I was ten-years-old the first time someone tried to convince me that ponies were inherently “bad.” I was at my first sleep away riding camp with my pony, Peaches, an aptly-named Haflinger cross who was as sweet as she was rotund, and the dinner conversation among my fellow campers launched into a verbal competition of who had ridden the rankest pony and lived to tell about it. I sat there eating my peanut butter and jelly sandwich in awe because my pony wasn’t bad in the least. She was, in fact, exactly what every parent wants their child’s first pony to be – a safe, sensible, even-tempered partner who carted me around my introductory-level dressage tests and carefully hopped over the small logs and through the water jumps (read: puddles) on our starter cross-country courses. I didn’t know it at the time but Peaches would also be game to compete through 2nd Level in dressage and even to soar over a few preliminary cross-country questions in our later years together. However, my horse camp peers were describing ponies as fire-breathing beasts and dangerous underlings – even worse; they were wearing them like a badge of honor. I chose to finish my meal at Peachie’s stall and decided then and there that I would never be a part of this “bad pony” conversation again. 

An Unexpected Bond

 By Nita Andrews

“I think many riders choose GRPs,” explains Tara, “mainly for the easiness of working around their small frame, and that they are exciting to ride with the warmblood movement in a compact package. They are pretty brave and curious about things which makes them fun to take to different places.” To read the whole article click 

A very wise, accomplished and prominent dressage trainer introduced me to bonding with my pony when he was recuperating from an injury.  She taught me that the ten months ahead was an opportunity to create a lifelong bond that would impact my relationship with my pony in ways I never anticipated.After the pity party was over I began, little by little, finding ways to just “be” with him out of the saddle. 

Sailor Boden (Canyon Lake, Calif.) makes her second appearance in the USEF Pony Rider Dressage National Championship when competition gets underway on Saturday, August 26, with the FEI Pony Rider Team Test. She and Blitzwane, Susan Hoffman-Peacock’s 19-year-old German Riding Pony gelding, join eight combinations all aiming for their first national title. After placing third in the 2015 USEF Dressage Seat Medal Final 13 & Under division, Camille Molten (Mount Pleasant, S.C.) will advance to the pony rider division riding Heather Valentine’s Magnito II, a 10-year-old Mustang/Trakehner-cross gelding. The title will be determined on Sunday, August 27, following the FEI Pony Rider Individual Test.

View the full entry list and current rankings for the USEF Pony Rider Dressage National Championship.

USEF Pony Rider Dressage National Championships

The Bad Pony Conversation...

National Dressage Pony Cup Coverage

It’s no secret that German Riding Ponies shine in the dressage ring, but their versatility makes them a great choice for eventers, showjumpers, combined driving competitors, and hunter jumper riders, too. We at Pony Quarterly had the opportunity to speak to Tara Astacio, who events her pony, and Deborah Lawrence, who competes in combined driving, about their decisions to partner with German Riding Ponies in their respective disciplines.

Connemara Training Level Eventing Team Members:

Blue Ridge Breckenridge, owned and ridden by Cynthia Holbrook of Lewsville, NC
Foothills Field Marshall, owned by Donna Duckworth and ridden by Elliott Blackmon of Ocala, FL
Hideaway's Special Delivery, owned and ridden by Cathy Blackmon, Hillsborough, NC
Valley Creek Carlin LeBeau, owned and ridden by Carla Jimmerson, Alpharetta, GA

Mini Eventers

October 7, 2017 – Upper Marlboro, MD – The Capital Challenge Horse Show’s youngest competitors took center stage on Saturday, October 7, at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center. Riding away with the Grand Pony Hunter Championship was Caroline Signorino on Anisette, owned by Hannah Hoch. Presented by the World Equestrian Center, the Capital Challenge Horse Show ends on Sunday, October 8, with the conclusion of the Junior and Children’s Hunter divisions. 

On their way to earning the grand championship title, 12-year-old Signorino of Basking Ridge, NJ, and Anisette, an 11-year-old Welsh Pony Cross mare, earned two victories over fences and the Medium Pony Hunter championship, sponsored by Kayla Makhloghi and Rosemont Farm. 

