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Preparing For Pony Finals 2015

June 29, 2015 By: janwest Category: General

Every pony rider's dream — Sydney Flashman and barn mate, Mara Chemerinsky, the afternoon before Pony Finals began. (Photo courtesy of Sydney Flashman)

Every pony rider’s dream — Sydney Flashman and barn mate, Mara Chemerinsky, the afternoon before Pony Finals 2014 began. (Photo courtesy of Sydney Flashman)

By Sydney Flashman

U.S. National Pony Finals. Every pony rider’s dream. The most prestigious event available to any equestrian under 18 who’s partner in the ring is a four-legged beast under 14.2 hands. In my opinion, the best show ever.

The venue is gorgeous, the judges are reputable, the ponies are fancy and each and every rider competing in the finals is talented.

The gorgeous venue — the Walnut Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park. (Photo courtesy of Sydney Flashman)

The gorgeous venue — the Walnut Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park.
(Photo courtesy of Sydney Flashman)

The competition itself is extremely difficult — the Walnut Arena, where the ponies compete, is only open to ponies the week of Pony Finals and only for hacking. There is never a chance to jump in the ring, and the ponies see the jumps for the first time when they start the course. The huge arena is surrounded by people watching, golf carts zipping along the road and ponies waiting to enter the ring for their one and only jumping round. One side of the ring is lined with waving flags — perfect for a pony to spook at on a windy day. To add to the busy scene, rain falls from the Kentucky skies at random intervals, introducing yet another challenge the skillful ponies and riders must face while attempting to complete a perfect course. It is the experience of a lifetime, no matter where a rider places.

For some, Pony Finals is a career changing event — winning a class or division at Pony Finals guarantees that the entire pony community will know your name. A pony could go from an adorable member of the barn family, not well known but well loved, to a pony recognized and loved by hundreds, even thousands of riders from across the country.

The calm before the storm — the Walnut Arena, where the ponies compete, early the morning of the first day of competition. (Photo courtesy of Sydney Flashman)

The calm before the storm — the Walnut Arena, where the ponies compete, early the morning of the first day of competition. (Photo courtesy of Sydney Flashman)

To win a class or division at Pony Finals is extremely difficult. Many riders go just hoping to have fun. Of course everyone wants to do well, but when there are 80 plus ponies in your class, you have to be absolutely perfect to be on the top of the podium, or even to place. Yes, you get four chances to ribbon and are offered many other awards — the top ten scorers in the model, under saddle and over fences classes earn ribbons, and ribbons through twentieth are provided to the overall high scorers in each division. Everything from sportsmanship awards, awards based on a pony’s birthplace or breeding, even awards for the best turned out pony are offered. If one does extremely well in their division, they may be in the running for the Overall Grand Pony Champion or Overall Grand Green Pony Champion award, which is given to the highest scoring green and rated pony at the show.

But even with all of the awards offered, it is very difficult to do well as many ponies at Pony Finals have it all — they are great in the model, they move beautifully and they jump a 10. With so many quality ponies, it is difficult to stand out, even if your pony is a triple threat. And even in the greens, a division for inexperienced ponies, one can find at least one example of a “green pony” that simply has more show experience than the others or one that refuses to be spooked by anything, even the chaos of Pony Finals. But 20 young riders in each division come home with more than fun memories from the experience of a lifetime — one or more rosettes from Pony Finals, earned by being a member of the top 20 overall in their division or divisions, and any ribbons earned from between the model, the first class, and the jumping round, the last.

Sydney Flashman riding Alliance Bowregard at HITS Thermal. (Photo courtesy of Sydney Flashman)

Sydney Flashman riding Alliance Bowregard at HITS Thermal.
(Photo courtesy of Sydney Flashman)

That’s where I come in. My name is Sydney Flashman, and I’m from Zone 10 — California. I compete in both the pony jumpers and pony hunters, but at Pony Finals 2015, I’ll be returning to Pony Finals for a second time; this  year on a Small Green Pony Hunter, Alliance Bowregard (Bo), and possibly a Large Green Pony Hunter named Miss Penny Lane, known around the barn as Nala. I will also be competing in the USEF Pony Medal Finals, but I have yet to choose my mount. With enough practice, determination, dedication and luck, I can bring home a ribbon or two from both divisions and do well in the Pony Medal.

Competitors Gather at Kentucky Horse Park for This Week”s US Dressage Finals Presented By Adequan®

November 04, 2014 By: janwest Category: General



Sunny skies, rolling green fields, and the iconic four-board fences of the Kentucky Horse Park welcome the droves of horse vans arriving in Lexington, Ky. for this week’s US Dressage Finals presented by Adequan®, a unique national head-to-head competition showcasing riders and horses competing for top honors at all dressage levels from Training to Grand Prix as well as musical freestyles.

This year’s competitor roster includes over 400 entries for the US Dressage Finals and USDF Dressage in the Bluegrass open show, reflecting an increase of more than 100 entries from last year’s inaugural event.  Over four exciting days of competition to be held November 6 – 9, 2014, riders representing all nine United States Dressage Federation (USDF) regions and from 38 states across the country (and the District of Columbia) will gather in the Horse Capital of the World, including from the West Coast states of Washington, Oregon, and California, as well as up and down the eastern seaboard from Maine to south Florida.

For this second annual Finals, championship offerings have been expanded to 30 divisions, offering exhibitors from a variety of backgrounds and experience levels (including adult amateurs, professionals, and High Performance riders) a chance to earn national honors, fantastic prizes, and more than $50,000 in prize money.  From the awe-inspiring atmosphere of the Alltech Arena to the picturesque outdoor Stonelea and Claiborne arenas with state-of-the-art synthetic footing, dressage competition will be held across six rings, including four rings of non-stop Championship action.

In the pre-dawn hours of last Saturday, Barbi Breen-Gurley of Los Osos, Cal. loaded her Dutch Warmblood Vindicator onto a commercial van full of fellow California horses for their 55-hour non-stop journey across the country to the Bluegrass Region.  Looking fresh and fit upon his arrival on Monday, the gelding seemed ready to take on 20 other competitors in the Open Grand Prix Championship class later this week.  Having attended the inaugural edition of the Finals last November (where the pair finished sixth in the Intermediaire I division), Breen-Gurley was well aware of the long and expensive trip they faced in returning to Kentucky.  But there was never a doubt that, given the opportunity, she would be back.

“I was so proud of him last year, and even though this is his first year at Grand Prix, I wanted to come back, do our best, and be able to say that we did this,” Breen-Gurley explained.  “My amazing husband Geof supports me all the way, my kids are so proud, and I truly believe that you have to seize an opportunity like this when it presents itself.  I knew what we were in for coming all this way, but I am still so grateful to be here.  So often I see people give up on their dreams for many different reasons, but I refuse to, even if it means traveling across the country to pursue them.

