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Katie Dinan Believes in Keep Dreamin for a Victory in the Pony Hunter Finals at the Legacy Cup

Diana De Rosa

“I was shocked when I found out I won,” commented Katie Dinan after she rode Keep Dreamin’ to win the Pony Hunter Finals and she earned (literally) the Leading Pony Rider Award in the Legacy Cup on Sunday, May 13. “I wasn’t expecting anything. I was just going in to have fun and hoping to get a good ribbon! I was really, really happy to win.”

The Leading Rider title was the result of Katie accumulating $2,016, the most money won by a rider in the pony division. The Leading Trainer Award for the first week of the Legacy Cup went to Lynn Jayne for having her riders accumulate the most prize money ($6,424). The Legacy Cup is part of the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows taking place in Lexington, KY, through May 19.

Riders had to qualify to compete in the Finals by first riding in the Saturday Go Round. That class was won by Cloudy Bay ridden by Shawn Casady and owned by Far Niente. A total of 32 horses competed in the Pony Division and 26 qualified for the Pony Finals. With the add back of $200 from their entry fees, the entire purse for the division was $8,900. The portion allocated to the Finals was $7,400 with the first place pony receiving a check for $2,016.

The Legacy Cup is unique in that it focuses on being different than the other typical Hunter classes. Riders receive more money and prizes thanks to an add-back format and the support of sponsors. Lanes End/The Farish Family sponsored the Pony Finals. Gifts to the horses and riders were thanks to Personalized Products, Essex Classics and Malvern Saddlery. The Cooler awarded to the winner was sponsored by Stacey Lefton Glick and Kings Crossing LLC. In addition, an anonymous Friend of the AHJF and the Legacy Cup provided each of the grooms of the top three placed horses in each class with a $100 cash prize. The winner of the Pony Finals was presented with The Delta Dawn Perpetual Trophy sponsored by Stacey Lefton Glick and Kings Crossing LLC.


Thirteen-year-old Katie Dinan has been riding since she was 4 ˝ and it’s obvious she loves her 10-year-old, large pony, palomino gelding who she calls Lucky (and when joking adds Duck to that nickname).

“He’s very sweet and always wants mints and apples, but he’s pretty easy going,” said Katie about the pony who took her to the Reserve Championship at the 2006 USEF Pony Finals.

“I was really happy with him today. I don’t think he could have done any better. He did everything I asked,” she continued adding that she believed it was the fact that “he makes a big effort over the jump, is round and has a nice pace” that gave her the points needed to win the class.

This was Katie’s first Legacy Cup and she was following what she feels she’s learned from riding. She went in not expecting anything because she believes it’s important “to be persistent and always try even if you have down times.”

She wanted to be sure to thank her trainers and her parents, who Katie says “have been extremely supportive.” Even though they couldn’t be together because her family was home celebrating Mother’s Day, Katie called her mom after each class. When she called after the last class it was to tell her she had a wonderful Mother’s Day present for her because she’d won her last class of the week.

Yet she also wanted to thank her pony. “I’m so happy with my pony. He was great,” she concluded.


When Shawn Casady’s family moved to Tennessee it was the perfect opportunity for his mom to fulfill a lifetime dream. She’d ridden Western as a child but had wanted to ride English. She was able to achieve that dream by taking Shawn and his sister for lessons at a nearby riding school. A year later he was competing at his first local show. Shawn was only six when he started riding and now at 12 he has found his niche in the pony division.

At the Legacy Cup he was riding the Medium Pony Cloudy Bay for owner Far Niente and was pleased.

“He’s cool. He chills in the barn but when he’s competing he has a nice rhythm, covers a lot of ground (once he gets going), is very consistent and is a really good jumper.”

That word consistent is important to Casady who feels that consistency in his riding is more important than winning. “My goal is to be consistent and not get caught up in what is happening around me and just remind myself that no matter what happens it is not the end of the world.”

Matter-of-fact when asked what he is most proud of he said, “of being able to ride a lot of ponies and be consistent.”


The two-week Legacy Cup was developed to benefit the show hunter sport with a unique format, unprecedented rewards and a pleasant environment to showcase the hunters. It is the brainchild of the American Hunter-Jumper Foundation, Inc. (AHJF). The Legacy Cup includes two professional and two non-pro divisions; one at 3' and one at 3'6" and the Legacy Cup Pony Hunter Division. In addition the format allows for multiple awards within each class and division. Each division has a Go Round and a Final.

Each Go Round offers a guaranteed purse of $1,500. Go Rounds rank the top 25 horses for a clean slate Final. The 2007 Legacy Cup entry fee is $400 of which 50% goes directly to the division purse and 50% to the AHJF for the expenses associated with the event. In addition the Legacy Cup Committee committed an added purse of $13,000.

For more information about the Legacy Cup and complete results and photos visit or contact the AHJF (335 Lancaster Street, West Boylston, MA 01583-0369), Phone: 508-835-8813,, email: