Lexington, Kentucky - A cloudless sky greeted exhibitors at the Kentucky Horse Park for the final day of competition at the Kentucky Summer Classic Horse Show. The gorgeous facility was packed full of ponies and pony riders as trainer's prepare their students for 2010 USEF National Pony Finals which will begin at the Horse Park on Tuesday morning.
In Section B of the Small Pony Hunters, it was Daisy Farrish and Victoria Colvin's Ballou winning today's handy round to secure the championship honors. Farrish and Ballou won the Under Saddle and were awarded the third place prize for their over fences round Saturday. Rico Sauve and Brittney Jarmin took home the reserve championship honors for their efforts throughout the weekend.
"Ballou was really fun today," smiled Farrish after winning today's handy round. "I love Ballou because sometimes I make mistakes and he always fixes them for me; he's the best! I think the trot jump rollback to the two-stride was the hardest part of the handy because you really had to get going because the two stride was long. He was great today though!"
Farish continued, "I've been so excited all summer to come to Kentucky to see all of my friends for pony finals! I look forward to coming here every summer."
Meredith Darst and Q-2 took home the championship ribbon in the Small Pony Hunters Section A after earning top honors throughout the weekend. Q-2 and Darst won today's handy round and the over fences round on Saturday.
"This is my second show on Q-2," commented Darst. "I showed him at Horse Shows by the Bay in Michigan and he was champion there too. He's really fun to ride, he's really easy and he has a really big stride so that's great for the handy." Darst was preparing Q-2 for friend McKenzie Graves to ride during the USEF Pony Finals.
"I like Kentucky, and we come here a lot because we live close by. I really like the new footing," Darst said. "I am really excited about Pony Finals. I like seeing all of my friends here in Kentucky, its fun when we're all together!"
McKayla Langmeier had a great day today with her small and medium pony mounts. First Impression and Langmeier took home top honors winning the tricolor ribbon in the Section A of the Medium Ponies. Earlier in the day, her small pony mount, Blackberry was reserve champion in Section A of the Small Pony Hunters.
"We just got First Impression right before Vermont and she's been so good," noted Langmeier. "She jumps so big over the jumps. She's good about making me paying attention in the handy because if I don't sit up then I'll miss the lead change. Today it was perfect; I'm so excited," smiled Langmeier. "This is my first year in Kentucky, and I really like it. All of the rings are really pretty and my ponies really like it here."
Allison Toffolon and Grace Colston's Chakko won both over fences classes in Section A of the Large Pony Hunters held in the Murphy Ring today. Those two blues combined with fourth and second place ribbons from yesterday's over fences and under saddle phases gave Toffolon and Chakko a total of 28 points which was good enough for the championship honors. Losander's Camelot and Isabelle Caccamise were awarded the reserve championship tricolor for their efforts this weekend.
"Chakko is so much fun, he's the best," said Toffolon. "I started doing him about halfway through WEF. He's been doing both Large divisions for the last couple weeks to give him more experience because he's a green pony. I'm showing him in the Large Greens next week at Pony Finals. Yesterday he was good, fourth and then today he was awesome. He's still learning so the handy class is fun as we teach him. I did all the inside turns today and he was right there!"
Toffolon continued, "I love Kentucky and the Horse Park. It's so pretty! There are so many ponies here this week getting ready for Pony Finals, so it's been pretty competitive but a great warm up before next week!"
Today marks the final day of the Kentucky Summer Classic Horse Show. Exhibitors take a break tomorrow, but the 2010 USEF National Pony Finals begin Tuesday with a full schedule of ponies and their young riders. The Kentucky Bluegrass Festival Horse Show begins August 18 and runs through August 22 featuring the 2010 USHJA Hunter Derby Finals along with the final phase of the Hagyard Challenge Series.
For more information on the Kentucky Summer Horse Shows, Inc. please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.
Photo Credit: McKayla Langmeier and First Impression were champions for the Medium Pony Hunters, Section A, at the Kentucky Summer Classic. Photo By: Kristen Snyder.