Lexington, Ky. – Another full day of competition took place on Friday at the 2021 USEF Pony Finals presented by Honor Hill Farms. The Medium Regular Pony Hunter National Championship presented by Pegasus Show Stable & San Marco Training began day with its Model and Under Saddle phases. Two pony hunter national champions were named in the afternoon, while Zone 10A won gold in the USEF Pony Jumper Team National Championship.
Geitner and Farewell Win Medium Green Pony Hunter National Championship
Lillian Geitner (Aiken, S.C.) and Farewell, Daniel Geitner’s 2014 pony gelding, claimed the Medium Green Pony Hunter National Championship after an impressive over-fences round on Friday. The pair was sitting in seventh heading into the final phase, leaping up to leaderboard when they placed second in the Over Fences with a score of 255.90. The pair earned a 243.68 in the Model and a 254.00 in the Under Saddle, resulting in a total score of 1009.48.
Geitner is trained by her parents, Daniel and Cathy. “It can be tough [being trained by my parents,] but it’s so nice having them by my side for these moments,” said Geitner. “I didn’t expect to win so I just went in there looking to have a good round.”
1. Lillian Geitner and Farewell
2. Olivia Sweetnam and Mapleside Forget Me Not
3. Clara Propp and Tristan
Morrell and Lumiere Win 2020 Medium Green Pony Hunter National Championship
Susannah Morrell (Lakeland, Fla.) and Lumiere, her 2013 Welsh pony cross gelding, claimed the 2020 Medium Green Pony Hunter National Championship on a total score of 999.90. The pair was sitting in fifth place heading into the Over Fences class on Friday, earning scores of 244.27 in the Model and 242.21 in the Under Saddle. Morrell and Lumiere rose to the top spot after a standout performance in the jumping phase, securing a significant win in the class with a score of 513.42.
“I’ve had Lumiere for about a year and a half, so I’d say I know him pretty well. We’ve just worked a lot on consistency, and it’s been a really nice journey getting him to where we want him,” said Morrell. “When we got him, we had to work on being together with our pace, getting our canter where we want it, and just being comfortable. The biggest thing was being comfortable in the ring since he was young.”
1. Susannah Morrell and Lumiere
2. Madeline Rubin and Royal Street
3. Parker Howard and Greymeadows Vogue
Zone 10A Wins Gold in USEF Pony Jumper Team National Championship
Six teams competed in the USEF Pony Jumper Team National Championship on Friday afternoon over a solid course designed by Jasen Shelley. After the two rounds of team competition, Zone 10A earned the team gold medal for the fourth consecutive time. Zones 1/7 collected silver and the Combined Flyers (Zone 3/8/9) took home bronze.
The Zone 10A team walked the course and came up with a plan for each of their ponies. “Right before the walk I was really, really nervous. David [Sterckx], my trainer, walked us through the whole entire thing,” said Kennedy “Kenzie” Chang.
Chang (Pasadena, Calif.) and Thunder d’Azure, her 2007 Connemara gelding, and Finley Hamilton (Pasadena, Calif.) and Focalize Dew Drop, her 2011 Belgian Sport pony mare, each scored a clear round for their team. Ashlin Goodwin (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Tippy Toes, her 2006 Welsh pony cross mare, and Cash Delia (Petaluma, Calif.) and Trewithian Hawkeweed, his 2009 Connemara gelding, had strong performances for their team as well.
In an exciting finish, the Zone 10A and Zones 1/7 teams were tied on 20 faults, requiring a jump-off. “I was really nervous, but excited,” Goodwin said upon finding out the teams would have to jump-off for a gold medal. Delia and Trewithian Hawkeweed were selected as the team’s pair for the jump-off, and they delivered a fast clear round to clinch the gold medal.
“My horse can jump from a lot of angles, and I kind of like the pressure. It makes me get excited and know that something is on the line,” Delia said of the jump-off.
The Zone 10A team came together to have a top performance. “I have ridden with Kenzie and Cash, but this is my first time meeting Ashlin,” said Hamilton. It was the first time on a team for each of the riders, but they rose to the occasion of a team experience.
“I thought it was really fun and cool. It was fun to be on [a team],” added Delia.
- Zone 10A
- Zones 1/7
- Combined Flyers (Zones 3/8/9)
Heading into the Individual Final, three combinations sit tied for the lead on four faults: Alexis Bauman (Woodstock, Ill.) and Miracles Happen, Amber Bauman’s 2005 Welsh Pony gelding; Michaela Munson (Rogers, Ark.) and Bluebelle, Genevieve Munson’s 2000 Pony mare; and Audrey Turner (Timberlake, N.C.) and Prince Oliver, her 2009 Warmblood/Quarter Horse gelding. The Individual Final takes place at 4 p.m. on Saturday.
Chambers and EMC Entourage Lead Medium Regular Pony Hunter National Championship presented by Pegasus Show Stable & San Marco Training
Zoey Chambers and EMC Entourage hold the top spot on the leaderboard in the Medium Regular Pony Hunter National Championship presented by Pegasus Show Stable & San Marco Training. Chambers and The Lignelli Family's 2009 Warmblood gelding were second in the Model phase with a score of 265.49 and won the Under Saddle phase with a score of 275.54. They lead with a composite score of 541.03.
- Zoey Chambers and EMC Entourage
- Agatha Lignelli and High Tops
- JJ Torano and Northwind Tag You’re It
Pony hunter competition was cancelled Friday evening due to weather. The remainder of the Over Fences phase of the Large Green Pony Hunter National Championship and the Over Fences phase of the 2020 Large Green Pony Hunter National Championship will be added to the beginning of Saturday’s schedule in the Rolex Stadium, with competition starting at 7 a.m.
Special Awards and Activities
Five individuals were selected for the Betsy Fishback Sportsmanship Award today, winning a copy of the book Big Wishes for Little Feat, by Cheryl Olsten. The following recipients are youth who have demonstrated the qualities of good sportsmanship while exhibiting at the USEF Pony Finals presented by Honor Hill Farms (listed in alphabetical order):
Bowery Fiocchi (Garrison, N.Y.)
Ella Murphy (Boerne, Texas)
Gabriella Pino (Miami, Fla.)
Devon Schwartz (Brentwood, Tenn.)
Avery Smith (Wilsonville, Ore.)
Dalman Jump Pony Land – Competitors and families can enjoy this kid-sized show jump area, with jumps provided by Dalman Jump Co. Dalman will be hosting a “grand prix” competition for youth on Friday and Saturday from 12-1 p.m. ET at Dalman Jump Pony Land. The participant with the fastest time after the Final on Saturday will win a kid-sized jump and standards courtesy of Dalman Jump Co. Stop by the Dalman booth by the Bruce Davidson statue to sign up!
Model Pony Awards presented by the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation – Competitors will have a shot at earning the Model Pony Award presented by Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation. One pony from each division will be selected for this award dedicated to highlighting the best presented pony in that division.
VisitLex Welcome Wagon – Visitors to the Lexington area can find restaurant guides and more to enjoy the best that Lexington has to offer, along with free water, carrots, stickers, and other goodies, sponsored by VisitLex.
Turf Town Properties Ice Cream Cart – Parked by the Bruce Davidson statue outside Rolex Stadium, visit this cart daily to enjoy free ice cream, sponsored by Turf Town Properties.
Find out more information about the USEF Pony Finals presented by Honor Hill Farms at www.ponyfinals.org.