Wellington, FL – March 26, 2021 – Equitation riders took their turn in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) on Friday, March 26, in the WEF Equitation Championship during the 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). After three technical rounds of competition, Natalie Jayne and Heritage Farm, Inc.’s Charisma took home the blue ribbon.
Zayna Rizvi and Jordyn Rose Freedman’s Finnick earned second place. Third place honors went to Dominic Gibbs aboard Mountain King Ranch LLC’s Cent 15, and fourth place went to Alexander Alston riding Waldo, owned by Missy Clark and North Run.
Shane Sweetnam and Indra van de Oude Heihoef Are Swift in $37,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.45m Classic CSI5*
Galloping swiftly across the grass Derby Field at Equestrian Village, Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Indra van de Oude Heihoef, owned by The Blue Buckle Group, won the $37,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.45m Classic CSI5* on Friday.
Out of 46 entries in the class, 19 were clear over the speed course designed by Guilherme Jorge (BRA). Starting the class off with a bang, Olympic individual gold medalist Eric Lamaze (CAN) and Chacco Kid, a 15-year-old Oldenburg by Chacco Blue x Come On owned by Chacco Kid Group, raced to set the leading time of 62.24 seconds, which would hold up for second place after the remaining 45 entries.
Riding early in the class as well in the fifth spot in the order, Sweetnam and Indra van de Oude Heihoef shaved almost a full second off the winning time, taking it down to 61.26 seconds.
No one else was able to catch Sweetnam’s time, but Jessica Springsteen (USA) and Hungry Heart, a nine-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding by Baltimore 1178 x Loucaibo owned by Stone Hill Farm, came closest in 63.10 seconds for third place.
Gold Medal Goes to Bailey Doloff and Wishlea Star Dasher in Pony Jumper Individual Final
Lexington, Ky. – August 13, 2016 – A little on-again, off-again sprinkling of rain at the Kentucky Horse Park did not interfere with Natalie Jayne’s impressive ride on Woodlands Stevie Ray in the Medium Pony Hunter division at this year’s U.S. Pony Finals.
Saturday’s over-fences section saw 167 of the best medium ponies in the country jump around the Walnut Arena, but it was Jayne and “Stevie” who walked away with the blue ribbon. In the under-saddle phase, the pair came in 21st out of a large class. Stevie is owned by Hannah Bernstein.
The 12-year-old rider from Elgin, Illinois trains with her mother, Lynn Jayne, at their Our Day Farm. She is also trained by Patricia Griffith of Heritage Farm and Kristen Carollo of Courtyard Farm.
Jayne got the catch ride on Stevie when his current leaser, Emily Aitken, had to decide between him or her other medium pony, Cleverist. Aitken chose the latter, and that meant that Jayne only had a short amount of time to figure out how to ride the 12-year-old gelding, who was also champion last year at U.S. Pony Finals in the same division with Alexa Aureliano. Luckily, the pair clicked right away.
“He rides a lot like a horse. He’s my kind of ride,” Jayne acknowledged. “I practiced a lot this week and jumped around the course, but he’s pretty easy to get used to.”
Perhaps some of Jayne’s innate talent in riding comes from her passion for all animals, especially horses and ponies. This affinity began at a very young age.
“I’ve always liked being around animals, so it’s nice to be able to interact with them,” she said. “I started riding since I was born, basically. I’d stand on the pommel of the saddle and my mom would walk around and cool out her horses. So I’ve been riding forever.”
While warming up, Jayne’s trainers emphasized getting Stevie moving forward off of her leg before beginning the course.
“They said just to make sure I got him going before the first jump – he’s lazy. And, to make sure he didn’t swap off to the right lead,” Jayne said.
Natalie’s mother, Lynn said that her calm disposition that can easily adjust to different types of ponies is what sets her apart from the rest.
“She’s very easy going and nothing really gets to her,” noted Lynn. “Last year, when she was in the Pony Medal, that was a catch ride who she’d never ridden before. She is just one with the horse and it’s easy for her to adapt.”
Natalie has also accumulated many top wins on horses recently. In addition to her Small Junior Hunter, Outlook, with whom she most recently won a class at Junior Hunter Finals, she also has a jumper. She is looking forward to showing at Pessoa Medal Finals and ASPCA Maclay Regionals in the fall.
The Woodlands Pony Farm’s Kay Randoph was elated when she found out that the pony she had bred ended up in the winner’s circle at U.S. Pony Finals for the second year in a row. The farm is located in Brodnax, Virginia.
“I’m super proud of him and I’m so happy to come out and see him all braided up,” she said, beaming.
“We have a big farm and they’re all pretty much just born in a paddock. They live a good life. Then, when their attitude is good we’ll get them ready. We try to get them at least green broke,” Randoph said.
