National Dressage Pony Cup

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By Nancy Brannon

The Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky was once again site of the annual National Dressage Pony Cup (NDPC), July 7-9, 2017. This year was the tenth anniversary of the Pony Cup. Ponies (114 of them) from 26 states across the country competed at levels from Introductory to Fourth Level, and the FEI Pony Test. There were also the fun musical freestyle tests. Competition was strong across three rings of non-stop Pony Cup competition. And because the Pony Cup was live streamed on the USEF Network, pony enthusiasts around the world could follow the action with expert commentary by FEI 5* (ret) judge Axel Steiner.

Awards, in addition to the Pony Cup Award, were given to High Point Riders in JR/YR, AA, and Open. There were also Breed Awards for 21 breeds of ponies and small horses. Special awards included the Rachel King Memorial Award, given to the single highest ridden score, excluding musical freestyle, by a registered Haflinger. That went to Emilie Goddard of Plainfield, VT riding Abercrombie Of Deer Haven. The Neil Sorum Perpetual Trophy is given to the single highest ridden score, excluding musical freestyle, by a registered Norwegian Fjord pony. That went to Lori Lamattina of Dayton, OH riding WW Rudig. The NDPC Young Pony Futurity recognizes the talents of young ponies as they progress through the levels, and awards were given for 4-year-old Champion, 5-year-old Champion and Reserve, and 6-year-old Champion.

After winning the Junior/Young Rider First Level title last year (2016), 13-year-old Caitlyn Massey of Arlington, TN was back to pursue more awards at her third Pony Cup. Competing this year at Second Level with her Welsh cross mare Zassafrass, Massey took a commanding lead in the 16 & under division with a 67.564% in her Friday test. “I was really pleased with our ride. My pony loves showing here, and for me, it’s such a great atmosphere – everyone’s so friendly, and I like being around that kind of energy,” said Massey. As she prepared for the second round of competition on Saturday, she said, “I’m going to go back and read over the judge’s comments on the test and work to get an even better score tomorrow!”

Her work paid off as Caitlyn and Zassafrass (“Zoey”) were Second Level Junior Champions! Caitlyn also stands at the top for 2017 NDPC Year End Awards for Junior Second Level and at FEI Pony Level.

Mid-South Dressage Academy’s rescue pony, MDA Maximus, was back at the Pony Cup this year and working wonders! At the Introductory Adult Amateur level, Max was Reserve Champion with rider Kinley Scott.

Scandias Avatar, owned by DeAnn Gabrick and ridden by Alex du Celliee Muller was High Point Morgan at the National Dressage Pony Cup in Lexington. This was their first year showing at the NDPC.

Find more information about the National Dressage Pony Cup at: and find full results at:

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