Medals for the Medium Green and Large Green Pony Hunters and Jumping Pony Team shine on Day Four of the 2022 USEF Pony Finals Presented by Honor Hill Farms


JJ Torano and FPF favor
(Photograph Shawn McMillen)

Lexington, Kentucky. – A beautiful day was the backdrop for day four of the 2022 USEF Pony Finals presented by Honor Hill Farms. Friday brought the first Grand Champion title of the 2022 Pony Finals with JJ Torano and FRF Favor winning the Overall Grand Champion Green Pony Hunter title, while Alexa Elle Lignelli and Higher Love were the Overall Reserve Grand Green Pony Hunter. Champions were also crowned in the Medium Green and Large Green Pony Hunter National Championships, team medals were won in the USEF Pony Jumper Team National Championship, and the Medium Regular Pony Hunter National Championship completed its first two phases for one day. very busy.

JJ Torano and FPF Favor win the Medium Green Pony Hunter National Championship

JJ Torano (Wellington, Fla.) clinched his first Pony Finals title by winning National Medium Green Pony Hunter Championship honors with FPF Favor. He and Jet Show Stable’s 2015 Welsh Pony mare finished fifth in the Model stage with a score of 258.78 and second in the Under Saddle stage with a score of 265.87. The pair’s solid round won the Over Fences phase with a score of 253.78 and took the overall title with a final score of 1032.21.

JJ Torano and FPF Favor with their Grand Champion Green Pony Hunter awards
(Photograph Shawn McMillen)

“It means a lot, especially to this pony because she’s green and it’s only her fifth show of her life,” Torano said of his national championship title. “We just started showing it in June. I thought she was fine today. I wasn’t really expecting something so great, but it ended up being really, really good.

Torano had a busy week with entries in each of the pony hunter divisions as well as medal attendance on Sunday. After coming close to winning earlier in the week, Torano kept his composure and scored the tricolor ribbon.

“On [FPF Favor], I did not expect to reach this high. I just decided to take my lap and hope everything goes well,” Torano said of his round. “The other [ponies] I was kind of expecting that and I think I kind of bewitched myself because I was doing pretty well with all of them. But with her, I thought I was hoping for the best, and she did just fine.

At the end of Friday’s competition, Torano and FPF Favor’s overall score was the highest of the Green Hunter ponies to win the title of Overall Green Pony Hunter Grand Champion, receiving the perpetual trophy from Brownland Farm.

Watch the winning race.

Ranking

1. JJ Torano and FPF favor

2. Emi Richard and speaking conditions

3. Mimi Maddock and Super Sport

Results

Best Presented Model Pony

Hayden McDowell (Clemmons, NC) and Mystery Girl, his 2015 Quarter Horse mare

best pony

Zoie Davis (Micanopy, Florida) and Hidden Springs Star Attraction, her 2014 British Riding Pony gelding, groomed by Davis

Alexa Elle Lignelli and Higher Love Score Grand National Green Pony Hunter Championship

Alexa Elle Lignelli and Higher Love
(Photograph Shawn McMillen)

Alexa Elle Lignelli rode Higher Love to win the National Large Green Pony Hunter Championship with an overall score of 1027.72. Lignelli (New York, NY) and the Lignelli family’s 2014 Welsh Pony crossbred gelding started competition with a score of 247.84 in the model phase and a score of 260.80. The duo moved from fifth to first place overall by winning the Over Fences stage with a score of 259.54.

“I loved the course for him,” Lignelli said of the former European eventing pony who is in his fifth showing in the United States. “He goes very lope-y. Everything is based on rhythm with him. Once you set the pace, everything goes really well for him.

Lignelli noted that Pony Finals is a team effort saying, “It’s not just special to me. It’s special for all the team members who tried to prepare it. It’s not just what you show in the ring. It’s behind the scenes – getting ready before the model, getting up, working out, all the things that go into the long days here. I mean we show at 7:30. It’s a long day! All the team members, everyone contributed. It’s so special. It’s the final of the year and all the ponies come, and the best comes out and wins.

As the final split of the day, Lignelli and Higher Love didn’t have to wait long to find out they had won the Overall Reserve Grand Green Pony Hunter title.

Watch the winning race.

