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Augusta Iwasaki and Small Soldier March to a Win in the USHJA Pony Hunter Derby
San Juan Capistrano, CA - Augusta Iwasaki emerged victorious on Iwasaki & Reilly's Small Soldier in the first USHJA Pony Hunter Derby (pictured right), presented by Makoto Farm, this season. Sweeping both rounds with a pair of 85s, she and the large pony took home both the overall blue ribbon and The Plaid Horse Highest Scoring Handy Hunter Rider Award.

New this year, the nationwide USHJA Pony Hunter Derby program offers pony riders on ponies of all sizes the chance to compete in prestigious, derby-style classes.

Unique to the four derbies offered by Blenheim EquiSports, more participants than just the winning rider have the chance to earn recognition. The Balmoral Winning Owner Award went to Iwasaki & Reilly. Liz Reilly received the Blue Ribbon Blankets Winning Trainer Award, and Gio Martinez, who groomed Ava Peck's Persephone for Makoto Farm, was presented the EquiFit Groom's Award for Best Turned Out Pony.

Shiloh Roseboom picked up second place overall with Heavenly Patch of Blue. With their two-round total of 162, they were the highest scoring small pony entry. The highest scoring medium pony was Elite Hollywood Smoke, ridden by Katalina Rickard. The pair earned fourth place overall with a two-round total of 154.


Ava Peck's Persephone and Gio Martinez won the EquiFit Groom's Award for Best Turned Out Pony

Iwasaki has been riding her eight-year-old mount Small Soldier, known as "Capers" around the barn, for four years. She reported that he likes people but not other horses. Iwasaki also described that a component of her mental strategy to riding and competing is having fun.

"If you are having fun, you will do well," she said.

The second of Blenheim EquiSports's new USHJA Pony Hunter Derbies will be held during the Blenheim June Classic II. Riders can look forward to the chance to earn national high-point recognition and special local awards upon the conclusion of the derby series.


Augusta Iwasaki and Small Soldier with Liz Reilly and Melissa Brandes


RESULTS
USHJA Pony Hunter Derby presented by Makoto Farm

Place - Entry Number - Horse - Rider - Owner - Overall Score
1. 380 - Small Soldier - Augusta Iwasaki - Iwasaki & Reilly - 170
2. 477 - Heavenly Patch of Blue - Shiloh Roseboom - Enchantment Farm, LLC - 162
3. 383 - Goodness Gracious - Augusta Iwasaki - Augusta Iwasaki - 155
4. 321 - Elite Hollywood Smoke - Katalina Rickard - Micaela Kennedy - 154
5. 320 - Baby Blue - Katalina Rickard - Micaela Kennedy - 151
6. 471 - Truly Noble - Shiloh Roseboom - Pegasus Show Stable, Inc - 136
7. 326 - Darling Clementine - Tessa Buchanan - Ally Dickson - 134
8. 476 - Buzzworthy - Shiloh Roseboom - Enchantment Farm, LLC - 122
9. 718 - Persephone - Ava Peck - Ava Peck - 109
10. 111 - Clover - Zoe Dupzyk - Zoe Dupzyk - 103
11. 377 - Butterscotch - Augusta Iwasaki - Quartet Farm - 40
12. 539 - Sir Lukas - Evelyn Walker - Evelyn Walker - 0

Photos by McCool

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