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Pony Finals

August 14, 2016

Pony Finals Is About The Journey For Makenna Nastri

When Makenna Nastri and her pony Spotlight weren’t dressed to the nines to compete in the medium pony hunters, they were cantering up and down the hills beyond the barns at the Kentucky Horse Park.

August 14, 2016

Doloff Earns Gold With His Mental Game At U.S. Pony Jumper Finals

Lexington, Ky.—Aug. 13

The U.S. Pony Jumper final individual round couldn’t have had a more exciting finish Saturday when after four rounds of competition, the top three riders finished on a tied score. That called for a jump-off to determine who walked away with the gold, silver and bronze hardware.

August 13, 2016

Natalie Jayne Clinches Medium Pony Championship

Lexington, Ky.—Aug. 13

Before the awards for the medium pony hunters ended Lynn Jayne’s phone wouldn’t stop ringing. Her daughter Natalie had just piloted Hannah Bernstein’s Woodlands Stevie Ray to the championship ahead of Hunter Champey and News Flash, and since the Bernsteins were in Chicago, they’d watched everything on the live stream.

“I’m sure they’re very excited,” said Lynn. “I’m sure that’s why they’re calling me right now.”

August 13, 2016

Zone 5/6 Captures Gold In Pony Jumper Championship

Lexington, Ky.—August 12

Just down the driveway from the pony hunter ring at U.S. Pony Finals there is another world of pony sport taking place: pony jumpers. No slow winding tracks over brush filled fences here—you can hear the pitter-pat of small pony hooves flying across the footing, their jocks calling out series of ‘whoahs’ and clucks, and the jumps are wider and taller than most of the ponies.

August 13, 2016

Bailey Lones Finds Her Pony Finals Ticket With A Half-Arabian

When it came time to pick out a pony for her daughter Bailey, Susie Lones knew exactly what breed she wanted to look at—Arabians.

Having grown up with an Arabian, the breed has a special place in Susie's heart.  She found the right fit in Hearts Adrift, a purebred chestnut mare who took Bailey through the short-stirrup. But a tendon injury sidelined “Sunny’s” show career, so Susie kept her eye out for another potential partner for her daughter.

August 12, 2016

Schaefer Adds Another Pony Finals Championship To Her Collection

Lexington, Ky.—Aug. 12

At this point Madeline Schaefer has ridden around the Walnut Ring more times than she can count. The 15-year-old has been coming to the U.S. Pony Finals since she was 6, bringing a rotating group of ponies from her mother, Stacey’’s Shadow Ridge Farm.

August 12, 2016

Baylee McKeever And Her Ponies Are Being Cheered On From Rio By The Best In The Business

Lexington, Ky.—Aug. 11  

When Baylee McKeever trotted into the ring aboard Rosé at U.S. Pony Finals, her mother Erica watched from the in-gate.

Her father Lee, however, watched from much farther away. Lee tuned into the live stream of Pony Finals from Rio de Janeiro, where he’s caring for McLain Ward’s Olympic mount HH Azur. (Ward and his wife Lauren also joined Lee to cheer Baylee on from the live feed.)

August 11, 2016

Roll Call Comes Through For Small Pony Championship

Lexington, Ky.—Aug. 11

By design, U.S. Pony Finals is the perfect pressure cooker environment. Ponies model and hack on the first day, are then ranked by scores and then have to wait another 24 hours before they have the opportunity to jump in reverse order.

That gives the riders plenty of time to start overthinking—especially if you’re near the top. Just enough time to watch other riders make mistakes and convince you to start rethinking your original plan.

August 11, 2016

Throwback Thursday: How Pony Finals Started

Before the U.S. Pony Finals started and became many child’s yearly highlight, there was the International Pony Team Competition that had small and large pony teams from the United States competing against teams from England or Canada.

It all started back in 1959 when the British National Pony Society and the British Show Pony Society issued a challenge to the American Horse Shows Association for a team competition.

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