LEXINGTON, Ky. — Caroline Passarelli (High Falls, N.Y.) closed out her nine-year Pony Finals career on a high note by claiming the Small Green Hunter Pony National Championship with So Charming. She and Jessica Zandri’s seven-year-old Welsh Pony cross gelding tallied a total score of 1007.00 to clinch the title.
“I think the nerves have kind of left,” said Passarelli of going into the ring for her final round. “Nine years on that ramp I kind of have been able to just realize that it is any other round; it’s a big deal, but, at the end of the day, it’s one round at one show and you have to ride what you have that day. Honestly, the whole week I knew that pony was going to be perfect; he really doesn’t put a foot wrong. I knew just to keep everything calm and relaxed and smooth, and he was amazing.”
Passarelli and So Charming had a combined Model and Under Saddle score of 494.54 after day one, and rose from seventh place in the standings thanks to their jumping round. The judges awarded the pair an Over Fences score of 512.46.
Annabelle Brown (Oxford, Pa.) and Sunshine Kid, Alina Glover’s nine-year-old Welsh Pony gelding, won the Best Presented Model Pony Award presented by Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation for the Small Green Hunter section.
Five individuals were selected on Aug. 8 for the Betsy Fishback Sportsmanship Award, winning an award provided by Bluegrass Belts. Among the youth who have demonstrated the qualities of good sportsmanship while exhibiting at USEF Pony Finals presented by Collecting Gaits Farm is Emma Hakim, of North Salem, N.Y.
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