Lexington, Va.—Aug. 29, 2022—The fifth annual Kym K. Smith/USHJA Young Hunter Pony Championships at Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, Virginia, offered $23,500 in prize money to over 160 ponies competing on Sunday, August 28. Securing the Overall Grand Champion honors was Reidell Pumpkin Spice (Rollingwoods Raisin Ruckus x Northwind Face The Nation), handled and ridden by Eddyn Molden.
Judges Linda Andrisani and Sue Ashe put Reidell Pumpkin Spice, a 2016 Welsh cross gelding owned by Kristin Wells and bred by Rose Reid, on top of two divisions held throughout the Championships. The gelding, trained by Carol Eichner, won the 6- and 7-Year-Olds 2’3” and 6- and 7-Year-Olds 2’6” with Molden, of Middleton, Virginia, in the irons. With two champions under his girth, Reidell Pumpkin Spice added the overall title to his accomplishments, taking home an array of awards from USHJA sponsors.
“I got him last May from his owner. He lives at my house and I do all the riding and all the care for him. Carol [Eichner] and I broke him together, and then I’ve been riding him over the past year,” said Molden.
“Last year did not go our way, so we were very happy to be able to come back and do so well this year,” she continued. “With him, I just wanted him to jump straight. He has a right drift, so I said if he jumps all the jumps and he jumps straight, I don’t care if he does his lead changes or if he’s spooky—as long as he goes in and has a confident ride. Obviously, we did that and much more, so we are very very happy with him.”
Molden was named Best Child Rider after piloting numerous ponies throughout the Championships. Under her guidance, three ponies earned champion honors and one finished reserve champion.
The USHJA congratulates the following division champions at the 2022 event:
5-Year-Old and Under Under Saddle
- Champion – Sanctuary Victoria (Falling Moon Merlin x Wrenwood Serendipity), a 2019 Welsh cross mare owned by Christina Clark, bred by Janice Mumford, ridden by Eddyn Molden and trained by Cheryl Maye
- Reserve Champion – HF Little Miss Priss (Smoke Tree Dragon Tail x PM Pretty In Pink), a 2017 Welsh mare owned and trained by Missy Jo Hollingsworth, bred by Joseph H. Hall, and ridden by Avery Franke
4- and 5-Year-Olds 2′
- Champion – RH Canadian Royalty (Llanarth Royalty x Evans Mair), a 2018 Welsh gelding owned and ridden by Ellie Welte, bred by Janet Pegg, and trained by Jamie Barkhau
- Reserve Champion – Covenant SomethingRoyal (Telynau Royal Anthem x Tiffany’s Secret Lacy), a 2018 Welsh cross gelding owned by Melinda Snyder, bred by Susan Shotwell, ridden by Eamon Snyder and trained by Alison Babcock
4- and 5-Year-Olds 2’3″
- Champion – Covenant SomethingRoyal ridden by Eamon Snyder
- Reserve Champion – Secret Passion (EMC Entourage x Shelby Secret), a 2018 cross bred mare owned, bred and trained by Barbara Chappell and ridden by Eddyn Molden
6- and 7-Year-Olds 2’
- Champion – Moonbeam Unforgettabelle (Tradale Belleman x Rosmel’s Sunny Delight), a 2016 Welsh mare owned and ridden by Anderson Mitchell, bred by Karen Mowery, and trained by Megghan Watts
- Reserve Champion – Mystic Talitha (Afonwen Hello Mr. Smith x Overlook Peekaboo), a 2015 Welsh mare owned and ridden by Lydia Nelson, bred by Holly Verber, and trained by Kristen Nelson
6- and 7-Year-Olds 2’3”
- Champion – Reidell Pumpkin Spice (Rollingwoods Raisin Ruckus x Northwind Face The Nation), a 2016 Welsh cross gelding owned by Kristin Wells, bred by Rose Reid, ridden by Eddyn Molden and trained by Carol Eichner
- Reserve Champion – Mystic Talitha ridden by Lydia Nelson
6- and 7-Year-Olds 2’6”
- Champion – Reidell Pumpkin Spice ridden by Eddyn Molden
- Reserve Champion – Take The Edge Off, a 2015 Welsh cross gelding owned by Christian Oliver, ridden by Grace Cashman and trained by Amelia Nowicki
Adults on Ponies 7-Year-Old and Under, presented by Missy Jo Hollingsworth and Saddle Lake Equestrian Center
- Champion – Ledinjadon On Point (Wellen Gold Point x Song of the South), a 2016 Connemara/Welsh Pony gelding owned and bred by Janis Shaneberger, ridden by Courtney Morton, and trained by Cheryl Maye
- Reserve Champion – Hanmere Sytherney (Eyarth Quartz x Milltop May Flower), a 2018 Welsh mare owned and trained by Barbara Chappell, bred by Mr. A.R. Butler, and ridden by Jessica Chappell
A number of special awards were also presented, including:
- Leading Owner – Kristin Wells
- Leading Trainer – Carol Eichner
- Leading Breeder – Susan Shotwell
- Leading Junior Owner/Rider – Ellie Welte
- Best Child Rider – Eddyn Molden
- Rider Style Award – Ellie Welte
- Get of Sire Award – Farnley Triton
- Produce of Dam Award – Tiffany’s Secret Lacy
- High Point German Riding Pony – Lottery (Longacre Showtimes x Lizzie Quinn), a 2018 Westfalen stallion owned by Isabelle Mesiarik, bred by Denise Williams, ridden by Elisabeth Mesiarik and trained by Constance Mesiarik
- High Point Virginia-Bred Pony – Covenant SomethingRoyal
- Overall Purebred Welsh High Point Champion – Moonbeam Unforgettabelle
- Overall Half/Part-Bred Welsh High Point Champion – Covenant SomethingRoyal
- High Point Welsh Pony for each section:
- 5-Year-Old and Under Under Saddle – Sanctuary Victoria
- 4- and 5-Year-Olds 2′ – Covenant SomethingRoyal
- 4- and 5-Year-Olds 2’3″ – Covenant SomethingRoyal
- 6- and 7-Year-Olds 2’ – Moonbeam Unforgettabelle
- Adults on Ponies – Hanmere Sytherney
The Kym K Smith/USHJA Young Hunter Pony Championships aim to develop the Hunter Breeding sport and create opportunities for current and new owners, breeders and handlers to showcase talented young Hunter pony prospects. The Championships feature competition for ponies aged 7 and under with most sections comprised of a model, under saddle and over fences classes. Classes are open to Juniors, excluding the popular Adults on Ponies division open to Amateurs and Professionals.
The USHJA extends a special thanks to the Virginia Horse Center Foundation, Manager Keedie Leonard and Secretary Marianna Wade for hosting the Championships; to Kym K Smith for her title sponsorship; and to Missy Jo Hollingsworth and Saddle Lake Equestrian Center for presenting the Adults on Pony division. The USHJA also thanks Official Sponsors CWD, Exhibitor’s, Nutrena, Parlanti and Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital; award sponsors Essex Classics, Boy-O-Boy Bridleworks, Equilume and Floral Wreaths by Susan Garrett; and class supporters Virginia Pony Breeders Association, Farnley Farm, Foxlore Farm, Melinda Snyder with Partly Cloudy, Hunter’s Haven Farm and Chatham Hall.
For more information about the Kym K. Smith/USHJA Young Hunter Pony Championships, visit ushja.org/YHPC.
Photos: SDH Photography