Riders from 13 Central Ontario Region Pony Clubs - Baltimore Hills, Centaurus, Durham, Huronia, Kawartha, Muskoka Lakes, Oshawa, Prince Edward County, Temiskaming, Timberline, Toronto & North York, Uxbridge-Scugog and Victoria - have entered the Regional A/B/C Rally or D Rally, both to be held at Killusty Farm near Fenelon Falls on Sunday, July 30. The A/B/C Rally was originally scheduled for July 8 at Lane's End, but at that time wet conditions made the grounds unsafe. A crowded show schedule made it necessary to combine the two rallies.
"Rally" is the Pony Club term for Eventing, an Olympic discipline in which competitors must ride a formal Dressage test, follow with a Cross Country or endurance phase across open country and over fixed obstacles, and finish with a Stadium Jumping competition. Scoring is done on a penalty points basis, with all errors of course, refusals, rails down and falls counted as penalties. Penalties are also incurred for taking too much time, or too little, to finish the Cross Country phase. The rider with the fewest penalties wins.
Eventingor Three-Day Eventing at the upper levelswas first developed in the 19th Century as a competition for cavalry horses and riders and was once called Combined Military Training. The Dressage phase demonstrates the horse's obedience and control, the Cross Country phase simulates a cavalry charge and the Stadium Jumping phase demonstrates the horse's long-range stamina and fitness. Though the military aspects of the competition no longer apply, rallies and events are still the ultimate test of both horse and rider. To win at rallies, riders must have first-rate fitness themselves and a wide range of riding skills to handle the different demands of the three phases.
The "D" in D Rally refers to the minimum level riders must have passed in the Pony Club testing system to enter. There are actually three "D" levels: D, D1 and D2. To get each of them, pony clubbers must pass a written examination in horsemanship, an oral test of stable management, and a riding test. Each level will compete in a different division at D-Rally, with Dressage tests, fence heights in both Stadium Jumping and Cross Country phases, and the time allowed for Cross Country adjusted to their skill levels. These are the youngest and least experienced children allowed to compete in this type of contest. For many of the D-level riders, this will be their first taste of Cross Country competition. Organizers take care to set them challenges within their limits, with safety first the rule as always.
The A/B/C Rally offers four divisions: Entry, for riders and horses new to eventing, Pre-Training, Training and Preliminary, with required speeds and the heights of both the cross-country and stadium jumps increasing from level to level.
Killusty Farm is approximately 14 km north of Fenelon Falls on Highway 121. From Highway 121, turn right on County Road #37 (Burys Green Road), take the second turn left (Hyper Line) to second farm on right. Competition is set to start at 8:00 am. Spectators are welcome without charge.
For further details call or e-mail Liz Inglis or Bob Inglis, Central Ontario Regional Communications Co-Chairpersons, at 416-493-1223 (office), 416-491-4230 (home).