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The mission of the United States Pony Clubs Games Program
is to provide a mounted sport that teaches the basic natural aids of hand, seat, leg, weight and voice as well as physical coordination,
self confidence, teamwork skills, and the proper care of mounts
to the new and younger members
of Pony Club.
1. To provide instructors and Pony Club Members a relaxed and fun method to teach and learn the basic skills of horsemanship.
2. To teach safe riding skills and proper horse and pony care.
3. To provide and teach games that will enhance riding skills, physical coordination, and self confidence.
4. To promote ethical behavior, discipline, good sportsmanship, and teamwork.
5. To assist our Members in advancing through the ratings and increasing their expertise for participation in the other traditional disciplines as well.
THE FORMATION OF USPC MOUNTED GAMES
Mounted Games was a concept that has only existed for the past half century. The idea for what has become today's Pony Club Games program was originally conceptualized by His Royal Highness Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. Prince Philip graciously provided a forward to the 1959 Pony Club annual publication regarding Mounted Games. Some excerpts from his comments follow:
"The origin of Mounted Games is very simple. In the British Isles horse shows of various sizes and importance are held all over the country. When watching some of these shows I noticed that young riders had very few opportunities to take part....I tried to think of some way to encourage more young riders to take part, and this could only be done if the value of the pony did not affect the result....I was sure they would be only too keen to take advantage of it...We decided to start a Mounted Games Championship for The Pony Club....In short the idea is to get more riders in the rings to encourage enthusiastic and hard training, all without demanding expensive ponies. I'm certain these games can do a lot to help young riders as long as organizers, and particularly parents, remember that they are games first and foremost."
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2015 International Exchange Team Chosen
The Games Committee would like to congratulate the members of this year’s International Exchange Games Team. This year the US is hosting the competition, which will be held during Championships East at the Virginia Horse Park on Saturday evening, July 25. Members of the team are: Elise B (Eastern Pennsylvania), Emily B (South), Libby B (Midsouth), Meghan R (Midwest) and Maya W(Sunshine). Sarah B (South) is the alternate. Coach is Betsy McLeod and chaperone is Michelle Reilly.
To improve our selection process, the Games Committee would like to meet with possible candidates for the 2016 Exchange (which is scheduled to be in Australia) at Championships this summer to explain the process and what all is involved in being a member of the International Games Exchange. Interested individuals (players, coaches and chaperones) are asked to contact the Games Chair or Championships Secretary prior to championships.
2015 Prince Phillip Cup Teams
Congratulations to the following Pony Club members. Their teams will be competing in the 2015 Prince Phillip Cup Competition held during the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event! If you will be attending Rolex this year, be sure to include cheering on the Pony Club teams during their various competition times.
Avengers (Eastern Pennsylvania Region) Caroline B, Elise B, Jaycee B, Madison C, Kaja N
Bloomability (Eastern Pennsylvania Region) Anabel B, Audrey B, Margaret B, Hope N, Cayla R
Lemonheads (Sunshine Region) Megan A, Amy H, Lexie R, Audrey R, Maya W
Zigg Zaggers (Maryland Region) Ashley B, Katelynn K, Ethan R, Grace S, Laura V
2014 President's Cup - It's back!
After a 2-year hiatus, the USPC President’s Cup for Senior Mounted Games teams returned to Fair Hill during the Dutta International CCI**/CCI***Three-Day Event. It was an absolutely gorgeous day (unlike some in the past) and the four teams that participated displayed their skills before a welcoming crowd. Most arrived in Fair Hill by Friday afternoon, with the competition on Saturday morning during the CCI** cross country. 20 games were played that morning, with prizes awarded following the last game. Due to injuries, some teams had a cobbled-together look, but all played well and enjoyed their time in the spotlight.
Riding for this year’s Cup and in order of finish were:
Surge (Eastern Pennsylvania/Delmarva): Mackenzie K., Leah N., Shannon T., Jaycee B., Kaja N. (a last minute substitute for injured rider Summer D., who came and cheered on her team)
No Brakes, No Problem (Metro/Central New England/New Jersey): Ryan W., Olivia F., McKayla F., Lexie F., and Quin W. (who, due to an injury, had to sit out and volunteered as a lane judge)
Wild Things (New York Upper Connecticut): Corrina M., James I., Carlie P., Samantha R., and Nicole S.
