USEF Pony Finals Begin Today in Kentucky

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The Kentucky Horse Park will host the 2009 USEF Pony FinalsYoung hunter/jumper riders from around the country will compete for top honors this week at for the United States Equestrian Federation Pony Finals at the Kentucky Horse Park.

In order to qualify for the Finals, ponies must have won a championship or reserve at a USEF AA-rated show, or a championship at an A-rated show. Equitation riders qualify for the Pony Medal by either winning a qualifying medal class or earning enough points in medal class competitions.

In the jumper divisions, riders will compete as individuals and in team competition. Teams consist of four riders with the top three scores on each team used to determine the team’s final score. The top six teams will come back for a second round to determine the winners.

Though all types of ponies meeting the height requirements and registered with the USEF are eligible to qualify for the finals, riders on Welsh Ponies can compete for additional awards. The Welsh Pony and Cob Society of America sponsors awards for the high scoring purebred Welsh, half-Welsh, and purebred or half-Welsh green pony.

Additionally, riders on ponies of at least 50% Arabian breeding are eligible for one of two $250 prizes. The prizes, donated by Willis and Karen Foley of Solar Hill Sport Horses, will be awarded to the high scoring Arabian-bred ponies in the hunter and jumper division.

Pony Finals competitors are invited to participate in the Emerson Burr Horsemanship Test. Any interested rider may take the first test, a written horsemanship exam. The participants with the top four scores in their respective age groups will be invited back to take a hands-on, practical exam. The final winners from each of the four age groups will receive monetary prizes to be used toward educational or equestrian expenses.

For those exhibitors in search of a new mount, Professional Auction Services will be running a hunter pony sale at the Horse Park during the Finals.

Read about the search for this year’s Pony Finals Official Artist.

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