Maddie Tosh and Bit of Love Reprise Championship Title at 2019 USEF Pony Finals PDF Print E-mail
Written by ELAINE WESSEL   
Friday, 09 August 2019 01:17
maddie
It was déjà vu for Maddie Tosh and Bit of Love at the 2019 USEF Pony Finals, presented by Collecting Gaits Farm, on Thursday as the talented partnership defended their title in the Small Regular Pony Hunters ahead of a large field of challengers. The 2018 victors once again proved why they belong at the top of the scorecard, riding to the highest score over fences and in the cumulative standings to emerge victorious for the second time. Tosh had double the reasons to celebrate Thursday as she also led teammate Baroness of Locheil to the initial lead in the Medium Green Pony Hunters with two phases of competition completed. In the Large Green Pony Hunters, Tessa Downey and Sandcastle lead the way prior to the final over fences round to determine the division champion.
Returning as the day one leaders and reigning champions, Tosh and Bit of Love had a target on their backs as the pair to beat in the Small Regular Pony Hunters, which featured 127 entries. The 13-year-old Tosh and Dr. Betsee Parker’s 13-year-old Welsh Pony Cross, Bit of Love, concluded the first two phases of the divisional contest ahead of the closest duo by a slim margin of only six points, meaning they still needed to demonstrate a textbook trip over the course to top the pack and secure overall victory. Not giving in to the pressure, the skilled combination performed perfectly as the final contenders to ride, earning scores of 87.50, 89 and 89 for total over fences marks of 265.5, pushing them to the top of the jumping leaderboard and a composite score of 1,063 to clinch the championship for the second year.

Tosh and Bit of Love are no strangers to USEF Pony Finals, both having competed at the event multiple times. With three appearances under her belt, Tosh has already accrued two major divisional victories two years in a row, adding to her growing list of accolades that includes wins in the Children’s Hunters, Junior Hunters and equitation. Coming from an equestrian family, Tosh is trained by her father, acclaimed rider and trainer Hunt Tosh, out of Alpharetta, Georgia, and has been riding “Chester” for three years.



Allison Coleman and Smoke Tree Starlet
Earlier in the day, 88 entries vied for the early lead in the model and under saddle sections of the Medium Green Pony Hunters. Tosh and Dr. Parker’s Baroness of Locheil navigated to a commanding lead after the first two phases, finishing in first place ahead of the pack in both classes to earn a 17-point lead ahead of the next-closest team. Tosh and Baroness of Locheil garnered 267.11 points in the model to begin the day on a high note, and finished strong with a score of 272.22 in the under saddle to extend their lead to a cumulative 539.33 points. The pair will try to retain their status Friday by fending off the current second-place sitting pony-and-rider duo, Taylor Cawley and GC Ponies LLC’s By4now, who boast 522.25 points.


Allison Coleman and Smoke Tree Starlet
Following two standout showings, partners Tessa Downey and Noelle Wolf Stables LLC’s Sandcastle will serve as the early frontrunners in the Large Green Pony Hunters headed into Friday’s over fences class to conclude the division. Starting with the model, the duo caught the judges’ eyes to earn a score of 253.64 and second place out of 93 exhibitors, and later returned to the Walnut Ring to improve upon their performance, awarded first place in the hack thanks to a high score of 265.75. The combination will jump last in the final portion of competition as the leaders with 519.39 points, with Nicole Boyle and Affari Equestrian LLC’s Be Mine sitting just under seven points behind in the current reserve spot with a total score of 512.55.

The 2019 USEF Pony Finals, presented by Collecting Gaits Farm, will continue through Sunday, Aug. 11. The nation’s best young pony riders will be tested in Small, Medium and Large classes of both Regular Hunter and Green Hunter divisions in the Walnut Ring, and the Alltech Arena will play host to Pony Jumper competition through Saturday. Sunday’s feature will be the Pony Medal Finals, one of the week’s highlight events.

FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Maddie Tosh – Small Regular Pony Hunter champion

Maddie Tosh and Bit of Love
On her reaction to winning:
“It’s really amazing. It’s crazy that I could do it two years in a row. It’s kind of surreal, I don’t even believe that it is happening.”

