Augusta Iwasaki is Princess of the $5,000 Markel Pony Derby on Kingston

Augusta Iwasaki and Kingston (Photo: McCool)
Augusta Iwasaki and Kingston (Photo: McCool)

San Juan Capistrano, CA - The competition continued after the Grand Prix with the $5,000 Pony Derby, also presented by Markel Insurance. A unique opportunity for this division, the classic and handy rounds were held on the grass. With an overall total of 175, Augusta Iwasaki rode Ava Peck's large pony Kingston to a decisive win.

In her classic round with Kingston, Iwasaki received an 87 and in her handy round, scored an 88. "I've been riding him since Thermal. He's actually owned by Ava Peck and I'm very lucky to get to ride him," Iwasaki says of her win. "I like the hunter derbies since they're different. It's something new and fun." Second to Iwasaki was the large pony Party Favor with Brooke Morin in the irons. Iwasaki earned third place on her medium mount Small Suggestion to round out the top three.

Karen Perlow, once a pony rider and now a professional, wanted to see this special event come to life. "The derby started last year for the kids to have something to look up to," she said. "It gives preparation for the future, for the nerves, and to think about something other than points." Intended to go along with the Red, White, and Blue Classic, Perlow created the Just A Minute Perpetual Trophy. Just a Minute, aka "Minnie," was purchased by Sam Perlow and Art Gottfried at the AHSA pony auction so Karen could start her pony career. "Minnie" led Karen to many championships in the Small Pony Hunter and equitation divisions. Karen and Just a Minute competed at the USEF Pony Finals in 1987 and 1989 with top calls in all classes.

Augusta Iwasaki and Kingston with Brandon Seger of Markel Insurance, Melissa Brandes of Blenheim EquiSports and Karen Perlow presenting the Just a Minute Perpetual Trophy (Photo: McCool)
Augusta Iwasaki and Kingston with Brandon Seger of Markel Insurance, Melissa Brandes of Blenheim EquiSports and Karen Perlow presenting the Just a Minute Perpetual Trophy (Photo: McCool)

This award is presented in dedication to Just A Minute and to future wonderful ponies and their riders. Notably, "Minnie" was in foal at the time of purchase. In later years, that foal was Grand Green Small Pony at Pony Finals in Lexington, Kentucky. Still going strong as one of the pinnacles for pony riders, Iwasaki will be heading to Lexington in August to compete several mounts in the small, medium and large divisions of the 2015 USEF Pony Finals.

She will be one of hundreds who come from near and far to compete at this prestigious annual event. With the Markel Pony Hunter Derby win on Kingston, and her victory last week in the Zone 10 Pony Hunter Challenge on Somekindawonderful, Iwasaki is well-prepared for the competitive Pony Finals. Blenheim EquiSports and all of the grand prix and pony riders thank Markel Horse Insurance for their continued support.

RESULTS $5,000 Pony Derby, presented by Markel Insurance

Place - Entry Number - Horse - Rider - Owner - Total Score

1. 484 - Kingston - Augusta Iwasaki - Ava Peck - 175

2. 591 - Party Favor - Brooke Morin - Laura Strasburg - 164

3. 482 - Small Suggestion - Augusta Iwasaki - Iwasaki & Reilly - 163

4. 468 - Merlin the Magnificent - Maci Anderson - Maci Anderson - 157

5. 478 - Tip Top - Evelyn Walker - Kailin Kerzner - 155

6. 475 - Happy Place - Tanna Seltzer - Jennifer Wheeler-Winborne - 148

7. 384 - Sparkle - Lilly Goldstein - Lilly Goldstein - 146

8. 282 - Wynnbrook Eyes On Me - Lexie Looker - Lexie Looker - 144

9. 597 - Blueberry Hill - Stella Wasserman - Natalie Jayne - 140

10. 476 - Headlines - Tanna Seltzer - Tanna Seltzer - 129

11. 593 - Madeline - Brooke Morin - Laura Strasburg - 115

12. 557 - GF Rags to Riches - Elizabeth Burke - Elizabeth Burke - 110

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