USEF Green Pony Hunter Finals
With Tricia Booker on location
It’s An Absolut Snap For Campbell
Kaitlin Campbell and Absolut Snap were absolutely brilliant during the first day of the 37th annual Wild Horsefeathers/USEF Pony Hunter Finals on Wednesday August 4th.
Campbell, 12, of Doylestown, Pa., rode Karen Lutz’s chestnut gelding to victories under saddle and over fences to take the medium green pony title and grand green championship with 1022.5 points.
She started riding 6-year-old “Rocky” earlier this year for his 9-year-old owner, and the two have shared blue ribbons from the Winter Equestrian Festival circuit (Fla.) to the Garden State (N.J.) Horse Show where they also won the pony hunter classic. But their Pony Finals
tricolors today were the pinnacle of their performances.
“He was really good today. He didn’t look at anything and a lot of other ponies were spooky,” said Campbell who trains with Patty Miller and Linda Crothers.
Course designers Glen Moody and Sandy Gerald set a straightforward over fences round. Nevertheless, many ponies refused, especially down the outside line that included three jumping efforts (four strides to a two-stride in-and-out).
The over fences phase shook up the standings, especially in the large pony section. Sam Schaefer, 10, Westminster, Md., mastered the course on several ponies and ended up carrying a proverbial truckload of awards back to trainer Kim Stewart’s Glenwillow. She rode Skippin’ School to the reserve grand green pony championship and the reserve medium green pony title with 1016 points. Schaefer placed second over fences and third in both the model and under saddle phases with the attractive gray owned by William Sullivan. Skippin’ School was also awarded the high-score Welsh pony award (his registered name is Clovercroft’s As Good As It Gets).
Schaefer also topped the small green pony section with the adorable Confetti, a multi-colored pony who started his competitive life wearing a western saddle. But Confetti made the switch to jumping and never looked back. They won the over fences phase and tied for first in the
under saddle for the overall championship with 984 points. Snow Day and Lindsay Ward placed second overall (957), and Farnley Byron with Katherine Newman placed third (942.5).
In the large green pony section, Bon Voyage and Rachel Koggan had an excellent over fences round that placed second and clinched them the overall title with 977 points. They topped All Sport and Ashley Ann Mcgehee (971) and Windleas Take Charge with Alexandra Pirro (961). Today’s hunter judges were Kim Dorfman, Camden, S.C., Joe Darby, Southern Pines, N.C., and Scott Fitton, Ithaca, N.Y.
During yesterday’s rider’s meeting, the USEF Pony Hunter Committee established a new perpetual trophy called the USEF Service Award, to be presented to a person who has given a lifetime of service to the pony industry. Edna Lytle, a trainer, breeder, judge and pony aficionado from Dickerson, Md., was the first recipient. And the bronze trophy, of a mother and daughter on a horse, will now be given in her name.
Yesterday’s pony jumper clinic, given by international show jumper Candice King, was also deemed a huge success. It was sponsored by the United States Hunter Jumper Association, and each pony jumper rider who had qualified for the finals was invited to attend. Of the 34
qualified, 29 rode in the 30-minute training sessions that included flatwork, gymnastics and jumping.
Full results of the 2004 USEF Pony Hunter Finals can be found at www.horseshowsonline.com.