August 31, 2020 – In collaboration with the USHJA Digital Pony Challenge powered by DigitalHorseShow.com (DHS), DHS is honored to welcome top international jumper and former pony rider Lillie Keenan (USA) to the platform to host a clinic following the Challenge.
The USHJA Digital Pony Challenge will feature competition delivered digitally through DigitalHorseShow.com, the official sanctioned online horse show of the USHJA. Educational opportunities are available through judge’s comments on every video submitted. Competitors can choose different packages, from $150 for entry in six classes (a $95 savings) – a hunter division (over fences, under saddle, model), the pony derby, an equitation class, and Review My Ride mini clinic with Patricia Griffith – $75 for a hunter division ($30 savings), to as little as $35 per class per pony. The Playful Pony Pranks, Costume Class, and Hunt Team Class are all free to enter.
Inspired by her mother, Keenan started riding at a young age. Asa junior rider, she won the ASPCA Maclay Finals, USEF Medal Finals, and the Washington International Horse Show Equitation Finals. She topped the USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals at only 13 years old and won individual and team gold medals at the North American Young Rider Championships. Keenan spent her pony years under the guidance of Patricia Griffith and Andre Dignelli of Heritage Farm, where started her career winning grand championships at multiple USEF Pony Finals.
Now a 23-year-old Harvard University graduate, Keenan has represented the United States on Nation’s Cup Teams. She was part of the gold medal-winning team of the 2017 CSIO5* Nation’s Cup Dublin, put in a clear round at the 2016 Nation’s Cup Final in Barcelona that helped Team USA to finish with the bronze medal, and individually, she was third in the 2016 King George V Gold Cup Grand Prix CSIO5* at Hickstead. Keenan now trains under the guidance of two-time Olympic team gold medalist McLain Ward.
The Clinic will be FREE to USHJA Digital Pony Challenge competitors but is open to anyone that would like to participate – in the tack or in a live Q&A session.
“I don’t want to turn anyone who wants to learn away,” explained Keenan. “I am comfortable teaching pony hunters as well as equitation riders, and am certainly looking forward to a great digital event. I am excited to work with DigitalHorseShow.com, and create a fun, knowledgeable learning experience for all who wish to participate!”
The clinic will be a fantastic addition to the inaugural Digital Pony Challenge, which is still accepting entries.
The format of Keenan’s clinic focuses on basics and will mimic her own program based in flatwork, gymnastics, and jumping courses. Though the clinic is open to all ages, Keenan highlighted that her focus with younger riders would stem from the foundations of riding, such as rhythm, straightness, and balance, without getting too complicated. Each rider will receive instructions on what type of video to submit ahead of time, or may submit a recent show clip for feedback instead.
For participants who aren’t able to submit videos, there will be a separate Q&A-style learning session, where Keenan will answer questions and discuss her experience in balancing school and competition.
Official dates and pricing for the Lillie Keenan Clinic presented by DigitalHorseShow.com will be released soon.
DigitalHorseShow.com: Horse Sports for the New Normal. Founded in 2020 by a group of industry leaders with experience in video, show management, entry systems, sales, and marketing, DHS offers a place for equestrians to maintain their competitive edge and receive thoughtful feedback for themselves and their horses. Providing participants with the most affordable way to compete in front of USEF-Licensed Officials, DHS is the official sanctioned online horse show competition of the USHJA and also welcomes a variety of opportunities for other facets of the equestrian community.