The Howard County Pony Club makes the grade at Know-Down

EQUESTRIAN

March 28, 1993|By MUPHEN WHITNEY

Even though it was Saturday, it certainly seemed like a school day at last weekend's United States Pony Club Capital Region Know-Down at the Shipley School in Harper's Ferry, W.Va. There were tests, tests and more tests all day long.

The Howard County Pony Club acquitted itself well, cominhome with two firsts, four seconds, a third and a fourth-place finish. Howard's eight teams -- and their four "Little Guys" (kids under 8 who do not take a written test) -- competed against Pony Club teams from Catoctin, Potomac, Frederick, Pax River and Seneca Valley regions.

"The hardest question I had was what is the difference between the balls used in outdoor polo and arena polo," said Katie Yeiser of West Friendship, who explained that the balls were of different sizes and materials.

"I had some hard questions, but I had some easy ones, too," said Jo Emblin of Sykesville. "The easiest ones were how many inches are there in a hand [four] and what should you wear at all times when mounted [your hard hat]."

Some kids studied hard for this event, and some decided to take it easy.

Meggan Brown of Glenwood, who was participating in this Know-Down for the second consecutive year, was one of those who studied hard.

"I read the question bank materials, all the handouts and went over all the Pony Club materials. I did a lot of homework," said the 13-year-old who received a perfect mark on her written test and competed on a second-place team with her twin sister Leathy, Shannon Daugherty and Gwen Burnett.

At the other end of the study spectrum was John Potocki of Columbia. Fifteen-year-old John, a sophomore at Centennial High School, was making his third appearance at this Know-Down and took a different tack this year in his preparation.

"I didn't study as much and I was much more relaxed," John said. "Last year I was real uptight and nervous."

John did reasonably well on the written test and only missed one question of 12 on the oral exam. John's team, which included his sister Chrissy, Amy Fry and Katie Yeiser, finished first in its division.

"The hardest question was fortunately one that I knew the answer to," John said. "It was give another name for equine influenza [strangles]. The easiest was what is the distance that the quarter horse is famous for [a quarter-mile]."

John credited the Grateful Dead with his more relaxed attitude toward Know-Down this year. He attended a Grateful Dead concert recently that, he says, "really mellowed me out." He also had Grateful Dead tapes on his Walkman at the Know-Down.

Boys are still a minority in most Pony Clubs. Does this bother him?

"Are you kidding?" he asked. "That's one of the great things about Pony Club. The ratio is definitely in my favor!"

hTC /!Capital Region Know-Down results Little Guys (all earned ribbons): Howard Team -- Lindsay Hinkle, Jessi James, Kaitlen MacCallum, Kenny McWhirter.

Junior D, Section 1: 1st -- Howard (Matt Brown, Valerie Brown, Abby Gibbon, Sarah Hicks), 2nd -- Catoctin, 3rd -- Pax River, 4th -- Frederick.

Junior D, Section 2: 1st -- Shenandoah, 2nd -- Howard (Jamie Yerger, Sabrina Morris, Jo Emblin, Carolina Collison), 3rd -- Frederick, 4th -- Pax River.

Junior D, Section 3: 1st -- Shenandoah, 2nd -- Howard (Shannon Naecker, Carrie Naecker, April Albright, Brooke Sachs), 3rd -- Howard (Megan Reuwer, Madelene Clark, Laura Kudziel, Steven Marshall), 4th - Seneca.

Junior D, Section 4: 1st -- Frederick, 2nd -- Potomac, 3rd -- Shenandoah, 4th -- Howard (Jenny Conaway, Jessica Lane, Erin Edell, Trae Reuwer).

Junior D, Section 5: 1st -- Seneca, 2nd -- Shenandoah, 3rd -- Howard (Lisa McWhirter, Jodie Ellenwood, Carli Ellenwood, Michelle McWhirter).

Senior D, Section 1: 1st -- Pax River, 2nd -- Howard (Leathy Brown, Gwen Burnett, Meggan Brown, Shannon Daugherty), 3rd Catoctin.

Senior D, Section 2: 1st -- Seneca, 2nd -- Howard (Garth Terry, Michael Brinkley, Becky Miller, Alison Dorosz).

Junior C: 1st -- Shenandoah, 2nd -- Seneca, 3rd -- Potomac, 4th - Frederick.

Senior C: 1st -- Howard (Chris Potocki, Amy Fry, John Potocki, Katie Yeiser), 2nd -- Shenandoah.

Calendar of events

Tuesday -- Closing date for entries for the Carrollton Hounds Horse Trials. Five divisions: training, novice horse, novice rider, baby novice horse and baby novice rider. (410) 848-3192.

Wednesday -- Closing date for April 10 Severn Valley Stables Schooling Event. (410) 757-1971.

Wednesday -- Clydesdales at Carroll County Farm Museum, Westminster. Free admission. 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. (410) 848-7775, (310) 876-2667, or (800) 654-4645.

April 4 -- Mount Airy Saddle Pals English and Western Horse Show. Mount Airy Carnival Grounds. (301) 473-5709 or (301) 831-5230.

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