August 14 Lexington, Ky.
Fifteen-year-old Sydney Shulman made her last year in the pony jumper ring count, picking up her second consecutive USEF Pony Finals individual jumper championship gold medal. The seasoned pair let not a single rail drop throughout the three rounds of competition, and “Sailor” never skipped a beat.
“He was awesome,” said Shulman of Greenwich, Conn. “He actually got better and better instead of getting tired like some.”
Although Shulman wasn’t nervous going into the final round, she admitted she wasn’t entirely confident that she was going to have another clear trip. “I just kept thinking about the ride and kept reminding myself about what I had to do,” she said.
Alaska native Alicia Hall made the long haul from her home state worth the trip. She and her 12-year-old mount, Luigi, earned the silver medal with a three-day total of just one time fault, which she picked up during the second round of competition. Rachel Fleszar, Painted Post, N.Y., and the scopey Valley Girl posted a clear final round to earn the bronze with a four-fault overall total.
While each course was a challenge in its own right, riders really had to think throughout tonight’s route. “I thought the course was hard,” said Shulman. “You really had to use your space because the jumps were set really short on the turns.”
-After seven years in the pony jumper ring, Shulman plans to hang up her jodhpurs and shift her focus toward the horses. Her current (horse-sized) jumper mounts include Justice League and Justworld.
-The final course tripped up more than a few riders with its bending lines and tight turns. Rails fell nonstop at fence 8, a vertical by the rail, and at the final oxer toward the ingate.
-In tonight’s Farewell Pony Jumper Class, Ashley Foster posted two clear rounds to win aboard Will Kennedy’s Only Option. Their time was seven seconds faster than the second-place finisher, Kamile Marcussen and Autumn Sunrise, who were also double clear. Peter Droogmans and Sky Miles were third.
-Pony riders seem to have a lot of creative ways to get around a course. This year’s bunch kicked, growled, coaxed, talked their way around the course, asked aloud for their mounts to clear the fences, apologized to their ponies for their mistakes, and one rider even asked the crowd to help point her in the right direction.
USEF Pony Jumper Finals Individual Championship Results
- Set Sail, Sydney Shulman – 0 total faults
- Luigi, Alicia Hall – 1
- Valley Girl, Rachel Fleszar – 4
- Oliver Twist, Jessica Karsin Landis – 8
- Little Freebie, Andre Mershad – 12
- Night Games, Ceely Davis – 12
- Rascal, Lauren Attanasio – 12
- Kelly, Alexis Bowen – 17
- Suprisingly Dotty, Brittany Carter – 20
10. Northwind’s Opus, Nicole Kehrli – 20
Full results available at www.shownet.biz.