On waiting to ride as the final entry:
“I was a little bit nervous but I felt pretty confident because last year went so well. I felt like I knew I could do it. [My dad, Hunt Tosh,] said to do what I know how to do and to have fun. He always tells me that because he knows I have it in me. I thought he was good. He didn’t get too worked up, which was good.”

On her over fences round:
“It was really amazing. I just jumped the first jump really well and then the rest fell into place. I thought he was really good. He really settled in nicely throughout the course and it felt like he knew what he was doing more than I did. Chester was absolutely amazing. He always is. I’m so lucky to ride him. [Dr. Betsee Parker] owns him. I’m so grateful to be able to ride such an amazing pony for her.”

Dr. Betsee Parker – Owner of Bit of Love

On Tosh’s relationship with Bit of Love:
“Maddie shows that pony so much love and attention and the pony feels it and he returns it to her. He will do anything for a rider that loves him like she does. She spends time with him and she adores him, and he truly knows it.”

On Tosh and Bit of Love’s performance:
“I’m happy if we just have a decent go, and whatever else happens is wonderful, but it’s not up to me. We were well-prepared. We try to do our job and just focus, and I don’t think too far beyond that because anything can happen. It’s one round. She rode him beautifully; she was well-prepared by her dad and she is just a cool, calm reactor as an emotional rider. It helps so much when things get rough and intense because she can calm him down and that calms her down. They go on the course and work like a couple little intellectual students that work together. Once they get past the first jump it’s ok.”

On leading the division and jumping last:
“We have done that a lot of times and it is a very high-pressure moment because you are the one that has everything to lose and often do. I never know what is going to happen at all, and I just remain very calm for the sake of my rider and my pony. I feel everything that the most nervous person feels and every time we go in the ring is new.”

On owning ponies at USEF Pony Finals:
“This is my 14th time winning Pony Finals with many different children and many different ponies. It feels just as good as the first time. It really doesn’t ever get old. Especially when you’ve been doing this your whole life. In my case, I broke my neck when I was a junior and so I wasn’t able to keep riding. For me, I get a lot of vicarious pleasure from seeing the young riders I help to go to the top because I was not able to do that. I think the gratefulness [from the riders] helps too because it is felt all over. As an owner, the one thing I like from my riding students is that they just say, ‘Thank you, Betsee, for letting me use your ponies.’ It’s more thrilling to see our young riders win it than it ever was for me to win.”

RESULTS
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / Score

Small Regular Pony Hunters Overall
1. Bit Of Love / Maddie Tosh / Dr. Betsee Parker / 1063.060
2. Smoke Tree Starlet / Allison Coleman / Allison Coleman / 1049.01
3. Quicksilver Bells / Kat Fuqua / Xia Tabanou / 1025.10
4. Heavenly Patch Of Blue / Shiloh Roseboom / Enchantment Farms LLC / 1024.75
5. Rico Suave / Ava Barnes / Ponies & Palms Show Stables LLC / 1018.78
6. Benlea Mizzou / Katherine Mercer / Aquitaine Equine / 1018.10
7. Maranatha Flash / Payton Flanders / Harmony Ridge Stables, LLC / 1016.32
8. Mr. Magoo / Olivia Sweetnam / Sweet Oak Farm / 1013.20
9. Rollingwood’s Knee Deep / Agatha Lignelli / The Lignelli Family / 1012.71
10. Falling Moon Huckleberry / Alexa Karet / Glade Run Farm LLC / 994.18

Small Regular Pony Hunters Over Fences
1. Bit Of Love / Maddie Tosh / Dr. Betsee Parker / 265.05
2. Smoke Tree Starlet / Allison Coleman / Allison Coleman / 263.51
3. Quicksilver Bells / Kat Fuqua / Xia Tabanou / 262.20
4. Maranatha Flash / Payton Flanders / Harmony Ridge Stables, LLC / 260.26
5. Mr. Magoo / Olivia Sweetnam / Sweet Oak Farm / 258.26
6. Benlea Mizzou / Katherine Mercer / Aquitaine Equine / 255.50
7. Rollingwood’s Knee Deep / Agatha Lignelli / The Lignelli Family / 254.55
8. Heavenly Patch Of Blue / Shiloh Roseboom / Enchantment Farms LLC / 253.46
9. Dressed To Go / Vivian Golden / Vivian Golden / 251.69
10. Rico Suave / Ava Barnes / Ponies & Palms Show Stables LlLC / 250.31