Ranking

1. Alexa Elle Lignelli and Higher Love

2. Trinity Hall and Twinkle Toes

3. Kaylee Garrido and Loafers Lodge take my lead

Results

Best Presented Model Pony

Finley Scheffel (Georgetown, Ky.) and Royal and Rare, Melissa Jo Hollingsworth’s 2015 Welsh Pony mare

best pony

Lilyana Spafford (Windermere, Florida) and Empire’s Power-Ful, her 2014 Welsh Pony gelding, with groom Marcos Sotello

Zone 3 Wins Gold at USEF Pony Jumper Team National Championship

USEF Pony Jumper Team National Championship Podium
(Photograph Shawn McMillen)

Five teams competed in the USEF Pony Jumper Team National Championship Friday afternoon at the rugged Jasen Shelley track. Zone 3 won the team gold medal with four fouls, while zone 10 won the team silver medal and zone 8 won the team bronze medal.

Savannah Smith (Harwood, Maryland) and Wishlea Star Dasher, Tamara Doloff’s 2005 Welsh pony, took the lead in Zone 3, racking up four faults in round one before going clear in round two. Katie Smith (Summerfield, NC) and Never a Gray Day, her 2009 Welsh Pony gelding, went next in team order and went double clear. Linen Owens (Marion, NC) and Kinka’s Girl, the 2005 New Forest Pony mare of Ponies Unlimited, LLC, had some trouble and served as the drop score in both rounds. Aundrea Hillyard (Marshall, Va.) and Magic Dragon, Hidden Ridge’s 2009 Belgian Sport Horse, anchored Zone 3 and cemented the team’s victory with a double clear round.

The team had talented ponies who taught riders how to handle the athletic abilities of their mounts. “He’s really really fast, but you also have to be very precise, so getting in the middle of that is quite difficult for him because it’s not an easy race,” Savannah Smith said. “Overall, I’m really happy with what he did.”

While Hillyard and Owens competed in the pony finals for the pony hunters, everyone on the team was doing the pony jumper division for the first time and enjoyed the experience.

“It’s been really fun. We’ve never met before,” Hillyard said of the team experience. “It’s a lot of motivation from the other girls because everyone wants to do well. They are all rooting for you.

Katie Smith agreed on the positive effects of being on a team saying: “It’s a lot more motivating to go there because you’re going into a run where the jumps are huge so having a bit of extra confidence is really good.”

Owens had a common sentiment shared by his teammates saying, “I’ll definitely be back next year for pony riders.”

Results by team

1. Area 3

2. Area 10

3. Area 8

Results

Heading into the individual final, Hillyard and Magic Dragon lead the individual standings with zero faults. The Individual Final will take place at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Individual rankings

JJ Torano and Paris Charm Lead Regular Medium National Pony Hunter Championship

JJ Torano and the charm of Paris
(Photograph Shawn McMillen)

JJ Torano and Paris Charm are at the top of the Medium Regular Pony Hunter National Championship standings. The 2008 Welsh Pony mare of Torano and Megan D’Amico put in strong performances in the first two phases of the competition, placing third in the Model and Under Saddle phases with scores of 257.28 and 265.79, respectively. The pair have a narrow lead in the field of 133 combinations heading into the finals.

The Medium Regular Pony Hunter National Championship will conclude on Saturday August 13 with the Over Fences phase.

Ranking

1. JJ Torano and Parisian charm

2. Grace Stenbeck-Werner and Cleverist

3. Alexa Elle Lignelli and EMC Entourage

Results

Special prices and activities

Learn about the many special awards and activities taking place throughout the week, including the $500 Emerson Burr Horsemanship Scholarship.

Nine people were shortlisted for the Betsy Fishback Sportsmanship Award today, winning a copy of the book Big wishes for a small achievement, by Cheryl Olsten. The following recipients are youths who have demonstrated the qualities of good sportsmanship while exhibiting at the USEF Pony Finals presented by Honor Hill Farms (in alphabetical order):

Katie Babun

Carlysle Drosos

Kaylee Garrido

Madison Grejaus

aubrey jones

Amelie Maraiste

Sophie Shanner

Adelaide Shenkir

Annabelle Waldron

How to watch

Live coverage of the 2022 USEF Pony Finals presented by Honor Hill Farms will continue on the USEF Network beginning at 9:00 a.m. ET (adjusted time) on Saturday, August 13, with the Over Fences phase for the Medium Regular Pony Hunter National Championship Presented by Pegasus Show Stable & San Marcos Training

See the full schedule.

For more information on the USEF Pony Finals presented by Honor Hill Farms, visit www.ponyfinals.org.

Follow us on Facebook (@USEquestrian, @USEFNetwork and @USEFPonyFinals), Instagram and Twitter (@USEquestrian and @USEFNetwork) for all the latest in-ring and behind-the-scenes news.

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