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Abel and Amanda Steege Awarded the Championship Tricolor in the Regular Working Hunter Division

Tampa, FL - March 26, 2009 - The perfect weather continued in Tampa, FL, as week two of the 2009 Tampa Equestrian Festival got underway with its second day of competition. Week two, the Tampa Bay Classic, will continue through this Sunday, March 29, and will feature some of the nation's best horses and riders competing for top honors. The Tampa Equestrian Festival is being held at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center on the Florida State Fairgrounds and will run through April 4.

The Regular Working Hunters showed in the Main Hunter Ring today, and after two days of competition, the division's championship honors were awarded to Abel, owned by Megan McGuire, and ridden by Amanda Steege. Abel and Steege won two first place ribbons and three second place ribbons in the division's individual classes for the tricolor win. Reserve champion of the Regular Working Hunter division went to Gamaliel, owned by McNeel H.J. Inc., and ridden by Clair Kellner. Kellner and Gamaliel won both classes over fences yesterday and were second, second and third today.

Today's champion, Abel, is an eight year-old Belgian Warmblood. Megan McGuire has owned the horse for two years and shows him in the younger Amateur-Owner Hunters. Amanda Steege of Bedminster, NJ, showed the horse today and was very happy with his brave performance.

Steege showed all winter in Ocala, and is enjoying the change of scenery here in Tampa.

"I think this is my fifth year coming to Tampa and I love it here," she smiled. "We have been talking to people all week and everyone keeps saying how happy they are when they are here. The weather is perfect, the ring is beautiful, the footing is perfect, the jumps are nice, and I just think that Stadium Jumping puts on a really classy event. We always look forward to coming here. I have some new clients who are showing here for the first time this year and they are totally hooked on Tampa now. We will definitely have it on the schedule for next year."

The Green Working Hunters showed in the Main Hunter Ring earlier in the day, with Like Wize and Kate Conover winning the division's championship tricolor after two days of competition. Like Wize and Conover placed first in all three of the division's classes yesterday and were second in both classes today to win the championship honors. Black Pearl and Mary Eufemia won the reserve championship tricolor, placing second, second and fourth yesterday and first and second today.

Conover has shown in Tampa before and really enjoys the show. "I love showing here, it is a blast," she stated. "It couldn't be more fun; the rings are great, the courses are beautiful. It is such a joy to ride out here because you have so much space, which is definitely nice."

The Tampa Equestrian Festival's second week of competition, the Tampa Bay Classic, will run through Sunday, March 29. The week will feature much more exciting hunter and jumper competition including the highly anticipated $75,000 FEI World Cup Qualifier CSI-W Grand Prix of Tampa, which will be the grand finale of week two on Sunday afternoon.

For more information please visit http://www.stadiumjumping.com.

Photo Credit: Abel and Amanda Steege won the Regular Working Hunter championship at the second week of competition for the 2009 Tampa Equestrian Festival. Photo 2009 Lauren Fisher. This photo may be used free of charge only in relation to this press release.


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