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Mr Zippos Good Bar and Jason Gilliam Set the Trail Bar at 2024 Orange Blossom Classic

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Image courtesy of Cody Parmenter Photography

On Thursday, April 19th at the 2024 Orange Blossom Classic, Jason Gilliam and Mr Zippos Good Bar won the Championship in the NSBA $30,000 3 & Over Maiden Trail for owner Brooke Granzow (Granzow & Boxell).

They followed it up with a win in the NSBA L1 Senior Trail Friday morning!

After his class on Friday, Jason said that “Peterbilt” is the type of horse a trainer wants to ride first every day. “He never has a bad day, he’s always pleasant, and he always wants to do his job,” Jason explains.  “He’s just a true show horse.”

Mr Zippos Good Bar was a Congress Champion in the Western Pleasure as a two-year-old, and though his focus has been as a sire for some time, Jason and his owners put a plan together for the now eight-year-old.  “We thought he could be a shining star in the Trail,” says Jason.

So Jason rode him at Congress and really liked him, asking if he could have Peterbilt this spring and the owners agreed. He went to Florida for the Gold and Gulf Circuits first, then to Arizona, all to practice, and “he did a little stint at the breeding farm as well,” Jason explains. When Peterbilt came back, Jason says, “I tried to put the polish on him before we came here, and it all came together at the right time.”

Peterbilt’s pleasure foundation, as well as his ability to lope off and hold his ground (he’s slow motion, says Jason) enabled the trainer to prepare him as quickly as he did.

They are looking forward to another class with Peterbilt in Ocala next week, and they’ll show him in the Green/L1 events at this year’s majors.  “His main goal is to turn into an amateur trail horse for Brooke,” says Jason.

Jason is widely known for his talent in Trail, a discipline he says has become very competitive.  He explains, “I want to thank Mary Roberts for giving us the opportunity to show for such a purse, and that’s all I’ve asked for the last couple years – a shot to show at a big prize, and she gave us a chance. Luckily, I had a horse that was capable of winning, and he did his job and I did mine on the right day and we pulled it off. Whether I was a winner or a loser, I was grateful to have the shot.”

Above all, Jason emphasizes, “First and foremost, just a chance at that type of prize for a trail horse is what makes me so excited for our industry.”



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