Tampa, Fla. – Dec. 30, 2017 – The Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit is renowned for attracting the nation’s top Quarter Horses to the Florida State Fairgrounds. However, the four-day event, held at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center, showcases divisions for all ages and levels. Novice level classes through professional level are offered for riders as young as 4 years old in the leadline to the Select divisions for competitors 50 years and over.
One of this year’s young riders is 7-year-old Rebecca ‘Shayne’ Gilliam riding 30-year-old Motion By Pro. Gilliam started riding just six weeks ago and already racked up a circuit award in Small Fry Showmanship. In the Select Working Hunter division, Megan Selvaggio won a circuit award on her horse, Elite Iron. Selvaggio has only been in the saddle for a little more than a year and the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit was her first major show. Angela Wade has been coming to this event for more than a decade. This year, she competed to an Amateur Trail circuit win on her 4-year-old mare, A Soxy Dream.
Saturday’s schedule featured Western classes in horsemanship, trail and pleasure, while English classes included working hunter, jumping and equitation.
The Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit culminates on Sunday with classes in equitation, undersaddle, driving and Western riding. The final day will also include presentations for high-point champions and additional circuit award winners.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Rebecca ‘Shayne’ Gilliam (Greensburg, Indiana) and Motion By Pro – Small Fry Showmanship circuit champion
On riding Motion By Pro:
“[Motion By Pro] is very smooth to ride. He’s fun. He is so good in equitation. He is really cool and is a really good boy. I like to ride him.”
Jason Gilliam – Shayne’s father
On Motion By Pro:
“He is a very special horse. He is a world champion, reserve world champion and [All American Quarter Horse Congress] champion. We got him when he was 19 years old and he’s 30 now. He still loves his job, which makes him even more special. We retired him and then Shayne needed a horse to show. He’s the perfect horse for her to learn on so now he’s back to showing again. He’s always been a great horse.”
Megan Selvaggio (Palm City, Florida) and Elite Iron – Select Working Hunter circuit champion
On her goal to compete at the 2017 Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit:
“I had no background in riding at all. I started riding my daughter, Francesca’s, horse last September and had a goal to ride at this show. I always came with her and really wanted to compete here myself. So I started riding steadily, showing at the smaller shows, in preparation for the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit. This was my first big show and I won circuit champion in Select Working Hunter! It’s so exciting! I am having a blast here. I feel like a kid!”
On Elite Iron:
“My horse is amazing. She takes such good care of me. She lets me mess up and just keeps going. She taught me how to jump. She has such a good disposition, is very sweet and gets along with everybody.”
Angela Wade (Wellington, Florida) and A Soxy Dream – Amateur Trail circuit champion
On coming to the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit:
“I love it here. I’ve been coming here since I was a little kid — probably since I was 12 years old, and I’m 26 now. I like coming here because it is the only time we get to be at a big show that’s close to home so that’s pretty exciting. When the weather is nice, there is no place better to be. It’s a great show.”
On A Soxy Dream:
“She hasn’t been shown since the [AQHA World Championship Show] and she is only 4 so I was expecting that we might have some catching up to do, but she was great. I thought the courses were challenging. They weren’t easy, but it worked out. She was a really good girl. For a 4-year-old she’s come really far and was a dream to ride.”
On the circuit win:
“It’s great to close out the year with such a nice win. It’s a really great group of horses that come down here. I am very proud of her and proud of myself!”
Competition at the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit continues through Sunday, Dec. 31. Find out more about the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit or tune in to the free livestream, sponsored by The Equine Chronicle, at www.flgoldcoastcircuit.com.