WAYNE, Ill. — New Jersey riders and their horses made the trek to Illinois for the 2018 National Dressage Pony Cup (NDPC) and Small Horse Championship Show, held July 20-22.
A perennial winner at the Pony Cup, Lauren Chumley of Pittstown, N.J. added yet more wins to her resume. On day one, she rode Liam Carter Rowe’s Welsh mare Sham’s Chinaberry to top the Second Level Open division with 71.538%. Chumley and Sham’s Chinaberry then took care of business in the next round to win the tricolor sash in the open ranks with an average of 70.403%.
In the new small horse division, Chumley aboard Melissa Dowling’s German Riding Pony Nikolas went straight to the top of the leaderboard on day two to also claim the overall fourth level open division title with 66.722%.
After attending the Pony Cup for many years, Lauren Chumley of Pittstown, N.J. and Melissa Dowling’s Morgan gelding Avatar’s Jazzman have earned more Pony Cup titles than one can hardly count, and once again the pair trotted their way to the winner’s circle in the FEI open division with a top overall two-day average of 64.402%.
Chumley and Avatar’s Jazzman topped the open freestyle ranks with their Grand Prix Freestyle performance to earn their second straight championship of the weekend.
On the first day: Victoria Moricco of Howell, N.J. and her NASPR gelding Flash were the only combination to break the 70% barrier in claiming the win in the Second Level Adult Amateur division with 73.846%. The pair earned the championship in that division with an overall 70.887%.
Moricco also went home with First Level championship honors as she and Flash provided the most consistent performance over both days of competition to earn the division’s best combined score of 65.598%.
At Fourth Level, young rider Alayna Borden of Lambertville, N.J. had “no worries” as she rode the Oldenburg mare Hakuna Matata to victory in her division with 63.889%. Borden went on to claim the young rider title with 64.389%.
Wendy Garfinkel of Flemington, N.J. and her pony, Curious Christopher Robin took a solid first-round lead in the Open Fourth Level division with a score of 66.111%. On day two, they once again impressed the judges as they cruised to victory in the open division with a combined score of 65.389%.
Small Horse Divisions
In the months leading up to this year’s National Dressage Pony Cup (NDPC) Championship Show, competitors across the country have been buzzing about the all-new NDPC Small Horse Championships. And it wasn’t just idle chatter: NDPC founder Jenny Carol’s innovative concept to recognize the achievements not only of ponies but also of horses under 16 hands was rewarded with almost 150 Small Horse division entries.
In the first round of the open ranks, Jessie Hayes of New Jersey rode Lauren Chumley’s Hanoverian mare Rivendell to top the leaderboard with 68.462%. The pair was even better in round two earning the overall victory with 69.680%.
For adult amateurs, Catherine Varettoni of New Milford, N.J. and her German Riding Pony gelding Riesling left no doubt as to who would be crowned as champions, sweeping both rounds to win with a combined score of 68.034% in training level. Varettoni and Riesling secured their second straight championship title of the show topping the Adult Amateur First Level division. She was also high point adult amatuer.
Competition in the six-year-old Futurity division came right down to the wire with top placings separated by only two-tenths of a point after two rounds of competition. Ultimately emerging as the victor with an overall average of 66.575% at Second Level was Katie O’Brien’s New Forest Pony gelding Wrolex (Wasabi x Hoppenhof’s Silvia by Nieuwmoeds Patrick, bred in Pennsylvania by Lesley Feakins) ridden by Karri McFadden.
Reflecting on her experience as one of the judges officiating for this year’s Pony Cup, Ida Noriss (USEF “S” judge) was excited about what she saw at Lamplight. “What a great group of competitors we had this weekend,” she said. “It was interesting and unusual to see so many different breeds all together in one place, with classes full of talented, athletic ponies from all over the country going head-to-head. Not only that, there seemed to truly be an electric excitement on the grounds and in the arenas; but it was also heartwarming to see the competitors having so much fun, forming new friendships, and cheering each other on. I was just thrilled to be involved with it.”
To find out more information about the National Dressage Pony Cup programs and see a complete list of division and breed champions from this year’s competition, visit the NDPC website at www.dressageponycup.com.
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