California Riding Magazine • September, 2014

Winner's Circle

Lauren and Lovey

After finishing her season in Crossrails and Short Stirrup last November, Lauren Flather set a lofty goal of attending Pony Finals in Kentucky. In February, she headed to Thermal on her recently purchased small pony hunter Luvin' It. By her second week there, she was earning top ribbons among stiff competition and finishing as reserve champion.

The pressure to qualify was off and she began focusing on planning and preparing for the long journey east. After attending a few more practice shows, Lovey and Lauren arrived in Kentucky ready to compete. One thing to know about Lovey is that he loves to perform and show off for the judges. And he did just that at the Pony Finals.

The first day of competition included the model and an under saddle class. He sparkled in the model, winning his section and placing eighth overall out of 103 small ponies. He had respectable scores in the under saddle, but finished out of the ribbons. Lauren entered the second day in 41st place. She knew she was the underdog and had to put in the ride of her life to win another ribbon. Hunters over fences was the last phase, her favorite and best event. Lauren and Lovey stepped into the arena confident, calm and focused. They proceeded to nail the course and catch the attention of everyone around them, and earned three scores in the 80s. Remarkable! There were still 40 more ponies left to jump, so they waited to see if their scores would hold up. The suspense was agonizing! Finally as the last horse stepped out of the arena, the celebration could begin. Lauren and Luvin' It earned the third best score over fences and the eighth best score overall!

Submitted by Kim Cullip, assistant trainer for Wanda Weldy at the Rancho Riding Club. 

Pony Clubbers from Tahquitz Pony Club Riding Center in Coachella, representing USPC Camino Real Region were the 2014 National Pony Club Champions at the Kentucky Horse Park in July. L-R Congratulations Eva Williams, Stephanie Sage, Megan Bliss, Kit Cunningham, Mya Chamberlain