Berman and Toblerone Sitting on Top in Medium Regular Hunter Pony Championship Presented by Sallee Horse Vans at 2018 USEF Pony Finals Presented by Collecting Gaits Farm
Ava Berman (New Freedom, Pa.) and Toblerone, Sofia Baiker’s 15-year-old Sport Horse mare, took the lead today in the Medium Regular Hunter Pony Championship presented by Sallee Horse Vans at the 2018 USEF Pony Finals presented by Collecting Gaits Farm (Pony Finals).
After the Model and Under Saddle phases, the combination received an overall score of 519.55, placing second in the Model phase with a 259.12 and ninth in the Under Saddle phase with a 260.43.
This is 10-year-old Berman’s third year attending Pony Finals, and she and “Toby” are taking a crack at earning the top spot.
“She is a very good pony to model because she puts her ears forward,” said Berman. “She is a very slow pony, but I love her canter and how it feels when she moves; I’m looking forward to tomorrow a lot…she is really great at jumping!”
Berman and Toby will contest the Over Fences phase tomorrow, Saturday, August 11.
- Ava Berman and Toblerone
- Caroline Signorino and Newhaven’s Magnum
- Tessa Downey and Anisette
Takacs and Galianna Named National Champions in the Medium Green Hunter Pony Championship Presented by Sallee Horse Vans at 2018 USEF Pony Finals Presented by Collecting Gaits Farm
Holding on to their lead from Thursday’s Model and Under Saddle phases, 13-year-old Samantha Takacs (Oldwick, N.J.) and Galianna, Kim Wolf’s nine-year-old German Riding Pony mare, were crowned national champions in the Medium Green Hunter Pony Championship presented by Sallee Horse Vans at the 2018 Pony Finals.
“I’m really excited,” exclaimed Takacs. “This is my first time winning here [at Pony Finals]!”
With a third in the Model phase and a win in the Under Saddle phase under their belt, Takacs and Galianna entered the Over Fences phase with a composite score of 528.02. With a combination of a brave pony and smart decisions made by Takacs, the duo won the Over Fences phase with a score of 256.00, bringing their new total score to 1040.02 and crowning them national champions after just a little over a week of riding together.
“She’s just such a good girl,” continued Takacs. “She’ll do whatever you ask her to do, and she’s just really fun to ride. [On course] she did everything I told her to do and was so willing. I went in trying my best and wanted to have fun. I’ve been riding her since last week. I just want to thank [the owners] for letting me ride her.”
- Samantha Takacs and Galianna
- Cecelia Jackson and Northwind Marwyn
- Lola Head and Goldhills As You Like It
Debney and Lafayette Park Claim the Large Green Hunter Pony Championship Presented by Triple Crown Feed at 2018 USEF Pony Finals Presented by Collecting Gaits Farm
In potentially her last year at the 2018 Pony Finals, and her first ever win at the event, Grace Debney (Hampden, Mass.) and Lafayette Park, Temple Equestrian LLC’s 11-year-old Welsh Pony cross gelding, were named the national champion of the Large Green Hunter Pony Championship presented by Triple Crown Feed.
“I think it is just really special, especially on this pony,” said 14-year-old Debney. “I actually took him home for a while and trained on him with my home trainer, so it feels really special to train on him myself and have him end up like this.”
With a composite score of 512.85, the combination came into Friday’s Over Fences phase sitting in the fifth position. A win in the Model phase on Thursday with a score of 261.85 and 16th in the Under Saddle phase with a score of 251.00 sent them into today’s Over Fences phase looking for a solid performance. And perform they did, coming in second with a score of 253.00. This boosted the combination’s overall score to 1018.85, solidly placing them at the top of the leaderboard.
Debney got the catch ride on “Jake” this past winter and they have been riding together ever since. “He is so fun; he has the best gallop and never changes his pace, which really helps out a lot,” said Debney. “He is super brave, but if he ever has a moment where he is a little spooky, I just tell him he is fine and then he is just totally over it. It’s amazing; there is just no other way I would have wanted to go out.”
- Grace Debney and Lafayette Park
- Kierstin Antoniadis and Pokerface
- Isabella Griffin and Heaven’s Gift
Takacs and Galianna Named Overall Grand Green Hunter Champion; Debney and Lafayette Overall Reserve Grand Green Hunter Champion
Samantha Takacs (Oldwick, N.J.) and Galianna, Kim Wolf’s nine-year-old German Riding Pony mare, were given the title of Overall Grand Green Hunter Champions tonight for their performance throughout the week at the 2018 Pony Finals. Grace Debney (Hampden, Mass.) and Lafayette Park, Temple Equestrian LLC’s 11-year-old Welsh Pony Cross gelding, were the Overall Reserve Grand Green Hunter Champions.
Takacs and Galianna were named the Medium Green Hunter Pony Championship presented by Sallee Horse Vans National Champions earlier today, while Debney and Lafayette Park were the Large Green Hunter Pony Championship presented by Triple Crown Feed National Champions.
Zone 10 Wins Back-to-Back Gold in Hotly Contested USEF Pony Jumper Team National Championship
The USEF Pony Jumper Team National Championship took place Friday evening in the Alltech Arena. Six teams were in the hunt for medals in a Nations Cup-style competition. The young athletes honed their jumping skills and showed growth during the two rounds over Jasen Shelley’s course. Zone 10 defended their top placing from 2017 to claim team gold once again. The team of Hannah Attar and Rafale de Mauvis, Zacko Hardin and The Girl Next Door, Sydney Flashman and Focalize Dew Drop, and Tabitha Okitsu and Spoot de la Jourlais finished on four faults over a challenging course.
Flashman and Okitsu were on the 2017 gold-medal winning Zone 10 team, and have another year of experience under their belt. “I am happy to be back with a few of my friends,” Okitsu said.
Being on a team was a new experience for some of the young athletes. “This my first year and I really want to do well for the team and individually,” Hardin said. “It was a lot of pressure because all of the riders here are really good riders. I have never competed at such a big level so it is a lot of pressure.”
The Zone 10 team thrived under the pressure, thanks in part to their support for one another. “We met each other at a show about a month ago and we got along really well there,” Flashman explained. “We were congratulating each other after our rides, and there is definitely a bond between us.”
Attar summed it up nicely, saying, “It feels great; it was really fun. I am really happy for the experience.”
The other teams on the podium showed their determination to put in solid rounds alongside their teammates. The Zone 4 team of Elizabeth Cram and Venice, Hallie Rush and Sky Miles, Trinity Beitler and Café Mocha, and Madison Kondracki and Magic Beans earned team silver with 12 faults. The Zones 1 & 9 team of Lydia Philbrick and Raisin a Ruckus, Katherine Dade and National Treasure, Gigi Olson and Cajun’s Legend, and Kiley Ahn and Root Beer Float finished on 16 faults for team bronze.
Competition concludes on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. EST with Phase III of the Individual Championship.
Live coverage of the 2018 USEF Pony Finals presented by Collecting Gaits Farm will continue on the USEF Network beginning at 7:00 a.m. EST on Saturday.
Find out more information about the 2018 USEF Pony Finals presented by Collecting Gaits Farm at www.ponyfinals.org.
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