Tag Archives: Pony Finals

Sophie Gochman Leads Victory Gallop in Pony Medal at U.S. Pony Finals

Sophie Gochman.

Lexington, KY – August 9, 2015 – Beginning early Sunday morning, 174 young riders and their ponies took their turns around the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park Friday, with each hoping to claim the coveted honor of Marshall & Sterling/USEF Pony Medal Champion by day’s end. Ultimately, it was Sophie Gochman aboard Rico Suave who outshone the rest to take the top prize following two seamless over fences trips and a stand-out performance in the additional flat testing.

“I’m so excited. I came in here thinking that it would be great if I was in the top 10 because last year I was in the top 25. My goal was to just be top 10, but I never expected to win. I’m so excited, I’m so pumped,” Gochman said. “My heart was in my stomach. I was shaking. Just making the top 10, I achieved my goal.”

After the first phase course, 25 riders and their mounts returned to the limelight for one more trip around the natural track. Having whittled down the field to the top contenders, it was only fitting that the equitation course increased in both options and difficulty level. After starting with a diagonal four-stride line, the riders were already faced with an inside or outside fence option at the third effort, which then affected the long approach to the ivy-covered oxer headed towards the gate. A left-hand rollback gave way to another sharp turn in the opposite direction to a two-stride oxer-to-vertical combination, followed by a turn option to the subsequent vertical. The final fence once again presented riders with a jump option. Gochman opted for all of the reasonable inside tracks, undoubtedly showing off her equitation ability and the pony’s handiness.

“The courses were challenging, especially the long four-stride line and several of the rollbacks. The second course had a lot of rollbacks, and you had to be very careful to land on the correct lead or to get the change quickly. Luckily, Rico is very good at getting his lead changes, which made it a bit easier,” Gochman stated.

The 12-year-old from New York City may have believed the course to have its fair share of challenges, but she hid it well, conquering the tough track and consistently impressing judges Frank Madden and Ken Smith.

“What we found out in the second round is that the cream just wasn’t rising to the top, but Sophie was solid all day,” Madden commented. “When we flatted the top five, they were all within two-and-a-half points of each other, so that had a lot to do with the outcome. Sophie was leading headed into the test and stayed on top.”

“She had two of the most consistent rounds of the day, and she was quite good on the flat, so all of that combined put her at the top for us,” echoed Smith.

The young Gochman was quick to note that it was a team effort that contributed to her win, sharing thank yous by the handful just outside the ring, still dressed in the traditional champion garb with a blue sash hanging off her shoulder.

“I really, really want to thank Amanda [Derbyshire], Scott [Stewart], and Ken [Berkley] for training me, my parents for supporting me with my riding, Gustavo, Rico’s groom, and Dr. Betsee Parker. Although she doesn’t own Rico, but she has given me lots of great rides,” Gochman graciously expressed. “And of course, Rico. I gave him a kiss and made sure that he got a candy.”

Gochman had a repertoire of ponies to choose from but felt that Rico Suave, ‘Rico’ for short, was her best bet at a top placing in the Medal class. Owned by Ponies & Palms Show Stables out of Boca Raton, Florida, the small pony had been one of the 12-year-old’s trusty mounts for two years, and on Sunday, it looked like her choice paid off.

“Rico is so comfortable and brave, even when the jumps are a bit spooky. He has a good stride and a nice lead change, so I think that he was the best-qualified pony of ours. Thinking about all the challenging things in the equitation, he was the best at all of them,” Gochman said. “Plus, he is just so cute.”

Another vital member of Gochman’s support team, trainer Scott Stewart, was right by her side throughout both rounds of competition and the flatwork test, offering useful help to keep the young talent riding her best.

“In round two, it seemed that she was a little more relaxed and was able to have fun since she was so excited about making it to the top 25. I had to tell her to be calm because she was almost a little bit too excited,” Stewart laughed. “She has a naturally nice position and is always working on something. It’s exciting to watch her grow as a rider. She rides a lot and tries to get better. It was great for the week to end this way.”

Gochman plans to revel in her win a bit longer, but soon the young talent will turn her eyes to the next competition on the horizon. She hopes to qualify for the pony classes at the Washington International Horse Show during the Indoor season and eventually move on to the open equitation classes when she “gets a bit bigger.” With many more junior years ahead of her, Gochman is certainly one to keep on the radar.

Boasting another strong performance, Natalie Jayne of Elgin, Illinois earned the title of reserve champion. Third place went to Grace Debney of Hamden, Massachusetts, followed by Ellia Giuliani of Middleburg, Virginia in the fourth spot. Jenna Drago of Aurora, Ohio and Jennifer Staniloff of Setauket, New York rounded out the final two top six spots.

The USEF Pony Finals fun came to an end on Sunday, but competition will continue this week at the Kentucky Horse Park with the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show beginning on Tuesday, August 11.

To learn more about the USEF Pony Finals, please visit www.ponyfinals.org, and to find out more about all of the Kentucky Summer Horse Shows, go to www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.

Rebecca Walton for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

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Iwasaki Sweeps Large Green Pony Hunters, Claims Grand Green Pony Hunter Championship

Augusta Iwasaki and Kingston.

Lexington, KY – August 7, 2015 – Entering the final phase of competition with two blue ribbons already under her belt, Augusta Iwasaki, aboard her trusty mount Kingston, had a target on her back as the one to beat in the Large Green Pony Hunters. Already a weekly champion in Thursday’s Small Regular Pony Hunter division, Iwasaki was hoping to add another 2015 U.S. Pony Finals win to her list of accolades.

As the last to go, she and the chestnut Kingston were faced with the task of surpassing the 1,012.450 score set by competitor Ellia Giuliani and Brighton Decidedly, which the pair easily crushed with their cumulative score of 1,046.8 to sweep all three classes of the division and claim the lead spot in the victory gallop.

Called “Prince” in the barn, Kingston will surely be treated as royalty tonight, as he not only carried Iwasaki to her second champion tricolor of the week, but also the title of Grand Green Champion. Their overall score was the highest of the 208 Green ponies in the hunt for the Small, Medium, and Large size-based divisions throughout the Finals.

“He is never wild; he is always very sweet. He’s just perfect, always. He never puts a foot out of line,” Iwasaki sung the pony’s praises. “I’m very excited and very lucky to get to ride him. I want to thank Ava Peck for letting me ride this pony. He’s so perfect.”

The 11-year-old rider from Calabasas, California, opted to ride Kingston, owned by Peck of Topanga, California, instead of one of her own family’s horses, which ultimately proved to be a smart move. The pair has been together since January.

“This is definitely my favorite part of the week so far. I’m excited to hang up my ribbons and put up my trophies in my room when I go home. This was for sure worth the trip,” the young champion smiled. “The competition is one of my favorite things here; it’s much more competitive than at home. I think that the better competition makes me ride better.”

