Six Pony Club Mounted Games teams have won through a series of tough national heats to win the honour of playing Mounted Games for the Prince Philip Cup at the Horse of the Year Show. (Wembley Arena, 2nd 7th October) The popular Mounted Games have been a part of the Show for more than 40 years, when The Duke of Edinburgh donated the prestigious Prince Philip Cup.
Photo courtesy of Real Time Imaging
More than 250 Pony Club teams set out at the beginning of each year with their ultimate goal being one of the six places at the Horse of the Year Show. The teams who will be contesting both the HorseIT Shield, on Wednesday and Thursday and the Prince Philip Cup, from Thursday to Sunday are:
· Sir Watkin William Wynns Hunt from Shropshire, who last qualified to compete at the Show in 1999.
· Oakley Hunt West from Bedfordshire, who last won the Prince Philip Cup in 1997, but took part at the Show last year.
· West Perthshire who last took part at the Show in 1999.
· North Warwickshire who last won the Prince Philip Cup in 1990, but also took part in the competition last year.
· West Hants who have qualified to take part at the Show for the very first time.
· Wylye Valley from Somerset, who have qualified 14 times in the 44 year history of the competition and who last won the trophy in 1991.
The Mounted Games competition is a true team event with five members, all under 15, playing a series of team relay races that provide fast and furious competition in the International Arena each day during which the young riders display amazing balance, co-ordination and riding skill. The final of the Prince Philip Cup, which takes place as part of Sundays Gala Night performance raises the roof as members, supporters and enthusiasts cheer on their local teams.
The Pony Club Mounted Games have been a very popular part of the Show for many years commented Mike Gill, a director of Grandstand Media. We are pleased to welcome all six teams and in particular the West Hants team, who have not competed at the Show before. Without last years winners, Eglinton defending their title, this years competition is wide open and we look forward to a very exciting week.
Taking part in this major team competition at the Horse of the Year Show will provide many fantastic memories which will last a lifetime said Duncan Robb, The Pony Clubs Chief Executive. Having worked together practicing for so many months real bonds will have been forged between the children, their ponies and each other, in the true spirit of the aims of The Pony Club. These talented young riders are a real inspiration to all those watching.
The Pony Club is the number one organisation for young people who love ponies and riding. There are almost 40,000 Pony Club Members in Great Britain, belonging to either one of the 349 Branches or 260 Centres. The Pony Club welcomes all young riders, whether they own a pony or not.
Membership of The Pony Club offers fun, friendship, training, events and competitions. Internationally The Pony Club has a membership of over 110,000 across 18 countries, making it the largest association of young riders in the world.
Members of the six Pony Club Teams competing at the Horse of the Year Show are as follows: