NS/NF Region
Fall 2002 Newsletter

From the Editor

This will be our last newsletter of 2002. It's been a busy year once again, with lots of exciting news to report. In between newsletters, look on our Regional Pony Club website for updates and results. (Go to the national website at www.canadianponyclub.org and connect to the region's website from there.) Remember if you have information for the newsletter, please contact me at brownje@annapolis.nscc.ns.ca or (902) 665-2964.

Congratulations to the Fairwind team, who won the D Challenge held in Windsor in October. Complete results for the D Challenge will be posted on the website soon.

I owe an apology to one of the members of our National Tetrathlon Team. I inadvertently omitted Inga Hansen's name from the team in our last newsletter. Inga was a member of the team, along with Jenn Wilson, Erin Sloan and Laura Sloan. Anna-Christine Murray competed individually. My apologies, Inga! See the report in this newsletter from the team.

Look in the February issue of Horse & Pony for a Regional Pony Club ad. Encourage your equestrian friends to join Pony Club for a great education and for great fun!

All the best of the holiday season to all Pony Clubbers and Leaders, Regional Committee Members, our testers and our leaders.

Regional Fund Raiser Winners
The draws for the prizes from the Regional Ticket Sales were held at the Regional Meeting on November 2. Results of the draws are as follows:
$200 Gift Certificate from Ted's Tack Shop – Kathy Mattocks
$200 Gift Certificate from Clarence Feeds & Holna Farm Services – Lindsay MacGillvray
$200 Gift Certificate from Apple Saddlery – Megan Johnson
Many thanks to our sponsors – Ted's Tack Shop, Clarence Feeds & Holna Farm Services, and Apple Saddlery.

The club selling the most tickets and the individual top sellers also won prizes! Those top selling clubs were Colchester – sold 143 tickets – won $50 toward a pizza party; Fairwind – sold 97 tickets; West Valley – sold 89 tickets. The top individual sellers were Kaleigh Brinkhurst, Eastern Shore, sold 32 tickets; Jessica Buell, Eastern Shore, sold 20 tickets; and Lindsay MacGillvray, Fairwind, and Beth Bradley, Colchester, tied for third, who each sold 18 tickets.

Virtual Trophy Case
Look on the website at our region's Virtual Trophy Case. Do you have stories or information about some of those trophies that you could add? Do you have Pony Club trophies that are not in the Virtual Trophy Case?? We know that there are still several more out there. Let us know and we'll get details and photos of those online as well.

Award Application Deadlines!!!!!!
Please note that the deadline for applications for both the Todd Sandler Award and the Governor General's Awards of Excellence is December 1. All applications must be submitted to the Regional Chair (Judy Allen) by this date. This is an earlier deadline than in past years. Application forms can be downloaded from the National Website. If you scroll down on the main page, you will see links to the download and information sites. You need to include references for these, so if interested, you should get your applications now and start the process right away.

Regional Youth Representative – Emily Dexter, Colchester Pony Club
This past year has been very eventful. Our Region has done well in Regional, Zone, National, and International Competitions. All the regional events were well attended too and were a great success. We have sent a team to Tetrathlon and Quiz at the national level. Two of the Region's members got to attend the International Tetrathlon - one member as a rider to attend the 2003 InterPacific Exchange and another as an alternate. I would like to congratulate everyone this year on his or her accomplishments.

This year past year I haven't received much input from the region's members. I must remind every branch that there should be a Branch Youth Representative. The Branch Youth Representative should be selected or elected from the active membership of the branch. This person is to be a full committee member with all the same rights and privileges as other committee members. There is no minimum age requirement; however to vote on any matter the Rep must have passed their 18th birthday. The Branch Youth Representative is responsible for bringing the ideas and concerns of the membership to the attention of the branch executive and Regional Youth Rep/Active Members.

Duties may include such things as:
-Attending and participating in branch educational and executive meetings
-Reporting branch activities, suggestions to the Regional Youth Rep
-Surveying branch members with regard to their areas of interest and reporting back to branch leaders
-Helping with branch newsletter
-Organizing social activities, meetings, etc.

On behalf to the members of NS/NFLD I would like to thank the Regional committee, Club directors, Parents, Volunteers, and Friends. You make Pony Club organized, educational, and most of all fun. This year has been awesome and I know every single member is thankful for all the long hours and dedication you have put into the previous year, and for years to come. I wish everyone Happy Holidays. If you would like to contact me, email: mysticstar07@hotmail.com

National Tetrathlon 2002 – by Anna-Christine Murray, Tantramar Pony Club

Team receiving 2nd place ribbons. (L-R) Erin Sloan, Inga Hansen, Jenn Wilson, and Laura Sloan
The Central Ontario Region hosted this year's National Tetrathlon Championships.  Nova Scotia Region was well represented by five outstanding female athletes from the Tantramar Pony Club. The team was made up of two seniors Jenn Wilson and Inga Hansen and two juniors Erin Sloan and Laura Sloan.  Competing as an individual was senior Anna-Christine Murray.

