The Road From Reservation to Pony Finals

Photo © Shawn McMillen Photography

Above photo: Jordan Gibbs and Party Time in their Small Pony Hunter over fences round at Pony Finals 2017.

By TPH Intern Tori Weed

If you were at the 2017 USEF Pony Finals, you may have seen a flashy small pony with a young rider named Jordan Gibbs. This pony, with his bright markings and pretty blue eyes, goes by the name Party Time (aka Party).  

Jordan came into possession of Party Time in March, 2016 and, since then, the pair have successfully come up the ranks at the horse shows and have formed a love like no other.

But, horse shows were not always a part of Party’s life. He spent much of his life on a Native American reservation before a hunter/jumper trainer saw him at an auction. The trainer thought that he would make a cute English pony. From there, Party went to live in Arizona before the Gibbs family and trainer, Karen Goodell, heard of him and decided he would make a good fit for them. On the last day of horse showing at the West World Equestrian center in Arizona, Party Time was loaded into the Gibbs trailer and the rest is history.

After trying Party for the summer, he was officially announced as Jordan’s at the Colorado Fall Preview horse show. Jordan had just won her under saddle and the show announcer said it for all to hear as she walked to accept her first blue ribbon on her very own brand new pony. With smiles, laughs, and tears from everyone, Party Time was officially a member of the Gibbs Family.

Since then, Party Time and Jordan have gone on to win many awards and many hearts, too. These two definitely have quite a fan club, especially in their home state of Colorado. Jordan and Party started their career in the Short Stirrup, moved up to the Children’s Small Pony Hunters, and kept on going all the way to the Small Pony Hunter division.

Highlights of the team’s career include multiple Reserve Championships and Championships in the Short Stirrup and Small Pony Hunters. This season, Jordan and Party found they had a knack at Handy classes and won multiple events at Colorado’s Summer in the Rockies. They also placed in all of their $1000 Combined Pony Hunter Classics. By the end of the summer in the Rockies season, Party Time and Jordan were Summer Circuit Champions of the entire Small Pony Hunter division!

After Summer in the Rockies, everyone’s focus turned to the 2017 USEF Pony Finals where Jordan would be showing Party Time in the Small Pony Hunters and GF Elliott in the Medium Pony Hunters and the Pony Medal. Her older brother, Dominic, would be showing GF Aurelia in the Large Pony Hunters and Pony Medal. It was quite a trip for the Gibbs with smiles, successes, and love all around in Kentucky this summer.

Jordan Gibbs is a 10 year old from Colorado Springs, Colorado with a big future ahead of her. She’s a bright, energetic young girl with all kinds of talent and a ton of people supporting her. She’ll be one to watch in her next few pony years and after that with anything she puts her mind to. As her mother, Erin Gibbs, explains, “She is a force to be reckoned with in the world.” Jordan and Party Time prove this again and again.

After a successful trip to 2017 USEF Pony Finals with good over fences scores and scores averaging 81.5 in the flat and model, Jordan went home with renewed determination. She took her stepping stone successes fromPony Finals and went to practice and get better. After a good rest, Jordan and Party were right back at it at the Colorado Horse Park’s Fall Finales – one year after she officially became Party’s owner.

They brought home top placings and garnered the Championship in the Pony Hunters during week two. Jordan has big plans for Party Time, including 2018 USEF Pony Finals, for which they are already qualified. Looking to the future, Jordan hopes to improve next year, But,  as long as she gets to keep showing her wonderful boy, Party Time, she will be very happy.