East meets West in the national Prince Philip Games "A" Championship to be contested at Durward Farm near Sonya, Ontario (between Port Perry and Uxbridge) this weekend. Eastern Canada will be represented by two teams with members from the local Uxbridge-Scugog Pony Club - the Uxbridge-Scugog Hoof-Hearteds, and a mixed Uxbridge-Scugog/Simcoe team, the Terminators - hoping to make it a clean sweep in Canadian games championships this year (the Uxbridge-Scugog Cowboys won the Canadian Masters Championship earlier this month). The Western Canada teams are the Strathcona Pony Club Bruisers from the Alberta North Region and the EMR team from the East Maple Ridge Pony Club in the British Columbia Lower Mainland Region.
At this level, all teams ride borrowed ponies, since transporting ponies across the country is impractical. Mounts are normally contributed by the host Region, but when a team from the host Region is involved, its members are not allowed to ride their own ponies in competition, as this would give them an unfair advantage over the other teams. In this 20-game championship, the teams will switch mounts after every five games.
Competition is set for Sunday, August 27. The Western teams arrive in Toronto on Friday, August 25 and have a day to adjust to the change in time zones.
The Games are a team competition played by Pony Clubs around the world, played by teams of five riders and five ponies, four of which participate in each game. All 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 to the next rider on their team. In many races, riders have to vault off of and onto their ponies.
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).