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Laura Pfeiffer Tops Equitation Classes at Tampa Equestrian Festival's Suncoast Internationale

Tampa, FL - March 20, 2009 - It was another gorgeous day as the 2009 Tampa Equestrian Festival's Suncoast Internationale kicked off its third 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.

The ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship Medal and Pessoa USEF Hunter Seat Medal were held this afternoon in the covered ring with both wins going to Laura Pfeiffer. Laura Pfeiffer rides out of her family's Fox Meadow Farm in Temperance, MI, and trains with her aunt, Polly Howard. She is 16 years old and competes as a junior in the equitation, hunter and jumper divisions.

Pfeiffer rode an eight year-old mare named Cassay to the wins in both the equitation medal classes today. Cassay is owned by Fox Meadow Farm and was purchased for Pfeiffer last summer.

"She is coming along; she hasn't really done the equitation yet, so we are just training her and she is definitely learning a lot," Pfeiffer explained after her wins. "She has been great."

At just 16 years old Pfeiffer has already competed at most of the top horse shows in the country, but the young rider has a special fondness for the Tampa Equestrian Festival. "I love this show," she stated. "I look forward to it every year."

Pfeiffer showed Cassay in the ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship Medal first this afternoon, completing the course over fences and riding under saddle as the judges determined who would receive top honors. After the flat portion of the class it was Pfeiffer who won the blue ribbon, with Lauren Baylor of St. Petersburg, FL, placing second. Caroline Carr of Ocala, FL, came in third place, and Chelsey Zulia of Canada placed fourth.

The riders immediately moved on to show over fences for the Pessoa USEF Hunter Seat Medal. After competing over fences the top four were called back to test for the top ribbons. All four riders executed the test skillfully, but it was Laura Pfeiffer who came out on top for the blue ribbon and top honors. Molly Braswell of Ocala, FL, placed second. Shawn Casady of Ocala, FL placed third, and Chelsey Zulia of Canada placed fourth.

Earlier in the day the Ariat National Adult Medal was held, with Courtney Rodrigue of Longwood, FL taking top honors aboard her horse Role Model. Lisa Hunt of Marshall, VA rode her horse Wyona to second place honors and Lori Ahearn of Palm Harbor, FL, rode The Flying Dutchman to third place. Karen Jones of Tampa, FL placed fourth.

The 2009 Tampa Equestrian Festival's Suncoast Internationale week will continue through March 22 and will be followed by the Tampa Bay Classic CSI 3*-W on March 25-29, and 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: Laura Pfeiffer of Temperance, MI, rode Cassay to win both the ASPCA Horsemanship Medal and Pessoa USEF Hunter Seat Medal classes 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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