Dreams Come True at National Dressage Pony Cup Championship

Lexington, Ky. – July 11, 2017– The riders and ponies in this year’s tenth anniversary of the National Dressage Pony Cup Championship stole the show this weekend at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. One hundred and fourteen ponies participated coming from twenty-six states across the country and competed at levels from Introductory to Grand Prix.

Competing in her third Pony Cup, 13-year-old Caitlyn Massey scored 67.564 percent in the 16 & Under division on the first day of the competition. Massey and her mount, Zassafrass, a Welsh cross mare showed at Second Level.

“My pony loves showing here, and for me, it’s such a great atmosphere – everyone’s so friendly and I like being around that kind of energy,” stated Massey.

Caitlyn Massey riding Zassafrass. Photo by Jennifer M. Keeler.

In the First Level Amaeteur Division, Tara Astacio with Money To Burn, a German Riding Pony gelding and Susan Faulker with her mount Princeton, tied for first place each with scores of 67.188 percent.

Showing at First Level, Kalie Beckers with her Welsh Cob mare, Mado Mari, claimed a score of 68.594 percent. Beckers has won numerous awards in the Junior/Young Riders divisions, so she added another blue ribbon to her collection this weekend.

Olivia Brown claimed a blue ribbon in the 16 & under division showing First Level on Balthazar, a Belgian Riding Pony gelding. Gillian Kingsbury with Halle Berry MC, her half-Arabian mare, claimed first prize in the First Level 17-21 division with a score of 63.906 percent. In the Second Level 17-21 division, Kingsbury swept to the top with 64.359 percent.

In the Training Level Open at the Pony Cup, Klaus Bisenethal and her six-year-old North American Sport stallion placed first earning 74.872 percent. Lori Lamattina and WW Rudig, a Fjord gelding, placed first as well with a score of 70.897 percent in the Second Level Amaeteur division.

Lauren Chumley has competed at the National Pony Cup every year since 2010. This year, she rode Nikolas, a German Riding Pony gelding owned by Melissa Dowling. The pair won a blue ribbon in the Third Level Open division scoring 70.256 percent and claimed another first place award scoring 66.806 percent in the Fourth Level class.

Riding VA Vouvray, an Arabian gelding owned by Mackenzie Krizek, Katie Hall placed first in the Third Level Amaeteur class scoring 59.231 percent.

Katie Hall riding VA Vouvray. Photo by Jennifer M. Keeler.

In the 17-21 category, Brynne Varvel scored 58.590 percent riding Big Indian Creek, a Morgan gelding. Tracey Disabato-Aust with Wiz Bang LMP, her Haflinger gelding, climbed to the top out of 18 competitors earning a blue ribbon with a score of 68.077 percent. In the Open division, Shannon Cessna riding Julie Blair’s Haflinger mare, Loyal Lisa DCH, earned 71.346 percent placing first as well.

In the Intro Level Adult Amateur division, Deborah Stevenson scored 72.500 percent riding Bell of the Ball, her Haflinger mare. Shannon Cessna with Loyal Lisa DCH won with a score of 71.875 percent in the Open Intro division.

Grace Baierl won the 16 & Under Training Level division riding her Connemara mare, Catskill Nola. Keara Sonntag won first scoring 58.462 percent in the 17-21 division with her pony, Storm. Emily Lasher dominated in the FEI Test of Choice Open division scoring 66.053 percent showing Intermediate I riding The Hot Topic of Spring Song, her Welsh Cross gelding.

Emily Lasher riding The Hot Topic of Spring Song. Photo by Jennifer M. Keeler.

In the Intro Level Juniors 16 & Under category, Grace Lipuma and I Will 4 U, her Welsh gelding, placed first scoring 67.188 percent and Keara Sonntag riding Storm earned a score of 62.813 percent in the 17-21 age group. Jennifer Carr with Charly Brown, her German Riding Pony gelding, rode to the top scoring 61.842 percent in the Amateur FEI Test of Choice showing Prix St. Georges.

In the Junior/Young Rider division, Hannah Irons scored 61.447 percent with My Lucky Charm, her draft cross gelding performing their Prix St. George routine. Suzannah Rogers with Adrenaline Rush SBF, her Haflinger gelding, earned a top score of 62.115 percent, putting them in first place in the FEI Pony Team Test.

