Category Archives: Pony

Seamus Hughes-Kennedy Is First-Ever Winner of FEI Pony Jumping Trophy Final in Mechelen

Seamus Hughes-Kennedy pictured with FEI President Ingmar de Vos. (FEI/Dirk Caremans)

Ireland’s Seamus Hughes-Kennedy wrote his name into the history-books of equestrian sport when winning the inaugural FEI Pony Jumping Trophy™ Final at Mechelen in Belgium.

Riding the 12-year-old mare, Cuffesgrange Cavalidam, the 15-year-old schoolboy had to hold his nerve when in the lead and last to go of the top 10 who qualified for the deciding round.

“I tried to think of it as just another day in the ring but I couldn’t help but be nervous – this is unbelievable!” — Seamus Hughes-Kennedy IRL (winner)

His partnership with his pony, however, has already been marked by his seventh-place finish individually at this summer’s FEI European Pony Championships in Hungary. Runner-up was another of the strong Irish contingent, Abbie Sweetnam with Dynamite Spartacus, while Belgium’s Aaron Tijskens steered Superbre de Laloena into third.

The series is devised along the same lines as the FEI World Cup™ and this first Final more than lived up to expectations. The Irish took early command when team gold and European individual silver medallist, Kate Derwin (Cul Ban Mistress), topped Wednesday’s opener ahead of Hughes-Kennedy in second and Sweetnam in third. A win for Thibeau Spits and Cleostrade on Thursday, however, put this young Belgian on level pegging with Derwin, both going into the finale on a zero scoreline after results were converted into points.

From a start-list of 15, a tough and technical first-round track brought the cream to the very top and with the only clear of the course it was Hughes-Kennedy who went out in front carrying just the four points he collected over the first two competitions. And when Spits disappeared from the reckoning with three fences on the floor and Derwin lost her grip with two mistakes, then it was Sweetnam who was stalking her compatriot, just one point in arrears, while Tijskens was only another two points further adrift going into the second round.

It was gripping, and with no room for error after a clear from fourth-placed Derwin, the three ahead of her all coped with the incredible pressure to hold their places. You could hear a pin drop as, last to go, Hughes-Kennedy set off with his mare who is something of a phenomenon. Cuffesgrange Cavalidam, whose sire Luidam was competed by Irish international rider Billy Twomey, was found by Seamus’ mother Clare running around field as an unbroken 10-year-old.

“She was still green enough this time last year when we did our first 1.30m competition in Millstreet and we haven’t really done a lot, the Spring Tour at home, the European Championships trials and then the Championships – she’s wonderful, she’s always trying to help me, she’s the pony of a lifetime!” — Seamus Hughes-Kennedy IRL (winner)

Talking about the concept of the FEI Pony Jumping Trophy series which has been staged alongside Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping qualifiers in Oslo (NOR), Herning (DEN), Verona (ITA), Lyon (FRA) and Stuttgart (GER) this season, the new champion said, “It’s been brilliant. We learn so much from being around top riders and watching what they do. They talk to us and help us – it’s a great experience!”

FEI Jumping Director, John Roche, said, “The FEI is happy and proud to give these young athletes a platform to show their talent and riding skills, especially with the Olympic Movement’s focus on the development of youth sport right now.” The FEI Pony Jumping Trophy™ Final will return to Mechelen again in 2018.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
+41 78 750 61 46

Zorzi Closes the Show in Style

The Turkish Airlines Olympia Grand Prix provided an exhilarating finale to a fantastic week at Olympia, The London International Horse Show. With 12 riders through to the jump-off, the lead changed several times throughout the class, with Italy’s Alberto Zorzi coming out on top ahead of Harrie Smolders in second and home favourite Michael Whitaker in third. Harrie’s second place was enough to secure his Leading Rider Award, having already won and been placed earlier in the week.

The afternoon session began with the Christmas Stocking Six Bar supported by Olympia, with Emanuele Gaudiano the only rider to jump four clear rounds, ahead of Geir Gulliksen, who just had four faults in the fourth round. The Holly Speed Stakes sponsored by Champagne Taittinger went to a jubilant William Funnell riding Billy Angelo, closely followed by Laura Renwick to make it a British one-two.

The BSPS Ridden Mountain and Moorland Championship sponsored by LeMieux showcased a different breed of horse to that more regularly seen in the Olympia Grand Hall, with palomino Welsh Section B pony, Cadlanvalley Sandpiper, ridden by Katy Marriott-Payne, crowned the winner.

Alberto Zorzi’s Olympia debut ended in the best way possible, with a superb victory in The Turkish Airlines Olympia Grand Prix, the first win in the class for an Italian rider, on Athena Onassis’ Contanga.

Dutchman Harrie Smolders crowned a great year with second place on Zinius, propelling him to the top of the Leading Rider of Show table. Michael Whitaker, the winner two years ago, gave the home crowd something to cheer about with third place and a fast double clear on Jb’s Hot Stuff.

Twelve horses went through to the jump-off but only five jumped double clear, including fourth-placed Maikel Van der Vleuten from the Netherlands on Dana Blue and Australia’s Edwina Tops-Alexander on the ride that took her to third in the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Leg, Inca Boy van T Vianahof.

Alberto said of his 13-year-old mare Contanga: ‘I think she is the best horse in the world, very scopey, very special. The feeling over a fence is amazing. This is an amazing indoor show. I love the Christmas atmosphere and am so happy to be here.”

Ben Maher finished sixth on Winning Good, only an eight-year-old but clearly a talent for the future, enough to put him second in the Leading Rider rankings. Laura Renwick, another who looks to have some promising up-and-coming horses, was fourth and John Whitaker, the hero of Sunday night, was seventh – all excellent results considering the overseas talent that came to Olympia this year.

