Hunter/Jumper is becoming an increasingly popular division, especially with young riders. There are three categories at a Hunter/Jumper show; hunter, jumper and equitation. In all three, the rider rides her horse through a course of jumps, though each section is scored differently. In jumpers, the score is given based on the speed and accuracy over the course. Hunter and Equitation are based on a subjective evaluation of form and style over the jumps, with Hunter classes focusing on the form of the horse and Equitation classes focusing on the form of the rider. Fourteen-year-old Bailey Lones has competed at the highest level in both the Hunter/Jumper and Arabian worlds with her Arabian and Half-Arabian Hunter ponies.
(Emma) Tell us about yourself?
(Bailey) My name is Bailey Lones, and I am fourteen years old. I live in Lenoir City, Tenn. on our small family farm. I show our Arabians and Half-Arabians in open USEF/USHJA hunter shows and USEF/ AHA Arabian shows in Sport Horse and Hunter divisions. At Arabian shows, we show with Cynthia Cubbage Sport Horses, LLC from Aiken, S.C., and at Hunter shows my trainer is Jordan Ayres of Triple Hill Farm in Lenoir City, Tenn. I have shown at AHA Youth Nationals twice, AHA Sport Horse Nationals twice and USEF Pony Finals twice so far. I hope to continue showing in both open Hunters and AHA shows for years to come.
(Emma) Who are the special Arabian and Half-Arabian horses in your life and why?
I have a wonderful, grey Half-Arabian large pony, Raindrops on Roses HL +// (Rosie). I have had Rosie since she was 4 years old and I was 8. I have done all the training on Rosie Myself. Rosie and I have four National Championships together, four Reserve National championships, and numerous Top Tens. Rosie also placed 38th out of 84 at Pony Finals in 2015. It was my first time being at Pony Finals, so being in the top 50% on a pony I trained myself was really exciting. In 2017 Rosie was USEF National Reserve Champion Horse of the Year in Half-Arabian/Anglo-Arabian Hunter Specialty.
I also have a chestnut Purebred Arabian large pony, Hearts Adrift (Sunny). Sunny taught me from ground rail hunters, to cross rails and then up to 2'6" Hunters. Recently, I have been showing her in the Large Green Pony division ( 2'9") at USHJA shows, and she has been amazing - she's 22 years old this year too.
I also have two young Half-Arabian crosses. Celestial Fire HL (Jami) is an Arabian Dutch Warmblood cross who I just recently got to show at her first show in Perry, Ga. I broke Jami myself with the help of my Mom. Jami was fantastic at her first show, and I can't wait to show her more next year. We also have a Half-Arabian Canadian warmblood 2-year-old named California Beach Boy (Cam) that we will be starting in the fall.
(Emma) What are your goals short term, and long term with the Arabian horse?
I am looking forward to getting my young horses going and hope to show them at Youth Nationals and Sport Horse Nationals in 2019 in the Hunter and Sport Horse arenas. In the short term, I plan to start showing my young horses this fall after Pony finals (I am showing a pony I rescued from a kill pen and trained and qualified for USEF Pony Finals We think she is Half-Arabian, but we did DNA and didn't find a match. We were really hoping to find her Half-Arabian heritage).
I will show Jami in the USHJA shows in pre-childrens and childrens Hunters working up to Junior Hunters eventually I hope. In the long term I would love to make it to the Maclay Equitation finals on one of my Half-Arabians. I think California Beach Boy (Cam) will be a great equitation horse one day.
(Emma) What would you say to someone your age who is thinking of making an Arabian their next horse?
For someone thinking of making an Arabian their next horse, I would say “Go for it!” Just make sure you find the one that fits you
and your goals. Arabians have so many different qualities, and they can fit many different disciplines and desires. Arabians are smart, careful, athletic and willing so if you find the right one for you, you can do anything! And Arabian shows are more fun! My Mom and I love the atmosphere and the people at AHA/USEF Arabian shows; they are like family! If you are thinking of an Arabian or Half-Arabian for Hunters and the Open Hunter world you definitely have to do your homework and work hard and look the part, but don't let anyone tell you it can't be done!
(Emma) Parent/Guardian, what has your experience of the Arabian horse as a Youth/Family horse been? Would you encourage other families to select the breed for their children/youths and why?
(Susie Lones, Bailey’s Mom) I would like to say how much we love AHA Arabian shows. The Arabian horse world is a great community. People are friendly; the shows are fun, exciting and well-run. We have so many friends that show Arabians in different disciplines and different arenas, but everyone is nice and supportive no matter which arena they are in. We especially enjoy AHA Youth Nationals. There is so much to see and do and learn at Youth Nationals, and all the kids have a wonderful time. While we also enjoy the USEF/ USHJA hunter shows, Arabian shows offer an overall wonderful atmosphere, some different learning experiences and some diversity. We love the fact that kids learn different disciplines and different events with Arabians and Half-Arabians such as sport horse and hunters. I would definitely encourage (and have encouraged) other families to enjoy Arabian shows and the Arabian community.
Congratulations Bailey on all your achievements with your Arabian-bred horses and being a wonderful ambassador for the breed. We have no doubt you will go far and can’t wait to hear about your future success with your young horses!