Christina completed her youth career this summer showing three ponies and loving her time spent with each one of them. Her POA career began in 2000, a year after we built our farm, Hestedalen. We purchased Santee Scooter Bug who soon became her brother Bjorn's pony. Shortly after she rode Rustys Royal Gold for a season, she was introduced to Itchys Win or Lose. Itchy was 20 years old and truly had a heart of gold. A kinder pony could not be found! When she was eight, we acquired Santee Foxy Lady who will always be "Foxy-The Champion" to Christina. She won two classes at our first Regional that year with Foxy which was so very thrilling. She shared Foxy with her brother, Erik, but soon we realized she needed a younger pony. Along came J-N Sierra Gold who we hoped would grow into being another Foxy. The first two years were challenging for Christina on a junior pony, but Sierra is smart and very athletic and over the next nine years, she would become one of the most amazing versatility POAs on the circuit. Sierra excelled in jumping and Christina found these events exhilarating, as well as the games. She won many Midwest Regional High Points with Sierra over the years. In her final year, Sierra had truly developed into a reiner and she crowned her career with Sierra by winning both 13-18 and Senior Reining events at the National Congress.
Five years ago, Christina campaigned A Shining Impulse (Johnny) as a three year old and then took on Impulse Is In Town for a four year run as her rail and pattern pony. Fritz and Christina bonded and he became the pleasure pony she had dreamed of, eventually winning the Leonard Lewis Futurity with him as a five year old and the 13-18 National Congress Maturity this year. Along came Maximum Silver who would be her junior pony in her final youth year. Max had proved himself with her brother Erik to be an excellent rail and trail pony, but now she began advancing his reining competency and training him for jumping. Max proved to be an excellent partner and the highlight of this year was winning the Versatility Championship at the National Congress. What fun we all had cheering for her in the stands---Max, Max, M-A·X. Take it to the Max!!!! Max also won three trail events at the Congress with Christina: 13-18 Trail, Junior Trail and the 18 & under Trail Futurity AND Showmanship. Amazing!
I am very grateful to the POAC and all our POA friends we have met along the way for making this equine experience so enriching and memorable for us. I have to acknowledge the trainers we have worked with who coached Christina and gave her the tools to build her show success: Joni Welda, Rebecca Solberg, Tracy Schonfeldt, Melissa Plemmons, and finally Alissa Henning. Ali has become not only a mentor and coach for Christina but also a very sincere, loyal, caring friend.
Christina is now a freshman at the University of Iowa majoring in Speech & Hearing Sciences in the Honors program. She is very happy that her buddy, Fritz, is now with Kelsey King only a few miles from Iowa City so she can visit him when she needs her pony fix! Many have asked what I will be doing now. I will continue to advocate for the POAC and all the wonders of this breed, this organization, and this experience for both youth and all family members. There is so much good for everyone.
Thank you all for making my daughter's POA experience so special!