There was a popular home win in The Holly Speed Stakes sponsored by Champagne Taittinger for William Funnell on the home-produced 14-year-old Billy Angelo, a horse he’s been bringing to Olympia for seven years.

“He’s won a fair bit here over that time and he loves the atmosphere,” said William. “He squeals with excitement when he goes into the prize giving.”

Despite getting the better of the rest of the field, William was analysing how he could have gone even better. “We stumbled just a little on a turn which broke the rhythm a bit. Laura [Renwick, who finished second] hadn’t left much room for improvement.”

Earlier, Italy’s Emanuele Gaudiano riding Jamar d’Ysenbeeck Z was the sole survivor after four rounds in the Christmas Stocking Six Bar to claim the win.

“My horse hasn’t had that much international experience,” said Emanuele, who cleared 1.80m to take the class, “but he has gone well today.”

Allana Clutterbuck, 16, had a night to remember when she won her first Olympia class, The Mince Pie Stakes for 148cm ponies riding Atomic Du Barry.

Seven riders got through to the jump-off, but Allana was the only one to achieve a double clear and her time of 29.06 was 3.36 seconds faster than runner-up Tahnia Jordan-Jones on Jumper.

Atomic Du Barry is the latest in a family of ponies ridden by Allana – she has ridden six from the same dam, all bred in France, including her European Pony Championships silver medallist.

The 12 native pony breeds made for a spectacular sight in the Olympia Grand Hall, but it was an overwhelmed Katy Marriott-Payne who won The BSPS Heritage Mountain & Moorland Ridden Championship sponsored by LeMieux for the second year running, this time with a palomino Welsh Section B pony, Cadlanvalley Sandpiper, by Eyarth Troy, bred by Mr & Mrs Davies.

“This pony gets under my skin, which is why I’m so emotional,” explained Katy. “This is his seventh time at Olympia and we nearly gave him a winter break, but the bigger the occasion, the better he goes.”

Rebecca Penny was reserve champion with Lynnuck the Snowman, a Welsh Section C by Caerneuadd Hywel, owned and bred by Lynne Scott.

To find out more about Olympia, the London International Horse Show, visit

For more information, please contact:
Olympia, The London International Horse Show:
Gayle Telford 0203 176 0355

Super Sunday at Olympia

Photo: Julien Epaillard aboard Toupie de la Roque.

The Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Leg provided an afternoon of exhilarating sport in the Olympia Grand Hall, with only four of the 36 starters jumping a clear in the first round. As the penultimate to go in the jump-off, Britain’s Scott Brash set the packed crowd alight, jumping clear in a time which looked like it could be the winning round. However, the notoriously speedy Julien Epaillard, riding Toupie de la Roque, knocked Scott off the pole position to take the victory by 0.43 seconds.

The day kicked off with The Pony Club Mini-Major, which went to 11-year-old Poppy Deakin and the in-form Laura Renwick, with ponies also taking to the fore in the opening class of the evening session, The Mistletoe Mini Stakes, which was won by Rachel Proudley.

The evening CSI5* class, The Ivy Stakes, proved to be another challenging content, with just six clears through to the jump-off; however, a speed masterclass from John Whitaker secured the victory, ahead of Ben Maher and Laura Renwick, to make a British one-two-three.

Away from the world class sporting action, The Kennel Club Large Novice Dog Agility Final was won by Sara Bacon with Tynevermoor Torque, and the two Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand Nationals of the day went to Madeline Reeder Smith and Zak Kent.

John Whitaker’s assiduous scrutinising of the jump-off course for The Ivy Stakes paid off in spades as he found the most audacious turn which had the crowd roaring their appreciation.

The cheers became deafening as his winning time of 33.17 seconds flashed up, signalling the 62-year-old’s second victory of the week on his own and wife Clare’s 15-year-old stallion Argento.

It was a thrilling end to a great day’s sport with a British one-two-three, Ben Maher second on Madame X and Laura Renwick third on MHS Washington, with the younger riders all quick to acknowledge a genius ride.

“I studied the course carefully because I knew Kevin [Staut, eventual fourth on S&L Through the Looking Glas] was last to go and I had to do something,” explained John, who has been competing here for four decades.

“It shows what a good horse he is because when we did the sharp turn the crowd gave a big cheer and that could have put him off. This show is special, with the crowds and Christmas and everything. It’s a great feeling and I feel lucky to still be in the sport.”

Poppy Deakin, 11, secured the win in The Pony Club Mini-Major relay that had previous escaped both of her sisters, Daisy and Kirsten.

“I wanted to come here and do better than them,” said Olympia first-timer Poppy with a cheeky smirk.

Riding 16-year-old Munsboro Plunkett, and partnering Britain’s leading lady rider Laura Renwick (Shiraz II), the Tynedale Pony Club branch member perfectly executed a tight turn back to the penultimate fence to take the class by more than one second.

“Poppy knew what she was doing,” said Laura. “I gave her hardly any advice. She was telling me how she was going to ride the course and she did what she said she would.”

Later on, North Yorkshire’s Rachel Proudley finally claimed her dream of winning The Mistletoe Mini Stakes with Painted Lady IV at the fourth attempt. “It’s my favourite show and it’s my last year riding her,” said Rachel, 12. “She’ll be staying in the family though, as she’ll now be ridden by my sister, Sarah.”

To find out more about Olympia, the London International Horse Show, visit

For more information, please contact:
Olympia, The London International Horse Show:
Gayle Telford 0203 176 0355

Emma Jolly Guides Mischief Managed to $10,000 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby Win

Emma Jolly and Mischief Managed. Photos ©Sportfot.

