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The Road to Pony Finals:

A Guide to Help First Timers Get to USEF Pony Finals & Other Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is Pony Finals?

USEF Pony Finals is a National Championship event for Pony Hunters, Pony Jumpers, and Pony Medal riders. Every year one of the largest gatherings of ponies and their riders happens in Lexington, KY during the first part of August. There are typically at least 600 ponies that enter the USEF Pony Finals every year.

 

What sections are offered at Pony Finals?

  • Small Regular Hunter Pony
  • Medium Regular Hunter Pony
  • Large Regular Hunter Pony
  • Small Green Hunter Pony
  • Medium Green Hunter Pony
  • Large Green Hunter Pony
  • Marshall and Sterling/Pony Medal
  • Pony Jumper

 

What Hunter classes are offered at Pony Finals?

A. There are three phases for the Hunter Pony Championship

  • The Model Phase is held first and judged in hand. Ponies are judged on conformation, way of moving, and soundness
  • The Under Saddle Phase requires ponies to show at a walk, trot, and canter in both directions. Ponies may be asked for an extended trot. They should stop easliy and stand quietly.
  • The Over Fences Phase requires ponies to compete over a minimum of eight fences at the required height for the pony's section (2'3" - small, 2'6" - medium, 2'9" - 3' - large).

 

How do I get to Pony Finals? (*see "How do I qualify?" below for more details)

There are several ways for a rider to ride a pony at Pony Finals.

For the Hunter Ponies: Only the Green or Regular Hunter Pony section results count towards qualifying

  1. Lease or catch ride a pony that is already qualified
  2. Qualify your own or leased pony

For the Equitation Riders: Only the USEF Pony Medal (aka: Marshall & Sterling/USEF Pony Medal) results count towards qualifying

  1. Qualify as a medal rider on any pony

For the Jumper Riders:

  1. Please refer to the information Pony Jumper National Championship FAQ's here

 

What memberships are required of the owner, rider, and/or pony to qualify?

Hunter

  1. Owner of the pony (Farm or Individual) – is required to have an annual or lifetime USEF membership AS WELL AS an annual or lifetime USHJA membership
  2. The Pony – is required to have a USHJA registration (one-time fee) AS WELL AS a annual or lifetime USEF recording (membership)

Equitation

  1. The Rider – is required to have an annual or lifetime USHJA membership AS WELL AS an annual or lifetime USEF membership
  2. The Pony – is required to have a USHJA registration (one-time fee)

Jumper

  1. Owner of the pony (Farm or Individual) – is required to have an annual or lifetime USEF membership AS WELL AS an annual or lifetime USHJA membership
  2. The Pony – is required to have a USHJA registration (one-time fee) AS WELL AS an annual or lifetime USEF recording (membership)
  3. The Rider – is required to have an annual or lifetime USHJA membership AS WELL AS an annual or lifetime USEF membership

 

Does my pony need anything else?

Yes, your pony will also need the following:

  1. Microchip on file with USEF
  2. USEF issued Measurement card

 

What if I lease the pony?

The lease should be reported to USEF. If it is not, you must be sure the owner of the pony listed with USEF is current on all of his/her memberships. We are not able to backdate a lease based on the date listed in the contract, so be sure to get your lease registered with USEF as soon as it begins.

 

How do I qualify?

IMPORTANT - Before you can qualify ALL of the above memberships and additional requirements MUST be met.

1. How does a pony qualify for the Regular Hunter Pony Section?

  • Win a Championship or Reserve Championship in a “AA” or “A” Rated Regular Pony section between July 2 of the previous competition year and July 1, of the current competition year ex. July 2, 2017 – July 1, 2018
  • At the time of the win, the pony must have a USEF Annual or Life Horse Recording, a USHJA Horse Registration, and a valid measurement card, and a microchip number on file. The owner of the pony must have an active competing membership with USEF and USHJA.

2. How does a pony qualify for the Green Hunter Pony Section?

  • Win a Championship or Reserve Championship in an “A” or “AA” Rated Green Pony section between December 1 and July 1, of the current competition year OR…
  • If a pony that is eligible for the Green Hunter Pony section qualifies by winning a championship in the Regular Hunter Pony section as outlined above, the owner can choose to compete the pony in the Green Hunter Pony section at Pony Finals. The pony cannot compete in both the Green and Regular Hunter Pony sections at Pony Finals.
  • At the time of the win, the pony must have a USEF Annual or Life Horse Recording, a USHJA Horse Registration, and a valid measurement card, and a microchip number on file. The owner of the pony must have an active competing membership with USEF and USHJA. The pony must be eligible for the Green Hunter Pony section in accordance with the rules.

