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Betty Oare Victorious in Amateur-Owner Hunter Championship with Fine Kiss and L'Alezon

Tampa, FL - March 21, 2009 - The beautiful weather continued today as sunshine, clear blue skies and a light breeze set the scene for the Tampa Equestrian Festival's fourth day of competition. The three-week horse show is being held at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center on the Florida State Fairgrounds from March 18 through April 4.

Today's competition featured the conclusion of the Amateur-Owner Hunter division. After two day's of competition, the division's championship honors were awarded with the win going to Betty Oare of Warrenton, VA. Oare rode her nine year-old Westphalian mare Fine Kiss to the Amateur-Owner Hunter championship and her nine year-old Selle Francais mare L'Alezon to the reserve championship.

Oare and Fine Kiss won both classes over fences today and were first and second yesterday to score the most points in the division. Oare and L'Alezon placed second and third in today's classes and were first, second and fourth yesterday.

"I am really happy with the way things ended up today," Oare stated. "The horses gave it their all. We did okay yesterday, but there was a lot of room for improvement and today I felt like I stepped up and did what I was supposed to; I felt really good about it."

"Fine Kiss is a really nice horse and she is fun to ride," Oare said. "She loves to jump and everybody knows that I love to jump. She is very light on her feet and when she jumps it is very exciting. She fires off the ground and she really jerks her knees up."

"L'Alezon is a wonderful mare that I have owned for three years," Oare smiled. "They are totally different rides. L'Alezon has a very long stride; she can just walk the distances and I have to remember that when I ride her. These are just fun horses and they are both really dependable."

Betty Oare trains with her brother, Bucky Reynolds, and credits both Bucky and her husband Earnest for all of their help and encouragement in her riding. "It is a team effort," she explained. "I have been doing this for a long time. My brother is great, he gives me really good advice, and I couldn't do this without my husband. He is a great supporter of me doing this and he is a great horseman himself."

Oare has been competing in Ocala for the past several weeks and is planning to give herself and her horses a break after competing here in Tampa. Three of her horses have already gone home and Fine Kiss and L'Alezon will now follow to get some well-deserved time off until the end of April.

"I love coming to Tampa, it is fun," Oare stated. "I have known Gene Mische forever and he is a great guy. I judge a lot and I have judged for Stadium Jumping and I really enjoy it. This is a great show and I just enjoy coming here."

The 2009 Tampa Equestrian Festival's Suncoast Internationale week will conclude tomorrow with the championships presentations for the Junior Hunters. Next week will kick off week two, the Tampa Bay Classic CSI 3*-W on March 25-29, and week three will be the Tournament of Champions CSI March 31 thru April 4. The show will conclude with its feature event, the 37th Annual $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational on the final day of competition, April 4, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.

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

Photo Credit: Betty Oare won the Amateur-Owner Hunter championship with Fine Kiss and the reserve championship with L'Alezon at 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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