Andrew Bourns and Ninparo Top $6,000 1.40m Nutrena® Classic CSI 2*

Mill Spring, NC – June 30, 2017 – Emma Jolly of Keswick, VA and Mischief Managed rode to victory in the $10,000 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby, the highlight of the first annual USHJA Foundation Pony Spectacular at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). Jolly and Mischief Managed secured a two round score of 335 to capture the win. Leigh Ashby of Lincolnton, NC and Onyxford’s Blue Magic finished in second place with a two round score of 326, while Erica Felder of Lenoir, NC and Elegance secured third place with a final score of 320.

Jolly and Mischief Managed, owned by Rhiana Hughes, performed brilliantly together throughout the two rounds, earning a 167 in the first round, before taking the win with a 168 in the handy.

“This was such a fun experience. I think it really got the ponies and the riders ready for the finals later this summer. The big ring let you get them out in front of you, but then bring them back in,” said Jolly. “It was a great atmosphere to relax and just have a blast.”

Speaking to both courses, in which Jolly collected an impressive two round score from the judges, she commented that Mischief Managed handled each of the questions presented with a sense of ease and consistency.

“I thought the first course was really nice and there was a difficult broken line, but I think it made the ponies think a bit more in the ring,” she added. “The first jump in the handy round always rides a bit interesting, but I thought my pony handled it really well and jumped up nicely. Overall, I thought it was a very fun course.”

Jolly, who is fifteen years old and trains with Brooke Kemper of Culpepper, VA, noted that their barn tailored their entire show schedule around coming to TIEC to compete this week, specifically to participate in the USHJA Foundation Pony Spectacular. Jolly commented, “We came to Tryon this week for the derby. All of the other horses joined as well, but that is what really brought us here.

“I’ll be riding Mischief Managed, who is owned by Rhiana Hughes, and I can’t thank her enough for allowing me to ride him and then I’ll also be riding a Medium Green Pony Hunter named Sunset Sparkle too,” explained Jolly, when speaking about her plans to attend USEF Pony Finals presented by Collecting Gaits Farm, which will be hosted in Lexington, KY later this summer.

“I just wanted to have a fun time in Lexington with Mischief Managed because he knows what he’s doing. With my Medium Green pony, I want to give her a positive experience and let her get used to the big atmosphere,” concluded Jolly.

Andrew Bourns and Ninparo Top $6,000 1.40m Nutrena® Classic CSI 2*

Andrew Bourns (IRL) and Ninparo took a well-earned victory in the $6,000 1.40m Nutrena® Classic CSI 2* at TIEC, kicking off competition in the George H. Morris Arena for the day. The duo added four faults to their jump-off time of 46.765 seconds for the win ahead of Deborah Stephens (USA) and Everest, who also added four faults to their jump-off time of 53.317 seconds. Michael Morrissey (USA) and La Lopez 3 rounded out the top three, adding eighteen faults and finishing with a time of 63.093 seconds around the short course.

Andrew Bourns and Ninparo

Twenty-three entries opened the day of competition in George H. Morris Arena, while only the top three finishers advanced to the jump-off round. Both tracks, designed by Ken Krome (USA), tested riders against the clock as seven combinations finished with one or two time faults on the morning.

Ninparo, a 2008 Oldenburg Springpferd gelding (Nintender x Caspar) owned by Richard Bourns, is stepping into the international spotlight with Bourns piloting from the irons and the duo looked sharp around the tough track.

For more information on TIEC, please visit

Hometown Win for Z Coco Cabana and Glenn Hartigan

Glenn Hartigan and Z Coco Cabana [Photos: Alison Hartwell Photography]

Glenn Hartigan of Alpharetta, Georgia and his own Z Coco Cabana brought home the blue ribbon in the $25,000 Sidelines Grand Prix, presented by EMO, on Saturday night to the roar of the crowd. He and Aaron Vale of Williston, Florida were the only two riders to advance to the jump off round over the course designed by Olympic course designer Steve Stephens of Palmetto, Florida. Vale and Thinks Like a Horse Farm’s Bonzini S and Stakko rounded out the roster for the jump off.

“The course was really challenging but fair,” commented Hartigan. “Steve built a great course and it asked the riders good questions. There were some half steps in it so riders needed to decide if they were going to leave those strides out or add. In the last line, you couldn’t leave the stride out; you had to shorten,” he said. “The jump off course was really interesting and he really did a great job. Very well done. Steve used the field really well and having built the Olympics, he knows it really well,” Hartigan added.

Vale and Bonzini S were the first to tackle the jump off round with a time allowed of 51 seconds. Vale and Bonzini S flew through it fault free in a time of 38.894 seconds, setting the new time to beat. He and his second mount, Stakko, followed his first ride and their time of 39.276 seconds put him in the first and second places. Hartigan and Z Coco Cabana were up next.

“Aaron is tough to beat when he comes to town,” said Hartigan. “He won every other major money class. He’s such a professional and he had both horses in the jump off go clear and I thought, ‘With him going clear, I had to take every chance and go faster or I’m going to finish third,'” he said.

Z Coco Cabana and Hartigan, sitting in the last to go position, tackled the course and delivered a clear round in a time of 36.437 seconds and won the class.

“I know my horse and I trained her all the way up to this level. She’s 10 this year and has enough experience in grand prix competition that I knew if I asked her, she would do it. I left strides out where Aaron didn’t and I gunned it,” he said. “We went really fast and it was really fun,” Hartigan added.

“When I started her 2 years ago I probably wouldn’t have gone so fast. Training at that level, I want to protect her big heart. The more experience she gets the more I can ask of her. She is maturing as a grand prix horse and she won a grand prix in Tryon a few weeks ago and has been second several times, so I can take more chances,” he said.

