Sept. 25, 2019
USHJA Young Hunter Pony Championships
Lexington, Va.—August 26, 2019—The second Kym K. Smith/USHJA Young Hunter Pony Championships (YHPC) crowned six division champions and awarded more than $20,000 in prize money as ponies from nine states converged on the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, Virginia, on August 25.
Jessie Lang and Chance Arakelian judged the ponies over courses designed by Alan Lohman. Ponies competed in divisions designated by pony age and fence height, beginning with the Hunter Pony Five-Year-Old and Under Model and Under-Saddles, Hunter Pony Four- and Five-Year-Olds 2' and Hunter Pony Four- and Five-Year-Olds 2'3", and Hunter Pony Six- and Seven-Year-Olds 2'6". The divisions included one model, one under-saddle class, and two over-fences classes, except for the Hunter Pony Five-Year-Old and Under, which included a model class, and under-saddle class, and a conformation under-saddle class.
In the Hunter Pony Four- and Five-Year-Olds 2’3” division, Amy Krebs rode her own Wynnbrook Polar Vortex to the championship. The five-year-old Welsh cross (Clovercroft Polarized—Splash of Hope) was bred by Kristina Morris.
Krebs and trainer Michelle Zimmer drove more than seven hours from Nashville, Tennessee to compete at YHPC. “We’re supporting this program because we think it’s an amazing program,” Zimmer said. “[Krebs] rode last year on her other pony, who was 6, and was champion with him. I think this program helps encourage the pony breeders to keep breeding fabulous ponies. We made the drive from Nashville to be a part of it.”
Krebs bought Wynnbrook Polar Vortex three months ago and YHPC was the pony’s third recognized show. “He's just got a great brain; he's a fabulous pony,” Zimmer said. “[Krebs is] 11 and she's done nothing but green ponies her whole life. She's fabulous at bringing them along.”
Jordan Toering rode Glenhaven Park Lane to the Overall Grand Championship as well as the Hunter Pony Six- and Seven-Year-Olds 2’3”, and Hunter Pony Six- and Seven-Year-Olds 2’6” division championships.
The day started with the Hunter Pony Five-Year-Old and Under Model and Under-Saddles, and the overall championship went to Hetty Mackay-Smith Abeles’ Farnley Electric. Her daughter, Damaris Abeles, trained the pony, and Ashley Moran rode her.
As the Hunter Pony Four- and Five-Year-Olds 2’ competitors finished, Annabelle Brown and Daydream Believer emerged as the champions of the division.
The flashy chestnut Papillon was named champion of the Hunter Pony Six- and Seven-Year-Olds 2’ division with owner Hannah Haines riding.
Find more information about the USHJA Young Hunter Pony Championships here: https://www.ushja.org/competition/hunter/young-hunter-pony-championships
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