“I also think it’s great to see even more people from the western states this year,” she concluded.  “We had a wonderful time last year, and I’m happy to see others take advantage of this.  It’s incredible to be competing with such great people from all over the country who are so committed to the sport.  It makes for such a great energy here, and it’s particularly inspiring and exciting for me.”

The US Dressage Finals get started on Thursday, November 6 with USDF Dressage in the Bluegrass open classes, followed by a Competitor Welcome Party at the Alltech Arena.  Championship classes kick off on Friday, with special evening performances and activities both Friday and Saturday to entertain competitors and spectators alike.  For a truly unforgettable championship experience, limited VIP seating in the Alltech Arena is still available for purchase (to learn more, click here).  For those dressage fans unable to attend the Finals in person, the popular USEF Network will feature live online streaming of select classes from the Alltech Arena on their website,

To learn more about the US Dressage Finals presented by Adequan®, download competition information, review entry lists, purchase tickets to special events, and sign up to receive news and updates, visit the official event website at

Scott Stewart Dominates Day One of the 131st National Horse Show

October 28, 2014 By: janwest Category: General


Scott Stewart and A Million Reasons

Photo By Phelps Media Group

Lexington, KY – October 28, 2014 – At the end of the year-long horse show circuit, there is one final destination where the nation’s top hunter and jumper riders all flock: the National Horse Show at the Kentucky Horse Park. The prestigious six-day culminating final kicked off today with five full professional hunter divisions.

In the Second Year Green Hunter division, sponsored by Ernie and Betty Oare and Patricia Adikes-Hill, it was Scott Stewart who dominated the day aboard Dr. Betsee Parker’s A Million Reasons.

Stewart and the 9-year-old Holsteiner mare come to Kentucky fresh off a championship win at the Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) in Washington, D.C., which marked the pairs’ first time competing together. Given Tuesday’s performance, Stewart and A Million Reasons are well on track for a repeat performance this week.


The duo clinched the blue ribbon in the first class of the Second Year Green Hunter division and finished second in the handy class, only relinquishing a higher spot in the standings to another of Stewart’s rides, Loyalty, owned by Fashion Farm of New York, New York.

The National Horse Show marks only Stewart and A Million Reasons’ second horse show together, but Stewart has had his eye on the mare for a while.

“The Thatcher’s [of Pony Lane Farm] own her. They showed her in the First Years, and then I think she maybe took a year off and had some babies. I know they did some embryo transfers,” Stewart said.  “I’ve always liked her, and when I heard she was available I talked to them and followed up on the opportunity.”


Scott Stewart and A Million Reasons

Photo By Emily Riden/Phelps Media Group

Stewart tried the horse for Dr. Betsee Parker (Middleburg, Virginia) for the first time at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and shortly after, Parker entered into a lease agreement with the Thatchers, which has already proven to be a positive decision.

 “She’s amazing. I love her,” Stewart said. “Last week was the first time that I showed her, and she was champion. She won the first class with a 92. She was awesome.”

Stewart continued, “She’s the ideal hunter. She’s a beautiful mover; she’s a great jumper, and her type is just so nice.”

Stewart’s winning ways on Tuesday stretched beyond the Second Year Green Hunter division to the Green Conformation Hunters and the High Performance Hunters.


Scott Stewart and Golden Rule

Photo By Emily Riden/Phelps Media Group

In the Goshen Hill sponsored Green Conformation Hunters, Stewart and Lucador, another Parker entry, turned in back-to-back blue ribbon performances to lead the way in the division’s opening day.

 Stewart’s success in the High Performance Hunters, sponsored by Mr. Richard L. Duchossois, came aboard Stephanie Danhakl’s Golden Rule, with whom he has been successful throughout the year.

“The courses were great today. The horses all jumped well even though it’s the end of the circuit,” Stewart said. “It’s always nice to come to the Kentucky Horse Park. They do a good job.”

Hunter competition resumes Wednesday morning beginning with the continuation of the professional hunters at 8 a.m. in the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park, followed by the start of the Amateur-Owner 3’3″ Hunter divisions.

Watch live streaming of the National Horse Show all week on USEF Network, and find out more about the show at


About the National Horse Show

Founded in 1883 at the original Madison Square Garden, the National Horse Show is America’s oldest indoor horse show, firmly established as a major fixture on the national and international sports and social event calendars. The National Horse Show Association’s primary activity is the annual production of the National Horse Show and all ancillary events. Over the years, the National Horse Show has provided financial aid to many worthwhile charities.


With $755,000 in prize money offered, this year’s National Horse Show offers an International Open Jumpers with $460,000 in prize money, while the top rated hunter sections have a total purse of $195,000. Meanwhile, $100,000 in total is offered to the Amateur-Owner and U 25 Jumper sections.


For the fourth consecutive year, The National Horse Show received a top ranking from NARG, the North American Riders Group and was named the Show Hunter Hall of Fame Horse Show of the Year in four back-to-back years.


For more information go to: 


2014 National Horse Show Fast Facts
The National Horse Show is a week-long championship event featuring “AA”-rated hunters, open jumpers, junior/amateur jumpers, and the ASPCA Alfred B. Maclay Finals. The event will run October 28 -November 2, 2014, indoors in the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY, site of the 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games.

Featured Highlights:

Thursday, Oct. 30 Copernicus Stables $75,000 International Open Jumpers
Friday, Oct. 31- Barn Night – Area barns show their spirit in costume and compete for prizes and enjoy the Chasonette Farm $45,000 Gambler’s Choice Costume Class
Saturday, Nov. 1 – Canadian Pacific $250,000 Grand Prix, presented by the Harrison Family
Sunday, Nov. 2 – The Alfred B. Maclay National Championship Finals, Presented by Dover Saddlery


The Kentucky Horse Park has waived the normal parking fee during the National Horse Show. Parking is free. While dogs are permitted at the Kentucky Horse Park on a leash, no dogs are allowed in the Alltech Arena during the NHS.

The Kentucky Horse Park is located at 4089 Iron Works Parkway, Lexington, KY 40511. The KHP is 8 miles northeast of Lexington at Exit 120 on Interstate 75.

2245 Stone Garden Lane Lexington, KY 40513
Cindy Bozan
Phone: (859) 608-3709
Fax: (866) 285-9496


Vendors offering equestrian equipment, apparel, jewelry and home furnishings are located in the Alltech Arena.

