Lexington, KY— For the second year in a row, Lillie Keenan swept a championship at the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) 2008 Pony Finals. Last year it was the 2007 Wild Horsefeathers/USEF Pony Hunter Finals— this year, Keenan makes history once again with the top score in the small, medium and large Green Hunter Pony divisions and claimed the Grand Champion title of the 2008 Wild Horsefeathers/USEF Green Hunter Pony Finals.
With perfect weather and temperatures in the low 80s, today’s over fences classes were the final portion of the Green Hunter Pony competition (large, medium and small) after the completion of the model and under saddle portion yesterday.
Dominating each division was eleven-year-old Keenan— she claimed the title of Large Green Hunter Pony and Reserve Champion aboard Bracewood’s Camelot with a total score of 1,035. Keenan, of New York NY, and Bracewood’s Camelot, a five-year-old bay Welsh/Thoroughbred gelding owned by Gavin Jensen, moved up from third place yesterday after the model and under saddle portion of the championship. In the Medium Green Hunter Pony division, Keenan scored 1017.75 riding Happy Meal, a five-year-old half Welch bay mare owned by Sleepy P Ranch.
Keenan just started riding both Bracewood’s Camelot and Happy Meal a couple of weeks ago and had only shown each pony once before Pony Finals. Even though Keenan appeared confident and relaxed on her three ponies today, she admitted that she was really nervous.
“I knew that no matter what, I had already done really well and that no matter what happened, all the ponies did the best that they could possibly do,” said Keenan. “I trusted all of them— most of them are pretty young to be doing this. They are all really special ponies. They are unique.”
But it was the Small Green Hunter Pony division where Keenan and Sparkle Plenty really shined. Scoring a total of 1047, this was Keenan’s highest score out of the three divisions. Sparkle Plenty, or “Stars” as Keenan likes to call him, is a five-year-old grey Welsh Pony gelding owned by Double G Stables.
Keenan and “Stars” bested the competition yesterday in both the model and the under saddle portion of the championship. Though Keenan said that “Stars” is young and still learning, she felt he really “grew up fast” at Pony Finals.
Keenan will keep busy the rest of the show with mounts in the upcoming Wild Horsefeathers/USEF Pony Hunter Finals and the USEF Pony Medal.
The USEF Pony Finals continues its 41st consecutive run as the most prestigious and celebrated events in the United States and continues through Sunday, August 17.
For more information about Pony Finals, please contact Marion Maybank, USEF’s Director of Hunter and Collegiate Activities at (859) 225-2033 or via email at [email protected]