2 from Maryland headed for European competition


June 06, 1993|By MUPHEN WHITNEY

Riders from the East Coast, including two from Maryland, dominate the five-member United States Pony Club games team that will represent this country at the International Pony Club Games competition in Great Britain this summer.

Krista Wilson from the Frederick Pony Club and Charlie Conaway III from the Howard Pony Club will join riders from New York, Virginia and West Virginia on a three-week tour of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales in July and August.

"We will visit many places and have friendly competitions at each place we stop, but the big international competition will be in Northern Ireland in August," said Pony Club games organizer Kathy Jones of Middletown.

Jones said that the host country provides the ponies for the competition. The riders will have only about 15 minutes to hop aboard their mounts and get to know them before the games begin.

Jones said that she has no reservations about this team's ability to size up their ponies and get on with the competition.

"Their No. 1 strength is that they all work together so well as a team," Jones said. "Between now and the time we leave for England, they will get to know each other even better."

Besides having to ride unfamiliar horses at the international competition, the American Pony Clubbers also will face unfamiliar equipment.

"They use different equipment in Europe for many of the games," Jones said. "We have tried to get similar things here to work with."

The international competition consists of four sets of four games each. While that competition will be stiff, getting chosen for the team to represent the U.S. was a major hurdle in itself, said Conaway.

"We had to have competed in games at the regional or national level in 1992 to qualify for the international team tryouts," Conaway said. "And we had to be recommended by the organizers and have other references.

"The actual tryouts were in late April in Warrenton. We had competitions on Saturday and Sunday that we were judged on. Our letters came a week later telling us if we made it or not."

Conaway was confident about his performance in the games during the interview portion of the tryouts, and he had a good idea about who the

other team members would be, but he did not breathe a sigh of relief over his own selection until he received the letter.

That was the first hurdle.

"Now I've got to earn about $500 for the trip," he said. "Mom and Dad are getting my ticket, but the rest is up to me."

He is cleaning stalls and doing other farm work in the Taylorsville area to make money. He said the fact that only two weeks are between the time school is out and the time he leaves for the competition has put a crimp in his earning ability.

"But I'm about halfway there," he said.

Pony race results

The Pony Races at the Fair Hill Memorial Day Races produced the following results:

Small/medium division: first -- Phantom of the Opera, Meg Hannum; second -- Pinata, Molly Hannum; third -- Ashley, Ryan Dodds.

Large pony division: first -- Jay, Elizabeth Voss; second -- Ruffle the Road, Allison Hershbell; third -- Bull Durham, Josh Horner; fourth -- Bit O'Cut, Leigh Offut.

Junior horse division: first -- Shoppin' Robin, Allison Hershbell; second - Elmwood Road, Jake Secor.

Conaway Sr. dies

Carroll County horseman Charles Conaway Sr. died May 29 after a long battle with cancer. He was involved with the horse pursuits of some of his family members: son, Charles Jr., daughter-in-law Barbara, and grandchildren Charles III, Kelly and Jenny. Those who were acquainted with him -- including those in the horse community -- feel a deep loss.

Calendar of events

Today -- Starter Horse Trials and Combined Training Clinic with cross-country schooling session. Fair Hill, Elkton. (215) 347-2024.

Today -- PVDA Dressage Schooling Show. Mount Airy. (301) 829-1052.

Today -- Saddleview Ranch Bits and Bridles 4-H Show. Frederick. (301) 831-8715.

June 10-12 -- U.S. Equestrian Team Combined Driving Clinic. Fair Hill, Elkton. (410) 398-8270.

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