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Blue Ribbons - Florida Style



The 2004 Florida State Championship Horse Show was held Oct. 22-23. The judge was Ronnie Spears of Tullahoma, Tenn., and Jack Greene was the photographer.

The show was a huge success with over 400 entries. For the second year in a row, Pusher’s Big Score won the Park Pleasure Grand Championship. Doug Barnes was in the irons for owner Jeanette Kuszlyk of Naples, Fla.

Most surprising was the overwhelming participation in the youth classes. One of the reasons for such a large turnout for the young people is because of the support from the Montverde Academy.

The Montverde Academy is located on a 125-acre campus in Montverde, Fla., (just outside of Orlando). The Academy is an independent, coeducational boarding and day school for grades K-12. Headmaster Kasey Kesselring is proud of the equine program the school has developed and the skills the students are learning as a result of this program. They are not just learning how to ride, but they are learning about responsibility and character.

“I think everyone had a great time and we are already working on how to make the show better in 2005”, said Darren Gray, the Florida Walking & Racking Horse Association (FWRHA) president.

For the last several years the Florida State Championships have been held in Tampa, Fla. The board, through a lot of discussion, decided to move the show north to Gainesville in hopes of having more participation. "IT WORKED" the show topped its entries from last year and the show did better financially as well. There was also participation from Georgia and Tennessee.

The charity that FWRHA chose this year is HOPE: Horses Helping People, located in Gainesville, Fla. This organization was established in July 2000 and has already outgrown their current facility and has a waiting list of people requesting their services. Their participants are adults and children with challenges ranging from stroke, autism, multiple sclerosis, and many other conditions.

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