Claire Campbell Rides to the Top in Small Pony Hunter Division at U.S. Pony Finals

Claire Campbell and Roll Call


Lexington, Ky. – August 11, 2016 – The “hurry up and wait motto” is all too familiar to people who frequently horse show. Waiting around all day to compete when you’re currently in the lead from the first day can make even the most laid-back people nervous. Top off the building anxiety with the pressure of riding around in the Walnut Arena with everyone eagerly watching your every move. For Claire Campbell, sitting around all day to go did not seem to faze her in the slightest.

“I showed my Medium Green and then we went back to the hotel, and I took a little nap,” Campbell revealed. “I thought I was going to be way more nervous than I was. Standing at the ramp, I really wasn’t nervous.”

But that doesn’t mean she wasn’t ecstatic over her victory – it just hadn’t processed in her head yet.

Sullivan and Snowball earned 12th place over-fences. Olivia Sweetnam, daughter of top Grand Prix rider Shane Sweetnam, and Love Bug rode to the top in the over-fences section. The dynamic duo made everyone in the crowd smile when they nailed every aspect of the course.
“I don’t think it’s sunken in yet, but it’s amazing,” Campbell said. “He was such a good boy. He was perfect today.”

Perhaps Campbell’s confidence came from knowing her mount so well. “Pleasure,” as he is affectionately called in the barn, has been with Campbell for six years now.

“Pleasure is great. He is so sweet, and he loves his treats. He nickers at everyone when they walk by,” Campbell said. “He’s always quiet, and he never spooks. I don’t think I’ve ever fallen off of him — knock on wood. He has a big stride, and he’s a really nice mover.”

Campbell and her own Roll Call were the last team out of a field of over 120 entries to give the course a go and ended up placing third over-fences. On Wednesday, she was second in both the model and the under-saddle phase.

Campbell, of Cochranville, Pennsylvania, trains with Stacey Schaefer at Shadow Ridge Farm. The 13-year-old rider treks from her hometown in Pennsylvania to Westminster, Maryland, so she can train a few times a week.

It’s a family affair for the Campbells, as Claire’s younger sister, Rose, also competes with the team at Shadow Ridge Farm in the medium pony division.

“Claire is a hard worker, and the family has put a lot of time and effort into this,” trainer Stacey Schaefer said. “They live two hours away, and they come to see me a lot. We are like a unit, for sure. We’re really close.

“They met me because they bought Roll Call from me, and I gave them another pony and they decided that they wanted to come to Florida the next winter,” she continued. “They came, and they never left. It’s been a great time.”

Kyla Sullivan collected the reserve championship with A Dream Come True, owned by DK-USA Sporthorse LLC. Sullivan trains with Jill and Sydney Shulman at Back Country Farm located in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Sullivan was also able to keep her nerves in check, despite having shown her pony a mere two times. This year marked her fourth time at U.S. Pony Finals, but today was the first time the 12-year-old captured a tricolor ribbon.

Kyla Sullivan and A Dream Come True
Kyla Sullivan and A Dream Come True

“We got him two weeks before we left,” Sydney Shulman explained. “So we’ve had him for three weeks. We took him to HITS and she showed him, and she showed him last week once, and then we were deciding between our two: Secret Love, that we own, and A Dream Come True. It kind of just fell into place that she should show Snowball.”

Sydney Shulman acknowledged her mother’s expertise in helping make today such a positive experience.

“I’m thrilled. My mom, Jill, really works hard with the ponies. She rides them and she picks them,” she smiled. “She always picks good ones. My mom was so excited for them today. Kyla nailed it.”

Sullivan was just as thrilled about her victory as her trainers were. She exclaimed, “It feels really exciting to be reserve champion. I like showing at Pony Finals because I have a lot of friends here, and the ring is very big and fun to ride in.”

Sullivan is also set to compete a Large Green and a Medium Green pony this week at U.S. Pony Finals. Rounding out the division were the third place overall finishers, Mimi Gochman and Dr. Betsee Parker’s Love Me Tender.

