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Pony Club Members Shine at the 2018 USEF Pony Jumper Championship


(mounted) L to R: Megan De Michele, Taylor Brinsfield, Nora Goldfarb, Keely Bechtol

By Shelley Mann

Two members of the United States Pony Clubs Pony Jumper Team, at the USEF Pony Finals presented by Collecting Gaits Farm August 8-12, 2018, rose to the top of placings inside and outside of the ring.

Taylor Brinsfield (C-2 Traditional, Green Spring Hounds Pony Club/Maryland Region) rode Sprite in three phases over three days to finish in third place in the Individual phase of the USEF Pony Jumper National Championship.

“It was just a wild experience; I'm super excited!  If there are kids who are interested in riding, they should definitely come join,” said Brinsfield.

After two rounds in the Alltech Arena, the USPC Pony Jumper team finished in fifth place. The team was made up of four riders: Keely Bechtol ((H-B HM/C-3 Show Jumping/Midsouth Region) riding Lark’s Magic, Taylor Brinsfield (C-2, Traditional/Maryland Region) riding Sprite, Nora Goldfarb (C-2 Traditional/Midsouth Region) riding Aluinn Denmark, and Megan De Michele (C-1 Traditional/Virginia Region) riding Gracie Lou.

Keely Bechtol (H-B HM/C-3 Show Jumping, Bluegrass Pony Club/Midsouth Region) received a $500 Emerson Burr Horsemanship grant for educational related expenses by winning the 15-17 age division. Bechtol placed in the top four of her division to move onto the hands-on portion of the testing.  She used knowledge gained through Pony Club to demonstrate top horsemanship skills in her division.

The Emerson Burr Horsemanship Fund was created in 2002 by friends and family of the late Emerson Burr to promote and perpetuate proper horsemanship in equestrian youth. The Emerson Burr Horsemanship Grants are awarded by US Equestrian based on tests held at competitions throughout the year at the National and Zone levels. At the USEF Pony Finals, participants took a written test, followed by hands-on testing for the top four from each age group (9-11, 12-14, and 15-17).

Find more information about U.S. Pony Club at:

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