The Jubilee of Breeds Horse Show, held at the Canterbury Showplace in Newberry, Florida, recently hosted the Florida FFA Middle School Judging Contest, which became a great opportunity to introduce newcomers to the American Saddlebred.
Held February 3-5, Jubilee of Breeds offers classes for Saddlebreds and Morgans as well as a number of open classes. The judging contest took place on the Saturday of the show.
“It turned into something special by accident,” said show manager Alicia Davis. “The FFA State of Florida coordinator was looking for some horses to participate in their judging contest for Middle School FFA members. It happened to be the Saturday of Jubilee of Breeds.”
After exchanging a few emails and discussing it with Canterbury Showplace manager Ellen Ettenger, they decided to ask the exhibitors if they would mind presenting their horses in an in hand class for the FFA members. But they had no idea of the magnitude of the event.
“Ellen and I both were under the impression this was a local contest to prepare for state,” Davis said. “Come to find out it was the State of Florida FFA Middle School Judging Contest!”
The FFA wanted to hold four classes of four horses each, and had arranged for a group of Quarter Horses and warmbloods to participate. The Jubilee Of Breeds exhibitors provided the rest of the horses.
“Our exhibitors answered the call with four Saddlebreds provided by Bill Dooley, Kathryn Rodosky, and Rick Davis,” Davis said. “Rick Davis also provided four Morgans for a class, and Eugene Sweeny showed his Friesian with the warmbloods.”
The event was an impressive sight. More than 200 FFA members from all over the state stretched in two lines across the ring, and the horses modeled in between them.
“The kids were thrilled with the beauty of our horses,” Davis said. “Ninety-nine percent of these kids had never seen a Saddlebred, Morgan, or Friesian. The horses and handlers were wonderful ambassadors of our breed!”