Welsh—A Driving Force At The Florida Events
RELEASE: April 24, 2008
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Brian Sosby
Sterling Graburn of Florida had already secured the top FEI Single Horse spot on the U.S. team for the World Singles Driving Championships in Poland on August 28-31 with a victory at Sunshine State CDE in February. Naturally he hoped for another win at the prestigious CAI Live Oak on March 27-30, one of only two internationally ranked competitions in the United States. After a ninth in dressage, that outcome was doubtful. A win in the marathon boosted Sterling's standing, but even so he was trailing his girlfriend, Wendy Ying. It wasn't until a fast accurate cones win on the last day that the victory was assured—and then by only 1.72 points. Sterling scored 132.82 with CS Dante of Earl while Wendy had 134.54 with the black-hand look-alike brother, CS Duke of Earl. These two are "Born in the USA" by North Forks Black Earl, a Welsh cob stallion in Oregon, from sisters of Arabian and Paint background.
Kate Shields topped the Intermediate Single Horse with her Hastening Winslow, this victory all the more sweet as she herself had raised this Section D Welsh cob at her farm in Middleburg, VA. Kate was first in dressage and second in both the marathon and cones for a total of 113.92. This Live Oak victory was preceded by a win at Sunshine State with a score of 105.15.
Sharing a glass of champagne after their Intermediate Single Pony win of 130.39 were the intrepid pair, Sybil Humphreys of Virginia and her *Cefnoakpark Bouncer, a Welsh cob she had imported back in 2000. Bouncer added yet another top honor to his resume when he was selected for the Hanzi Award presented by Live Oak host, Chester Weber, in honor of his old favorite.
"All I wanted was another chair," Sybil explained. "We'd been second at Sunshine State CDE and Black Prong HDT. I was totally flabbergasted to receive this most prestigious award for the best horse or pony as selected by the judges and committee. We got a huge neck ribbon and rosette and I got to fly around the cones course! It showed people I can still drive!" Sybil is 65 years young.
Taking time out from her studies at Savannah College of Arts and Design, Meghan Benge of North Carolina and Rupert, a Welsh cob cross, won cones and were second in FEI Single Pony at Black Prong (155.03), then placed sixth at Live Oak (169.92).
Well-known PA auctioneer, Paul Martin with his Welsh Section C cobs, was second at Live Oak in Intermediate Pair Pony with 146.09 after a second in dressage and a win in cones.
In the FEI Pony Teams at Live Oak, Boots Wright of Florida won the dressage and was second in the marathon and cones for a 154.22, good for second place. Boots and her four-in-hand of Welsh (Blunder and Oaks Prys) and German Riding ponies, had previously won Advanced Multiples at Nature Coast (147.67), Sunshine State (154.34), and Black Prong (140.58). Elizabeth Keathley of Tennessee and her four of domestic and imported Welsh was second at Sunshine State (154.34) and third at Live Oak (171.16) after a first in cones.
Hats-off to Katie Whaley of North Carolina with her striking team of black Section B Welsh—Spats, Cufflinks, Tux, and Cruise, plus a white Dartmoor—who were third at Sunshine State with a 188.68 and fourth at Live Oak with a 175.03. Katie's mom, Kate Sr., was the Ladies Division Champion at the Austin Park Carriage Show with another Welsh pony, Cummerbund.
Also competing a four at Austin Park was Claire Reid of North Carolina who was named Reserve Coaching Champion with her Section A Welsh, Westwood Debonair, Legionaire, Southern Belle and *Menai Silver Miss Meg. They also won the Preliminary Pairs division at Black Prong HDT with a 201.83.
Winning Gold Champion Single Pony at Austin Park and also named Champion Single Pony and Florida State Driving Champion for their performance at Florida State Fair were Bob Giles with Jean White's fancy Section C cob, Lascaux Ginko, a.k.a. Wilson, bred in Washington State, sired by *Pops