Markel Insurance Sponsors Series Awards
Burbank, California. Over 400 horses descended on the Los Angeles Equestrian Center for Gold Coast 6 (Aug. 28-31). Not only is this the sixth show of the Gold Coast Series sponsored by Markel Insurance, but the show is also a benefit for the Los Angeles Hunter Jumper Association. “Gold Coast 6 serves as a fundraiser for LAHJA,” said President Marnye Langer. “Our members really support this show, and it also hosts our LAHJA Horsemanship and Rosewood Medal Finals. We also usually do a fundraising activity during the show. This year we had a poker run and the kids seemed to really enjoy it.”
While the Gold Coast shows may be rated “B” by USEF for hunters and have a one star jumper rating, the shows look and feel like a nice “A” show. It is not uncommon to have more than 300 horses at a Gold Coast show, and with classes ranging from Short Stirrup to 1.40 meter jumpers, there is something for everyone.
With only one more show left in the Gold Coast Series, exhibitors want to add to their point total for the year-end awards sponsored by Markel Insurance. Jenny Karazissis added to Forever SLR’s (A. Candy Leaf, owner) point total by sweeping the over the fences classes in the Regular Working Hunter section. Shari Rose trains the Hanoverian stallion by For Pleasure. Karazissis and Rose have a long relationship. “Shari was my trainer,” Karazissis said. “First, she was my baby sitter. She started giving me lessons on a horse she had in her back yard at home. She was not a trainer at that time. Pretty soon, people started to ask her to give lessons and one thing led to another.” Since she’s on the road so much, Karazissis enjoys going to a show close to home. But that’s not the only reason she goes to the Gold Coast shows. “It’s a good place for people to get experience. There are numerous classes. Someone can haul in and do one day. There is the opportunity for people to experience indoors, the grass or ordinary arenas. Not many facilities have a physical plant to match this one.”
Karazissis’s student Cayla Richards was an equitation star, winning both 12-14 flat equitation and over fences. She also won the LAHJA/LA Saddlery Junior Medal class over 21 of her fellow exhibitors. Richards has been leasing Asparagus (Gus) since the beginning of July. “I do equitation and jumpers. The courses are more difficult and you get to show off your style of riding. Gus is very adjustable and very honest. I know I can trust him. There are lots of medal finals left.” She’s heading back East for the USEF finals and has qualified for the Maclay regional finals.
They say “handsome is as handsome does”. That makes the Belgium Warmblood Tall, Dark, and Handsome (Laurel Hicks, owner) doubly handsome. Alanna Bloomberg rode him to the championship in the Green Working Hunter section, winning all the classes. He also earned a victory in the Children’s Hunter (13 and under) with owner Laurel Hicks, and they won the $500 Children’s Hunter Special. “ Laurel just moved up to Children’s Hunter from a pony,” said Bloomberg. “She’s getting used to the feel of a horse. The horse is so different from her pony; he’s a bit more to put together. He’s easy to ride. He’s a ‘less is more’ kind of horse.” Bloomberg had another champion in Roosevelt, a pre-green horse.
Over in the pony arena, Julia Rossow on First Kiss (Cody) won Pony Equitation Over Fences and on the flat to earn the Pony Equitation show championship (Rebecca Atwater, trainer). She started leasing Cody at the beginning of the year. She prefers equitation to the other classes. “I’ve ridden more equitation,” she said. “Riders in equitation get to show their skill and versatility.” She moved to the Los Angeles area when she was eight, and there just happened to be a horse ranch up the street. “I started with horses but I fit onto ponies,” she said. “I love ponies. Ponies have big brains. I do have a horse but this was Cody’s weekend.” Since Cody has a really big stride, she doesn’t have to adjust too much between the horse and the pony.
Staying in the pony ring, McKenna Skelton rode Balthazar to the Green Pony Hunter championship (Elvenstar, trainers). She’s had Balthazar for one year and explained that “Balthazar is learning patience to the jumps,” she said. “We do a lot of trotting jumps. We took him to the Pony Finals; he was really good. We are going to do the large rated division. My pony likes the rings here and is comfortable. This is my main show place.” Skelton and her other pony, Follow Me earned the Medium Pony Hunter championship. Follow Me also won the $500 Pony Hunter Special.
Rebecca Bruce brought her usual contingent of horses and riders from Sunnybrook Farm in Santa Barbara. Student Brittany Martindale won the PCHA Horsemanship medal, the “B” 12-14 equitation over fences and flat, and was third in the Rosewood Finals. “We were pleased about the Rosewood Finals,” Bruce said. “It takes years of experience to place. We just leased a new horse two weeks before the finals so we had no expectations that they would do so well.” Another student, Gigi Hadid, is leading the Gold Coast series in the Children’s Hunter section with Satori. They were reserve champion by the slimmest of margin. ; “All of our clients enjoy competing at Gold Coast show,” Bruce said. “They have classes for young horses and for kids. It sets them up to be successful.”
Gold Coast 7, the final show in the 2008 Gold Coast Series, takes place October 16-19. For complete results, series standings, and listings of upcoming events check out our web site at http://www.langershows.com
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<a href="http://www.equestrianmag.com/article/golf-coast-summer-09-08.html">Gold Coast 6 Closes Summer With A Bang</a> ~ EquestrianMag.com