On Saturday, May 7, approximately 140 members of 15 Central Ontario Pony Clubs will compete at the 2005 Regional Quiz at Keswick High School in Keswick, Ontario.
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 three youngsters each. 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 parasites, teaching beginners, bandaging, feed and feeding, feed supplements, riding safety, and drug administration.
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. Mixed-Branch teams are permitted to make sure interested kids are not left out if their own Branches do not have enough members at a given level to form a full team, or have enough for one and a half 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 hosted by the Saint Lawrence-Ottawa Valley Region in Ottawa.
The competition starts at 9 am, and spectators are welcome without charge. Keswick High School is located at 100 Biscayne Boulevard in Keswick.
The following Branches have confirmed entries as of May 2: Ajax, Brooklin, Centaurus, Eglinton, King, Maple, Northwoods, Oshawa, Pickering, Prince Edward County, Simcoe, Uxbridge-Scugog, Waussnodae and Whitchurch. In addition, Toronto & North York is expected to enter.
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).