“She’s [Coco] so comfortable in the Arena here in Conyers. I bred her mother and Coco was born in Germany. I brought her over here as a 5 year old and her first show was here in Conyers,” he said. “The Atlanta Classics are always ones we come to,” said Hartigan. “It was fun to win in front of this home town crowd who has watched her over the years. A lot of people know her and know how much my wife and I put into it and to have her win was beyond our wildest expectations,” he added.

“I’m a very proud breeder,” said Hartigan. “Coco just got a new sister and she’s in Kentucky. So we’re going to head there after this show to meet the newest member of the family, but we’ll be back for the Atlanta Fall Classics,” he said. “Classic Company does a great job here managing the footing and running a great show. We always come to all of Classic shows in Conyers,” he added.

Vale returned for the fourth and fifth places with Troy Glaus’ Darling GR and Thinks Like a Horse Farm’s Exclusive, respectively, after posting four fault first rounds in times of 81.143 and 84.047 seconds, respectively. Sixth place was awarded to Maryann Charles of Southern Pines, North Carolina and Fox View Farm’s FBF Sailor Man for their four fault first round in a time of 84.212 seconds. Chasen Boggio of Canton, Georgia and his own Co Pilot placed seventh, and Jorge Ludwig of Newbury Park, California and his own Lamarique earned an eighth place finish. Daniel Geitner of Aiken, South Carolina piloted The Kenwood Syndicate’s Kenwood to a ninth place finish, and Michael Kirby of Madison, Connecticut and his own KTS OK finished in tenth. Coolman 78, owned and ridden by Tricia O’Connor of Williston, Florida, took eleventh, and Penny Brennan of Montmorenci, South Carolina and her own Sun Tzu wrapped up the class with a twelfth place finish.

$5,000 Horseflight Welcome

The jumper action kicked off Week II of the Atlanta Summer Classics with the $5,000 Horseflight Open Welcome on Thursday. Aaron Vale took the win with Troy Glaus’ Darling GR, besting a field of twenty-four horse and rider teams. Only five advanced to a second round opportunity.

Chasen Boggio and his own Co Pilot was the first to turn in double clear rounds in times of 74.590 and 47.680 seconds, respectively, beating the times allowed of 77 and 49 seconds, and set the new time to beat.

Michael Kirby and his own KTS OK followed after a clear first round in a time of 73.860 seconds, but eight faults in the second round in a time of 46.137 seconds would see him finish in fifth place overall.

Maryann Charles of Southern Pines, North Carolina and Lalainy were the next to advance to a second round opportunity and posted a clear second round in a time of 42.049 seconds, setting the new time to beat.

Aaron Vale and Darling GR

Vale and Darling GR were the next to advance to the second round and flew through it with no faults in a time of 40.135 seconds, taking the lead. The last horse and rider team in the order and the last to advance to the second round was Daniel Geitner and the Kenwood Syndicate’s Kenwood. The pair had two rails for eight jump faults and their time of 43.985 seconds would see them finish in fourth place overall.

Final placings had Vale and Darling GR as the winners and Maryann Charles and Lalainy in second place. Third place went to Boggio and Co Pilot.

Arenus Jr/Amateur Jumper Classic

The Vale family continued their wins in the jumper arena and Mallory Vale of Williston, Florida, wife of grand prix rider Aaron Vale, won the $5,000 Arenus Jr/Amateur Owner 1.30 Jumper Classic in the irons of Thinks Like a Horse Farm’s Elusive, besting a field of thirteen horse and rider teams. Meghan Hurst of Baton Rouge, Louisiana earned a second place finish with her own Lagoona Paradise, and Jodie Camberg of Calabasas, California piloted her own Veneto DH Z to a third place finish.

Lalainy, owned by Fox View Farm and ridden by Christina Webb of Bahama, North Carolina, was awarded the blue ribbon in the $2,500 Arenus Jr/Amateur Owner 1.20m Jumper Classic, besting a field of twenty-one horse and rider teams. Second was awarded to Aberdeen Ventures, LLC’s Jorno, ridden by Madeline Derose of Ann Arbor, Michigan, and third went to Livhaven Stables’ Hot Spot, ridden by Olivia Epple of Palmetto, Georgia.

The $2,500 Elite Equine Sport Horse Medicine and Lameness Child Adult Jumper Classic awarded Phyllis Hines’ Ace of Spies, ridden by Heather Hooker of Wellington, Florida, first place honors in the Adult section, and second place went to Glitter Glider, owned and ridden by Sarah Turner of Charlottesville, Virginia. The Child Adult Jumper section win went to Carly Hoft and Available’s Available Ohio. The pair bested a field of sixteen horse and rider teams. Second place went to Egono Van Kadal, owned by Oak Ledge Farm and ridden by Hazel Taylor.

$1,500 USHJA Pony Derby

The $1,500 USHJA Pony Derby took place on Saturday and welcomed a dozen junior riders to the hunter arena. Kat Fuqua of Atlanta, Georgia dominated the competition with her own Captain America and Goldhill’s Arresting Charm, taking the first and second places. She also placed fourth and tenth with her own Finesse RF and Chic in Time, respectively.

Third place was awarded to Prima Ballerina, owned and ridden by Sophia Ayers of Reddick, Florida, and fifth went to Elle Moren’s Ledoux, ridden by Skylar Curtis of Oviedo, Florida. Footsteps, owned and ridden by Hagen Blackwell of Birmingham, Alabama, earned a sixth place finish, and Charmer, owned by Danielle Torano and ridden by Lauren Gregson of Largo, Florida, placed seventh. Bestseller, owned by Tara Dow-Rein and ridden by Cassidy Rein of Raleigh, North Carolina, earned eighth place. Avery Zwirn of rode her own Rapunzel to a ninth place finish.

