Wellington, FL - February 25, 2014 - Saturday was a perfect day to show at the new Citrus Series at Jim Brandon Equestrian Center at Okeeheelee Park. The show series, managed by James Lala and his Lala Land Productions, is growing in popularity as trainers and riders discover the ideal setting that the series management creates, especially for developing horses and riders looking for mileage or confidence over hunter, jumper and equitation courses.
"The hunter, jumper and equitation courses are set and available at each height, at the same time," said Lala. "The classes at the same height may be ridden in any order. Another feature of the format is that trainers may hop on and ride in a warm-up if their student is having difficulties. Then the student can get back in the ring. I have yet to see a rider leave without a sense of accomplishment and improvement."
An additional feature of the show includes the option for do-overs.
"When do you get the chance at a show to compete with the option to return over the same course, same height and same conditions?" asked Lala. "I am really pleased that we seeing all levels of riders and horses at Citrus Series. For example, just this week we had some Olympians and international grand prix riders alongside older adult riders showing for the first time.It is the perfect way to prepare developing horses and riders for the bigger, AA circuits, like WEF."
Courtney Swan trains at Delray Equestrian Center and brought nine horses and 10 riders to show at Citrus Series. "The staff was great and James is awesome!" said Swan. "The courses were well put together, nice flowers - very colorful. We like that!"
Swan's clients racked up ribbons and gained experience at Citrus Series. "Not everyone can do WEF," explained Swan. "Citrus Series provides an option to get people out of the barn so they can show. They had a blast!"
Steve and Heidi Lengyel's Wall Street Farm was well-represented at the show. Jocelyn Morrero and Indigo swept the 2'3" equitation division and Hannah Bentz and Alexandra Malys earned respectable ribbons and invaluable experience from the show.
"I think what James is doing is a very good thing, especially in the wintertime, because it gives the kids a place to show at a quality facility where they have a chance to improve and move forward," said Steve Lengyel. "Not everybody is ready to show at WEF and it gives them an affordable alternative for show-quality jumps and courses. I think it is a great idea. Everyone is nice and goes out of their way to make sure everyone has a good time. It is a show about exhibitors and for exhibitors versus show management."
Trainer Courtney Yecker brought a number of clients to compete at Citrus Series, including two students moving up, one with a new horse. Both will show at WEF but Citrus Series served as a the perfect venue to get their feet wet at the new height and division. Yecker also brought an over-60 rider that just started jumping and another student who flew in for the weekend to show.
"It is super organized," said Yecker. "The jumps are fantastic. The ring and the upkeep of the schooling area was really nice and the courses were amazing." Her clients responded well to the atmosphere at Citrus Series. "They rode wonderfully," Yecker said of her clients.
"Citrus Series is offering a less expensive, quality show to compliment the top-notch competition that already exists in Wellington," Lala said. "When the word gets out it will mean more horses and more business for Wellington and the larger shows. It is a win-win!"
Citrus Series returns on Tuesday, March 11 and 18 for hunters and jumpers and on Saturday, March 22 for hunters, jumpers and equitation.
To order photos from Saturday's show, visit: http://www.kfamphotography.com/