All Ages from Across the Country Travel to Compete in Record Breaking Events at Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit

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Tampa, Fla. – Dec. 29, 2020 – Hundreds of top-level riders traveled thousands of hours to the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit to take part in the record-breaking event. Entries increased in record numbers with riders of all ages traveling from all coasts to compete. Some made the trip to the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center for the first time, while others have been competing at the renowned event for decades.

Seven-time World Champion athlete Laurel Champlin journeyed from Pilot Point, Texas to the Gold Coast for the first time in four years and is thrilled to be back. Champlin swept the top spot aboard Look N Hott on all three judges’ cards in the massive Amateur Select Hunt Seat Equitation class. The class is always a favorite of hers, and after Champlin’s performance Tuesday, it is doubtful that will change.

Laurel Champlin (Pilot Point, Texas) and Look N Hott, Photo by Cody Parmenter Photography

Appealing to even the youngest competitors, 10-year-old Cole Gouthro has been coming to the Fairgrounds since he was born. Gouthro hailed from Staunton, Virginia and placed in the top three aboard his mount Doya Think Im Flashy in all his classes. Gouthro’s father, Matt Gouthro, acts as coach when he is not competing in ranch riding. Father and son have a friendly contest at the shows, and so far this year it is a tie!

Cole Gouthro (Staunton, Virginia) and Doya Think Im Flashy, Photo by Cody Parmenter Photography

The mother-daughter team of Tammy and Maggie Sever drove nearly 17 hours to participate in the Gold Coast. They have been planning on attending for years, finally making the decision to spend the holidays with their horse show family in Florida. Maggie Sever will take part throughout the week in the western all-around classes and has already placed in showmanship and western riding aboard The Best Rain Yet.

Maggie Sever (Hebron, Indiana) and The Best Rain Yet, Photo by Cody Parmenter Photography

Quarter horse trainer Melissa Shetler enjoys the balmy weather, beautiful facility, and level of competition in her inaugural visit to the Gold Coast event. The Saegertown, Pennsylvania resident has already placed in a trail class riding Be All Righteous, and is looking forward to more of the same in the two remaining days of the show.

Competition at the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit continues Wednesday, Dec. 30, with AQHA, APHA and NSBA hunter, equitation, pleasure, horsemanship and trail classes.

Melissa Shetler (Saegertown, Pennsylvania) and Be All Righteous, Photo by Cody Parmenter Photography

The Gold Coast will be streamed daily. To watch live, click here.

FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE

Laurel Champlin (Pilot Point, Texas) and Look N Hott
Winner in Amateur Select Hunt Seat Equitation

On competing at the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit:
“I am very excited to be here. I came to this show about four years ago and this is the first year I was able to get back. They do the English divisions here like no other show. We don’t get a show like this one for the hunters anywhere else. The staff is great, they give us a lot of opportunity to practice and the weather is great. I just love it here.”

On world champion titles:
“I was World Champion Equitation Rider four times, and I won the world title seven times in equitation and hunter under saddle. My horse has won ten world titles.”

On winning the Amateur Select Hunt Seat class out of 28 entries:
“It was fabulous to win such a big class. I have been doing the select for more than 10 years and to unanimously win the class was great. The class is getting harder because there are some young kids coming up. My trainer Ryan Painter has been wonderful with my horse. He loves him as much as I do. It couldn’t be better.”

Cole Gouthro, 10, (Stanton, Virginia) and Doya Think Im Flashy
Winner on one judges card & top 3 combined in Ranch Riding & Trail

On competing at the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit:
“I like it here. I have been coming here every year since I was born and I have been riding every year since I was born. My favorite part of riding is showing in the ranch classes. My dad teaches me, and sometimes my dad and I have a contest to see who wins. It’s fun.”

On Doya Think Im Flashy:
“I have been riding Flashy for three years. He is really easy to ride and is very comfortable.”

Maggie Sever, 17, (Hebron, Indiana) and The Best Rain Yet
Placed in Showmanship 14-18 and L1 Youth Western Riding

On coming to the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit for the first time:
“It’s beautiful here, great weather. It’s really nice to spend the holidays with your horse show family. I’m really glad we came.”

On The Best Rain Yet:
“He’s a character and he loves everybody. He can be tricky to ride though. Some days he’s good, but some days he doesn’t want to do what he is supposed to do, and he will let you know. He is just a big goofball. He’s been coming along really well. We have been really pleased with how he has been doing so far.”

Tammy Sever (Hebron, Indiana)

On competing at the Gold Coast:
“It is our first time here, but it won’t be our last. We decided It was just the right year for it. We were ready to step up to the next level, so here we are! We traveled about 17 hours to come here and it was worth it.”

Melissa Shetler, (Saegertown, Pennsylvania) and Be All Righteous
Placed in Level 1 Trail

On coming to the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit for the first time:
“We talked about coming to this show in the past, but we were never able to make it.This year it worked out for everyone to come down and it’s great. It’s a super show. It’s such a great facility and the weather has been great; much better than in Pennsylvania! My customers have been doing well here. We have a few new horses showing, so we have had some good rides as well as a couple of learning moments, but it’s been a good show.”

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