Medium Green Pony Hunter Model
1. Baroness of Locheil / Maddie Tosh / Dr. Betsee Parker / 267.11
2. By4now / Taylor Cawley / GC Ponies, LLC / 258.54
3. Shenandoah Coral Reef / Kierstin Antoniadis / Bill Schaub / 258.26
4. Hidden Springs Lucky Star / Ella Tarumianz / Ella Tarumianz / 255.52
5. Bel Air / Linen Owens / Linen Owens / 252.25
6. Royal Symphony / Alpine Griffin / Laurie Jueneman / 252.11
7. Crowd Pleaser / Ava Berman / Harmony Ridge Stables, LLC / 249.71
8. Swan Song / Lauren Gee / Carolina Equine Investments, LLC / 249.63
9. Cool Spot / Megan Winborne / Jennifer Wheeler-Winborne / 246.95
10. Quicksilver Crescendo / Rachel Nichols / Mrn Equestrian, LLC / 246.83

Medium Green Pony Hunter Under Saddle
1. Baroness Of Locheil / Maddie Tosh / Dr. Betsee Parker / 272.22
2. Swan Song / Lauren Gee / Carolina Equine Investments, Llc / 265.29
3. By4now / Taylor Cawley / GC Ponies, LLC / 263.71
4. Just Whistle / Lizzy Mccrady / Work-A-While Farm / 262.77
5. Crowd Pleaser / Ava Berman / Harmony Ridge Stables, LLC / 258.980
6. Bel Air / Linen Owens / Linen Owens / 257.68
7. Blu Venture Rockstar / Reagan Waggoner / Reagan Waggoner / 257.50
8. Paperback Writer / Lily Beck / Lily Beck / 256.89
9. Ladies First / Sophia Chimenti / Chase Hollow Equestrian Partners, LLC / 255.990
10. Wilten’s Valentino / Grace Debney / Lexie Looker / 255.24

Large Green Pony Hunters Model
1. Be Mine / Nicole Boyle / Affari Equestrian LLC / 256.75
2. Sandcastle / Tessa Downey / Noelle Wolf Stables, LLC / 253.64
3. Luck Dragon / Lainie Rubin / Lainie Rubin / 252.13
4. Envy / Caroline Mirts / Caroline Mirts / 251.54
5. Jimmy Choo / Grace Debney / Anya Bereznicki / 251.05
6. Miami / Courtney Morton / Leslie Malone / 250.57
7. Orchard Hills Firefly / Camryn Ortelli / Camryn Ortelli / 248.63
8. Kissed By The Bay / Gabrielle Phlegar / Gabrielle Phlegar / 248.19
9. Greymeadows Charleston / Morgan Cook / Morgan Cook / 248.12
10. First Edition HM / Lauren Gallagher / Cold Spring Farm / 245.94

Large Green Pony Hunters Under Saddle
1. Sandcastle / Tessa Downey / Noelle Wolf Stables, LLC / 265.75
2. Cottonwood / Cecelia Jackson / Haley Kauffman / 265.47
3. Envy / Caroline Mirts / Caroline Mirts / 260.56
4. Maybe So / Katherine Addington / Stacy Lane-Sanderson / 258.80
5. Heaven’s Dance / Isabella Griffin / Isabella Griffin / 257.89
6. Kissed By The Bay / Gabrielle Phlegar / Gabrielle Phlegar / 257.85
7. So Driven / Sarah Semko / Sarah Semko / 257.70
8. En Vogue / Zoey Zheng / Zoey Zheng / 256.80
9. Instant Gratification / Naomi Dachis / Naomi Dachis / 256.74
10. Sahara / Ashley Lamers / Ashley Lamers / 256.71

 
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