38 members of eight Central Ontario Region Pony Clubs have qualified for the Regional Dressage Finals, to take place on Sunday, August 15, at Blue Star Farm near Mount Albert, hosted by the Toronto & North York Pony Club. This show will also act as an additional qualifier for the Central Canada Zone Dressage Championships. This year, the Central Canada Zone Championships are being hosted by the St. Lawrence-Ottawa Valley Region near Ottawa, on August 26-29. Central Ontario's team will be announced closer to those dates.
Dressage is a system for training horse an rider that has its roots in ancient Greece. All work is done on the flat. Each horse/rider combination performs a set test in front of one or more judges (depending on the level of the competition). This show offers several levels of competition, including four levels of freestyle or "kur," dressage done to music. Dressage is an Olympic and Pan Am Games sport. Many of Canada's best Dressage riders, including Pan Am Games 2003 individual gold medallist Leslie Reid, got their introduction to Dressage as Pony Club members.
Pony Club is an international organization to promote riding and horsemanship skills among young people (up to 21 years old). Nearly all of Canada's international show jumpers got their starts in Pony Club. Show jumping is the most familiar Pony Club activity to most spectators, but Pony Club also offers competition in dressage, mounted games, rallies (including dressage, cross-country jumping and stadium jumping), tetrathlon (including shooting, swimming, cross-country jumping, stadium jumping, and cross-country running by the riders) as well as "academic" competition in quiz format. Above all, the objective of Pony Club competition is for young people to have safe fun in horse-related activities.
Blue Star Farm is on the northwest corner of Mount Albert Road and McGowan Road. Spectators are welcome without charge.
For more details e-mail Bob Inglis, Central Ontario Regional Communications Chair, or call him at 416-493-1223 (office) or 416-491-4230 (home).