Lexington, KY - More than 500 of the very best ponies in the U.S. are in Lexington, Kentucky right now to compete at the 2012 US Pony Finals. Starting Tuesday they will be ridden into competition at the Kentucky Horse Park by youth riders from around the country.
Over the next six days riders will take aim at the US Hunter Pony Championships presented by Sallee Horse Vans in Small, Medium, and Large Regular Hunter and Green Hunter sections and at an overall Regular and Green Hunter championship. Starting Wednesday and continuing through Friday pony jumpers will go after Team and Individual jumping championships. On Sunday, August 12th the week will end with the awarding of the Equisport Insurance/US Pony Medal Championship.
The full 2012 U.S. Pony Finals schedule is available here.
Though a National Pony Championship has been held in the U.S. since 1967 the popular and cherished Pony Medal has only been awarded since 1984. Since then the equitation competition that determines the medal winner has been a highlight of the week. Riders qualify by earning a blue ribbon or by earning 30 points in any U.S. Pony Medal Qualifying class. During the championship they will be judged head-to-head over a demanding course of fences.
2012 is the 11th year that the National Pony Jumper Championships are being held as part of the US Pony Finals. To qualify rider/pony combinations need to be one of their zone's top four. Zone 7 won last year's team championship and last year's individual winner Julia Curtis is back with her winning mount, The Waterboy.
The Hunter Pony competitions are held in three phases in which a pony's conformation, movement under saddle, and jumping ability are judged. The first Hunter Pony classes begin Tuesday in the Walnut Ring at the Kentucky Horse Park.
USEF Network will post results and videos from the US Pony Finals daily at http://usefnetwork.com/featured/2012USEFPonyFinals/
Find out more about the Pony Finals at www.usef.org.