With one more pony still to ride this week, Iwasaki will try her hand at one more division, hoping to earn herself a third reason to celebrate in the Medium Regular Pony Hunters with Somekindawonderful.

Giuliani and Brighton Decidedly, owned by Morgan Munz out of Califon, New Jersey, maintained their reserve spot in the Large Green Pony Hunters as the only other pair to break the 1,000 point mark. Rider-owner Emma Seving and Captivating captured the third position, followed by Christina Judy’s Recess from Chesterland, Ohio, ridden by Camryn Halley, in the fourth spot. Rounding out the top six were Top That, owned by Emily Elik-Burtard of Ixonia, Wisconsin, and ridden by Giavanna Rinaldi, and San Francisco-based Pretty Penny Farm’s Splendid, with Ava Leraris in the saddle.

Emma Kurtz and Truly Yours
Emma Kurtz and Truly Yours

As the over fences portion of the Medium Green Hunter Pony division commenced, Emma Kurtz knew that she would have to navigate Truly Yours to a high-scoring ride to overcome her 21-point deficit behind Sophia Calamari and Unforgettable, the leaders after the model and hack portions of competition, and to jump from third position to the champion spot. Kurtz and Truly Yours ultimately did just that, impressing the judges to earning a 263-point score, the highest score of the over fences class, to secure the championship honors more than 10 points ahead of the next-closest finisher with 1,028.4 points.

“It is always such an amazing opportunity to get to ride the ponies I do. It is just so much fun. I love how family-friendly Pony Finals is – they make it really fun for everyone,” Kurtz commented.

Dr. Betsee Parker, out of Middleburg, Virginia, owns Truly Yours and has owned many ponies and supported numerous riders throughout the past years, but was quick to note Kurtz’s special place in her heart. Kurtz’s win marks a new milestone for Parker: her eighth consecutive year winning a division championship, an accomplishment no other owner has achieved.

“I have been very blessed to have Emma,” Dr. Parker said of the young talent. “She has had several champions with me. I feel very fortunate to have her and her mom. We brought her out to the George Morris clinic, and George really liked Emma. The first person who is going to hear about this win is George Morris.”

Dr. Parker added, “She is a very serious student. She tries so hard, and rides so many ponies and horses. I think she has a very bright future ahead of her. It has been really fun to see the children grow up.”

Regarding her future, at least for the next few years, the 15-year-old plans to continue working with green ponies and horses, hopefully racking up more accomplishments in the process.

“It is really fun to bring them along, see them excel and see them become the ponies they are today,” Kurtz said.

Clinching the reserve position was Iwasaki aboard her family’s Small Suggestion. Third place went to Vienna, piloted and owned by Samantha Palermo out of Merritt Island, Florida, followed by Calamari and Unforgettable, owned by Forget Me Not Farm in Wellington, Florida, in fourth position. Olivia Ferro in the irons aboard Anderin’s Momento for Linda Evans of South Hadley, Massachusetts, and Taylor St. Jacques with the ride for Danielle Roskens of South Lyon, Michigan, on Motown Mini swept the last two top six spots.

The Medium Pony Hunters kicked off their first day of competition Friday morning with over 150 ponies parading into the Walnut Ring for the model and under saddle classes. Vanessa Mazzoli of Rockford, Michigan, and her own Find the Love took the lead in the division with two top placings, concluding the opening day of competition with 512.79 points. She clinched the first place in the model, as well as the second place in the under saddle for a strong lead. Claire Campbell and Leon, owned by Madeline Schaefer of Westminster, Maryland, follow in the second place with 505.91 points, while Devin Seek and Heaven’s Sake, owned by Bibby Hill of Reddick, Florida, are only a hair shy with 505.67 points.

Zone 4 Pony Jumper Team Captures the Gold in Team Competition

Down the road in the Alltech Arena, 34 Pony Jumper riders took center stage, with nine teams facing off in the Pony Jumper Team Championship. Riding in championship format, competing over two rounds of courses, it was Zone 4 that came away with the 2015 Team Gold. Riders Charles Smith, Chloe Farmham, Hallie Rush and Anna Reisling left nothing to chance as they overtook the competition to end the two rounds of competition with only 20 faults to their team name.

“Every single one of these riders contributed to this championship equally,” said Katie Maxwell, Chef d’Equipe of Zone 4. “I watched them grow as riders from each round. It was just phenomenal to watch them learn and explore the process and achieve what they did.”

Zone 4 didn’t kick off the competition with a strong lead, earning a team total of 20 for the first round total, but they returned for round two with their eyes set firmly on the top finish.

Charles Smith, 17, and Venice rode to a faultless second round score to set a trend for his fellow teammates. Chloe Farnham, 15, and Cookies & Cream duplicated his effort, while the youngest rider of the team, Hallie Rush, 12, rode to a four-fault score. It was 17-year-old Anna Reisling’s clear effort that confirmed their winning point total as she laid down the third clean round aboard Blue Me Away.

“It’s a rush for sure; you feel it out there, and then when [your team members] go in, you feel it,” Smith said. “I think that competing as a team is more difficult than the individual competition. When you are on a team, you are rooting for everybody; you want to see every person do well. We each have to put in the rounds in order to win, and it makes it that much more exciting.”

As the second round came to a close, a hush fell over the Alltech Arena as it was announced that there would be a jump-off. Maxwell admitted that she had lost count of the points by that time, but when the announcer said that it was for the two 28-fault teams, the cheers erupted from the riders, trainers and parents as it dawned on them that Zone 4 won its third Team Gold in four years.

“What a big opportunity this is, and having such an amazing team to go through this with, it has been such a wonderful time and experience,” Rush smiled as she held her trophy.

2015 marks Rush’s second time competing in the Pony Jumpers; however, the young talent is going into the Individual Championship on Saturday as the top ranked rider of the team, with only four faults.

For teammate Farnham, the pony jumpers were a change of scenery from competing in the pony hunters at the USEF Pony Finals. After feeling the surge of adrenaline and the taste of victory, Farnham admitted that she is never looking back. With rescue pony Cookies & Cream, Farnham plans to compete in many more events in the future.

The gold medal proved extra special for one rider on the team, 17-year-old Reisling. With her birthday approaching in November, her days as a junior are limited; however, it was on her bucket list to make it to the Pony Finals and compete for Zone 4 before aging out of the division.

“I didn’t get to do the championship when I was 13, but now, in my last junior year, my trainer asked me what I wanted to do, and I had my heart set on making it to the championships,” Reisling explained. “It is so exciting going out there, and there is so much energy packed into a little body.”

She continued, “It is so different than showing in the hunters. You have pressure lifted off of your shoulders. It isn’t about how the pony looks, but rather the athleticism. You have to focus on lifting your pony off the ground.”

