Ashley Lamers Comes from Behind to Take Small Regular Pony Hunter Championship

Ashley Lamers and In A Dream

Lexington, Ky. – Aug. 10, 2017 – More bows, braids and bow ties made their way into the Walnut Ring for the third and final phase of the Small Regular Pony Hunters, with Ashley Lamers and her own In A Dream proving that dreams do come true, jumping all the way from 17th position after a standout over fences trip to claim the championship title ahead of 117 other pony-rider combinations. The Medium Green and Large Green Pony Hunters each got underway Thursday, as well, with Augusta Iwasaki and Adam Edgar both modeling and riding new mounts to the highest marks of the day in their respective divisions.

Ashley Lamers and In A Dream

The Small Regular Pony Hunters presented a challenge to any duo hoping to claim the top prize due to the large size of the division, but Wisconsin-based Lamers and her mare “Shadow” were in a class all their own at the end of the day as the only pair to break the 1000-point benchmark, and concluded the class ahead by nearly 13 points. Entering the jumping portion in 17th position, the 9-year-old had ground to make up if she hoped to end the day with a new championship to her name, and she and In A Dream delivered, navigating a seemingly effortless round over Bobby Murphy’s track. The two garnered a score of 255.12, the second-highest of the class, from the judges, which propelled them to the coveted championship trophy ahead of their competitors.

Ashley Lamers and In A Dream

Ashley Lamers and In A Dream

Georgia Schmidt and Millpond Patchwork, owned by CMJ Sporthorse, LLC, clinched the reserve championship with a score of 994.90, with owner-rider Emma Hechtman and Sir Dragon only a few tenths of a point behind in third position overall. Juliette Propp, aboard Aquitaine Equine’s Benlea Mizzou, rode her way to fourth place, followed by Trinity Beitler and Land’s End Lady Slipper, owned by Joe Currais, in fifth place.

In the Medium Green Pony Hunters, Augusta Iwasaki and Foxmor Secret Powers, owned by Rendezvous Farm, stole the show to conclude the first day of division competition as the early leaders. Iwasaki, no stranger to the pony ring or the lead, and Foxmor Secret Powers earned a score of 263.96 and first position in the model, and the pair further extended their lead with second place in the hack to the tune of a 258.00 score, only one point behind the highest-scoring pair, Alexa Lignelli and her own iApprove. Iwasaki will return to the Walnut Ring for the over fences portion of competition as the last-to-go with a cumulative score of 521.96, more than 12 points ahead of the current runner-up, Libbie Gordon and Jessie Spade’s All Yours. Gordon is coming off a championship in the Large Regular Pony Hunters, and hopes to add another title to her collection.

Augusta Iwasaki and Foxmor Secret Powers

A field of nearly 100 ponies took to the ring for the model and hack portions of the Large Green Pony Hunters, with Adam Edgar and D’Artagnan, owned by Graciela Robert, rising to the top of the leaderboard after two strong showings. Edgar modeled D’Artagnan’s conformation to marks of 258.21 from the judges panel, good enough for fifth place, and the pair improved on their performance in the under saddle, riding to first place with a score of 268.17 for a total day-one score of 526.38, just a few points ahead of rider-owner Kat Fuqua and Chic In Time, who clinched the second-best position overall.

Adam Edgar and D’Artagnan

The 2017 USEF Pony Finals, presented by Collecting Gaits Farm, will continue through Sunday, Aug. 13. The nation’s best young pony riders will be tested in Small, Medium and Large classes of both Regular Hunter and Green Hunter divisions in the Walnut Ring, and the Alltech Arena will play host to Pony Jumper competition Thursday through Saturday. Sunday’s feature will be the Pony Medal Finals, one of the week’s highlight events.

FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE

Ashley Lamers – Champion of the Small Regular Pony Hunters

On her Pony Finals experience:
“Last year was my first year at Pony Finals. I was nervous today, so I took a lot of deep breaths to calm down. I kept her nice and slow and hit all the correct strides. I’m very excited to have won.”

On her training and keeping In A Dream at home:
“I train with Diane McClure, she is in Illinois. She comes to our barn [in Wisconsin] every Tuesday, and then we just ride on our own during the week. Sometimes I have to take care of the stalls and take care of the horses at home. We have six horses at home. Because we always are with them and we help take care of them we make a special bond.”

On In A Dream:
“I have been riding her a couple months. We are leasing her right now. She has a great personality. She is very sweet to you and she likes giving people kisses.”

Augusta Iwasaki – Leader of the Medium Green Pony Hunters

On Foxmor Secret Powers:
“This is my second time showing him. He is really sweet and so much fun to ride. I think that he really tries. He wants to do well for you, so he tries hard to be really good.”

On whether her past experience as a Pony Finals Champion keeps her calm this year:
“No, not really because it is a different time with a different animal. You know, it’s not the same as the past. The plan tomorrow is just to stay calm and do my best.”

Adam Edgar – Leader of the Large Green Pony Hunters

On his experience with D’Artagnan:
“I rode him for the first time during Country Heir back in June in Kentucky. I rode him and there was a possibility that I would be able to ride him at Pony Finals so I was super excited. He came to Bill [Schaub]’s the week before Pony Finals and Betsy Lewis came with him and she has been helping us. I showed him last week and he won every class the first day and was champion in the Large Greens. I’ve only gotten to show him once before this, but I hit it off on a good note and he’s super awesome to ride.”

