Ponies stepped up the challenges of Second Level to contend for the National Dressage Pony Cup Six-Year-Old Futurity, and Donna and Paul Skatrud’s bay Arabian Skats Magnum Star (Midnight Magnum x Skats Joejoy Ali Star by Eli El Din) was ridden to victory by Kayla Johnson of Nashville, Tenn. on 62.463%. The elegant U.S.-bred stallion is already an accomplished competitor in the open dressage and Arabian breed rings, but this was his connections’ first trip to the Pony Cup. “Previous years’ events conflicted with some of our national Arabian shows in the fall, so these new July dates work out so well for us and allowed us to come here for the first time. We had a blast here, and it’s the most enjoyable show we’ve been to,” said Johnson. “We were entering the show and happened to see the information for the Futurity, so we thought, why not? It was a fun extra thing to be involved in, and it’s always nice to have added incentives to get your young horses out there. It was also wonderful for his owners – they loved the prizes, the awards ceremonies and having the recognition for breeders and owners of young ponies in the sport, especially those bred right here in the USA. So overall it was a super positive experience for us.”
National Dressage Pony Cup exhibitors also enjoyed taking a spin around the triangle in the NDPC Sport Horse Breeding division, which was added to this year’s lineup in order to further encourage and promote breeders of quality ponies for dressage. Big winners included Nistar Blazing Kansas, a 2004 Welsh Cob stallion (Menai Silver Buck x GTF Blazing Ethel by Farnley Baton D’Or) owned by Cynthia Bellis-Jones of Paris, Ky. who earned Sunday’s NDPC Stallion Championship, Mature Championship, and Grand Championship. But Saturday’s highest honors went to Twinkletoes Tiara, an American Sport Pony mare (Wynnbrook Starburst x Kitzel by Gaspadin).
In between winning the NDPC Third Level Open and Musical Freestyle Championships under saddle, the flashy chestnut also won the NDPC Mare Championship, Mature Horse Championship, and Grand Championship in-hand. “I bred her myself, having also bred her mother and grandmother as well as riding her sire to Third Level for his owner. I ride big horses too but she is definitely my favorite,” said owner Karyn Becerra of Zebulon, N.C. “I got acquainted with this event through the NDPC Partner Shows in our area, and I’m so glad someone is doing this for ponies. And I love having the breed show right here as part of the main event because otherwise I never would have done it – she did well at her breed inspection long ago, but I don’t have the time or opportunity to go to breed shows at home. As a breeder myself, I think it’s great to have these opportunities to encourage more people to ride ponies and then for more people to breed them to meet that demand. This whole show is just fantastic and I will absolutely do it again.”
To find out more information about the National Dressage Pony Cup programs and see a complete list of division and breed champions from this year’s competition, visit the NDPC website at www.dressageponycup.com and visit their Facebook page. To view National Dressage Pony Cup championship show information including class results, visit www.showsecretary.com.