Lexington, Ky. – The 2023 USEF Pony Finals presented by Honor Hill Farms is set to begin in Lexington, Ky. From August 8-13, over 800 ponies from across the country will compete with their youth athletes in hunter, jumper, and equitation classes. Honor Hill Farms’ three-year commitment has supported this prestigious event, and the 2023 edition will be another exciting year.
Competition for the USEF Pony Hunter National Championships will take place Tuesday through Saturday in Rolex Stadium. Combinations will vie for championships in Small, Medium, and Large Regular Pony Hunter and Green Pony Hunter divisions. The first Pony Hunter class begins Tuesday, August 8, at 11 a.m. ET. Pony Hunter 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 Irving Evans, Beverly Jovias, Kat Mulkey, Ellen Raidt, Robin Rost Brown, and Richard Slocum.
The USEF Pony Jumper National Championships kicks off on Thursday, August 10, at 3 p.m. ET in the Claiborne Ring 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 is the Marshall & Sterling/USEF Pony Medal National Championship on Sunday, August 13, at 7 a.m. ET in the Alltech Arena. During the championship, the riders will go head-to-head over a challenging course and will be judged by Virginia Edwards and MaryLisa Leffler.
Catch all the action live on the USEF Network powered by ClipMyHorse.TV for wall-to-wall coverage of the competition from Rolex Stadium, Claiborne Ring, and Alltech Arena. US Equestrian fans, subscribers, and members can access the live stream, and subscribers and members will be able to watch replays on demand. Learn more here.
Special Activities, Awards, Prizes, and More
Competitors and their families can enjoy a number of fun activities and compete for special awards, grants, and prizes throughout the week.
Attwood Equestrian Welcome Coffee – Competitors and their families will find complimentary coffee near the in-gate at Rolex Stadium, sponsored by Attwood Equestrian.
Best Model Pony Awards presented by Shapley’s – Competitors will have a chance at earning the Best Model Pony Award presented by Shapley’s. One pony from each section will be selected for this award dedicated to highlighting the best presented pony in that section.
Betsy Fishback Sportsmanship Awards – If you know a rider who exemplifies the qualities of a good sport, complete a Betsy Fishback Sportsmanship Award nomination form during Pony Finals at the concierge desk located by 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.
Charles Ancona division sponsor – The USEF Large Regular Pony Hunter National Championship presented by Charles Ancona will showcase the country’s top large regular ponies.
Dalman Jump Pony Land – Competitors can enjoy this kid-sized show jump area, with jumps provided by Dalman Jump Co. The Dalman Kid Grand Prix will take place Thursday at 11 a.m.
DEFENDER – DEFENDER is the Official Vehicle of the USEF Pony Finals.
DryBar BraidBar brought to you by Michelle Newman, REALTOR® – Hair stylists from DryBar of Lexington will be in the US Equestrian office lobby 7-9 a.m. from Wednesday through Saturday. This fun offering is sponsored by Michelle Newman, REALTOR®.
Emerson Burr Horsemanship Test sponsored by Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital – This national test is held at Pony Finals annually, where winners receive prizes and a $500 grant to be used towards education-related expenses. This year’s test is sponsored by Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital. Learn more.
Horseware Ireland® – As the Official Awards Cooler of USEF National Championships, Horseware Ireland® will provide awards coolers to all the champions at Pony Finals.
Kickapoo Ponies division sponsor – The USEF Small Regular Pony Hunter National Championship presented by Kickapoo Ponies will showcase the country’s top small regular ponies.
KORE Equine Mints Stands – Take a mint for your pony from the KORE Equine Mints Stands at the in-gates, plus each pony hunter phase winner and pony hunter national champion will receive a KORETM Luna Ring from the Founders of KONG®.
LeMieux – LeMieux is an Official Sponsor of the USEF Pony Finals and will provide major prize packs across all championships.
MARS™ Equestrian Dog Grand Prix – Dogs can join in on the fun at Pony Finals with the MARS Equestrian Dog Grand Prix taking place Friday at 1 p.m.
MARS™ Equestrian Ice Cream Truck – Enjoy a cold treat every day at 1 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday from the MARS Equestrian Ice Cream Truck.
Pinsnickety – All pony jumper participants will receive Pinsnickety pins, and each zone team has matching pins to help build team spirit. All hunter participants will receive Pinsnickety charms.
Ponies & Pilates brought to you by Reform Pilates Studio – Mat Pilates classes with Reform Pilates Studio will take place Wednesday through Friday on the lawn behind the Murphy Arena. Sign up online or at the concierge desk, and be sure to bring a yoga mat or towel.
Ridely – Certificates for Ridely’s digital training app to all winners at Pony Finals.
Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital - Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital is the Official Equine Hospital of the 2023 USEF Pony Finals and their veterinarians are on-site to assist you. If you require veterinary service, please call 859-233-0371 or visit our vet stalls #711 and #712, located in barn 7. Visit www.roodandriddle.com for additional information about the hospital.
VisitLex Concierge Desk – Stop by the concierge desk located by Rolex Stadium for helpful information and goodies brought to you by VisitLex.
Welcome Wagon sponsored by the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation – Competitors and their families can find free water, carrots, and other goodies, sponsored by Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation.
YETI® – YETI is providing a variety of prizes across all Pony Finals divisions as well as the Golf Cart Parade. There will be a YETI hydration station onsite, and all US Equestrian social media coverage is sponsored by YETI.
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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.