Wellington, FL - March 21, 2010 - Pony Hunter competition concluded today at the South Grounds of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, home of the 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). Madelyn Keck was victorious for the second time this circuit in the Large Green Pony Hunters aboard Just My Style, owned by Tim Hooker. The reserve championship was awarded to Allison Toffolon and Christina Lin's Mapleside Dolcetto.
Just My Style or 'Cody,' as he is known in the barn, was imported to the United States by owner Tim Hooker about three years ago. "I bought him with a German partner as a three year old," Hooker explained. Just My Style competed in the schooling ponies last summer, and Hooker decided to have him compete in the green ponies this circuit.
"I think he's going to be a good little pony. Everybody gets in a hurry with ponies, but ponies only get one green year, and good ponies show until their about 19 or 20, so there's no hurry," Hooker explained of his strategy with the eight-year-old gelding. After today's championship 'Cody' is qualified for Pony Finals, and Hooker plans to enter him there if he has not yet been sold.
Keck, of Suffolk, New Jersey celebrated her 12th birthday yesterday, so being champion was a "great birthday present," said Hooker. Keck has been catch riding Just My Style throughout the circuit, and normally trains with Brian Walker. Hooker was very complimentary of Keck and Walker's efforts, and noted "Madelyn has done an absolutely fabulous job. Brian Walker has been training her and the pony, and they both have done a wonderful job."
Pony Hunter competition will continue next weekend during the eleventh week of the 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival on March 24-28.
The 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of top competition running from January 13 through April 4. WEF is run by Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC, and Wellington Equestrian Partners and held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. All 12 shows are "AA" rated and Jumper Rated 6, and more than $5.5 million in prize money will be awarded.
Photo Credit: Madelyn Keck was victorious for the second time this circuit in the Large Green Pony Hunters aboard Just My Style. Photo by Randi Muster.