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Tampa Charity Shone During Their Diamond Anniversary!

Some people may have seen it as sad but others were overjoyed. This was the first year of the new format for the Sunshine Circuit and it was a success! For many years the Sunshine Circuit was composed of back-to-back shows with Gasparilla Charity and Tampa Charity. In the past few years, the number of out of state barns continued to decline and the existence of the two shows was in question. Some say it was the economy, rising fuel prices, rising hotel prices or for some it was the dropping of the USEF rating that made exhibitors less likely to make the trek down I-75 to Tampa. The decision was made last year by the two organizing horse show groups to alternate years so instead of having two small shows, perhaps, people would come to support one show and make it bigger and better than ever.

The plans went into work and Tampa Charity was chosen to have the first show of the new plan. Changes were made. Peter Fenton was brought on as manager, working hard with his numerous connections to draw back the barns from outside Florida. The USEF rating was re-established adding incentive for everyone, especially the Morgan exhibitors now that this would qualify for the Grand National. The hospitality was taken to a new level with events held all week with great food. Small things like larger ringside tables were brought, making it easier for people to gather. All of the changes came together like a charm making the 75th annual Tampa Charity the best ever! Manager Peter Fenton was thrilled with the turnout. The entries were up with over 300 horses competing which was almost double from last year. Show Chairman Becky Buffington said that 300 had been their goal. It was great to see these numbers as well as great horses competing. Both Fenton and Buffington look forward to continuing the momentum in 2010 when the Tampa Charity will be held again.

The competition was fierce this year with top teams coming from Indiana, New York, North Carolina, Georgia and others to join the competitive Florida teams. New teams emerged and old favorites were victorious. The classes were well-filled with a 13 horse adult show pleasure class to a eight horse Amateur English Pleasurevclass. The Five-Gaited Championship heralded five great entries as well. After winning the Five-Gaited Championship with Midnight Senor, Matt Shiflet said he would definitely be back and it was not just because of the winning moment. He and his exhibitors enjoyed the facility, the schedule and the atmosphere. This feeling seemed to be felt throughout the show grounds. What a great way to celebrate the 75th Diamond Anniversary Tampa Charity!

Saturday evening was brought to a close with a five horse Five-Gaited Championship with each entry bursting though the gate vying for the top honor of the week. When the work was done and the card turned in, Announcer Peter Fenton called Melody Murphy’s Midnight Senor to the winner’s circle. The striking black gelding with Matt Shiflet in the irons had an amazing performance, impressing the crowd with his true rack. Shiflet credits his grandfather, Claude Shiflet, for Midnight Senor’s four-beat slow gait and rack as this is one of the last colts the elder Shiflet racked. Earlier in the week this team also topped the open qualifier. Reserve in the championship went to Rosemont’s Penny Lane with Maria Gilman. Gilman presented the bright, sporty mare for owner Jessica Anderson. In the qualifier the reserve honor also went back to Judd Stables with the single performance from the young Essence Of Heaven with Don Judd up for Barbara Woods.

Emily Abbott debuted with At The Stroke Of Midnight, winning the Amateur Five-Gaited Championship

An amazing seven horses made the gate call to close out Wednesday evening’s session. CH Tigerlee and Ali DeGray made their first appearance after graduating from the junior exhibitor ranks. They have become one of those teams that just goes together and is matched perfectly. Effortlessly they moved from gait to gait earning their first ladies blue ribbon. Reserve honors went to another rider who moved out of the junior exhibitor division, Emily Abbott. After a highly decorated senior equitation career, it was time for a new direction for Abbott and the decision was made to purchase At The Stroke Of Midnight. The team has worked hard over the winter under the direction of trainer Mike McIntosh and really put together a great picture. They returned on Friday evening to win the Amateur Five-Gaited Championship out of a field of seven. Top honors in the amateur qualifier went to amateur-trainer Jamie Cantrell with her bold moving Callaway’s Double Diamonds. In the championship they garnered the reserve title. Reserve in the amateur qualifier went to the Steve Demjen trained Dollar For Dollar and Lisa May.

