By Kristie Sojka
Three Western Albemarle High School students, Elizabeth Davis (10th grader), Libby Terrell (10th grader) and Anna Sojka (9th grader), qualified for and competed in the U.S. Pony Club national championships in Lexington, Kentucky at the Kentucky Horse Park, July 17 – 21. Elizabeth, Libby and Anna are members of the Crozet-based Mountain Skyline Pony Club (MSPC), which is in the Old Dominion Region Pony Club (ODRPC).
Elizabeth and her pony, Freedom’s Stormy Night (Stormy), competed in the Introductory Rider Division (2’6”) of show jumping and her team placed first in horse management out of 16 teams with only 1.42 points deducted over the whole week and 13th overall. Anna and her pony, Finnegan (Finny), competed in the Training Level Division of dressage and her team was first overall in the division out of 14 teams and third in horse management. Both Stormy and Finny were recognized by the Arabian Sport Horse Alliance for being half-bred Arabians competing in the Championships.
Libby competed in the Senior D-level Quiz portion of the Championships, which is unmounted. Her team was sixth overall for the division and Libby was third individually.
The Championships had over 1,100 competitors across seven equestrian disciplines from 48 states. Pony Club competitions are strictly for the rider to do all of the work and riding, no parental help. Parents are assigned volunteer positions to help the competition run smoothly and riders have adult supervision for safety and riding coaching, but all of the horse management is done by only the riders.
For more information about Mountain Skyline Pony Club, please contact Claiborne Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org.