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2002 Central Ontario Prince Philip Games Season Gets Underway

The Central Ontario Pony Club Region Prince Philip Games season begins on Sunday, May 12, with a meet hosted by the Uxbridge-Scugog Pony Club at Durward Farm, north of Port Perry. In total, over 100 players from the Durham, Green Lane, Huronia, Maple, Napanee, Pause Awhile, Pine Ridge, Simcoe, Temiskaming, Toronto & North York, Tynedale, Uxbridge-Scugog and Victoria Pony Clubs will take part. Start time is 10:00 a.m. Spectators are welcome, with free admission.

The Prince Philip Cup Games are a team competition played by Pony Clubs around the world. The Games are played by teams of five riders and five ponies, four of which participate in each game. All of the Games are variations on the relay race, and all are great fun for players and spectators alike. Many of the Games require the riders and ponies to run a slalom course around a series of poles from one end of the playing field to the other, where they hand-off something to the next rider on their team. In some races, riders have to vault off of and onto their ponies. This is one of the most photogenic and appealing of all equestrian competitions.

Riders must be under the age of 15 as of January 1st to be eligible. There are four levels of competition: C for beginners, B for more experienced riders, and A for the top players, plus unofficial competition at the Masters level, for those over the age limit.

There are two meets scheduled in the regular Central Ontario Region season, finishing with Regional Finals for all divisions. The Regional A level winners go on to play for the Eastern Canadian Championship against teams from the Western Ontario and Saint Lawrence-Ottawa Valley. The two top Eastern Canadian A level teams then play against Western Canadian representatives for the National Championship, which alternates between Eastern and Western Canada. This year, it is Western Canada's turn, with the Pacific Zone hosting the event in August at a location to be announced later. There is also a National Masters Championship, which will be hosted by the Central Zone in August.

Pony Club is the largest international equestrian organization in the world, with over 120,000 members. As well as Prince Philip Games, it offers competition in show jumping, dressage, a modified form of eventing (dressage plus cross-country jumping plus stadium jumping), tetrathlon-which combines swimming, shooting, running and cross-country jumping-and academic competition in quiz format. Above all the objective is to provide safe fun in riding-related sports.

For details please e-mail or call Liz or Bob Inglis, Central Ontario Regional Communications Co-Chairs, at 416-493-1223 (office) or 416-491-4230 (home)