By Kathleen Landwehr and Ashley Swift, US Equestrian Communications Department
Lexington, Ky. – On Saturday at the 2021 USEF Pony Finals presented by Honor Hill Farms (Pony Finals), Alexis Bauman and Miracles Happen won the USEF Pony Jumper Individual National Championship following and exciting jump-off.
The hunter competition concluded today with three new champions in the Large Green Pony Hunter National Championship, 2020 Large Green National Championship, and Medium Regular Pony Hunter National Championship presented by Pegasus Show Stable & San Marco Training.
Emma Dyson and D’Artagnan were named 2021 Overall Regular Pony Hunter Grand Champions. Maddie Tosh and Brixton were named 2021 Overall Green Pony Hunter Grand Champions. Lily Epstein (Coral Gables, Fla.) and Pepsi, her 2014 Welsh pony gelding, were named the 2020 Small Green Pony Hunter National Champions.
Tosh and Brixton Victorious in the Large Green Pony Hunter National Championship
Maddie Tosh (Milton, Ga.) and Brixton, Dr. Betsee Parker’s 2010 Deutches Reitpony gelding, were leading the Large Green Pony Hunter National Championship heading into Saturday’s Over Fences phase and clinched the top spot after a handy jumping round earning a score of 535.44. Tosh and Brixton also earned a score of 264.92 in the Model and a score of 255.95 in the Under Saddle, ending on a total score of 1056.31.
Tosh is a veteran Pony Finals competitor and as she begins her transition to riding more horses, she reflected on what she has loved most about competing here. “It’s the atmosphere. I feel like the ponies always step up to their A-game here. They know when it’s time to shine. And it’s fun hanging out with my friends and seeing everyone I haven’t gotten to see all year,” said Tosh.
1. Maddie Tosh and Brixton
2. Olivia Sweetnam and Goldmark
3. Erin Morera and Tresoro
Hewitt and See More Blue Win 2020 Large Green Pony Hunter National Championship
See More Blue, Basset Equine, LLC’s 2013 Warmblood gelding, swept the 2020 Large Green Pony Hunter National Championship with Hayley Hewitt (New Canaan, Conn.) in the irons on a total score of 1007.68. The pair was leading the division after the Model and Under Saddle phases, where she earned a score of 256.18 in the Model and a 258.26 in the Under Saddle phase. Hewitt and See More Blue earned a total score of 493.24 in the Over Fences, winning the class and keeping her at the top of the division leaderboard.
“We were trying to get [See More Blue] to Pony Finals in 2020, but with COVID and everything we decided to scratch early right before it was cancelled [due to COVID-19]. When we heard [USEF] would have a 2020 division this year, we were super excited,” said Hewitt. “He loves treats, he loves his job. He’s just amazing and such a joy to have in the barn.”
1. Hayley Hewitt and See More Blue
2. Vivian Golden and Duncans Mill Mac Dougal
3. Rylie True and Olof
Bauman and Miracles Happen Claim Gold in USEF Pony Jumper Individual National Championship
The USEF Pony Jumper Individual National Championship came to an exciting conclusion on Saturday afternoon. Fourteen combinations contested a challenging track designed by Jasen Shelley to determine the individual medals. Three combinations sat tied for the lead on four faults heading into the final phase of the competition: Alexis Bauman and Miracles Happen, Michaela Munson and Bluebelle, and Audrey Turner and Prince Oliver.
Both Bauman and Munson had clear rounds, resulting in a jump-off to determine the gold and silver medals. Munson (Rogers, Ark.) and Bluebelle, Genevieve Munson’s 2000 Pony mare, went first and had an unlucky rail at the final fence in a time of 42.207 seconds. Bauman (Woodstock, Ill.) and Miracles Happen, Amber Bauman’s 2005 Welsh Pony gelding, went for a steady round, finishing clear in a time of 48.216 seconds.
Bauman made her 10th and final appearance at Pony Finals a meaningful one by claiming gold with “Roy.” This year was her second time competing in the pony jumpers, and she used the experience she has gained since her last appearance to have a top performance.
“It is so cool because at the 2019 Pony Finals I didn’t make the ribbons for the individuals; I was just out of it,” said Bauman. “So I said, ‘Okay, mom, I want to go for gold this year’ because it is my last year.”
Munson and Bluebelle took home the silver medal, while Turner (Timberlake, N.C.) and Prince Oliver, her 2009 Warmblood/Quarter Horse gelding, earned the bronze medal.
