Free Willy

Photo courtesy of Shane Shiflet
(1993 – )
Owned by Georgia R. Blevins
Inducted: 2013


Photo courtesy of USEF Archive
The pressure that comes with being undefeated is that you could always lose the next time. No one told super pony Free Willy that though. The Hackney pony had a perfect winning streak in 2007, taking first place in all nine classes that he entered and racking up his overall record at the time to 25 consecutive wins.

Owned and driven by Georgia Blevins, Free Willy opened his 2007 campaign in Asheville, North Carolina, winning both the qualifying and championship classes of the open roadster pony section and never looking back. He picked up his final victory of the year in November at the UPHA/American Royal National Championship Show in Missouri.

Throughout the year, he shined, never putting a foot wrong.

Winning at Rock Creek and the Kentucky State Fair as well as the ASHAV in Virginia, ensured that only the brave would take on the dynamic pony, who depicts the ideal standard for a roadster. His performances in 2007 also earned him the recognition as a United States Equestrian Federation Horse of Honor.

“He just responds to Georgia,” said T.J. Blevins, Georgia’s husband. “There’s something about her hands he responds to. It’s been a dream of mine to have roadster ponies.”

His extremely animated motion and speed has won him fans at every competition he’s contested. He was the World Grand Champion Roadster Pony at the Kentucky State Fair three years in a row. In 2006, he was the Champion Hackney Roadster Pony at the Ohio State Fair, the Winning Roadster Pony at the American Royal, and he won the United Professional Horsemen's Association (UPHA) Open Roadster Pony Award.

Not only is he extraordinarily talented in the show ring, Free Willy is beautifully mannered and extremely intelligent, and shows up with a big performance every single time he is called on. He has performed in front of capacity crowds of up to 30,000 spectators over the last few years, meaning that hundreds of thousands of people have witnessed his stellar performances and cheered him on through his numerous successes.

“He’s wonderful,” said Blevins of the beloved pony. “Everything about him is a gentleman. He loves carrots and peppermints. He’s always calling for everyone in the barn to bring him things. He’s such an athlete, and he has such manners. He knows when to turn it on and when not to. He’s always risen to the occasion. When people start clapping, he really responds to that. He’s a legend around the horse shows that we go to.”

The beautiful, athletic and perfectly mannered pony is the ideal ambassador for the Hackney breed. Free Willy’s beauty and willingness to perform are the perfect fit for the roadster pony division that requires an elegant neck and headset, extreme motion and great speed and quickness. His ability to combine all of these elements to winning rounds time and time again is a truly remarkable accomplishment.