A team from the Temiskaming Pony Club won the Central Canada Zone Prince Philip Games Championship at the A level at a meet played near Port Perry, Ontario yesterday, defeating teams from the Western Ontario and Saint Lawrence-Ottawa Valley Regions. The Temiskaming team, which represented the Central Ontario Region, will now advance to the National Championships, to be played September 28-29 near Vancouver, where they will compete against the Pacific and Prairie Zone Champions for the Canadian Prince Philip Games crown.
The members of the Temiskaming Pony Club team are Bethany Brown riding Touch Me Not, Shawna Chester on Lightning, Candace McMahon on Merrylegs and Jessica McVittie riding Mini-Me. The team also used a fifth pony, Bonnie, in some games. At the National Championships all teams will ride borrowed ponies, since transporting ponies across the country is impractical. Mounts are normally contributed by the host Region - British Columbia Lower Mainland this year - but if a team from that Region represents its Zone, its members would not be allowed to ride their own ponies in competition as this would give them an unfair advantage over the other teams. In fact, all teams generally switch ponies after a set of games.
Finishing in second place at the A level was a team from the Mill Ridge Pony Club in the Western Ontario Region, with third place going to the Saint Lawrence-Ottawa Valley Regional Champions, Ashton First Field Pony Club.
At the Masters level, for older Pony Clubbers, the Uxbridge-Scugog "Cowboys," representing the Central Ontario Region, were Zone Champions. Second place went to the Ashton First Field Masters team, with a team from the Grand River Pony Club in the Western Ontario Region finishing third. Plans for a National Masters Championship are under review.
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.
For details please e-mail Liz Inglis or Bob Inglis, Central Ontario Regional Communications Co-Chairs, or call them at 416-493-1223 (office) or 416-491-4230 (home).