Iron Bridge Pony Club members with Secretary of Ag Buddy Hance and MHIB Chairman Jim Steele.

On behalf of The Iron Bridge Pony Club and St. Margaret’s Pony Club, members from the Iron Bridge Pony Club received the December Touch of Class award from the Maryland Horse Industry Board on Saturday, Dec. 13, after the conclusion of the Lisbon Christmas Horse Parade. The Iron Bridge Pony Club won a national championship at the 2014 U. S. Pony Club Championships in Lexington, Kentucky.

The team which rode their mounts in the Parade included Ryan Keefe, 14, from Sandy Spring (Montgomery County); Hallie Kling, 14, from Brookeville (Montgomery County); Gracie Lukaczer, 16, from Washington D.C.; Rachael Miller, 17, from Pasadena (Anne Arundel County); and Erin Reilly, 16, from Woodbine (Howard County).

The team members represented the Iron Bridge Hounds Pony Club from the Washington metro area and the St. Margaret’s Pony Club from Annapolis. They joined forces to win the Novice Event in the three-day event competition, defeating 21 other teams from across the United States.

Coach Rumsey Keefe said, “These young riders are incredibly dedicated and really put forward a great effort.”

Two other Maryland teams, in show jumping and mounted games, also earned national championships at the event and will be honored at Horse World Expo in January at Timonium.

The Touch of Class award was initiated by MHIB in 2011 to honor Maryland horses and people who achieve national and international recognition. To date, 59 people and 29 horses, ponies, mules and donkeys from 14 different Maryland counties and 24 different equestrian disciplines have been honored. The award is named in honor of Touch of Class, the Maryland-bred mare that won two show jumping gold medals at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.