Fox Lea Farm in Venice, Florida saw a number of NSBA members enjoying warm weather and stiff competition during the Fun In The Sun NSBA Show, being held in conjunction with the Fox Lea Winter Circuit AQHA show being held January 7-9 and 13-15.

Fun In The Sun Classes began in conjunction with AQHA classes on Monday with Western Pleasure and continued Tuesday with Trail events. On Thursday, the Fun In The Sun Show featured a full day of 18 NSBA All Breed classes.

Jason English earned the biggest paycheck of the Fun In The Sun Futurity. He piloted To Cool To Be Hot to win the $10,000 Added Maturity $10,000 Limited Horse Open Western Pleasure for owner Suzan Vonessen. They earned  $5,760.

"There's just something about him," Jason said. "He's five years old and by Blazing Hot. We bought him at the Little Futurity last year. Aaron Moses did a great job with him. He profiles really well and he's very consistent. We will be showing him in the Maturity classes and Suzan will be showing him in Novice Amateur and Amateur Select Western Pleasure."

"I"ve worked a long time for him," Suzan said. "I'm very excited for the future."

Hunter Under Saddle Champions

Keith Miller Jr. showed WF Big Asset for Courtney Suthoff to win the $1,000 Added Maturity Open Hunter Under Saddle. “We love him,” Keith said. “Courtney’s had him for a while, but we just got him about a month ago.”

“He’s five years old this year, and he’s just a really good horse. He’s had a couple of years to mature and get stronger, and gets better all the time. He’s very good minded and I love that he lopes really slow.” Known as Doc, WF Big Asset is by Hot N Blazing.

Linda Williams and A Cool Invitation earned the first first place in an NSBA class in grand style as the unanimous choice of judges Steve Meadows, Will Knabenshue and Tina Anderson in $250 Added Novice Select Amateur Hunter Under Saddle.

“I’ve had class winners before, but I wasn’t showing,” Linda said. “I bought him at the Congress last year, and this is our first time to show together. Kristie Starnes picked him out for me, because she thought he would be safe and I could do a lot with him. He’s so good. He makes my job easy.”

APHA mare Im All Diva won three classes throughout the day. Allison Mcdonald showed the mare to win the $500 Three Year Old Limited Open Hunter Under Saddle, and owner Nicole Kuklinski showed her to win the Maturity Non-Pro Hunter Under Saddle and the Limited Non-Pro Maturity Hunter Under Saddle.

“Her name is Tess. I bought her in September,” Nicole said. “She’s by All Time Fancy and out of Devalicious. She’s just big, pretty and strong, and she’s a great mover. But I especially love that she’s so sweet and so easy to be around. I’ll be showing her in the Non-Pro events this year, and Keith Miller Jr. is showing her in the Open and Allison in the Limited Open.


Sarah Nimigan showed Alwayz On Your Mind to win the $1,000 Added Maturity Non-Pro Hunter Under Saddle. “He’s four this year,” Sarah said of her gelding, known as Willie Nelson.

“We’re doing Open and Non-Pro Hunter Under Saddle, Pleasure Driving and Jumping this year. He’s been really good and we’re having a lot of fun. It’s a new challenge for both of us. He got qualified for the AQHA World Show in Junior Pleasure Driving already.”

Cheyenne "Scoot" Augsburger showed her gelding One Hot Kat to win the Limited division of the Maturity Non-Pro Hunter Under Saddle, winning a three-way tiebreaker with Sunni Dukes and Shesa Hot Selection and All Mine and Amy Walls.

“I love everything about him,” Scoot said of her gelding, who is called Stiffler. “He was really good today. He’s been blind for four years now, but he trusts me. He has to trust you.”

Western Pleasure Winners

Jay Starnes started out the day by winning the tiebreaker in first class of the morning, the $1,500 Added Maturity Open Western Pleasure aboard A Lazy Holiday, showing for Adria Smith. He tied with Made N The Shade, shown by Rusty Green for Natasha Blanchard.

“He’s such an honest horse,” Jay said. “He’s a lot of fun to show because he loves his job. I really haven’t been riding him very much – Kristy gets him ready, and Adria has been showing him quite a bit too. She is showing him in Amateur Western Pleasure and some Limited Non-Pro Maturity classes, and I’ll be showing him in the Senior and Open Maturities.”

Jay noted that although his class wasn’t huge with seven head, it was deep. “There were five Congress champions in that class, so it was a really competitive class,” he said.

Vicki Holt showed Aaflac to win the highest placing Color horse award for the Charters Family Trust.

In the $1,000 Added Maturity Limited Open Western Pleasure, Lauren Louw showed Makers Markie for Jack Creditt to the win. “I just got off a plane from Australia yesterday after visiting my family over the holidays, so this was a great way to start the year,” Lauren said.

“Markie was a broodmare, and she was brought back for one of Ty and Karen Hornick’s youth customers. She’s by Ty’s old stallion The Radical Hour, so we’ve sort of kept it in the family. She’s so kind and sweet. She tries so hard to never put a foot wrong.”

Lauren and Markie also earned the highest placing Limited Rider award in the $10,000 Added Maturity $10,000 Limited Horse Open Western Pleasure.

No Doubting Me was no doubt the winner in the $1,000 Added Three Year Old Open Western Pleasure. He was shown by Brian Baker for owner Sue Sanken. “He’s a good horse,” Brian said of his mount.