What's The Whoopla and Caitlin Leith were on top of their game to win the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Championship

The junior exhibitor section was well filled as well with five teams competing. Some teams were new and some teams were familiar from the later part of 2007. What’s The Whoopla and Caitlin Leith burst onto the scene last year in Freedom Hall, capturing everyone’s attention. Unfortunately they had some trouble during the last rack due to inexperience but over the winter they have gotten in sync and came together as contenders for the 2008 title. This came shining through during their championship performance when they turned in a powerful and flawless ride to win the tricolor. Leith was thrilled with her ride, exclaiming that is was "so much fun!" Winning the qualifier was another team that was brought together at the end of last season, Atticus Finch and Hannah Wainwright. Under the direction of Wayne and Cathy Hackney this team had a solid ride for the win in just their second show together. Reserve in the qualifier went to the Hawkewood Farm team of Travel In Style and Hope Long who have only been together since mid-season last year. New to the division was the fresh face Kenora. With Cassi Rath in the irons they had a comeback ride to claim the reserve championship title.

In the Denver/Junior Five-Gaited class, the Harlem Globetrotter bred Harlem’s Class Act was victorious with Euchee Matthews. This four-year-old is owned and bred by Robert and Barbara Walla. Reserve honors went to the flashy Walterway’s Church Me and Maria Gilman for Barbara Woods.

While the three-gaited division may not have had the numbers the five-gaited division did, it was filled with quality throughout. The ever-impressive CH Caramac’s Norma Rae, with Stacey Bare, captured the Three-Gaited Championship title under the direction of Steve Demjen. In the qualifier the blue went to Wee Pee’s Storm and Ronnie Graham. This game but elegant horse was purchased last August for Ali DeGray to campaign in the amateur/ladies division this year. Graham was in the irons on Wednesday, proving that this magnificent horse is still a contender for the open division. Graham did not get to have all the glory however as DeGray took over the riding duties in the Amateur Three-Gaited class. It was an elegant picture and DeGray piloted him like they had been together as long as she has been riding Tigerlee. They marched down the rail and into the winner’s circle in their only appearance.

Topping the Amateur Three-Gaited Championship was the high-stepping Smoke Gets In Your Eyes and Betty Valenti. On Tuesday this team paraded into the winner’s circle in the ladies qualifier under the direction of Judd Stables. Kristen Thomas was aboard the newly trimmed Ah! What A Night for Shirley Giraudo and Harold Daniels, earning the reserve amateur championship and ladies reserve qualifying reserve under the direction of David Chretien. Reserve in the amateur qualifier went to another newly trimmed horse from the park division, Tropical Heir and Kay Harrell.

CH Keeper Of The Stars and Jackie De La Parte were picture perfect after winning the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited class

CH Keeper Of The Stars and Jackie De la Parte were as beautiful as ever when they paraded around the ring and into the winner’s circle to sweep the junior exhibitor division. The Andrea Colombino trained team of Déjà Vu’s Delight and Katie Evans captured both reserve titles for Monica Nicoll.

Three-Gaited Park
The park division was in keeping with the rest of the show with strong performances. On Tuesday evening the high-headed Doubletree’s Quite A Treasure captured the spotlight. Owned by Linda Thorin Johnson, this tall, handsome chestnut topped the open park qualifier with Mike McIntosh in the irons. Reserve honors went to Countless Blessings and Matt Shiflet for Richard Pence in their only appearance. In the championship on Saturday, it was the reserve Denver/Junior Park Champion Callaway’s Cellular that was in command. Jan Lukens presented Jayne Romona’s four-year-old to the top honors with an outstanding performance. Reserve honors went to Juliette’s Deja Blue with Matt Shiflet presenting for Chris and Andrea Athanasuleas.

The amateur division was just as competitive. At the end of the year, Judd Stables matched up the new team of Meadowlark Jubilee and Morgan King. This week they were magnificent as they marched down the rail with a high stepping park-trot, sweeping the division in King’s first amateur performance of her career. Allison Beard-Luzier was aboard the charismatic Lime Twisted Gin for the Jacquelyn Stred Trust, making great passes and earning both reserve titles. In both classes Brookhill’s Tom Tom and Danielle Loar captured the strong third spots with great performances.

Judd Stables continued their winning ways in the junior exhibitor section with two outstanding rides from CH Discover and Jenna Palmeri. This team began their season by sweeping the division. Earning both reserve ribbons was Avalon Stables team of Tap Town and Tori Dennis.