It worked out to be the perfect situation for Reisling and Blue Me Away, the spunky gelding whose trademark move is starting out the course with a few strong bucks and cow kicks. His antics do not bother Reisling, who refers to his quirks as “personality.”

Blue just recovered from colic surgery after being found only a few months prior in a field with no pulse. Thanks to an insurance policy, he was rushed into emergency colic surgery where he pulled off a remarkable recovery.

“They removed 10 feet of intestine and he just popped right off the table,” Reisling laughed. “A few months later we were jumping him around, and now he is here.”

Although Zone 4 rode cloud nine after the announcement of their gold medal win, the silver medal was tied between Zone 2 and the combined Zone 9/10, both with 28 points.

Zone 2 chose to send in Claire Jones and Proven Therapy, but four faults at the fifth obstacle would leave the door open. Stephanie Don and Joel followed consecutively, putting in their fourth clear ride of the competition, and earning Zone 9/10 the silver medal, while Zone 2 took the bronze.

Don is currently tied with Elizabeth McDougald and Knock My Sox Off going into Saturday’s Individual Championship, each with zero faults.

The 2015 USEF Pony Finals competition continues Saturday with the Medium Pony Hunter over fences classes beginning at 9 a.m. in the Walnut Ring at the Kentucky Horse Park. The Pony Jumpers will conclude Saturday evening in the Alltech Arena with the individual final round and the farewell class.

To learn more about the USEF Pony Finals, please visit www.ponyfinals.org. For live results, please visit www.shownet.biz.

Rebecca Walton for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

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Augusta Iwasaki and Bit of Laughter Small Pony Hunter Champions at 2015 USEF Pony Finals

Augusta Iwasaki and Bit of Laughter.

Lexington, KY – August 6, 2015 – As the over fences phase of the Small Pony Hunters got underway Thursday, all eyes turned to Augusta Iwasaki and Bit of Laughter. They ousted the top competitors to move up the ranks and capture the championship with an outstanding over fences effort, earning the high scoring round to move from the 11th position to the pinnacle of the leader board.

Although Iwasaki and Bit of Laughter, owned by Iwasaki & Reilly of California, kicked off the competition with 10 contenders ahead of them, with 50 percent of the overall scores tabulated from the over fences class, the tricolor was in the air with the young competitors vying for the coveted honor.

Bit of Laughter donned the championship ribbon in 2011 with rider Lindsey Levine in the saddle for the Small Green Pony Hunters; however, this was Iwasaki’s first time showing the talented pony at the 2015 USEF Pony Finals. The young talent, hailing from Calabasas, Calif., has worked to form a partnership with ‘Ceto’ for two years, and it all culminated with their exemplary performance over fences.

“I’m very excited about this win,” Iwasaki expressed. “My favorite part of today was our jumping trip, and it was probably one of my best rounds with this pony.”

Iwasaki admitted that the chestnut can allude to a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality, but he was on his best behavior Thursday.

“He has two sides; he is either really nice or really grumpy, but he’s been really good lately,” Iwasaki laughed. “He doesn’t really like other ponies, but he likes me when I give him treats. I think he likes being at the horse show much more than he likes being at home.”

The 11-year-old rider made the trek east all the way from Calabasas, Calif. for her third consecutive U.S. Pony Finals, and she seems to always enjoy her time in Kentucky. While the majority of the riders and spectators were averse to the constant rain that plagued the day, Iwasaki contrarily welcomed the change to her usual climate. Taking home a few top honors certainly can’t hurt the experience, either.

“I live in California, but I like Kentucky a lot. It is a lot more green and wet,” the young winner laughed.

Iwasaki closed out the competition with 1033.29 points after earning the high scores of 90, 86.5 and 92 from the judging panel. Mimi Gochman followed 10 points behind, making a nostalgic run for the reserve championship with Love Me Tender, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker of Middleburg, Virginia.

Love Me Tender has been a part of the Gochman family for nearly five years, and 10-year-old Mimi was the first to have the ride out of the sisters.

Mimi Gochman and Love Me Tender
Mimi Gochman and Love Me Tender

“When she was a baby, she jumped really hard and really high,” Mimi elaborated. “In the beginning, she was green, and throughout the years she has become better and better. By the time Betsee bought her, my sister Sophie was riding her. This year, Sophie wanted to ride Chester [Bit of Love] at Pony Finals, so Betsee asked me if I would ride her. I was thrilled! I knew it would be nice memories for when I used to ride her.”

What Mimi did not expect was that she would earn her first rosette at Pony Finals with one of the first ponies she ever showed.

“She was really great, and I think I know her better now than I did in the past,” Mimi patted ‘Princess,’ as she is known in the barn. “She has a big stride, a low head and a good jump, all in all it is the perfect combination, and it was so much fun to ride her. It is awesome to win the reserve championship; I have never had a tricolor at Pony Finals.”

Iwasaki did not stop at besting a field of 120 small ponies. Earlier in the day, Iwasaki took the early lead in the Large Green Pony Hunters with Kingston, owned by Ava Peck of Topanga, Calif., outshining 86 entrants to earn the top spot in both the model and under saddle portions during the first day of divisional competition. Their overall score of 513.320 points swept them into first position, securing the pair as the last to ride Friday during the over fences phase, the final fraction of competition.

“I am very excited. I really wanted to win this for Ava, his owner, I want to thank her because she is so sweet for letting me ride him; I love him. He is very quiet and sweet and calm,” Iwasaki said.

Although Iwasaki will have a slight advantage as the leader headed into Friday’s class, she has some stiff competition still in the hunt for the top prize. The second through sixth positions are all within a few points of each other, with sixth position less than 13 points behind Iwasaki and Kingston. Garavani, ridden by Devin Seek and owned by Ashley Vail Aycox of Jones Creek, Georgia, sits in second, while Emma Kurtz in the irons aboard Oliver Twist, owned by Sharrone Peters of Dearborn, Michigan, clinched the temporary third. Ava Leraris and Splendid, owned by San Francisco-based Pretty Penny Farm, hold the fourth spot, followed by owner-rider Michelle Haskins aboard Until Tomorrow, and New York City-based Juliette Mark’s Lead Story, ridden by Lizzy McCrady, taking the final two top six spots.

Iwasaki and Kingston were not the only double blue winners Thursday, as Unforgettable, modeled and hacked by Sophia Calamari and owned by Forget Me Not Farm in Wellington, Florida, also impressed the judges during both phases of competition to earn consecutive blue ribbons in the Medium Green Pony Hunters. The pair took a commanding lead with their cumulative score of 523.560 points, nearly 20 points ahead of the next-closest competitor, with the over fences portion still to take place Friday.

