In 1959, the British National Pony Society and the British Show Pony Society challenged American pony riders to an
international Pony Hunter Competition. First held at the prestigious National Horse Show in New York City, the best
U.S. ponies and riders met head-to-head with the best British ponies and riders in the small and large divisions.
The first competition emphasized conformation and under saddle performance. Jumping ability was tested over two
fences and counted 20% toward the final score; the American riders in this inaugural competition were narrowly
defeated 10 to 9. Two years later, the British National Pony Society hosted the competition. The American riders
prepared by spending a rigorous two weeks at the famed Olympic Training Center in Gladstone, N.J. The training
proved beneficial, as the U.S. returned with the trophy by earning a score of 13 over Britain’s 9.
In 1967, the American Horse Shows Association created the Pony Finals as a national event, open to all members who
met the qualifying criteria. Since 1984, the finals have included the popular Pony Medal Championship, an equitation
competition; and in 1999, the Green Hunter Pony Championship was added. Today, the US Pony Finals is the most prestigious
and celebrated event of its kind in the United States. The Regular Hunter Pony and Green Hunter Pony Finals are a three
phase competition judging the pony’s conformation, way of moving and jumping ability. The Marshall & Sterling/US Pony Medal
Final tests young riders, judging their ability to compete over a technical and demanding course of fences. The US Pony Jumper
Championship was designed as a stepping stone for junior riders who desire to one day move into the Grand Prix ring.