Deep Velvet Aire and Christine Arnold topped the competition in the Country Western Pleasure Championship receiving the Jill Reynolds Memorial Trophy. Next Day Heir and Euchee Matthews captured the Open Western Country Pleasure blue for Nancy Fortner. Nancy returned in the saddle to win the Saddle & Bridle's Shatner Western Pleasure with Deep Velvet Aire and Christine Arnold in reserve. Western Fashion earned two red ribbons in the championship and the open qualifier.


After solid rail and pattern work Kristen Thomas garnered the Saddle Seat Equitation Championship title aboard Answered Prayer under the direction of Anne Judd. This team also won the UPHA Challenge Cup. Reserve honors in the championship went to Jillian Schaffer aboard Bad Moon Rising LOA and under the direction of Hawkewood. Morgan King aboard Piesporter earned the win in the 14-17 qualifier with Marissa Gillispie in for reserve aboard The Pinnacle. Madye Bell received the blue in the 13 and under qualifier in their only appearance. Michaela Gillispie went two for two winning the UPHA Walk and Trot Challenge Cup and the 11 and Under Walk and Trot Saddle Seat Equitation Championship aboard Phoenix Suns Shine. Reserve in the UPHA Walk and Trot went to Hannah Knapp while Cassie Bell earned the reserve in the 11 and under championship.


Topping the competition in the Friesian division was the Avalon-trained Rommy with Lisa Misiewicz. Reserve in both classes went to Tim Marja H and Nadine Kothe.


Saturday afternoon belonged to the Academy riders with Mary Jo Schmidt marking the cards. The following won top ribbons their classes: Emily Knapp, Grace McDonell, Charley Goldman, Robyn Borjas, Eleanor Oliver, Whitney Pake, Catherine Bornscheuer, Krya Ciotti, Rachel McMillen, Carly King, Savannah Blunt, Lauren Rogue, Katie Commons, Andrea Carr, Jamie Boros, Alexa Weintraub, Esme Yarnell, Emily White, Emma Stewart and Rochelle Thorp.


The Morgan division contained a largely new cast of competitors who vied with some of the previous week's winners for tricolor honors. Euchee Matthews and DJE Answer To Destiny were back with another pair of top rides to add to their string of victories to start the season repeating from the week before as Open English Pleasure blue and tricolor winners.

The Grove Pointe team enjoyed another winning start to the season in Tampa. This year Shelley Silber started off with a winning debut on her elegant four-year-old Paradigm Hot Chocolate. The Grand National Champion performer showed off her winning style for the Amateur English Pleasure blue and tricolor for Kourt Jester Morgans. HVK Flaire Park and Glenn Winograd put on two strong showings to carry the reserve honors back to West Coast Morgans.

Tim Roesink's string of debuts continued as he introduced Frank and Carolyn Gibbard's newest entry to the winner's circle. Roesink was aboard the lovely CBMF Can't Touch Me for the junior/novice blue while Carolyn Gibbard took over the reins to carry home the tricolor.

Channing Ligas earned top honors in Tampa's Junior Exhibitor English Pleasure competition for the third year in a row. This time she guided HVK Acclamation to the finale of a Sunshine Circuit clean sweep earning the blue and tricolor under the Porte Reve banner. Chloe Hooper and MEM Reality Check showed off their crowd-pleasing style to finish up with the reserve honors in some of the deepest Morgan competition of the week.

Grove Pointe Stables brought a pair of impressive three-year-olds to perform at Tampa Charity. Grand National Champion HVK Sweet Obsession showed off her winning style as she carried the Pleasure Driving Championship as well as the junior blue to proud owner Barbara Lindauer with Tim Roesink on the lines. CBMF Come Stand By Me served notice as the sharp chestnut son of GLB Bell Pepper garnered the open blue for Kourt Jester Morgans in his only appearance presented by Tim Roesink. Annapolis rounded out the driving division by stepping up to the amateur blue with Megan Dunkle handling the
lines coached by Valarie Siemer.

Alicia Davis earned her second tricolor in as many weeks as she brought her typey Raindrop's Good As It Gets back for top honors in the Classic Pleasure Saddle qualifier and championship. Kristi Buehrle stepped in for owner James Wallace to earn the reserve tricolor with Emeraude DRC Legacy.

World Champion All Hail To The Chief and Rebecca Watters commanded the attention of the judge and the audience as they swept top honors for the Junior Exhibitor Classic Pleasure Saddle blue and tricolor. They showed their winning style and polish earning the Morgan Saddle Seat Equitation Championship as well as the Classic Equitation blue prepared by Rick Davis. Jennifer Scotto was named the Morgan Equitation Reserve Champion following a blue ribbon ride in the open qualifier. Meanwhile, in the junior exhibitor classic, Tornado Watch and Nichole Webster earned the reserve honors.

The fronty Maximum Wham turned in a pair of sporty showings with Lindsay Levert on the lines to garner the Classic Pleasure Driving blue and tricolor for Echo Lake Morgans. DAF Monte Cristo and Chauncey Felker added to their tricolor collection with the reserve honors.

UVM Windfall and Lora Dunlap were invincible as they earned a quartet of trips down victory lane. They brought the open and amateur Western pleasure blues and tricolors back to the West Coast Morgans banner to the delight of their fan club. In the open championship, it was Ann Smith and her handsome Moriah Back N Tan who claimed the reserve tricolor. Meanwhile, the stately Dream Spinner and Christina Bauer matched up for the reserve finish in the amateur division.

Rick Davis was aboard the well-named Let The Good Times Roll to earn the junior/novice Western blue for Vicki Eby Paar. Sugarlane Adonis and Brittany Simmons teamed up for the junior exhibitor blue and tricolor.

The always-impressive team of Lindsay Levert and WSG Independence Command started off the season as the Hunter Pleasure Champions after also winning the amateur blue. It was a tricolor sweep for Echo Lake Morgans as Tracy Roy guided Spice O Life Night Cadence to the reserve tricolor finish.

Robyn Alan and Snip A Pepper enjoyed another clean sweep with three trips to the winner's circle for the second week in a row. They earned the top spot in the Junior Exhibitor Hunter Pleasure qualifier and championship as well as the open qualifier for owner Linda Barrick. HVK Black Tie Society and Kelsie Dabelstein made a strong comeback to earn the Junior Exhibitor Hunter Pleasure Reserve Championship.

Cassie Bell and FCF Protégé matched up for a pair of blue ribbon rides as they earned the Morgan Walk/Trot Pleasure and Equitation wins coached by Evalyn Stephens.  

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