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Ponies at the Preview

Burbank, CA. There will be ponies everywhere at the National Preview at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center (Nov. 5-9). The show will host the West Coast Pony Finals, the Emerson Burr Horsemanship Awards Program, and the LAHJA Pony Medal Finals.

Both rounds of the West Coast Pony Finals for hunters will take place on Sunday, and in addition to champion and reserve coolers, each section will also compete for $1,000 of prize money. Twin sisters Erica and Stephanie Engle will be vying for those prizes as they swept the pony competition at the Woodside Labor Day Classic. Stephanie rode the champion pony Blue Me Away (Max) in the $1000 Northern California Pony Hunter Final and her sister was close behind, riding the reserve pony Onstar (Joey). They swapped places in the Woodside Pony Equitation Championship. As a result of her win in the Hunter Final, Stephanie received a free entry into the West Coast Pony Hunter Final at the National Preview.

The twins have ridden with Woodside trainer Jenny Davis since Thermal. “Stephanie really blossomed on the pony the second half of the year,” said Davis . “She wasn’t consistent when she came. We do a lot of flat work and she learned how to finesse a jump. We do equitation as well as hunter classes.” As part of the Bridgeport Farms team, Davis has coached other students to wins at the West Coast Pony Finals.

Riders in the West Coast Pony Finals for jumpers will also have $1,000 of prize money on the line, and new this year will be a perpetual trophy awarded to the winner to enjoy for a year. All riders, whether in the hunter division or the jumper division will also receive a West Coast Pony Finals t-shirt.

Another new aspect to the West Coast Pony Finals is the Emerson Burr Horsemanship Award. Friends and family of the late Emerson Burr created the program in 2002 to promote and perpetuate good horsemanship in younger equestrians. Emerson Burr was stable manager at the Fairfield County Hunt Club for over 50 years, and he was awarded the USEF Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999.

Pony riders will compete in one of four different age categories: 8 and under, 9-11, 12-14, and 15-17. All the competitors will take a written test, and the competitors with the top scores among each age group will take a hands-on test. Scores from both phases will determine the overall winners, and the highest scoring pony competitor in each age group will receive a grant from the USEF to use toward education or equestrian pursuits.

The National Preview is the final show for members of the Los Angeles Hunter Jumper Association (http://www.lahja.org), and pony riders have been working all year to qualify for the LAHJA Pony Medal Final. Riders must have earned at least six points in LAHJA classes throughout the year. As of October first, twenty-six riders were eligible, a record number of riders. Finalists will perform their first round on Saturday morning, and then the second round and work-off will be on Sunday morning. 2007 champion Tara Spencer will be on hand to help present awards to this year’s winner and the top ten.

Since the inception of the West Coast Pony Finals in 2000, the National Preview has become the gathering place of one of the largest concentration of ponies in the country. For information about the show, please visit: http://www.langershows.com/laec_show_details.php?show_id=88

To keep current with the happenings in the hunter/jumper world, sign up for LEG UP News. At http://www.langershows.com, click on “Sign up for our E-news” and fill out the form. All the news will come right to your inbox.


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