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Pony Club Members Compete for Spots at Central Canadian Show Jumping Championship

108 young riders from 15 Pony Clubs 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 29, 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 three other qualifiers, to be hosted by the Centaurus Pony Club on June 19, by the Ajax Pony Club on July 17 and by the Brooklin Pony Club on July 31. This year, the Central Canada Zone Championships are being hosted by the Western Ontario Region on August 20-21.

In this show, three divisions of Pre-Entry level riders will compete in two classes each, one medal class and one Table AM5 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.

Medal classes are new to Central Ontario show jumping competition this year; in these, riders are judged for equitation or riding skill only in two phases, i.e. with and without fences.

The higher divisions, Entry, Starter, Beginner, Novice, Intermediate and Advanced, compete in three classes each, a medal class, a Table AM5single round with jump-off and a speed class, to determine a Champion and a Reserve in each division. The Table AM5 class 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. 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 8:30 am 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).