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Pony Club Members Compete For Spots At Central Canadian Show Jumping Championships

86 young riders from 15 Pony Clubs, including those with members from this area, have entered the first of the Central Ontario Region's qualifiers for the Central Canada Zone Show Jumping Championships. This show takes place next Sunday, May 30, at Dreamcrest Equestrian Centre near Port Perry, hosted by the Uxbridge-Scugog Pony Club. Selection for the Central Ontario Show Jumping team, which will compete against teams from the Western Ontario and St. Lawrence-Ottawa Valley Regions, will be based on scores achieved at this meet and two other qualifiers, to be hosted by the Ajax Pony Club on July 18 and by the Brooklin Pony Club on August 1. This year, the Central Canada Zone Championships are being hosted by the St. Lawrence-Ottawa Valley Region on August 28-29.

In this show, three divisions of Pre-Entry level riders will compete in two classes each, both single round plus jump-off, preceded by a warm-up round. Some of these riders are under ten years old, and the jumps are set accordingly (1'9" to 2'0"). Pre-Entry riders do not qualify for the Zone Championships.

The higher divisions, Entry, Starter, Beginner, Novice, Intermediate and Advanced, compete in three classes each, two conventional classes and one speed class, to determine a Champion and a Reserve in each division. Each of the conventional classes includes a timed jump-off if more than one rider gets through the first round without any knock-downs, refusals or falls. In the jump-off, clear rounds count ahead of those with faults, and the fastest clear round wins, just like at the televised shows. Speed rounds are against the clock, with no jump-off (in effect, speed rounds ARE a jump-off). Jump heights increase for each division, with the Advanced riders facing obstacles ranging from 3'6" to 3'9".

Pony Club is an international organization to promote riding and horsemanship skills among young people. Nearly all of Canada's international show jumpers got their starts in shows like this. Show jumping is the most familiar of Pony Club's activities to most spectators, but there is also competition in dressage, mounted games, rallies (including dressage, cross-country jumping and stadium jumping), tetrathlon (swimming, shooting, cross-country jumping, stadium jumping and cross-country running) as well as "academic" competition in quiz format.

Dreamcrest Equestrian Centre is at 2130 Shirley Road, east of Simcoe Street between Raglan and Port Perry. The show starts at 8:00 am (don't get into riding competitions if you like to sleep in) and 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).