Blair Woodley and Mister Wise Guy, Cody Parmenter Photography.
Tampa, Fla. – Dec. 30, 2021 – Circuit Awards were presented in several divisions on the fourth day of the highly anticipated Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit. With riders traveling from across North America to compete at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center, the Woodley family from Sudbury, Ontario, Canada showed their dedication after traveling 37 hours for a chance at the ribbons. Blair, Judi, Justin, and Tanya drove with three horses in tow to the Florida State Fairgrounds, leaving temperatures of -21° Celsius at home, approximately -6° Fahrenheit, to enjoy a balmy 80° in Tampa, Florida.
“We were more than happy to leave the weather at home behind,” Judi said. “We love this show. The weather is beautiful and the organization, the facility, and the people make it worth the trip.”
“This is our second visit,” added Blair. “We came in 2018 but could not come again until this year because our borders were shut down due to COVID-19. We had to be double vaccinated just to hit the border this time. We’ll need to fill out more paperwork and get tested before we cross the borders to get back home, but it is worth it. We love to show our horses here.”
Unlike his parents, Justin is showing at the Gold Coast for the first time. He said, “It’s fantastic here, an excellent change from our cold weather up north. It’s nice to be able to come here and do what we love in such a beautiful environment and beautiful facility.”
Blair will compete in the Open Trail and Western Riding, while his wife Judi will participate in the Select Amateur Trail and Select Amateur Showmanship. Their son Justin will ride in Amateur Trail, Western Riding, and Horsemanship. Justin’s wife Tanya also made the 37-hour trek to cheer the Woodley family on and offer added support.
As a highlight to Thursday’s competition, Circuit Awards were presented to top competitors. Jayna Lagace, 16, of Higganum, Connecticut won the Level 3 14-18 Youth Trail on Huntin Hotty Tottys. She has been competing at the Gold Coast since she was three years old and believes this is her best year yet.
Trainer Jamie Dowdy of Marshfield, Missouri made her first appearance at the Gold Coast. She brought five horses and students with her to show, and so far, she has already earned Champion or Reserve in three different Circuit Award divisions, including champion in the L2 Junior Western Pleasure riding Bestseatnthesouth and the L1 Green Western Pleasure Reserve Champion with Southern Decadence.
For additional information on the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit, please visit flgoldcoastcircuit.com.