Derby kicks off a plethora of pony time at Blenheim EquiSports! 

Gabrielle Sokolow and Benetton

San Juan Capistrano, CA – With a two-round total of 175, it was Gabrielle Sokolow aboard Pretty Penny Farm’s Benetton who topped the field in the USHJA Pony Hunter Derby. Notably, this is year two for Benetton taking the title in this event, Stella Wasserman was the pilot for last year’s victory.

Sokolow’s Handy Round earned her a high score of 88, for which she took home The Plaid Horse High Score Handy Award. She also picked up the Makoto Farms highest placing large pony award. Pretty Penny Farm won the Balmoral Winning Owner Award, and Liz Reilly won the Blue Ribbon Blankets Winning Trainer Award. Junior Castro was presented with the Makoto Farms Groom’s Award for Best Turned Out Pony for his work on Benetton.

For her overall win, Sokolow took home a pair of Roeckl Sports gloves, a Plaid Horse Stanley pony, an embroidered cooler, and an engraved pewter plate.

Gabrielle Sokolow and Benetton with Liz Reilly, Melissa Brandes, Alex Zulia & Cheryl Wheaton

Tessa Buchanan and Katalina Rickard’s Elite Hollywood Smoke picked up sixth place and were recognized as the Makoto Farms highest placing medium pony.

Tessa Buchanan and Elite Hollywood Smoke

Junior Castro earned the Winning Groom Award

Galloping Ponies Galore!  
It’s Pony Derby season at Blenheim, as next week’s June Classic 3 and the following week’s Red, White & Blue Classic, will feature two additional USHJA Pony Hunter Derbies, with the final one offering $5,000 in prize money, presented by Markel Insurance. At the conclusion of the final pony event during the Red, White & Blue Classic, Makoto Farms will present Circuit Awards to the highest placing small, medium, and large pony hunters, based on their performances throughout the three USHJA Pony Hunter Derbies this season. In addition, the West Coast Pony Hunter Challenge, presented by USHJA Zone 10, will present awards to Grand Champion Pony Hunters and Green Pony Hunters during June Classic 3.

And there’s more! On Wednesday afternoon, Carleton Brooks of Balmoral is offering a Pony Model Clinic, free to all ponies and their riders. The Emerson Burr Horsemanship Quiz and a post-quiz cupcake party will be Thursday afternoon. Saturday’s USHJA Pony Hunter Derby will be even sweeter with a ringside ice-cream social. Then during the Red, White & Blue Classic, a Derby donut party celebrating the 4th of July holiday will accompany the final USHJA Pony Hunter Derby, and wrap-up some summer pony fun. Good luck to all!

USHJA Pony Hunter Derby

Place – Horse – Rider – Owner – Rd 1 Score/Rd 2 Score/Overall Score
1. Benetton – Gabrielle Sokolow – Pretty Penny Farm – 87/88/175
2. Charlie’s Angel – Juliette Joseph – Juliette Joseph – 78/80/158
3. Whatdoyasay? – Sofia Langella – Bianca Jenkins – 76/75/151
4. For the Applause – Charley Stowell – Manal Barraca – 77/71/148
5. Almost Famous – Katherine Simonds – Rainie Rose – 75/72/147
6. Elite Hollywood Smoke – Tessa Buchanan – Katalina Rickard – 70/55/125
7. Rollingwood’s Walking Trail – Claire Mullally – Claire Mullally – 60/60/120
8. Small Business – Siri Batalden – Siri Batalden – 65/43/108


Photos by McCool Photography