U.S. places second in Pony Club Games

EQUESTRIAN

August 22, 1993|By MUPHEN WHITNEY

The five-rider team that represented the United States at the recent International Pony Club Games finished second behind the United Kingdom. The Canadian team was third, followed by the team from Australia.

Carroll County resident Charlie Conaway III returned from that competition with ribbons, a medal, a two-page itinerary of his travels, some really impressive T-shirts and jackets, and lots of good memories.

"The most impressive non-horse things that we saw were the castles," Conaway said. "And I liked all the scenery and the landscape. The most impressive horse thing that we saw was the team steeplechase race at the Dublin Horse Show."

For three weeks Conaway (who belongs to the Howard County Pony Club), Frederick pony clubber Krista Wilson and the other team members from pony clubs in New York, Virginia and West Virginia were royally treated by pony clubs in England, Scotland and Ireland.

"We only actually competed on one day, but it was very intense," Conaway said. "There were no preliminary heats so we only had one shot at it."

The day's competition consisted of two sessions. Each of those sessions had eight games that were run with two sets of ponies. The teams were not allowed any practice. They only had about 10 minutes before each session of competition to get used to their ponies.

"There were two ponies that I rode that were really great," Conaway said. "The best one was called Smokey and he was really fast plus he knew exactly what he was doing."

Although all the U.S. riders rode really well, the team from Great Britain would not be denied the gold.

"They won all of the first eight games," Conaway said. "They were lots better than everyone else. In England they have games competitions all over the place every weekend. Here we only get to compete at regional and national games."

Riding skills were not the only skills that Conaway and his teammates had to call on during their travels.

They competed in some fun games with a local pony club in Ireland where each person on the team had to contribute a line of a poem. The U.S. team won the top prize with a poem that ended, "Whoever judges this is divine, and we will give them lots of wine."

Carrollton horse trials

Have all you Horse Trials enthusiasts sent in your entry forms for the Carrollton Hounds Horse Trials yet? Closing day is Aug. 31 for the Sept. 18 event at Ship's Quarters Farm north of Westminster. Training, novice and baby novice divisions are offered. Call Bob Shirley at (410) 848-3192.

Learn at Shadowbrook Farm

Three-day eventing veteran competitor Bruce Davidson is conducting monthly training sessions at Shadowbrook Farm in Elkridge. Call Joyce McDonald at (410) 796-4947.

* It is time to start planning for the Anne Kursinski clinic on Nov. 13-14 at Shadowbrook Farm. Three two-hour riding sessions are planned each day, and auditors are welcome. Shadowbrook Farm offers discounted auditor rates for pony club and 4-H members.

Calendar of events

Today -- United States Polo Association Centennial Cup Finals. Ladew Polo Field. (410) 557-6448.

Saturday -- Fair Hill Starter Event Horse Trials. Elkton. (215) 347-2024.

Saturday -- Carroll County Western Circuit Show. Ag Center, Westminster. (410) 239-7885.

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