Tuesday, Jul. 23, 2024

Paris Charms At USEF Pony Finals

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Lexington, Ky.—Aug. 9

Currie Cooper didn’t come to USEF Pony Finals thinking that she’d win big with Paris Charm. After all, it was just their second show together.

Cooper and the 15-year-old Welsh (Halifax—Telynau Dawn Chorus) owned by JJ Torano came into the over fences in fourth place after strong performances in the model and under saddle. Then the pair nailed the jumping portion to place third in that phase and earn the overall medium pony championship. Emi Richard and Play Date won the over fences class to take the overall reserve championship.

Paris Charm and Currie Cooper jumped to third over fences to clinch the overall medium pony championship. Mollie Bailey Photos

“We were just hoping she got around smoothly,” said Cooper’s trainer Richard Cunkle. “We never thought we’d get a 90 and an 86.5. This kid is the sweetest, nicest kid.

“This winter was her first real winter showing on circuit,” he continued “This year is her first big, serious step up.”

Emi Richard and Play Date won the over fences class to finish as reserve medium pony champions.

Cooper got advice from Torano about riding “Paris.”

“He said when she stretches down that’s just what she does, she’s just stretching,” said Cooper, 12.

“I like that she’s helpful and easy, and she likes me,” she added.

Katherine Mercer and Goldhills As You Like It jumped to overall third in the medium pony division.

Cooper first sat on Paris a few months ago.

“Jimmy and Danielle [Torano] came to me this winter, and we talked about leasing Paris Charm,” Cunkle said. “At Devon we tried her, liked her, and we couldn’t coordinate times to go and try her again. So we all were meeting here, and she rode her one week, and then we’re here.”

Cooper travels from her home in Fairhope, Alabama, to train with Cunkle in Wellington, Florida, several times a month. At home she practices at her grandfather’s farm to keep her legs strong.

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Friend Request and Ella Endzweig cantered to overall fourth in the medium pony hunter division.

This marks Cooper’s third year competing at Pony Finals, though she came to watch once when she was younger. This is by far her best result so far.

“My favorite part of Pony Finals is showing and riding and seeing friends,” she said.

Stella Rumanes thanked Naughty Or Nice for a great round. The pair were 10th overall.

Watch Cooper and Paris Charm’s jumping round, courtesy of USEF Network and ClipMyHorse.TV:


Otteridge Shameless Snaps Up The Small Green Tricolor

Addison Litman made her second trip to USEF Pony Finals count, piloting her own Otteridge Shameless to the top of the small green hunter division. The pair lay sixth after the model and under saddle and laid down a second-placed over fences round to move up and get the championship over First Dibs and Lilly Herzog.

Addison Litman was thrilled with Otteridge Shameless’ winning performance.

The pony also earned the high score Welsh award for the small green division and the high score Virginia-bred for the division.

Litman and her trainers Jenn Bowery and Rose Kouzoujian were looking for a small green pony for Litman to work with a year ago when they stumbled onto the Welsh cross (Farnley Belshazzar—Hot Socks).

A red ribbon over fences propelled Otteridge Shameless to the top of the small green pony division.

“We found him off of Facebook,” Litman said, “so we flew to Tampa for the day. We tried him, went to lunch then tried him again. I really liked him.”

“He’s definitely matured a little bit,” she added. “He was a little greener then.”

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First Dibs jumped to the small green pony reserve championship at USEF Pony Finals.

Litman, 13, said in lessons with Bowery and Kouzoujian she works on having pace with “Snapper.”

“He’s a little lazy, and sometimes he’s a little bit difficult with the lead changes, but he’s gotten so much better,” she said.

Litman lives in New York City during the school year so she only makes it out to Oceans Edge Farm in Bridgehampton, New York, on weekends, but during the summer she’s out there regularly as her family has a home nearby.

USEF President Tom O’Mara presented Luca Endzweig and Kingsley with the blue ribbon for the small green hunter over fences class. They finished overall third.

Litman and Bowery cited catch rider Emi Richard as instrumental in helping produce Snapper.

“She’s so good with the ponies,” said Bowery. “When I have ponies who are tense or nervous with things, she’ll get on and straighten them out.”

Adele Dewar was all smiles as she cleared the last fence on course with Gold Coast. They finished fifth in the small green pony hunter division.

Watch Litman’s round with Otteridge Shameless, courtesy of USEF Network and ClipMyHorse.TV:

Find full results here.

Follow along with all the Chronicle’s coverage from Pony Finals here. Be sure you’re following the Chronicle on Facebook and Instagram @chronofhorse for more. Check out the Sept. 4 issue of the magazine for more from the competition.

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