Nikki Ince and Maddy Lang of the King Pony Club have won the 2007 Canadian Pas de Deux Championship at the Starter level. They were presented with their award at the July 8 Central Ontario dressage qualifier show by the Canadian Pony Club national Dressage Chair, Kasia Miedzinska of Ottawa. The King area teenagers, riding Maximus and Delphi respectively, are now competing in the Pre-Training Pas de Deux, one level higher than Starter.
In Pas de Deux competition, pairs of horses and riders perform a dressage test to music. Certain movements must be included at each level, but not in any set order, much like free-style pairs figure skating. The judges award marks for the interaction of the two horse-rider combinations, and for the effective use of their music, as well as for the technical ability with which they perform their ride.
Dressage is an Olympic sport, in which Canada's best showing was a team bronze medal in 1988. Three of the four members of that team were Pony Club graduates, and this show may very well feature members of the 2016 or 2020 Canadian Equestrian Team.
Pony Club is an international organization to promote riding and horsemanship skills among young people. Many of Canada's international riders 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 (which include dressage, cross-country and stadium jumping, plus stable management competition), tetrathlon (which includes swimming, shooting, cross-country riding, stadium jumping and cross-country running by the riders) as well as academic competition in quiz format.
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).