Additional Contacts:
Vendors  – Matt Morrissey at or call (941) 915-3457

VIP Table Sales – Cindy Bozan at Phone: (859) 608-3709

Advertising and Program Sales – Dee Thomas at Phone: 561-310-7679

Sponsorship – Mason Phelps at or 561-753-3389
Susie Webb at or 301-520-6162

HILTON – DOWNTOWN – 859-231-9000 – Approximately 6 miles
CLARION HOTEL (formerly Holiday Inn North) – 859 – 233-0512 – Approximately 4 miles
FAIRFIELD INN & SUITES BY MARRIOTT – 859 -977-5870 – Approximately 4 miles
FOUR POINTS SHERATON – 859-259-1311 – Approximately 4 miles
LA QUINTA – 859-231-7551 – Approximately 4 miles
KNIGHTS INN – 859-231-0232 – Approximately 4 miles
EMBASSY SUITES – 859-455-5000 – Approximately 4 miles
MARRIOT GRIFFIN GATE – 859-231-5100 – Approximately 4 miles
RESIDENCE INN – 859-231-6191 – Approximately 5 miles
COURTYARD BY MARRIOT – 859-253-4646 – Approximately 5 miles
HOLIDAY INN GEORGETOWN – 502-570-0220 – Approximately 6 miles
RAMADA INN – 859-299-1261 – Approximately 6 miles
RED ROOF INN – 859-293-2626 – Approximately 6 miles
HAMPTON INN – 502-867-4888 – Approximately 6 miles
SUPER EIGHT – 502-863-4888 – Approximately 6 miles
MICROTEL INN & SUITES – 502-868-8000 – Approximately 6 miles

For further information on housing in the Lexington area, we invite you to visit:
Kentucky Horse Shows, LLC
P. O. Box 11428
Lexington, KY 40575-1428
859-233-0492 (phone)
859-233-0495 (fax)
Horse Show Secretary:
Cindy Bozan

Re: News and Information:
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
12012 South Shore Blvd
Suite 105
Wellington, FL 33414
561-753-3389 (phone)
561-753-3386 (fax)

Second Year in a Row – Pablo Barrios Wins 2014 Hagyard Challenge Series $50,000 Leading Rider Award

October 20, 2014 By: janwest Category: General

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Pablo Barrios and Antares
Photo By Rebecca Walton/Phelps Media Group


Lexington, KY – October 20, 2014 After dominating the Hagyard Challenge Series for the second year in a row, Venezuelan rider Pablo Barrios has captured the $50,000 Hagyard Leading Rider Award. He and his talented mounts earned the winning honors in four of the seven Hagyard Lexington Classic events, which coupled with other top placings, gave Barrios an early lead in the standings that he never relinquished.

“Winning this bonus means a lot in different ways,” noted Barrios. “The first is that shows that you have been a consistent rider during all of the shows in Lexington. Also, the money is big help, especially for me because I own a lot of my own horses. There are a lot of expenses starting the year in Wellington and the bonus is a wonderful help, and I am very thankful to Hagyard for sponsoring it.”

The Hagyard Challenge Series is a summer-long series of seven show jumping events at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.  Barrios’ consistent efforts helped him accumulate 1,420 points, enough to almost double the total of second place finisher Shane Sweetnam of Ireland at 730 points.

New this year though, the Hagyard Challenge Series introduced an additional $10,000 rider bonus for the runner-up. Sweetnam collected the secondary bonus, taking home top ribbons throughout the series and winning the Hagyard Lexington Classic during the Kentucky Summer Classic with Bijzonder.

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Shane Sweetnam and Bijzonder
Photo By Rebecca Walton/Phelps Media Group

“Two years ago I won the bigger bonus and I think it’s great for the riders because it gives them an extra incentive to compete in those classes and there is a very high standard in those grand prix events,” explained Sweetnam. “It’s great that they added the secondary bonus this year. It looked like Pablo had it wrapped up halfway through, and it gives the other riders like myself more incentive to keep going.”

Hagyard Equine Medical Institute’s Dr. Stuart Brown commented, “Once again, Hagyard Equine Medical Institute continues to be honored to support this Series at The Kentucky Horse Park bringing the highest quality of competition in the sport of Grand Prix Jumping to the Bluegrass throughout the summer. Without a doubt, fans and spectators of equestrian competition are able to witness these incredible horses and their riders in one of the nation’s most spectacular settings for equestrian sport. We remain grateful to the support of our sponsors as partners in the Leading Rider Award that is a cornerstone for the Hagyard Challenge Series. Also, we appreciate the support of the talented horses and riders who make this Series such a success each season. Congratulations to this year’s winners, as well as all the competitors and owners who have been such wonderful patrons in support of this Series. Lastly, we appreciate all the fans and spectators of the sport who follow the Series each year, and Hagyard Equine Medical Institute looks forward to another exciting season of competition in 2015.”

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Pablo Barrios Wins 2014 Hagyard Challenge Series $50,000 Leading Rider Award
Photo By Rebecca Walton/Phelps Media Group

Hagyard Equine Medical Institute is one of the oldest and largest equine veterinary practices in the world. Founded in 1876, the institute offers a staff with qualifications unparalleled by any single non-university veterinary group in the equine industry, and Hagyard veterinarians have dedicated themselves to the health and wellbeing of the horse.

The facility at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute offers 13 Digital Radiology systems, 1.5 Tesla Siemens MRI, Nuclear Scintigraphy, a high speed treadmill, an on-site laboratory, an on-site pharmacy, full surgical services, 24-hour emergency services and Hyperbaric Medicine. The institute has practiced veterinary medicine since 1876 and is currently composed of over 50 experienced veterinarians, with 13 board certifications in specialty areas of Medicine, Surgery, Critical Care, and Theriogenology.

Several generous sponsors have helped make this exciting series event happen. These gracious supporters include: title sponsor MWI Veterinary Supply, and presenting sponsor Zoetis, as well as Audi of Lexington, Dean Dorton Allen Ford, Hagyard Pharmacy, Johnson Horse Transport, Hallway Feeds, Pike and Preston, and Stoll Keenon Ogden.

For more information about the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute please visit

For more information about the Kentucky Horse Shows, please visit


Colvin Takes Top Honors in the USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship Classic Hunter Round

August 17, 2014 By: janwest Category: General

Lexington, KY – August 15 – Tori Colvin and Inclusive claimed victory in the Classic Hunter Round of the $180,040 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship. Their scores of 92, 90 and 95 for a 289 total was unmatched after a field of 75 horses contested today’s course in the Kentucky Horse Park’s Rolex Stadium.

 Jimmy Torano, the busiest rider with eight mounts in the class, saved the best for last as he guided Mindful to second place with 90, 92 and 94 for 288 total points.

 Liza Boyd and Brunello returned from a nine-month maternity leave just in time to defend their championship, and they placed third in the Classic Hunter Round with scores of 88.65, 89.75 and 90.

 The Classic Hunter Round featured a track of 13 obstacles that simulated the fences found in the hunt field–such as logs, brush and walls–with heights ranging from 3’6″ to 4′. The course offered riders an opportunity to pick up bonus points by taking any one or all of the four optional fences set at a minimum of 4’3 in height (no maximum height).

