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Local Pony Club Members Shine at A/B/C Rally

Maple Pony Club member Shaylyn Lucas finished second overall as an individual at the Western Ontario Region's A/B/C Rally held August 13-15 at Cedar Run Horse Park near Thornbury, Ontario. Her team also finished second. The other members of her team were drawn from the Western Ontario Region. Shaylyn finished second in the dressage phase, had a clear round over the cross-country course except for some minor time penalties, and turned in one of three clear rounds in the stadium jumping phase.

Fellow Maple member Kyra Holmes acted as a groom for Shaylyn's team and finished first among the grooms with a score of minus two for stable management and turnout. Since scoring for rallies is on a penalty point basis, negative scores are rare - Kyra's was the only one among the grooms at this rally - and very good.

"Rally" is the Pony Club term for eventing, an Olympic discipline in which competitors must ride a formal dressage test, follow with roads and tracks and/or cross country endurance phase across open country and over fixed obstacles, and finish with a stadium jumping competition. As mentioned above, scoring is done on a penalty points basis, with all errors of course, refusals, rails down and falls counted as penalties. Penalties are also incurred for taking too much time, or too little, to finish the cross country phase. The rider with the fewest penalties wins.

Eventing-or three-day eventing at the upper levels-was first developed in the 19th century as a competition for cavalry horses and riders and was once called combined military training. The dressage phase demonstrates the horse's obedience and control, the cross country phase simulates a cavalry charge and the stadium jumping phase demonstrates the horse's long-range stamina and fitness. Though the military aspects of the competition no longer apply, rallies and events are still the ultimate test of both horse and rider. To win at rallies, riders must have first-rate fitness themselves and a wide range of riding skills to handle the different demands of the three phases. One major difference between Pony Club rallies and "regular" events is that Pony Club members, including the grooms, compete in horse care/stable management as well as in the riding phases.

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).