Giving thru Pony Talent Search Emma Mandarino competing Bo Peep. One pony rider will be chosen to campaign the pony for a year. © James Parker

Giving thru Pony Talent Search


UPDATED January 10, 2012
Pony Talent Search Finalists Named
Lily Zukowski
Concord Twp, OH

Catherine Sharp
Vienna, GA

Katie Pollock
Lincoln, NE

UPDATED January 5, 2012

Video Montage of Pony Talent Search Submissions

Pony Talent Search Semi-Finalists Named 
(in no particular order)
Hannah Matts Oakland, NJ
Lily Zukowski Concord Twp, OH
Madison Hilderman, Alberta CAN
Claire Lube, Orlando FL
Anastasia Workman Capitola, CA
Hannah Kent Marlton, NJ
Cecillia Machado Reading, PA
Anna Maria Mayes Memphis, TN
Catherine Sharp Vienna, GA
Claire Momjian Plymouth Meeting, PA
Emma Seving Radnor Hunt, PA
Katie Pollock Lincoln, NE
Caroline Monaghan Birmingham, AL
Sarena Shah Lexington, MA
Anja McCubbin Raleigh, NC
UPDATED January 30, 2012

 Showing a top pony for free – it is every young equestrian’s dream.

Amber Hill Farm owner Elizabeth Mandarino will make the dream a reality for one child through the Pony Ring Talent Search.

“My son always wanted me to give away a pony.” At 19 years-old Joseph Cossetti ran Mandarino’s barns until his life was cut tragically short earlier this year in a car accident. Mandarino says it is because of him the idea was born, “I wanted something good to come out of something bad.”

The Talent Search aims to offer a small pony hunter rider a year’s worth of expenses paid showing aboard Amber Hill Farm’s ‘Bo Peep’ at A and AA-rated shows. The mare is already qualified for USEF Pony Finals 2012. Those interested and eligible to compete in the small pony hunter division are to submit a video of their riding, including show footage, and an essay.

Mandarino says the pony ring has been such a positive experience for her daughter and young clients. “They are fortunate to be able to ride and show. They’ve learned so much and I’d like to be able to share the opportunity.”

Mandarino encourages all interested riders to submit an entry. She says they expect to receive about 100 from across the country; to date, three entries have been received.

The young riders will be judged by United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) judges Christina Schlusemeyer, Russell Walther, and Archie Cox. Five will be selected and flown to Ocala, Florida in January to demonstrate their riding ability on ‘Bo Peep’ in front of the panel of judges. The winner will exhibit “the most natural ability and potential in the small pony ring.”

The chosen rider will receive some great items in addition to the free lease and paid show expenses including a saddle from CWD, a portrait, and additional sponsored gifts. No one will go home empty handed however, Mandarino says.

Top pony rider Emma Mandarino says, “I think it’s a great opportunity and truth be told, I wish I could do it.”