Lexington, Ky. – On Saturday at the 2019 USEF Pony Finals presented by Collecting Gaits Farm (Pony Finals), the hunter sections concluded with EMC Entourage and Alexa Lignelli winning the Medium Hunter Pony National Championship. Maddie Tosh and Bit of Love were named Overall Regular Hunter Pony Grand Champions and Kat Fuqua and Prestige won Overall Regular Hunter Pony Reserve Grand Champion.
Hallie Rush and Sky Miles won the USEF Pony Jumper Individual National Championship came to an exciting conclusion on Saturday evening in the Alltech Arena as Hallie Rush and Sky Miles claimed individual gold as the only combination with a final score of zero faults after all four rounds.
Lignelli and EMC Entourage Secure Victory in the Medium Regular Hunter Pony National Championship presented by Sallee Horse Vans at the 2019 USEF Pony Finals presented by Collecting Gaits Farm
Alexa Lignelli (New York, N.Y.) and EMC Entourage, The Lignelli Family’s 10-year-old Warmblood gelding, held on to their overnight lead in the Over Fences phase to win the Medium Regular Hunter Pony National Championship presented by Sallee Horse Vans on a total score of 1048.89. The pair secured a top-three finish in the Over Fences on a score of 258.28, and Lignelli was ecstatic about winning her first Pony Finals national championship aboard “Louie,” particularly since she played a key role in his training.
“It’s just so amazing to have the feeling of winning. It’s been my goal for a good amount of time because I’ve always been reserve, and it feels really good to do it with EMC Entourage. He’s a great pony,” said Lignelli. “He was started as a breeding stallion, and then we got him and gelded him. Then, I started riding him. It’s so fun to develop a pony. One of the most fun things in my career is to see the pony from the start and then finish it and make it so amazing. It’s just been so much fun.”
Yesterday, the pair won the Model on a score of 266.80 and placed third in the Under Saddle on a score of 265.53.
Remy Becker (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Anderin’s Momento, her 15-year-old Welsh/Thoroughbred gelding, won the Best Presented Model Pony Award presented by Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation for the Medium Regular Hunter section. The Best Turned-Out Pony Award for the Medium Regular Hunter section went to Ann Frances Truluck (Columbia, S.C.) and All Yours, Jessie Spade’s 13-year-old Warmblood gelding.
1. Alexa Lignelli and EMC Entourage
2. Parker Peacock and C.E. Remarkable
3. JJ Torano and Finesse RF
Maddie Tosh and Bit of Love Named Overall Regular Hunter Pony Grand Champion; Kat Fuqua and Prestige Overall Regular Hunter Pony Reserve Grand Champion
Maddie Tosh (Milton, Ga.) and Bit of Love, Betsee Parker’s 13-year-old Welsh Pony cross gelding, were awarded the title of Overall Regular Hunter Pony Grand Champion today for their performance throughout the week at the 2019 Pony Finals. Kat Fuqua (Atlanta, Ga.) and Prestige, her eight-year-old Belgian Riding Pony gelding, were the Overall Regular Hunter Pony Reserve Grand Champions.
Tosh and Bit of Love won the Small Regular Hunter Pony National Championship presented by PonyTail Bows earlier this week on a score of 1063.06, while Fuqua and Prestige won the Large Regular Hunter Pony National Championship presented by Charles Ancona on a score of 1051.42.
Rush and Sky Miles Clinch USEF Pony Jumper Individual National Championship at 2019 USEF Pony Finals presented by Collecting Gaits Farm
The USEF Pony Jumper Individual National Championship came to an exciting conclusion on Saturday evening in the Alltech Arena. Thirteen combinations contested a solid track designed by Jasen Shelley to determine the individual medals. Pony Finals veterans Hallie Rush and Sky Miles claimed individual gold with a final score of zero faults.
Rush (Prospect, Tenn.) and Sky Miles, her 20-year-old Connemara mare, jumped clear throughout the week leading into Saturday’s final. The pair delivered their fourth clear round of the competition when it mattered most to earn their individual gold medal.
“It is definitely at the top for us,” said Rush of her medal. “It is a big achievement we have worked really hard for. In the past years, we have had team gold and this year team silver and last year team silver but we have never medaled individually so it is a really big thing for us.”
Rush has been to Pony Finals four times with Sky Miles, so she is familiar with the pressure of the championship. Sky Miles is also a seasoned veteran having been to a total of eight Pony Finals. Their experience and partnership paid off at this year’s competition.
“I think I have really progressed a lot as a rider,” explained Rush. “I was able to give her a really good ride this year. She was in really good shape this year and gave it her all, too.”
A jump-off between four combinations tied on four faults was required to determine the remaining medals: Hannah Attar and Joel, Tabitha Okitsu and Spoot de la Jourlais, Trey Batts and Prince Oliver, and Devi Ferreira and Silver Charm. Ferreira (Jamul, Calif.) and Silver Charm, Ixchel Mosley’s 14-year-old Welsh pony cross gelding, went clear and finished in a time of 32.123 seconds to take home the individual silver medal. In addition, Ferreira won the USEF Pony Jumper Style Award. Okitsu (South Pasadena, Calif.) and Spoot de la Jourlais, her 13-year-old Connemara/Arabian mare, collected bronze after going clear in a time of 32.901 seconds.
1. Hallie Rush and Sky Miles
2. Devi Ferreira and Silver Charm
3. Tabitha Okitsu and Spoot de la Jourlais
Emerson Burr Horsemanship Test: Michaela Munson (Rogers, Ariz.), Alpine Griffin (Fort Collins, Colo.), Lainie Rubin (Columbia, S.C.), and Hannah Williams (Monroe, N.C.)
Buttons N’ Bows Sportsmanship Trophy: Danielle Rollins (Woodstock, Ga.)
Outstanding Parent Award: Mark Drosos (Buda, Texas)
Betsy Fishback Memorial Trophy: Donchaneau, Paloma Primavera’s (Aptos, Calif.) nine-year-old Welsh pony cross gelding, and groom Adrian Rodriguez
Edna Lytle Trophy: Robin Greenwood (Southern Pines, N.C.)
Mindy Darst Perpetual Trophy: Taylor Cawley (Wellington, Fla.)
Emerson Burr Trophy: Hunt Tosh (Milton, Ga.)
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 Sunday, August 11, with the Marshall & Sterling/USEF Pony Medal Finals in Alltech Arena.
Find out more information about the USEF Pony Finals presented by Collecting Gaits Farm at www.ponyfinals.org.