Stevie is a Welsh Pony cross by Woodlands Velvet Rain, out of Woodlands Fire-n-Ice. The ponies that Randoph has bred over the years are all special, and usually she finds out that most of the ponies she has raised and sold have qualified for U.S. Pony Finals.
“I think on average we would have like 16 to 18 ponies that will qualify each year,” said Randoph. “They can be any age, from five year olds on up… We’ve had some come here in their 20s.”
Capturing the reserve championship prize was Hunter Champey and Annabelle Sanchez’s News Flash. Together, they were thirteenth over-fences and second in the hack. During Thursday’s model phase, the judges gave News Flash a tenth place ribbon in a large crowd of ponies.
“I just kept calm and rode. My day was going great; I knew I just had to go in and keep a nice, easy canter,” Champey said.
“My twin sister rode News Flash last year, and we just switched this year,” Champey stated. “The owner keeps texting my older sister asking about the pony. He’s just a great pony. His owner is going to be very excited, I already know.”
Gold Medal Goes to Bailey Doloff and Wishlea Star Dasher in Pony Jumper Individual Final
In his final junior year and second time at Pony Finals, 17-year-old Bailey Doloff and Wishlea Star Dasher captured the victory in the 2016 U.S. National Pony Jumper Championships Individual Final.
Doloff and Dasher, as he’s called, turned in an eight-fault round to start off the night, creating a three-way tie for the lead with Isabella Durnell and Carlton Diva, and Maya Lovdal and Miracles Happen.
“In the first round, I got a little bit forward at the combination, and he got flat,” Doloff said. “I had the back rails down. I surprisingly felt less pressure when I did that – I’m not sure why, but I felt better after that.”
As the night continued, nobody was able to break the tie for the lead, so the top three riders from round one returned for a jump-off to settle the score.
Durnell and Carlton Diva returned first and went clear to set the early time to beat at 35.775 seconds. Lovdal and Miracles Happen were next to attempt the short course, and lowered two heights to finish on a time of 36.244 seconds.
Doloff was last to take the stage, entering the ring confidently with Dasher to take over the lead, going clear in a time of 33.327 seconds. Lovdal finished with the bronze medal, and Durnell with the silver medal.
“Dasher is naturally quicker than most ponies,” Doloff said. “Even when I’m not really pushing, he has a faster step, so I knew that I didn’t have to take any crazy gambles, because I knew that he would be fine. I knew I still had to keep the rails up, so I just tried to nail each fence as quickly as I could without losing my mind like I did last year.”
After Doloff unfortunately went off course during his first Pony Finals last year, he said that coming back this year and winning feels incredible.
“This is a fantastic comeback, and I just think that this was great, because after last year I was really down,” Doloff explained. “I was making a lot of mistakes, and I was going off course, and I was at my lowest point. I went to Capital Challenge, and I was in the lead, ready to win, and then I completely blew it in the jump-off.”
After his trainer, Dorna Taintor, recommended that Doloff read up on sports psychology, Doloff said his luck began to change as he learned how to relax and change his perspective going into the ring,
“I just worked on putting everything in perspective,” Doloff continued. “At the end of the day, it’s just a show. Whatever happens, happens, and there’s going to be more shows in the future. It’s about preparing for the next one.”
Doloff said he began leasing Dasher three years ago, and only planned to lease the talented pony for one year to compete in pony racing. However, as Doloff discovered the pony’s scope over fences, the plans changed, and the duo began training to compete in the Pony Jumpers with the goal of competing at Pony Finals.
“The first year was just getting to know each other, and we realized he could jump big but he wasn’t really in a program, so we were just galloping around,” Doloff said. “We’d go to a race one week and then go to a horse show, which was a bit counterproductive.
“I think the turning point was in my second year with him. We went to Devon Fall Classic in 2014, and I didn’t really know what a formal show was. I had to borrow a man’s tweed jacket and tie, and I’m wearing too-small pants, and I have a blue saddle pad. It was the most ridiculous thing ever. We got second, and it was the first time we did 1.05m, and he did fantastic. I think it was when we finally got real clothes.”
The 2016 U.S. Pony Finals will wrap up on Sunday with the Pony Medal.
Mimi Gochman and Storyteller (Shawn McMillen Photography)
Woodlands Stevie Ray Collects Medium Regular Hunter Pony Champion Honors
Lexington, Ky. – The US Hunter Pony Championships presented by Sallee Horse Vans came to a close on Saturday at the Kentucky Horse Park. Medium Regular Hunter Ponies went to task in the Walnut Arena in their Over Fences phase to determine the 2016 Champion. Natalie Jayne and Woodlands Stevie Ray emerged victorious on Saturday afternoon, but it was Wednesday’s Large Regular Hunter Pony champion, Storyteller, that proved unbeatable as he was named the Grand Champion Hunter Pony of the 2016 US Pony Finals presented by Collecting Gaits Farm.
