Tyler, Texas—Sept. 25, 2023—The inaugural Kym K. Smith/USHJA Young Hunter Pony Championships - Central at Texas Rose Horse Park in Tyler, Texas, offered $23,500 in prize money to over 110 entries competing over September 13-17. Securing the Overall Grand Champion honors was Smallside Delightful (Telynau Jacobite x Woodlands Fanciful), ridden by Kennedy Schley of Arlington, Texas, and Bailey Robinson, of Bowie, Texas.
Judges Carleton Brooks and Oliver Brown were delighted with the movement produced by Smallside Delightful, a 2016 half-Welsh pony mare owned, trained and bred by Jordan Mallard, of Arlington, Texas. Affectionately known as Evie, the mare came out on top in the top in two divisions, earning reserve in the 6- and 7-Year-Olds 2'3'' and champion in the 6- and 7-Year-Olds 2'6''. The mare also took home the Overall Grand Champion title, Overall Purebred Welsh High Point Champion, and High-Point Welsh in the 6- and 7-Year-Olds 2’3” and 6- and 7-Year-Olds 2’6”.
"It's really exciting for me," Mallard said on being an owner, trainer and breeder of Smallside Delightful. "I don't think there are too many of us that do it all, so it's extra special to have all three of those titles on my homebreds. When I went to breed her dam, my good friend Brooke Harschutz with Lapinwood Ponies suggested [Telynau Jacobite] to me for his canter and rideability, which is exactly what we got from the cross. It's really fun to see the genetics pan out just right."
"This is a great way to kick off what I believe is going to be a really long, successful Hunter pony career for her," Mallard continued. "She's so easy and straightforward. I'm so proud of her. She really took everything in stride and rose to the occasion. Funny enough, Evie spends most of her time at home teaching lessons to advanced beginners and intermediate riders, so I think our IEA team is going to get a kick out of her winnings."
"I am so impressed with the Championship, the staff, sponsors, prize money, the swag and just everything," commented Mallard of the new Central location. "I think the event will continue to grow rather quickly the more people find out about it, especially with prize money that's unheard of in the baby pony world."
The USHJA congratulates the following division champions at the 2023 event:
5-Year-Old and Under Under Saddle
4- and 5-Year-Olds 2'
4- and 5-Year-Olds 2'3"
6- and 7-Year-Olds 2’
6- and 7-Year-Olds 2’3”
6- and 7-Year-Olds 2’6”
Adults on Ponies 7-Year-Old and Under, Presented by Missy Jo Hollingsworth and Saddle Lake Equestrian Center
A number of special awards were also presented, including:
The Kym K Smith/USHJA Young Hunter Pony Championships has recently expanded into two championships on the East Coast and centrally with the aim to develop the Hunter Breeding sport and create opportunities for current and new owners, breeders and handlers to showcase talented young Hunter pony prospects. The Championships feature competition for ponies aged 7 and under with most sections comprised of a model, under saddle and over fences classes. Classes are open to Juniors, excluding the popular Adults on Ponies division open to Amateurs and Professionals.
The USHJA extends a special thanks to the Texas Rose Horse Park; to Kym K Smith for her title sponsorship; and to Missy Jo Hollingsworth and Saddle Lake Equestrian Center for presenting the Adults on Pony division. The USHJA also thanks Official Sponsors CWD, Nutrena and Parlanti; award sponsors Essex Classics, Boy-O-Boy Bridleworks and Floral Wreaths by Susan Garrett; and class supporters Virginia Pony Breeders Association, Farnley Farm, Foxlore Farm, Melinda Snyder with Partly Cloudy and Hunter's Haven Farm.
For more information about the Kym K. Smith/USHJA Young Hunter Pony Championships, visit ushja.org/YHPC.
Photos: Jerry Mohme Photography