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USPC Midsouth Region Mega Rally at Kentucky Horse Park June 22-27, 2021
By Clare Burkhart
Members of the United States Pony Club (USPC) and innumerable volunteers converged on the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky for six days of MidSouth Region Rally competition, June 22-27, 2021, in Show Jumping, Dressage, Combined Tests, and Eventing. Organizers and show secretaries performed their Herculean tasks with great skill and expertise after missing competitions in 2020 due to the pandemic.
Pony Club not only emphasizes skills in Horse Management and general horsemanship, but also strongly encourages teamwork and cooperation, as members compete on five-person teams including four riders and an unmounted stable manager. Members learn to work together as a team sharing barn chores, tack cleaning, and horse preparation for competition. In many cases, composite teams are composed of members from several different clubs in the region, so that everyone who wants to go to rally can compete.
The overall winner of the Show Jumping Rally was the team from Scot’s Ridge Pony Club with only 0.61 penalties overall. The composite team of Scot’s Ridge (TN)/ Miami Valley (OH)/ Chattanooga (TN) was second with 4.15 penalties, followed by Middle Tennessee (TN) with 9.69 overall penalties.
Individual winners in the Equitation Rounds include members of the following Pony Clubs: Middle Tennessee, Horse 2; Duzan Riding Academy (OH), Horse 1; a National member from Lexington, Kentucky, Developing Horse/ Rider; Scot’s Ridge, Introductory; and Middle Tennessee Pony Club, Starter.
In Dressage Rally, the Middle Tennessee Pony Club, composed of four D2 riders and a D3 stable manager, won the entire rally on their ride scores, and they incurred no Horse Management penalties to win a second blue ribbon! Well done, team Middle Tennessee!
In the Training Level Musical Freestyle, the winner from Peachtree Riding Center (TN) earned 70.13% in their costume as She Ra and Swift Wind. The First Level winner from Scot’s Ridge earned 73%, and the Second Level ride winner from Bluegrass Pony Club (KY) earned a very creditable score as well.
The D1 rally showcased our future Pony Clubbers in three separate divisions. The Grasshopper Division winner from Middle Tennessee finished with no Horse Management points and an overall score of 32.5. The Puddle Jumper 9 and Under Division was won by an individual from Davis Creek Pony Club (WV). The hotly contested Puddle Jumper Division was decided by Horse Management Exceeds Standards points between Davis Creek and Peachtree Riding Center riders, who both had 30.6 penalties. Only one Horse Management point separated them.
The D2/D3 Eventing Rally Division A winner was the composite team Middle Tennessee/Stones River (TN); Division B winner was the team from Covered Bridge Pony Club (KY). This is the first taste of an eventing competition for many members, who ride dressage, cross country, and stadium jumping over three days of competition. The biggest part of the learning curve for most competitors is the Vet Box after cross country, which can be a very educational experience for competitors whose mounts are monitored for fitness as they are cooled out after a cross country ride. Many top event riders in the world have had Pony Club experience as a foundation for their current success.
The C Eventing Rally team winners were as follows:
Starter: Peachtree Riding Center — Winner was 11 points ahead of second place!
Beginner Novice: Stones River Pony Club. A Bluegrass Pony Club rider on the horse Buck Naked won the closest to Optimum Time award.
Novice: Keeneland Pony Club (KY),
Training: Bluegrass Pony Club
Preliminary: Covered Bridge Pony Club
A Pony Clubbers wrote:
“My name is Elizabeth Hobbs from the composite team of Stones River Pony Club and Middle Tennessee Pony Club at D Eventing Rally. The rest of my team included Audri Hoos, Olivia Hunt (our stable manager), and Kai Walker and Sophi Pierce from Stones River. We finished first in team overall and first in Horse Management, with the rest of our team members scoring high in their divisions. I won first place in Beginner Novice, with Audri placing second, Sophi placing third and Kai placing third in her starter division.”
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