Currently sitting in second position is Jenna Field and Apricot Brandy, owned by Victoria Redman of Ocala, Fla., trailed by Emma Kurtz and Truly Yours, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker, in third place. Samantha Palermo and her own Vienna, Iwasaki and her family’s Small Suggestion, and Devin Seek and Dance with Me, owned by Bibby Hill of Reddick, Fla., hold the current fourth through sixth spots, respectively.

The Regular Pony Hunters continue Friday, with the Medium Regular Pony Model beginning at 7 a.m., followed by the under saddle. The Medium Green and Large Green Pony Hunters will commence their over fences as they compete for the division championships. The Pony Jumpers will conclude the day with the Individual Phase II and Team Championships getting underway in the Alltech Arena beginning at 4:30 p.m.

To learn more about the USEF Pony Finals, please visit www.ponyfinals.org. For live results, please visit www.shownet.biz.

Rebecca Walton for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

MEDIA CONTACT:
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
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561-753-3389 (phone)
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Taylor St. Jacques & Glynhafan Red Kestral Take Large Regular Pony Hunter Tricolor

Taylor St. Jacques and Glynhafan Red Kestral.

Lexington, KY – August 6, 2014 – For 16-year-old Taylor St. Jacques, competing at the 2015 USEF Pony Finals is bittersweet. After four years of showing in the prestigious event, St. Jacques has decided to turn the reins over to a new team of riders, but first she closed out the competition with a strong finish in the Large Regular Pony Hunters, standing poised in the winner’s circle to accept the division’s championship with the Welsh gelding Glynhafan Red Kestral, owned by Peacock Ridge.

“I am so excited!” St. Jacques smiled. “We all teamed up with this pony at the beginning of Wellington this year and kept saying that he has such great potential, and we kept working with him and figuring him out. Every time we went in the ring it got better and better and better. He is really a special pony.”

St. Jacques worked with the Rizvi family during her winter-stay in Wellington, Florida, riding the pony, affectionately referred to as ‘KP,’ every week. Since the end of the winter circuit, she has only had the opportunity to ride him twice, since he is stabled in Connecticut and St. Jacques lives in Virginia.

Knowing the pressure that rested on her shoulders, ranked as the sixth rider overall prior to the over fences, St. Jacques knew she had to stay unruffled in order to earn the top call.

“The thing that I keep in my head during Pony Finals is that the over fences part is the most important, so you still have a great chance if you’re in the top 20,” she explained. “Going in I was thinking to myself, ‘OK, I know how to ride this pony, and we are a great team. We can figure this out. As long as I stay smooth, we got this.'”

And so they did. The pair took the top award in the over fences phase to take the lead with 260.61 points. Their cumulative score of 1,025.39 points put them 2.76 points ahead of first-day leader, Morgan Ward with Dr. Betsee Parker’s Enjoy the Laughter. The grey gelding placed as the bridesmaid for the second consecutive year, falling just shy of the championship that seems just out of reach. Third place overall was awarded to Abigail Brayman and Dreamland, for their over fences score of 253.10 points to boost them from the 11th position with a final cumulative score of 999.93 points.

St. Jacques laughed about Glynhafan Red Kestral’s disposition. “He likes to over-exaggerate and be like ‘Look at me; look how great I am!’ He tries his hardest over the jumps. He has such an incredible personality, and he is so beautiful overall. He always wants to be told how great he is. If you tell him he’s bad, he gets mad at you.”

Glynhafan Red Kestral will now pass to Farrah Rizvi, the daughter of Peacock Ridge’s PJ Rizvi.

“I think they have everything it takes,” St. Jacques said. “He is a great pony and she is a wonderful rider-they have all the makings to be the next pony superstars.”

Although Pony Finals are over after this year for the 16-year-old, St. Jacques plans to continue competing in the big equitation classes, as well as the jumpers, which she has recently become involved with. She was nothing but one large smile and two dimples as she patted KP and posed with the array of ribbons.

“I just love it here, being around all the horses and ponies and the people. Everyone is so kind in the horse world,” she concluded.

Devin Seek and Woodlands Polar Bear
Devin Seek and Woodlands Polar Bear

Taking home the rosette in the Small Green Pony Hunter division was Bibby Hill’s Woodlands Polar Bear, ridden to victory by Devin Seek of Ocala, Florida. Seek and the little grey gelding began the day in sixth position, but they put up the strongest over fences scores of the division to overtake the early leaders and claim the championship title with their cumulative marks of 990.550 points.

Champion last year in the Large Regular Pony Hunter division with Hudson, Seek was visibly excited to have repeated her efforts to the tune of another tricolor.

“Coming back after a win last year with Hudson, I knew that it helped my chances. Bibby [Hill] has helped me a lot and has awesome ponies for me to be able to ride, so I knew that if I did what I did last year and had a good ride, that I would have a good chance. It all worked out,” Seek commented.

The 15-year-old was quick to praise ‘Polar Bear’ and attributed his cool, calm and collected nature as a notable factor contributing to their place atop the leader board.

“He is the barn favorite. All the little kids love him because he is so social and couldn’t care less. He’ll do anything. The short stirrup kids ride him, and he will walk through the water in the cross country course,” Seek said. “He is so simple-minded, especially for a green pony. He’s only 7 or 8 years old. All he cares about is doing his job.”

Reserve champion in the Small Green Pony Hunter was Jessie Spade’s entry With Applause, with Sophia Calamari in the irons. The runner-up pair put up a good fight and finished less than a point behind the leader with a score of 989.660 points.

The Regular Small Pony division got underway Wednesday, and leading the standings going into Thursday’s over fences rounds is Maple Leaf Opulence, ridden by Hunter Champey and owned by MDHT Equestrian LLC out of Far Hills, New Jersey. The leading pair finished the day with two top placings under their belt, having earned the second place ribbon in the model, followed by the sixth place in the under saddle, to accumulate a total of 510.03 points.

Less than half a point behind with a score of 509.70 points in the current reserve rank is New York City-based Mimi Gochman with Love Me Tender, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker of Middleburg, Virginia.

It was Ashley Schneider and Falling Moon Huckleberry that captured the blue ribbon in the model. It was an emotional win for the 10-year-old as she stroked her pony’s blaze. Tears came to her eyes as she smiled and spoke of the chestnut, and their first experience competing at the U.S. Pony Finals.

“I have been riding him since last April, and we have gotten to know each other pretty well,” Schneider said. “I think it is his markings that really make him stand out. He also has such a strong personality; he is very playful.

“Winning a ribbon at my first Pony Finals means so much, and I never expected it. I am in shock right now. This pony means so much to me; to be here with him and win, it’s so exciting.”

Chicago’s Olivia Markman and Benlea Mizzou or ‘Mazzy’ took the top call in the Small Regular Pony Under Saddle, finishing just ahead of Gochman and Love Me Tender. Markman received Benlea Mizzou as a birthday present last November, and the 10-year-old could not stop smiling as she talked about his standout qualities.

