Lexington, Ky. – The stage is set for the 2021 USEF Pony Finals presented by Honor Hill Farms in Lexington, Ky. From August 10-15, over 650 ponies from across the country will compete with their youth riders in hunter, jumper, and equitation classes. Catch all the action live on the USEF Network, brought to you by Honor Hill Farms, for wall-to-wall coverage of the competition from Rolex Stadium and Claiborne Ring.
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. In 2021, there will be special 2020 Green Hunter Pony divisions due to the cancellation of the 2020 Pony Finals as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first Hunter Pony class begins Tuesday, August 10, at 12 p.m. ET. 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 Winn Alden, Mark Bone, Keri Kampsen, Jessie Lang, Randy Neumann, and Robin Swinderman Mitchell.
The USEF Pony Jumper National Championships kicks off on Thursday, August 12, at 3 p.m. ET and will feature an individual championship, as well as a team championship on Friday afternoon, all judged by Ralph Alfano and Ron Beachy.
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 Rolex Stadium. During the championship, the riders will be going head-to-head over a challenging course and be judged by Lynn Forgione and Daniel Robertshaw.
Special Awards and Activities
Competitors and their families can enjoy a number of fun activities and compete for special awards and grants throughout the week.
Model Pony Awards presented by the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation – Competitors will have a shot at earning the Model Pony Award presented by Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation. One pony from each division will be selected for this award dedicated to highlighting the best presented pony in that division.
Betsy Fishback Sportsmanship Awards – If you know a rider who exemplifies the qualities of a good sport, please complete a Betsy Fishback Sportsmanship Award nomination form during Pony Finals at the concierge table located by the Rolex Stadium. Winners will be announced throughout the week and will receive a copy of the book Big Wishes for Little Feat, by Cheryl Olsten.
Dalman Jump Pony Land – Competitors and families can enjoy this kid-sized show jump area, with jumps provided by Dalman Jump Co.
VisitLex Welcome Wagon – Visitors to the Lexington area can find restaurant guides and more to enjoy the best that Lexington has to offer, along with free water, carrots, stickers, and other goodies, sponsored by VisitLex.
Turf Town Properties Ice Cream Cart – Parked by the Bruce Davidson statue outside Rolex Stadium, visit this cart daily to enjoy free ice cream, sponsored by Turf Town Properties.
Emerson Burr Horsemanship Grant - This national competition is held at USEF Pony Finals annually, where winners receive a $500 grant to be used towards education-related expenses. Learn more.
About the Competition
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 Honor Hill Farms will be the first major national championship of their equestrian careers and a cherished memory forever.
Find out more information about the USEF Pony Finals presented by Honor Hill Farms at www.ponyfinals.org.
US Equestrian would also like to extend appreciation to the 2021 Pony Finals supporting sponsors:
Land Rover, Official Vehicle of the USEF Pony Finals presented by Honor Hill Farms; Garrison Forest School; Kickapoo Ponies; Ariat; EquiFit; and GumBits.