Wellington, Fla., Mar. 9, 2018 – Pony hunters moved to the derby field at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival for the $5,000 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby Friday morning during the Winter Equestrian Festival. Thirty-seven young riders and their mounts competed for the top prize, but Riley McKesson and Annakate Long’s medium pony, Rollingwoods Stickler, were victorious after leading the way through both rounds.
McKesson and ‘Stickler’, as he’s affectionately known, had the best round of the classic round with a score of an 87. They returned for the handy round to lay down a smooth trip to receive a score of 82. Their overall score of 169 was unbeatable by the remaining contenders and led them to the victory.
McKesson has been riding the 12-year-old gelding for a year and the two have been consistent throughout the Medium Pony ranks during the WEF season. The 10-year-old Wellington native has been riding since she was 2-years-old and trains with Charlie Moorcroft. She plans to show ‘Stickler’ in the Medium Pony Hunter division this weekend, hopefully continuing her winning ways.
Second place was awarded to Kat Fuqua and her own Finesse RF. The pair had two round score of 167, while Olivia Markman and Glynhafan Red Kestrel secured third place with an overall score of 156.5.
Competition on the derby field will continue on Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. with the $10,000 USHJA National Derby.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Riley McKesson- $5,000 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby winner
On the pony:
“We call him Stickler in the barn. He’s very sweet and smart. I’ve been riding him for almost a year now. I started in the Children’s Pony until I felt good enough to move up to the medium division. My goal for this year it to keep doing well in the Medium Pony Hunter division.”
On her rounds:
“I thought my rounds went really well. I love jumping on the grass! I was a little nervous for the first round, but after the first round I felt really confident for the second round.”
On winning the Pony Derby:
“It feels really good to win this class! I’ve never won on the derby field before, so it was a nice to have this under my belt.”
Horse / Rider / Score
$5,000 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby
1. Rollingwoods Stickler / Riley McKesson / 169
2. Finesse RF / Kat Fuqua / 167
3. Glynhafan Red Kestrel / Olivia Markman / 156.5
4. Hershey’s Kiss / Sydney Raidy / 153.5
5. Northwind Crispin / Ella Davidson / 149
6. Elegance / Cecelia Perry / 148.5
7. Mighty Quinn / Emily Jurnovoy / 146
8. Canterbrook Prince Charming / Olivia Sweetnam / 145.5
9. Rapunzel / Sterling Malink / 133.25
10. Valor / Baylee McKeever / 131
11. Dressed to Go / Vivian Golden / 130
12. Goldhill’s Arresting Charm / Kat Fuqua / 121