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Cherrybrook Blue Suede Shoes and Ned Cunniffe Have the Luck of the Irish in Autism Speaks Children's Large Pony Hunter

RELEASE: March 17, 2013
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Lauren Fisher and Laura Cardon for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Ned Cunniffe and Cherrybrook Blue Suede Shoes (Photography)
Ned Cunniffe and Cherrybrook Blue Suede Shoes (Photography)
Wellington, FL
- Ned Cunniffe piloted Cherrybrook Blue Suede Shoes to a St. Patrick's Day victory in the Autism Speaks Children's Large Pony Hunter during week ten of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF). Paulexi, LLC's "Suede," a seventeen-year-old Welsh Pony/Thoroughbred cross, was fourth under saddle and second in two over fences classes with Cunniffe in the irons.

Reserve championship honors went to Chatsworth, owned by Victoria Press and ridden by Emma Kurtz. Kurtz rode Chatsworth to first, seventh, and fourth over fences.

Cunniffe, whose father is from Ireland, was especially excited to win on St. Patrick's Day. "It feels really good to get champion. I'm really happy and proud of myself," Cunniffe said, sporting a grin from ear to ear as he collected his prizes.

In addition to his ribbons, Cunniffe and Suede were awarded a trophy by division sponsor Autism Speaks and an official FTI WEF championship cooler courtesy of Horseware Ireland.

Cunniffe's affection for Suede was evident as he described his trusted partner of the last two years. "He doesn't get mad at me if I do something wrong. He won't come out of the ring unhappy-he always forgives me," Cunniffe commented.

"He's pretty easy to jump. He can always make every jump better. Even if it's chippy, he can still make it look good. I know I can always depend on him, too. He would never stop at a jump," Cunniffe continued.

Cunniffe enjoys having a pony on the larger end of the scale (Suede measures right at 14.2hh) that still has some extra pep. "When he's fresh, he's a lot of fun to ride. He's always excited to go in the ring. I also like that he's bigger and he has a big step. He's a really good pony and I have a lot of fun riding him," eleven-year-old Cunniffe described.

The duo has competed at shows up and down the East Coast, including the Lake Placid Horse Show, Hampton Classic, and annual trips to Wellington for the FTI WEF.

"I've been coming to Florida for a long time, ever since I was born. I like being with my friends. I have a lot of friends in Florida and I like getting to see them when we got to shows together," Cunniffe smiled.