By Tatum Mitchell
The beginning of many an equestrian’s story starts with a pony. Ponies provide timeless learning experiences, no matter their age. Oftentimes it’s young riders who pilot these petite equine athletes, and sometimes the ponies are in the first decade of their careers themselves.
And sometimes, even those very young ponies find their way to the top of the sport. Below, we’d like to introduce you to six ponies, all under six years old, who qualified for this year’s Pony Finals. These ponies are just getting started, but they’re not short on success, competing and winning with their lucky partners on the road to Kentucky.
Daventry’s Emerald City
- 2015 gelding
- (Alvesta Picasso x Goldhills As You Like It)
- Trainer: Eden Hill Equestrian
When Daventry’s Emerald City, a.k.a. “Ozzie” was 4, he was matched with Zoe Christos by Jessica Connor, owner and trainer of Eden Hill Equestrian. Following in the steps of his sire and dam, Ozzie has numerous accomplishments including multiple Old Salem Farm Summer, Winter and Spring Series Championships and 2021 USEF Zone 1 Large Children’s Pony Hunter Championship Horse of The Year.
“Ozzie has provided me the opportunity to develop a talented young pony, and watch him progress over the last two years into a very successful green pony hunter,” says Connor. “In addition—Ozzie has gifted his owner, Zoe, an eleven-year-old rider, the confidence to learn and grow alongside him, demonstrating how special of a find Ozzie was. Ozzie has all the pieces that make him a trainer’s dream and I am beyond excited to watch him and Zoe in the Large Greens at Pony Finals.”
- 2016 gelding
- (Quint van de Groenheuvel x Hengelhoef’s Queena)
- Trainer: Three Ships LLC
Ridden by Luci Langhorst at Three Ships LLC and trained by Abby Blankenship, Bouchard, a.k.a. “Boss” is a small green pony. He is “a lot of pony in a little package.”
“He is a brave little guy with a larger than life personality. He is best friends with his buddy Pepsi and they love going outside together. Boss has learned a lot in a short amount of time and we are excited to see him show at Pony Finals!”
- 2016 gelding
- (A Gorgeous x Belamine)
- Trainer: Pecan Lane Farm
- Born Royal is training with Stephanie Cumming at Pecan Lane Farm. He was imported late last year from Germany, and he’s owned and ridden by Parker Howard. The pair currently shows in the Large Green Pony Hunter and the regular Large Pony Hunter divisions.
“As for Pony Finals, we are looking to have a great experience with a young pony,” says Cumming. “He is going to be a superstar and has come a long way in a short time.”
Eagle Creeks Boppity
- 2015 mare
- (EC Carz And Castles x The Sweetest Gift)
- Trainer: Saddle Lake Equestrian
Boppity, raised at Saddle Lake Equestrian Center and trained by Missy Jo Hollingsworth, has been a pro since day one. Along with Lauren Underhill’s help, Boppity was leased to Emma Ludwar and now trains with Stephanie Powers in Canada. Boppity is qualified for Pony Finals in the Medium Green Pony Hunters.
“Her road to Pony Finals was a long one. She shipped to California to be qualified during winter circuit, but was unable to show due to quarantines,” says Hollingsworth. She later shipped back to Canada after being unable to show, and, after following the guidelines, she shipped back to Saddlelake. Boppitty was very successful both weeks of Kentucky Spring securing her spot at Pony Finals and, adds Hollingsworth, “making a little girl’s dreams come true.”
Cherrybrook Captain America
- 2016 gelding
- (Cherrybrook Blue And Gold x Hillcrest Blue Halo)
- Trainer: Cavalli Farm
Trained by Melissa Montevideo, Cherrybrook Captain America is owned and ridden by Kenzli Singaro. Cherrybrook Captain America qualified for Pony Finals in December 2021 at HITS Ocala, and has taken home champion or reserve at every horse show he’s been to this season. Cherrybrook Captain America will show in the Large Pony division at Pony Finals.
“I’m looking forward to having a great time at my and my pony’s first time at Pony Finals.” —Kenzli Singaro
Clovermeade Jazzbunny Jam
- 2015 gelding
- (Clovermeade Bonaroo x Wicklyn’s Dreamland)
- Trainer: Rabbit Hill Farm
Clovermeade Jazzbunny Jam,“Nepal,” is a medium green pony owned by Emma Coristine, and will be ridden by Reilly Robertson at Pony Finals.
“Nepal is a very kind and good-hearted pony. We have had him his whole life and since our first time on his back, he has been very easy to handle and ready to learn,” says Abbi Ferrigno, owner and trainer at Rabbit Hill Farm. “His beautiful jumping style and great movement has us very excited for the future with this awesome pony.”
*This story was originally published in the August 2022 issue of The Plaid Horse. Click here to read it now and subscribe for issues delivered straight to your door!
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