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Pony Clubs Gear Up for 2003 Season

On Saturday, April 19, representatives of 18 Central Ontario Pony Clubs will compete at the 2003 Regional Quiz at Sutton District High School in Sutton.

Pony Club is an international movement for young people (aged 21 or under), and is the largest equestrian organization in the world with over 120,000 members worldwide. It offers a wide variety of horse-related activities and competitions.

Quiz is different from most other Pony Club activities in that it does not require horses or ponies. Pony Club members compete as both individuals and teams, each Branch being allowed five teams of four youngsters each, with the top three scores in each team to count. Depending on the ages and levels of their members, Branches may choose to enter more than one team at a given level and no team at all at another level. D, D1 and D2 levels are for the younger or less experienced members, C level for the intermediates, and the A/B level for the older and more experienced members. D and D1 competition is on a team basis only while the higher levels also compete as individuals in some phases.

There are three phases: a written test, a visual test where competitors have to identify strange, obscure and unusual horsy objects by sight (older competitors often have to read an X-Ray) and an oral test. There will also be several "Quiz Stations". These are games that teams, helpers and spectators can play; they don't count for points, but they are fun for everybody. For example, one calls for the player to identify various horse-related objects that have been put into socks, by feel alone.

Clubs may also compete in a "Projects" category, in which team members from all levels prepare displays or exhibits based on one of a "menu" of topics. This year, the choices include: alternative medical practices (comparing three of the following to traditional methods - chiropractic, acupuncture, herbal medicines, aquatic therapy or massage therapy); breeding methods; bits and bitting; trailers and trailering; lungeing; anatomy in action (up to three of the following - muscular, skeletal, circulatory, respiratory, reproductive, lymphatic and nervous systems); ailments of the lower leg (six to be covered, from the knee to the ground).

To form a Quiz team, most Pony Club Branches hold meetings and try-outs over a period of about six weeks. Often, the A/B level Pony Club members coach the other teams.

The Regional Quiz takes a full day, and is the first competition of the new season. The top four individual competitors at the A/B and C levels qualify to compete at the National Quiz in October. This year, National Quiz will be held in Prince Edward Island, hosted by the New Brunswick-Prince Edward Island Region.

The competition starts at 9 am, and spectators are welcome without charge. Sutton District High School is located at 20798 Dalton Road in Sutton.

For details call Liz or Bob Inglis, Central Ontario Regional Communications Co-Chairs, at 416-493-1223 (office) or 416-491-4230 (home), or via e-mail at, or call Catherine Burke, Central Ontario Regional Quiz Chair, at 905-478-4674 (home) or