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WPTC At Championships


By Vonna Read

Every year, the United States Pony Club (USPC) hosts Championships for Pony Clubbers who have qualified at Regional Rallies.  Most years, there are separate championships for east and west areas of the country, but every three years, there is one National Championship held in Lexington, Kentucky along with a huge Festival of fun activities, clinics, and educational programs. This year is a Festival year, and four West Tennessee Pony Clubbers (WTPC) qualified to represent their club in Lexington, Kentucky at the Horse Park.  USPC has 42 regions - 41 of which were represented this year, with well over 1,000 horses/ponies stabled for the Championships. WTPC members competed in three disciplines. On Thursday evening before the games began, the organizers held a pizza party to get the competitors together.

In Show Jumping, Sarah Bratton's team placed second overall out of 24 teams competing.  As an individual competitor, Sarah was only a half second away from five perfect, double-clear rounds!  She went 0.5 seconds over time during her equitation round. Most divisions also included a challenging Take Your Own Line round. The stable manager for the Show Jumping team (Ivy) is from Bluegrass pony club

In Quizcompetition, Ethan Read placed first individually out of 134 competitors in the Jr. D's!  His MidSouth Region  Jr. D team also placed first out of 34 teams.  The quiz competition includes 5 phases in which the competitor gets to demonstrate his knowledge of all areas of horsemanship, including the rules of the various disciplines. There is a Written Test, a Classroom phase (where questions and answers are given orally), a Mega Room phase (competitors identify horse-related items in a timed competition), a Stations phase (teamwork must be demonstrated here), and a Barn phase (the competitors have an opportunity to demonstrate applied knowledge). 

In Tetrathlon (TET), Egan and Francesca Spoltore competed for WTPC.  Egan won the Junior Boy's Division, earning 1052 out of a possible 1100 points in the shooting phase – the highest shooting score of the entire competition!  Egan was also awarded the Best Equitation Award for the TET Championships. Francesca placed second in her division of 39 girls.  She was the only competitor having a perfect score in both show jumping rounds!  Egan and Francesca's MidSouth Region team was awarded the Highest Team Total Score for the competition with over 11,000 Total Points!
The Tetrathlon is based on the Olympic Pentathlon, which includes a riding, shooting, running and swimming phase.  (Olympic Pentathlon also includes fencing).  The year's Tetrathlon competition had the largest number of competitors in the history of Tetrathlon!

All were competing on teams, but individual ribbons were also awarded for top performers.

This was also a great year to go to Championships and compete because in addition to the Festival, the Junior/ Young Rider 2014 Championships were going on the same week.  WTPC is very proud of these kids and the hard work they put in to get to Championships. They had great results and all came home in the ribbons. Two of them are National Champions! And best of all? They had a great time meeting other Pony Clubbers competitors from all over the United States. 

The teams:
Show Jumping team:
Sarah Bratton - West Tn PC, riding Junebug
Keely Bechtol - Bluegrass PC, riding Lark's Magic
Shauna Diller - Sierra Pacific (California), riding Rhys
Olivia Whitehead - Sierra Pacific (California), riding New Classic
Ivy O'Shaughnessy, Stable Manager - MidSouth
This Showjumping team was competing in a 2'6" Introductory division.
Tetrathlon team:
Egan Spoltore - West Tn PC, riding Bunny
Francesca Spoltore - West Tn PC, riding Bunny
Lorenza Savini - Sunnyside PC, riding George of the Jungle
Emma Massa - Keeneland PC, riding Rodney
Quiz Team:
Ethan Read - West Tn PC
Claire Mulhollem - Bluegrass PC
Sarah Miller - Southern Illinois PC
Kara Echternacht - Miami Valley PC

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