Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – October 13, 2018 – Family Fun Day was in full swing at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show (PNHS) as children and their parents filled the stands to watch pony hunters of all sizes and colors compete for champion ribbons while also enjoying story hour and craft activities.

Surrounded by her family, Alexa Lignelli, New York, NY, took both Small Pony Hunter Champion and Reserve Champion with her ponies, Rollingwoods Knee Deep and IParty. Lignelli had won the championship last year with IParty.

“I love the ponies, my whole family loves the ponies, and we’re going to stay in the pony hunters for a long time,” said 10-year-old Lignelli. “We want to stay there as long as possible.

“My mom is very helpful and she always gives me words of wisdom. She knows everything about me and my ponies and she’s always a great help. I’m so grateful for the team we have,” continued Lignelli. “I also want to thank my grandparents for coming to the show to watch me ride.”

First time champion at the PNHS, Tessa Downey of Huston, Texas, was all smiles as she exited the ring with her pony, Anisette, sporting the tri-color ribbon and navy blue cooler, proclaiming the title of Medium Pony Hunter Champion.

“My goal was to jog in every class and I did, which was super exciting,” said 13-year-old Downey, who won the Marshall & Sterling/USEF Pony Medal Final in August. “I feel really happy about it (having two big wins this year). The goal was just to do well and Anisette exceeded that goal, it’s amazing.”

His Way, owned by 16-year-old Josephine Rose of Dayton, Ohio, took home the Large Pony Hunter Championship, her first win at the PNHS.

“I am on cloud nine, this is incredible,” exclaimed Rose. “I’ve had this pony since he was a green and I’ve only been here one time so it was just amazing.

“He is such a good guy,” said Rose about His Way. “He loves treats. He always has taken care of me and he is not spooky at all.”

Grand Champion Pony Hunter was awarded to Downey and Anisette. The pair was presented with the Francus E. Armstrong Memorial Challenge Trophy for their spectacular performances in the Medium Pony Hunter division.

The Pony Hunter Sportsmanship award was given to Calder Trotz of Memphis, Tennessee. This award is given to the rider who exhibits the highest degree of exemplary personal conduct with respect to good sportsmanship.

The EMO Agency Pony Hunter High Five Award, sponsored By EMO Agency, is awarded to the pony and rider who have the highest score in their division.  This year the award went to Alexa Lignelli and Rollingwoods Knee Deep for receiving a high score of 90 points.