Mazzy is known for nuzzling Markman, as well as drinking the occasional Gatorade in the barn. His mischievous personality stems from his love for his rider, even whinnying for her the moment she walks through the barn door.

“I know he’s really cute, and he is a really good jumper, so we are looking forward to tomorrow,” Markman said. “This is my first year competing, and it is really exciting to do so well. I qualified and thought that I would go; I had no idea how I would do. It would be crazy to get a championship, but we are having fun!”

The Small Pony Hunters kick off Thursday, with the Medium Green Pony Model beginning at 7 a.m., followed by the Large Green Pony Model. The under saddle classes for each division are slated to run from 8 a.m. until shortly after noon, when the Small Regular Pony Hunters will commence their over fences.

To learn more about the USEF Pony Finals, please visit www.ponyfinals.org. For live results, please visit www.shownet.biz.

Rebecca Walton for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

MEDIA CONTACT:
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
12012 South Shore Blvd #105
Wellington, FL 33414
561-753-3389 (phone)
561-753-3386 (fax)
pmginfo@phelpsmediagroup.com
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Enjoy the Laughter and With Applause Kick Off Opening Day of 2015 USEF Pony Finals

Morgan Ward and Enjoy the Laughter took the first day lead in Large Pony division at the 2015 USEF Pony Finals.

Lexington, KY – August 4, 2015 – Morgan Ward is no newcomer to the USEF Pony Finals, and although she had not planned to attend the 2015 edition of the competition, she was recently presented with an offer she could not refuse. Dr. Betsee Parker asked Ward to ride Enjoy the Laughter, and on the opening day of the competition, the duo did not disappoint, winning first place in the Large Pony Model, and racking up enough points to lead the way on opening day.

“I just started riding him a couple of times at home, and shortly after they asked me to show him,” Ward explained. “I was told that he always wins the model, so it was my good point. He is a beautiful pony overall.”

Ward continued, “There were a lot of ponies out there, so it felt great to be able to win. I was a little bit nervous because Dr. Parker has a lot of ponies on hand, and having her ask me is a great opportunity. I had a good feeling going in. Hopefully we keep it up for the over fences phase.”

At 17 years old, Ward is bittersweet about her eighteenth birthday next week, knowing that she will be closing a successful chapter in her life to begin her career as a professional rider.

“It’s sad in a way because I have so many junior rides, but I am going professional next year and I cannot wait to start that life,” Ward elaborated. “I was not going to come at all this year, but then Scott [Stewart] asked me to show for Dr. Parker and my sister [Lindsey Ward] asked me because she has a Large Green Pony. It is still a good time being here.”

Ward currently sits atop the leader board in the first position, just ahead of Emma Kurtz and All My Love, also owned by Dr. Betsee Parker. Ward leads with 519.35 points, with Kurtz hot on her heels with 513.36 points. The final division standings for the large ponies boils down to tomorrow’s over fences classes, which kick off beginning at 11 a.m. in the Walnut Ring at the Kentucky Horse Park.

Ward explained, “I feel confident going into the over fences because he rides a lot like my junior hunters. He goes slow, has a big step, jumps great and has expression, so now it is on me.”

Kurtz captured the third place in the Large Pony Model, as well as the eighth place in the under saddle to earn enough points to return as the penultimate rider tomorrow afternoon.

It was first-time U.S. Pony Finals competitor Katherine Kemps, of Austin, Texas, who captured the blue ribbon during the under saddle with Occhio. Kemps is making her first appearance as an exhibitor, and she exuded confidence as she gushed over Occhio, the bay pony who clinched the first place during the Large Pony Under Saddle.

“He is probably my favorite pony that I have every ridden,” Kemps said. “He is super sweet and is probably one of the most loving animals I have ever met. He hugs my groom, Manny, every morning.”

Kemps continued, “I am really excited right now. It hasn’t set in yet; to win at Pony Finals is very exciting. It has been a year and a half now of working with Occhio, but he really stands out. I think he just has his own way of moving. He is so calm every time I am on him. He is so well put together.”

Currently, Katie Ray and Rockaway, owned by Ramble On Farm of Malvern, Pennsylvania, sit in the third position going into Wednesday’s over fences and division championship, while New York’s Lily Ezrow and Empire’s Victory are fourth. Whitney McKinley of Macon, Georgia, and Just My Style sit in the fifth place, and Taylor St. Jacques with Glynhafan Re Kestral, owned by Peacock Ridge LLC of Greenwich, Connecticut, round out the top six.

Sophia Calamari Duplicates Efforts to Return to Winner’s Circle in Small Green Pony Hunters

In the Small Green Pony division, Sophia Calamari, no stranger to the U.S. Pony Finals winner’s circle, rode With Applause, owned by Jessie Spade of Terrell, North Carolina, to two high-ranking finishes in the model and hack portions of the division. The pair earned the first place in the under saddle and the red ribbon in the model to secure the spot at the top of the leader board headed into the second day of competition, a situation with which Calamari is all too familiar.

Sophia Calamari and With Applause
Sophia Calamari and With Applause

Last year, 14-year-old Calamari, of New Milford, Pennsylvania, rode her own pony, Smitten, to near identical placings in the Small Green Pony classes, and eventually took the overall prize. Now, her seventh trip to Lexington for the Finals, the young rider has picked up a new ride in With Applause, but as of yesterday, that was not the case.

‘Colby,’ as he is known in the barn, was pegged to be ridden by his owner in the Finals this year, but an unfortunate injury prior to the start of competition led to the need for a replacement rider, and luckily Calamari was available. Although she picked up the ride last minute, Calamari had seen the pony go before and came into the day with some knowledge on his way of going.

“I met him in Florida this year, and watched him go a lot in the Greens. He seemed like a really, really sweet pony. I was attracted to his movement and the easy way he goes around, he just looks happy all the time,” Calamari commented.

Regardless of the rider, it is clear that Colby is a once-in-a-lifetime pony, and his owner does not take that for granted.

Spade said, “He is such a good pony, and if you ever get the chance to own him, keep him for as long as you can. I can always count on him. Even though I’m not riding, it’s great to see him win with someone else. My parents are hilarious; they fight over him all the time, saying ‘I wanted him’ and ‘No, I wanted him first.’ It’s so funny.”

As Small Green Pony Champion last year, Calamari was visibly excited to have another shot at the tricolors for the second year in a row.

“It feels amazing, and I hope we can duplicate our results again. I’m definitely feeling confident and excited, and am so glad to have the opportunity to ride this pony here – it means a lot to me,” Calamari said.

Taking the blue ribbon ahead of Calamari and With Applause in the model phase was Caroline Passarelli, of High Falls, New York, in the irons aboard Morgan Ward’s Cabana Boy. The 14-year-old Passarelli rode to a top six finish last year in the Smalls, and is hoping to improve upon her performance this year with her new mount.

