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Introduction to Tetrathlon

Pony Club Tetrathlon provides Members with a challenging competition requiring practical horsemanship, general athletic ability and a steady hand for shooting. Tetrathlon originated as a competition for boys however there are now competitions for girls and for different age groups.

Tetrathlon is a four-part competition, for teams and individuals, combining cross country riding with three unmounted phases: swimming, running and air pistol shooting. Triathlon is a winter competition which omits the riding phase.

In Tetrathlon, runners go off at one minute intervals over a carefully measured course and each competitor’s time is measured. A bogey time is set for the course and for each second over or under that time a number of points are deducted from or added to 1,000 points.

Boys Open- 3000m
Boys Intermediate- 2000m
Girls Open and Intermediate- 1500m
Juniors- 1500m
Minimus- 1000m

Bogey times which score 1000 points are shown below:
Open Boys- 10 minutes 30 seconds
Intermediate Boys- 7 minutes 0 seconds
Open and Intermediate Girls- 5 minutes 20 seconds
Juniors- 5 minutes 40 seconds
Minimus- 4 minutes 0 Seconds

The riding phase usually takes place over fixed cross country fences however, arena jumping can sometimes be used as a substitute. Area 7 usually run a great arena jumping triathlon at Morton Morrell each year.

Where possible Tetrathlon courses always include a gate to open and close whilst mounted, and a slip rail at which the competitor dismounts, takes down the rail, leads his pony or horse through, replaces the rail and remounts.

Maximum Heights

Open- 1.00m
Intermediate- 1.00m
Junior- 90cms
Minimus- 80cms

Competitors will score points according to how far they can swim in a certain time:
Open Boys- 4 minutes
Open Girls- 3 minutes
All Intermediate and Junior Competitors- 3 minutes
Minimus- 2 minutes

For example, competitors at minimus level would score 1000 points for swimming 4 lengths.
Competitors should swim in heats, the number in each heat depending on the width of the pool.


This phase uses any make of single shot 4.5mm calibre air pistol and Pony Club Targets. Competitors each have 5 shots fired consecutively with a time limit of 4 seconds per shot at each target. There is a maximum of 2 targets per competition.

Targets are checked by the scrutineers/judges and marked as follows:
10 marks for a Bull
8 marks for an Inner
6 marks for a Magpie
4 Marks for an Outer
2 Marks for outside the outer circle

A maximum score is worth 1,000 points. To work out the total points scored by a competitor the marks from both targets are added together and multiplied by 10.

Safety while shooting is paramount and our Shooting Coach, Matthew Mayne, takes all areas of safety very seriously. Training sessions are held regularly and guns are provided by the Branch.


Meet the Team Manager – Matt Mayne

Tetrathlon has a wonderful reputation of being friendly and great fun, so if your child would like to have a go please get in touch with Matt Mayne. You’ll find more information about tetrathlon on the main Pony Club website.

If you are interested in competing, keep an eye out on the area 7 and area 6 website for local competitions; I also try to update the Branch Facebook page with local competitions for our members.

Contact Image

Matt Mayne

Tetrathlon Team Manager