By Allie Hay and Sarah Madden for TIEC
Mill Spring, NC – July 10, 2021 – Ponies stepped into the spotlight in Tryon Stadium during Tryon Summer 4/Tryon Riding & Hunt Club Charity II at Tryon International Equestrian Center & Resort (TIEC) during Saturday’s $10,000 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby presented by Star Stable. Evana Somareddy (Clearwater, FL) aboard her own Goldrush took first place honors with a combined score of 170. Elle Boyd (Camden, SC) received second and third place honors on Finally Farm’s Sugarbrook Pink-N-Blue, the 2007 medium Welsh Pony (Blue Who x Tropical Breeze) producing a score of 168, along with Baby Blue, the 2003 small Welsh Pony (Blue Rain x Unknown), who earned a two-round total of 167.
Thirty-six pony riders cantered around the Andres Christiansen course resulting in a handy cutoff score of 76. Somareddy and the 2008 medium Welsh Pony Cross with unknown breeding tackled the classic round with a score of 85, and earned another 85 in the handy round to come out on top. Somareddy said she owes all success to “Monty,” who was “perfect” and “so much fun.” Somareddy enjoyed riding the course, saying, “I kind of was just going around saying, ‘Okay! We’re doing this! First line is done. I love this!’ And before I knew it, it was at the end and we were jumping through the two-stride! And I was just like, ‘Good boy!’”
Somareddy walked in the ring with a mix of jitters and confidence, saying, “I was kind of nervous because I’ve never shown in a big stadium before. But Monty just came in for me and he was amazing. Also, I just want to give my thanks to Schuler Dayner for helping me prep Monty and making him perfect. It was really so much fun! I couldn’t have done it better.”
Despite it being Somareddy’s first competition in a large stadium and her first time competing at TIEC, the string of firsts proved no issue for the pair. They ended as champions in the Medium Pony Division during Tryon Summer 3 and continued their winning streak during Tryon Summer 4 to earn reserve champion honors. Somareddy was elated with her mount’s performance and left the ring saying, “My time at Tryon has been amazing! I’m so proud of him for having such an amazing two weeks at Tryon!”
From TIEC, Somareddy and Goldrush will next begin their preparation for USEF Pony Finals in Kentucky. “Hopefully, we will be as good as we were here!” she said with a grin. “After that, I’m super happy to award Monty to his new leasers. Monty is going to have a new kid next year! I’m super happy and I hope Monty’s new owners are as happy as I am!”