Photo Credit: Shawn McMillen Photography

Photo Credit: Shawn McMillen Photography

 Inclusive, an 11-year-old warmblood owned by Betsee Parker, hadn’t contested a derby since last year’s International Hunter Derby Championship when they placed second in the Consolation Round after a bobble in the Classic Hunter Round.The judges included James Clapperton, Jeanne Marie Dunford-Miller, Hap Hansen, Scott Williamson, Julie Winkel and Chris Wynne, who were split into panels of two and placed in strategic positions around the Sheila C. Johnson Ring.

 Colvin, 16, of Loxahatchee, FL, wasn’t concerned that her longtime partner might be a little rusty after being sidelined by an injury, and, in fact, their scheduling was part of the plan.

 “We showed him at Devon and Junior Hunter Finals, and a he’s done a couple of shows, but we wanted to keep him fresh and ready,” she said. “He never spooks, and we thought he would be perfect just to go right into Derby Championship.”

 Colvin enjoyed the course designed by Steve Stephens, which was one that Inclusive jumped beautifully.

 “I thought it was really nice. It was very open and beautiful. For the first round it wasn’t too spooky, and the high options weren’t too high so it was a nice course,” she said, noting that she particularly liked the new wagon wheel fence, which caused consternation for some but not the flashy bay gelding.

 While Colvin is known for her nerves of steel, the butterflies just might surface before tomorrow evening’s Handy Hunter Round.

 “I feel amazing,” she said. “I’ve never had a really good round going into the second round. So, it’s very different being on top going into the second round. There’s no pressure, and I don’t really get nervous. I’m just going to go in and see how he feels and what happens.”

 Torano, of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, felt some pressure during today’s Classic Hunter Round because he took over the rides for Kelley Farmer, who broke her collarbone and had surgery on August 11.

 Glefke and Kensel’s Mindful, a 10-year-old Hanoverian, rose to the occasion today, performing to expectations and erasing some of the disappointment that occurred earlier in the class when bad luck ensued.

 “So, the nice thing was that in a way they saved the best for last,” said Torano. “Going in, I thought that was the horse we could do it on. I think before I went there was a lot of pressure riding on me. But the fact that [my final horse] was that horse, I was so relaxed. I mean, that horse could jump the course by itself. He is that easy to ride.”

 Glefke praised Torano for his work today and said it’s a rare individual who can jump on eight unfamiliar horses and ride around the Rolex Stadium.

 “Kelley and I chose Jimmy for this job,” he said. “Liza would have been a choice to do that job, too, but she’s just coming back from having a child. There are only a few people in the world that could have done what Jimmy did today. And, I have to say, he did a brilliant job.”

Photo Credit: Shawn McMillen Photography

Photo Credit: Shawn McMillen Photography

 Boyd, of Camden, SC, also rode brilliantly today after returning to the show ring just last month after having her daughter Adeline. While the girls at the barn kept Brunello in work during his nine-month break from the show ring, Boyd had an abbreviated timetable so she was committed to making every day count.
“I really wanted to be fit here really for that horse, because who knows how many more years he has,” said Boyd of the 16-year-old Hanoverian. “And he doesn’t owe me anything. He feels great. I wanted to be ready for him. So, in about 100-degree weather I rode five or six horses a day. It was a lot of sweat and a few tears.”

 Morgan Ward, of Milford, NJ, won the top Junior Owner Rider Award in today’s Classic Hunter Round. After going first in the class and setting the pace, Ward finished 16th aboard Comissario with scores of 84, 84 and 83 for a 263 total.

 Callie Seaman, of Greenwich, CT, finished in 24th place and earned the top Amateur Owner Rider Award aboard Carrico.

 Virginia-based professional Kelley Farmer once again won the 2013-14 Leading Rider of the International Hunter Derby Championship Qualifying Series with $145,448.

 Mythical, owned by David Gochman, won the 2013-14 Leading Horse of the International Hunter Derby Championship Qualifying Series with $51,756.

 Kristy Herrera earned the Leading Developing Pro Rider of the 2013-14 International Hunter Derby Championship Qualifying Series with $11,200.

 This year the riders will once again contest a tiered Handy Hunter Round format. The top 25 pairs return for action in the $135,030 Section A Handy Hunter Round, with 10 horses shown by Tier I Riders and 15 horses shown by Tier II Riders.

 The $45,010 Section B Handy Hunter Round includes a field of 20 riders, with five jumping for Section B money only. The scores for the 15 Tier II Riders in the Section A Handy Hunter Round carry over to the Section B Handy Hunter Round.

 The remainder of the field was invited to contest the $10,000 Derby Challenge, supported by Moyer Farm LLC, and 39 entries are on the order of go for tomorrow.

 To view the full results and to see the orders of go for tomorrow’s Handy Hunter Rounds, please visit

The USHJA, in partnership with the USEF Network, is providing a free live webcast of the evening’s activities, beginning at 3:45 p.m. ET. For a complete schedule of the evening’s competition, please see the USHJA website (

 The 2014 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship is generously sponsored by: Major Sponsor Dietrich Equine Insurance; Official Cooler: Blue Ribbon Custom Blankets; Challenge Prize Money Donor: Moyer Farm LLC; Awards Sponsors: Essex ClassicsDover SaddleryGrand PrixMcGuinn Farm, Gifted Paddock, Shapley’s and Ariat; Hospitality Sponsor: SmartPak,; Gift Donors: Janet Peterson. The USHJA Official Sponsors include: Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, Nutrena, Standlee Hay Company and Charles Owen. USHJA Contributing Sponsors including Perfect Products and Crown Equine Services.

Castlewood Farm Concludes Successful Country Heir I USEF Premier Show

June 13, 2014 By: janwest Category: General

Lexington, KY – June 12, 2014- The summer show season has begun and Castlewood Farm has hit the road running. Their first stop of the summer was the Country Heir I Hunter Jumper Show at the Kentucky Horse Park, where they are off to a fantastic start. Among the riders, Samantha Senft was second in the $10,000 Welcome Stake, Liza Finsness won dual Reserve Championship ribbons and Tanner Korotkin was third in the Low Child/Adult Classic.

Coming off of a successful winter season, Senft was not going to let her streak end on the road. With quick clean rounds, Early Morning and Senft won the second place ribbon in the $10,000 Welcome Stake out of 52.

“It went really well and she was unbelievable. One of the girls that used to ride Early won and she was uncontrollably fast, so Allen said to just focus on the Grand Prix in a few days and have fun. For us, going and having fun, was going fast and being second,” laughed Senft.

Samantha Senft and Early Morning sped to a second place ribbon in the $10,000 Welcome Stake. Photo by Anne Gittins Photography.


In addition to their second place win in the Welcome Stake, Senft and ‘Early’ took home the eighth place ribbon in the $50,000 Grand Prix. Out of 33 horses entered, only nine had clean rounds in the jump-off, proving the difficulty of the course.