For complete results, please visit
Phone/Fax: (843) 768-5503
Post Office Box 1311, Johns Island, SC 29457

Register for the FREE USHJA Zone 4 Clinic with Tony Sgarlata

Photo: Alison Hartwell Photography.

Have you registered yet for the free USHJA Zone 4 Riding Clinic with Tony Sgarlata? Scheduled for Monday, June 19th at the Georgia International Horse Park during the Atlanta Summer Classics, the clinic will focus on General Horsemanship including flat work and jumping techniques that will improve your show ring performance for the Hunters, Jumpers and Ponies.

Clinician Tony Sgarlata is a well-known and respected USEF “R” Judge, Rider, Trainer and Coach. The clinic is FREE for Zone 4 Riders and is filled on a first-come, first-served basis.  In the Pony section, besides teaching flat work and jumping, Tony will also instruct participants on how to properly model their ponies. The Hunter and Equitation section will address flat work, jumping skills and include Handy Hunter, Equitation and Hunter Classic strategies to win. The Jumpers will focus on winning techniques. Tony looks forward to giving back to the sport, interacting with riders and providing insight into what is expected when showing and how the USEF judges score riding skills. The Riding Clinic is FREE for all USHJA Zone 4 Members and is filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Contact Janet McCarroll at to register and for more information.
Phone/Fax: (843) 768-5503
Post Office Box 1311, Johns Island, SC 29457

Information on $5,000 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby and $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby

Photo ©Sportfot.

Attention Exhibitors:

A Presidential Modification from the United States Equestrian Federation has been granted to the Winter Equestrian Festival in order to run the $1,000 Small Pony Hunter Classic on Friday, March 10.

There is an important change to the Classic criteria in the prize list on page #136. The last sentence in the top line does not apply to this classic:

“…Small Ponies who show in this class are not eligible for the pony hunter derby.”

This restriction has been lifted and Small ponies may show in both the $5,000 USHJA Pony Derby and the $1,000 Small Pony Hunter Classic on Friday, March 10. The restriction on the rider for no more than two ponies in the classic still applies.


There will be a schooling session on the grass derby field schooling area on Thursday, March 9, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for those competing in the USHJA Pony Hunter Derby and the USHJA National Hunter Derby.

Don’t forget to sign up for the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, which runs on Saturday, March 11, at 8:30 a.m.

Anyone who is interested in a stall at Equestrian Village should check in with Tom Blankenship in the stable office or at 843-269-4737. Stalls will be available @ $100.00 (plus tax).

For more information, visit

Southeast Medal Finals Celebrates 5th Anniversary with Mix of Traditional and Unique Classes

Photo: 3-year-old Kamilah, a client of Kids Cancer Foundation.

Every rider remembers his or her first pony, and every competitor can recall their first big win in the competition ring. For many young competitors throughout the southeast, that memory will be made at the Southeast Medal Finals Sept. 16-18 at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center.

Now in its fifth year, the Southeast Medal Finals provides up-and-coming riders with an exciting finals, offering classes for every level of hunters, jumpers and equitation. Many SEMF riders have gone on to big wins at the fall indoor shows! In addition, the SEMF has become known for unique classes to keep it fun and present unusual challenges.

This year is no different. Creator James Lala has reintroduced the World Cup format in the Jumper Finals with a first round speed class. New for the 2016 SEMF are the Children’s Hunter Pony Finals and Children’s Pony Medal Finals. And riders will find a unique new challenge in the Equitation Team Challenge of the States, combining junior and/or adult riders from their respective states in a team competition.

While the SEMF gives riders an opportunity for challenging competitions, it is known for making it fun. The show features several fun events such as a doggie costume class, doggie high jump, horse-less horse show and the always popular Parent Lead Line class. All proceeds from the fun shows directly benefit the 2016 SEMF charity, Kids Cancer Foundation.

Hundreds of riders from throughout the Southeast United States already have qualified, but others have the opportunity to qualify at wild card classes at the show. Make plans now to attend the 5th annual Southeast Medal Finals. Discounted stall rates available through Aug. 31.

Download the entire prize list by visiting!prize-list-time-schedule/c72d.

Register at or

Southeast Medal Finals Fact Sheet

WHAT: A finals show offering a special end of season culmination and finals that is more attainable for everyone.

WEBSITE:        www,

PRIZE LIST:!prize-list-time-schedule/c72d

WHEN:             Sept. 16-18, 2016

WHERE:           Jacksonville Equestrian Center, Jacksonville, FL, featuring a large indoor coliseum with 3000 seats, two outdoor rings, and 500 permanent stalls.


  • Finals classes in hunters, jumpers, and equitation
  • Equitation Team Challenge of the States
  • Hunter Finals Under Saddle Challenge
  • Tally Ho Farm Pony & Developing Rider Jumper Classic


James Lala 561-906-6668,
Alexis Newman 904-993-2053,


Kids Cancer Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit founded in 2001 whose mission is to provide resources and emotional support to children battling cancer and their families. Kids Cancer Foundation provides numerous programs, including a pediatric oncology patient care navigator, arts and health programs, tutoring and homework club for patients and siblings, and family socials. For more information, visit

Media Inquiries: Angie Francalancia
The Connection Public Relations
561-837-3251 office
561-324-2412 cell

Davis and Upchurch Earn Titles, Irons Leads Pony Rider Division at US Dressage Festival of Champions

Jenna Upchurch and Greystoke (

Wayne, Ill. – Two divisions apart of the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions determined their champions on Saturday. Bebe Davis and Feivel Mousekewitz claimed the AGCO/USEF Young Rider Dressage National Championship title, while Jenna Upchurch and Greystoke earned top honors in the AGCO/USEF Junior Dressage National Championship. In the USEF Pony Rider Dressage National Championship division, Hannah Irons and Bohdjan took the early lead with a steady ride in the FEI Pony Team Test.

