Often junior riders get their start in eventing aboard ponies, and ponies were competitive in the junior divisions at AFHT. Daddy’s Harley ridden by 10-year-old Kayla Dumler was the winner at Junior Beginner Novice. Daddy’s Harley, a 14.2 hand Quarter Horse/Arabian/POA is a cowpony-turned-eventer. According to Kayla, “he didn’t really know anything when we got him.” The training they have done together paid off, as the pair led all three phases to finish in first place on their dressage score of 30.5. Kayla’s favorite phase was “the cross-country! He was just steady, we made the time, and we went clean. I loved it.”
A common theme amongst riders of ponies at AFHT was the love for their equine partner. Meredith Hill competed her Haflinger mare, Rumor Has It, in Novice Rider, putting in clear jumping rounds to move up five places after dressage and finish in third. Together two years, Meredith says, “It was love at first sight.” Of the show, “It was all fun! It was our first event where we really clicked.” Meredith plans to enter Rumor Has It in the Novice Three-Day at Rebecca Farm in July.
Throughout the weekend, AFHT showcased the talent of ponies in the sport of eventing at a local level. Whether it was the harmony and obedience required for dressage, the endurance and speed needed for cross-country, or the precision of show jumping, ponies rose to the challenge. You can view the final scores from AFHT here or find more news and coverage from the show on the Aspen Farms Horse Trials page on Facebook.