On Saturday, May 2, approximately 80 members of ten Central Ontario Pony Clubs will compete at the 2009 Regional Quiz at Sutton District High School in Sutton, 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. 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 four 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), an oral test and several "Quiz Stations". Quiz Stations are games that helpers and spectators can play after the teams are finished with them, and they are fun for everybody. For example, "Sock it to Me" calls for the player to identify various horse-related objects that have been put into socks, by feel alone.
Branches can also submit display projects, on one of several themes, which change each year. This year the competitors have a choice among "History of My Pony Club", "History of Central Ontario Region Pony Club", "Canadian Pony Club: Past, Present and Future", "The Canadian Olympic Team: Show Jumping, Dressage, Eventing or Para Equestrian", "Bloodlines of a Canadian Horse (any breed) with Pony Club Connections" or "Biography of one Canadian Olympic Rider with a Pony Club Background".
As it happens, the guest speaker for the day is a Canadian Olympic rider with a Pony Club background, Jim Elder, so we suspect that last topic will be one of the favourites.
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 British Columbia Lower Mainland Region in Richmond, BC.
The competition starts at 9 am, and spectators are welcome without charge. Sutton District High School is located at 20798 Dalton Road in Sutton.
Pony Club is celebrating its 75th anniversary in Canada this year.
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).