Training over the winter months consisted of several Tetrathlon clinics organized by Gay Hansen, shooting on Tuesday nights and each girl running and swimming on her own.  In late spring Tantramar Pony Club ran the Regional Tetrathlon Championships which we all attended and qualified to be eligible to attend the National Tetrathlon Championships. We continued training by attending cross-country clinics, riding events on weekends, lane swimming, shooting and running several times during the week.

When August 10th arrived, the girls were ready to take off - Inga for her 5th trip, Jenn for her 4th, Erin for her 3rd and Laura and Anna-Christine making their national debut.  Chaperones Gay Hansen, Debbie Sloan and Coach Tracey Smith accompanied them.  Their journey began, leaving New Brunswick Saturday, August 10, approximately 10:30 am and reaching their destination August 11 at approximately 3:00 pm.  They registered and found their rooms at Trent University.

The following days were filled with meeting and competing with other athletes from across the country in the four events that make up National Tetrathlon:  air pistol shooting, riding cross-country and then stadium jumping, swimming 200 meters and finally the 2 km cross-country run.

Our Tetrathlon Competitors (l to r): Erin Sloan, Inga Hansen, Jennifer Wilson, Anna Christine Murray and Laura Sloan
In the end, the attending Tantramar athletes achieved success.  Jenn Wilson placed 2nd in the shoot, 1st in the riding, 2nd in the swim and 7th in the run placing her 1st overall senior.  Inga Hansen placed 1st in shooting, 9th in the riding, 3rd in the swimming and 15th in the running giving her 6th overall.  Erin Sloan placed 1st in junior shooting, 1st in riding, 2nd in the running and 8th in the swim resulting in a finish of 4th overall junior.  Laura Sloan placed 8th in shooting, 8th in riding, 8th in running and 5th in swimming giving her 7th overall junior.  Anna-Christine Murray placed 3rd in shooting, 8th in riding, 9th in running which gave her a finish of 10th overall.

In total there were 17 senior girls competing and 11 junior girls from all regions across Canada.  It was a great trip.  The girls would like to thank everyone who helped get them there.  They are continuing to train for the upcoming 2003 season.

Report on the International Tetrathlon Championship and Tour in USA, July 17 to August 6
By Jennifer Wilson, Tantramar Pony Club, Team Member, 2002 Canadian Tetrathlon Team

Every two years teams from Ireland, Britain, the United States and Canada compete in the International Tetrathlon Exchange. Tetrathlon is a Pony Club event that includes swimming, running, air pistol shooting and cross country/stadium jumping phases. Each national team is composed of ten members: five women and five men between the ages of 16 and 21. Jennifer Wilson and Joseph Holownia from the Tantramar Pony Club in the Sackville, New Brunswick, area were members of the Canadian team in 2002.

The three week tour was held in the United States from July 17 to August 5. The tour included two competitions in Denver, Colorado, and Lexington, Virginia, and plenty of sight seeing in between. The athletes congregated in Denver on July 17 and traveled to Vail where they toured the famous ski area. They visited the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs and explored the Denver Science Museum. The Tetrathlon competition was held in an amazing equestrian park in Parker, Colorado. The athletes then continued on to Washington, DC, where they visited the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum as well as the Kings Dominion Amusement Park.  The eastern tetrathlon competition was held at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington. Many Pony Club events including Prince Phillip Games, Eventing, Stadium Jumping, Dressage, and International Quiz were taking place at the same time. The facility was huge and easily accommodated the hundreds of horses and competitors.

Training for the tetrathlon competition is a year round commitment. Jennifer and Joseph are in the pool fifteen hours a week, attending clinics and practising their other events regularly. All of this training paid off in competition: in Colorado Joseph came 2nd in the swim, 16th in the run and 12th in the shoot. Jenn came 8th in the swim, 18th in the run, 14th in the shoot and 5th in the ride. In Lexington, Virginia, Joseph placed 1st in the swim and 10th in the shoot. Jennifer placed 6th in the swim, 10th in the shoot, and 4th in the riding portion of the competition.

