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Sassafras Creek Named Grand Hunter Pony Champion, Westside Earns Large Regular Pony Hunter Championship and Enjoy the Laughter Named Under Saddle Champion to Close Out the 2013 US Hunter Pony Championship presented by Sallee Horse Vans

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

Lexington, KY- The 2013 US Hunter Pony Championship presented by Sallee Horse Vans came to a conclusion Saturday as Grand Hunter Pony, Large Regular Pony Hunter, and Under Saddle Champions were crowned. For a final time the judging panel of Chance Arakelian, William Sparks, and Jeff Wirthman assessed the top ponies from throughout the United States in the Kentucky Horse Park’s Walnut Arena. Sassafras Creek was named the 2013 Grand Hunter Pony Champion, while Westside earned the Large Regular Pony Hunter Championship, as well as Reserve Grand Champion honors. To close out the 2013 Championship Enjoy the Laughter was awarded the Under Saddle Championship.

The US Hunter Pony Championship presented by Sallee Horse Vans are determined by calculating the scores from the three phases of competition; the highest scoring pony of each height section will be declared champion of its section. Additionally, the highest scoring pony overall will be declared the week's Grand Champion. The Model and Under Saddle phases will each count towards 25% of the overall score with the remaining 50% to be determined by the Over Fences Phase.

Grand Hunter Pony

Redfield Farm’s Sassafras Creek was expertly guided by Daisy Farish (Versailles, KY) throughout the week at the 2013 US Pony Finals. The 14-year-
Grand Hunter Pony Champion Sassafras Creek (Shawn McMillen Photography)
Grand Hunter Pony Champion Sassafras Creek (Shawn McMillen Photography)
old Welsh Pony Cross mare was the winner of Thursday’s Medium Regular Pony Hunter Championship with an overall score of 1035.50. While ponies in the Small and Large divisions posted high scores none could equal that of the 2013 Grand Hunter Pony Champion.

On Thursday, Farish remarked how Sassafras Creek was uniquely suited to the US Hunter Pony Championship presented by Sallee Horse Vans.
“She is very good for this competition, she is very quiet.”

Those words rang true as Sassafras Creek was named the 2013 Grand Hunter Pony Champion.

Large Regular Pony Hunter

Emma Kurtz (Hudson, OH) enjoyed an extremely successful 2013 US Hunter Pony Championship presented by Sallee Horse Vans and capped off the competition with another championship, this time winning the Large Regular Pony Hunter Championship with Scott Stewart’s Westside. The 10-year-
Emma Kurtz and Westside (Shawn McMillen Photography)
Emma Kurtz and Westside (Shawn McMillen Photography)
old Warmblood gelding earned second place in both the Model and Under Saddle phases scoring 257.50 and 262, respectively. They returned to the Walnut Arena Saturday to score 250.70 and third place in the Over Fences Phase.

The talented pair finished on an overall score of 1020.90 to earn both the Large Regular Pony Hunter Championship as the well as the Reserve Grand Hunter Pony Title.

“His jump is really fun to ride, really smooth,” said Kurtz of her pony’s best attribute. Kurtz also enjoyed her entire experience at the 2013 US Pony Finals. “It’s been a really fun week, the courses have been great.”

Earning second place in the Large Regular Pony Hunter division was Aleece Jarman (Pace, FL) and her own Valentino on an overall score of 1010.25. The six-year-old German Riding Pony gelding finished sixth in the Model phase on a score of 243.70 and earned a third place finish on a score of 256.15 in the Under Saddle phase before completing the Championship with a victory in the Over Fences Phase on a score of 255.20.

Third-place honors went to Isabel Ryan (Locust Valley, NY) and her own 14-year-old Welsh Pony Cross Woodlands Misty Rain. The pair was 19th in the Model Phase, fourth in the Under Saddle Phase and second in the Over Fences Phase with scores of 236.15, 254.85 and 251.20, respectively. They finished on an overall score of 993.40.

Under Saddle Championship
In the Under Saddle Championship, Dr. Betsee Parker’s Enjoy the Laughter earned first place to close out the action in the Walnut Arena. The eight-
Taylor St. Jacques and Enjoy the Laughter (Shawn McMillen Photography)
Taylor St. Jacques and Enjoy the Laughter (Shawn McMillen Photography)
year-old German Riding Pony was ridden by Taylor St Jacques (Glenallen, VA). Earning second place honors were Isabella Di Benedetto (Huntersville, NC) and Piper Addison’s 13-year-old Warmblood Pony gelding Goldfish. Third place went to Dr. Betsee Parker’s seven-year-old Welsh Pony Cross gelding Bit of Love and Kurtz.

The 2013 US Pony Finals draws to a close on Sunday with the US Pony Medal Finals.

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