Wednesday May 31, 2023
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Competition hints and tips (inc what to wear)


QHPC is part of Pony Club Area 6 and Interbranch competitions for all levels are held throughout the year by our pony club and neighbouring branches. The Area competitions are qualifiers for Regional Championships and Pony Club National Championships. See the Competitions and Championships page for Area and Championship dates and a link to the Area 6 website where branch competitions are listed.

We can send more than one team of 3 or 4 (3 best scores count) to most events, but individuals can also compete so there are opportunities for everyone to have a go. You can sometimes enter directly but our QHPC team managers often co-ordinate entries for Interbranch events and Branch entry is often required for Area competitions.

To be eligible for the Area competitions, you must be a member at the closing date for entries and on the date of the competition and you need to have attended three qualifying rallies/coaching/training sessions since 1 July in the previous year by the date of the competition. One must have been in the current year.

Starting out can be a bit daunting – how to prepare, what to enter, what to wear. Hopefully we can answer most of your questions.

Prepare yourself by taking part in branch opportunities to gain skills and improve: Season planning; Rallies for All; specialist rallies. Look at the individual sport tabs on our website and explore the main Pony Club website for other sports.

What to enter Look at the Area list and note the dates of competitions. Look for schedules on the Area 6 website and on Branch websites. Carefully read schedules for entry details as some criteria (e.g age, jumping heights) can differ between branches and types of competition. Respond to team managers’ requests for Interbranch and Area competitions.

Team etiquette On competition days, if you have entered as a team your team manager (or another nominated person) may collect all the numbers and confirm the entries. Keep in contact with them and confirm arrival at the event. Also remember that we usually look for a team photo opportunity so stay with your team members and check before untacking your pony. If there is prize-giving, please be present (usually on foot) wearing competition dress (including riding hat).

What to wear In general, follow the ‘Dress and Tack information’, including plain brown or black tack. However, dress, tack and bits allowed can vary between sports. There is guidance below including the QHPC team clothing to be worn. More details are in Pony Club Rulebooks that can be found on the main Pony Club website, but do consult Team Managers if you are unsure.

New equipment is not expected, but what is worn (by rider and pony) must be clean, safe, neat and tidy. There is often a “tack and turnout” competition at PC Show Jumping events and ‘tack and turnout’ checks at other events.

Hat/bridle cameras or electronic devices are not allowed to be worn by rider or pony.

Pony Club badge Pony Club badge and test felt (as applicable) to be worn on the left lapel.

Dressage Horses/ponies to be plaited. Plain white saddlecloth (no logos unless using the QHPC white saddlecloth with pale blue QHPC logo, no other colour when representing QHPC).  Bandages and boots can be worn while riding-in but not during a test. Martingales are not allowed, but breastplates and neckstraps are permitted. Whips of any length are allowed. 

White, cream or beige breeches/jodhpurs; traditional jackets (tweed or black or navy); white or cream shirt with Pony Club tie or stock. Gloves must be worn (preferably white or cream to match jodhpurs but black or brown permitted depending on jacket)

Show Jumping Horses/ponies to be plaited. QHPC burgundy team saddlecloth when representing QHPC. Martingales and neckstraps are allowed. Whips are allowed and must be padded (no less than 45cm or greater than 70cm in overall length; contact area is 2/5ths of overall length and covered by a ‘pad’ which must be smooth). 

White, cream or beige breeches/jodhpurs; traditional jackets (tweed or black or navy); white or cream shirt with Pony Club tie or stock. Gloves are optional.

Eventing Horses/ponies to be plaited in dressage and SJ phases. Plain white saddlecloth for dressage phase (see Dressage notes above); QHPC burgundy saddlecloth for SJ and XC phases. Bandages and boots not allowed during dressage test. Martingales not allowed in dressage phase but neckstraps are. In Dressage phase, whips allowed at levels PC70, PC80, PC90; but not at levels PC100, PC Chairman’s Cup and PC110. In SJ and XC phases, whips are allowed and must be padded (not less than 45cm or greater than 70cm in overall length; contact area is 2/5ths of overall length and covered by a ‘pad’ which must be smooth). 

White, cream or beige breeches/jodhpurs; traditional jackets (see Dressage above) for Dressage and SJ phases. QHPC burgundy long-sleeved base layer  or QHPC burgundy sweatshirt; and QHPC burgundy/pale blue hat cover for XC phase. Gloves compulsory for dressage phase (see Dressage above), optional for other phases. It is recommended that stock pins are removed for XC. Medical armband for XC phase if rider has a medical condition that may impact on their care in an emergency. Stop watches may be worn at PC90, PC100, PC Chairman’s Cup, and PC110 levels.

Arena Eventing As in Eventing XC phase, except no stop watches are permitted. Whips allowed (as described in Eventing XC phase).

Tetrathlon For riding phase: QHPC burgundy saddlecloth. QHPC burgundy long-sleeved base layer or QHPC burgundy sweatshirt; and QHPC burgundy/pale blue hat cover. Whips allowed (as described in Eventing XC phase). Consult team manager about clothing for other phases.

Mounted games QHPC burgundy saddlecloth. Cream or beige jodhpurs (with clips); no breeches, no chaps or long boots. White shirt with long sleeves and Pony Club tie. No metal Pony Club badge to be worn. White sweatshirt provided (consult Team Managers). No whips or spurs allowed.

Hats must conform to PC requirements and, from 2023, be tagged with a “pink” hat tag. A jockey skull cap (with no fixed peak or peak extensions) is compulsory for  80cm and over Eventing, Tetrathlon and Horse Trials; and Mounted Games and Pony Racing. A jockey skull cap is strongly recommended for cross country jumping at lower levels (below 80cm). Black or navy cover (no pom poms) unless indicated differently below.

Body protectors and Air Jackets A body protector may be worn for dressage, is recommended for SJ and is compulsory for Cross Country and Pony Racing. The minimum standard is BETA 2009 Level 3 (purple label) or BETA 2018 Level 3 (blue and black label). BETA 2009 is only allowed until 31 December 2023. BETA 2018 Level 3 (blue and black label) will be the only standard acceptable from 1 January 2024. If an air jacket is worn for Cross Country or Pony Racing it must be in addition to the normal body protector. In the event of a fall in Cross Country or Pony Racing the air jacket must be fully deflated or removed before continuing, after which, the conventional body protector will continue to give protection. Air jackets must not be worn under a jacket and suitable elasticated number bibs should be worn over an air jacket. (NOTE: a fall at Area/Championship level in Dressage or a fall at a SJ or XC competition results in elimination).

Horses on the day

On the day of any Pony Club competition, a horse/pony may only be ridden by the rider who is riding the horse/pony in the competition.

Persons other than the competitor may lunge the horse, or horse and rider

Whilst exercising, warming up or competing it is ONLY permissible to use the saddlery allowed under the rules

If in doubt, ask any Branch Official or Team Manager.

The DC and Branch Secretary have access to the current Pony Club Rulebooks. They are also on the Pony Club Website.

Most importantly, have fun!