Monday November 28, 2022
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Mounted Games

What is the best thing about riding? If you think that the answers include fun, learning new skills, and partnerships (not just with your pony but with teammates), then Mounted Games could be what you are looking for!

Cotswold Vale has a thriving games section, attracting children of all ages and abilities and with a full calendar of rallies, team training and competitions running all year round!  We have regularly qualified teams for the Pony Club Championships since 2015.  We also take part in display competitions such as the Royal Bath & West Show and Moreton Show, and a number of our individual riders have been called up to England trials.

Some competitions involve overnight camping with ponies penned in an adjacent field.  We have even competed in Ireland.  But the best things about Games are the thrill of learning exciting new skills like vaulting in a safe way and being part of a team, as all the races are relays

When should I start?

Ideally, children at least need to be able to stop, start and steer without help, and get on and off their pony unaided.  But we always welcome lead rein children: our view is that the sooner they start, the better they become! We’re delighted to have a lively group of lead rein/assisted riders taking part in rallies regularly and entering friendly competitions – these riders are our future Junior and Senior team members!

We have over 25 rallies a year that are open to all and they run throughout the year. From February, we focus on team training for the Area competition which is held in April. The next round is Zones, held in July, and then Champs in August. However, any time of year is a good time to have your first taste of Games!

Will I be good enough for a team? 

Team selection for Areas takes place early in the year, and the focus is on performance, commitment to training, and sportsmanship – but children can take part in many friendly competitions through the year. We encourage those not quite good enough to make our most competitive teams to gain match experience. Teams are usually of 5 riders, but can be combined from different clubs. This means that we can often use “guest riders” to make up full teams.

Do I need a fast pony?

No! Prince Philip devised the competition (still called Prince Phillip Games) for children who couldn’t afford expensive, well-bred ponies. Any pony can take part, and training focuses on accuracy, teamwork and having fun! Speed is a bonus; brakes are at least as important.

Isn’t it just for little ones? 

Not at all! Although we have seen children as young as 5 competing, juniors include those aged 10 or under on 1 January of each year and seniors can compete in the year they turn 15. There are also pairs competitions up to the year riders turn 20. Pony Club can be a stepping-stone to MGA and STRUK events which cater for all ages.


Where is training held?

We train at various locations. In the winter we are often at Abbey Dressage and other indoor venues. In the summer we are mostly on grass, at the Pony Club field in Bishop’s Cleeve or elsewhere in our patch. 

When is the next session?

With team training taking place most weeks, we also carry on holding ‘open to all’ rallies throughout year. Rally dates are published on this website, and we try to email all members with forthcoming rally dates. We also publicise all rallies, competitions and social events through the CVFH Facebook page. A CVFH Games Facebook page is used for team members. If you have a good reason not to use Facebook then we may be able to arrange alternative means of communication.

Can I just turn up?

No; we have to ensure that we are able to supervise properly. The advertising of each rally or team session will make it clear whether you should contact Sarah Hance or someone else to confirm your booking – please be aware that this will be taken as a commitment to pay if you subsequently have to cancel.

Who trains the teams?

Sarah Hance, the club’s chief instructor, has been coaching the games rallies and teams successfully since 2013, and has taken on the additional role of MG Manager for 2020. Parents, too, play an active role as equipment helpers and line stewards at competitions. 







Team managers

Team manager – Sarah Hance – 07801 816 595