I watched a Peter Leone clinic at the stable next door with a bunch of my lesson-mates last weekend. He did three lessons that day, and in the third lesson a teenaged girl and her little pony proceeded to ride the pants off of everybody else at the clinic. Girl and pony were like a well-oiled machine, working in perfect harmony, and that little 12 hand pony was flying over 3' jumps like they weren't even there. They were so impressive together that Peter, a former Olympian, told the girl that if she could ride like that on a horse, her country needs her.
Wow, right? Of course I had to compliment this girl on her pony. The first thing she said was that the pony had been donated to Cornell by her first owners because she was rank under saddle. My jaw just about fell off at that. Looking at this pony now you'd never believe it. Her mom told me that the girl had been riding that pony for 7 years and had been doing most of the training herself. They spend most of their time doing dressage and jump only once a week. Obviously that training schedule is working.
Imagine my surprise when two days later I randomly clicked onto the Ansur Saddle homepage and found that girl and her pony! It seems the pair have been kicking butt and taking names up and down the entire East Coast for the past couple of years. They've medaled at USEF shows, the Devon show, The Four Seasons Horse Show and more - together those two are practically unstoppable.
The page linked to a YouTube video of the two during a competition, take a look:
The girl's name is Rachel Fleszar and her pony is Valley Girl, aka Currie. Keep an eye out for her, because this girl is going places, and it all started with a pony that somebody else gave up on.