By Kathleen Landwehr and Ashley Swift, US Equestrian Communications Department
Lexington, Ky. – As the Small Regular Pony Hunter National Championship started up, three new champions were crowned on the second day of competition at the 2021 USEF Pony Finals presented by Honor Hill Farms (Pony Finals).
Dyson and D’Artagnan Win Large Regular Pony Hunter National Championship presented by Charles Ancona
USEF Pony Finals first-time competitor Emma Dyson (Greenwich, Conn.) and D’Artagnan, Simply Ponies LLC’s 2010 German Riding Pony gelding, took the win in the Large Regular Pony Hunter National Championship presented by Charles Ancona. The pair was sitting in fifth heading into the jumping phase but a win in the Over Fences class pushed them to the top of the leaderboard with a score of 270.14. Dyson and D’Artagnan earned a 246.51 in the Model and a 268.63 in the Under Saddle, for a composite score of 1055.42 after the Over Fences.
“I’ve been riding [‘Beau’] since March. It took a couple shows before we clicked, but he’s always been a pretty good boy so it was pretty easy to get to know him,” Dyson said. “This is my first time [at USEF Pony Finals]. It’s really special to come here; I’ve wanted to come here my whole life. It’s really cool to win my first time coming.”
The combination will also compete in the Marshall & Sterling/USEF Pony Medal National Championship on Sunday.
1. Emma Dyson and D’Artagnan
2. Erin Morera and Nominee
3. Clara Propp and Eastside
Berry and Cambridge Win Small Green Pony Hunter National Championship2020 Small Green
Michelle Berry (San Diego, Calif.) and Cambridge earned the Small Green Pony Hunter National Championship after three strong performances. Berry and Rabbit Root Stables, LLC’s 2013 Welsh pony gelding won the Over Fences phase with a score of 266.89 on Wednesday after scoring 256.76 in the Model phase and 244.72 in the Under Saddle phase on Tuesday. Their composite score of 1035.26 clinched the national championship title in Berry’s first appearance at Pony Finals.
“The face and his jump [make him so special],” Berry said of Cambridge. After catch riding the pony since the 2021 Thermal circuit, Berry had her eye on Pony Finals. “This was the main [goal] and I accomplished it.”
Berry competes in the Medium Junior Jumper, Hunter Derbies, and Large Junior Hunters, but enjoys the challenge of adjusting to riding in the Pony Hunter divisions. Trainer Corrine Bevis said that Berry’s composure, maturity, and ability to closely follow direction helped her excel at showing off Cambridge’s best qualities.
1. Michelle Berry and Cambridge
2. Olivia Sweetnam and Stella Blue
3. Hailey Guidry and Memphis
Epstein and Pepsi Win 2020 Small Green Pony Hunter National Championship
As the competition came to a close Wednesday evening, Lily Epstein (Coral Gables, Fla.) and Pepsi were named the 2020 Small Green Pony Hunter National Champions. Epstein and her 2014 Welsh pony gelding handily won the Over Fences phase with a score of 255.89 on Wednesday and tallied 247.86 in the Model and 253.02 in the Under Saddle phase on Tuesday. They clinched top honors with a composite score of 1012.66.
“I’m so happy I got to qualify and come back for this year,” Epstein said of her Pony Finals experience thus far. “It is my first time ribboning in the jumping, so I was super happy. And to have Pepsi be such a good boy. I’m so happy to be back here.”
The 2020 Green Pony Hunter National Championships were added to the 2021 Pony Finals schedule because of the cancellation of the 2020 Pony Finals due to COVID-19.
1. Lily Epstein and Pepsi
2. Kolbie Watson and Abby Dabby Doo
3. Sienna Rossano and DF Crush
Endzweig and Private Message Lead the Way in the Small Regular Pony Hunter National Championship
In a competitive section of 87 small pony hunters, Ella Endzweig (New York, N.Y.) and Private Message, Twin Island LLC’s 2012 Welsh pony gelding, lead the Small Regular Pony Hunter National Championship after the Model and Under Saddle phases. Heading into the final jumping phase of competition tomorrow, the pair hold on to a narrow lead with a composite score of 521.63. Endzweig expertly presented Private Message for a solid win in the Model with a score of 268.93 and secured a 252.70 in the Under Saddle, narrowly missing a top-10 placing by less than one point.
The small regular pony hunters will contest the Over Fences portion of the competition on Thursday, August 12.
1. Ella Endzweig and Private Message
2. Vivian Golden and Westley
3. Kathryn Padilla and Jubilee
How to Watch
Live coverage of the 2021 USEF Pony Finals presented by Honor Hill Farms will continue on the USEF Network beginning at 7:00 a.m. ET on Thursday, August 12, with the Model and Under Saddle classes for the Medium Green Pony Hunter National Championship.