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Finders-Keepers Finds Medium Pony Hunter Championship Tricolor at 2014 USEF Pony Finals

By on August 10, 2014

Taylor St Jacques and Finders-Keepers.

Lexington, KY – August 9, 2014 – Taylor St Jacques is in her third year competing at USEF Pony Finals, and each year, her goal has been to improve upon the previous year’s results.

That is no easy feat when your previous year’s results include a reserve championship in the Medium Pony Hunters and the only remaining upward step is a championship, but St Jacques did it Saturday at the Kentucky Horse Park.

She clinched the tricolor in the Medium Pony Hunters aboard Finders-Keepers, a 10-year-old Welsh Pony gelding (Flying Diamond the Bailef – NR Burgundy Lace) owned by R.H.F. Enterprises, Inc.

“I’m so, so excited. Last year, I was reserve. I wanted to try to beat it again,” St Jacques, age 15, said. “I just wanted to do well this year, especially on this one, because it’s my last year in the mediums. I’m very thrilled to be champion.”

St Jacques’ enthusiasm at the idea of being named champion was evident from the minute she and Finders-Keepers cleared the last fence of their course. As soon as all four of Finders-Keepers’ small feet where back on the ground, St Jacques broke out into a giant grin. She knew that together they had turned in a course that could easily secure them the championship victory, and sure enough, it would do just that.

Their round would put them in second place over fences and move them up from 11th into the number one spot overall where they would go untouched for the remainder of the class.

“I’m usually happy after my trips, but I don’t usually smile that big,” St Jacques said, continuing to smile. “[Pony Finals] is a big thing.”

St Jacques first got the ride on “Keepers” at the end of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). Lily Ezrow, who is presently leasing Keepers, had brought the gelding to train with Bill Schaub at Over the Hill Farm, with whom St Jacques also trains.

“The last week of WEF, Bill decided to would be a good idea to see how it would be in the regulars. He put me on it, and it went really well,” St Jacques said.

“He’s really fun to ride. You kind of just have to leave his face alone and just tell him to keep going. No matter what distance you get to, he always jumps well so that helps a lot,” Jacques continued. “He never looks at anything, and he’s very brave, not nervous at all. It’s really good because this is his first year in the regulars out of the greens. He’s awesome. I love him so much.”

Finishing in reserve in the medium pony hunters were Emma Kurtz and Lonesome Dove’s Goodhearted Woman, owned by Lonesome Dove Farm. The duo earned the reserve championship honor after riding away with the win in the over fences phase.

The conclusion of the Medium Hunter Pony competition marked the end of all of the 2014 Regular Pony Hunter divisions, and it ushered in the crowning of the 2014 Grand Regular Pony Hunter champion.

The esteemed honor awarded to the pony with the highest point total across all three of the regular pony division was presented to Natalie Jayne and Blueberry Hill. Jayne and the Welsh Pony cross (Gayfields Vida Blue – Emerald Hill) mare clinched the Small Pony Hunter championship early this week before also claiming the overall award.

Following the conclusion of the pony hunter classes, the pony jumper competitors took center stage in the Alltech Arena.

Munson Sets Record as Youngest Rider to Take Gold at USEF Pony Jumper Individual Championships

Genevieve Munson has two gold medals and a new record to her name following the conclusion of the 2014 USEF Pony Jumper Individual Championships.

Munson piloted Bluebelle to help the U.S. Pony Club capture team gold on Friday, and Saturday night she put in another clear and fast effort over Richard Jeffrey’s course to take individual gold as well. At age 10, it makes her the youngest rider ever to do so.

If you ask Munson, it is not her that should be patted on the back for her wins. When describing what it meant to capture the individual gold medal, the 10-year-old rider said: “I’m just really, really happy, but I really want to congratulate Bluebelle. She’s the one that jumped over the fences; it wasn’t me.”