Pirate Ponies (Sunshine/New Jersey): Natalie T., Hana S., Samantha W., Heather P., and Camille L.
Ribbons were supplied by Fair Hill. First place team, Surge, received an engraved picture frame from Fair Hill and a gift certificate from Kerrits. No Brakes No Problem, Wild Things, and Pirate Ponies all received saddle pads donated by Bit O’Britain and Top Rail Tack.
We look forward to next year’s President’s Cup. Who knows who will be riding? Come and ride Senior Mounted Games in USPC Championships! It may be you!! Learn more about the President's Cup.
2014 Prince Philip Cup - Celebrating 30 Years and an Engagement!
This year’s Prince Philip Cup (this was the 30th!) was filled with a lot of "firsts”: the first time it’s been played in the Rolex Stadium, first time in recent history there’s been a tie-breaker, first time regions represented, and first time there’s ever been a proposal! Four teams played twenty Games over two days of competition.
|Libby B. & Stealth
Nora G. & Emma
Oliva O. & Poco
Maya G. & Nello
Emma B. & Scout
|Jaycee B. & Gilligan
Elise B. & Smokey
Leah N. & Manners Matter
Madison C. & Rosie
Kaja N. & Sparky
|Megan A. & Parker
Amy H. & Marquis
Lexie R & Mr. Snuggles
Jane T & Scout
Jean T. & Luna
|Riese W. & Buddy
Meghan R & Frito
Gracie K. & George
Eliabeth R. & Rosie
Dani D. & Arnie
The Cup started off with a celebrity round in the Walnut Arena on a misty Friday afternoon. Celebrities included: Pony Club alum Doug Payne, his wife Jessica Hempf, former Pony Club Games player Colleen Rutledge and perennial favorite Kelly Sult. These four brave hearts (two of which, Doug and Colleen, were riding in the CCI****) played with the teams in games of bending, ball & bucket, ball & cone and 2 flag. There was some very competitive riding going on the parts of the celebrities, and some true shenanigans, but a great time was had by all!
After the Celebrity round, the first day of play began and concluded with the Tootsie Pops in command, with the Mustang Sallies in second and the Avengers and Lemonheads just 1 and 2 points behind.
The second day was bright and sunny with play commencing in the big Rolex Arena. The teams entered behind banners carried by brothers, sisters and friends. A crowd of approximately 300 had gathered in the stands to watch. Equipment manager Ken Timmerman and his team of PPC families and friends had set up the field the night before (which the help of the PPC riders themselves), and the new bases, created by former Pony Club member Mark Washburn, gleamed bright and shiny. Play was fast and furious with the Tootsie Pops maintaining their lead, and the Mustang Sallies, Avengers and Lemonheads fighting for 2nd, 3rd and 4th. After the final game, the Tootsie Pops had once again won the Cup, with the Lemonheads in second, 1 point ahead of the Mustang Sallies and Avengers. A tie-breaker of 2 flag was played, and the Avengers came out on top. It was one of the closest Prince Philip Cups in quite a while!
After play, the teams lined up to be congratulated by judges (and Pony Club alums) Sara Greiling and Cathie McLeod. Unbeknownst to Cathie, there was a surprise in store for her. The Mustang Sallies held aloft signs that said, "Prince Philip Cup 2014”. While Cathie looked on, the signs flipped to read, "Will You Marry Me Cathie?” Mike Chiccine, Cathie’s boyfriend of 2 years, dropped to one knee in the Rolex arena, ring in hand, and awaited an answer (Cathie said yes).
On Sunday, prior to the show jumping phase of the CCI****, the teams were introduced to the Rolex crowd and the Tootsie Pops were presented the Cup by USPC CEO Tom Adams and President Dan Murphy. The team also received engraved leather halters from Hill Top Leather Shop. Other prizes were: 1st place – Bit of Britain embroidered PPC saddle pads. 2nd place: Bit of Britain embroidered PPC saddle pads, nylon break-away halters from Perri’s Leather. 3rd place: Bit of Britain $25 gift card and a pair of JoJoSox. 4th place: Bit of Britain $25 gift card and a pair of JoJoSox. After the presentation, the teams, led by the Tootsie Pops, rode two victory gallops around the arena to the cheers of the crowd.
It was a great 30th Cup, with personable and talented teams and moments to remember. Who will be there next year? Wait and see!