“Everyone in the jump-off was overwhelmingly fast and I was the last one to go. Walking in, Allen said go for it and I’ve never been told that, so I did and Early was amazing. We were eighth and it was my first ribbon ever in a Prix so I was happy. It was a great experience to be in Kentucky, in the stadium under the lights and competing with the top people the country,”said Senft. “Early is my pride and joy I love her more than anything on the planet. This is a dream come true– I never thought in a million years I’d have a horse that I could walk in and do the Prix and travel all over the country showing in major classes. I’m so thankful I have a horse like her.”

Senft has been riding with Allan Korotkin and Castlewood Farm since she was four-years-old.  Another rider who has been at Castlewood since her pony days, is Liza Finsness.

Just ending her freshman year at the University of Georgia, Finsness started the summer show season off with a bang. She claimed dual Reserve Championships on her mounts Shiver and Vera Z, in the High AO’s and Low AO’s, respectively.

“There were four classes in each division and we only did two for each, but the horses were absolutely perfect,” said Finsness. “We changed Shiver’s bit to a gag and he’s a completely different horse, jumping so much better and he was clear every round this week. With Vera, it is just getting her consistent and she only had one rail down. I was very happy with them.”

Throughout the week Castlewood riders continued to bring ribbons back to the barn. Tanner Korotkin and Rocketman were third out of 63 in the Low Child/Adult Classic; Madison Butehorn won the Children’s 15-17 Over Fences; Sophia Burvenich was third in the THIS medal; and Beth Craven was second in the Ariat.

Other Castlewood riders also claimed ribbons during the Country Heir show. Carson Cavalline, ribboned in her first big Equitation class back in the saddle after school; Kay Finsness ribboned in the Intermediate Adult; and Valeri Sheilds had ribbons in the Low Adult Jumpers.

Castlewood Farm hopes to continue their streak this week at Country Heir II.  Next week, they travel to Atlanta, GA. for the second week of the Atlanta Classic. Then they go to Fox Lea in Venice, FL to finish up the summer.

About Castlewood Farm, Inc.
Castlewood Farm, Inc. is a full service riding, training and sales facility located on ten acres in the heart of Wellington, FL. Alan Korotkin and his team, including exceptional trainers Susan Tuccinardi, Samantha Senft and Katie Brown, cater to the serious equestrian, offering instruction for the beginner, the medal finals veteran, the grand prix specialist and everything in between.

Castlewood Farm, Inc. presents a vast selection of horses for sale or lease, suitable for all divisions and in every price range. The farm also offers leasing packages, including a WEF lease specifically catered to the winter circuit competitor.

For more information visit Find Castlewood on Facebook here!

Meredith Darst Finishes One-Two in $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby at Bluegrass Festival Horse Show

August 19, 2013 By: janwest Category: General

Lexington, KY – August 18, 2013 – A week of the nation’s best hunter derby competition came to a close today at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show with the final hunter highlight event, the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby.

Today’s USHJA National Hunter Derby at the Kentucky Horse Park marked the fifth event in the seven-part Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby Series, throughout which Meredith Darst has been extremely successful. She currently stands as the leading junior in the series, and she widened that lead today. Darst finished first in the 42-horse class aboard Lightning Z and second in the class aboard last week’s second place finisher, Capstone. Finishing in third place were Kelli Cruciotti and Premonition, owned by Serenity Farm of Elizabeth, CO.

Following the completion of the first hunter round, Darst sat in the fourth place position aboard Capstone, owned by Norgan, Inc. of Wellington, FL, and in first place aboard Lightning Z, owned by her family’s Lochmoor Stables of Lebanon, OH.


Meredith Darst and Lightning Z

She and Capstone came into the second round with a score of 86 prepared to demonstrate their abilities over the handy course. The course utilized a trot jump, provided a number of opportunities for tight inside turns and set the high option fences in such a way that they were separate from the low options, requiring different tracks.

Again electing to take all four of the high options, Darst and Capstone moved into the lead with a handy round score of 89, for a 175 overall.

Kelli Cruciotti returned for the handy round in third place aboard rookie derby mount Premonition.

“This was his first time ever doing a hunter derby,” Cruciotti said of the 8-year-old gelding. “He’s rather green so I was very, very thrilled with how he jumped and handled all of the brush and the jumps.”

Cruciotti continued: “For the handy I obviously wanted to try to win and step up, but at the same time, I wanted to give my horse a positive ride that will teach him how to do it right. It was more about giving him a positive experience so that I can build a great derby horse.”

Cruciotti proved was able to give Premonition a confidence-building ride while also impressing the judges. The pair earned a score of 86.5, including the four high option points, to put them into position just behind Darst and Capstone in the rankings with an overall score of 174.5.

As the first round winners, Darst and Lightning Z were the last to return, and they pulled out all of the stops.

“Lightning lives with us so I know him really well,” Darst said. “I know I can do all of the turns with him. I was pretty tight to the first jump of the handy, and everywhere else that I could I took the inside turn options.”

Their expert handiness and high fence options resulted in a second round score of 91 and an overall total of 182, earning them the final victory gallop of the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show.

Following the completion of the Hallway Feeds Series, the $15,000 Hallway Feeds Leading Rider Awards will present a $10,000 cash prize to the professional rider accumulating the most points in the seven classes that make up the Series. The amateur rider and junior rider accumulating the most points will each receive a $2,500 cash prize. Riders will receive points only on their highest placed horse in each of the classes. The awards will be presented at the conclusion of the Hallway Feeds class at the Kentucky National Horse Show on September 21, 2013.

Meredith Darst and Lightning Z

Meredith Darst and Lightning Z

Hallway Feeds’ close proximity to the Kentucky Horse Park provides the opportunity to utilize the freshest feed, manufactured with time-honored commitments to high standards of quality and the latest scientific advances. Combining a premium nutrition package with a professional level of dedication in horsemen and women provides equine athletes with the Formula for Success. For more information on Hallway Feeds please visit

The Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby Series would not be possible without many generous sponsors including Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, Central Equipment, Alfagreen Supreme, Sweet PDZ Horse Stall Refresher, Caddel Equine Therapy Center, KER Sport Horse Nutrition, The Tack Shop of Lexington, Turf Town Properties, Trouw Nutrition and PNC Bank.

