Zacko Hardin riding Caracas was the winner of the $10,000 Grand Prix at the Santa Barbara National Horse Show at Earl Warren Showgrounds.
Twenty three riders competed in this year’s Santa Barbara Grand Prix. The youngest rider was age 15 and the oldest age 55. The show jumping class was held in the new arena at 5pm Saturday night July 16th. A large crowd gathered to watch and cheer each rider on. After the first exciting round, 5 riders came back for the jump off. The fastest clean round in the jump off and winner of this event was Zacko Hardin and his horse Caracas. Zacko is trained by his mother Kristin Hardin in New Cuyama. Kristin has also won this competition in previous years. Spectators could feel the excitement and love the riders have for their horses and for this exciting event.
The SB National Show, now in its 102nd year, is actually two week-long shows. The show was bigger than last year drawing top competitors from California and Arizona. The first week was Multi Breed week. Ten breeds of horses competed. Highlights of the first week were the three $1000 Stake classes. All three championships were named in loving memory of longtime show manager Rae Deane Stone. The $1000 English Pleasure Saddle Seat Open Stake was won by Emily Grissen riding Play Dirty. The $1000 Hunter Pleasure Open Stake was won by Bill Deeney and Tabaco MOR. The $1000 Western Pleasure Open Stake was won by Caroline Boone showing Storm The Beach. The week also featured a Welsh Pony show. New this year was the Perry Perkins Memorial trophy donated by wife Suzanne Perkins. It was won by Acapella Bey ridden by Kim Boyd.
The second week of the show was Hunter/Jumper week. McKenna Skelton riding Guidetti owned by Sharon Park was the winner of the $5000 Tab Hunter Derby. The Derby was in loving memory of Tab Hunter and sponsored by Alan Glazer and Mary Jo England.
Highlights for the general public this year included free tours with volunteer show docents to learn about horses, the competition, and the history of Earl Warren Showgrounds. Local families brought their kids to meet and pet the perfect picture pony named Bubbles. They enjoyed slices of pizza and painted little model horses to take home. This event was sponsored by Mary Anne Morrison’s Laughing Dog Ranch LLC from Ojai.
We are looking forward to seeing you all next summer for the 103rd Santa Barbara National Show. Mark your calendars. Dates have been set as Breed week July 5-8, 2023, Hunter/Jumper week July 12-16, 2023.