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Press Release


R Mable KZ and Michelle Spadone, winners of the High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers at the Tampa Equestrian Festival.

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R Mable KZ and Michelle Spadone Are Tops in High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers at Tampa Equestrian Festival

Written by: Jennifer Wood
Client: Morrissey Management Group (MMG)
Release Date: 2008-04-03

Tampa, FL - April 3, 2008 - The schedule in the covered ring today at the Tournament of Champions, the third and final week of the Tampa Equestrian Festival, was a full one. Competition at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center continues through Saturday, April 5. Open jumpers were at the top of the morning, while the junior/amateur-owner jumpers went in the early afternoon. The winner of today’s High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper class was Michelle Spadone of Califon, NJ, on her horse R Mable KZ.

Spadone and R Mable KZ were one of only three combinations to advance to the jump-off in today’s class, which was designed by Philip J. DeVita of Apopka, FL. “I thought it was difficult. It walked nice, but everything came up so fast,” Spadone said. “Everything was off of a short turn and it rode loose and forward.”

The early class leader was Cara Cheska on Game Twist. They set the jump-off time to beat at 32.950 seconds as the first horse in the class.

It took another 10 horses before Spadone and her 14-year-old Warmblood mare would advance to the jump-off. They put in a clean round and stopped the timers just ahead of Cheska’s time in 32.495 seconds.

Spadone felt that she might have been neater to jumps 11 to 12, but their close times did not reflect a major point in the course where Spadone pulled ahead. “I watched Cara go. She went first, and she was fast. She was really, really good. Maybe to fence 11 to 12, we were neat back to the last two jumps. I don’t know; two-tenths of a second is basically the same. It could have been less time in the air or anything,” she said.

Cheska put in another challenging jump-off time as the last horse in the ring on Poleander, but they were just off the mark in 32.688 seconds and had to settle for second place.

Spadone was happy with her mare’s performance today, despite feeling that her horse was “a little tired in the schooling area.” But, she said, “As soon as she went in the ring, she woke up and was back to her normal wild self!”

Spadone has shown “Mable” for six years and although they have competed in the open jumpers and in the grand prix, she feels that the horse is more comfortable in the amateur division. They won last year’s Show Jumping Hall of Fame Classic in Tampa and will try to repeat their victory again this year.

Tomorrow’s jumper action includes a 1.40m Jumper Classic and classes for junior/amateur-owner, children’s/adult, and pony jumpers.

The highlight of the Tampa Equestrian Festival, the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational, is just two days away. It will be held at the Raymond James Stadium on Saturday, April 5, at 7 p.m. Don’t forget to buy your tickets early and save money!

Tickets for the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational are still available. Advance ticket prices are $25 in the white section, $35 in the blue section, and $40 in the red section. An Advance Family 4-pack is available for $70 in the white section and $125 in the blue section (Prices higher day of show: $30, $40, $45, $85, $140). Group prices for 20 or more people are available with advance purchase only. They are $17 each in the white section and $30 each in the blue section. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster 813-287-8844, 727-898-2100 or

For more information on the Tampa Equestrian Festival and the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational, please visit

Final Results: High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers
1. R Mable KZ, Michelle Spadone: 0/0/32.495
2. Poleander, Cara Cheska: 0/0/32.688
3. Game Twist, Cara Cheska: 0/0/32.950
4. La Paz, Caitie Hope: 1/72.429
5. Black Opal, Shelby Siclari: 4/67.431
6. Castana 4, Danielle Torano: 4/67.435
7. Katina 12, Michael Murphy: 5/72.231
8. Astro Z, Benjamin Simpkins: 7/74.867

Photo Credit: R Mable KZ and Michelle Spadone, winners of the High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers at the Tampa Equestrian Festival. Photo © 2008 Jennifer Wood/PMG. This photo may be used free of charge only in relation to this press release.


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