National titles are determined following three phases of competition, with Model and Under Saddle phases each counting towards 25% of the overall score, and the remaining 50% being determined by the Over Fences phase.
Mimi Gochman (Wellington, Fla.) and Fair Play Farm’s Storyteller earned an excellent score of 1040.80 to win the Large Regular Hunter Pony Championship on Wednesday. As the highest scoring Regular Hunter pony, she and the 13-year-old German Sport Pony gelding claimed the Grand Champion Hunter Pony title.
Claire Campbell (Glen Allen, Va.) and her own Roll Call, an 11-year-old German Riding Pony gelding, received a score of the 1026.32 to claim top honors in the Small Regular Hunter Pony Championship, thus earning them the Reserve Grand Champion Hunter Pony title.
Jayne (Elgin, Ill.) and Woodlands Stevie Ray scored the Medium Regular Hunter Pony title with an overall score of 1003.07, winning “Stevie” his second consecutive title in the championship. After earning 236.02 in the Model phase and 253.55 in the Under Saddle phase, she and Hannah Bernstein’s 12-year-old Welsh Pony Cross gelding climbed from 20th place to the top of the leaderboard with a win in the Over Fences phase with a score of 256.75.
“He won two years in a row which is good for him. I haven’t shown him anywhere else so it was fun to ride him here. I didn’t have a ride here, so [Emily Aitken] offered me ‘Stevie’, which is a very good ride, so I was quite happy,” Jayne said. “I just had to make sure I got him going before the first jump because he is lazy and that he didn’t swap off the right lead.”
The Reserve Champion title went to Hunter Champey (Far Hills, N.J.) and News Flash with an overall score of 998.14. She and 11-year-old Welsh Pony gelding received scores of 245.49 and 262.65 in the Model and Under Saddle phases, respectively. The pair’s Over Fences phase garnered a score of 245.00 on Saturday.
Kierstin Antoniadis (Middletown, N.Y.) and Peacock Ridge LLC’s No Drama finished third in the Medium Regular Hunter Pony Championship with an overall score of 993.19. On Friday, she and the 10-year-old Swedish Warmblood/Welsh Pony mare scored 239.29 in the Model phase and 255.94 in the Under Saddle phase. The pair climbed 10 places on the strength of their Over Fences performance, which scored 248.98.
In the Medium Regular Hunter Pony Championship, the Best Presented Pony was Rock Star presented by Sofia Roberts and the Best Turned Out Pony was Vermont Ruby Fox, ridden by Anna Richardson.
The US Pony Finals presented by Collecting Gaits Farm will conclude Sunday with the Marshall & Sterling/US Pony Medal Finals on Sunday at 7:00 a.m. ET in Alltech Arena. The live stream on the USEF Network is presented by the USHJA Foundation.
Natalie Jayne and Blueberry Hill (Shawn McMillen Photography)
Lexington, Ky. – The third day of the US Hunter Pony Championships presented by Sallee Horse Vans at the 2014 US Pony Finals came to a conclusion Thursday evening with Natalie Jayne and Blueberry Hill claiming top honors in the Small Regular Hunter Pony Championship. In 2013, Blueberry Hill collected a fourth-place finish but this year the mare climbed three placings to earn the 2014 National Title on a score of 1007.92.
National titles are determined in the hunter championship following three phases of competition, with Model and Under Saddle phases each counting towards 25% of the overall score, and the remaining 50% being determined by the Over Fences phase.
Jayne (Elgin, Ill.) and her own 13-year-old Welsh Cross mare entered the final Over Fences phase in 15th place, after scoring 233.35 in the Model phase and 250.05 in the Under Saddle, but climbed the ranks on the strength of their final performance. The pair was the winners of Over Fences after earning a score of 262.26 that sent them straight to the top of the overall standings.
Jayne credits the pony’s temperament and naturally open stride in her Over Fences and Overall win.
“She has a huge stride, and she’s pretty easy to find the jumps on. She’s not spooky either.”
Earning Reserve Champion honors on Thursday was Madeline Schaefer (Westminster, Md.) and Pretty Penny Farm’s 10-year-old Welsh Pony gelding, Armani, with an overall score of 988.34. In the Model, the pair earned 251.00, added a further 256.56 in the Under Saddle phase, and garnered 240.39 in the Over Fences portion of competition.
Sophie Gochman (New York, N.Y.) and David Gochman’s 10-year-old Welsh Pony mare, Love Me Tender, finished on a score of 981.58 after earning 244.50, 267.00, and 235.04 in the Model, Under Saddle and Over Fences, respectively, to earn third-place honors.
The US Hunter Pony Championships presented by Sallee Horse Vans continue Friday with champions crowned in the Medium Green Hunter Pony Championship and the Large Green Hunter Pony Championship.