While the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show has come to a close, competition at the Kentucky Summer Horse Shows continues on Wednesday, August 21, with the KHJA Horse Show. For more information on the Kentucky Summer Horse Shows visit

$5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby Results:

1     1319  LIGHTNING Z            MEREDITH DARST              91.00    91.00   182.00

2     174    CAPSTONE                 MEREDITH DARST              86.00    89.00   175.00

3     581    PREMONITION          KELLI CRUCIOTTI                88.00    86.50   174.50

4     526    NAME GAME             LOUISE SERIO                        87.00    86.00   173.00

5     777    STARS GO BLUE        SHAWN CASADY                  83.75    88.00   171.75

6     1087  EXPOSURE                  CLARE SARGENT                 84.75    85.25   170.00

7     346    CALENTINO               NATALIE THORNELL          85.00    84.50   169.50

8     1402  HAYMAN                    LOUISE SERIO                        85.50    83.00   168.50

9     1086  COUP DE COEUR      CLARE SARGENT                 84.00    84.00   168.00

10   1438  PICASSO                      MELISSA MURPHY              84.50    81.00   165.50

2012 Alltech National Horse Show, Oct. 30 – Nov. 4, 2012, Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, KY

November 12, 2012 By: janwest Category: General

By Kim & Allen MacMillan, MacMillan Photography & Media Services

The 2012 edition of the historic National Horse Show marked its second year of residence in the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. Sponsored again this year by Alltech (whose international headquarters is in the Lexington suburb Nicholasville, KY), the show was first held in 1883 at the original Madison Square Garden in New York City. The 2011 Alltech National Horse Show was named the top U.S. show by the North American Riders Group.
 The show has been housed in three different generations of Madison Square Garden locations in New York City over the years on and off until 2007. The show moved to The Meadowlands, NY, from 1989 through 1995, then back to the Garden in 1996. In 2002 the show migrated south to Wellington, FL, and finally back north again to the Garden and then to Syracuse, NY, (as part of the Invitational Sporthorse Tournament in 2008) before going to Kentucky. In 2011, the National moved to the Bluegrass State for some Southern hospitality to add to the rich New York traditions.
 Highlights of the 2012 competition were: top-notch hunter and jumper competition for amateurs, juniors and professionals; a return of the Puissance Open Jumper (a high jump competition sponsored this year by Alltech) and Saddlebred (three and five gaited, roadsters and fine harness) classes after a several-year hiatus for both; the $250,000 Alltech Grand Prix competition on Saturday night, and the National ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship hunter equitation finals presented by Hatfield’s Saddlery.
 This year the planners headed by Show President Mason Phelps and his committee, with the help of Alltech staff, named themes for each day’s activities to get the public involved. The second day of the show, Wednesday, fell on Halloween, so, of course, there was trick or treating and costumes. Thursday marked “Military Day” when those in the armed forces were given complimentary tickets to the evening session and the public could try their hand in the Army Activity area and meet local military heroes. Day four of the show was “Fit Friday” with complimentary health screenings. Saturday was “Family Fun Day” with a five kilometer fun run/walk, face painting, balloon twisters and cartoon characters. Throughout the week area school children were treated to a day at the show where they had a chance to watch the competition and to play and learn in the “HorsePlay” area located just off the main concourse in the Alltech Arena. 
 The concourse of the arena housed upscale shopping and a number of dining options, as well as the Taylor Harris Club, a place for farms, families and businesses to relax and refresh at reserved tables overlooking the arena. The show entrants and their staff were also greeted by the lavishly decorated North Star Rider’s Lounge near the show office and Groom’s Kitchen near the stables.


Winners of the $5,000 Amateur Owner 3’3” Handy Hunter were Nancy Hooker and Richard Prant’s Castlewalk. Photo by Allen MacMillan


– Winners of the $5,000 Amateur Owner 3’3” Handy Hunter were Nancy Hooker and Richard Prant’s Castlewalk. Photo by Allen MacMillan


A young military academy officer stands at attention as part of the evening festivities on “Military Day” at the Alltech National Horse Show.


A color guard from Forest Hill Military Academy presented the national and state flags for the singing of the anthems on Thursday night to celebrate “Military Day” at the National. Photo by Sarah Miller


Winners of the Thursday afternoon $10,000 Junior Jumper Welcome Class were Abigale McArdle riding David McArdle’s Cosma 20. Photo by Allen MacMillan


Winners of the Thursday afternoon $10,000 Junior Jumper Welcome Class were Abigale McArdle riding David McArdle’s Cosma 20. Photo by Allen MacMillan


Kelsey Thatcher took the Amateur Owner Jumper Welcome Class on Thursday with Pony Lane Farm’s Dulf Van Den Bisschop. Photo by Dee Kochensparger


Lauren Hough and her long-time partner Quick Study owned by Laura Mateo took the Thursday night $75,000 Double H Farm International Open Jumper class. Photo by Allen MacMillan


Lauren Hough and her long-time partner Quick Study owned by Laura Mateo took the Thursday night $75,000 Double H Farm International Open Jumper class. Photo by Allen MacMillan


Sunset over the Kentucky Horse Park on Thursday night Photo by Allen MacMillan


Friday morning brought a number of under saddle classes like this one – the Amateur Owner Hunters 18-35. Photo by Sarah Miller


Groom catching up on his social media Photo by Sarah Miller


School children learn how to wrap a horse’s leg in the “HorsePlay” educational area in the Alltech Arena. Photo by Sarah Miller


Kids on swings in the “HorsePlay” area during the show Photo by Sarah Miller


A grand prix for children provided fun and a way to burn off some steam for the kids attending the National Photo by Sarah Miller


The black-draped Taylor Harris Club, sponsored by Taylor Harris Insurance, was the place to relax and enjoy refreshments while watching the show for those who reserved tables for their family, farm or business. Photo by Sarah Miller


Southern gentlemen and women in period costume strolled the arena concourse greeting show visitors. Photo by Dee Kochensparger


Wesley Newlands (left) and her mother brought two horses to compete in Kentucky from Weslands Farm, Toronto, Ontario.


Great Britain’s Tim Gredley and Unex Valente topped the seven foot wall and the field in the $50,000 Alltech National Horse Show Puissance on Friday night. Photo by Allen MacMillan


Winners of the Saddlebred ES Roaster Cup class were Emerson and Raymond Shively. Photo by Allen MacMillan


Lynn Williams and Mary Gaylord McClean were competitors in the Friday night Five Gaited Saddlebred Championship Stake Photo by Allen MacMillan


Alltech National Horse Show President Mason Phelps and Dr. Pearse Lyons from Alltech joined University of Kentucky opera student in the opening ceremonies for the Thursday evening session of the National Photo by Allen MacMillan


Dr. Pearse Lyons, President and CEO of Alltech addresses the media reception held during the National about their sponsorship of the 2014 Alltech World Equestrian Games to be held in Normandy, France. Photo by Sarah Miller


Trainer Alan Korotkin of Castlewood Farms, Wellington, FL, discusses a junior jumper round with rider Liza Finsness who is mounted on Ormsby Hill. Photo by Sarah Miller


A spectator at the show looking through what appears to be rose-colored binoculars and is actually the reflection of the show lights in the lenses. Photo by Sarah Miller


Karen Healey of Somas, CA, coaches her student Kilian McGrath on Salerno as they prepare for the Junior Jumper round on Friday. Photo by Sarah Miller


Trainers Abby Blankenship (black jacket) of Treesdale Farm, Carmel, IN, and Laura Kraut, Middleburg, VA, (back to camera in white vest) conference with Junior Jumper rider Kalvin Dobbs, Carmel, IN, on Friday afternoon. Photo by Sarah Miller


