The Uxbridge-Scugog "Hoof-Hearted" team won the Canadian Prince Philip Games "A" championships held Sunday, August 27 near Port Perry, Ontario. The win gives the Uxbridge- Scugog Pony Club a clean sweep of the Canadian games championships at the Pony Club level, since the Uxbridge-Scugog "Cowboys" won the Masters division championship in British Columbia earlier this month.
Second place went to the "EMR" team from the East Maple Ridge Pony Club in British Columbia, with the defending champions, the "Bruisers" from the Strathcona Pony Club near Edmonton, finishing third, and the "Terminators," a mixed Uxbridge-Scugog and Simcoe Pony Clubs team, in fourth. The final scores were:
Uxbridge-Scugog "Hoof-Hearted": 89
East Maple Ridge "EMR": 78
Strathcona "Bruisers": 60
Uxbridge-Scugog/Simcoe "Terminators": 46
The sportsmanship award went to the entire "Terminators" team.
The Best Games Pony award, as voted by the players from all teams, went to Pandora.
The members of the "Hoof-Hearted" are James Cruikshanks, Sean Cruikshanks, Luke Durward, Kaylin Nauta, and Madison Reeves. They are coached by Lisa Pascoe, an alumna of the "Cowboys." The members of the "EMR" are Danielle Cornish, Jordan Cornish, Michelle Forrest, Nicki Kroetsch and Kim VanDongen, coached by Erin Borrow. The "Bruisers" comprise Katie Macbeth, Kylee Mitchell, Tara Mitchell, Jessie Niksh and Jocelyn Skelton, coached by Robin Macbeth. The "Terminators" include Chelsea Geer, Emily Lindsay, Michael Nauta, Jane Stephenson and Martin Urrubura, coached by Michelle Cruikshanks.
The "A" level is for competitors up to 14 years old as of January 1. Masters players may be 15-21 years old as of January 1.
The name chosen by the winning team reflects the sense of humour of young teens. All season, the games announcer (your humble reporter) took care to pronounce the team's name precisely and slowly, separating the two words and pronouncing "hoof" with a short "u" as in "just". At their request, and because they won, he stepped into the trap they had laid for him and called them what they wanted to be called, much to their amusement and triumph.
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. It is one of the most spectator-friendly and photogenic of all equestrian competitions.
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).