The Central Ontario Pony Club Region Prince Philip Games regular season wraps up this Sunday, July 3, with the Regional Finals at Durward Farm north of Port Perry. This meet will decide the Regional Champions at all levels, and also which A and Masters level teams will represent Central Ontario at the Zone level, competing against teams from the Western Ontario and St. Lawrence-Ottawa Valley Regions. Western Ontario Region will be hosting the Zone Championship this year, on July 13. Points accumulate over the season, and competition at most levels is very close.
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 take part 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 - an egg on a spoon is one of the tougher ones, and some of the players can carry it while riding at full speed - to the next rider on their team. In some races, riders have to vault off of and onto their ponies - in one, for example, the riders must dash towards a line of upturned buckets, dismount, run across the buckets leading their ponies, remount and head for the finish line; if you tip a bucket over you must reset it and start back at the first bucket again. Prince Philip Games are among the most photogenic and spectator-friendly of all equestrian competitions.
Pony Club is the largest international equestrian organization in the world, with over 120,000 members. As well as Prince Philip Games, it offers competition in show jumping, dressage, a modified form of eventing (dressage plus cross-country jumping plus stadium jumping), tetrathlon-which combines swimming, shooting, running and cross-country jumping-and academic competition in quiz format. Above all the objective is to provide safe fun in riding-related sports.
Start time is 9:30 a.m. Spectators are welcome, with free admission. Durward Farm is just northeast of Sonya on Zion Road.
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).