Wellington, FL – March 27, 2011 – It is the last day of action for week 11 of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, which means that numerous championships were awarded throughout the day. One place where there was a particularly large amount of awards being given out was Pony Land. Rings 11 and 12 were packed with children and their ponies and family members. Competition was fierce as they vied for some last minute points in their divisions.
A busy rider that always has a presence at the pony rings is Meredith Darst. The second day of competition, Darst rode the KAR LLC entry, Won Up, to secure the championship in the Equisport Insurance Large Pony Hunters. Won Up is usually ridden by Kate Ross. Won Up was awarded three blue ribbons and a third place ribbon in the division.
Darst was also awarded the reserve championship on the Megan MacPherson entry, Mapleside Magic Dancer. Darst secured the reserve championship by winning two classes, placing second in two more classes, and also receiving a fifth place ribbon as well.
Darst barely had time to pose for a photo with both ponies before she had to hop on a green pony and head back into the show ring. Not only does Darst have multiple pony mounts to show, but also successfully shows numerous junior hunters as well.
One individual who was busier than most was Parker Wright. “We come down every week on Wednesday and I ride nine to eleven a day until I show, and then I usually show four to six ponies on the weekend,” Wright explained of his busy riding schedule. Not only did Wright have numerous mounts in various pony divisions, but he also secured the Gotham North Small Pony Hunter championship for the third week in a row, and on different ponies no less.
Weeks 9 and 10 Wright rode Miss Australia, an entry of Lauren Hogan, to the Gotham North Small Pony Hunter championship. “Miss Australia is older, and she had last year off, so we are getting her going again. I think we’ve got her going pretty good because we were champion the last two weeks, and the week before that we were reserve champion,” smiled Wright. Then, to top it off, Wright went on to ride Rico Suave for the Suave Pony LLC to the Gotham North Small Pony Hunter championship this week.
Wright, as busy as he is, does not own any of his own ponies. However, he does have numerous ponies that he rides regularly for his trainer Bill Schaub. When asked about his busy week during week 11, Wright stated, “Well, I don’t have any of my own ponies. Miss Australia had the week off, and Bill didn’t really have anything else, but I’ve caught a couple rides. I’ve been showing Cassius Clay and All That. I showed Rico Suave too; he’s really fun, and he was really good.”
With all the ponies that Wright has been riding, one would think it is hard to have a favorite. However, Wright explained that there are two ponies he is especially fond of. “I really love Blondie. That is the one that I was champion on at Harrisburg. She’s really cool, and I like her a lot, but Miss Australia is really easy. She gets it,” Wright beamed.
The reserve champion in the Gotham North Small Pony Hunters went to Daisy Farish on her Lane’s End Farm entry, Shine. The successful duo won one class and placed third in another to secure the reserve tricolor award.
The championship in the Medium Pony Hunters, sponsored by Visse Wedell, The Elebash Company, was awarded to Sham’s Huckleberry, ridden by Daisy Farish for Samantha Kasowitz. They won the handy class and were first and third in over fences classes for the top tricolor ribbon. Reserve champion in the division was Denmark with Madison Goetzmann riding for Manhattan Mortgage. They were first and second over fences.
Stay tuned for more action next week during week 12 of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. Week 12 will begin on Wednesday, March 30, and will run through Sunday, April 3. It will be the final week of the winter circuit before the spring circuit begins. Make sure and follow all of the last week’s results.
For full results please visit www.showgroundslive.com or for more information, visit www.equestriansport.com.
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