It was the end of four days of competition at The Event at TerraNova in Myakka City and Jenny Caras of Cartersville, Georgia was riding Trendy Fernhill one final victory lap around the arena.
Just before exiting the arena on Nov. 19, Caras was asked what she thought of the TerraNova Equestrian Center, which began hosting events two years ago but really has just become a finished product.
"It is amazing," she said with a big smile as she hugged Trendy Fernhill, a bay gelding who was flawless covering the show jumping course in the final event.
So will you be back?
The pristine facility drew riders and horses from 11 countries to its signature event.
Caras went into the final event — dressage and cross country are the other two events that make up cross country — in second place behind Great Britain's Lucienne Bellissimo but edged her out in the final by 2/10s of a point. Bellissimo rode Tremanton.
Ocala's Will Coleman, who represented the U.S. at the 2012 Olympics in London, finished third aboard Diabolo.
Besides the competition, those who attended enjoyed the Empty Bowls fundraiser, which generated funds for the Food Bank of Manatee, a Meals on Wheels Plus Manatee program.
TerraNova Equestrian Center co-owner Natalee Herrig is on the board of Meals on Wheels Plus Manatee.
"It was a great opportunity to hold our Empty Bowls event," Herrig said. "We have some of the best restaurants (in the region) that people can try. It is a win-win for everybody."
The restaurants all donated the soup for the event.
"Natalee is just a great champion for us," Meals on Wheels CEO and President Maribeth Phillips said. "This was so important for us because we always have had two locations for Empty Bowls, and this year we went to just one (Lakewood Ranch).
"This was a fabulous day, and a fabulous event."