Riders from eight Central Ontario Region Pony Clubs - Centaurus, Durham, Eglinton, Kawartha, Maple, Toronto & North York, Uxbridge-Scugog and Victoria - along with members of Western Ontario Region Branches, will compete in their respective Regional A/B/C Rallies, and the Central Canada Zone Rally, at Checkmate Equestrian Centre near Feversham from Friday, August 1 to Sunday, August 4. Competitors may enter either their own Regional Rally or the Zone Rally, but not both. Zone level entries were selected based on their previous experience in Rallies and/or Eventing.
"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.
Three-Day Eventing 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. These Rallies offer Pre-Training and Training divisions, with required speeds and the heights of both the cross-country and stadium jumps increasing from level to level. Zone competition will use the same courses but with higher performance expectations.
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.
Checkmate is Canada's foremost eventing facility. Spectators are welcome without charge.
For more details, call Liz or Bob Inglis, Central Ontario Region of Pony Club Communications Co-Chairpersons at 416-493-1223 (office) or 416-491-4230 (home) or via E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, or Jan Jamieson, Central Ontario Rallies Chair, at 705-292-7284, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.