Lexington, KY- Continuing the momentum of the previous evening, Day Four of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Pony Finals included an evening of fast-paced show jumping by the top 19 riders in the Adequan/USEF National Pony Individual Championship. After the jump off, it was Elizabeth Boone who went triple-clear to win the Gold medal on Magic BB; the Silver medal went to Tori Berlin and Partly Cloudy with a total of four faults and a final time of 32.609 as they etched past Leigh Hartrampf and Spudd Webb who had four faults and 30.676 on the clock to get the Bronze. Over an even more challenging course with larger fences than the team competition the night before, the pony jumper individual championship had the crowd on the edge of its seat as it came down to a jump-off for the medal placings. On her home turf of Lexington, KY, guided by local trainer Debbie White, Boone, who nearly grasped the Pony Medal Final the day before but settled for Silver, came back to win it all with 21-year-old Magic BB, a New Forest gelding owned by Campbellcroft, LLC.
"He's 21 years old...but he's really good," said Boone. "He'll leave from any distance. He loves to go out and eat all day. He likes spicy Doritos. We're leasing him…we've leased him for about a year. He's been to Pony Finals quite a few times. Kaitlin Campbell rode him here last year, and I think he was eighth. His personality is the best part about him. He's a lot of fun."
Her second trip to Pony Finals proved stellar. After Berlin had a rail down, all Boone had to do was jump a clean round in the jump-off to secure the Gold medal. "I have lots of friends and family here," said Boone. "It took a little of the pressure off [once Berlin went]. I was just going to take my time and ride a nice smooth round."
What's in store for Magic BB after Pony Finals? "He gets a break now and then goes to indoors," said Boone.
Two awards were given this evening prior to the pony jumper individual championship-the Buttons 'N' Bows Sportsmanship Trophy and the Short Stop Perpetual Trophy. Paul Gallo, 17, of Milwaukee, WI, won the Buttons 'N' Bows Trophy for his exceptional sportsmanship throughout the week. This annual award is presented to the junior rider who best personifies the high standards and virtues of integrity, sportsmanship, honor, courage, good temper and unselfishness. Gabriela Mershad, 12, won the Short Stop Perpetual Trophy. This trophy is awarded based on the decision of the judges as to which rider exhibited the best riding style throughout the competition. Mershad is a jumper rider from New Albany, OH.
Earlier in the day under beautiful sunny skies and low humidity, the model and under saddle portion of the 2007 Wild Horsefeathers/USEF Pony Hunter Finals (small, medium, large) began with a total of 258 competitors-this year's largest championship. Finishing in the top spot for the large and small pony divisions was 13-year-old Schaefer Raposa of West Palm Beach, FL. Raposa and her mount, Emerson, lead the large pony division with a total score of 522. In the small pony division, Raposa's score was 517 aboard Rosmel's Millennium. Both Emerson and Rosmel's Millennium are seven-year-old Welsh geldings owned by Grand Central Inc. In the medium pony division, 11-year-old Lillie Keenan, of New York, NY, led in the end with a score of 532 riding Enchanted Forest, owned by Chansonette Farm, LLC.
This championship will conclude tomorrow with the over fences portion of the competition. The most prestigious and celebrated events in the United States, the 40th anniversary of the USEF Pony Finals conclude Sunday, August 19 with the Wild Horsefeathers/USEF Pony Hunter Finals championship. For more information about Pony Finals, please contact Marion Maybank, USEF's Director of Hunter and Collegiate Activities at (859) 225-2033 or via e-mail at [email protected]
Stacey Meier with additional reporting by Joanie Morris