PRINCE PHILIP GAMES NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP 2001
Five teams representing Regions from BC to Quebec gathered at the Event Centre, Barrie Raceway in Barrie Ontario for the 2001 edition of the National Prince Philip Games Championship, September 29th to 30th, 2001. Undaunted, the teams voted to go ahead with the competition in spite of the tragic events in the US September 11th and the consequent disruption of air travel across North American.
Saturday, September 29th was a day for teams to get to know each other, learn a little in a massage therapy clinic and socialize at a barbeque in the evening.
Sunday September 30th saw the actual competition. The weather was ideal, but dew on the grass made the field slippery in the early going to the point where teams were warned to slow down after two riders and their ponies had falls.
Each team played five sets of four games, each on a different set of borrowed ponies. At the end of the day, the Vancouver Pony Club emerged victorious. Vancouver also won the Sportsmanship Award, possibly because a Vancouver rider not only caught another team's loose pony, but also held it for the rider to remount. In fact, good sportsmanship was the order of the day for all the teams.
Second place went to Devonshire Branch of Alberta North Region. Teams from the Mill Ridge Branch in Western Ontario Region, competing one rider short due to an injury, finished regular play in a tie for third spot with East Maple Ridge Branch of BC Lower Mainland Region. In a tie-breaker, East Maple Ridge beat Western Ontario. Ashton First Field of St. Lawrence Ottawa Valley finished fifth.
Riders voted for their favourite pony and the award went to Duke, owned by Allie and Terry Vieweg of Pot O Gold Stables in St. Lawrence/Ottawa Valley Region.
Thanks go to the pony owners who loaned – and trucked – their ponies to the competition:
Special thanks to our sponsors:
And last, but far from least, the officials and organizers without whom the day would not have been possible:
Stewards: Barbara Grimm and Liz Tucker
A final note: This writer was pleased and impressed by the friendliness, warm smiles and good manners of all the competitors and coaches. Other volunteers, other times, have told me that the reason they continue to volunteer for Pony Club is that the kids are terrific. I can only agree with that observation. Thanks, Pony Clubbers, for making this a great experience!