For nine days this July, the city was host to the Pony Of the Americas Club National Congress. Now in its 60th year, this POAC show offered spectators something different: a look at the future of equestrian riding.
Organizers of the event noted that over 300 horses from 18 different states comprised over 2,500 entries during the week-and-a-half long event. Exhibitors were vying for national titles in a variety of events from trail to horsemanship, jumping and timed events. For many exhibitors making the finals or Top 10 in an event is a goal that they work toward for many years.
Six-year-old Laney Copeland of Cleveland, along with her instructor and coach Emily Shelton, competed in several events at this year’s POAC Congress show including: Leadline Showmanship, Leadline Costume, Leadline Horsemanship, Leadline Trail and several timed gymkhana events.
Laney made the top five in all her events out of almost a dozen exhibitors in her age group.
Laney was also named Congress Champion in Leadline Showmanship and Reserve Champion in Leadline Costume and Leadline Trail.
She finished the week as the 2014 POAC Congress Reserve High Point Leadline Champion.
Awards for exhibitors at this year’s POAC Congress included monogrammed jackets for Congress Champions, ribbons for Top 10 exhibitors and Dale Chavez buckles, headstalls and saddle for overall highpoint exhibitors.
The POA breed is bred specifically for children to ride and show, and the majority of POA exhibitors are under the age of 18.
However, this year’s show featured some adult classes including Showmanship, English Pleasure, Halter and Trail.
POA horses are often characterized by their appaloosa spots and gentle dispositions which makes the breed a great addition to any family.
The breed offers children a chance to develop their riding skills on small horses from 46"-56" (14 Hands), and the opportunity to compete against kids their own age. This show is a premiere event for any and all POA riders from across the country.
Laney is a riding student at Black Fox Riding Academy, where she is a member of their Black Fox Equestrian Show Team.
Laney's 2014 show season started in January with the Stock Show in Fort Worth, Texas, where she finished High Point Leadline Champion. She will finish out with shows in middle Tennessee in September, Alabama in October, and the Turkey Circuit in Floridain November.
Black Fox Equestrian Center is located on Tunnel Hill Road in Southwestern Bradley County and their riding academy offers riding lessons to children of all ages and riding experience.
Black Fox is a successful competition barn for youth and features Ponies of The Americas as their mount of choice.
Laney Copeland placedfourth in Leadline Horsemanship class at 2014 POAC Congress in Tulsa, Okla.
Laney COPELAND and her instructor, Emily Shelton of Black Fox POAs, with her Reserve High Point trophies.