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.
Read more about Storyteller’s Large Regular Hunter Pony Championship.
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.
Read more about Roll Call’s Small Regular Hunter Pony Championship.
Medium Regular Hunter Pony Championship
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.
For live scoring, results, schedule, and competitor and hospitality information, go to www.usefconnect.com/ponyfinals.
Find out more information about the US Pony Finals presented by Collecting Gaits Farm at www.ponyfinals.org.
CORRECTION: From Friday’s Large Green Hunter Pony Championship, Madeline Schaefer is a resident of Westminster, Md., and Baby Blue is 10-year-old Welsh Cross Pony gelding owned by Patricia LaFoe.
From the USEF Communications Department