Competing in Pony Club's Tetrathlon at the International level requires dedication and hard work but it's definitely worth the effort. It was a great experience meeting people from around the world. Jennifer and Joseph continue to train and have their sights set on the International Tetrathlon Competition in Europe which takes place in the year 2004.

A great deal of time went into organizing this trip. Jennifer and Joseph appreciated receiving e-mails concerning training, souvenir items to pass on to the other competitors, as well as  financial support from the The Regional and National Pony Clubs.

National Quiz 2002
Congratulations to our Regional “C” Quiz Team who placed 8th overall at National Quiz in Winnipeg over Thanksgiving weekend. Our team was made up of Mary Roop and Lauren Collins of Avon PC and Emily Dexter and Katie Gloade of Colchester PC. Way to go team!

Every Pony Clubbers Dream!
Submitted by Alex Beaton, former PC member, current Coach of West Valley and PC Tester

As you heard, I spent two weeks in Ireland in October and had a wonderful time. John and I actually entertained thoughts of not coming home at all!

Our holiday in Ireland was supposed to be a non-horsey vacation and would have been that way had we not gone to stay with my cousin,who breeds Connemara ponies just north of Dublin. I had been asked before I left Canada if I wanted to go hunting while in Ireland and had said no, as I did not want to take all my riding clothes, boots included, in my luggage. Also I had promised my husband we would try to leave the horses at home!

On arriving at my cousins, of course the first place we went with her was to the "Yard" to feed the horses, and at that point my promise started to unravel. Then it was mentioned at dinner that night that there was a friend who would gladly lend me a horse to go for a hack. So the next morning Jane's (my cousin) horse was loaded on the box and off we went to Dennis ' yard for a hack. I had a marvelous time! I was given a 5 year old TB cross who was very keen, but sensible; his name was Monty. It was a beautiful fall morning and we went off down the road. It was decided that I could attempt a few jumps as Dennis had had time to assess my riding abilities and felt I was up to snuff!

In the area that Jane lives, there are no fly fences, all they jump is ditches. We had a few practices over some ditches that were of moderate size and then Dennis says, “ Right! Let's go jump some of the ones we have cleared for the hunt tomorrow.” These were the biggest ditches I have seen in my life! With some coaching from Dennis I successfully jumped 4 or 5 of these 6 foot wide, 7 foot deep ditches and it was decided I should take this horse hunting in the morning.

It was one of the first meets of the year and the horses are not that fit so they run a few drag hunts with quite a few "checks " which give the horses (and the riders) time for a breather. It also meant that full hunting attire was not required so all I needed to buy was a pair of breeches. We met at the pub in the village. Everybody arrives with horses all tacked up in the" horse box", parks on the side of the street, unloads the horses, and mounts up. Then we are off - all 70 of us at a fast trot down the main street to the edge of town where the huntsman turns us around and back we go again through town to the other side. I was informed that this is to get everyone together and to give time for the cap to be collected from the latecomers. Then we turn off the road and we are off at a gallop through a field of corn stubble and my adventure begins.
Photo from http://www.foxhunting-ireland.com/; November 30, 2002

It had been so wet that you had to be careful and keep your eyes open for soft spots. In the first field the two horses in front of me went right down on their knees and their riders went over their heads I had to quickly steer my horse around them. I couldn't believe they would actually gallop their horses through this heavy going but they did and when I said something at the first check I discovered this was the norm. I was told that of course the horses were "legged up" properly and would be fine, and they all were. I had thoughts of our event riders being concerned with a little deep going at some of the events at home; if only they could see this!

The ditches that I jumped that day were the biggest ditches I had ever jumped in all my years of eventing. The worst thing being that the spots that have been opened for jumping are only about 8 feet wide maximum so every time you came to one, everyone had to wait their turn. So you are jumping these massive things from a slow trot! You try and stay with a horse that is jumping a 6 foot wide ditch from a slow trot - it is most uncomfortable. I managed to do very well till the second last ditch, where by this time my horse was pulling my arms out of the sockets as he was not used to my slow pace. Anyway he took off too far away from the ditch and didn't quite make his hind legs on the other side. He went down on his knees and I jumped off being very careful to hang onto the reins for dear life. I had seen earlier how the horses take off after the rest and wasn't going to let that happen to me. I quickly remounted and had a splendid jump at the last ditch and ended feeling high on adrenaline!

Thus ended my first experience of hunting in Ireland which was one of the best times of my life. When we came to the end, everyone puts their horses in the" box" and into the pub for sandwiches and a pint of Guinness. I will give a word of advice, hunting in Ireland is not for the faint of heart and I now know why the Irish horses make such great event horses. It is because they are all hunted first!