Edited Press Release
Five teams competed in the USEF Pony Jumper Team National Championship on Friday afternoon over Jasen Shelley’s solid track. Zone 3 won the team gold medal with four faults, while Zone 10 collected the team silver medal and Zone 8 took the team bronze medal.
Savannah Smith (Harwood, Md.) and Wishlea Star Dasher, Tamara Doloff’s 2005 Welsh Pony gelding, led off for Zone 3, tallying four faults in the first round before going clear in the second round. Katie Smith (Summerfield, N.C.) and Never a Gray Day, her 2009 Welsh Pony gelding, went next in the team’s order and were double-clear. Linen Owens (Marion, N.C.) and Kinka’s Girl, Ponies Unlimited, LLC’s 2005 New Forest Pony mare, ran into some issues and served as the drop score in both rounds. Aundrea Hillyard (Marshall, Va.) and Magic Dragon, Hidden Ridge’s 2009 Belgian Sport Horse gelding, served as Zone 3’s anchor and solidified the team’s win by going double-clear.
The team had talented ponies who have taught the riders to manage their mounts’ athletic abilities. “He is really, really fast but you also need to be really accurate so to get in the middle of that is pretty hard on him because he is not an easy ride,” said Savannah Smith. “Overall, I’m really happy with how he did.”
While Hillyard and Owens have been to Pony Finals for pony hunters, everyone on the team was doing the pony jumper division for the first time and enjoyed the experience.
“It has been really fun. We had never met each other before,” Hillyard said of the team experience. “It is a lot of motivation from the other girls because everyone is wanting to do well. They are all rooting for you.”
Katie Smith agreed about the positive effects of being on a team saying, “It is a lot more motivation going into it because you are going into a round where the jumps are massive, so having little a bit of extra confidence is really good.”
Owens had a common sentiment shared by her teammates saying, “I will definitely be back next year for pony jumpers.”
1. Zone 3
2. Zone 10
3. Zone 8
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Whitethorne LLC always carries a number of high-quality Hunters, Jumpers and Equitation horses for sale or lease in Southern California. All of these horses are personally chosen by Georgy Maskrey-Segesman and her partner in Germany, and represent some of the best competition horses available in Europe for every level of competition in Hunters, Equitation, and Jumpers. Georgy travels to Europe several times per year and together with her partner in Germany, selects the best of the horses available in Germany and Holland and several other countries in Europe, and imports them to Whitethorne Ranch where they are available for sale or lease.