Lexington, Ky. - The stage is set for the 2018 USEF Pony Finals presented by Collecting Gaits Farm to begin at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky. From August 7-12, over 800 ponies from across the country will compete with their youth riders in hunter, jumper, and equitation classes. The live stream on the USEF Network will cover all of the competition from the Walnut and Alltech Arenas. View the streaming schedule.
A pony hunter challenge between Great Britain and the U.S. that began in 1959 inspired the 1967 creation of a U.S. national championship for pony hunters. The Pony Medal Final has been a part of Pony Finals since 1984. The National Pony Jumper Championships were added to the Finals in 2001 and have been an exciting addition. Several past Pony Finals competitors have gone on to represent the U.S. in international competition and championships, including the Olympic Games. For many youth riders, the USEF Pony Finals presented by Collecting Gaits Farm will be the first major national championship of their equestrian careers and a cherished memory forever.
Through Saturday, competition for the USEF Hunter Pony National Championships will take place. Riders will vie for championships in Small, Medium, and Large Regular Hunter and Green Hunter divisions. The Hunter Pony competitions are held in three phases, in which a pony's conformation, movement under saddle, and jumping ability are judged by a panel consisting of Thomas Brennan, Alex Jayne, Andrew Lustig, Bobbie Reber, Bill Talbert, and Julie Winkel. The first Hunter Pony classes begin Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. ET.
The USEF Pony Jumper National Championship starts Thursday at 7:15 p.m. ET and will feature three phases of individual competition, as well as a team championship on Friday afternoon, all judged by Ron Beachy and David Distler.
The culmination of the week, and most coveted of USEF Pony Finals championships, is the Marshall & Sterling/USEF Pony Medal National Championship on Sunday at 7 a.m. ET in the Alltech Arena. During the championship, the riders will be judged by Jeffrey Ayers and William Ellis while going head-to-head over a challenging course.
Find out more information about the USEF Pony Finals presented by Collecting Gaits Farm at www.ponyfinals.org.