Ava Hartman Places Third in the 2020 WIHS Pony Equitation Finals

Tryon, NC — On a rainy Sunday morning, Ava Hartman rode Sugarbrook West Point to a 3rd Place finish at the 2020 Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) Pony Equitation Finals, which was held at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). After the two phase competition containing a field of the current who’s who of pony riders, Ava and Jackson finished 3rd behind McKayla Brombach on California Dreamin’ and Alexa Elle Lignelli on Chiccobello.

Ava and Sugarbrook West Point

For Ava, smiles were plenty with the finish. After the last-minute cancellation of Pony Finals, M&S Pony Medal Finals and the USHJA Pony Derby Finals in June due to COVID-19, Ava set her sights on qualifying for and putting in a competitive ride at the Washington International Horse Show as her remaining 2020 national competition goal. In addition to continuing to train with her long-time coaches Lauren Schwendell and Dana Karen, Ava began working with legendary trainer Sunny Stevens (recipient of the Old Salem Lifetime Achievement Award and USHJA Jane Marshall Dillon Award) to focus on her equitation skills.

“I couldn’t be happier,” said the eleven year old who last year won the top prize in Georgia’s GHJA Pony Equitation Medal Final. “My goal was to come out here, ride well and do my best to show that Jackson and I belonged in this field of top national riders. We’ve worked so hard over the last several months and I am so thankful to everyone who has helped me. Congratulations to McKayla, Alexa and to all of the other riders who competed this weekend!”

WIHS Pony Equitation Finals Results
1 – McKayla Brombach | Wimberley, TX | California Dreamin’
2 – Alexa Elle Lignelli | New York, NY | Chiccobello
3 – Ava Hartman | Marietta, GA | Sugarbrook West Point
4 – Ava Berman | New Freedom, PA | Valentino
5 – Olivia Sweetnam | Wellington, FL | On Your Mark
6 – Hayley Hewitt | New Canaan, CT | Enough Said
7 – Addy Wingate | McLean, VA | Foot Steps
8 – Grace Rabb | Fort Mill, SC | Carnival
9 – Kaylin Schulthorpe | Freehold, NJ | Quicksilver Electric Slide
10 – Ava Messer | Vestavia, AL | Why Not