California Riding Magazine • October, 2012

Riding For Reading
Gold Coast provides golden opportunity for literature lovers.

Claire Sears earns books for her school in the
$5,000 Riding for Reading Pleasure. Photo: Flying Horse Photography

Kicking off the fall horse show season, Gold Coast 6 (Aug. 30-Sept. 2), a benefit show for the Los Angeles Hunter/Jumper Association, gave participants the chance to earn grants for their school libraries in the $5,000 Riding for Reading Pleasure Class.

Claire Sears (Rainbow Canyon Ranch, trainer), a junior at Claremont High, was ecstatic to win this year's class aboard Kingdom Come (Mary Gatti, owner). "I have been participating in the class for several years, and each year my school is thrilled to receive the library money," commented Claire. "I'm sure that this year will be no different. It feels really good to be able to contribute to my school while doing something I love to do."

The non-profit Pacific Equestrians organization runs the Riding For Reading program, which is dedicated to promoting literacy and reading through equestrian sports and activities.

Riders in this year's class were asked to do a variety of tasks, including changing direction at the trot as well as trotting and cantering on the buckle. "Kingdom Come is such a good boy and he doesn't mind going around on the buckle," Claire explained. "He has a background in dressage, so when the judge asked us to lengthen I knew I could really show him off."

All participants received special Riding for Reading ribbons and paperwork to show their schools that they are going to receive a library grant from the Riding for Reading foundation.

Another popular event in the hunter ring was the $1,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, part of the $40,000 LEG 40th Anniversary National Hunter Derby Series. Sheri Moser and Anything Goes (Courtney Harrell, owner) were in third after the first round and went into the second ready to make a leap into the lead. "I kept thinking about how Courtney went into the work-off of the LAHJA Horsemanship Finals in third and ending up winning," Sheri recounted. "So, when I went back in third, I told myself the same thing. But my plan was to not do anything too crazy, no tight turns, but just flow and show him off as best I could. After the first two jumps I decided to just have fun; I knew that I wanted to gallop the last jump and decided not to count the strides."

Sheri went into the second round hoping to get a 90, but she ended up exceeding her goal by earning a 91, including the bonus for taking the four higher option jumps. The beautiful round and marvelous score landed her in the first place position. "I was such a proud mom that night," commented Courtney. "Sheri and Anything Goes put in two incredible rounds. It was definitely an incredible show for us." Courtney and Anything Goes were champion in the 18-35 Adult Amateur Hunters and won the LAHJA Horsemanship Finals.

Tara Spencer (Edmonton Farms, trainer) rode Treasure Chest (Sheri Moser, owner) to the eighth place award in the same Hunter Derby. Thrilled with her accomplishment, Tara and her trainers were also very proud of Treasure Chest. He is a Thoroughbred that was selected by Eddie Connors, a man who dedicated his life to helping Thoroughbreds have a second career in the show ring after a career on the racetrack. After learning how to be a hunter, Treasure Chest ended up with Sheri Moser and Duncan McIntosh. "Treasure Chest is truly a fairytale horse. He came from the racetrack, learned how to jump, and is now doing what he loves," said Duncan of Edmonton Farms. "He just has an incredible story. He has won several Thoroughbred classics and he loves the derbies. We are all so proud of him."

Excerpted from an article provided by Leg Up News. For the full report and results from Gold Coast 6, visit