AGCO/USEF Young Rider Dressage National Championship

Davis (Wellington, Fla.) clinched the AGCO/USEF Young Rider Dressage National Championship with Michael Davis’ Feivel Mousekewitz on the strength of an excellent performance to win the FEI Young Rider Individual Test with a score of 71.447%. She and the 2001 Hanoverian gelding had a powerful yet graceful test, allowing Davis, the 2013 AGCO/USEF Junior Dressage National Champion, to win another Festival of Champions title. They finished the championship with an overall score of 70.044%, besting the 11-combination field.

“I haven’t shown since I got home from Europe [after the USEF Dressage Young Rider European Tour]. Yesterday was more for me to get my confidence and get back into the mental mindset of showing and competing,” Davis explained. “I felt that yesterday was a really clean ride; I was really, really happy with it. Today he just showed a bit more extravagance and brilliance that I was lacking yesterday. I’m over-the-moon happy and couldn’t be more proud of him. It has been a great year and the European tour was such a great experience. I feel that I was able to learn so much from that experience that I was able to bring here. I couldn’t be happier.”

Rachel Robinson (Orlando, Fla.) finished third in Friday’s FEI Young Rider Team Test and delivered an improved test with Jeff and Lorraine Robinson’s Indira to finish second in the FEI Young Rider Individual Test on a score of 70.307%. The cleaner, more energetic test won Robinson and the 2004 Westphalian mare the Reserve Champion title with a score of 69.518%.

“Today we put in a much cleaner test than yesterday. Yesterday was pretty solid, but we did have a mistake in the fours and she was generally pretty tired. We had an extremely short warm-up; I was only out there for about 20 minutes. She had a lot more energy that carried through [the test], especially the canter work, and again really great pirouettes today; I think that was the highlight,” Robinson said. Turning to her experience at the USEF Dressage National Championships at the Lamplight Equestrian Center, Robinson stated, “I love it here. This is my third time here; I have been here twice for [USEF Dressage] Seat Medal Finals, so this is my first Festival. This is cool seeing all three championships; there is always so much going on. It is nice seeing Christine Traurig coaching so many of the top young horse riders. It is really nice seeing everyone at a central location doing so many different things and doing so well.”

Nicholas Hansen (Catawissa, Pa.) and his own Ritter Benno won Friday’s test and had another solid performance in Saturday’s test to earn a score of 69.342%. Hansen and the 2001 Westphalian gelding had a wonderfully smooth test with good energy and impulsion to help them finish with an overall score of 69.145%.

AGCO/USEF Junior Dressage National Championship

Jenna Upchurch (Chesterfield, Mo.) maintained her lead following Friday’s FEI Junior Team Test to win the AGCO/USEF Junior Dressage National Championship with her own Greystoke. She and the 2005 Oldenburg gelding produced a lovely test with effortless movements marred only by a moment of resistance at the beginning of the canter work to earn a score of 69.123% for the FEI Junior Individual Test. After the two days of competition, they finished the championship with a score of 69.697%.

“My test improved a lot with the basic flow of the test. The one bobble that we did have we recovered from quickly, which was great. It was really happy with how it went,” Upchurch said.

Marline Syribeys (Atlanta, Ga.) and her own Hollywood also held on to their second-place position on the leaderboard with another great performance to earn the Reserve Champion title with a final score of 69.049%. Syribeys and the 2006 Hanoverian gelding had a great test with solid trot and canter work to score 68.684% to finish third in the class.

“I was really happy to have a clean ride. He seemed to be a little more energetic today, which was nice,” Syribeys said.

Juliet Hess (Atlanta, Ga.) and Julia Stainback’s Diano had a solid test, aside from an unfortunate error of course to finish third in the championship with an overall score of 68.500%. Hess worked on elongating the 2003 Belgian gelding’s frame and getting him to relax his jaw, which paid off since they received a score of 68.711% to finish second in the class.

USEF Pony Rider Dressage National Championship

Irons (Queenstown, Md.) is attending her first Festival of Champions but was poised in the small but mighty championship field of seven combinations. With the four-time Festival of Champions veteran, Dressage4Kids, Inc.’s Bohdjan, Irons had a fluid test to win the FEI Pony Team Test on a score of 67.521%. She and the 1999 Dutch Pony gelding had solid simple changes and trot work to lead the USEF Pony Rider Dressage National Championship after the first test, with the remaining 50% of the overall championship score coming from Sunday’s FEI Pony Individual Test.

Hannah Irons and Bohdjan (
Hannah Irons and Bohdjan (

“‘Bobo’ was totally amazing,” Irons said with a smile. “Today he felt really good in the warm-up. He went out there and gave me his best. I thought he didn’t feel 100%, and it ends up he lost a shoe, but he went through the whole thing and tried his heart out for me and I couldn’t be happier with that.”

Emma Count (Columbia, Md.) and her own Wicked Games delivered a solid performance to finish second in the division. She and the 2009 New Forest Pony mare had an accurate test to earn a score of 65.342%, highlighting the progress of their partnership over nine months.

“I was so pleased with her. It’s been a long, long year. My favorite part of the test was the canter work because that has been not such a highlight the entire year. For tomorrow, I am hoping to improve the overall relaxation and suppleness. I’m just beyond amazed that we have come this far.”

