In the last pony hunter class at the 2018 USEF Pony Finals presented by Collecting Gaits Farm (Pony Finals), it was 12-year-old Tessa Downey (Houston, Texas) and Anisette, her 12-year-old Welsh Pony cross mare, that brought home the championship title in the Medium Regular Hunter Pony Championship presented by Sallee Horse Vans.
“It was always my goal to be in the top three at Pony Finals and I never thought it was going to happen,” said Downey.
“But when I heard [I had won], it was like a sigh of relief. I have done so much prep and it was worth it!”
The combination placed seventh in the Model phase on Friday with a score of 250.81 and fourth in the Under Saddle phase with a 266.33, putting them in third overall with a score of 517.14 heading into Saturday’s Over Fences phase.
“I was really, really nervous going in because I have been here for the last four years,” continued Downey. “I was going and going, and I was like, ‘Okay, I can do this. I’m good. Okay, calm down.’ I was so nervous. I am going to the last line and over the last line, I am like, ‘Thank God!’” Finding the distances, Downey and Anisette would go on to win the Over Fences phase with a score of 264.00, guaranteeing them a Pony Finals overall win with a total score of 1045.14.
1. Tessa Downey and Anisette
2. Maddie Tosh and Smallwood Mystic
3. Skye Kania and Falling Moon Front Page