“Her dream was to do a victory lap, and you just made that dream come true.” This heartfelt statement was one of many joyous exclamations overheard on the final day of ridden competition at the 10th Anniversary National Dressage Pony Cup Championship Show, being held July 7-9, 2017 in Lexington, Ky.
One of those celebrating during evening awards ceremonies was Emily Lasher of Poway, Calif. Three 12-hour days spent hauling her pony across the country in 100+ degree heat wasn’t going to stop Lasher from getting to the Kentucky Horse Park with her 13.2-hand Welsh cross gelding The Hot Topic of Spring Song, and her efforts ultimately proved worthwhile. She and “Dolce” looked no worse for wear after the long journey, powering to victory in the FEI Test of Choice Open division with an average two-day score of 66.908% for their Intermediate I performances, as well as capturing the Open Musical Freestyle championship title for good measure.
“I would absolutely make the trip again, and am already looking forward to coming all the way back next year,” said Lasher. “It’s been such a wonderful experience. Everyone is so incredibly helpful with every aspect of the show, even long before we arrived. I was impressed with the size of the show and the number of rings going on, and it was great to see so many amateurs – it created a really nice atmosphere.”
Despite overnight storms creating wet conditions in the main arena (which was an unusual sight for Lasher and Dolce) the pair happily splashed their way to the top of the leaderboard. “I could feel he was a little unsure, because in Southern California we’re not used to rain – if the arenas are wet there, usually you don’t ride!” she laughed. “But the footing held up and he was so willing and enthusiastic, so I couldn’t be more happy with him. It goes to show if you put in the time and effort and train them the right way, they can be super successful regardless of size.”
Lasher and Dolce had quite a cheering section on site as well as watching via livestream on the USEF Network. “My friends in California have been so supportive – they got up at the crack of dawn to watch and were all over Facebook,” Lasher laughed. “My aunt in Canada, my dad in Maryland, my friends in Connecticut – everyone got to watch. It was so cool that they could share in the experience that way.”
To see a complete list of champions from this year’s competition, click HERE. For more information about the National Dressage Pony Cup programs, visit the NDPC website at www.dressageponycup.com and visit their Facebook page. To view National Dressage Pony Cup championship show information including individual class results, visit www.showsecretary.com/2017kda_july.asp.