October 19th, 2016 ~ Vol. 85 No. 41
Former Crowsnest Pass resident wins major pony prize
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Herald contributor photo
Dean and Karen Chorney with their prize-winning pony Exeter Evenstar at the Welsh Pony and Cob Society of America’s National Show during the Tulsa State Fair in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Pass Herald Reporter
Dean and Karen Chorney have a very pretty pony.

The pony’s name is Exeter Evenstar and a few weeks ago she won big at the Welsh Pony and Cob Society of America’s National Show during the Tulsa State Fair in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

On Sept. 28, a pair of savvy judges named the two-year-old pony Grand Champion Half-Welsh, and Reserve Grand Champion Half-Welsh, making her a US National Champion.

The Chorneys live on an acreage near Calgary where they raised Exeter Evenstar, their first homebred pony.

Karen said she’s, “Been pony crazy,” since childhood.

“I like them because I’m short, so they’re much easier to ride than horses,” she said.

Dean grew up in the Pass and got into the pony scene after meeting his wife.

The American National show is the most prestigious Welsh Pony show in the United States, drawing competitors from throughout the country. In total over 170 ponies competed at the four-day show in Tulsa in halter, ridden and driven classes, and the Chorneys were the only Canadians competing at the event.

Canada does not have national championship for Welsh ponies and the Chorneys had never attended the WPCSA National Show before but they decided to make the long trip to Tulsa after Exeter Evenstar won several championships in July at the Wild Rose Welsh and Open Pony Show held in Red Deer.
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At that show one of the judges, Molly Rinedollar, remarked, “Exeter Evenstar is a lovely pony. She has an incredible walk and an equally good trot! She will be an amazing hunter pony with lots of Welsh attributes!”

Exeter Evenstar also competed at the Devon Horse Show in Devon, Pennsylvania in May of this year, finishing seventh in her class.

Why is the pony named Exeter Evenstar? All the horses the Chorneys breed will have the same first name: Exeteter, which is called a prefix in the horse business.

“They do that so you know where the pony came from and who bred that pony,” said Dean.

The Chorneys got the name Evenstar from a character in The Lord of the Rings, “Because we’re big nerds and love Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter and all that kind of stuff,” said Dean. “And Arwen is one of the main heroines in the Lord of the Ring series, she’s the elven princess.”

Appropriately enough, Arwen was nicknamed Evenstar or Evening Star, as the most beautiful of the last generation of High Elves in Middle-earth.

While explaining the ins and outs of breeding show-ponies, Karen said the judges are looking for an animal that’s both pleasing to the eye and graceful in its movement. It should also display certain characteristics of the Welsh breed.
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The pony’s handler also has a big role to play, she said, because they have to present the pony in the best light by posing them and getting them to run at the right speed.

“And even when it’s standing the handler needs to be able to set the pony up so it looks its best,” she said.

Dean usually handles Exeter Evenstar during shows because, as he explained it, “Karen is probably too short to run along side her at full-trot.”

For her part, Exeter Evenstar enjoys being a show pony, said Karen.

“She goes out there and she knows that she’s on stage and she loves it,” she said.

Dean said they’ll be breeding their prize pony to hopefully mother a new generation of champions and that later she’ll be broken to ride.

They also have plans to return to Tulsa State Fair to compete next year.
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October 19th ~ Vol. 85 No. 41
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