Dr. Betsee Parker’s Inclusive piloted by Victoria Colvin was the Grand Champion Junior Hunter and Champion 2nd Year Green Hunter at the 2012 National Photo by Dee Kochensparger


Hasbrouck Donovan and Stephanie Keen’s Lyle topped the Small Junior Hunter Division. Photo by Dee Kochensparger


Inclusive and Victoria Colvin receiving the Grand Champion Junior Hunter Award Photo by Dee Kochensparger


Saturday night’s festivities included a retirement ceremony for Kent Farrington’s successful Grand Prix jumper partner Up Chiqui Photo by Kim MacMillan


McLain Ward and his Olympic partner Antares F bested a field of 34 in the $250,000 Alltech Grand Prix on Saturday night. Ward and Antares made amazing roll-back turns to post an unbeatable time in the jump-off. The week before the show was filled with sorrow for Ward when his father Barney passed away. Photo by Allen MacMillan


A tie for the show’s Leading Lady Rider went to Christine McCrae (left) and Lauren Hough Photo by Allen MacMillan


The Alltech National Horse Show’s Leading Lady Rider Award comes with the lease of a new Audi from Audi of Lexington – two riders tied for the honor: Lauren Hough, driving, and Christine McCrae, passenger. Photo by Allen MacMillan


Parent company of SSG Gloves, Fargo Trading, was a bronze level sponsor of the show. SSG representatives Staff Sergeant Simon Stafford of Great Britain and his financé Jennifer Ward at the Saturday night National Horse Show party Photo by Allen MacMillan


Kiki Umla (left) was awarded the Welles Family Trophy in recognition for service to the equestrian industry. She served on Hospitality Committee for the National this year and has been involved with the horse show scene for many years. Photo by Allen MacMillan


Marty Bauman (right) of Classic Communications, Foxboro, MA, at the Saturday night party His company provided media services and managed the press room at the 2011 and 2012 Alltech National Horse Shows, as well as the Hampton Classic for many years and the 2010 World Equestrian Games, to name a few events under his media management.


-“Ducks in a row” – coaches lead their riders on the ASPCA Maclay Medal Course Walk on Sunday Photo by Allen MacMillan


The ASPCA Maclay Medal competition judges for 2012, Hap Hansen, CA, (left) and George Morris, NJ, assisted by Sally Ike, KY. Photo by Allen MacMillan



The National ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship hunter equitation finals presented by Hatfield’s Saddlery was won by Jacob Pope from Columbia, MD, riding his trainer Andre Dignelli’s Uno. Pope topped a field of 152 starters and survived a top-four riders’ horse swap to be the judges’ top pick in the Maclay. Photo by Allen MacMillan


Jacob Pope, winner of the ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship Medal finals, mounted on Uno accompanied by show officials and his parents Andy (front row middle in light blue shirt and dark vest holding trophy) and Barbara Pope (dark grey jacket) at the medal ceremony. Photo by Allen MacMillan


ASPCA Maclay Medal Horsemanship winner Jacob Pope riding Uno with the ASPCA representative (front far left) and his trainers (front row next to ASPCA rep, L-R): Andre Dignelli, Patricia Griffith, Brady Mitchell, Laena Romond, and Dottie Barnwell


ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship medal final judges Hap Hansen (left) and George Morris Photo by Allen MacMillan


Top three riders from the 2012 National ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship hunter equitation finals (L-R): Catherine Tyree, Chicago, IL (third); Jacob Pope, Columbia, MD, (winner), and Lillie Keenan, New York, NY (second). Photo by Allen MacMillan




Hunters Claim Center Stage During Opening Day of Alltech National Horse Show

October 31, 2012 By: janwest Category: General

Lexington, KY – October 30, 2012– The historic Alltech National Horse Show got underway today at the Alltech Arena, part of the beautiful Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Today, the professional hunter divisions took center stage as they began competing for top honors during their over fences and handy classes. Elizabeth Boyd had winning rounds aboard Casallo in the Regular Conformation Hunters, while Scott Stewart and Enjoy led the First Year Green Working Hunter division. Chris Payne and Jennifer Alfano also took home winning honors as the horse show began its week along series of events, while 14-year-old Victoria Colvin captured two blue ribbons in the Second Year Green Working Hunters with Inclusive.

Elizabeth Boyd and Casallo go double blue for first day of the Regular Conformation Hunter division at the Alltech National Horse Show, 129th Edition.

The Regular Conformation Hunters presented by Dr. Betsee Parker and Huntland kicked things off this morning, where Elizabeth Boyd and Casallo, owned by Erin McGuire of Cornelius, NC, proved to be a dominating force. They scored the blue ribbon in both over fences classes and placed second in the model for an early lead in the division.


“Casallo was awesome,” smiled McGuire. “I am happy with how he went; he was jumping high and kicking up. The courses rode well and Liza rode great, as always.

The handy round didn’t trick the horses, which is what I liked about it. It was as handy as you made it and it rode really nicely.”


Although Casallo was very successful at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, he had to skip the Washington International Horse Show due to an abscess. “We need to say a huge thank you to the vets,” commented trainer Jack Towell. “The vets helped the horse get through that: Dr. Steve Cole at Harrisburg and Dr. Jeff Whitworth at home. The horses’ muscles get sore from compensating with the abscess, so a really good vet here named Dr. Diane Schiereck did muscle relaxation and got him feeling really good. Those aren’t training issues; those are veterinary issues. It’s not just trainers anymore, you need to have a good staff of vets and we do. Without those vets this horse would not have been winning those classes today.”


Next in the ring to show was the Green Conformation Hunters presented by Mr. & Mrs. Douglas Wheeler. This time the blue ribbon in the first over fences class went to Scott Stewart aboard Beholden, owned by Fashion Farm of New York, NY.


Stewart commented on his rounds with Beholden in the Green Conformation Hunters. “Beholden was good. In the first class he went really well, but in the handy I got a little lost coming down one of the lines,” Stewart explained. “He was still really good. He’s a little bit green. This ring is also so much bigger than at Washington last week, so it was a little different for them.”

Scott Stewart and Enjoy placed first in the First Year Green Working Hunters at the Alltech National Horse Show, 129th Edition.

In the handy round Chris Payne and Lugano, owned by Susan Moriconi of St. Louis, MO, stepped up for the winning honors after an excellent performance in the ring. “Lugano is a wonderful horse,” said Payne. “This is his first year of showing, so it’s his first time indoors, but he’s very professional. He goes straight in the ring and does his job. I thought the handy was nice. It had a nice flow to it and a couple tight turns you could do to be handy.”

Payne added, “The National Horse Show is great, I love it. They’ve done an amazing job with the facility to get ready for this show. It looks fantastic and it’s a great place to compete.”


