Tampa, Fla. – Dec. 27, 2021 – Beautiful weather and top showing conditions greeted the nation’s best Quarter horses and riders on the opening day of the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit Monday. Showcasing two “in-hand” divisions at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center, the first day of the five-day event featured classes in showmanship and halter at the Florida State Fairgrounds.
The Gold Coast is considered a significant stop in the Quarter Horse Circuit. Under the direction and show management services of An Equine Production, the Florida Gold Coast Horse Circuit was awarded the coveted distinction of top American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) quarter horse show in 2020. This renowned event continually attracts competitors from across the country to vie for coveted circuit awards and valuable year-end points.
One of the competitors traveling from coast-to-coast was Kyla Jackson. The 17-year-old trekked all the way from Vacaville, California to claim the circuit award championship in L3 14-18 Showmanship at Halter with her horse Cadillac In Black. It was her first time competing at the Gold Coast and her mother, Maureen, appreciated her dedication. It took all day to make it to the Sunshine State arriving just a few hours before her class.
Another first-time competitor, Penni Himes, captured two circuit awards. After watching her daughters Grace and Isabella ride in the Gold Coast for the last four years, Penni felt it was finally time for her to take a turn in the arena. The Bristol, Indiana resident was named circuit award champion in both the L1 Novice Amateur Showmanship and the L2 Select Showmanship with Grace’s 10-year-old gelding Essentially Good.
Day two of the Florida Gold Coast Horse Circuit continues Tuesday, December 28, with the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) and National Snaffle Bit Association (NSBA) hunter, jumper, pleasure, horsemanship, trail, and ranch horse classes.
The Florida Gold Coast Horse Circuit can be viewed live daily at https://www.flgoldcoastcircuit.com/
For additional information on the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit, please visit flgoldcoastcircuit.com.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Kyla Jackson & Cadillac In Black (Vacaville, California)
Circuit Winner: Level 3, 14-18 Showmanship
On coming to the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit Horse Show:
“One of my friends in my barn told me about this show and it looked super cool, so I have always wanted to compete here. Now that I am finally here. It’s really great and a lot of fun.”
“Hearing that I won the circuit award was very exciting. I was a little surprised because we have always done decently, but this award proves that we are improving, which is really great. My favorite part in the class is doing the two-and-a-quarter turn because that is a strong point for Caddy.”
On Cadillac In Black:
“I have had Caddy for about four years now. He has a very big personality. He is very sweet but sensitive. He likes things a certain way, but he is good in all his events. We will be competing in trail and horsemanship in addition to showmanship.”
On coming to the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit Horse Show with daughter Kyla:
“It’s been a great year for Kyla. We started training with Bruce Vickery and he has given us a lot of opportunities to compete at new and different shows. I love this one. The weather is perfect, and the conditions are ideal.”
On Kyla winning:
“I was thrilled with Kyla’s win. We traveled all day yesterday and with the time change we were pretty tired this morning. I was happy that she was able to do as well as she did.”
Penni Himes & Essentially Good (Bristol, Indiana)
Circuit Winner: L1 Novice Amateur Showmanship and L2 Select Showmanship
On finally competing in Showmanship:
“I guess I thought it was my turn. [Essentially Good] is my daughter Grace’s horse. She is in college right now riding for the University of Georgia and she doesn’t have a lot of time to ride ‘Rico’. So, I decided to give him a spin. My daughter is so awesome sharing her horse with me.”
“I was very happy with how Rico went. He gave me a really good go. I am very, very happy to win and a little surprised.”
On Essentially Good:
“He is the sweetest horse, but very busy-minded. He has an enormous personality and is such a big, lovable goofball. We love him.”
On coming to the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit Show:
“I love this show. We have been coming here for the last four years. They do such a great job. It is a really nice run event and it’s big! I am from Indiana, so this is a beautiful getaway.”