Action in the Walnut Ring concluded Saturday at the 2019 USEF Pony Finals, presented by Collecting Gaits Farm, with Maddie Tosh and Dr. Betsee Parker’s Bit of Love adding to their trophy collection as they were honored as the Grand Regular Pony Hunter champions, the most coveted title of the weekly hunter competition. The award marks the second grand championship of the week for both Tosh and Dr. Parker following Friday’s Grand Green Pony Hunter title with Baroness of Locheil. With only one class left to conclude the Medium Regular Pony Hunters, the Kentucky Horse Park welcomed 154 entries for the final and largest division of the week. Maintaining their day one lead, Alexa Lignelli and EMC Entourage continued to rally over fences to clinch the division championship ahead of the massive field.
Maddie Tosh wins both the Grand Green Pony Hunter and the Grand Regular Pony Hunter champion titles. Photo by Phelps Sports
Demonstrating the highest level of skill and perfection across the three size-based Regular Pony Hunter divisions, 13-year-old Tosh and Bit of Love continued to accumulate special distinctions Sunday following the conclusion of the last Regular division. Boasting an impressive 1,063 points earned as the back-to-back champions of the Small Regular Pony Hunters earlier in the week, Tosh and Bit of Love accrued the most points of any of the three Regular divisions to be crowned the grand victors. Hailed as one of the winningest American ponies at 13 years old, Bit of Love capped his last USEF Pony Finals on a high note, as the flashy pony will soon enjoy his hard-earned retirement. Runner-up overall, Kat Fuqua and Prestige earned the Grand Reserve Green Pony Hunter recognition with 1,051.42 points.
In addition to Tosh’s division and grand victories with “Chester”, even more impressive is the fact that the young rider entered the horse park with the ride on two of Dr. Parker’s ponies – Bit of Love and Baroness of Locheil – and will be leaving with both grand championships tacked onto her name. With a composite score of 1,073.50, Tosh and “Baroness” topped the scorecard in the Medium Green Pony Hunters and earned the Grand Green Pony Hunter title on Friday.
“I believe this is a first,” commented Dr. Parker. “I don’t think any of the young riders that I have sponsored have ever simultaneously won grand championships. It’s always a thrill. It’s always a brand new set of circumstances and a new round. It’s just as thrilling as the first time. To do both is actually a humbling experience. I would rather people interpret it than I say very much about it because I think the rides spoke for themselves. I love to see the children go in, I really do. It means a lot to me to see the little ones coming along and doing it and getting excited. It’s fulfilling and gratifying to see others doing it. Hunt [Tosh] has done so much for me, and [Mandy Tosh] is the amazing glue that holds everything together as the mom. ”
The win with Bit Of Love was extremely special for Dr. Parker who stated that this would be his last trip to Pony Finals. “He is retiring at the end of this year so this was his last Pony Finals. He is the winningest small pony in American history. He doesn’t have anything more to prove. He is only 13 years old, so we are going to retire him while he is still nice and strong.”
With more than 150 pony-and-rider pairs tackling the track around the Walnut Ring, the Medium Regular Pony Hunters were in the limelight for the large part of the day, but ultimately it all came down to the final entry of the day, Lignelli and the Lignelli family’s EMC Entourage.
Alexa Lignelli and EMC Entourage. Photo by Phelps Sports
As the final duo to take to the ring, Lignelli and the 10-year-old gelding needed to surpass the earlier efforts of Parker Peacock and her own C.E. Remarkable, who successfully jumped up from fourth place to the top spot thanks to a stellar over fences round that earned them a total score of 1,030.01. Not content to settle for anything less than victory, Lignelli piloted EMC Entourage to a standout performance over the course that garnered scores of 85.25, 86.25 and 86.78, propelling them to a composite score of 1,048.80 and the tricolor ribbon in the Medium Regular Pony Hunters, the first victory for Lignelli after a series of top finishes just shy of the prestigious title.
Peacock and C.E. Remarkable nabbed the reserve honors, followed by JJ Torano and Fuqua’s Finesse RF in third place with 1,020.30 points. Winning the over fences class, Shiloh Roseboom and Enchantment Farms LLC’s Beach Boy moved up from 24th position after Friday’s first two phases to secure fourth place with 1,019.90 points, and Logan Butzer rounded out the top five aboard Woodland’s Tallulah, owned by Ponies & Palms Show Stables LLC, with a total tally of 1,009.28.
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / Score
Medium Regular Pony Hunters Overall
1. EMC Entourage / Alexa Lignelli / The Lignelli Family / 1048.89
2. C.E. Remarkable / Parker Peacock / Parker Peacock / 1030.01
3. Finesse RF / JJ Torano / Kat Fuqua / 1020.30
4. Beach Boy / Shiloh Roseboom / Enchantment Farms LLC / 1019.90
5. Woodland’s Tallulah / Logan Butzer / Ponies & Palms Show Stables LLC / 1009.28
6. Sugarbrook Adorabelle / Caroline Olsen / Jennifer Olsen / 1008.44
7. Blue Chip / Emilia Richard / Heritage Farm, Inc. / 1000.26
8. Tuxedo Park / Mckayla Brombach / Marci Mosconi / 985.62
9. Bada Bing Bada Blue / Ava Berman / Ava Picard / 981.51
10. Hopscotch / Riley Mckesson / Riley Mckesson / 980.68
Medium Regular Pony Hunters Over Fences
1. Beach Boy / Shiloh Roseboom / Enchantment Farms LLC / 260.41
2. Finesse RF / JJ Torano / Kat Fuqua / 260.03
3. EMC Entourage / Alexa Lignelli / The Lignelli Family / 258.28
4. C.E. Remarkable / Parker Peacock / Parker Peacock / 256.18
5. Jack In The Box / Kali Wright Ryan / Kali Wright Ryan / 253.57
6. Simply Untouchable / Cate Meyer / Jessie Spade / 252.67
7. Blue Chip / Emilia Richard / Heritage Farm, Inc. / 252.27
8. Woodland’s Tallulah / Logan Butzer / Ponies & Palms Show Stables LLC / 251.92
9. Sugarbrook Adorabelle / Caroline Olsen / Jennifer Olsen / 249.21
10. On Your Mark / Olivia Sweetnam / Sweet Oak Farm / 248.82