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Individual Medals Awarded at 2013 US National Pony Jumper Championship

RELEASE: August 10, 2013
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Helen Murray

Lexington, KY- The 2013 US National Pony Jumper Championship, held as part of the US Pony Finals, came to an exciting conclusion on Friday night with Individual titles up for grabs. Twenty-one competitors came back to jump a fourth round over Marc Donovan’s testing course. A single rail
Individual Medalists (Shawn McMillen Photography)
Individual Medalists (Shawn McMillen Photography)
separated the top 11 riders heading into Friday’s final round and a fourth round would not be enough as competitors would need to jump off for all three medals.

Cooper Dean and Christina Rodriguez entered the Alltech Arena on Friday without incurring a single fault throughout the week and again rose to the occasion, producing their fourth clear efforts of the championships. Rodriguez (Dade City, FL) was first to go in the jump-off and set off determinedly with her own A Lotta Moxie. However, the pair met the second-to-last jump just a little bit too long, resulting in Rodriguez falling. A Lotta Moxie was unharmed and Rodriguez suffered an injury to her arm but was otherwise unharmed.

When Dean (Fayette, AL) entered the ring with his own American Hero, he just needed to complete the course to earn the Individual Gold medal. The pair steadily navigated the jump off course, faulting a single time in the double combination and collecting an additional four time faults. They finished the jump-off with a score of eight.

“It’s just been incredible my pony was awesome, I couldn’t have asked for a better week,” said Dean of his time at the 2013 US Pony Finals, which saw
Cooper Dean and American Hero (Shawn McMillen Photography)
Cooper Dean and American Hero (Shawn McMillen Photography)
him win the Team Gold medal with Zone Four and capture Individual Gold on Friday.

Despite knowing that Rodriguez had fallen and been eliminated before him, Dean did not change his plan heading into the jump-off.

“I wasn’t really worried about it. I wish one of my competitors hadn’t fallen off but nothing changed, my plan stayed the same.”

Dean was also awarded the US Pony Jumper Style Award as the rider the judges believed to display the best jumping style of riding throughout the week.

Silver medalist Rodriguez was also very pleased with her time at the 2013 US Pony Finals and would not let her fall on Friday change her view of the championship or her pony’s performance.

“It was very exciting; this is one of the best shows I’ve ever been to and everyone was so nice,” said Rodriguez. “She was doing really well (in the jump off), but I took too big of a spot but I’m really proud of her and how she did.”

The jumpoff for Bronze saw four competitors come back who all ended the fourth round on an overall total of four faults. As the second-to-last rider in the jump off, Carly Williams (Lexington, KY) knew that if she could leave all the rails in the cups and post a competitive time with her own High Hopes, she would be in with a shot at the final medal.

The pair did just that, jumping faultlessly and stopping the timers at 36.927 seconds to clinch the Individual Bronze medal.

Early in the day Faith Cunningham (La Canada Flintridge, CA) and her own Barachute earned top honors in the Farewell Class.

To follow all the action from the US National Pony Jumper Championship and the 2013 US Pony Finals visit; http://usefconnect.com/ponyfinals/

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