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Ferngully and Taylor Ann Adams Victorious in Small Junior Hunter 15 and Under Championship

Tampa, FL - April 4, 2009 - The 2009 Tampa Equestrian Festival concluded its final day of competition today after three weeks at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. The show ran from March 18 through April 4 and had a beautiful, sunny day for its conclusion this afternoon.

The American Hunter Jumper Association deemed the Tournament of Champions a qualifier for the World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) program, which means that all ribbons won during this week's competition will count towards both regional and national WCHR awards. The WCHR program is very prestigious, and only the very best horses and riders qualify, which makes this week's competition very special.

The first to compete in the Main Hunter Ring this morning was the Small Junior Hunter 15 and Under division, which awarded its week three championship honors to Ferngully, owned by Don Stewart, Jr. and ridden by Taylor Ann Adams. Ferngully placed first and fourth over fences yesterday, and placed first in all three of today's classes to dominate the competition and walk away with the championship tricolor.

Adams and Ferngully scored in the 80's yesterday and scored a very high 88 and 90 in today's classes over fences. Their score of 90 in the stake class was the highest score of all three weeks of competition in Tampa, which is a very impressive feat among the talented horses and riders that have been competing.

"Ferngully is one of the best Junior Hunters that we have had in a long time," said owner, Don Stewart, Jr. of Ocala, FL. "He is only six years old and he is just an amazing horse."

Stewart continued, "He showed in Ocala and won two of the Classics he went in and was champion there twice and reserve once. He is an amazing jumper and he is a very special horse because not only is he very careful and jumps in perfect style, but there is no preparation and there is no spook. He is such a nice horse and he has a spectacular jump; he should only get better as he becomes more educated."

On the final day of competition here in Tampa, Stewart expressed how much he has enjoyed this year's show. "We always love Tampa," he smiled. "I think ours is probably the oldest barn still coming to Tampa under the same banner."

Following close behind Ferngully in this week's Small Junior Hunter 15 and Under division was Lariet, owned by Lauren Moyer and ridden by Ashley Foster. Lariet and Foster placed first and fifth over fences yesterday, were second in today's under saddle, and third and fifth over fences to garner the reserve championship tricolor for week three.

The Large Junior Hunters 15 and Under also competed for championship honors this morning to conclude their three weeks of competition in Tampa. The division's week three champion was Garfield, ridden by Samantha Schaefer and the reserve champion was Titletown, ridden by Hasbrouck Donovan.

Today was the final day of competition for the 2009 Tampa Equestrian Festival. The show will conclude with its grand finale, the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational, this evening at Raymond James Stadium. The American Invitational is one of the most prestigious events in show jumping, and with 36 of the best horses and riders competing, it is going to be an amazing competition to top off an excellent winter show season.

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

Photo Credit: Taylor Ann Adams and Ferngully won the Small Junior Hunter 15 and Under division championship at the 2009 Tampa Equestrian Festival's Tournament of Champions. Photo 2009 Lauren Fisher. This photo may be used free of charge only in relation to this press release.


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