“I’ve only ever ridden him one other time, last week at HITS Saugerties, so I’m new to him, but he is really fun and tries his hardest. He is amazing, thinks very highly of himself, and knows that when the judge comes by that he needs to stand and look pretty,” Passarelli said of the pony.

Passarelli was asked just a few short weeks ago by the Ward family, who had a winner of their own earlier in the day, to ride the pony, and she eagerly said yes. Only 5 years old, the small pony certainly acts his age outside the ring, according to Passarelli, but turns on his game once inside the ring.

“It is like playing with a little kid – he licks your face, he bites the reins, bites me, in a playful way! He is so fun and has a huge personality,” the young champion noted, “but once we are in the ring he is very excited and brave, especially for just turning 5.”

Currently sitting in first and fifth overall, respectively, Calamari and Passarelli will ride their ponies against more than 40 other competitors in the over fences section of the Small Green Pony division Wednesday to try and claim the top honor. Libbie Gordon and Glenhaven Astoria, owned by Parker Peacock of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, currently sit in second place, followed by Augusta Iwasaki and Calabasas, owned by California-based Iwasaki & Reilly’s Small Addition, in third position. Maddie Stiles and her own Royal Moment earned enough points to put them in fourth ahead of Passarelli, with Devin Seek aboard Woodlands Polar Bear, owned by Bibby Hill of Reddick, Florida, finishing in the top six. The class is scheduled to take place at approximately 4:45 in the afternoon, following the conclusion of the Large Regular Pony division.

The Small Pony Hunters kick off tomorrow, with the Small Pony Model beginning at 7 a.m., followed by the under saddle portion around 8 a.m.

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

Rebecca Walton for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

MEDIA CONTACT:
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
12012 South Shore Blvd #105
Wellington, FL 33414
561-753-3389 (phone)
561-753-3386 (fax)
pmginfo@phelpsmediagroup.com
PhelpsMediaGroup.com

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

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

Sophia Calamari Captures Small Green Pony Championship with Smitten at 2014 USEF Pony Finals

Sophia Calamari and Smitten.

Lexington, KY – August 6, 2014 – Competing at USEF Pony Finals takes a team – a team that sometimes includes a host of people responsible for feeding, braiding and bathing the pony until it is ready to arrive ringside.

For this year’s USEF Pony Finals Small Green Pony champion, Smitten, however that team is a bit different than some. The first person Smitten see’s in the morning is his rider and owner, Sophia Calamari.

“Our ponies live at home, so they take care of their own ponies,” explained Laurie Scott, Calamari’s mother. “They clip legs and ears and bathe. We don’t have grooms at home, so we do everything ourselves.”

Hailing from New Milford, Pa., Calamari heads south for the winter with her mother and sister, Francesca, to ride their ponies and mounts for Ponies & Palms Show Stables LLC in Boca Raton, FL. She may be just 13 years old, but Ponies & Palms Show Stables LLC owner Leslie Butzer says both Calamari girls ride with talent far beyond their years.

“They actually help train my animals,” Butzer said of Sophia and her sister. “And Laurie, their mom, is dedicated to their success. She doesn’t just drop them off at a trainer’s every day. She hauls; she grooms; she braids. It’s really refreshing to see. No one deserves this more.”

Calamari says working with her pony outside of the ring gives her a leg up against the competition.

“I know his personality,” Calamari explained. “I know what he likes, and what will scare him.”

Smitten, known affectionately as “Smitty” back in the barn, was not always the calm and collected show stopper he proved himself to be at this year’s Pony Finals.

“When I bought him he was a little tough, so I was nervous,” Calamari said. “He was just always a little nervous, a little reactive, but now he’s very calm.”

There were no quick fixes or magic tricks; just time and patience have helped get Smitty to where he is today.

“When we first bought him, we bought him as a 4-year-old, and we brought him home. He was just not as broke as we had thought,” Scott explained. “So I just took him back to stage one and brought him along very slowly, so by the time she got back on him, he was great.”

The now 6-year-old pony is as quiet as they come in the show ring. Smitty’s laid back nature wins him big ribbons, but keeping cool whilst wearing them is a different story.

“He doesn’t want you to put a ribbon on his head, and that was our fault,” Scott explained. The first time he won champion we put it on. Then someone threw a cooler over him while Sophia wasn’t looking, and he got loose, so then he was running with the ribbon and the cooler stuck on him!” Scott said with a laugh, shaking her head at the memory. “So he probably would have been fine before. He’s just very sweet.”

This year’s victory in the Small Green Pony Hunters came at a perfect time for Calamari-she is aging out of the small division.

“I just hope he goes to a very nice person,” Calamari said with a small smile, running a hand over Smitty’s nose as he stood waiting for her to finish the interview.

“We’ll miss you terribly!” Scott said to the pony, scratching his neck. Smitty spent most of the interview snuffling inquisitively at the phones and recorders capturing his owner’s quotes, throwing in a few knickers of his own. He may be short in stature, but that pony lacks nothing in personality.

Taking the reserve champion honors behind Calamari and Smitten was Ashley Watt’s pony Rollingwood’s Tuxedo, ridden by Madeline Schaefer.

Taking home the tri-color in the Large Pony Hunter division was Hudson, ridden to victory by Devin Seek. Having only ridden Hudson a handful of times before Pony Finals, Seek had to acclimate to both the gelding and his size in a very short time.

“I was nervous, because it was only my second time riding a large, especially here,” Seek explained. “It’s hard because there are so many people watching, and it’s Pony Finals! Just saying the name ‘Pony Finals’ makes you have more pressure and nerves.”

Seek enjoys the new experiences afforded to riders at Pony Finals.

“You get the opportunity to do something different. It’s one time in the big ring,” Seek said, referring to the Walnut ring at the Kentucky Horse Park where all of the Pony Finals hunter classes are run. “You don’t get that at every horse show.”

Reserve champion in the Large Pony Hunter was Dr. Betsee Parker’s entry Enjoy The Laughter, ridden by Ali Tritschler.

The Regular Small Pony division got underway Wednesday, and leading the Regular Small Pony standings going into Thursday’s over fences rounds is Dr. Betsee Parker’s pony Bit Of Love.

Known as Chester back in the barn, the chestnut gelding won the small pony model and took third in the hack, and he’s no stranger to the top of the pony pack. Chester was the top ranked small pony going into the over fences rounds at last year’s Pony Finals, placing fourth in the Small Regular Pony Hunter.

“I’m hoping and that he can do a real nice, quiet, mannerly round for Caroline tomorrow,” Parker said. “But you just never know. We’re really delighted today, and you’ve got a level playing field tomorrow.”

Chester can have what Parker calls some “firm small pony opinions”, and it’s up to his rider Caroline Passarelli to keep him happy in the ring.

