Articles: Press Release
Schaefer wins 2006 USEF Pony Medal Final presented by Far Niente
Stables, First-Timers Zone 10 Win
2006 USEF Adequan/USEF National Pony Jumper Team Championship
United States Equestrian Federation, Inc.
4047 Iron Works Parkway
Lexington, KY 40511-8483
Tel: (859) 258-2472
Fax (859) 231-6662
Web site: www.usef.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 11, 2006
Lexington, KY – On day
three of the 2006 USEF Pony Final National Championships, Samantha
Schaefer and Zone 10 walked away with the top prizes. The
13-year-old Schaefer, of Westminster, MD, rode her seven-year-old German
Riding Pony gelding, Rockport, to their first Pony Finals win.
This was their first time riding indoors, after the competition had to
be moved inside today due to the torrential rainstorms the Lexington
area saw last night.
Schaefer, along with 201 other
riders, rode a tough initial course that Schaefer said was not easy, but
not impossible. “I got a good draw and got to watch a lot of
people go,” Schaefer said. “The hardest thing to work
on was my position because I like to gallop and my legs slide
back. He’s got a good canter; he does perfect lead changes
so I never have to worry about that.”
Twenty-five riders were called back
to ride another challenging course. Of those called back were
eight large ponies, 12 medium ponies and five small ponies. The
judges narrowed it down to two riders and asked them to enter the ring
with no stirrups and ride a sitting trot, canter and rising
Schaefer had two reserves, in large
and small ponies, in yesterday’s 2006 Wild Horsefeathers/USEF
National Green Hunter Pony Championship. Along with the title,
blue ribbon and gold medal, Schaefer took home a tack trunk, dress sheet
from Royal Rider and silver tray to represent the Easter Sunday Memorial
Trophy that will have Schaefer’s name engraved on it and be housed
at the USEF headquarters. She is a Pony Finals veteran, having
been seven times. Tomorrow she will compete in the medium regular
Reserve champion went to
13-year-old Olivia Jack of Fairfield, CT, riding the 11-year-old blue
roan gelding, Junior Mint, owned by Kate Salzman.
Tonight’s winners in the 2006
Adequan/USEF National Pony Team Jumper were Zone 10 (comprised of the
states of California and Nevada). Tonight’s competitors were
not only competing as a team, but also performing phase II of the
Zone 10 was the “Cinderella
story” of the night. Not only has Zone 10 never been
represented in this Pony Finals class, they were also one rider short of
the four-field rider teams entered in the competition, and their horses
had the farthest combined distance to travel. This meant they did
not have a fourth rider’s low score to throw out. In
addition, these three girls were all first-timers to Pony Finals and
more than had the cards stacked against them. However, they
managed to ride three double-clean rounds, wowing the crowd, along with
the other nine teams.
The judges asked five teams to
return to ride a second round. Those teams included zones three,
four, five, eight and 10. Tonight’s winning team was made up
of 13-year-old Jocelyn Neff of Newport Beach, CA, riding Cinnamon Twist,
her 13-year-old Welsh cross mare; 16-year-old MacKenzie Rosman of
Saugus, CA, riding Mentos Junior, her 14-year-old Warmblood pony
gelding; 13-year-old Madeline Burkhartsmeier of Camarillo, CA, riding
Hocus Pocus, her 13-year-old Arabian/Appaloosa pony mare.
All three girls said they had faith
in their ponies, knew that they were fast and didn’t want to let
them down. The girls all credit their ponies for getting them here
and for the night’s win. They said their mounts would jump
skyscrapers for them if they rode them well.
“I thought it was more fun
because we got to rely on each other and got to share the glory,”
said Neff. “There was the anxiety of watching everybody go
and we were just hoping we didn’t let each other down,” said
Burkhartsmeier. All agreed that being the last to go was probably
the toughest spot to have on the team, and Burkhartsmeier showed
everyone how it should be done.
Reserve champions were Zone Three
(comprised of the states of West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, North
Carolina and Virginia) with a total of four points. Zone Three is
made up of 11-year-old Sara Ketcham, of Columbus, NC, riding the
11-year-old Anglo-Arabian mare Rosebelle, owned by Ann Hanna;
16-year-old Eileen Buckingham of La Plata, MD, riding her 13-year-old
Welsh/Thoroughbred mare, Hot Gossip; 14-year-old Kylie Wright from
Sparks, MD, riding Mystic Rainbow, a 16-year-old Welsh/Thoroughbred
gelding, owned by Whitney Snyder; and 12-year-old Belinda Paget-Brown
from Charlottesville, VA, riding Stizzy, a 12-year-old Welsh/Arabian
gelding, owned by Paget-Brown and Shadowfox Farm, Inc. Paget-Brown
had two refusals at the same fence and was eliminated. Her score
When the winners were asked what
the difference was between equitation and jumpers, they were in
agreement that jumping was a little more exciting and equitation was a
bit more work.
“Equitation is obviously a
bit more formal, but you still have to ride,” said Neff.
“You can’t just sit on top of your horse and be
pretty. I’ve found it a really good foundation for
jumping, a lot better than hunters because they also have the bending
lines and roll-backs and bendings into two strides and they make things
challenging by shortening the stride or making them long, so you have to
adjust. I think it’s a very good foundation. People
think it’s really easy and it’s not. You have to work
really hard at it to make it look pretty, and in jumpers you don’t
have to do that.
Their plan for tomorrow
night’s pony jumper individual championship— “same
ride,” said Rosman.
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National Governing Body (NGB) of Equestrian Sport, the United States
Equestrian Federation®, Inc. (USEF) is the regulatory body for 28
breeds and disciplines, including our country’s international
teams competing in the disciplines of dressage, driving, endurance,
eventing, para-equestrian, reining, show jumping and vaulting. With over
87,000 members, it is the country’s largest multi-breed
organization and annually license more than 2,800 competitions
nationwide. The USEF governs all aspects of competition, including
education and licensing of all judges, stewards, and technical delegates
who officiate shows.
Statement:The vision of United States Equestrian Federation® is to
provide leadership for equestrian sport in the United States of America,
promoting the pursuit of excellence from the grassroots to the Olympic
Games, based on a foundation of fair, safe competition and the welfare
of its horses, and embracing this vision, to be the best national
equestrian federation in the world.