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Marshall & Sterling League National Indoor Finals Will Ride Again at Worcester's Centrum Centre

SAUGERTIES, NY (September 25, 2003)—Roller Coaster, a beautiful eight-year-old dapple grey Holsteiner, owned by Elaine Decanio of Pittstown, New Jersey, and ridden by Todd Minikus of Loxahatchee, Florida, was the last horse to be pinned at the inaugural Marshall & Sterling League National Indoor Finals, presented by Corona-Lexol. Minikus and Roller Coaster emerged the victors in the $100,000 King Shavings Grand Prix, the grand finale to the five-day event, which took place at Worcester's Centrum Centre, Worcester, Massachusetts.

Like the horse's name, the planning of an indoor horse show can be quite a roller coaster ride, and is not for the faint of heart. Over the five days of competition, almost 600 horses were accommodated at Worcester's Centrum Centre, either stabled inside the 100,300 square ft. exhibit hall adjacent to the arena, or nearby at a parking lot across the street from the building's entrance. Over 6,000 bags of King Shavings were used to bed down the horses, and hay and feed were available 24 hours a day.

Preparations for the ring began four days before the first horse arrived for schooling. Twenty truckloads of finely ground stone dust and sand were mixed, watered, and compacted before the installation was complete. "I knew that the time would be well spent on getting the footing just right," said Tom Struzzieri, President and Owner of Horse Shows In The Sun, the producers of the event. "Good footing is of paramount importance, and the end result was as close to perfect as I have ever seen. The maintenance on it was minimal, so we had very little down-time as we moved the classes through the ring."

The jumps and the perimeter of the ring were accented by trees and shrubs from Weston Nurseries of Hopkinton, Massachusetts. The full effect was best appreciated from the stands, as approximately 700 plants created a display of vibrant color that made the whole event quite special.

Approximately 10,000 spectators came to Worcester's Centrum Centre to see riders from all over the country compete in top-level Hunter/Jumper competition. Sunday's Grand Prix saw the largest crowd in the stands. Barn Night, presented by Stateline Tack, was also well attended by 4-H Horse Clubs and Barns from Massachusetts and Northern Connecticut.

National champions were crowned throughout the week and a full listing of show results can be found at The Charles Owen Children's and Adult Medals, and the HBO Junior Medal attracted the largest numbers of competitors.

The Centrum Centre staff, the City of Worcester, and the Convention and Visitors Bureau worked together to welcome the horse show to Worcester. City police put in long hours to secure the arena and outside stabling, and were the perfect good-will ambassadors as they offered directions and stopped traffic for the exhibitors and their horses.

"In a short amount of time, the Marshall & Sterling League National Indoor Finals has become a signature event for Worcester's Centrum Centre and the community as a whole," said James Moughan, Asst. General Manager for Worcester's Centrum Centre. "The ability to bring such a prestigious event to the area is indicative of Horse Shows in the Sun's importance in the equestrian industry. We look forward to a long-lasting relationship."

The 2004 season for the Marshall & Sterling League is already underway, and the Finals will return next year to Worcester's Centrum Centre from September 22-26. "The facility and our city partners are working with us to contribute to the success of this event," said Tom Struzzieri. "I believe that the potential is there to create a national indoor finals horse show that will be the jewel in the crown of the indoor circuit, and we are fully committed to realizing that goal."

For more information on the Marshall & Sterling League, please visit



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