On what makes D’Artagnan so special:
“I think he is just super beautiful, he is very classic-looking and he has an adorable face. I think he is probably one of the best movers I’ve ever seen. He has a really, really big stride so when you canter on the flat he likes you to just loop the reins and you can almost get a little bit of a hand gallop and his stride just gets bigger and he just floats. He is super fun to jump and whenever I walk in the ring on him I feel like I’m on a pretty pony.”

On his plan going into the jumping phase:
“I’m trying really not to think about it. I just want to go in and have a good, smooth round. I’m not going to overthink it or anything, I just want to stay really level-headed and I know he is green so I want to go in and have the best round that we can. I’m trying to take it one step at a time and just take it as it comes.”

RESULTS

Place / Rider / Horse / Owner / Score

Medium Green Pony Hunters Model
1. Augusta Iwasaki / Foxmor Secret Powers / Rendezvous Farm / 263.960
2. Avery Franke / Naughty Or Nice / Avery Franke / 258.420
3. Mackenzie Fitch / Paris Charm / Mackenzie Fitch / 255.800
4. Maddie Stiles / Perfect Game / Maddie Stiles / 254.110
5. Libbie Gordon / All Yours / Jessie Spade / 253.050
6. Justice Delhagen / Twitter Wh / Monarch Stables / 253.000
7. Mia Sassi / Farnley Corsair / Mia Sassi / 250.210
8. Aerin Genatt / Wildwynn Sinatra / Ashley Pardoe / 250.110
9. Claudia Courtney / Twilight Edition / Claudia Courtney / 250.060
10. Emma Jolly / Sunset’s Sparkle / Sunset Farm / 250.000

Medium Green Pony Hunters Under Saddle
1. Alexa Lignelli / iApprove / Alexa Lignelli / 259.000
2. Augusta Iwasaki / Foxmor Secret Powers / Rendezvous Farm / 258.000
3. Kayla Jacobs / Farnley Hi Tide / Kayla Jacobs / 257.500
4. Madeline Jordan / Shamrock / Madeline Jordan / 256.500
5. Josephine Rose / Best Summer / First Blue LLC / 256.000
6. Libbie Gordon / All Yours / Jessie Spade / 256.000
7. Anna Tootle / Whimsical / Megan Kraski / 255.500
8. Aerin Genatt / Wildwynn Sinatra / Ashley Pardoe / 255.000
9. Maddie Stiles / Perfect Game / Maddie Stiles / 254.500
10. Eliza Gallaher / Farnley Belisarius / Eliza Gallaher / 254.000

Large Green Pony Hunters Model
1. Megan Winborne / Madagascar / Jennifer Wheeler-Winborne / 261.150
2. Claire Campbell / Eastside / Maher Family LLC / 260.500
3. Augusta Iwasaki / Butterscotch / Quartet Farm LLC / 260.050
4. Alexa Aureliano / Front Row / CKE Horse Enterprises / 258.600
5. Adam Edgar / D’Artagnan / Graciela Robert / 258.210
6. Ava Peck / Persephone / Ava Peck / 256.300
7. Kat Fuqua / Chic In Time / Kat Fuqua / 255.660
8. Kierstin Antoniadis / Boca’s Pop Tart / Ponies & Palms Show Stables Llc / 254.000
9. Gabrielle Sokolow / Everafter / Gabrielle Sokolow / 253.750
10. Sarah Semko / Cosette / Helen Lohr / 253.610

Large Green Pony Hunters Under Saddle
1. Adam Edgar / D’Artagnan / Graciela Robert / 268.170
2. Kat Fuqua / Chic In Time / Kat Fuqua / 266.790
3. Sadie Rutkowski / Mapleside Voila / Salmon Creek Equine Llc / 262.710
4. Julia Zug / Eclipse / Julia Zug / 261.310
5. Gabrielle Sokolow / Everafter / Gabrielle Sokolow / 261.220
6. Ava Peck / Persephone / Ava Peck / 258.010
7. Soffia Cady / Royal Classic / Soffia Cady / 257.690
8. Robert Elwell / Emerald City / Robert Elwell / 256.970
9. Lauren Rock / Marley Grange Merlins Magic / Lauren Rock / 256.800
10. Libbie Gordon / Small Wonder / Elsa Batalden / 256.140

Small Regular Pony Hunters Over Fences
1. Daphne Rowse / Macho Man / Daphne Rowse / 256.000
2. Ashley Lamers / In A Dream / Ashley Lamers / 255.120
3. Lauren Gee / Clovercroft Show Me The Bunny / Ashland Farms / 255.000
4. Juliette Propp / Benlea Mizzou / Aquitaine Equine / 254.850
5. Georgia Schmidt / Millpond Patchwork / CMJ Sporthorse, LLC / 254.000
6. Skye Kania / Copperfield / Skye Kania / 252.500
7. Sydney Lin / Blue Monday / LCL Equine Investments, Ltd. / 249.000
8. Emma Hechtman / Sir Dragon / Emma Hechtman / 248.700
9. Ava Berman / Silver Wishes / Maher Family LLC / 248.500
10. Coco Farish / Rolling Stone / Further Lane Farm / 245.200

For more information on the 2017 USEF Pony Finals, please click here