Once again it was a Judd Stables team called to the winner’s circle in the Denver/Junior Three-Gaited Park class. Hillcroft Rare Heir is a magnificent horse. At four years old he knows his job and is all show horse. Maria Gilman put him in all the right spots to command the spotlight and top the competitive class for Gail Freeman.

Fine Harness
Joe Friday is like a rock star. No matter the show, the crowd always is wondering when they will get a glimpse of him. With his lofty trot, amazing hocks and toppy headset with a neck that will allow him to bend behind his shoulder, he is worth waiting all week to see. On Saturday evening, with Ruth Gimpel on the lines, Joe Friday was fluid and confident, owning the ring and capturing the Fine Harness Jackpot Championship for Helen and James Rosburg.

Joe Friday was outstanding for Ruth Gimpel to win the Fine Harness Jackpot Championship

A star in the park division last year, Elegant Mandarin effortless moved into the fine harness division this week. Abbott Wilson piloted Paula Frenette’s entry to the jackpot reserve and open qualifying reserve.

Ruth Gimpel Stables dominated fine harness division as Pi’ece De R’esistance won the open qualifier on Wednesday. This four-year-old son of Supreme Heir loved his job as he marched down the rail with a perfect headset. Directing him to the win was his owner, Patrica Bonati. James Rosburg did not let the ladies have all the fun as he expertly piloted The Tango Dancer to the top honor in the Amateur Fine Harness class. Reserve honors in the amateur qualifier went to In Bold Print and Paul Richardson under the direction of Anne Judd.

Road Horses
The pace picked up with the roadster division. In the Open Road Horse Championship, four speedsters came back for the top honor. As in the qualifier, it was the red and black Ruth Gimpel Stable colors flying to the winner’s circle when Ronnie Graham presented Roar Of Thunder to both honors for James and Helen Rosburg. Reserve championship honors went to Mary Jo Schmidt’s entry, Valentino Express. Schmidt brought out her newest roadster last fall, wrapping up the season with wins at Challenge Of Champions and now looks good after a winter worth of work.

The new team of Mr.’s Bones and Charles Jones were on fire this week as they had both speed and form to sweep the amateur division and earn the open qualifying reserve. This team drove under the direction of Brad Lukens. Hometown favorite Top Star Willie, with Paul Misiewicz, captured both amateur reserves for the Avalon banner.

Mr.’s Bones proved his versatility when he won the Roadster Under Saddle with Paula Percoco having a blast presenting him for Charles Jones. James Rosburg was back on the lines, this time in the Roadster To Wagon, earning the win with Humdinger.

Ruth Gimpel Stables dominated the speedsters once again as Gimpel presented the high-stepping Seize The Moment for James and Helen Rosburg to the championship win after a qualifying reserve. Winning the qualifier and returning for a championship reserve was the Canadian-bred Alexandra with Abel Vega on the lines for Golden Creek Farms.

The amateurs and junior exhibitors were combined into one championship class with seven competitive entries making the gate call. After all speeds were judged, it was the awesome team of Zildjian and Caitlin Leith who were called to the winner’s circle. This team had two strong performances, never losing gear and showing all three speeds not only in the amateur/junior exhibitor championship but also in the AHHS Youth Medallion Road Pony class. The sporty Bambino and Jessie Pettie topped the amateur qualifier for the John Shea Stables banner and returned with a great performance for the reserve championship. Reserve in the qualifier went to Holly Go Lightly who made her debut in the road pony division this week with Helen Rosburg on the lines.

In the harness division, another Abel Vega trained entry made their way to the winner’s circle in both the championship and qualifier. The ever-consistent Delightful Time turned in two flawless performances with Stephany Monteleone to sweep the division. Monteleone also enjoyed success in the pleasure driving division with Mastercraft’s Namesake LF. Performing with confidence, this team swept the division and began the year where they left off at the American Royal, in the winner’s circle.

Cassi Rath catch-drove the sporty Bear Creek’s Beloved for Josh Chrietien, garnering both reserve titles.

