Aug. 12—Lexington, Ky.
Daisy Farish had an enviable decision to make heading into this year’s edition of USEF Pony Finals. Farish had two small ponies at the competition, Shine and Ballou, but the rules only permitted her to ride one. In the end, she chose Ballou, because she’s had so much experience with him, and that decision paid off with the division championship.
“He’s a good jumper, he’s easy to see a distance on and he’s very smooth,” said Farish, 10 of the pony. “I rode him at Pony Finals last year, and he was perfect, but I made a mistake.”
Watch Ballou's over fences round.
Farish and Ballou, owned by Betsee Parker, jumped to third over fences to leap up the leaderboard from eighth to the title. Over fences winners First Edition, owned by Katie Dinan, and Bergen Sanderford jumped to the reserve title.
Watch First Edition's winning round.
Ballou just returned to the show ring at last week’s Kentucky Summer Classic with the Versailles, Ky., rider, where he earned a small pony hunter reserve title, after a few months off.
“He got hurt right at the beginning of Florida, and they took their time bringing him back,” said Scott Stewart. Stewart trained the pony at Pony Finals, filling in for regular trainer Rob Coluccio who is currently battling a brain tumor.
Stewart has been training Ballou on and off since he debuted at this competition in 2007, when he won the small green pony title with Victoria Colvin aboard. He’s been training Farish for about a year and a half.
“He’s a great jumper, and he’s become quite brave,” said Stewart, Flemington, N.J. “He and Daisy are a great combination. She rides him great, and he has a perfect jump. Daisy’s really grown up ths year. She’s getting more confident, and she keeps getting better and better. She always tries her best.”
Colvin, who has largely graduated from the pony ranks, has been riding Ballou getting him ready for the competition in the wake of Coluccio’s health crisis.
Parker and Coluccio called Ballou’s groom’s cell phone to listen during the pony’s trip. After he laid down scores of 84.7, 83.25 and 87, Parker held her breath to see if anyone in the top seven could top his overall total of 1011.9.
Around The Showgrounds
-The top four finalists in the written phase of the Emerson Burr Horsemanship Class participated in the hands on section this afternoon, and we’ll hear results of the class soon. The finalists included: 8 and under—Ellis Ferrigno, Maddie Ahern, Laurel Bennett and Salter Hydigner; 9-11—Laine Grosvenor, Alivia Hart, Abby Funk, Devin Seek; 12-14—Skylar Laakso, Emmalee Funk, Olivia Smith and Libby Pollock; and 15 and up—Elizabeth Newmeyer, Kelly Joyner, Annie Herman, Kaitlin Miller-Roberts.
-Pony fans found their way to a pair of symposiums hosted by the USHJA in the indoor arena. Jeff Cook hosted a future trainers symposium, and Diane Carney hosted a Horseless Horseman’s Clinic.
-Tomorrow the large ponies jump over fences. Defending Pony Finals grand champion For The Laughter has the lead, with Chakko and the rider of this year’s grand green champion, Kirklen Petersen, laying second. The overall pony model leaders will go to head as well for a championship model class, as will the overall top under saddle ponies.
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