1. Alexis Bauman and Miracles Happen
2. Michaela Munson and Bluebelle
3. Audrey Turner and Prince Oliver
Boyd and Baroness of Locheil Win Medium Regular Pony Hunter National Championship presented by Pegasus Show Stables and San Marco Training
Elle Boyd (Camden, S.C.) and Baroness of Locheil, Dr. Betsee Parker’s 2013 Welsh pony cross mare, launched to the top spot in the Medium Regular Pony Hunter National Championship presented by Pegasus Show Stables and San Marco Training today after a strong jumping performance in the final phase of competition. The pair earned a score of 268.94 in the Model and a score of 223.85 in the Under Saddle, placing them outside the top 15 heading into the Over Fences on Saturday. Their foot-perfect round earned them a score of 542.00, ending with a total score of 1034.79. “Twinkle” won the medium green division at the 2019 Pony Finals with Maddie Tosh in the irons, but this was Boyd’s first-ever Pony Finals.
“Twinkle is just so smooth, and gentle, and kind,” said Boyd. “I train with my mom [Liza Boyd], and we work on being nice and smooth. When I went into the Over Fences, I just wanted to get a good solid round and stay consistent. I was trying to be extra careful in the last line, not to get too fast or too slow.”
1. Elle Boyd and Baroness of Locheil
2. Olivia Sweetnam and On Your Mark
3. Foxmor Secret Powers
Best Presented Model Pony presented by the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation
One pony from each hunter division was be selected for the Best Presented Model Pony presented by Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation. This award is dedicated to highlighting the best presented pony in that group. The following ponies received the Model Pony Award at Pony Finals this year (listed alphabetically):
Blush, Mary Lou Glover’s 2012 Welsh pony cross mare – Small Green
Bragging Rights, Billie Guerin’s 2009 Thoroughbred/Welsh/British Riding Pony mare – Large Green
Brighton, Ellie Sadrian’s 2009 Deutsches Reitpony gelding – Large Regular
Duncans Mill Mac Dougal, GC Ponies, LLC’s 2009 Welsh/Thoroughbred gelding – 2020 Large Green
Lee Hill Melrose, Sirena Liggett’s 2011 Welsh/Thoroughbred mare – Small Regular
Leon, Payton Flanders’s 2006 Welsh pony gelding – Medium Regular
Minion, Megghan Watts’s 2008 Welsh pony cross gelding – 2020 Small Green
Royal Affair, Japonica Cruise’s 2015 Welsh pony gelding – Medium Green
Shenandoah Triscuit, Piper Kennedy’s 2011 Welsh pony cross gelding – 2020 Medium Green
Emerson Burr Horsemanship Test: Michaela Munson (Rogers, Ark.), Isabelle Bray (Raleigh, N.C.), Brynn Lasala (Rising Sun, Md.)
Buttons N’ Bows Sportsmanship Trophy: Annah Shuping (Columbia, S.C.)
Outstanding Parent Award: Will Little
Betsy Fishback Memorial Trophy: Wisewood Mr. Fizzle, Alexandra Lynn Willner’s 2010 Welsh pony cross gelding
Edna Lytle Trophy: Stacey Weiss (Westminster, Md.)
Mindy Darst Perpetual Trophy: Olivia Sweetnam (Wellington, Fla.)
Emerson Burr Trophy: Chance Arakelian (New Canaan, Conn.)
Virginia Pony Breeders Association Grand Champion:
Foxmor Secret Powers, Rendezvous Farm’s 2011 Welsh cross pony gelding – Medium Regular
Virginia Pony Breeders Association Champions (listed alphabetically):
Blush, Mary Lou Glover’s 2012 Welsh pony cross mare – Small Green
Delaphine, Glenwillow Inc’s 2008 Welsh pony cross mare – Large Green
Duncans Mill Mac Dougal, GC Ponies, LLC and Robin Greewood’s 2009 Welsh/Thoroughbred gelding – 2020 Large Green
Shenandoah Moonspinner, Luna Valobra’s 2015 Welsh pony cross mare – Medium Green
Westley, Olivia Golden LLC’s 2015 Welsh cross gelding – Small Regular
Wisewood Mr. Fizzle, Alexandra Lynn Willner’s 2010 Welsh pony gelding – 2020 Medium Green Pony
Woodlands Velvet Touch, Michelle Ben-Hayun’s 2005 Welsh/Thoroughbred gelding – Large Regular
Find out more information about the USEF Pony Finals presented by Honor Hill Farms at www.ponyfinals.org.