In the Open Hackney Championship on Saturday evening when Romeo’s Miss Mariah’s number was called to the winner’s circle, the late John Shea was honored for his long-time support of the Tampa Charity. When announcer Peter Fenton spoke of John Shea he mentioned how fitting it was that a Mary Gaylord McClean owned pony showing under the John Shea Stables banner won the Hackney Pony Championship after her lifelong involvement with John Shea and the ponies they have brought to Tampa Charity over the years.

Show Pleasure
In the Five-Gaited Show Pleasure Championship, The Denali put on a show. He appeared for the first time this spring looking better than ever for Jessica Anderson, and with Anderson expertly piloting him, they captured the tricolor after an earlier qualifying reserve. Reserve championship honors went to Ventura’s Gold Card. Judy Megelich was aboard the sporty mare and back in the ring for the first time since last spring. After ribbons in Kentucky during the summer, Megelich moved the mare to Ingleside to have her closer to home and Ingleside assistant, Sara Scheck, successfully showed her in the ladies division. Now Megelich is back in the irons and excited about campaigning again. In the qualifier, Endure and Ali Degray made their first appearance in the division for the win.

Helen Rosburg proudly met Endure and Ali DeGray at the gate after their Five-Gaited Show Pleasure win

DeGray continued her successful week aboard Callaway’s Tobar in the park pleasure division. In the qualifier, the team had a solid ride to garner the red streamers. They returned in the championship with an even stronger showing to win the tricolor. The dainty Ornellaia was pleasure perfect with Jannie Giles in the irons for Bent Tree Farm to win the qualifier and return for the reserve championship title. Matt Shiflet was aboard Uwharrie’s Relay to earn two strong yellow ribbons for Uwharrie Hills Farm.

In the junior section, Jan Lukens added another set of ribbons to her banner with Prince In The Park’s performances. The toppy liver chestnut by Merchant Prince captured both titles for owners Robert and Joellen Blount. Reserve honors in both classes went to the talented Stonecroft Skylark with Jannie Giles in the irons.

What a great thing it was when Peter Fenton called the Adult Three-Gaited Show Pleasure qualifier to the ring with 13 entries. It was not just 13 horses but 13 competitive horses. In the championship 12 returned to compete for the tricolor. Sweeping the division was the bold moving bay that was imported last year from South Africa, (SA) Sultan’s Zorba with Annika Bruggeworth presenting. Barbara Woods was aboard her pleasure perfect CH Sweet Virginia to capture both reserves, with The Muffin Man and Kim Langdon giving them all a run for the money to garner two strong third places. The flashy For Reference Only with Tracy Garcia earned both fourth places.

In the novice rider qualifier, Jaclyn Wynn was thrilled with her ride aboard A Perfect Affair, celebrating a blue ribbon ride under the direction of Euchee Matthews. Somersby and Susan Zimmer garnered the reserve ribbon for James and Helen Rosburg.

The age group qualifiers were combined for the Junior Exhibitor Championship, and like the adult division, 12 returned for the top honor. It was the expressive Mo Rhythm and Christine Freeman who garnered the tricolor under the Judd Stables banner after an earlier reserve in the 14-17 qualifier. Reserve honors in the championship went to the great Seismic Force with Amy Greenberg. On Tuesday this team qualified with a reserve in the Florida Owned and Trained Three-Gaited Show Pleasure class. Winning the 14-17 qualifier was the big, pretty Hans Solo and Nicole McSweeney under the direction of Abbott Wilson and Linda Weber. Drew Love expertly piloted Picabo Street to the 13 and under blue ribbon for the Ingleside banner.

Just a short while ago Jayne Romano purchased CH Candle Dan from Carl and Kathryn Nichols. This week they debuted together under the direction of Jan Lukens in the show pleasure driving division. CH Candle Dan displayed his usual lofty trot as Romano directed him down the rail and into the winner’s circle to sweep the division. Dee Dee Gordon was behind High Time’s Spartan to earn both reserve ribbons.

