Gale Lazarus and Her Winning Ways
By Ray Cech
World News Writer
Gale Lazarus started riding horses seriously when she was just 12 years old. She showed a lot of promise and a lot of horse love, so for her 13th birthday her parents bought her a horse, Kalarama Blossom, an American Saddlebred.
Living in Chicago, there weren’t a whole lot of wide-open ranges, but there was Lincoln Park, a favorite for horseback riders. Gale’s love for the sport had her riding whenever she wasn’t doing homework or helping out with chores. She entered shows, and when the Chicago Sun Times sponsored their annual Lincoln Park Horse Show, Gale entered it and won first prize. The young teenager, with her trophy in hand and picture in the paper, was “hooked,” on a very competitive sport.
Gale continued to compete in horse shows, but as she grew up, other activities gathered in her time. Fast-forward about 25 years. Gale was now married and living in southern California. She was teaching elementary school in Van Nuys when she met another teacher who was also fond of riding. Her horse was a three-year-old mare named, Vanity’s Wild Honey. Gale rode her in shows and, once again, demonstrated her winning ways.
Gale and her husband eventually bought a ranch in Newhall, Calif. As luck would have it, one of their boarders had a world champion Paso Fino; it was considered the best in the country. Gale says, “I rode that horse, and never forgot it.”
Paso Fino (fine step) horses were originally bred by Spanish land owners in Colombia and Puerto Rico. They are prized for their smooth, natural, and four beat stride. Their development goes back more than 500 years and Paso Finos are now used primarily for trail riding and, of course, as show horses.
Fast forward once again, and now Gale is living in Naples, Fla. She was still riding an American Saddlebred, Delightful Diamond, that is now 27 years old. In 2010, as Gale set out looking for a younger Saddlebred a photographer friend suggested she go down to the Spectrum horse show in Miami to look at Paso Finos. Remembering fondly the Paso Fino she rode back in California she found her horse; Sacristan de la Virginia, a Paso Fino stabled in Ocala.
Gale leased the horse, and in a show at the Ocala Southeastern Livestock Pavilion, she won both the qualifying and the championship class in the Pleasure Division. She bought Sacristan.
Gale Lazarus continues her winning ways. Since acquiring Sacristan de la Virginia, Gale Lazarus has bought a home in On Top of the World, and continues to win just about every competition: The Grand National in Kentucky, The World Championship and Spectrum Horse Shows in Miami, The Extravaganza and the Ocala Classic Horse Shows, to name just a few of her wins.
We will soon have an opportunity to cheer Gale on. She and Sacristan will be challenging the rest of the field at the Southeastern Livestock Pavilion, Ocala, March 14 through March 17, 2019. Let’s be there and support her winning ways. Go Gale!
If you love horses, check out the Horse Sense Club every third Tuesday of the month at the Arbor Conference Center, Suites E and F, at 6 p.m.