“I’ve just shown him a couple of times in the Congress Masters Western Pleasure Futurity and at the AQHA World Show. He was very good today. We plan to show him in the Open Three Year Old classes and Sydnie Sanken will show him in the Non-Pro.”

In the $250 Added Novice Select Amateur Western Pleasure, Robert Wingo showed Code For A Goodtime to the win.

“He’s had a busy show,” Robert said. “He showed in the Trail the other day and was reserve champion, and my granddaughter showed him in Amateur. I’ve only had him for about six months. He’s by VS Code Red.”

The Batt Machine earned two Western Pleasure wins throughout the day. Ryan Painter showed him to win the $500 Added Three Year Old Limited Open Western Pleasure, and owner Russell Kimbrell rode to the win in the $500 Three Year Old Limited Non-Pro Three Year Old Western Pleasure. Russell and The Batt Machine also won the $1,000 Amateur Select Western Pleasure on Monday.

“I raised him, and I have his brothers and sisters at home,” Russell said. “It feels especially good to be able to win with one you raised. I love that he’s so even in his gaits, and so steady, especially for a three year old. We’ll be showing in the Three Year Old and Non-Pro classes this year.”

“Ryan and I do a lot of catch riding for each other, so we understand how each other’s horses work,” noted trainer Katy Jo Zuidema of The Batt Machine. “I had asked Ryan to ride this one and it worked out well.” “She had him all ready to go, and I just rode him once this morning before we showed,” Ryan said.

In the Three Year Old Non-Pro Western Pleasure, Clay Arrington showed his grandparents horse, Get Radical In My RV, owned by Ronnie and Vickie Kent.

“He’s growing up a little bit and getting stronger, a little better all the time,” Clay said of his Congress champion, whose barn name is Amos. “We will be showing in the Three Year Old Open and Non-Pro classes this year.”

Natasha Blanchard showed her Congress champion gelding Made N The Shade to win the $1,000 Added Maturity Non-Pro Western Pleasure.

“I’ve had so much fun showing Mikey,” Natasha said. “He was so good today. He gave me all he had every stride.”

Gavin Patterson piloted Onlythebestchocolate to win the $500 Added Limited Non-Pro Western Pleasure.

"What a great way to start out the year, and to begin my Amateur career," Gavin said. "I'm so grateful to be able to have this horse. We're having a lot of fun."

Western Pleasure champions at Fun In The Sun also included Only Happens and Angie Heighton, who won the $250 Added Novice Amateur Western Pleasure; Million To 1, shown by Jackie Starnes for Nettie Olsen, $500 Added Green Western Pleasure; Get Radical In My RV, shown by Justin Arrington for Ronnie Kent, $250 Added Youth Western Pleasure.

Trail Champions

Libby Rinder couldn’t get much better than first and second with her horses Hot Rockin Potential and I Dance In The Dark, who won first and second in the $500 Added Amateur Trail.

“This pattern was really fun,” she said. “It was kind of tight so you had to be looking ahead for your next gait and next obstacle. I love Trail because it’s always so challenging, and there is always something new to work on. It can also be anyone’s day. You might hit five poles one day and go clean the next!” Libby’s horse I Dance In The Dark went on to win the $1,000 Added Senior Trail with Whitney Lagace riding.

Sabrina Janis guided Blazin Onthe Horizon to win the $250 Added Youth Trail.

“This course was a little bit challenging, but it had a lot of flow,” Sabrina said. “I had three horses to show, so I was up early so I could understand how each horse would react to each obstacle. Rico gave me a consistent go. I was pretty happy with it.”

Snap Krackle Pop and Twylla Brown took the win in the $500 Added Select Amateur Trail. “Brandi was very good today,” Twylla said of her mount, a multiple AQHA world champion and Superhorse.

“She’s getting tired, but she was really good. Blake (Weis) is so good with her that I gave him the first couple of years with her. Now we are starting to get things together to compete as a team, too. It’s a blast owning her. I never in a million years imagined having a horse like her at my age. It’s wonderful.”

In the $1,000 Added Four and Older Novice Horse Trail, Becky George showed HP Good Margarita to the win. “He was super fun to show,” Becky said. “Showing outside is always fun because they look so soft and attentive. I’ms so glad that we have more focus on the Trail and Western Riding now and are able to earn money at many of the futurities. It brings more horses to our trainers and allows us to do more events with the younger horses, especially the ones who maybe won’t be the best pleasure horse but can excel at Western Riding or Trail. It’s great for the industry.”

Other Fun In The Sun Trail champions included: Rumors In the Dark, Stephanie Armellini for Patricia Levison, $1,000 Added Green Trail; Cant Help Being Lazy, Ryan Cottingim for Kenneth and Lisa Elam, $1,000 Added Junior Trail; Best In The Dark, Nancy Mowrey, $500 Added Novice Amateur Select Trail. Jamie Murrow also showed Rolling In Hot to win the $1,000 Added Green Hunter Under Saddle. Rolling In Hot is owned by Melissa Tankersley.

Western Riding Winner

Jamie Murrow rode James Deen Daydream to win the $500 Added Green Western Riding. They were riding for owner Kari Craft.

To find complete show results for The Fun In the Sun classes and the Winter Circuit AQHA show, visit