Country Pleasure
It was a great week for Linda Thorin Johnson and well worth the trip from Michigan. Over the last couple of years her niece, Kristen Thorin, has campaigned Callaway’s Big Deal in the junior exhibitor country pleasure division while Johnson has shown in a few academy classes. This week Johnson took over the duties and debuted aboard this bright chestnut, beginning the week by winning the novice rider qualifier. She followed that up with a win in the adult qualifier as well. All under the direction of Mike McIntosh, who she credits for making this week possible, she returned to win the championship on Saturday. He’s Baack and Rachel Crystal moved up a notch to earn the reserve championship honor for the Wrighthall banner. In the qualifier, Roman Knight and Kurt Antonacci took the reserve for the Bobbin Hollow banner. Helen Rosburg added another blue to the Ruth Gimpel banner with her winning performance aboard Midtown Man in the Florida Owned and Trained Country Pleasure class.

In the junior exhibitor section, another new team debuted this week to win the championship and 13 and under qualifier. Alex Ennis is well-known on the Carolinas circuit for campaigning the pleasure pony Santana’s Flaming Dawn. At the end of the 2007 season, trainer Heather Boodey decided it was time for Ennis to have a new challenge and they purchased Man Of Hour Dreams. This week they made their first appearance, winning the combined junior exhibitor championship after winning the 13 and under qualifier. Reserve in the championship went to the sporty Pikachu and Amy Lee. This team also earned reserves in the Florida owned and trained and the novice rider classes for the Avalon banner. Reserve in the 13 and under qualifier went to the Five Gait Stables owned Eyes Wide Open with Sara Macke. Bouquet O’ Hearts captured the 14-17 qualifier with a new partner, Alexis Muniz, for R Farm.

Helen Rosburg was back to the winner’s circle with the beautiful Harlem’s Worldly Lady after two flawless drives in the Country Pleasure Driving Championship and qualifier. Jayne Ramono was on the lines to earn both reserves with Mahvalous Guy.

The debuts continued in the western country pleasure division as well. Mary Anne Jones had only a handful of practices aboard her newly acquired Winsdown Cosmos who had shipped in from Northern Tradition Farm only a few days before Bluff Creek Stables shipped to Tampa for the show. They turned in two precise rides to win the championship and qualifier. American Gladiator and Vanessa Lewis earned the reserve in the championship as well as the Saddle & Bridle Shatner Western Pleasure class. Earning the reserve in the adult qualifier and the open qualifier was It’s Buccaneer Time and Richard Robinson for R Farm. Topping the open class were Sapphire Blue and Rich Davis for Julianne Ross. Winning the Shatner class was the Avalon trained Rumble Strip and Patrick Niemann.

Three talented entries made the gate call for the Park Saddle Championship. With a comeback ride, Graywood’s Kera earned the tricolor with Tom Johnson in the irons for Madye Bell. Brooke Simpson debuted aboard her newly acquired Springmill Navigator, capturing the reserve championship honor. Earlier in the week, Lark Henry presented the sporty bay to the qualifying blue ribbon with Cedar Creek Uproar and Jennifer Scotto earning reserve for Madye Bell.

DJE Answer To Destiny and Euchee Matthews moved up a notch to claim the English Pleasure Championship with an outstanding ride. Reserve championship honors went to HVK Standing Ovation and Lark Henry for Katie Paige Richards and Cole Richards. Earlier in the week, the bold moving bay garnered the blue streamers in the open qualifier.

In the amateur section, eight top teams vied for the title. HVK Acclamation and Channing Ligas had two fantastic rides while showing distinction of the road trot, and Ligas put the sporty bay in all the right spots, propelling them to the winner’s circle in both classes. Ligas also enjoyed the spotlight in the Roadster Under Saddle with Queen’s Protocol. Erica Dorwart debuted aboard HVK Bold Monarch, earning both reserve titles under the direction of Cheri Barber. This nice moving horse was selected by Barber ultimately for Dorwart’s daughter, Kitty, in the walk and trot division. Barber had her time in the winner’s circle in the Junior English Pleasure class with the outstanding Gradell Mystic Melissa for Jerome and Shirley Modell.

DMMF Confident Aire and Rachel Roth captured four titles during the week in both equitation and performance

Chloe Hooper had a great week aboard the flashy Formal Protest, sweeping the junior exhibitor English pleasure section. The Bill Rodgers trained Hylee’s Dance On and Katelyn Armstrong earned both reserves in Armstrong’s first appearance back in the show ring since 2005. Rachel Roth continued her success winning the all breed 11 and Under Walk and Trot Championship with DMMF Confident Aire as well as the Morgan qualifier. Reserve in the qualifier went to DBL F Commanding Officer and Cassie Bell for Frank and Felicia Schlemmer.

