With the horsebox only just unpacked from Windsor, we loaded up again on Friday 30th May for the trip to Milton Keynes and the Junior Regional Tetrathlon. This is the main regional competition of the year with the usual format of a boys team and girls team (and a few individuals) representing Wales & Borders. From Area 5, Ben (Boys Team) & Russell Wingfield (Aberconwy PC – Individual) were to join up with other boys from Areas 10 & 18. We were warned that conditions were less than ideal and on arrival the mud was already ankle deep on the parking field! Despite this, about 150 competitors & horses arrived from all corners of England, Ireland, Scotland& Wales over the course of Friday evening and spirits were high in the regional camps. There were 10 boys teams altogether and with Scotland and Ireland (2 teams) bringing competitors & horses such a long way (and their training & selection process so well developed), we knew these were the main teams to keep an eye on!
On Saturday morning, shooting was first and the W&B team all controlled their nerves to put in solid performances – Ben had a great score of 920 (out of 1000). Then it was off to swimming which is Ben’s weakest event, but joining Ruthin Swimming Club in the last few months really paid off as he added 14m to his personal best of just two weeks ago. The other boys swam really well and the W&B team were 5th at the end of two events. On return from the swim we set out to walk the XC course – with no more rain & warm breezes the mud levels were easing and the going looked remarkably good. The course looked challenging but fair- several jumps stood out as potential problems with combinations, tight turns, lots of flowers and the one everyone was talking about – the jump into water (a), jump in the water (b) then tight turn to a skinny (c). The dilemma was whether to attempt the tricky combination but risk 60 penalties for a stop/run out (and then probably take the ’L’ option to be safe with another 70 penalties), or take the ‘L’ option straight away,which only involved riding through the water (no jumps)
As is tradition, each team had to provide some entertainment at the evening party (pirate theme) and, as is tradition, all the teams except W&B had actually rehearsed and practiced a dance / song etc.! Despite this everyone had a good time and the boys were packed off to bed by 11ish as they were riding at 9am. Sunday brought hot sunny weather (hurrah!) and the team looked great in their red XC colours. The XC proved to be the challenge it promised with only 19 (out of 63) boys going clear – including two of the W&B team. Ben had one stop and the other two just a few more penalties but the Team did well enough to rise to 4th with just the run to go. The run was around undulating fields of long grass and sticky mud but times were still amazingly fast, particularly for the Irish. The boys retained their 4th place overall with Scotland winning and the two Irish teams in 2nd & 3rd. Huge thanks must go to the organisers and land owners for letting the competition go ahead given the ground conditions leading up to the event and we will take away lots of good memories of a really friendly & exciting competition.
Penny & Ben Read
Huge congratulations to Iona Pierce for being awarded the Secretary of the Year trophy at the Conference in Cheltenham in March. Iona is the Secretary of the Flint and Denbigh Hunt Branch as well as Area 5 Secretary. There were fifteen other secretaries nominated from around the UK. Iona works tirelessly for the Pony Club and has done for many years. As well as doing all the paperwork, Iona also runs competitions, rallies, fund raisers and anything else she can think of which benefits the members.
Thank you Iona!
From January 1st 2016 no member will be allowed to participate in PC activities unless your hat has a white pony club hat tag or red BE hat tag … See below …
Please find below links to the updated Hat and Body Protector Rules of The Pony Club for 2016. The key changes are as follows:
- As previously noted, the hat standard BS EN 1384 has been removed as an accepted hat standard from the 1st January 2016. Please remind your Members and their parents / guardians to bear this in mind when buying new riding hats.
- We are now accepting the hat standards ASTM F1163 and VG1.
- We are now accepting the new red BE hat tags, so if Members have BE red tagged hats, they will not need tagging with a white Pony Club hat tag. However, please note we can still randomly spot check tagged hats if we wish.
- We are clarifying the position regarding peaks in cross-country riding including Eventing, Tetrathlon, Horse Trials and also Pony Racing and Mounted Games. Please note that a jockey skull cap must be worn, with no fixed peak, peak type extensions or noticeable protuberances above the eyes or to the front and should have an even round or elliptical shape with a smooth or slightly abrasive surface.
- Body protectors used in Cross Country or Pony Racing must be BETA Level 3 standard. These have a purple BETA tag on them.
Note: Any changes or additions to the rules are shown in bold text.
If you have any questions, please get in touch.
The Pony Club
Rule number 16. IV. Body Protectors is immediately amended with regard to air jackets. Previously it was always compulsory to wear a body protector if the Member was wearing an air jacket. With immediate effect this rule now only applies in cross country and Pony Racing. In any other circumstances air jackets may now be worn without a body protector.
If a Member chooses to wear a combined air jacket and body protector they do not have to wear a separate body protector as well. A combined air jacket and body protector satisfies the requirements of the rule.
The rule will now read as follows (the amendment is written in red):
IV. Body Protectors
The Pony Club does not make the use of body protectors compulsory, except for all cross-country riding and Pony Racing whether it be training or competing. For general use, the responsibility for choosing body protectors and the decision as to their use must rest with Members and their parents. It is recommended that a rider’s body protector should not be more than 2% of their body weight. When worn, body protectors must fit correctly, be comfortable, and must not restrict movement.
Riders who choose to use the Woof Wear Body Cage EXO must lodge a key with the event organiser when they collect their number.
If a rider chooses to wear an air jacket in cross country or Pony Racing it must only be used in addition to a normal body protector. Parents and Members must be aware that riders may be permitted to continue after a fall in both competition and training rides. In the event of a fall, it must be fully deflated or removed before continuing, the conventional body protector will continue to give protection. Air jackets must not be worn under a jacket and number bibs should be fitted loosely or with elasticated fastenings over the air jacket.
When an air jacket inflates, the sudden noise startles horses in the immediate vicinity, thereby causing difficulties for the other members of a ride during a group ride in a confined area, e.g. an indoor school or outdoor ménage. Air jackets are therefore discouraged for group rides.