“He either likes a child or he doesn’t, and he likes Caroline,” Parker said. “He’s kind of high spirited, and if the children give him any reason to demonstrate his gingery-ness he will demonstrate being a gingery pony!”

Some small ponies have quite a naturally plump build, but not Chester. The model winner’s slender build is something Parker finds particularly appealing about his conformation.

“I think with Chester his body is especially sleek looking,” Parker explained. “A lot of times we like to see these big, kind of sofa-esque ponies, and they are all as large as they can be for the division, but Chester isn’t one of those. He’s not a sofa pony-he’s refinement right done to his hoofs.”

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

Smitten and Enjoy the Laughter Lead the Way on Opening Day at 2014 USEF Pony Finals

Sophia Calamari and Smitten.

Lexington, KY – August 5, 2014 – Sophia Calamari is a USEF Pony Finals veteran – this year marks her sixth time making the trip from home in New Milford, PA to the Kentucky Horse Park. What makes this year a little extra special however is that it is her first year making that trip with Smitten.

Thirteen-year-old Calamari got the small green pony two years ago and, under the instruction of Gary Duffy and Little Brook Farm, has been bringing him along herself since then. Today on the opening day of the 2014 USEF Pony Finals, Calamari and Smitten, or “Smitty,” kicked things off in one of the best possible ways: by earning the highest score in the Small Green Pony Model and moving into the overall lead in the Small Green Pony division.

“He was a little bit tough when we got him, but he’s worked through it,” Calamari said. “Now he’s amazing. He’s very silly. He’s great and serious on his back, but in the barn he likes to play a lot.”

In addition to winning the Small Green Pony Model, Calamari rode Smitten to third place in the Small Green Pony Under Saddle rankings, which further secured the pair’s spot atop the Small Green Pony overall leaderboard. The final division standings for the small ponies all come down to tomorrow’s over fence classes, which kick off beginning at 8 a.m. in the Walnut Ring.

“It’s really neat knowing that he could actually be champion,” Calamari said, and win or lose she is happy to be here. “I love the atmosphere at Pony Finals and that it’s all ponies and all of my friends. Everyone just has a really good time here.”

Calamari is also competing throughout the week on her two other mounts: her medium pony, Power Trip, and her medium green pony, Boca’s Unbridled Dreamer.

Ali Tritschler and Enjoy the Laughter Lead the Way in the Larges

In the Large Pony division, there is another veteran rider hot on the heels of a championship – Ali Tritschler riding Dr. Betsee Parker’s Enjoy the Laughter.

After a successful USEF Pony Finals last year, Tritschler said she was hanging up her hat in the pony ring and focusing on the junior and equitation divisions. That changed when her trainer, Timmy Kees of Norfield Stables LLC, got a phone call from Scott Stewart with an exciting offer that Tritschler could not refuse.

Ali Tritschler and Enjoy the Laughter
Ali Tritschler and Enjoy the Laughter

Stewart and Parker were looking for someone to ride Enjoy the Laughter, or “Maddox” at this year’s Pony Finals, and Tritschler fit the bill perfectly.

“It’s an opportunity that I thought would be really good for me,” Tritschler said. “I’d never shown him before, so I showed at Fairfield, and I showed him again a couple of weeks ago at Lake Placid. He’s really nice to ride because he’s just like a big horse. He goes around just like my equitation horse does, so it’s not that big of a switch for me. He doesn’t go like a normal pony, and I think that’s part of what makes him that pretty and stand out as much as he does.”

Enjoy the Laughter bested 99 other ponies to take the blue ribbon in the Large Pony Hunter Model this morning, and he and Tritschler also rode away with the seventh place ribbon under saddle to give them the early lead in the overall Large Pony Model standings.

Earning today’s blue ribbons under saddle were Emma Lemke and Brownland Miss Kimmy, owned by Brownland Farm, in the Small Green Pony division and Alexandra Pielet and Love and Logic, owned by Jill Shulman, in the Large Pony division.

Both pairs will be back tomorrow to vie for their championships as the Small Green Pony and Large Pony divisions come to a close. The Small Pony Hunters kick off tomorrow, with the Small Pony Model beginning at 7 a.m.

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

Emma Kurtz Dominates Green Pony Hunters at 2013 USEF Pony Finals

Emma Kurtz and Yes It’s True.

Lexington, KY – August 7, 2013 – The 2013 United States Equestrian Federation Pony Finals continued today at the picturesque Kentucky Horse Park with the conclusion of the Green Pony Hunter divisions. Ponies and riders from each division completed their over fences phases, competing for the top honors as well as the championship and reserve championship titles. At the end of the day, 13-year-old Emma Kurtz sat atop the leader board, claiming the Grand Green Pony Hunter Championship title with Yes It’s True and the Reserve Grand Green Pony Hunter Championship aboard Show Me Love.

In the Small Green Pony Hunters, it was Yes It’s True’s stunning performance over fences that helped her win all the top awards with Emma Kurtz in the irons. The duo took home the blue ribbon prize in the over fences class with scores of 86, 85, and 85, which would be good enough to claim the Small Green Pony Hunter Championship for new owner Sofia Roberts of Wilmington, OH. Their overall total came to 1018 after winning the under saddle and placing second in the model, and that helped the pair earn the Grand Green Pony Hunter Championship.

“Yes It’s True is really fun,” smiled Kurtz. “Her jump’s really fun. You have to keep the leg and keep going, but she does carry her own canter. She doesn’t require that much work. She’s not that green; she’s not spooky.”

This year marked the first blue ribbon at Pony Finals for Kurtz, and she topped it with the Grand and Reserve Grand Green Pony Hunter titles. “It’s been amazing,” commented the Hudson, OH, native. “It’s been an awesome day with great ponies.”

Robin Greenwood bred and raised Yes It’s True, an eight-year-old mare by Empire’s Power out of Yes I Will. “She’s such a good pony and she’s always been such a trier,” she noted. “The pony gives you goosebumps when she jumps around. She always over jumps, but does it so perfectly. It’s very exciting. She was filly or mare champion as a yearling at Devon. You know she’s a superstar; she’s always been a show pony.”

Kurtz led the Medium Green Pony Hunter division from start to finish, winning the under saddle yesterday and placing second in the model with Show Me Love, owned by Scott Stewart of Wellington, FL. Today, they showcased their skills over fences, earning scores of 78.5, 81, and 88, for third place to bring their grand total to 1007 and capture the Medium Green Pony Hunter Championship. Their impressive performance also helped the pair capture the Reserve Grand Green Pony Hunter Championship.

“Show Me Love was awesome today,” said Kurtz. “He was really quiet and he liked the jumps. He’s really easy; he’s just really lazy so you have to use a lot of leg.  It’s so nice when they’re easy and fancy.”