3. How does a rider qualify for the Marshall and Sterling/Pony Medal Final?

A rider must earn 30 points competing in Marshall and Sterling/Pony Medal classes to qualify for the Marshal and Sterling/Pony Medal Finals. The qualifying period is July 2 of the previous competition year through July 1 of the current competition year.

4. What if I qualify my Green Pony in the Regular Pony Division?

If a pony that is eligible for the Green Hunter Pony section qualifies by winning a championship in the Regular Hunter Pony section as outlined above, the owner can choose to compete the pony in the Green Hunter Pony section at Pony Finals. The pony cannot compete in both the Green and Regular Hunter Pony sections at Pony Finals.

5. For Jumper Qualification information, please visit the USEF Pony Jumper Championships page and refer to the “Additional Resources” material, 2018 USEF Pony Jumper National Championships FAQ's document.

 

Does the same rider who qualified the pony have to compete the pony at the USEF Pony Finals?

A. No, any rider who is eligible can compete on the pony. It does not have to be the rider who qualified the pony.

 

Do I have to ride the same pony that I qualified on in the Marshall and Sterling/USEF Pony Medal?

A. No, you may qualify using multiple ponies throughout the year (but only one per show), and show in the Marshall and Sterling/Pony Medal using a completely different pony.

 

We've Qualified... Now What?

 

When will I get my invitation to the USEF Pony Finals presented by Collecting Gaits Farm?

A. The invitations and prize list will begin to be mailed out in May, and will continue until the end of the qualifying period. Please allow a minimum of three (3) weeks after qualifying for the results to be processed before receiving qualified mailings. Information and forms will also become available on the USEF Pony Finals presented by Collecting Gaits Farm website at that time.

 

Why is my pony not showing on the qualified list?

A: If you believe your pony is qualified by winning a Championship or Reserve Championship in an “A” or “AA” rated Green or Regular Hunter Pony section, but it is not showing on the qualified list – please pull the pony’s competition record. Review all of the competitions listed on the pony’s record during the qualifying period. Check the records for the competition you believe the pony the qualified. If there are any points marked “BAD”, review the reason listed, and email corrections@usef.org.

B: If you do not see the competition listed on the pony’s record, and the competition occurred less than 30 days prior, it is very likely that the results have not been received and/or processed. Please wait for the results to appear on the pony’s record, as we will not be able to confirm qualification without official results. The qualified list required 24 hours to update.

 

I sent in my check and entry blank for Pony Finals, did you receive it?

A: All entries are received and processed by competition management. Please contact Kentucky Horse Shows to verify your entries and payments. This information is located in the prize list as well. 859-300-9899; kentuckyhorseshows.com; hakshows@earthlink.net

 

How do I reserve a VIP table?

A: Please contact competition management – Kentucky Horse Shows.

 

How do I nominate someone for the Buttons N’ Bows Sportsmanship Award?

A: Write a letter to the attention of Natalie Norwood explaining why you believe the rider has shown exemplary sportsmanship. Give specific examples. The letter can be emailed – ponyfinals@usef.org, faxed – 859-231-6662, or mailed – 4047 Iron Works Pkwy, Lexington, KY 40511 to USEF by the printed deadline.

 

How do I sign up for a USHJA Clinic?

A: Contact USHJA for more information regarding clinics during Pony Finals and how to sign up. 859-225-6734 or dfryman@ushja.org

 

I have questions about stalls and entries for Pony Finals, who do I contact?

A: All entries are received and processed by competition management. Please contact Kentucky Horse Shows to verify your entries and payments. This information is located in the prize list as well. 859-300-9899; kentuckyhorseshows.com; hakshows@earthlink.net

 

How many qualified ponies may I ride at Pony Finals?

A. A rider who is eligible may ride one pony for each height section, one pony in the medal and one pony in the jumpers (a maximum of 8). One Small Green, one Medium Green, one Large Green, one Small Regular, one Medium Regular, one Large Regular, one Marshall and Sterling/Pony Medal mount, and one in the Pony Jumper Championship.