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News

A Look Behind the Congress Winner's Bouquets

October 23rd, 2016

By: Barbara Aitken 

“Just keep showing up,” Gorski said. “Eventually, you’ll get there.” 

Elizabeth Gorski of B.G. Blooms from Bowling Green, Ohio is an extraordinary individual with an extraordinary vision. She grew up in Mission Viejo, California and rode the bus to the nearest stable. She read Horse Magazine and wondered what the All American Quarter Horse Congress felt like in real life. Little did she know, years later, the Congress would become home.

Gorski evolved from the childhood “stable bum” to a successful lawyer where she represented various school districts in the area. However, after her two sons were born, Gorski realized that her passion resided in the equine industry and not in practicing law. Consequently, Gorski decided to use her knowledge of the law to the benefit of the industry she craved.  

After moving to Ohio in the mid-1990s, she became involved with the Ohio Quarter Horse Association and started to serve as a board member in 2003. For the past 13 years, Gorski has continually helped in various aspects of OQHA and at Congress. She currently serves as the chair of the educational Lectures and Demonstrations offered each year.

In addition her endless efforts, Gorski decided that the 50th Anniversary of Congress needed to be special for all winners who walked through the arena gates. Her idea—a winner’s bouquet.

In December 2015, Gorski started a flower business in Bowling Green as a favor to family friends who were opening a restaurant in the community. They offered her the sole rights to display flowers in the restaurant. That’s when Gorski’s other passion came to life—flowers.  In 2016 alone, Gorski has arranged flowers for multiple special events including church gatherings, weddings, and now the Congress. 

“It’s the 50th Anniversary and I want all winners to feel special.” Gorski knows the dedication exhibitors possess when they win. She won her first Congress Championship last year in Open English Longe Line Stakes with her filly, Here I Am, shown by Jon Barry.

“I’ve shown for years and last year was the first time I have ever won the Congress in any event. No matter who you are, it’s a great accomplishment to win.”

Gorski’s process of making the perfect bouquet journeys through multiple steps. From meeting the flower whole seller every morning to ensure the freshest flowers are available to tying the evenly symmetrical black bow on the stems, Gorski never short changes the process.

“If I gave up on a bouquet and halfheartedly put effort into it, then I wouldn’t be giving the winner justice. If they work hard enough to earn the title, then I can make sure each bouquet is worthy of a Champion.” Her work space is in a locker room in the Coliseum behind the Awards Office. She proudly named it, “The Flower Shower”.

Nonetheless,  each class winner of the 2016 Congress will walk away with a stunning bouquet filled with red roses, white carnations, blue delphiniums, baby’s breath, salal, and tree fern, wrapped in gold with a black All American Quarter Horse Congress ribbon, with a special note explaining each flower and the symbol it holds to a Champion.

Winners have embraced the bouquets and are enjoying the special touch of being a winner on a special year. As for Gorski’s response to the praise, she said, “I’ve come a long way from the stables in California to now working for the largest horse show in the world. I’m forever thankful.”