During this year’s Dressage Pony Cup Freestyles, Hannah Irons and My Lucky Charm claimed a score of 64.333 percent for their Fourth Level Freestyle routine in the Junior/Young Rider Musical Freestyle category. In the Amateur Musical Freestyle division, Susan Falker and Princeton place first. The pair showed at First Level and scored 67.000 percent.

Ana DiGironimo and Ana Mariah C, her Arabian mare, showed at Third Level in their Freestyle routine and scored 66.833 percent. “I think there are many exciting things ahead for us,”  remarked DiGironimo.

Ana GiDironimo. Photo by Jennifer M. Keeler.

On the second day of the Pony Cup Championships, Emily Lasher returned to the ring for another first place finish riding The Hot Topic of Spring Song. Lasher’s average score in the Intermediate I and Open Musical Freestyle routines was 66.908 percent in the FEI Test of Choice Open Division.

“I would absolutely make the trip again,” Lasher said.”It’s been such a wonderful experience. Everyone is so incredibly helpful with every aspect of the show, even long before we arrived. I was impressed with the size of the show and the number of rings going on, and it was great to see so many amateurs – it created a really nice atmosphere.”

Emily Lasher riding The Hot Topic of Spring Sprung. Photo by Jennifer M. Keeler.

Not only did Lasher have support at the show, her friends and family members livestreamed the event on USEF Network.

“My friends in California have been so supportive – they got up at the crack of dawn to watch and were all over Facebook,” she continued. “My aunt in Canada, my dad in Maryland, my friends in Connecticut – everyone got to watch. It was so cool that they could share in the experience that way.”

Jennifer Carr and her Germany Riding Pony, Charly Brown, claimed first prize with an average score of 61.053 percent in their Prix St. George routines in the FEI Test of Choice and Musical Freestyle amateur divisions.

Placing first with their amatuer musical freestyle routine in the First Level Freestyle, Susan Faulkner and Princeton earned a score of 67.000 percent. Shannon Cessna riding Loyal Lisa DCH owned by Julie Blair won the Open championship with a two-test average of 68.563 percent. Deborah Stevenson with Belle of the Ball earned 68.500 percent dominating the Intro Level Amateur Championship.

Nancy Foglia with Quarter pony, Heavens Lil Dually had an average score of 67.614 percent putting them at the top in the Training Level Amateur division.

“I adore her spunky personality and want to continue to develop our partnership and let it take us as far as we can go together,” remarked Foglia.

Nancy Foglia riding Heavens Lil Dually. Photo by Jennifer M. Keeler.

Jessie Hayes with FMF Liesl, Lauren Chumley’s Fjord mare, earned an average two-day  score of 67.798 percent in the Training Level Open division, achieving overall Pony Cup Championship honors.

Kalie Beckers riding Madoc Mari averaged 70.327 percent in the Open First Level division. The overall champion in the Second Level Open division with a score of 68.351 percent was Kathryn Barry riding Magnum, Klaus Biesenthal’s North American Sport Pony.

Lori Lamattina with WW Rudig came in first place in both the Amateur First and Second Levels scoring 67.923 percent and 65.632 percent.

Lauren Chumley riding Nikolas earned tricolor honors in the Third Level Open category with a score of 69.423 percent and scored 67.403 in the Fourth Level Open category.

“This was the first time he’s done a Fourth Level test, but he’s just so naturally talented and rideable that it comes easily for him,” Chumley said. “The Fourth 3 test is pretty challenging, but he went in there and gave me what was perhaps the best Fourth Level test I’ve ever had. He’s just such a cool pony who just rolls with whatever we throw at him.”

Lauren Chumley riding Nikolas. Photo by Jennifer M. Keeler.

In the Intro 16 & Under division, Savan Garvey won the championship with a two-test average score of 70.175 percent riding Madoc Gold Graham and Laynie Rich claimed the overall victory scoring 63.656 percent riding her pony, Chip.

Keara Sonntag and Storm rode to the top of the 17-21 division scoring 63.157 percent in the Intro Level and 58.663 percent in the Training Level.

