Lexington, Ky. - The stage is set for the 2019 USEF Pony Finals presented by Collecting Gaits Farm at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky. From August 6-11, 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 Ring and Alltech Arena.
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 Pony Jumper National 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.
Competition for the USEF Hunter Pony National Championships will take place through Saturday. 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 Kitty Barker, Heide Casciaro, Beverly Jovais, Claudia Roland, William Sparks, and Scott Williamson. The first Hunter Pony class begins Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. ET.
The USEF Pony Jumper National Championships start Thursday at 6 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 Thomas Brennan and Ken Smith while going head-to-head over a challenging course.
Several sponsors will have fun activities for competitors and their families throughout the week (times are tentative and subject to change):
Tuesday, August 6 – Sunday, August 11, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. – Welcome Wagon sponsored by Ag Credit
Tuesday, August 6 – Sunday, August 11, 1-3 p.m. – Ice Cream Cart sponsored by Kickapoo Ponies
Thursday, August 8, 7:30 p.m. – Golf Cart Parade with The Peeps Foundation serving as the grand marshals followed by a meet-and-greet in the Alltech Arena
In addition, USEF will host two Safe Sport Town Hall meetings during Pony Finals. The town hall meetings are scheduled for Tuesday, August 6, from 1-2:30 p.m., and Thursday, August 8, from 3-4 p.m., in the upstairs viewing area of the Covered Arena. USEF members, parents, junior exhibitors, and media are invited to attend the sessions, which will focus on providing parents with important information and answering questions they may have about USEF’s Safe Sport policies and how they contribute to the protection of minor athletes. USEF General Counsel Sonja Keating will lead the meetings and discuss US Equestrian’s role in the Safe Sport movement and the federal mandates affecting amateur sport organizations nationwide.
Find out more information about the USEF Pony Finals presented by Collecting Gaits Farm at www.ponyfinals.org.
View the complete schedule.
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