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Grand All Over and Emma Kurtz Excel in Visse Wedell Medium Pony Hunters

RELEASE: March 24, 2013
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Lauren Fisher and Laura Cardon for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Grand All Over and Emma Kurtz (Photography)
Grand All Over and Emma Kurtz (Photography)
Wellington, FL
- Grand All Over lived up to his name during week eleven of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF). The fifteen-year-old Welsh Pony gelding owned by David Gochman was champion of the Visse Wedell Medium Pony Hunter divsion with Emma Kurtz. Kurtz, of Cleveland, OH, piloted Grand All Over to second place under saddle and finished first, third, and third over fences.

Reserve champion was Sassafras Creek, ridden by Daisy Farish and owned by Redfield Farm. Farish and Sassafras Creek were eighth under saddle and were first, second, sixth, and first over fences.

Owner-rider champion for the division was Roxbury and Yasmin Rizvi. Reserve owner-rider honors went to Francesca Dildabanian and her pony Laugh Out Loud.

Grand All Over, known as "Toby" in the barn, is one of twelve-year-old Kurtz's many successful pony mounts, but she will admit to him being her favorite by far. While Kurtz says his irresistible cuteness is what puts him at the top of her list, trainer Amanda Lyerly knows their bond is more than just skin-deep. "They really trust each other," Lyerly commented. "He's really brave and she's confident on him. They're such a good match."

Lyerly does admit Toby's looks certainly don't hurt him in the ring. "He has an amazing look through the bridle and he has a great neck. He always goes with his ears pricked and he pretty much always jumps well no matter how you get to the jump. He just has a lot of presence," Lyerly described.

Toby has been so successful with Kurtz that the pair is currently in second place in the FTI WEF circuit standings despite a relatively light show schedule. "Emma won the pony classic World Champion Hunter Rider week. She was champion another week and reserve one week. He really hasn't done a lot since he already has so many points. He gets to have an easy circuit," Lyerly explained.

Kurtz and her winning partner will continue to show together through the FTI WEF's final week, after which the duo look forward to showing at the Devon Horse Show in May. Following Devon, their show career together is a little more uncertain. Kurtz has had Toby on lease from the Gochman family until their girls grow into him.

"He belongs to the Gochmans, and their kids were actually a little bit too small for him when they got him, so they've let Emma ride him for a little bit until they're ready for him. It's very, very generous of them to give her that opportunity," Lyerly acknowledged.