Hat Trick For Zone 10 at USEF Pony Jumper Team Championship

Lexington, Ky. – Aug. 9, 2019 – Down the road from the action in the Walnut Ring, the pony jumpers took center stage in the Alltech Arena to compete for the USEF Pony Jumper Team Championship title. Young athletes and their ponies returned for the second and final round of team competition, and in the end Zone 10, comprised of team members Hannah Attar, Devi Ferreira and Tabitha Okistsu, topped the podium to take home gold medal honors for the third year in a row.

The 2019 USEF Pony Jumper podium

The team competition, which operates under a modified Nation’s Cup format, saw six teams enter the ring to try and produce two fast and clear rounds for their respective teams. Scores were determined by adding the total faults incurred by the three best competitors of each team over the course of the two rounds of competition.

Zone 10 remained consistent throughout the two rounds of competition to help them seal their repeat championship win. New to the team this year, 14-year-old Ferreira helped put the team in a solid position for the podium, producing two clear and fast rounds with her mount, Silver Charm, owned by Ixchel Mosley. Ferreira and the 14-year-old Welsh Pony Cross have been partnered together for two years.

Devi Ferreira and Silver Charm

Team members Attar and Okistsu, both returning from the 2018 winning team, ride at the same barn in Los Angeles and felt prepared to conquer Jasen Shelley’s course comprised of 14 efforts. Okistsu, riding her own Spoot De La Jourlais in the anchor position, finished round one for the team with a clear effort. Ending the first round on just four cumulative faults, the team sat in second place overall. Heading into the second and final round, Attar and Camille O’Brien’s Joel entered the ring first for the Zone 10 team and finished on zero faults, putting the squad in a good position for the remaining two pairs, which only had one rail down between them. Ultimately, the team ended on a total of eight faults to secure the gold medal thanks to incurring the lowest number of faults over two rounds of jumping.

This year, the Zone 10 team elected to only have three team members as opposed to the standard four, meaning they would not get the opportunity to drop a score at the end of each round. With the pressure on each young athlete to produce clear rounds, the three competitors felt confident on their seasoned ponies, all of which have frequented USEF Pony Finals for many years with various riders on board.

Tabitha Okitsu and Spoot De La Jourlais

The silver medal was awarded to Zone 4, comprised of Hallie Rush and Sky Miles, Hannah Haines and A Lotta Moxie, Naomi Hartman and Quicksilver Happenstance, and Madison Kondracki and Magic Beans, after finishing on a total of 13 faults. Third place was awarded to Alexis Bauman and Miracles Happen, Trey Batts and Prince Oliver, Ela Acevado and Mr. Worldwide, and Ryder Richardson and RR Cool Play from the combined Zones of 3, 5, 7, and 8.

Saturday evening will showcase the final round of the individual portion of the Pony Jumper Championship at the 2019 USEF Pony Finals and the conclusion of pony jumper competition in the Alltech Arena.

FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE

Devi Ferreira – Member of winning USEF Pony Jumper Championship team

On Silver Charm:
“He is 14 years old and is a Connemara-Welsh Cross. He has come here with his previous owner before and won the team championship in 2016. He also had diabetes so he has to get medicine everyday but he responds to it really well. I’ve been riding him for two years. He thinks he is the best pony in the world and he loves all the attention on him. He does best when the stands are full because he wants to show off. He knows how to smile on command too. He is a dream to ride and he is just my dream pony. I got really lucky.”

On Saturday’s individual competition:
“I’m kind of worried that my pony is going to be tired but I still am going to try my hardest and I’m excited.”

Hannah Attar – Member of winning USEF Pony Jumper Championship team

Hannah Attair and Joel

On Joel:
“I’ve been riding my pony, Joel, since May and he is a German Riding Pony. He has done this a lot before. Today he felt great. He is such a nice horse and he saved me a couple of times. He is an amazing horse. Joel is so amazing and he will always do his best to make sure you are okay. It’s really great riding him and he’s the sweetest horse ever.”

On winning for the second year in a row:
“I was a little nervous going in [this year] because we didn’t have a fourth person so we all had to do really well. I knew [Tabitha] and her pony would do really great and my pony had been here before too so I knew he would do well. When I met Devi I knew that we had a pretty good shot.”

On Saturday’s individual competition:
“I’m a little nervous because my pony hasn’t jumped that height at a show in a very long time but he is awesome and really trust worthy so we will see.”

Tabitha Okitsu – Member of winning USEF Pony Jumper Championship team

On Spoot De La Jourlais:
“My pony is 13 and this is my third year here with him. I’m really excited to have won the team event again. Today he just wanted to run, he was so excited. He was great. I get a little nervous before I go in, but when I go in [the nerves] go away. Spoot is like an overgrown dog – he is just so full of love. He is a little bit bossy but he can get away with it. He loves to jump.”

On Saturday’s individual competition:
“I’m worried he is going to be tired but I know he will do his best and it’s going to be okay.”