Julia Lee Barton (Lawrence, Kan.) had a respectable test with her own Bonnaroo to receive a score of 65.000% to finish third. The 2009 Weser-Ems mare has a tendency to be hot and tense in the competition ring, but Barton rode well to produce quality work from her partner of three years, having one of their best tests of the year.

The USEF Young Adult ‘Brentina Cup’ Dressage National Championship presented by Dressage Today will also determine the overall champion on Sunday following the FEI Intermediate II Test.

More information about the championships can be found at

From the USEF Communications Department

Germany Takes Almost Every Medal at FEI European Championships for Ponies

Lucie-Anouk Baumgürtel and Massimiliano 3, gold individual and freestyle dressage (FEI/Sanne Kolind)

Lausanne (SUI), 23 August 2016 – The Danish National Equestrian Centre, Vilhelmsborg was pleased to welcome the best ponies in Europe from around 22 different nationalities, to compete at FEI European Championship for Ponies sponsored by Equsana from the 17-21 August 2016.

There is no doubt that Vilhelmsborg was exited to welcome one of this year’s most spectacular events on Danish grounds when hosting the FEI European Championships for Ponies in the three disciplines of Jumping, Dressage and Eventing. With huge support from the municipality of Aarhus, Vilhelmsborg is fully equipped to welcome the many international riders and their ponies.

Three Spectacular Arenas

Vilhelmsborg have made use of a total of 50 hectares of land, to create the three arenas for the championships. The jumping and dressage arenas were pre-established but both have been upgraded and are now ready for both the audience and participants. The eventing course is a total of 3.8 km long and built by the Swedish course designer Lars Christensson and Team Jørgensen from Kalundborg.

The dressage arena was located in the beautiful settings of the courtyard surrounded by the stables. The jumping arena was the main arena; here there were plenty of life in the shape of 30 different stands and a catering area.

Best Dressage Ponies in Europe

The dressage team competition successfully kicked off Wednesday at the Europeans where 29 riders and ponies competed in the first part of the test, while the remaining 32 riders competed on Thursday. 15 nations participated in the team competition which the audience watched with great excitement. Nobody could beat the impressive results of Germany, Lucie-Anouk Baumgürtel and Massimiliano 3, Tabea Schroer and Danilo 80, Inga Katharina Schuster and NK Cyrill, Tabea Schroer and Danilo 80, who claimed gold with a team score of 222.666.   Host nation Denmark was rewarded with silver for a score of 217.513 while Holland received bronze with 216.077.

Friday was also the day for the first part of the individual dressage test in which 36 riders and ponies competed. Once again Germany showed their great talents with four riders placed in the leading positions: Lucie-Anouk Baumgürtel and Massimiliano 3 was placed as best in class on a score of 76.244, second was Inga Katharina Schuster and NK Cyrill on 75.293, third was Tabea Schroer and Danilo 80 on 73.878 and the last German, Eileen Henglein and Cinderella M WE, were in fourth on 72.366.

On Saturday 25 riders and ponies competed in the second half of the individual championship with Danish rider Louise Christensen and Vegelins Goya the best of the day’s competitors, moving into third with a score of 72.585. However, Lucie-Anouk Baumgürtel and Massimiliano held on to their overnight lead and took the gold – none of the other competitors could reach this stunning gelding and it’s talented 12-year old rider, with the audience loving their high quality performance and the way they made everything seem so easy. Finishing in silver was Germany’s Inga Katharina Schuster and her pony NK Cyrill, while Denmark’s Louise Christensen and Vegelins Goya won the bronze medal.

As it was a sunny Sunday at Vilhelmsborg the dressage freestyle test was a very successfully event and a huge audience attended the entertaining test to music. The German riders dominated the competition once again with Lucie-Anouk Baumgürtel and Massimiliano winning a third gold medal and Tabea Schroer on Danilo again winning silver. Danish Louise Christensen on Vegelins Goya again won bronze.

Everything Can Happen in Eventing

The Eventing riders had their first ride in the team competition when 25 riders and their ponies performed their dressage test on Thursday. The second half of the team competition was finished Friday with the remaining 25 riders. After the dressage test the Germans put themselves in a very strong position as their first three riders were placed 1st, 2nd and 4th. The British riders ranked second all performing with great intensity – they had with them a dedicated team of supporters who had dressed up in Union Jacks and were cheering on the side at every test. The Belgians placed in third after the Dressage. Saturday saw the Eventers head out on the cross country course, with Germany’s Calvin Böckmann with Askaban B keeping his place in the lead of the competition on his dressage score of 38.3. In second position were Anna Lena Shaaf with Pearl 98, also from Germany on 41.4, and third was Great Britain’s Saffron Cresswell with Cuffesgrange Little Ric on 44.10. All three had a great round around the new and stunning cross country track, showing off high speed and well prepared ponies. The track was difficult but also highly technical, which was a huge challenge to many besides the top three riders.

In the Team competition there were eight teams competing, and after the cross country Germany held the leading position, once again showing great power and strength with their young pony riders who were performing their absolute best, France moved up into second and Great Britain in third, with Belgium moving out of their bronze position after dressage after some riders finding the cross country challenging. But much could still happen, when the riders were to hit the show jumping arena on Sunday morning.

On Sunday the eventing riders took to the large show jumping arena for the final day of the European Championships competition. Both the individual as well as team medals were given away, and also here Germany showed their strength winning both competitions. In the team Germany were clear leaders with a difference of almost 20 penalties between them and Great Britain who placed second. France took home the bronze. In the individual competition Anna Lena Schaaff and Pearl 98 jumped a clear round to take Gold, finishing on her dressage score of 41.4 and overtaking fellow teammate Calvin Böckmann and Askaban B, who had a very unexpected and expensive stop at one of the first fences on the course, moving them down to silver on a final score of 43.3. The bronze-medal was given to the Belgian rider, Jarno Verwimp and the 6-year-old pony Edition Limitee Dew Drop who jumped a clear round, moving them up from fifth place after cross country to finish on their dressage score of 44.3. A costly fence down meant Great Britain’s Saffron Cresswell, third after cross country, moved out of the medals to finish in fifth.

