Rhythm of riding is mane attraction at Pinellas Park horse show
If you think visitors come to Pinellas County just for the sun and sand, think again, says Patti Johnson, who will be a featured performer today demonstrating the sweet rhythm of people and horses in unified motion.
"People only think of Pinellas County for a trip to the beach, but it's not. People drive here from all over the state to compete," said Johnson, from Pinellas Park, where the Bay Area Horseman's Association show will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Helen Howarth Park Horse Arena.
"It's a free activity for the whole family to enjoy while watching other families show off their horses," said Celeste Tingler of St. Petersburg, president of BAHA.
A variety of equine entrants will be in the show, including quarter horses, Tennessee walking horses, Arabians, Morgans, Appaloosas, Belgians and even miniature donkeys. Bleachers are set up for spectators, who are welcome to come anytime during the show. No tickets are necessary to attend this free event.
Johnson, 64, has been practicing for three weeks to get her horse, Country, ready for the big day. She and Country, a Tennessee walking horse, will participate in the gaited class, where judges observe the way the rider rides the horse and how the horse responds to the rider. Prior to the event, Johnson will groom and shampoo Country to make sure his mane is orderly.
Johnson has been a member of BAHA for 2 1/2 years and looks forward to seeing the other entrants and visiting with friends.
"I would love for people and their kids to come out. The kids love horses to pieces with all of their hearts," said Johnson. "I would especially like to invite the adults who have loved horses all of their lives to pick up the sport."
Among the kids who will be performing is sixth-grader Amber Fiedler and her spotted Appaloosa, Abby. They have been practicing walking, trotting and cantering in preparation for the show. At 12 years old, Amber is an accomplished equestrian who will compete in the afternoon English class.
"Right before the show, I come out to the barn and ride Abby and get her ready," said Amber, who attends Morgan Fitzgerald Middle School. "I'll give her a treat — she likes apples, carrots, and peppermint treats."
Show competition will be by class with each class divided into age groups of the riders. The show begins with halter classes, where handlers lead their horses into the arena one at a time. Other classes include western performance, pleasure, horsemanship, obedience, gaited horse, walk, trail, jumping and English.
BAHA presents seven horse shows from September to April with an annual awards banquet at the end of the season in June.
Glow golf: Glow-in-the-dark golf outing where golfers may sign up as a foursome or a single. Hotdogs, chips and refreshments served during registration at 6 p.m. 6:30 p.m. Treasure Bay Golf and Tennis facility, 10315 Paradise Blvd., Treasure Island. $20 per player (includes food). Call (727) 360-6062 to register.
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Antiques and collectibles show: More than 50 dealers exhibit, buy, sell and trade antiques and collectibles, including furniture, jewelry, Floridiana, military items, American Indian artifacts, coins, stamps and more. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Piccadilly Museum Warehouse, 3150 71st St. N, St. Petersburg. Free. Call (727) 345-6627 or visit 21centuryexpo.com.
Gem, jewelry and bead show and sale: Dealers from across the country will offer a variety of gems, jewelry, crystals, minerals and beads for show and sale. Rare minerals, giant sharks' teeth and fossils will be displayed. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Coliseum, 535 Fourth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $4; 15 and younger free. Call (727) 892-5202 or visit stpete.org/coliseum.
Legends in Photography, major works from the museum's collection: Treasures from the museum's noted photography holdings. Exhibit features more than 50 images, including a rare salt print, classic Western landscapes and early portraits. Museum of Fine Arts, 255 Beach Drive, St. Petersburg. $16, $14 seniors, $10 students. Call (727) 896-2667.
Astronomy night out: This event looks to the sky to learn about stars, Mars and the Orion Nebula. 7 to 8 p.m. Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, 1101 Country Club Way S, St. Petersburg. $3, $1.50 kids. Call (727) 893-7326.
Seminole Historical Society "Trains and Trolleys" talk: Robert Stanton, a member of the Seminole Historical Society, will speak to the group. Growing up on a farm in New Jersey, Stanton's childhood collection of model trains grew and grew. Eventually his train system circled the farm; it's still there. After service in World War II and retiring from DuPont, Stanton moved to Pinellas County, where his interest in all things locomotive continued. He has researched early railroading in Pinellas County as well as the St. Petersburg trolley system that had a terminus in the Jungle area of Park Street. Stanton has published historical novels as well as histories of the railroads, trolleys and beach communities of Pinellas County. 7 p.m. Seminole Recreation Center, 9100 113th St., Room 210B. Free. Call (727) 391-1433.
"Fit over 50" health and wellness expo: The ninth annual event will feature health and wellness seminars, community entertainment, a healthy salad buffet, vendor expo, hands-on fitness/wellness demonstrations, giveaways, drawings and health screenings. In addition, many senior-friendly businesses will be on hand to discus their products. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Holland G. Mangum Recreation Complex, 9100 113th St. N., Seminole. Free. Call Duane at 391-8345 or visit myseminole.com.
"A Night in Italy": An evening of Italian fun with a spaghetti dinner in the senior center followed by a performance in the theater by the Italian-American Society of St. Petersburg. Benefits the Gulfport Senior Center Foundation. 6 p.m. Catherine Hickman Theatre, 5501 27th Ave. S, Gulfport. Call (727) 322-0316.
Baby Diaper Derby: Seminole Recreation will have its 12th annual Baby Diaper Derby at the Seminole Recreation Center. The babies will be competing for ribbons, trophies and prizes. Bring your camera. Some of the categories that the babies will be judged in are: Cutest Smile, Parent Look-a-like, Chubbiest Cheeks and Perkiest Personality. There will be special activities for each age group, such as a rattle race and obstacle course. Free entry; $5 per baby who is entering the derby. Preregistration is ava ilable, or registration on the day of the event. Holland G. Mangum Recreation Complex, 9100 113th St. N., Seminole. Call Dan at 391-8345.
For the Love of Clay: This one day pottery show and sale features unique works by Cristina Williams, Don Williams, Wendy Durand, Rick Meredith and Lyn Van Voorst. Complimentary light fare and refreshments. 4 to 8 p.m. Studio@620, 620 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg. Free admission, donations appreciated. Call (727) 895-6620.
Lighten up: Being a pack rat is a tough habit to kick. Author Michelle Passoff teaches you to let go of what you no longer need or use to make space for what you really want in life. 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., Living Room Yoga, 1608 29th Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $50. (727) 826-4754.
Sci-fi and sky night: A fun event for students and families includes planetarium shows from 5:30-8:30 p.m., an astronomy lecture by professor Darryl Schrader at 7:15 p.m., a screening of the film Star Wars: The Clone Wars at 8 p.m. and telescope viewings from 7:45 to 11:30 p.m. Register to have your name included on a microchip going to Mars in 2011. Beer and wine tastings available for additional donation, pizza and beverages available for purchase 5:30 to 9 p.m. The event runs from 5:30 to 11:30 p.m. Science Center of Pinellas County, 7701 22nd Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $3 per person donation. Please RSVP. Call (727) 384-0027 or visit
If you go
BAHA Horse Show
When: Today from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Helen Howarth Park Horse Arena, 6301 94th Ave. N., Pinellas Park.
Cost: Free admission and parking.
Information: Call (727) 434-4263.