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Adult Riders Demonstrate Their Expertise During The Tampa Equestrian Festival

Tampa, FL - April 3, 2008 - Another torrential rain overnight made the Hunter rings even wetter than yesterday, but did not seem to affect the horses or deter the riders from putting out their best efforts.

The Ariat Adult Medal class was held before Judge Ronnie Beard, and the riders all tried to impress him with their skills. The first round consisted of eight jumping elements including a rollback from the first to the second fence. The top four riders returned for a test of their horsemanship, having to trot fence 1, canter fences 2 and 3 then halt and stand and leave the ring at a walk. Joan Ehrhart of Ocala, FL, was the top point earner going into the test with a first round score of 83. Her test aboard Tigris was executed flawlessly and clinched the win.

"This is my first time riding her," said Earhart. "I am trying her and she is so adorable. She has been showing in the Adult Jumpers and is just so adjustable. It was nice that they only had one rollback, but my plan didn't change at all because of the footing. It didn't seem to matter to her. My husband and I are dude farmers. I take care of the farm and ride every day except Monday. I was a cowgirl as a kid, I barrel raced. I got into this 8 or 9 years ago with my kids. Both my girls ride but are now in college, we used to go to shows together but not as much anymore, and it's not as much fun without them."

The first class in the Adult Hunters 3'3" division was yet another winning effort by Ehrhart, this time aboard her own horse, Foster. The second class in the division was won by Erin Stewart with Forbes, owned by her father, Don Stewart Jr.

Adult Hunters jumping 3' were in the ring with their sizeable division. Snow Garden with owner/rider Patricia Jenkins of Winter Springs, FL, won the first class and placed seventh in the second class. Kimberly Maloomian riding Twist of Fate for owner Margaret Page was fifth in the first class and won the second class, leaving no clear leader going into tomorrow's three classes which will determine the champion and reserve champion titles.

Amateur Owner Hunters saw action in two over fences classes with Jennifer Farri and Bling Bling exchanging top honors with Larkspur and Ashley Kennedy Whitner, each winning one class and placing second in the other. The under saddle class was won by Goodnight and Goodluck, owned and shown by Heather Villemaire. Farri and her gorgeous grey have been Reserve Champions for the past two weeks at the Tampa Equestrian Festival and she hopes to break that streak in the final classes of the division tomorrow and bring home the Champion honors.

Competition in the Tournament of Champions continues through Saturday, April 5th. The Tampa Equestrian Festival runs from March 19-April 6, 2008. The highlight class for hunters at the Tampa Equestrian Festival is the $20,000 ASG Software Solutions USHJA International Hunter Derby. The class will host a "Tradition, Tailgate, Top Hat, and Tails" party and will be held on Sunday, April 6, at 1 p.m. at Wrenwood Farm in Naples, FL.

For more information on the Tampa Equestrian Festival, please visit http://www.stadiumjumping.com.

Photo Credit: Joan Ehrhart and Tigris winning the Ariat Adult Medal. Photo: Randi Muster (C) 2008. This photo may be used free of charge only in relation to this press release.


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