In the First Year Green Working Hunters, presented by Ms. Caroline Moran, Scott Stewart rode to the top of the placings, having two blue ribbons pinned to the bridle of Enjoy, owned by Rose Hill Farm of Bridgehampton, NY. Enjoy is a six-year-old gelding, which Stewart has been working diligently with to build experience.


“Enjoy was awesome,” Stewart smiled. “I was worried, because he had shown so much already, but he was the best he’s been. A lot of the other horses were spooky, so I think it kept his attention a little bit-he was right on, they were probably my two best trips on him.”

Victoria Colvin and Inclusive led the Second Year Green Working Hunters at the Alltech National Horse Show, 129th Edition.


It came down to Stewart’s protégé, the young Victoria

Colvin in the Second Year Green Working Hunters presented by Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Oare and Ms. Patricis Adikes-Hill. Colvin has been building an extensive resume throughout her time with Stewart, earning top awards at prestigious shows in the junior and professional hunter divisions, as well as the jumpers. Today, Colvin faced going into contention with Stewart as they vied for the blue ribbons. Colvin swept the first day of classes with Inclusive, owed by Dr. Betsee Parker of Middleburg, VA. Colvin also rode to the second place ribbon with Listen, also owned by Dr. Betsee Parker, in the handy with Colleen Acosta and Now How Z, owned by Kelly Joyner of Southlake, TX.


“It’s fun to be able to show against Scott, it’s a fun feeling, and I guess that I see a lot of my own riding in his-it’s a very relaxed style that we both have,” Colvin explained. “It’s interesting, especially doing a professional division, it is entirely different than showing in the Junior Hunters. It’s amazing when you win, they have so much more experience, and it just means that much more.”


The final division of the day involved an intricately designed handy round in the High Performance Hunters, presented by the Thatcher Family. Each rider could choose the options that best suited their mount. Elizabeth Boyd and Quatrain, owned by Janet Peterson and Finally Farm of Landrum, SC, proved to be the best for the blue ribbon prize.


Jennifer Alfano rode to the second place award in the handy round aboard Jersey Boy, owned by SBS Farms, Inc. of Buffalo, NY, as well as picking up the third place ribbon with Miss Lucy, owned by Helen Lenahan of Buffalo, NY. Alfano also took the first place ribbon with Miss Lucy during the opening round. Boyd took the second place ribbon in the first round, with Stewart and Garfield taking third.


“Miss Lucy has been so consistent all through Washington and here in the first class, she has just been unbelievable,” Alfano described. “She is really stepping up for it. No matter what ring you go in she is just one of those horses that aims to please. She tries so hard to be good at everything. She is perfect.”

“I liked all of the courses all day. I thought it was fun. I made a plan and stuck to it with both horses and it worked out for me. It was interesting to be able to make your own course, and choose so many different options that fit to your mold,” Alfano concluded. “As always, this horse show is a success.”


Today’s hunter competition set up a fantastic six-day competition for the top horse and rider combinations from across the country. The Alltech National Horse Show, 129th Edition will continue with the start of the Amateur-Owner Hunter divisions, and the professional hunter divisions will award championship and reserve championship honors to the top finishers, tomorrow. For more information about the event, please visit


Photos by: Rebecca Walton and Kendall Bierer/PMG

Pony Tails: Final Day at Pony Finals

August 14, 2012 By: janwest Category: General

This is the Final Blog from our Pony Finals Mystery bloggers! They did a great job! Wonder if we will ever discover who they are?

Friends Addison Piper, Yasmin Rizvi, Caroline Passerelli, and Maddie Schaefer pose for a picture in the Alltech Arena.

Hello readers from R, one of the survivors of PONY FINALS 2012.

Pony Finals was a great time this year and everyone had lots of fun.

The Medal was very spooky and many ponies added a stride in the first diagonal eight stride. I think that everyone had lots of fun showing in the big indoor even if they didn’t have great rounds. Many kids found it easy to qualify for the second round because many others had bad rounds. Lucy Deslauriers ended up winning with two PERFECT ROUNDS on her large pony Center Field a.k.a “Bernie”. Since Lucy won the Medal, she isn’t allowed to do the Medal ever again so she gets to finish her PF medal years with a win!

Winner of the pony medal Lucy Deslauriers

Parade of champions- Winners of the best child rider 10 & under cantering and jumping around the ring. 1st place went to Maddie Schaefer.

During PF there were many ups and downs. Some of the ups were: Hanging out with friends, showing in a big ring, ice cream, snow cones, more riding experience, and many exciting meetings and dinners! Many kids thought the opening meeting was boring, but it was also important to learn all the Pony Finals rules. One Pony Finals rule is that no one can train you while you are in the show ring. During Pony Finals only juniors can warm up your ponies. But once you are 24 hours away from showing, you are the only one allowed to ride your pony.

At Pony Finals there are many annual awards such as high score Virginia Bred Pony, high score Welsh Pony, and high score half Welsh p\Pony. There were winners in each division, and over all winners as well. I thought that these awards were great because some people didn’t get regular ribbons but they had a chance to win these prizes. The prizes included champion ribbons, small trophies and cups, flower necklaces for your pony, and flower covered champion ribbons! You also received a picture with your pony and a halter for your pony!

Leaving Pony Finals was sad. For some it was because of how they did, but for others it was because of their friends. Most people will not be seeing all of their friends again until indoors. Even though many people will be at the Hampton Classic, not everybody will! So through the hugs and tears and laughs, everyone exchanged goodbyes. Some even made new friends, and had a few more phone numbers added to their contacts (including me)!

A hug goodbye from Addison Piper to Yasmin Rizvi, while her friend Caroline Passerelli watches.

For those who were completing their last year riding a certain size pony, or are completely moving to horses: Good luck with horses, and just remember all the great ponies that taught you how to ride. Ponies can be hard sometimes but they are definitely worth it when you move to horses and think: wow horses are easy compared to ponies! So be thankful for your ponies and good luck with the rest of riding!

For those who didn’t place at pony finals 2012:

Don’t worry. Even if you didn’t place, you have so many more years of riding! For all you know, you might get champion next year! Or maybe even champion at a different exciting show! Just remember that a lot of the people that got champion this year didn’t start out like that. Just keep trying your hardest and one day it’ll all pay off.

Thank you all for reading my blog, and I hope you enjoyed the tips and input from my friends and I! I hope you all listen to our advice and we’ll hopefully reveal ourselves eventually, or maybe even continue this next year! Thank you to EMILY ALLONGO PHOTOGRAPHY for making this all happen, and enjoy the rest of the summer sunshine! We’ll see you next year…But until then, GOOD LUCK! <3

~From the Survivors~

Pony riders surround Frosted (Reserve Medium Green) and Hi Lite (Grand Champion Small & Grand Overall Champion) while talking to Sam Schaefer.

Hi Lite was the Grand Overall Champion with Maddie Schaefer trained by Patricia Griffith of Heritage Farm.