Competition will resume tomorrow at 7 a.m. in the Walnut Arena, beginning with the Medium Pony model.

Olivia Sweetnam and Love Bug
Olivia Sweetnam and Love Bug

For more information about the 2016 U.S. Pony Finals, please visit

Events: 2016 Kentucky Summer Horse Shows

What: The 2016 Kentucky Summer Horse Shows series includes two weeks of top hunter/jumper competitions during the months of July and August. The Kentucky Horse Shows series is the host of the Hagyard Challenge Series and the Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby series.

Where: The Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, site of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ and home to the United States Equestrian Federation.

When: KENTUCKY SUMMER HORSE SHOW I – July 27-31, 2016

$25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic
$50,000 Rood & Riddle Kentucky Grand Prix

$10,000 Under 25 Grand Prix

$5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby


$25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic

$50,000 Kentucky Summer Grand Prix presented by GGT Footing

$5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby


$25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic

$40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix sponsored by Audi of Lexington

A WCHR Event

$5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby

USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship

USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship

KHJA HORSE SHOW – Aug. 24-28, 2016

$10,000 Hagyard Welcome Stake

$30,000 KHJA Grand Prix

$5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby

Sponsors: A special thanks to the generous sponsors of the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows series: Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, Hollow Creek Farm, CWD, Hallway Feeds, Audi of Lexington, FarmVet, Johnson Horse Transportation, Visse Wedell, Dietrich Equine Insurance Services, TAKE2 Second Career Thoroughbred Program Inc., Equestrian Services International (ESI Footing), GGT Footing, Winners Circle Trailer Sales and Service and the official hotel, the Clarion.

Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. daily

Parking: Horse show exhibitors may purchase a weekly parking pass at the main horse park entrance for $15. Dogs are permitted at the Kentucky Horse Park on a leash.

Directions: The Kentucky Horse Park is located eight miles Northeast of Lexington, Kentucky, at Exit 120 on Interstate 75.


Before show – Phone: 859-233-0492; Email:
During Show – Phone: 859-281-7979; Fax: 859-231-6097

Stabling: Email Tom Blankenship at

Stable office:

Before show – Phone: 843-269-4737

During Show – Phone: 859-255-0605

Prize list advertising: Email Cindy Bozan at or call 859-608-3709

Vendors: Email Cindy Bozan at or call 859-608-3709



Shopping: Vendors offering equestrian equipment, apparel, jewelry and home furnishings are located adjacent to the Stonelea Ring.

Hotels: Clarion Hotel (formerly Holiday Inn North)

Website –

Phone – 859-233-0512

Approximately four miles away from the horse show, discover the place where elegant comfort in an ideal location meets excellent service and affordability. At the Clarion Hotel Lexington, you’ll find well-appointed accommodations with options of two double bed, two queen bed, king rooms or suites and exceptional amenities such as our free hot breakfast buffet. Home of the Kentucky Horse Park, the Lexington Convention Center, University of Kentucky and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail – our Lexington hotel is on Newtown Pike at Exit 115 on I-75, close to all the big attractions, and is the perfect place to stay whether you’re here to get down to business or have some fun. Best of all, bring your furry friends for any trip because the Clarion Hotel in Lexington is also pet-friendly.

Campground reservations: Reservations may not be made through the horse show office. To reserve a campsite at the Kentucky Horse Park for any of the horse shows, please call the Campground Store at 800-370-6416 or 859-259-4157, or email Ryan McGaughey at Be specific as to the show name and the dates you wish to stay. Check-in time is 2 p.m. and checkout is noon. You must make arrangements with the Campground Store if you plan to arrive earlier than 2 p.m. or stay later than noon. Vehicles that are not removed from a campsite by checkout time will be towed.

Management: Kentucky Horse Shows LLC

P. O. Box 11428
Lexington, KY 40575-1428
859-233-0492 (phone)
859-233-0495 (fax)