The weather threatened to cancel yet another Southern California horse show, but in the end the sun came out and Gold Coast 2 (Apr 8-10) turned out to be a fun show. A lot of competitors attended to take full advantage of the opportunity to show with so many area shows being cancelled due to weather.
Carolyn Biava and her group from First Field Farm made good use of this show, and with 17 horses they took home five championships, three reserve championships, and numerous ribbons of every color, including their fair share of blue. They earned their prizes in everything from Leadline to 3'6" hunter classes and 1.20m Jumpers and many levels in between. Even with their packed schedule, Carolyn and her assistant Janet MacDonald were able to keep all the horses and riders going in the various rings without stress.
The mother/daughter team of Kimberly and Amy Stubblefield shared the ride on Godot (Jenny Matthews, owner), with Kimberly winning all of her classes and the championship in the "B" Rusty Stirrup classes and Amy earning two blues and a red and the tri-color in "B" Long Stirrup section. "We are sharing Dudley (Godot) because my daughter's horse is not as big a fan of jumping as we are," Kimberly explained. "We are leasing Dudley, whose owner is off at medical school, because we did not want to purchase another horse at this time. My daughter rides in the Green Rider/Long Stirrup because she has only been showing a short time. It has been about 15 years since I've done much showing, so I played it safe by doing Rusty Stirrup. We are both really happy with the results and with Dudley; this was only his third show, and he carried us around like a trooper. We are looking forward to the May show!" Mia Jones also raked in some blues of her own in the "B" Walk Trot.
"I like the fact that it has a good variety of classes for all my riders," Carolyn shared. "It's good for the little beginners to watch the older girls doing the 3'6" classes and medals. It's also nice that you know what to expect every time you go, and the horses get used to facility. I really like bringing young horses, especially with the current format, because they get to show in the East Ring, which is smaller, on Friday, and the Large Oval on Sunday, which is good for the development of young horses just starting out showing."
The format is good for riders just starting out or coming back from a hiatus as well. Lisa Marlowe-Carr hadn't shown in several years before Gold Coast 2, but she jumped right back into the action and won four out of five "B" Adult Amateur classes aboard Sonadora (Kasha Muzila, owner), a horse she leases. Sonadora also went in the 3'6" classes with Kasha and was reserve champion in the Amateur Owner Hunters 18 & Over. "Lisa was so excited," Carolyn recalled. "She had no idea she could be that successful the first time out. She was thrilled beyond belief."
Trainer Judy Nielson of Aspen Hill Farm in Henderson, Nevada, was thrilled with the results in her barn after she coached several riders to top prizes in the jumper ring and earned a few herself. She rode Orion CWF (Elizabeth Tesarski, owner) to wins in all of his classes, from 1.00m to 1.20m Jumpers. "He's fast," Judy commented. "He's like driving a Ferrari. He's a lot of fun, and there's almost nothing you can't do on him."
Elizabeth was very happy with her horse's performance, particularly about him winning all of his classes. "It was the first time I've ever had that happen with a horse I own," she remarked. "I bought him unbroke as a three-year-old as an investment, and he's been doing great. I like to buy young horses to sell. Judy trains them, and I 'amateurize' them. They do well with her, and we get some help from Dan Silverstone." Orion is nominated for the International Jumping Futurity and will work toward qualifying for this year's championships for six-year-olds.
Judy was also pleased with Landcircus (Ken Rosevear, owner), not only because he won two of his classes with Judy in the irons, but because it was the first time she has shown at the 1.30m height. "I'm having the best time riding this horse," she said. "I've never had a horse special enough to jump this high before, so it was a special show for me."
Also under Judy's tutelage, Mikaela Dailey moved up to the Modified Junior-Amateur Jumpers with her Lex Parker and won a class in that section as well as one in the Children's Jumpers.
"We've always enjoyed the Gold Coast shows because they're three days," Judy added. "My clients can go without taking so many days off work or school, and we don't have to worry about braiding. It's a nice show that's smaller but still has a good level of competition. We love it because it's the same rings, designers and jumps as we'll get at the AA shows, but they're a little more accessible for every client. It's really a fun show, and my clients love going there."
Carleton Brooks found the show to be a good choice for the horses he rode for his wife and boss, Tracy Barman. He won two classes and the 3'6" Performance Hunters championship with Headlines (Jenny Van Konynenburg, owner), and he rode Portafina in her first show in the Pre-green Hunters to two firsts and the championship. After Dark (Copernicus Stables LLC, owner), Lion's Share (Kaitlyn Van Konynenburg, owner), and Tiger (Ruby Stevens, owner) all earned ribbons as well. "I'm proud of them all," Carleton reported. "For the goals we have in mind, they're all right on track. The Gold Coast shows fit well into our program right now, and I think having Peter Grant for the course designer was a huge step up for the horse shows. The office management is great, the jumps are good, and there are always strong competitors."
