December 20, 2010--Four perfectly matched tiny American Miniature Horses recently filled in for Santa?s reindeer, much to the delight of the crowd, at the Fidelity Investments Holiday HorseFest at the Meyer Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach?s downtown waterfront. With more than 4,000 spectators in attendance, the holiday festival showcased a fun and festive afternoon of show jumping, musical performances, pony rides, holiday fun, prize giveaways, a competition for the 2011 $1 Million Great Charity Challenge and, of course, the arrival of Santa Claus.
Owner Linda Kern, of Caribbean Dreams Miniatures in Loxahatchee, Florida, drove the chestnut Miniature Horses four-in-hand team with help from her son-in-law Doug Johnson. ?The four American Miniature Horses that pulled Santa?s sleigh, or carriage if you will, are a good example of the versatility you can find in the miniature world,? said Johnny Robb, Marketing Director for the American Miniature Horse Registry (AMHR). ?It was fantastic for the crowd to see miniatures who have won National Championships and Reserve Championships as single driving horses, pairs, tandem, unicorn, and the four-in-hand.?
The spectators also had the chance to meet and greet with the minis in the petting area at Holiday HorseFest. ?The crowd loved them, but that isn?t surprising. American Miniature Horses have been called ?The Horse for Everyone? and they are!? Robb said. ?You can find them in show rings in the United States and in Europe where children as young as five years old can be found showing their beloved horses. You will also find drivers, or whips as they are called, as old as 84 driving their horses.?
In addition to driving, American Miniature Horses compete in in-hand jumping classes, halter, costume, youth classes and more. ?You will also see minis being taken to hospitals to comfort the sick, or nursing homes to bring a twinkle to the eyes of someone who possibly couldn?t have owned a horse in their youth,? Robb said, adding that the American Miniature Horse Registry has the fourth highest number of registrations yearly in the world of horse breeds.
Dedicated owners of the small equine travel yearly to the AMHR National Championship Show to determine the nation?s top Miniature Horses. AMHR Miniature Horses compete in one of two divisions. Division ?A? Miniatures must stand at 34? and under, while Division ?B? Miniatures must measure under 38?. ?The AMHR National Championship Show is the highlight of the year but it's safe to say that the crowd at the Holiday HorseFest will consider Linda?s four tiny reindeer wanabees as the highlight of the holiday show,? Robb said..
For more information on American Miniature Horses visit www.shetlandminiature.com or call 309-263-4044. Holiday HorseFest was presented by Equestrian Sport Productions and the City of West Palm Beach, along with generous support from their sponsors. For more information on Equestrian Sport Productions, visit their website at www.equestriansport.com.