Edited Press Release
Ponies took to the Derby Field at Equestrian Village on Friday at WEF 9 as the spotlight shone on 81 talented pony hunter riders. Pairings in the class came from the large, medium and small divisions to contest the first round of the Andy Christiansen Jr.-designed derby track in the $5,000 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby, presented by MARS Equestrian™.
Four panels of judges put forward scores for each entry that were then averaged into one overall tally for the first round and another overall score for the handy phase. Shooting straight to the top in round one, Katherine Mercer and Goldhills As You Like It paired a high-score of 92 with an 81-point score in the handy round to take the top spot on a final overall score of 173.
At the completion of round one, the 14 leading entries were invited to return for the handy course and the lineup featured the best of the best from each section. Mercer sat two points in the lead from first course with her medium pony mount, Goldhills As You Like It and was the final entry to return as the mediums were the final grouping to take their turn over the handy track. Christiansen fully utilized the field he was given and included a trot fence, rollbacks, and…