Bluebelle would not have made it very far without her talented (and humble) rider’s guidance; Munson made the track that had tripped others up look easy as she skillfully navigated through each question asked on course.

“It was definitely a Richard Jeffrey course,” Munson said. “He makes you ride technically; he won’t let you run around in there. You have to really think about what you’re doing, but it was a great course. It was great for us to learn on.”

It is easy to forget you are talking to a 10-year-old when Munson gives answers like that. Her father, Michael Munson, assures that his daughter is not always so business-like. Mr. Munson, who just founded Northwest Arkansas Pony Club this year out of his own Rogers Equestrian Center in Rogers, Arkansas, has a theory on why Genevieve is such a natural rider.

“I think Genevieve is a horse!” Mr. Munson laughed. “Literally, we came out of the hotel and she’s cantering to the elevator!”

When she is not imitating her four legged friends, Munson is busy riding with a number of different trainers, who she was quick to thank for getting her to the top of the podium. Bluebelle’s owner Carlie Beisel is one of those trainers, and she said Genevieve had started riding her pony last fall with the intention of coming to Pony Finals in two years.

Thanks to Munson’s determination, she reached that goal a whole year early in what Beisel describes as her “mission.”

“I met her at a Pony Club clinic and sat next to her,” Beisel said of Munson. “She happened to find out that I owned Bluebelle, and she had heard about Bluebelle being at Pony Finals the year before. She kind of attached herself. She was on a mission. She decided Bluebelle was a part of her mission.”

Munson also trains with Britt McCormick and Martin van der Hoven, and she credits van der Hoven for guiding her to her first big pony jumpers win.

“He helped us so, so much. He coached us through our first blue ribbon in pony jumpers,” Munson explained.

Some riders like to revel in their victory, but Munson is not one of them – she’s already looking toward the future.

“We’re going to go home and fix things up, just tighten everything up and see from there,” Munson said of her plans.

While Saturday marked the conclusion of the Pony Hunter and Pony Jumpers, USEF Pony Finals competition continues with the Pony Medal Finals tomorrow beginning at 8 a.m. in the Alltech Arena.

To learn more about the USEF Pony Finals, please visit www.ponyfinals.org.

Kentucky Summer Series Fast Facts

Events:
Kentucky Summer Horse Shows, USEF National Pony Finals, Bluegrass Festival Horse Show and KHJA Horse Show, and the 2014 USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals.

What:
The Kentucky Horse Show LLC’s 2014 series includes five weeks of top competition throughout the summer. These premier hunter/jumper competitions host the Hagyard Challenge Series with seven grand prix competitions that culminate with a Leading Rider Award, as well as the Hallway Feeds National Derby Series.

Where:
Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, KY, site of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™. Home to the United States Equestrian Federation.

When:

NORTH AMERICAN JUNIOR & YOUNG RIDER CHAMPIONSHIPS – July 15-20, 2014
KENTUCKY SUMMER HORSE SHOW – July 23-27, 2014
$25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic
$50,000 Rood & Riddle Kentucky Grand Prix
$5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby

KENTUCKY SUMMER CLASSIC – July 29 – August 3, 2014
$25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic
$50,000 Kentucky Summer Grand Prix sponsored by GGT Footings
$5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby

2014 USEF PONY FINALS – August 5-10, 2014
BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL HORSE SHOW – August 12-17, 2014
USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals
USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship
$25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic
$40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix
$5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby
WCHR Member Event

KHJA HORSE SHOW – August 20-24, 2014
$10,000 Hagyard Welcome Stake
$30,000 KHJA Grand Prix
$5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby

Sponsors:
A special thanks to the generous sponsors of the Kentucky Summer Horse Shows: Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, Hallway Feeds, Audi of Lexington, GGT Footing, Equestrian Services International, Johnson Horse Transportation, Farm Vet, Dietrich Insurance, Take2 Thoroughbred Program, Sleepy P Ranch, and the Official Hotel The Clarion

Hours:
8am – 5pm daily

Parking:
Horse Show Exhibitors may purchase a weekly parking pass at the main Horse Park entrance for $15.00. Dogs are permitted at the Kentucky Horse Park on a leash.