Woody Henry presented Miss Isabella in the open pleasure driving section, sweeping the division for Marsha Shepard. Rick Davis was on the lines behind Bent Apple Northern Spy for both reserves for Gale Domanico. In the amateur section, the Mary Jo Schmidt trained Stonecroft Wish Me Well captured both wins with Chauncey Felker. Cassie Bell was back in the ring, this time in the buggy with FCF Protégé, to sweep the junior exhibitor section. Cheri Barber presented former Grand National Yearling Gelding Champion (2005) Bravo Zulu to the win in the Junior Pleasure Driving class for Mountain Ridge Farm.

Alicia Davis enjoyed her time in the spotlight aboard Raindrop’s Tiburon. She took over the duties from Euchee Matthews this year after the full sibling to her beloved Raindrop’s Chisum graduated from the junior ranks. This week with two outstanding performances, the new team swept the adult classic pleasure division. Gerry Auermann earned both reserves with Whispering Marquise.

Rebecca Waters had two amazing rides on All Hail To The Chief to sweep the junior exhibitor section for the Rick Davis Stables banner. Chloe Hooper was in the irons aboard MEM Reality Check to earn both reserves.

Echo Lake Morgans earned back-to-back wins in the classic pleasure driving division with Maximum Wham and Lindsay Levert’s performances. Megan Dunkle presented Annapolis to both reserves. Chloe Hooper was back with MEM Reality Check to sweep the junior exhibitor section.

In the well-filled open western division, Bel Cavallo Prima Donna and Valarie Siemer topped the championship and qualifier for Doris Bazzini. Championship reserve honors went to Graywood’s Belinda Breeze and Rick Gervasio for Betsy Marstead, with UVM Windfall and Lora Dunlap capturing the qualifying reserve. UVM Windfall also competed in the amateur section with Dunlap, earning the championship and qualifying wins. PTR Ms. Behavin’ and Karen Harry garnered the red streamers in the amateur section for Rick Davis.

West Coast Morgans continued their success with Tara’s Zeus and Spencer Shelby Conklin sweeping the junior exhibitor section. Reserve championship honors went to Sugarlane Adonis and Brittany Simmons, with Merlot and Lauren Tyner earning the qualifying reserve. Valarie Siemer made two more trips to the winner’s circle with Lora Dunlap’s CBMF Trading Up in the junior western section.

West Coast Morgans dominated the hunter division as well with CBMF Danger Zone and Kelsey Thomas winning the Hunter Pleasure Championship after an earlier reserve in the open qualifier. This great team also swept the junior exhibitor section. Winning the open qualifier and returning for the championship reserve title was Spiceolife Night Cadence and Tracy Roy for Echo Lake Morgans. Echo Lake continued their success with a sweep from WSG Independence Command and Lindsay Levert in the amateur section. Earning both reserve titles were CAUM Majority Rules and Samantha Altheide for Davis/Harry ownership. Reserve in the junior exhibitor section went to I’m Irish and Taylor Ekovich, making it a one-two punch for the West Coast banner. Tracy Roy was aboard Friday Night Lights to sweep the junior hunter division for Echo Lake Morgans.

Christine Thomas was polished as she completed rail work and the required pattern to win the Saddle Seat Equitation Championship under the direction of Maria Gilman. Earlier in the week, Thomas won the 14-17 qualifier. Reserve championship honors went to the Jennifer Scotto instructed Madye Bell. Bell qualified for the championship with a win in the Morgan Equitation class and a reserve in the UPHA Challenge Cup. Rebecca Overbey captured the 13 and under title aboard Rosie O’Brien. Anne Judd instructed Amber Pitts to the winning ride in the UPHA Challenge Cup. Pitts also earned the reserve in the 14-17 qualifier. In the Morgan Equitation qualifier, Chloe Hooper earned the reserve under the direction of Tom Johnson.

Rebecca Waters had a successful week not only in the performance division but she added a win to her list after a smooth ride in the Morgan Classic Equitation class. Casey Stein captured the reserve. The talented Spencer Shelby Conklin, riding under the direction of Valarie Siemer, won the Morgan Western Equitation class and returned to win the all breed Western Equitation Championship. Lauren Tyner aboard Merlot earned the reserve in both classes.

