Olympians and Amateurs Benefit from Citrus Series Format

Friday, February 21, 2014
Posted by Carrie Wirth for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International


 Darragh Kerrins and Emir / Photo by Carrie Wirth
Darragh Kerrins and Emir / Photo by Carrie Wirth
Wellington, FL - February 20, 2014 - Citrus Series Horse Shows at Jim Brandon Equestrian Center at Okeeheelee Park provide the perfect setting for trainers to bring their developing horses for an easy-going outing and for amateurs to gain confidence over both hunter and jumper courses. The second Tuesday afternoon show was held on February 18 and was attended by horses and riders from a wide range of levels and abilities, all who benefited from the unique format.

Lynn Caristo Forgione brought her student Robert Matz and Wise Guy to compete in the .80m-.85m jumpers. Matz is the son of Michael and Dee Dee Matz. Michael Matz is one of the country's most beloved and successful equestrians. He represented the U.S. at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal and won the Gold Medal at the 1979 Pan American Games and won countless grand prix events.

"We were very pleased with the facilities and we were very pleased with how he rode," said the elder Matz. "His pony was one that my wife got and both his older brother and his older sister rode. Now he's the third rider and he's doing his job."

Robert Matz and Wise Guy / Photo by Ann Glavan
Robert Matz and Wise Guy / Photo by Ann Glavan
Carina Peterson from North Brookfield, Mass brought her 8-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, Believe in Miracles, to Citrus Series for some show ring experience in the 1.0m jumpers.

"This is his second outing in Florida," said Peterson of her horse, ridden by trainer Kalie Butcher. "I love the show grounds, it is good for him to get out and get experience. We'll be back on Saturday."

Top international riders like Darragh Kerrins and Maarten Huygens returned to Citrus Series the show to put some rounds in on their up-and-coming jumpers. 

The unrated show was developed by trainer and Wellington Quarantine owner James Lala.

Dee Dee Michael and Robert Matz with Wise Guy / Photo by Carrie Wirth
Dee Dee Michael and Robert Matz with Wise Guy / Photo by Carrie Wirth
In response to the requests he has heard from trainers, owners and riders over the years.  Citrus Series offers options for warm-ups and do-overs so that riders can accomplish a great deal in one ridiculously affordable show outing.It is the perfect way to prepare developing horses and riders for the bigger, AA circuits, like WEF.

Citrus Series returns on Saturday, Feb 22 for hunter, jumper and equitation classes and is adding two Tuesdays next month on March 11 and March 18.

About Citrus Series Horse Shows
The unique features of the show are designed to help trainers, developing horses and riders achieve their goals affordably. Professionals and adults may ride ponies. If time permits, competitors can do do-overs to make sure the horse and rider leave the ring with a positive learning experience. A user-friendly class schedule and sale horse identifiers provide an opportunity to market sale horses.

 Maarten Huygens and Knockout / Photo by Carrie Wirth
Maarten Huygens and Knockout / Photo by Carrie Wirth
Owners, breeders, riders, trainers and their assistants are encouraged to bring their up-and- coming horses and riders to come experience Citrus Series, at Jim Brandon Equestrian Center. Okeeheelee Park is a close, convenient high-quality facility. Jim Brandon Equestrian Center is located just three miles /five minutes from the intersection of 441 and Forest Hill Boulevard.

For entries rates go to: or call  (561) 906-6668.
Click here for the Saturday Schedule.

For more about the Citrus Series go to:  

2014 Citrus Series Fast Facts:

What:  New high-quality horse show series especially for developing horses and riders.
Jim Brandon Equestrian Center at Okeeheelee Park
7500 Forest Hill Boulevard
West Palm Beach, FL 33413 

Saturday, Feb 22, 2014- Hunters, Jumpers & Equitation 

Tuesday, March 11 and March 18, 2014 - Hunters & Jumpers in the Afternoon and After Dark Under the Lights.