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Meet the new four 2023 Golden Ticket Winners

Wellington, FL – February 20th, 2023– Master of Ceremonies, Chip McKenney, kicked off the first American Equestrian Got Talent live auditions on February 8th, 2023 at the Stallion Restaurant.

The Wellington equestrian community put aside their horse duties and enjoyed a wonderful night. Age is certainly not an issue for the 10 performers. They were judged by Wellington’s own celebrity judges; Katherine Bateson-Chandler: USA Grand Prix dressage rider; Nicho Meredith, the voice of Wellington Shows; Jennifer Burger, CEO of Phelps Media; Carol Cohen-Hodess, long time Equestrian Wellington supporter; and Taylor Hughes, previous AEGT contestant and owner of Taylor Made Cafe.

A total of 10 competitors showcased their talent. They included Ghada Youssef, Carly Cantor, Emily Shecter, Alyssa Marie-Coon, Christina Veukel, Jackie Boudria, Kiara Charles, Heather Durand, Tom Blake, and Ilan Tarrab. It was a very tough competition: the air was thick and the atmosphere was electric, but four singers set the room on fire.

When Carly Cantor stepped onto the stage with that red dress, it became pretty clear that she was in a league of her own. The 14-year-old singer, who was an AEGT finalist in both 2019 and 2020, was greeted with a standing ovation from the audience. She floored the audience with her majestic performance of “Rise Like a Phoenix” by 2019 Eurovision Winner Conchita Wurst. Carol Cohen-Hodess tang the cowbell and gave her an automatic Golden Ticket.

The excitement continued when Alyssa Marie Coon delighted the audience with an original song. Her enchanting voice, left the audience spellbound. Taylor Hughes didn’t think twice and rang the cowbell very loudly, another automatic Golden Ticket.

After the break, the show continued. The third special moment of the night came when Kiara Charles, a 17-year-old, stunned the audience with a gorgeous rendition of Puccini’s aria “O Mio Bambino Caro”. The judges were astounded by Kiara’s voice, especially Nicho Meredith. He immediately picked up the cowbell to give her the Golden Ticket. Kiara also received a standing ovation! Her performance was described by the judges as ‘marvelous and outstanding’. As the night went on, more jaw-dropping contestants came along.

Last to go, but by no means least, Ilan Tarrab sang a beautiful version of the iconic song “I’m Feeling Good” by Michael Bublé. He was pitch-perfect, showcasing his vocal artistry . His soulful voice was accentuated by his jazzy style. Ilan received the fourth Golden Ticket of the night from Jennifer Burger.

AEGT is not over yet. Don’t forget we have the second round of live auditions in Ocala on March 8th, at the Yellow Pony Pub & Garden. Fun and excitement are guaranteed. Ten new performers will showcase their non-horsey talents .

Carly Cantor, Alyssa Marie Coon, Kiara Charles and Ilan Tarrab were awarded with the Golden Ticket which sends the contestants on to the $10,000 Grand Finale on Saturday April 15th, 2023, 6:30 p.m., at the Ball Room, Golden Ocala Golf and Equestrian Club, 8300 NW 31st Lane Rd, Ocala, FL 34482.

Mark your calendar and make your plans now

Ticket Information: Patty Scott - 917-318-0425/

or go to

About AEGT and Discover Dressage

Discover Dressage has been proud to underwrite Robert Dover’s American Equestrians Got Talent, now a signature event in Wellington highlighting the exceptional talents and abilities of our own equestrians, while raising significant support for the United States Equestrian Federation Youth Programs. Since 2018, Discover Dressage and AEGT have helped to raise over $1,000,000.00 for the USEF Emerging Athlete Program for Dressage, Robert Dover USEF Horsemanship Clinic, Lendon Youth Dressage Festival Midwest, Florida Youth Dressage Championships and Youth Dressage Programming at the Festival of Champions.


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