Lexington, KY - Competition continued today at the 2010 United States Equestrian Federation Pony Finals National Championships held at the beautiful Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY. The Green Pony Hunter divisions came to a close as they wrapped-up their two days of competition with the over fences phase under the hot August sun. Later in the day the Small Pony Hunter division got underway with their model and under saddle phases.
The Large Green Hunter Pony over fences phase kicked-off the day in the Walnut Arena. Earning the top call and blue ribbon prize during the over fences phase was Ashton Alexander and Mapleside Dolcetto, owned by Christina Lin of Lewisburg, PA, with a score of 260. The pair's excellent effort moved them from ninth in the overall standings to third overall. Best Case Scenario and Vivian Yowan, of Darien, CT, sat fourth in the standings going into today's class, but after placing third over fences with a score of 259 they earned the Large Green Hunter Pony Overall Reserve Championship with a total of 1019 points.
Victoria Colvin and Seven Steps, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker of Middleburg, VA, dominated the competition from start to finish. After winning yesterday's under saddle phase they then went on to place second during today's over fences phase with a score of 259.5, just a half of a point behind the leader. Their total score of an amazing 1043 points garnered them the title of Large Green Hunter Pony Overall Champion.
"The course was easy and fun," smiled Colvin. "Seven Steps doesn't look at anything, so nothing in the course really fazed him too much. He's really green but he wiggles a lot. He wiggled to the hedge jump but I just kept him in front of my leg and kept squeezing and he was great."
The Medium Green Hunter Ponies were next to show over fences, where the top prize went to Victoria Colvin and Newsprint, owned by Scott Stewart of Wellington, FL. The pair scored a 258 for today's win, and their amazing finish helped them leap from 21st in the overall standings to third with a total of 1001 points. Sydney Shulman finished third during today's over fences class with a score of 245 aboard Georgia, owned by Montoga Inc. of Wellington, FL, bringing their overall total to 1010 points to earn the Medium Green Hunter Pony Overall Reserve Championship.
It was a very tight finish at the end of the day when Lindsay Levine and Robin Hill's Snapshot, owned by Redfield Farm of Califon, NJ, placed second during the over fences with a 252. The excellent score brought their total to 1011.5 points, just a point-and-a-half ahead of Shulman to take home the Medium Green Hunter Pony Overall Championship title.
"This is my first time being champion at Pony Finals," said Levine. "Last year was my first year at Pony Finals and I had a Small Green. I tried this pony in Lake Placid two weeks ago and that was the first time I showed him. Pony Finals was the third time I've shown him. He's perfect and I just love him."
The final division to show over fences was the Small Green Hunter Ponies where Parker Wright was leading the division with Grand Jete, owned by Jordan Coyle of Copper Canyon, TX. Despite a surprising torrential downpour as the pair entered the ring to complete their round they kept their focus and laid down a beautiful trip for a score of 257 to win the over fences phase. Their amazing performance earned them an overall score of 1027.5 for the Small Green Hunter Pony Overall Championship.
"She's an excellent pony," said Wright. "She's just as honest as they come and really brave. Her jump is my favorite thing about her, she's so amazing in the air. I was pretty nervous cantering down to the hedge jump but I just added a little leg and she marched down to it. She didn't even care that the rain was beating down and I could barely see. This is just an amazing win and the first time I've ever been champion at Pony Finals."
Taking home the Small Green Hunter Pony Overall Reserve Championship honors was Ashton Alexander and Rafael, owned by Bridlebourne Stables LLC of Elkton, FL, who placed fourth over fences with a score of 245 and earned an overall total of 1001.5. The second place finisher during today's over fences phase was Kendell Adelberger and Wellspring's Showbiz, owned by Thomas Spano of Chaddsford, PA. The pair earned a score of 249, which brought their overall total to 997 points to earn the third place position in the overall standings.
After the completion of the over fences phases for each of the Green Pony Hunter divisions the points were tabulated and the Green Pony Hunter Grand Championship was awarded Victoria Colvin and Seven Steps. The pair scored an incredible 1043 points during the course of the three-phase competition in the Large Green Pony Hunters. Taking home the Green Pony Hunter Reserve Grand Championship title was Parker Wright and Grand Jete for their total of 1027.5 points in the Small Green Pony Hunters.
"I don't ever really great nervous, I just like to have fun riding," commented Colvin after her incredible victory. "Seven Steps was wonderful this week. I'm just grateful for all of the wonderful ponies and horses I get to ride!"
The day rounded out with the Small Pony Hunter division getting underway, hosting the model phase and the under saddle phase in the Indoor Arena. In the Small Pony Model it was Meredith Darst with Elation receiving the top call after earning a score of 267. The second place prize was awarded to Brett Burlington with Yet Another Karacter, while Parker Wright and Sir Dragon earned the third place ribbon.
The first place award in the Small Pony Under Saddle went to Hana Bieling and Carolina's Shenanigans with a score of 262. Taking home the second place prize was Isabell Ryan and Land's End Eros for their score of 261 points.
Tomorrow the Small Pony Hunter division will wrap up its competition with the over fences phase in the Walnut Arena, awarding championship and reserve championship prizes to the top overall finishers. The Medium Pony Hunters will get underway with their model and under saddle phases, while the Pony Jumper Individual competition will also begin with Phase I in the Indoor Arena at 6:00 p.m.
For more information about the 2010 USEF Pony Finals please visit www.usef.org
Photo Credit: Victoria Colvin and Seven Steps earned the Green Pony Hunter Grand Championship at the 2010 USEF Pony Finals. Photo By: Rebecca Walton/PMG.