In the western all breed equitation qualifier the top spot went to Brittany Simmons with Katherine Gleeson earning reserve. In the Morgan hunt seat equitation section, Samantan Altheide swept the division under the direction of Rick Davis.

Hailey Mercurio debuted this week under the direction of Heather Boodey to win the UPHA 10 and Under Walk and Trot Equitation aboard Lakeside Lulu. Isabella Leslie, from Christy Parker’s program, earned the reserve ribbon in her first appearance out of academy and returned to earn the reserve in the all breed championship. The solid riding Rachel Roth took the top honors in the Morgan 11 and Under Walk and Trot Equitation for the West Coast banner and returned to win the breed combined Walk and Trot Equitation Championship. Kitty Dorwart, under the direction of Cheri Barber, earned the reserve in the Morgan 11 and Under Walk and Trot Equitation. Ariana Varveris, under the direction of Lark Henry, debuted in western attire to win the all breed Walk and Jog Equitation.

The majestic Friesians came to compete this week with a full schedule. Marilee Namaka presented Hedzer to both top spots in the open saddle division. The multi-titled Gooitzen Fan Teakesyl made the trip down from New York to sweep the English pleasure division. In the qualifier, Carson Kressely presented the grand Friesian to the top honor with owner Annika Bruggeworth making the winning ride in the championship. Bouke Van De Lutjeshoeve and Jennifer Pitt captured both reserve titles under the direction of Jannie Giles. Giles had her time in the spotlight presenting Leo to both wins in the walk and trot pleasure division. Hedzer and Marilee Namaka were back to earn both reserves.

The Avalon team of Horns And Halos and Austin Smith had a comeback ride to win the Open English Pleasure Championship. Stablemate The Dreamcatcher with new partner Stephanie Weinberg captured the reserve championship. In the qualifier, Cassi Rath had a nice catch ride aboard The Dreamcatcher for the blue ribbon. Yankee, from the Saddlebred Rescue program, debuted for the reserve ribbon with Kurt Antonacci presenting for Bobbin Hollow.

In the Walk and Trot Pleasure Championship, Rachel Roth garnered another top spot with DMMF Confident Aire. A Lil’ Wild and Jessica Stone earned the reserve championship title for Lark Henry. Earlier, this team earned the blue in the 12 and over qualifier, with Moon Drifter and Carly King earning the reserve for Sabrina Lutz. Winning the 11 and under qualifier was CF Chief’s Red Hot Girl and Isabella Leslie. She’s A Peach and Grace McDonnell debuted to earn the all breed 11 and Under Walk and Trot Pleasure reserve title. True Gold and Ariana Varveris debuted in the western division, winning the walk and jog qualifier.

In the Carriage Driving Reinsmanship and Carriage Driving classes, DBLF Commanding Officer and Felicia Schlemmer earned both top honors. In the working section Who’s Your Daddy and Beth Pridgeon won the blue for Pam Roush. I’m Irish and Taylor Ekovich turned in the winning ride in the Trail class.

Third generation Emily Candelaria debuted in the academy division this week. She was joined by her grandmother, Barbara Woods, and brother and mom, Josh and Linda Candelaria

Saturday afternoon belonged to the academy riders with a full schedule. Winning top ribbons in their divisions were: Rebeka Ocsody, Gracesyn Moll, Ella Holland, Brandy Louise Whiting, Lynne Munoz, Morgan Dixon, Robyn Borjas, Jennifer Lincoln, Emily Childs, Lauren Roque, James Rosburg, Alicia Floyd, Carolyn Danco, Gayle Lenihan, Alex Eagle, Katie Commons, Lisa Hepp, Katie Dunn, Valencia Beckwith, Dani Gallo, Jennifer Wayman, Amanda Stacy, Erica Murphy, Kathryn Vitiello, Marissa Simmons, Johnna Downing, Katie Paige Richards, Kate Ramsower, Terra Mount and Laney Simpson. After their performance, the Tampa Horse Show Association High Point Awards were held and afterwards everyone enjoyed a cupcake celebration.

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