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Smiles All Around as 29 Championships are Awarded on Second Day of U.S. National Dressage Pony Cup at Lamplight

There’s nothing like the joy of galloping around an arena, your mount wrapped in colorful ribbons while a crowd of enthusiastic supporters cheer you on. For many competitors, sharing this joy of success was how they finished up the second day of competition at the 2018 National Dressage Pony Cup (NDPC) and Small Horse Championship Show, being held July 20-22, 2018 at Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, Ill. Below we’ll spotlight the new crop of champions for the Pony Divisions – stay tuned for our next release which will feature the winners of the inaugural Small Horse Championships.

Maddie Kanda and her Morgan/Holsteiner gelding B-Squared were one of many competitors celebrating their success on the second day of the 2018 National Dressage Pony Cup & Small Horse Championships.  Photo by Jennifer M. Keeler.



Starting off the day with juniors age 16 and under at Intro Level, Madeline Chappars of Xenia, Ohio won both first- and second-round tests with Kokovoko Sirocco to claim the overall divisional title with a combined average of 69.469%, while Shelby Swann of Bull Valley, Ill. and Phoenix Rising also swept the Young Rider 17-21 age group. Laura Miller of Crawfordsville, Ind. and her Haflinger mare Belle of the Ball could not be beaten as they easily claimed the adult amateur championship with 73.125%, while Debra M’Gonigle of Woodstock, Ill. and her Morgan stallion Montana Jubilee dominated the open division on their way to a combined two-day score of 73.157%.

For Training Level, another strong performance by Claire Ristow of Kiel, Wis. and Welsh cross gelding Harry Potter earned them top honors in the junior ranks with an average of 69.799%, while Michaela Holmes of Oconomonioc, Wis. and her Welsh cross mare Stonewall Georgia easily swept both tests in the Young Rider division with 69.869% overall. Competing against a large field of adult amateurs, today’s performance by first-day winners Kendra Pomeroy of Hot Springs, Ark. and Juliet was strong enough to secure the overall victory with 70.603%. In the open ranks, overnight placings changed dramatically after the second round of competition, with Katie Foster of Hazelhurst, Wis. and German Riding Pony gelding Golden Charmant (owned by Foster and Stonegate Equestrian) ultimately coming out on top with a winning overall average of 70.306%.

For juniors competing at First Level, Nicole Lang of Dousman, Wis. and the half-Arabian mare Ikia Q scored a come-from-behind win to claim the overall championship with a combined score of 61.572%. Conversely in the young rider ranks, Hayley Jonkman of Lafayette, Ind. and her Chincoteague pony mare Love Bug never left victory in doubt as they easily swept both rounds of competition for an average of 67.831%. Adult amateur Victoria Moricco will now return home to Howell, N.J. with First Level championship honors as she and her NASPR gelding Flash provided the most consistent performance over both days of competition to earn the division’s best combined score of 65.598%, while Victoria Retamoza of Goshen, Ky. and the Welsh cross mare Butterfly Encounter (owned by Sarah Kay Rodina-Levdahl) earned the blue ribbon in both day’s tests to become the only combination to earn an average score over 70% and thereby claim the open division title with 72.280%.

When the final calculations were made for Second Level, all top divisional placings remained unchanged from the first day of competition. Victoria Moricco and Flash proceeded to earn yet another Pony Cup championship, this time in the Second Level adult amateur division by sweeping both rounds on their way to an overall 70.887%, while Lauren Chumley of Pittstown, N.J.  and Liam Carter Rowe’s Welsh mare Sham’s Chinaberry also took care of business to win the tricolor sash in the open ranks with an average of 70.403%. Finally for juniors, Meredith Denton of Corydon, Ky. and Just G proved to be unbeatable all weekend with a combined score of 66.529%.

In the Third Level Open Championship, Julie Madriguera of Pilot Point, Texas and her Welsh Cob mare Madoc All Dun improved upon their first round score to win both the second day’s test and the overall title with a combined mark of 65.901%. But in the rest of the divisions, yesterday’s standings ultimately remained unchanged: for adult amateurs, Shannon Sullivan of Lebanon, Ohio and her Fjord gelding SNF Bridar prevailed with 63.398%, while Daphne Bigelow of Lemont, Ill. with Kiss Me Kate and Nicholas Beck of Chanhassen, Minn. aboard Gallod Welsh Thyme topped the Third Level young rider and junior divisions with 60.064% and 58.462%, respectively.

At Fourth Level, Wendy Garfinkel of Flemington, N.J. and Curious Christopher Robin once again impressed the judges as they cruised to victory in the open division with a combined score of 65.389%. Meanwhile, Alayna Borden of Lambertville, N.J. and Oldenburg mare Hakuna Matata claimed the young rider title with 64.389% while Ashtyn Brandt of Lemont, Ill. rode her Arabian mare Vikhtoria Bey to win junior division honors with 60.000%.

For FEI tests, Ella Fruchterman of West Lakeland, Minn. and her Arabian gelding Sofine Strait Man rebounded from a third-place finish on Friday to take the overall FEI Pony Test championship title with a combined score of 61.357%, while young rider Maddie Kanda of Woodbury, Minn. and her Morgan/Holsteiner gelding B-Squared swept both days’ Prix St. Georges tests to win her division with a 66.765% average score. 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%.

Freestyles are always a fan favorite, and musical competition at this year’s Pony Cup was no exception. For juniors, Ashtyn Brandt and Vikhtoria Bey earned their second championship title of the weekend, while Maddie Kanda and B-Squared also went two-for-two by topping the young rider ranks. The judges awarded the win in the adult amateur division to Katie Miller of Belvidere, N.C. with her Welsh gelding Wildwynn Wesley, while Lauren Chumley and Avatar’s Jazzman topped the open ranks with their Grand Prix Freestyle performance to earn their second straight championship of the weekend.