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Evelyn Walker and Captain Crunch are Grand Green Champions in West Coast Pony Challenge, Presented by USHJA Zone 10; Sienna Gustafson and Imagine That Top the Field in USHJA Pony Hunter Derby; A Pony Power Wrap Up

Evelyn Walker and Captain Crunch

San Juan Capistrano, CA - Green Ponies of all sizes took to the grass over the weekend to compete in the West Coast Pony Challenge, presented by USHJA Zone 10, and it was Evelyn Walker who emerged as the overall victor with Captain Crunch. Walker and her small pony accumulated a total of 35 points over the two days of competition, winning three out of five classes in their division. They championed the combined Small/Medium Green Pony Hunter section in addition to earning the Overall Grand Green Championship.


Michael Savage, Evelyn Walker and Captain Crunch

"He's green, but loves his job!" Walker said of her loveable pony partner of a year and a half. "He is the kind of pony that people dream about and I'm so grateful to get to do this with him. It's been so much fun shaping him into a pony hunter with my trainer, Michael Savage. He has come such a long way."

Augusta Iwasaki piloted Ava Peck's Persephone to the Overall Reserve Grand Green Championship, finishing with a total of 31 points accumulated in the Large Green Pony Hunter division. They championed the division as well. Iwasaki also rode Quartet Farm, LLC's Butterscotch in the Large Green Pony Hunters and picked up the division reserve championship with 25 points.


Ava Peck, Augusta Iwasaki and Persephone

Charley Stowell accrued 23 points with her medium pony Colonel Sanders to earn the reserve champion title in the Small/Medium Green Pony Hunter section. This duo also won the West Coast Pony Challenge Green Pony Classic with scores of 85 and 84.

Sienna Gustafson and Imagine That Top the Field in USHJA Pony Hunter Derby
Sienna Gustafson rode her large chestnut pony Imagine That to victory in the USHJA Pony Hunter Derby at the Blenheim June Classic III, leading a field of twenty-nine entries with a two-round total of 165.5.


Sienna Gustafson and Imagine That with Chelsea James, Heatherly Davis,
Melissa Brandes and Nick Byassee

Gustafson, Imagine That, and their team had a standout day &emdash; she received a Blenheim EquiSports embroidered cooler, an engraved pewter plate, and a pair of Roeckl Sports gloves for her win. Imagine That was awarded an additional blue ribbon as the highest placing large pony. Heatherly Davis won the Blue Ribbon Blankets Winning Trainer Award and Herman Tiul received the EquiFit Groom's Award for Best Turned Out Pony for his work with the chestnut. Gustafson walked away with the Balmoral Winning Owner Award.

Just seven years old, Imagine That has been paired with Gustafson since January 2016. Since then they've come a long way and have plans to venture east to Pony Finals next year. This USHJA Pony Hunter Derby was their first. "It was a great experience and I was really proud of him," Gustafson said.


Gabrielle Sokolow and Kingston with Liz Reilly and "Stanley"

Just one small pony made the top twelve to advance to the Handy Round, and it was Buzzworthy, owned by Enchantment Farm, LLC and ridden by Shiloh Roseboom. Roseboom and Buzzworthy's two round total of 154 landed them fourth place overall, but they were recognized as the highest placing small pony entry. Augusta Iwasaki and Isabella Griffin's Happily Ever After picked up third place overall and stood out as the highest placing medium pony entry. Gabrielle Sokolow piloted Ava Peck's Kingston to a score of 85 in the Handy to secure The Plaid Horse Winning Handy Round Award and her own 'Stanley' stuffed pony. Sokolow and Kingston finished second overall, just half a point behind Gustafson and Imagine That.


Shiloh Roseboom, Hannah Rohrbach and Sadie Anderson

Pony Power Wrapping Up
The pony competition kept the Pacific Field busy with a variety of classes showcasing ponies of all colors and sizes. Along with competition and comraderies, The Emerson Burr Horsemanship Quiz, the West Coast Pony Challenge and the USHJA Pony Hunter Derby offered sweet opportunities like cupcakes and an ice cream social. "It's fun getting to hang out with your competitors," Week Two USHJA Pony Derby Champion Stella Wasserman said. "It's a good way to meet new people and get to know them."

Riders in the West Coast Pony Hunter Challenge, presented by USHJA Zone 10, showcased their ponies in a beautiful grass field. "It's so much fun that we get to be on the grass," Overall Grand Pony Hunter Champion Shiloh Roseboom exclaimed, explaining how she looks forward to the Challenge every year.


Shiloh Roseboom and Heavenly Patch of Blue


Successful pony rider Katalina Rickard noted the value of the special week for riders with national goals: "I like it a lot because it's a different experience since ponies almost never go on the grass. It also gives us an idea of what Pony Finals will be like," she explained. And then said with a smile, "The ponies show all week, so it's fun, but it's also really tiring!"

The final show of the four week series is the Blenheim Red, White & Blue Classic, where more classes, awards and fun awaits. The $5,000 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby presented by Markel Insurance will be held early Saturday morning, accompanied by a donut party. Upon its conclusion, special circuit awards sponsored by Makoto Farm will be awarded to leading pony riders.


RESULTS
West Coast Pony Challenge, Green Ponies, presented by USHJA Zone 10 -

Place - Entry Number - Horse - Rider - Owner - Overall Score

Overall Grand Champion - 777 - Captain Crunch - Evelyn Walker - Evelyn Walker - 35
Overall Grand Reserve Champion - 243 - Persephone - Augusta Iwasaki - Ava Peck - 31

Small/Medium Green Pony Hunter
Champion
- 777 - Captain Crunch - Evelyn Walker - Evelyn Walker - 35
Reserve - 401 - Colonel Sanders - Charley Stowell - Charley Stowell - 23

Large Green Pony Hunter
Champion
- 243 - Persephone - Augusta Iwasaki - Ava Peck - 31
Reserve - 240 - Butterscotch - Augusta Iwasaki - Quartet Farm, LLC - 25

USHJA Pony Hunter Derby
Place - Entry Number - Horse - Rider - Owner - Overall Score
1. 171 - Imagine That - Sienna Gustafson - Sienna Gustafson - 85/80.5/165.5
2. 242 - Kingston - Gabrielle Sokolow - Ava Peck - 80/85/165
3. 589 - Happily Ever After - Augusta Iwasaki - Isabella Griffin - 77/81/158
4. 537 - Buzzworthy - Shiloh Roseboom - Enchantment Farm, LLC - 74/80/154
5. 224 - Candy Crush - Alexa Leong - Alexa Leong - 83/68/151
6. 532 - Always Happy - Shiloh Roseboom - Strasburg Morin, Inc. - 78/72/150
7. 539 - Truly Noble - Shiloh Roseboom - Pegasus Show Stable, Inc. - 71/73/144
8. 728 - Carmello - Rose Kauffman-Skloff - Rose Kauffman-Skloff - 72/70/142
9. 410 - Elite Hollywood Smoke - Katalina Rickard - Micaela Kennedy - 75/65/140
10. 588 - Vermont Golden Graham - Augusta Iwasaki - Dr. Piper Klemm - 82.5/55/137.5
11. 715 - Benetton - Stella Wasserman - Stella Wasserman - 82/48/130
12. 172 - Kapalua - Madison Sanders - Karen Perlow - 73/50/123


Photos by McCool










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