Tampa, Florida - It was the last day of hunter competition in the Main Hunter Ring at the Tournament of Champions. The junior hunter divisions concluded during the Tampa Equestrian Festival at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center held at the Florida State Fairgrounds. Winning the Small Junior Hunter division was Taylor Ann Adams and Ann Garnett's horse Raquel. Following for the reserve champion ribbon was Ashley Foster and her horse Sam Adams.
As the day came to a close Hannah Holik won both champion and reserve champion ribbons in the Large Junior 15 & Under Hunters with Tache Rouge and Dominick. Finishing the Junior Hunter divisions was Taylor Ann Adams winning a second championship rosette in the Large Junior 16-17 Hunters with Samantha Schaefer and Garfield following for the reserve championship tricolor.
Raquel and Taylor Ann Adams obtained the championship ribbon in the Small Junior Hunters with blue ribbons in the under saddle class and both over fences classes. The duo also earned a second place ribbon in the stake class and a third place ribbon in the handy hunter class. "The courses felt better today than they did yesterday," noted Adams. "Raquel does better off the left lead and the courses seemed to favor that side for us."
Before this weekend Adams had not had the opportunity to show Raquel. Adams explained, "Raquel has been in our barn for a while now but she has always been shown by the other kids. I was lucky enough this week to get to show her. Our whole barn just loves her."
Raquel's gave a brilliant performance in the Small Junior Hunters to earn the championship prize. Adams commented, "Raquel just tried her little heart out today. It would not matter where she was, she could walk in any ring any day and do well. As a rider you just have to make sure to get out of her way." Adams continued, "She is a girl and she knows how she likes to work, I just think whatever you say princess. She is a great horse and I hope to continue to rider her. I was really proud of Raquel today because she went like a dream boat."
Adams continued her strong performance in the covered arena during the USEF Show Jumping Talent Search. Adams rode her exceptional equitation horse Kassandra. Adams said, "I enjoy the hunter classes but the equitation competition is really my thing. I have a great equitation horse. She is a very versatile horse and even won the Children's Hunters yesterday. She is another horse that can go in any ring on any day and perform well."
Adams enjoys showing mares like Raquel and Kassandra. She explained, "If you get a good mare then you get the best horse you have ever had." Adams is excited to go to finals this year especially for the equitation classes. She thanked Don Stewart for allowing her to ride such great horses and she thanked Megan Edrick for assisting her with Raquel today during the hunter competition.
Winning the reserve championship rosette in the Small Junior Hunters was Ashley Foster and Sam Adams with a first place ribbon in the handy hunter class and stake class, and a second place ribbon in yesterday's over fences class.
Hannah Holik dominated the championship and reserve championships in the Large Junior 15 & Under Hunter division. She won the championship ribbon with her horse Dominick, and the reserve champion ribbon with Czech Mate LLC's Tache Rouge.
Dominick and Holik won the championship rosette with a first place ribbon in today's over fences class, a second place ribbon in the handy hunter class and the stake class, and a third place ribbon in the under saddle class. Tache Rouge and Holik earned the reserve champion tricolor with a first place ribbon in the under saddle and the over fences class, followed by a fourth place in today's over fences class.
Lastly, the Large Junior 16-17 Hunters concluded with Taylor Ann Adams capturing another championship ribbon on Linnea Carver's horse Black Tie Affair while Samantha Schaefer and Garfield were awarded the reserve championship ribbon.
The Tournament of Champions hunter competition finished today at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center at the Florida State Fairgrounds. In the evening the 2010 $200,000 Gene Mische American Invitational hosted by G & C Farm will occur at 7:00 P.M. featuring 28 of the world's best show jumpers. The American Invitational will be held at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL.
For more information about the Tampa Equestrian Festival please visit http://www.stadiumjumping.com.
Photo Credit: Taylor Ann Adams and Raquel win Small Juniors at Tournament of Champions at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center.Photo © 2010 Lindsay Y McCall/PMG.