Harrisburg, PA – Following the conclusion of Pony Hunter competition at the 75th annual Pennsylvania National Horse Show in Harrisburg, PA, Olivia Sweetnam may need a new suitcase to carry her ribbons home to Wellington, FL.
The 12-year-old rider claimed the Medium Pony Hunter Championship aboard On Your Mark and the Large Pony Hunter Championship with Goldmark, before also ultimately earning the Grand Pony Hunter Championship, the Best Junior Rider on a Pony title, the Pony Rider Sportsmanship Award, and the EMO Agency Junior Hunter High point Award.
“I really can’t believe that just happened!” said Sweetnam, who was presented with the Francis E. Armstrong Memorial Challenge Trophy, donated by the Bedard family, for the Grand Pony Hunter Championship with Goldmark. “This is only Goldmark’s 12th horse show ever. He got in at the last minute, so we weren’t even expecting to do him here. So, we just wanted to give him a positive first experience at a championship horse show. He definitely exceeded our expectations. He was brilliant all week, and I’m so grateful for him and the whole Schaefer and Weiss families for letting me ride him. He’s amazing.”
On their way to the grand championship, Sweetnam and Goldmark earned two wins and a third-place finish in the Large Pony Hunter division, sponsored by Judith Patton, and Large Pony Hunter Championship, presented by Ponies & Palms Show Stables.
“Our last round was definitely my favorite with him,” said Sweetnam, who has ridden the 6-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, owned by Take 3 LLC, since the spring. “It was honestly really fun to ride. His rhythm was awesome, and it just stayed the same the whole time.”
Immediately following their division championship win, Sweetnam and Goldmark went on to win the inaugural $10,000 Pony Hunter Winners Stake. Second place in the Pony Hunter Winners Stake also went to Sweetnam, this time aboard her Medium Pony mount, On Your Mark.
Sweetnam and the 13-year-old Welsh Pony gelding also claimed the Medium Pony Hunter Championship, presented by Ponies & Palms Show Stables. For the championship, Sweetnam was presented with a gift certificate from Essex Classics, and On Your Mark will now have his name added to the Swamp Girl Challenge Trophy, donated by Brooks and Streett Moore.
“We bought him when he was young, and I was also young,” said Sweetnam. “It was like a green rider and a green pony, and we grew up together. So, it’s really special.”
Finishing as the reserve champions in the Large Pony Hunter division were Emma Dyson and her own D’Artagnan. In the Medium Pony Hunter division, the reserve championship went to Lauren Padilla and Smallwood Mystic, owned by Ticket to Ride LLC.
In the Small Pony Hunters, sponsored by the Alban Family, the championship title was awarded to Rico Suave’, owned by Ponies & Palms Show Stables. Finishing with the reserve tricolor, it was again Sweetnam, this time aboard Armani, owned by Madeline Schaefer.
Sweetnam’s banner day continued into the final Pony Hunter award presentations, with Sweetnam and Goldmark additionally receiving the EMO Agency Pony Hunter High Five Award, sponsored by the EMO Agency for their high score of 90. Sweetnam was also named the recipient of both the Pony Rider Sportsmanship Award and the Best Junior Rider on a Pony title.
The final award of the day, the inaugural Hollow Brook Wealth Management Junior Sportsmanship Award, was presented to Kat Fuqua of Atlanta, GA.
In addition to presenting Fuqua with a beautifully engraved trophy bowl, Hollow Brook Wealth Management will also make a donation to the USET International Developing Rider/U25 Fund on Fuqua’s behalf.
For full results of the Pony Hunter competition at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, visit pnhs.showmanagementsystem.com.