Lexington, Ky. – August 12, 2022 – Day four of The 2022 USEF Pony Finals, presented by Honor Hill Farms welcomed blue skies, blue ribbons, and even more smiles. The Rolex Arena invited Medium and Large Green Pony Hunters for their final day of competition and the presentation of their respective division champions. At the conclusion of each division, overall scores were tallied and the Grand Green Pony Hunter Champion was crowned under the Kentucky sunset and accompanied by proud trainers and families.
As the day wrapped up, JJ Torano and FPF Favor not only took the tri-color for the Medium Green Pony Hunters, they also led the way in the victory gallop for the Grand Green Hunter Pony Championship. In the Large Green Pony Hunters, Alexa Elle Lignelli and Higher Love rode away with the championship award, ultimately securing the Grand Green Pony Hunter Reserve Champion tri-color.
Torano and FPF Favor demonstrated experience beyond their years when they entered the stadium. The 7-year-old Welsh Pony mare owned by Jet Show Stable, stepped into the spotlight and took to the classic hunter course designed by Kevin Wolowack (CAN) effortlessly. “She is a green pony and it is only the fifth show that she has done. We just started her in June, so I wasn’t really expecting her to do anything. I just was hoping to get around and have a nice round and she ended up going great for me” comments Torano. The young duo earned an incredibly loving applause as they made their courtesy circle, knowing that they had laid down a winning round. The pair earned an impressively high overall score of 1032.20 points and held the lead throughout the entire Large Green Pony Division.
Lignelli and Higher Love were crowned champions in the Large Green Pony Hunters, besting the field of 84 top-quality ponies in the over fences round and securing their tri-color. The 8-year-old Welsh Pony Cross gelding owned by the Lignelli Family, also only having approximately five shows under his belt, stunned the judges with his picture-perfect turnout and composed cadence in the over fences round. Although they laid down a solid performance, Lignelli piloted Higher Love to a total overall score of 1027.70 points over the three phases of competition, unfortunately not earning quite enough to catch Torano. The spotlight seems to be frequent in this duo’s future.
Hunter action at the 2022 USEF Pony Finals, presented by Honor Hill Farms, will continue Saturday at 9am in the Rolex Stadium with the Regular Medium Pony Hunter Over Fences. Competition in the Claiborne Ring will come to a close with the Jumper Individual Final. The conclusion of the 2022 USEF Pony Finals will take place Sunday morning at 7 am with the highly anticipated USEF Pony Medal Final.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
JJ Torano – Grand Green Pony Hunter Champion
On his round on FPF Favor
“She is a green pony and it is only the fifth show that she has done. We just started her in June, so I wasn’t really expecting her to do anything. I just was hoping to get around and have a nice round and she ended up going great for me. I found all of the jumps and it ended up being a great round.”
On FPF Favor:
“She is always perfect. She is a chestnut mare but she doesn’t act like it at all.”
On winning at pony finals:
“It means a lot, especially to do it on her. She is such a green pony and has only done five shows and has not done very much. She is very inexperienced so for her to go this well here at pony finals is a great experience for her.”
Medium Green Pony Overall
Place / Pony / Rider / Owner / Score
FPF Favor / JJ Torano / Jet Show Stable / 1032.20
Speaking Terms / Emi Richard / Bibby HIll / 1016.60
Super Sport / Mimi Maddock / Maddock Horses LLC / 989.50
Friend Request / Ella Tarumianz / Deer Creek Farm LLC / 978.84
Hear Say / Alexa Elle Lignelli / Samantha Rivera / 966.54
Way Too Dreamy / Finley Clement / Iron Horse Performance Ponies / 959.97
Orchard Hills Dressed In Black / Sara Cloud / Sara Cloud / 936.46
Smile / Sophia Shaner / Pony Crazy / 935.54
Royal Prince / Isabella Golia / Catrine Golia / 935.190
Zeppelin / Stella Rumanes / Liberty Lane Farms, INC / 924.38
Large Green Pony Overall
Place / Pony / Rider / Owner / Score
Higher Love / Alexa Ella Lignelli / The Lignelli Family / 1027.70
Twinkle Toes / Trinity Hall / Tamara Hall / 993.56
Loafers Lodge Take My Lead / Kaylee Garrido / Kaylee Garrido / 993.12
Only Reason / Brooke Duffy / Brooke Duffy / 992.34
Opie / McKayla Brombach / Savannah Welch / 981.13
Royalist / Vivian Golden / Betsee Parker / 960.20
Cherrybrook Blue Jersey / Piper Kennedy / Piper Kennedy / 959.20
Sports Illustrated / JJ Torano / Redfield Farm / 955.62
Covenant Royal Secret / Caitlin Albury / Caitlin Albury / 953.72
Best Mate / Aly Orseno / Aly Orseno / 950.72