Shawn Casady wins 2008 WIHS Pony Equitation Finals

Washington, DC - October 25, 2008 - Shawn Casady, 13, of Harriman, TN, won the 2008 WIHS Pony Equitation Finals at the 50th Washington International Horse Show. Riders compete yearlong to qualify for the finals.

The WIHS Pony Equitation Finals is a two-round competiton judged on a rider's position and ability. Twenty-six riders competed in the jumping phase, and the top 12 riders were invited back for the flat phase.

Casady rode the pony Liseter Clever Star, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker. The award was presented by the 2007 winner, Taylor Ann Adams.

There were a few different options in the course that Casady and trainer Bill Schaub took into account to put together a plan while walking the course. "It was a nice, forward course. We were going to go for the nice easy options, but he was just in the mood to gallop around," said Schaub. "He just got a nice gallop and off he went. Shawn used to start out a little slow. That is what we have been working on; mostly to start with a good pace and keep it throughout. The pony just likes a nice, confident ride. Shawn's very soft, and the pony likes that. He likes your leg to be a little bit definite."

"I was really thinking about the seven to the two stride, and we were thinking maybe I would bow out a little bit and take it in the eight," said Casady. "It was a vertical to vertical, and it was pretty up and down with no base line. I got down there early, and he was in the mood to gallop around. On course I had to make a decision and I saw what I wanted out of the corner, so I did it in the seven strides."

Dr. Parker spent a lot of time trying to find the right rider for her pony.

"I had been watching riders and I saw Shawn ride about a year ago and I absolutely thought he was going to go big places, so I asked him to ride the pony," said Parker. "It has been a sensational year. We almost don't dare talk about it, it's been so good; we don't want to jinx it. Next year he will ride both my ponies, Vanity Fair and Liseter Clever Star. George Morris said he is the future. Joe Fargis said remember the name; the boy will be famous."

Parker puchased Liseter Clever Star from Bruce Spingsteen a year ago. "
His barn name is Brucie after his previous owner, Bruce Springsteen. He laughed and clapped his hands and said he loved it," said Parker. "Bruce was up there in the stands whistling and cheering for him in the class." 

This was Casady's first time qualifying and competing in the class, but he has been to the Washington International before. "It's a nice show, and I really enjoy it here. It's different because you get to be downtown, and it makes you feel important," said Casady.

Link to complete show results.