Rodger Call, Cody Parmenter Photography.
Tampa, Fla. – Dec. 28, 2021 – The Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit is renowned for hosting Quarter Horse competitors of all ages at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center vying for the coveted year-end awards. This year, the five-day event includes a unique participant, Rodger Call of Midway, Utah, the only Super Select rider out of the more than 500 exhibitors and 20,000 plus entries at the Florida State Fairgrounds.
“To be a Select rider you have to be 50 years old, and to be a Super Select rider you need to be at least 70 years old. I am the only Super Select rider at this show,” Call said proudly. “I turn 80 years old next month.”
Call has been competing at the Gold Coast for decades, even though it means taking two flights in two different airport terminals to arrive in Tampa.
“This show is one of my favorites. I have been coming here for years,” said Call. “I can remember when the hedges around the arena were really short and now, they’re huge! Years ago, there were elephants in the barns behind the arena that were part of the parade.”
Call will be competing in the driving and hunter divisions. He has been training with Chuck Briggs since 1989, although he receives additional support both in and out of the arena.
“We’re like family here; we all encourage each other,” said Call. “Trainer Linda Crothers rode my horse, Go Big Sky, to High Point Horse of the nation and Sandy Vaughn coaches me when I compete in the pleasure driving. Even though I don’t have my horses at her barn, she offers to help. We have a good group of people. Sometimes we go out to dinner after the show and have a great time.”
Horses have always been a family affair for Call. He grew up in Northern California where his father imported some of the first King Ranch Quarter Horses. On Friday nights, he and his dad would enjoy competing in team roping jackpot classes. When his son Robert wanted to ride in the jumping events, Call changed from riding Western to English.
Call added, “I also used to compete at the Gold Coast with my wife Ann before she passed away in 2007. We would always have both a junior and senior horse to show. Next year, my junior horse becomes a senior, so Chuck found me a junior horse that has a lot of potential. That is what keeps me going: potential and having fun. That’s what riding does. It keeps me active, happy, and looking forward to tomorrow.”
For additional information on the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit, please visit flgoldcoastcircuit.com.