Kat Fuqua of Atlanta, GA, rode her own Brighton to the Rosenbaum PLLC Large Pony Hunter division championship title on Sunday to close out WEF Week 11. The 11-year-old rider and Brighton, a 10-year-old German Riding Pony gelding, topped the 20 entries in the division, sponsored by Rosenbaum PLLC, to win the Large Pony Hunter Under Saddle, one Large Pony Hunter over fences class, and the Large Pony Hunter Handy class. The duo also claimed second in the Large Pony Hunter Conformation for a total of 36 points in the division.
Kat Fuqua and Brighton. Photo © Sportfot
“He was really good,” said Fuqua of the gelding that she notably also rode to the Large Regular Pony Hunter Championship at the 2018 US Equestrian Pony Finals after sweeping all three phases of the national championship event. “On both of my ponies at the same jump, I went for the forward distance, and it wasn’t there. The ponies were right; I was wrong. I’m really happy with them.
“I got [Brighton] right after Devon [in May 2018],” said Fuqua, who is currently in fifth grade. “It didn’t take that long for me to adjust to him; we just kind of clicked. Like at Pony Finals, I’d only had him a month. He’s been really good in our training program and has adjusted amazingly.”
Just as it did not take long for Fuqua to mesh with Brighton, the pair are now also quickly acclimating well to new training.
“I just started training with Jimmy [Torano] two weeks ago; it’s been really good,” said Fuqua, who makes the trip back and forth from Atlanta, GA, to Wellington, FL, to train and compete at WEF most weekends throughout the winter circuit. Fuqua can also be found back in the barn with Brighton, who she describes as being a mix of sweet and sassy – but primarily sweet.
Kat Fuqua and Brighton in their winning presentation. Photo © Sportfot
“When he wants food, he’ll try to push you over, but most of the time, he’s really sweet!” conclude Fuqua.
Finishing closest behind Fuqua and Brighton for the reserve championship honor were Kierstin Antoniadis and Casino de Luxe, owned by Sterling Malnik, with a 22.5 point total.