A very surprised and touched Anna Lena Schaaf said after the medal ceremony: “I am very pleased and it is yet quite unbelievable. I think I won’t realize what just happened before I get back home.”

Exciting Show Jumping Final

On the show jumping course 54 riders completed the first qualification of the individual and team competition Thursday, with Norway’s Sanne Sørlie putting herself and her pony Oldrock Megan into the lead after a fast clear round, with 27 rider and pony combinations cleared the course faultlessly.

On Friday’s team competition it was the Italian team who claimed gold on a score of 12, with one rider, Priscilla Pigozzi Garofalo and Poetic Justice Cassio, jumping three clear rounds. Silver was given to the team from Sweden and bronze went to Great Britain. These two teams had the same score of 20 penalties in total after both rounds resulting in a jump off. Unfortunately, Great Britain’s Jack Whitaker ended up with 4 penalties and Hallie Lunn had 8 penalties which dropped them below Sweden who had three great clear rounds with riders Elsa Johansson, Michelle Cranning Hillgren, Ingemar Hammerström and Tilda Eldh.

In Sunday’s final of individual show jumping it was Great Britain’s Jack Whitaker with the pony Elando Van De Roshoeve ending with 4 penalties who claimed the gold. Leader from first round Rowen Can De Mheen with Quaprice d’Astre had a refusal at fence 4, and received silver with 5 penalties. As third was the German Antonia Ercken with Crazy Hardbreaker SP WE who won bronze with 7 penalties after the day’s two rounds.


FEI European Pony Team Dressage Championship: GOLD – Germany 222.666: Massimiliano 3 (Lucie-Anouk Baumgürtel) 75.051, Danilo 80 (Tabea Schroer) 74.538, NK Cyrill (Inga Katharina Schuster) 73.077, Cinderella M WE (Eileen Henglein) 71.205. SILVER – Denmark 217.513: Vegelins Goya (Louise Christensen) 73.615, Der Harlekin B (Sara Aagaard Hyrm) 72.436, Lilo L (Kristian Würtz Green) 71.462, Gambys Hanneken WE (Victoria Bonefeld Dahl) 70.231. BRONZE – Holland 216.077: Wounderful Girl (Daphne Van Peperstraten) 73.128, Elin’s Noncisdador (Zoe Kuintjes) 72.590, Charina Du Bois (Jitske Prosman) 70.487.

FEI European Pony Individual Dressage Championship: GOLD – Germany: Massimiliano (Lucie-Anouk Baumgürtel) 76.244. SILVER – NK Cyrill (Inga Katharina Schuster) 75.293. BRONZE – Vegelins Goya (Louise Christensen) 74.073.

FEI European Pony Freestyle Championship:  GOLD – Germany: Massimiliano 3 (Lucie-Anouk Baumgürtel) 81.125. SILVER – Germany: Danilo 80 (Tabea Schroer) 77.450. BRONZE – Denmark: Vegelins Goya (Louise Christensen) 76.175.

FEI European Pony Team Jumping Championship: GOLD – Italy 12 fault: Donja (Camilla Mainardi) 7/11/4, Manisha 2 (Alessandro Orlandi) 0/4/4, Rock Dee Jay (Sofia Manzetti) 4/0/0, Poetic Justice Cassio (Priscilla Pigozzi Garofalo 0/0/0. SILVER – Sweden 20 faults: Ballygawleys Little Ferro (Elsa Johansson) 0/12/8/0, Wischin Chin M (Michelle Cranning Hillgren) 0/0/48/0, Ocean Des AS (Ingemar Hammarström) 0/4/0/0, Miclas Aristocrat (Tilda Eldh) 8/4/4/0. BRONZE – Great Britain 20 faults: Sultan Du Bary (Allana Clutterbuck) 0/4/4/0, Elando Van De Roshoeve (Jack Whitaker) 0/4/0/4, Javas Alun (Hallie Lunn) 4/0/48/8

FEI European Pony Individual Jumping Championship: GOLD – Great Britain: Elando Van De Roshoeve (Jack Whitaker) 4 penalties. SILVER – Holland: Quaprice d’Astree (Rowen Van De Mheen) 5 penalties. BRONZE – Germany: Crazy Hardbreaker SP WE (Antonia Ercken) 7 penalties.

FEI European Pony Eventing Team Championship: GOLD – Germany 135.60: Pearl 98 (Anna Lena Schaaf), Askaban B (Calvin Böckmann), Nadeem 2 (Libussa Lübbeke), Mondeo 34 (Johanna Schulze Rhier). SILVER – Great Britain 153.70: Cuffesgrange Little Ric (Saffron Cresswell), Drop the Subjekt (Anya Kolleth), Alfie (Eloise Carter), Sycamore Lad (Molly Meg Faulkner). BRONZE – France 161.90: Podeenagh Aluinn (Melissa Prevost), Olympe des Bois (Alban Moulliere), Risketou Maneti (Camilla Lucas), Tohing Song d’Aven (Quetin Gonzales).

FEI European Pony Eventing Individual Championship: GOLD – Germany: Pearl 98 (Anna Lena Schaaf) 41.40. SILVER – Askaban B (Calvin Böckmann) 43.40. BRONZE – Edition Limitee Dew Drop (Jarno Verwimp) 44.30.

By Tonya Bille Nielsen

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