As the top pony hunter horse and rider overall, Anisette and Signorino were presented with the Grand Pony Hunter Championship, sponsored by the Aycox Family and Whispering Willow Farm; the VanderMoore Designs Inc. Trophy, sponsored by Chuck and Melva VanderMoore; and the Best Pony Hunter Rider award, sponsored by Archie Cox and Brookway Stables. They were presented with The Kitty Borisoff Memorial Trophy, sponsored by Alexandra Borisoff.

“It feels amazing. We’ve worked so hard, and from getting a 90 at Devon to this, it really can’t get much better than this year.” - Caroline Signorino

The 4 Leaf Clovers Compete at American Eventing Championships 

by Dana Rossmeier, US Equestrian Communications Department

Pony News

If you are on Facebook at all, you probably have seen this picture!

We looked into who these cuties are - and here's what we found out!

Edwina is a 5yo aboard her steed Tessera, a 14yo American Miniature Horse/Shetland Pony cross. 

Edwina comes to Eventing honestly, as her parents Anna Freskgard and William Fryer own and operate one of the largest eventing stables in Sweden. They have five horses competing at the three star level and of course Tusseman. 

Tusseman was acquired before Edwina was born, and clearly knows his job and helps Edwina learn the ropes of Eventing! Looks like these two might have bright futures ahead! To follow along Edwina and Tusseman's adventures follow Ann's Instagram account!

National Dressage Pony Cup held in Lexington KY each year celebrates it's 10th year! This year NDPC is by no means resting on its laurels! Featuring more than 100 ponies from around the country, traveling as far as California, all competing for top pony awards and prize money!

    A NDPC regular Lauren Chumley from NJ, brought 7 ponies with her. Chumley has the only Grand Prix pony competing this weekend Avatar's Jazzman. 

    Emily Lasher and her pony The Hot Topic of Spring Song traveled all the way from California. She will be riding her 16 year old Welsh Cross gelding The Hot Topic Of Spring Song in Intermediare 1. 

    Competition will start tomorrow morning, running through Sunday. Be sure to check out Live streaming with commentary from Axel Steiner on USEFNETWORK.ORG  

Stay Tuned For more Updates!

German Riding Ponies:

Thinking Outside The Box

Caroline Signorino and Anisette won the Grand Pony Hunter Championship on Saturday, October 7, at the Capital Challenge Horse Show.  Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography

Deborah Lawrence competing one of her  Ponies

Watch PQ Videos On YouTube

US Equestrian Launches Official USEF Rulebook App 
Lexington, Ky. – Accessing the USEF (US Equestrian) Rulebook on the road or at events is easier than ever, thanks to the new USEF Rulebook App, featuring a search function.

The app allows users to view the entire 1,200-page Rulebook chapter by chapter and to filter results by keywords and chapters or divisions, quickly sorting by the most relevant information or page. Users also can access recent Presidential Modifications (Pres-Mods) and Drugs & Medications documents.

Other features of the app include:

The latest rule and regulation updates for all 29 USEF-recognized breeds and disciplines
An archive of past Rulebooks for the last 10 yearsThe USEF Rulebook App—available now in Apple’s® App Store for iOS® devices and in Google Play® for Android devices—is ideal for US Equestrian members, show officials, judges, volunteers, and staff, who can now reference current rules on the spot during competition. Internet access required. 

Caroline Signorino and Anisette Are Best Pony Hunters

Team USA is Ready to Take on the FEI World Pony Driving Championships

        Tracey Morgan with her German Riding Pony Fuego 88 is the highest placed US Driver, sitting in 6th in the Single Pony division with 53.61 Penalties. First place is held by Germany's Herbert Rietzler with Julia Linder's stallion Nakuri. Only about 3 penalty points separates the top 6 Drivers.



An all Connemara Team will be competing at the AEC's this weekend in Tryon, NC. All four ponies qualified individually for the American Eventing Championships, 2016.  In order to qualify, each pony must complete at least four USEA horse trials at the level with only one xc jump penalty and must place 1st, 2nd or 3rd.  This is impressive for four Connemaras to qualify at Training level.  (3.3 jump height, 470 mpm xc).  Once my daughter and I had our ponies qualified we started watching for other purebreds.  Carla and Carlin popped on our radar and then Cynthia and Breck.  "Our team is so excited to be able to promote our "Do It All" ponies at this prestigious event." Cathy Blackmon says, one of the team members, and mother of Elliott Blackmon, who is also one of the team members.