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Central Ontario Regional and Central Canada Zone Rally

Central Ontario will host its Regional A/B/C Rally, and the Central Canada Zone Rally, at Lane's End Farm near Bobcaygeon on Saturday, August 10. Riders from the Central Ontario, Western Ontario and Saint Lawrence-Ottawa Valley Regions will compete. Many of the horses and some of the riders will stay over to compete in the Canadian Pony Club National Tetrathlon, which begins on Sunday, August 11.

"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.

Eventing-or Three-Day Eventing at the upper levels-was 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 horse and rider. To win at rallies, riders must have first-rate fitness themselves and a wide range of riding skills to handle the demands of the three phases.

The "C" in A/B/C Rally refers to the minimum level riders must have passed in the Pony Club testing system in order to enter at either the Regional or Zone level. 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.

One major difference between Pony Club rallies and "regular" events is that Pony Clubbers compete in horse care/stable management as well as in the riding phases. Non-riding Captains can act as grooms and coaches, but otherwise the young competitors are on their own.

Lane's End is northwest of Bobcaygeon; west on Victoria Road 8 (Duke Street) to the first side road out of the village (Concession 9), then north 3.5 kilometres to Lane's End. Competition is set to start at 8:30 am. Spectators are welcome without charge.

For further details, get in touch with Jan Jamieson, Central Ontario Rallies Chair, at 705-292-7284, or via e-mail at