New Classes, Top Quality Footing, Esteemed Clinicians, Championships and Sponsors Make Florida Gold Coast Circuit Huge Success

Jan 9, 2014 - 8:35 AM
The $1,000 Hunter Pairs Classic

Tampa, FL – January 9, 2014 – The Florida Gold Coast and Gulf Coast Quarter Horse Circuits came to a close Monday, January 6, 2014 at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center on the Florida State Fairgrounds. The Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit has been met with rave reviews on all fronts, and it comes as no surprise. With brand new footing, some of the country’s best clinicians, generous sponsors and six full days of horse shows, including exciting, newly-introduced classes, the circuit goes above and beyond, offering everything exhibitors could want.


 “It was an excellent horse show,” said Tyson Furlong, of Pople Ridge Farm in New York. “From the office staff to the courses, it was all great. Michael [Morrissey] does a great job running the show. The new footing in the main ring was unbelievable; it was awesome footing to show on.”

Tyson and his family brought six horses from upstate New York down to the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit, and after their enjoyable experience, they are already planning to make the trip again next year.


“We did the hunter divisions, the [Collection Hunter] Classics and the pairs class, which was really cool. It was the first time we’d done anything like that. My son showed in it with a partner, and they actually ended up winning it!”


The pairs class Furlong refers to was one of the newly added – and well received – features of this year Florida Gold Coast and Gulf Coast Quarter Horse Circuits. During the $1,000 Hunter Pairs Classic, riders competed over an individual course, and then riders were called back to jump the course abreast with their chosen partner. The class was sponsored in part by The Collection, a top of the line hunter clothing company who also sponsored the $1,000 Collection Hunter Classic and the $1,000 Collection Non-Pro Hunter Classic. The two hunter classics, held under the lights with an accompanying exhibitor party, were a definite highlight during the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit.


In addition to the class offerings, the Florida Gold Coast Circuit presented exhibitors with the opportunity to participate in free clinics with Missy Clark, Scott Hofstetter and Tim Kimura. For hunt seat riders, Hofstetter, a leading name in the hunter/jumper industry led riders through an over fences clinic, while top equitation trainer, Clark, offered to sessions of equitation over fences instruction. For those riding and competing in trail, world-class trail clinician Kimura returned for the second year in a row to give insight into maneuvering and managing a trail pattern smoothly and effectively.


The classes, clinics and the wonderful Florida weather are what have kept the Becker family of Becker Show Horses coming back to the Florida Gold Coast Circuit for 47 years.


“We’re from up north, so we come down a little prior to the show to stay at the fairgrounds an extra week just for the weather,” explained Jimmy Becker. “It’s a great horse show. The new footing was great…if it rained, you could still ride well in the new footing; it held up really well.”


With another positive experience under their belts, the Beckers plan to be back next year for their forty-eighth year.

The Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit featured six full American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) shows and five days of events including hunters, equitation, AQHA reining, western pleasure, trail riding, driving, showmanship, halter classes, roping and the newest event, ranch pleasure. 

High Point and Reserve Champions from this year’s shows are as follows:


Open Horse:

            High Point – Joanne Garnett and A Sudden Illusion

            Reserve – Terrie Brewer Booth and Blue Sky Serenade


            High Point – Daniel Carlson and Are You Charlie

            Reserve – Hope D’Allessio and Invested in Cookies

Select Amateur:

            High Point – Anne Prince and Don’t Skip My Charlie

            Reserve – Teresa Balkum and Pawn Star

Youth 14-18:

            High Point – Rianna Storey and So Simple So Good

            Reserve – Courtney Elizabeth Allen and Good as Expected

Youth 13 & Under:

            High Point – Alexis Hart and Classic Maneuver

            Reserve – Sydnie Ochs and Zippo Lightair

Novice Amateur:

            High Point – Kayleigh McDonnell and Captive Bees

            Reserve – Cathy Perron-LaPalme and The Best Man

Novice Youth:

            High Point – Holly Elise Scott and As Easy As It Looks

            Reserve – Natalie Vargo and Art Of The Deal


Congratulations to all who competed!


For more information about the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit, please visit


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