Directions:
The Kentucky Horse Park is located 8 miles northeast of Lexington, Kentucky at Exit 120 on Interstate 75.

Information:
Before Show – (859) 233-0492, Email: hakshows@earthlink.net
During Show – Telephone: (859) 254-3343, Fax: (859) 231-6097
Stabling – Email Tom Blankenship at tomblank@bellsouth.net
Stable office – Before Show: (843) 269-4737, During Show: (859) 255-0605
Prize List Advertising – Email Cindy Bozan at cindy@kentuckyhorseshows.com or call (859) 608-3709
Vendors – Email Cindy Bozan at cindy@kentuckyhorseshows.com or call (859) 608-3709

Shownet – www.shownet.biz

Website: www.kentuckyhorseshows.com

Ring Dimensions/Specs:

The Stonelea Ring, Murphy Ring, Walnut Ring, Stonelea/Murphy Schooling Ring, the Alltech Arena and the Rolex Stadium have Otto Sport footing consisting of fine sand and synthetic fiber on pvc mats. The Claiborne, Annex, and Covered Arena (old) rings’ footing consists of a sand cushion on limestone base. The dimensions of the competition areas are as follows:

Stonelea: 140′x 280′, Murphy: 135′x 280′, Stonelea and Murphy Schooling: 110′x 400′
Walnut: 300′x 370′, Claiborne: 140′x 270′, Annex 130′x 250′, Covered Arena (old): 145′x 285′ Rolex Stadium: 360′ x 384′, Alltech Arena: 132′ x 265′

Shopping:
Vendors offering equestrian equipment, apparel, jewelry and home furnishings are located adjacent to the Stonelea Ring.

Hotels:

CLARION HOTEL (Formerly Holiday Inn North) – 859-233-0512 – Approximately 4 miles (OFFICIAL HOTEL)
Discover the place where elegant comfort in an ideal location meets excellent service and affordability. At the Clarion Hotel Lexington, you’ll find well-appointed accommodations with options of double/doubles, double queens, king rooms or suites, exceptional amenities such as our free hot breakfast buffet, and Southern hospitality at its finest. The best hotel for Keeneland – located in the heart of Kentucky’s Bluegrass Region – home of the Kentucky Horse Park, the Lexington Convention Center, University of Kentucky, and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail – our Lexington hotel is on Newtown Pike at Exit 115 on I-75, close to all the big attractions, and is the perfect place to stay whether you’re here to get down to business or have some fun. Best of all, bring your furry friends for any trip because the Clarion Hotel in Lexington is also pet-friendly.

CAMPGROUND RESERVATIONS:
Reservations may not be made through the Horse Show office. To reserve a campsite at the Kentucky Horse Park for any of the horse shows, please call the Campground store at (800) 370-6416 or 859-259-4157 or email Sherry Logan at sherryd.logan@ky.gov. Be specific as to the show name and the dates you wish to stay. Check-in time is 2:00 p.m. and check-out is 12:00 noon. You must make arrangements with the Campground store if you plan to arrive earlier than 2:00 p.m. or stay later than 12:00 noon. Vehicles that are not removed from a campsite by check-out time will be towed.

Management:
Kentucky Horse Shows, LLC
P. O. Box 11428
Lexington, KY 40575-1428
859-233-0492 (phone)
859-233-0495 (fax)
email: hakshows@earthlink.net
website: www.kentuckyhorseshows.com

Media Contact:
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
12230 Forest Hill Blvd.
Suite 214
Wellington, FL 33414
561-753-3389 (phone)
561-753-3386 (fax)
pmginfo@phelpsmediagroup.com
www.phelpsmediagroup.com

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