St. Petersburg Times: Weekend

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Get Away: Hot Ticket

By Times staff writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published March 28, 2002

Best of show

Dogs and cats both get their due this weekend in events on both sides of Tampa Bay.

In St. Petersburg, AKC-registered dogs will compete Saturday and Sunday in the annual St. Petersburg Dog Fanciers Competition.

Pet owners who don't have dogs in the competition also can browse among vendors of pet-related products. The competition is from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at the Times Arena at the Bayfront Center, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. Best-of-show honors will be awarded about 5 p.m. each day.

Tickets are $3 for adults, $1 for seniors and children. Call (727) 781-8448 for more information.

In Ybor City, Purina Cat Chow and the SPCA are sponsoring an adopt-a-thon for kittens along with advice for all cat owners on care and training for cats. The free event is from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday next to the Improv Comedy Club in Centro Ybor, 1600 E Eighth Ave. For information, call (727) 586-3591, ext. 112.

Horsing around

An international group of 30 riders and their horses attempt to win the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational and take home the top prize of $60,000 Saturday at Raymond James Stadium.

The action starts at 7 p.m.

This is the country's toughest and most spectacular grand prix show-jumping event, drawing the best riders from Canada and Europe, as well as the United States. Last year's winner, Molly Ashe of Wellington will be defending her title. Previous winners, Chris Kappler, Margie Goldstein-Engle, Debbie Stephens, Todd Minikus and Norman Dello Joio will be among the Americans.

The invitational is the grand finale of the Winter Equestrian Festival's three weeks in Tampa.

A portion of the proceeds from the event will be donated to Tampa's Mounted Police Patrol. The seven-member patrol is raising money to build a facility on 30 acres owned by the city. Patrol members are on duty in Ybor City Thursday through Saturday nights and at the city's municipal beaches during the summer.

Advance tickets are $15 and $25 or $50 for a family four-pack. Tickets are $20-$30 and $60 for the family four-pack at the door. Call Stadium Jumping at (813) 253-2782 or toll free at 1-877-909-9436.

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