Owner Scott Stewart noted, “He’s 6 years old and he just showed in the Greens once, at the beginning of Florida, and since then we have been doing the Regular Mediums. He’s really simple. He’s quiet, he’s not spooky – he’s really one of the easiest ones we’ve had.”

“Emma rode him all through Florida and he won quite a bit,” continued Stewart. “Because we’ve been at different shows, she hasn’t ridden him for a month – she just jumped him yesterday for the first time. But he’s that easy. After this he will probably go to the Hampton Classic and then Indoors, where he’ll do the Regular Mediums; this is his last show in the Greens.”

The Medium Green Pony Hunter Reserve Championship went to Kirklen Petersen and Foot Steps, owned by David Glefke of Keswick, VA, for their total of 994.5. They also placed fourth over fences. The winner of the class was Taylor St. Jacques riding Pink Ice for Danielle Boyle of Melville, NY, and receiving scores of 82, 84, and 82.24. Coco Fath and Rosmel’s Fairy Steps, owned by Katherine Arliss of Red Bank, NJ, picked up the second place award in the class after earning an 83, 80.5, and 83.

In the Small Green Pony Hunters, Augusta Iwasaki of Calabasas, CA, and Small Introduction took home the reserve championship with total score of 998, placing third over fences with scores of 83, 86, and 85.5. Taylor St. Jacques scored the red ribbon over fences with Hershey’s Kiss, owned by Danielle Roskens of South Lyon, MI. St. Jacques and Hershey’s Kiss earned scores of 85, 83.5, and 86.

The Large Green Pony Hunters were the first to compete over fences in the Walnut Ring today. Morgan Ward and Isport, owned by Refield Farm of Califon, NJ, jumped to the top of the leader board with scores of 83, 83, and 84.5 that earned them the blue ribbon. Lilly Mack of Cincinnati, OH, and Blue A Kiss followed in the second place position after earning an 81, an 84, and an 85. The third place ribbon went to Daisy Farish and Northwind Marin, owned by Prue Richardson of Palgrave, Ontario, who received scores of 80.25, 84.5, and 84.

At the end of the class, the overall points were tabulated and Farish was named the Large Green Pony Hunter Champion aboard Northwind Marin, topping the competition by 15 points with an overall score of 1005.5. The reserve championship honors were presented to Aleece Jarmin and Casanova, owned by Tracy Howe of Frenchtown, NJ, who placed fourth over fences and had a total of 990 points.

Daisy Farish and Northwind Marin
Daisy Farish and Northwind Marin

“I’ve never won the Large Greens before, so this feels really good,” expressed Farish. “We schooled this morning and he was very good, but when we went in for our Over Fences, he wasn’t so sure. Once he started going though, he was really great. He’s very easy. He has a really good rhythm and you just have to sit there and keep him together and the jumps come up.”

Before coming to Pony Finals, Farish and Northwind Marin competed at Capital Challenge, where they were Grand Champion, and also won all of their classes at the Brandywine Valley Summer Series last month.

Trainer Bill Shaub explained, “Prue Richardson bred and raised him and sent him to me as a 5-year-old. We’ve just taken our time with him because we saw his talent and started him this year back as a 7-year-old. The secret is that we took two and a half years making him. When he wasn’t ready, we let him grow. We go to Virginia and we do hillwork and that’s where we spend our summers. We’re a little bit old horsemen that way.

“What’s really exciting is that Prue is fading out of the breeding, so this is really a big moment for her,” added Shaub. “Northwind Marin is just a winner. He wants to be a winner. He’s that kind of pony. He has so much presence that he certainly catches your eye. He and Daisy are a great match.”

The Regular Medium Pony Hunter Under Saddle took place next in the Covered Arena as the day came to a close. The top call went to Elizabeth Shelbred and Dream Girl, owned by Autumn Farms of North Salem, NY, while Daisy Farish and Sassafras Creek, owned by Redfield Farm of Claifon, NJ, followed in second. Bernadette Chungunco and Steal The Crowd, owned by Donald Stewart, Ocala, FL, took home the day’s third place honors. With an overall total of 511 after placing fifth in the model, Farish and Sassafras Creek will lead the division going into tomorrow’s Over Fences phase.

The 2013 USEF Pony Finals will continue tomorrow with the Medium Pony Hunters’ over fences phase as well as the Small Pony Hunters’ model and under saddle phases. In the Alltech Arena, the Pony Jumper competition will be getting underway in the evening as they compete for top prizes.

For more information about the 2013 USEF Pony Finals, please visit www.usef.org.

For more information about the Kentucky Summer Series, please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.

Rebecca Walton for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

MEDIA CONTACT:
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
12012 South Shore Blvd #105
Wellington, FL 33414
561-753-3389 (phone)
561-753-3386 (fax)
pmginfo@phelpsmediagroup.com
PhelpsMediaGroup.com

USEF Pony Finals Wrap-Up: August 10-14, 2011

Sunday was the last day of the 2011 United States Equestrian Federation Pony Finals National Championships, and it began bright and early with exciting competition in the Covered Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park. The EquiSport Insurance/USEF Pony Medal Finals brought the 2011 Pony Finals to an end. Leading the class from beginning to end with a solid two rounds over fences was Madison Goetzmann and Denmark to garner the championship prize.

The top 20 riders returned for the second round including nine medium ponies, four small ponies, and seven large ponies. Today’s courses were designed by Bobby Murphy and consisted of short lines, rollbacks, a halt, and a trot jump. Goetzmann was at the top of the order for today’s second round and executed another flawless trip making the lines look easy. Goetzmann of Skaneateles, NY, and Denmark proved to be unbeatable, eventually earning them the Easter Sunday Memorial Trophy donated by Ms. Catherine A. Kaiser and Ms. Jennifer T. Pesko. Katherine Strauss of Southampton, NY, and Sumerland were originally ranked tenth during their first course; however, with an exceptional second round they earned the reserve championship honors. Lucy Deslauriers of New York, NY, and Macy Grey were ranked eighth coming into the second round and earned the third place honors after an impressive round.

The judges were confident with their decision after the second round and the riders were not asked to return for a test phase. At the end of the day, Goetzman was named the 2011 EquiSport Insurance/USEF Pony Medal Winner aboard Denmark, while Strauss and Sumerland earned the reserve championship honors. Taking home third place honors was Deslauriers and Macy Grey, who performed excellent rounds during both phases of Sunday’s event.

Hunter Highlights: August 10-14

It was beautiful and sunny for the first day of the 2011 United States Equestrian Federation Pony Finals National Championship at the Kentucky Horse Park. Tuesday, the top ponies and riders from across the nation gathered at the Walnut Ring for the Green Pony Hunters Model and Under Saddle, as well as the Regular Medium Pony Hunter Model. Throughout the year riders have worked diligently to qualify for this prestigious event and compete for the winning honors.

Continue reading USEF Pony Finals Wrap-Up: August 10-14, 2011