“My instructor was the first person to decide that I should ride Storm,” Sonntag said.”I grew to love him. He’s so smart and he’s made me a better and more patient rider.”

In the 16 & Under category, Olivia Brown and Balthazar scored 68.810 percent in the First Level class placing first. Gillian Kingsbury and Halley Berry MC won the First and Second Level classes in the 17-21 division with average scores of 62.909 percent and 61.143 percent. Caitlyn Massey with Zassafrass earned a two-day average score of 66.709 percent in the 16 & Under division showing Second Level.

On the second day of the Pony Cup in the 17-21 division, Brynne Varvel and Big Indian Creek came in first place scoring 60.513 percent showing at Third Level. Suzannah Rogers claimed the FEI Pony Championship scoring 61.235 percent riding Adrenaline Rush SBF.

Hannah Irons with My Lucky Charm claimed two championship titles scoring 61.579 percent in the FEI Test of Choice and she also won the Musical Freestyle Junior/Young Rider.

At the National Pony Cup Futurity and Sport Horse Breeding Division Championships, Matthew Millers’ filly, Ryann, claimed numerous awards this weekend.

“She’s been special right from the start,” said rider/handler Betty Bryant. “I was there when she was born and helped her stand up for the very first time. We thought she had promise, and I had heard a lot of great things about the Pony Cup so this year we wanted to come for the first time and see how she’d do. This is just her second show ever, and she’s been such a good girl despite being so young, so we’re very proud of her.”

Betty Bryant and filly, Ryann. Photo by Jennifer M. Keeler.

Ryann (Ridley x Proud Gina by Dexter S, bred by Chris Rush) won the NDPC Four-Year-Old Futurity after two rounds of Training Level tests. Ryann also claimed the NDPC Mare Championship, the NCPC Mature Pony Championship, the NDPC Grand Championship in-hand, Suitability awards and the Individual Breed Class (IBC).

“It’s very exciting to be a part of this,” Bryant said. “I read about the Young Pony Futurity on the NDPC website and we thought we’d give it a try. I love that it’s offered here and I think it’s a terrific concept for encouraging young ponies, and I especially appreciated the Born in the U.S.A. awards.”

Pictured: filly, Bryann. Photo by Jennifer M. Keeler.

Stellar TVR (Straden x Chione by Altess), Mary Procopio’s nine-year-old Haflinger stallion, dominated the NDPC Sport Horse Breeding division by winning the NDPC Stallion Championship and was also named the NDPC Reserve Grand Champion.

Fairy Gold (Clanfair Goldrush x Wicklyn Simply Irresistible by Glannant Scarab), a two-year-old AWR filly owned by Amy Burkemper won the NDPC Filly Championship and Young Horse Championship. Bluegrass Pharoah (Nistar Blazing Kansas x Tarry a Bit Poppy by Stonehedge Spectacular) a two-year-old colt, owned by Cynthia Bellis-Jones, claimed the NDPC Colt Championship.

In the Five-Year-Old division of the NDPC Young Horse Futurity, Dauntless Debonair (Dynamic x Posh Lottie DA by Gayfield’s Call the Cops) owned by Helen Frederick placed first in the division at First Level with rider Susan Shelton. The 2017 Reserve Champion of the Six-Year-Old division was Magnum (Makuba x Brittania by Brynarian Briton) owned by Klaus Biesenthal and ridden by Kathryn Barry.

Kathryn Barry riding Magnum. Photo by Jennifer M. Keeler.

The National Dressage Pony Cup promotes ponies in the sport of dressage in the United States. This year, the cup was expanded and included the Young Pony Futurity and a “pony-only” Dressage Sport Horse Breeding Division.

“Once again I’m delighted with the turnout this year, and am pleased that we can provide a place where breeders and their young ponies and breeding stock can shine,” remarked Jenny Carol, founder of the National Dressage Pony Cup. “I think it’s particularly notable that all three of our Futurity winners this year were bred in the United States, and I hope that’s a trend that continues.”

For more info on the Pony Cup, visit: http://www.dressageponycup.com/

For the full list of results visit: http://www.showsecretary.com/

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