Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2023

Time Spent Back In The Barns Earns Ella Endzweig Pony Finals Win



Lexington, Ky.—Aug. 11

In the hours before her turn to jump in the small pony over fences class at USEF Pony Finals, Ella Endzweig and her twin sister Luca could be found back at the barns doting on their ponies.

“They only want to be in the barn,” said their trainer Kyla Makhloghi. “Everyone else is watching; they hang out with their ponies and the girls that are helping taking care of them. They want to participate. It’s wonderful. It’s not just about the riding.”


Ella Endzweig gave Private Message a kiss. Kimberly Loushin Photos

That time getting to know Private Message paid off for Ella, when she posted the top score over fences to move up in the standings and take the division title over So Enchanted and Ella Tarumianz.

“I went in the ring, and I just trusted her, and we have such a bond, that it just worked out,” said the rider from New York City. “I was so happy with her.”

Ella, 10, got “Ruby,” a 10-year-old Welsh Pony (Gayfields Speedy Getaway—NR Miss Tulip), at the end of 2020, and it took some time for them to find their groove.

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Kyla Makhloghi (left) gives Ella Endzweig a high-five after her win.

“Ella’s done a lot of the work with this pony herself,” Makhloghi said. “She was 8 years old when we got her. Ella had just barely started the smalls, so there was a learning curve. … But just the love and the perseverance and the relationship they’ve formed, they just trust each other, and they believe in each other. It sounds so corny, but it’s so true. They talk to each other.”

The 2021 Pony Finals was Ella’s first big championship show, so she was thrilled to bring home the championship in her second year here.



Ella Endzweig and Private Message..

Ella also topped the Welsh Pony standings for the small ponies, and Luca, 10, finished right behind her with Smoke Tree Starlet.

Ella said it’s fun to ride alongside her sister. “We get really competitive though, but we’re really happy for each other,” she said.

“While both sisters hope to do their best, they’re good at supporting one another,” Makhloghi said.

“They came out of the ring, and ‘Good job, you were so good,’ ” she said. “They’re genuine.”

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Luca Endzweig on Smoke Tree Starlet (left) and Ella Endzweig on Private Message receive their Welsh awards from Ruth Wilburn.

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Ella Taurmianz and So Enchanted.

Last-Minute Changes Pays Off For Golden

Vivian Golden described waiting on the ramp to head into the Rolex Arena for the small green over fences class as “nerve-wracking.” Although she’d been riding Preston since March 2021, one of her trainers Scott Stewart had come up with a couple new ideas to help motivate the lazy pony.

They removed Preston’s ear plugs, and Golden trotted him up and down the ramp a couple times before heading into the ring at USEF Pony Finals.

“It was really cool for him to go in there and actually get going because he’s a slow pony, and he doesn’t really like to go, but he was really good,” she said.


The gamble paid off, and the pair won the over fences to take the championship over Ribbon’s Glenn and Emi Richard.


Vivian Golden and Preston.

Golden, who also rides with Amanda Lyerly, is riding four ponies this week. Her week got off to a great start by taking reserve in the large pony hunters with Brixton, who she described the easiest of the bunch, while Preston is the most difficult due to his laziness factor.

“He has a really nice smooth rhythm, and he keeps his head up which is a lot nicer. He has an uphill balance,” she said. “He’s very comfortable, and he’s very easy to shape and put his head down.”

Preston, a 6-year-old Welsh Pony (Laithehill Vivaldi—Hilin Can YR Afon) owned by Betsee Parker, lives with Stewart in Flemington, New Jersey. Golden, 13, who lives in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, comes up about once a week to school him. She made the trek three times the week before Pony Finals to prepare.

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Emi Richard and Ribbon’s Glenn.

While she’s no stranger to the competition, this is her first Pony Finals win.

“It feels good,” she said. “It’s really fun, and I wasn’t really expecting it, so that was even cooler.”


Ella Jane Howard and Sugarbrook Burnside were third in the smalls.


JJ Torano rode Manhattan to fourth in the smalls.

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Emi Richard and Roll Call took fifth in the smalls.

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Addison Litman and Napa Valley rounded out the top six in the smalls.

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Aundrea Hillyard and Royal Legacy were third in the small greens.

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Agatha Lignelli rode EMC Enjoy to fourth in the small greens.

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Mimi Maddock and Orchard HIll Valentina were fifth in the small greens.

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Ella Jane Howard rode Emmett to sixth in the small greens.

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