Lexington, Ky. – As the Small Regular Hunter Pony National Championship presented by PonyTail Bows started up, two new champions were crowned on the second day of competition at the 2019 USEF Pony Finals presented by Collecting Gaits Farm.
Fuqua and Prestige Finish On Top in the Large Regular Hunter Pony National Championship Presented by Charles Ancona to Win First Title of 2019 USEF Pony Finals Presented by Collecting Gaits Farm
For the second year in a row, Kat Fuqua topped the leaderboard in the Large Regular Hunter Pony National Championship presented by Charles Ancona. This year, Fuqua (Atlanta, Ga.) secured the championship title aboard Prestige, her eight-year-old Belgian Riding Pony gelding, with a total score of 1051.42. The relatively new partnership has been together for just one year and trains with Jimmy Torano.
“When I went [into the ring], I was thinking to go a little forward. But when I jumped into the first line I knew that his stride was huge, so I knew I could just stay the same,” said Fuqua of her jumping course.
Besting an incredible field of 147 other large hunter ponies, the pair was sitting in third after the first day of competition on a combined Model and Under Saddle score of 526.52. Prestige, known as “Prince” in the barn, made a significant impact on the judges in the Over Fences phase, winning the class on a 262.45 and, in turn, the national championship. Watch their winning ride.
McKayla Brombach (Wimberley, Texas) and California Dreamin’, Millennium Farm Inc’s 10-year-old German Sport Horse gelding, won the Best Presented Model Pony Award presented by Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation for the Large Regular Hunter section. The Best Turned-Out Pony Award for the Large Regular Hunter section went to Ava Hartman (Marietta, Ga.) and Sugarbrook West Point, her 10-year-old Welsh pony gelding.
1. Kat Fuqua and Prestige
2. Samantha Takacs and Brighton
3. Caroline Passarelli and So Dapper
Passarelli and So Charming Jump to Win the Small Green Hunter Pony National Championship at 2019 USEF Pony Finals Presented by Collecting Gaits Farm
Caroline Passarelli (High Falls, N.Y.) closed out her nine-year Pony Finals career on a high note by claiming the Small Green Hunter Pony National Championship with So Charming. She and Jessica Zandri’s seven-year-old Welsh Pony cross gelding tallied a total score of 1007.00 to clinch their title.
“I think the nerves have kind of left,” said Passarelli of going into the ring for her final round. “Nine years on that ramp I kind of have been able to just realize that it is any other round; it’s a big deal, but, at the end of the day, it’s one round at one show and you have to ride what you have that day. Honestly, the whole week I knew that pony was going to be perfect; he really doesn’t put a foot wrong. I knew just to keep everything calm and relaxed and smooth, and he was amazing.”
Passarelli and So Charming had a combined Model and Under Saddle score of 494.54 after day one, and rose from seventh place in the standings thanks to their jumping round. The judges awarded the pair an Over Fences score of 512.46. Watch their winning ride.
Annabelle Brown (Oxford, Pa.) and Sunshine Kid, Alina Glover’s nine-year-old Welsh Pony gelding, won the Best Presented Model Pony Award presented by Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation for the Small Green Hunter section. The Best Turned-Out Pony Award for the Small Green Hunter section went to Taylor Cawley (Wellington, Fla.) and James Dean, Roberts Stables, LLC’s nine-year-old Welsh pony gelding.
1. Caroline Passarelli and So Charming
2. Annabelle Brown and Sunshine Kid
3. Olivia Sweetnam and Clovermeade Pop Secret
Tosh and Bit of Love Lead the Way in the Small Regular Hunter Pony National Championship Presented by Pony Tail Bows at 2019 USEF Pony Finals Presented by Collecting Gaits Farm
In a competitive section of 132 small hunter ponies, Maddie Tosh (Milton, Ga.) and Bit of Love, Betsee Parker’s 13-year-old Welsh pony cross gelding, lead the Small Regular Hunter Pony National Championship presented by Pony Tail Bows after the Model and Under Saddle phases. Heading into the final jumping phase of competition tomorrow, the pair sit on a composite score of 532.06. Tosh expertly presented Bit of Love to win the Model on a score of 267.19 and secured a solid top-five placing in the Under Saddle with a 264.87.
The small regular hunter ponies will contest the Over Fences portion of the competition on Thursday, August 8.
1. Maddie Tosh and Bit of Love
2. Cady Ryan and Smitten
3. Allison Coleman and Smoke Tree Starlet
Live coverage of the 2019 USEF Pony Finals presented by Collecting Gaits Farm will continue on the USEF Network beginning at 7:00 a.m. ET on Thursday, August 8, with the Model and Under Saddle classes for the Medium Green Hunter Pony National Championship presented by Sallee Horse Vans, followed by the Large Green Hunter Pony National Championship presented by Triple Crown Nutrition.
Find out more information about the USEF Pony Finals presented by Collecting Gaits Farm at www.ponyfinals.org.