Nancy Frost and Summer's Golden Light (China Blue Farm, owner) did well in the Green Working Hunters, winning one class and placing second in the others, and Maggie Bass took over for the Children's Hunter classes and earned several blues.
"Summer was bred by China Blue Farm and sired by All The Gold," Nancy explained. "We've brought her along, and Maggie's leasing her. They had a fabulous show in the Children's Hunters and medals, and Maggie is working toward the Modified Junior Hunters and eventually Junior Hunters. They have had a wonderful career to date and won many championships. Maggie is very dedicated and a very hard worker."
Fourteen-year-old Maggie has been riding Summer for about a year and a half, and she was pleased with her performance as well. "I felt I did well. I love riding Summer, because she's a lot of fun to ride and makes me feel good about myself."
Nancy's student Emma Guevara just started jumping in shows this year, and Gold Coast 2 was her third show. She did very well with China Blue Touch Of Frost (China Blue Farm, owner), placing in the top five in most of her classes. Her sister Hannah and Nosey Ned (Jenni Martin-Mcallister, owner) moved up to Restricted Hunters and won a class and placed in several others. "We had a great show," Nancy added. "I'm very proud of all my girls."
In the Pony ring, Dorothy Rose Kaufman (Ginny Plancke, trainer) did well on all three ponies that she rode. She won one class with her Carmello, three with her small pony Rosmel's Millenium, and earned three more blues and the Medium & Large Pony Hunters reserve championship with the medium pony Truly Noble (Pegasus Show Stable, Inc., owner). She also piloted Truly Noble to the win in the Equisport/USEF Pony Medal class.
"Dorothy Rose is the kind of rider who just can't get enough," Ginny explained. "She's taken to it like a duck to water, and she's very dedicated to her horses and to improving her riding. The Gold Coast shows are a wonderful opportunity for her to hone the skill of performing and working on the showmanship side of showing. She gets to work on the finesse aspects, because we're showing close to home where it's more relaxed for the kids and the ponies. There are a lot of familiar faces they know, so they can relax, settle down, and give their riding some thought." Dorothy Rose, who recently celebrated her twelfth birthday, has been riding with Ginny for four years.
Ginny's students range from age six to 66, and she found classes for all of them at Gold Coast. Clara Plestis earned some ribbons in all three rings on her new horse Code Of Honor, Gabriela Barsocchini won the .90M Jumpers in her first show with Formal Affair (Julie Manakas, owner), and Rudy Corbett, who is in her mid 60s, earned some ribbons in the .80M Jumpers with her Troy.
"It's really nice that when there are two classes back to back that are close in height, because the courses stay the same," Ginny added. "It gives riders who need the practice a chance to do it a second time without having to memorize a second course. It's really great experience for jumper riders and helps them develop."
Mark Watring took a break from the grand prix ring to bring some riders to the show, including his son, Stone, for his first show. Stone showed his pony Skittles in the Walk Trot classes and was champion in the Academy section and reserve champion in the Opportunity section. "It was about as exciting as going clear in a grand prix," Mark shared. "It was so exciting to see him out there. He's been riding once a week since the beginning of the year, and it was sporadic before that, but he's really into it now and wants to do another show. It was fun coaching him, because he actually liked taking direction from me. Sometimes that's tricky with your own family, but he likes it when I help him."
With classes ranging from Leadline to 1.35M Jumpers, there are plenty of classes for all types of riders at the Gold Coast shows.
For more information on Gold Coast 2, including complete results, visit http://langershows.com/laec/show_details.php?show_id=183.
With the first show cancelled due to the rain, With the cancellation of Gold Coast 1, the 2011 LEGIS Gold Coast Series will have six shows instead of seven. The next one will take place May 20-22 with Gold Coast 3. Meanwhile, Southern California riders will head to Hansen Dam May 14-15 for Verdugo Hills 4. The Northern California show season will get started April 28-May 1 with the Woodside Spring Preview, and in Colorado, the jumping excitement will kick into gear May 12-15 for the High Prairie Spring Preview.
Photos: Carleton Brooks and Headlines head the pack in the 3'6" Performance Hunters. Photo: Flying Horse Photography
Stone Watring earns tri-colors his first time out. Photo: Flying Horse Photography