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The Road to the National Dressage Pony Cup

Our road to the NDPC 2021 was paved with a bit of romance!

It all began a few years ago when I took notice of the opportunity, founded by Jenny Carol, to showcase ponies trained for dressage to a national title. At the time, I did not have a suitable mount. My new fiancé, now visualizing my love for ponies suggested that I search for a pony to meet this goal to attend the NDPC. Two years later, my fiancé and I make the trip with Prada to sweep the Third Level Division with a High Score Championship for Connemara breed and a Reserve Championship Finish overall! Along the way, Prada helped me collect my USDF Bronze medal and qualify us for Regionals 2021.

Who is the pony that stole my heart and exceeded expectations? It is Prada, a stunning 13 year old Connemara pony sired by Ballywhim an Luan and bred by Bittersweet Sport Horses Inc. A smart, loving, and athletic mare carded at 14.1 ¼ h, Prada had the brain and the looks to impress me, as well as the resume, having just completed Pony Finals in the Large Pony Hunter Division the year before!

This Connemara has shown me what a valuable and versatile breed it is! For 3 ½ months during the COVID-19 shut down we trail rode through the mountains of Pennsylvania to stay in shape, hoping for our opportunity to get prepared for the competition arena. Exactly one year ago Prada and I went back to work. Gratefully and through careful selection, we landed into the awesome training culture of Emily Donaldson Dressage. With Emily’s help we moved Prada from schooling First Level with an automatic “hunter” lead change to a well-managed Third Level to begin showing late Spring of 2021. This pony not only took me trailblazing up and down mountains and the horseshoe trail, but then stepped right into the role of traveling competition partner!

There are many to thank for the opportunity we had going to the NDPC. It takes a great team effort! At this time, I most greatly thank my fiancé, Mike for seeing my vision and giving me the moral support needed to follow it through. We are looking forward to many more wonderful and blessed memories with this amazing Connemara!

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