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The Games

Games may be played in three formats: Teams, Pairs or Individual.
Teams is the most usual but by no means the only form of Mounted Games. A team consists of five riders, four of whom take part in any particular game.

There is a large repertoire of games which may be played. There are a choice of 25 team games. 20 pairs games and 17 individual games. Some games appear under all three headings but with small differences to adapt to the format.

The rules of all these games are subject to change. To view a complete, up to date rule book please visit the Mounted Games Association.

The following are just a few of the games you may see being played.

This is one of the most popular races. The pony and rider start with a baton and gallop in and out of 5 poles turning tight at the top and return to the start to hand the baton to the next rider who then repeats the procedure.
Mug Shuffle
This again is a fast race where the rider has to move a mug from pole 1 to pole 2 and from pole 3 to pole 4 The next rider then repeats the sequence.

This is a difficult game as the rider needs to steer a pony at full speed whilst placing an object correctly.
 The Mug Shuffle

Sword Lancers
This is a race where the rider has to gallop up the poles collecting metal rings on the end of a sword. This can be very challenging as the rings make a noise when collected and some ponies are scared and will spook.
The rider hands the sword to the next rider who repeats this process. The more rings collected, the heavier and noisier the sword becomes.
Sword Lancers
This race dates back to medieval times. In another race called "joust" , targets are set up and each rider is equipped with a 4 ft. 8 in long lance. The aim is to ride at the targets and knock them down with the lance.
The Jousting race is frequently seen at Mounted Games displays. 

The Bottle Shuffle   Bottle Shuttle
In this race the rider starts with a bottle, rides to the top of the arena, places the bottle on an upturned bin, rides back down the arena collecting another bottle on the way. The "new" bottle is passed to the next rider who repeats the procedure. The bottles are weighted to avoid the wind taking them and some riders shake the bottle as the noise encourages the ponies to go faster.

Litter Race
This race requires a lot of skill. The "litter" takes the form of empty washing up bottles (or similar) with the tops removed. Competitors ride down the arena, pick up the litter on the end of a 4ft cane then ride past a bin and put it in. The top riders make it look so simple but you must be able to turn the pony and pick the litter up at the same time - that is when the art of neck reining helps!.

Pony Pairs
In this race the rider rides down the arena leading a partner with a small rope. They then collect the next rider and return to the start. This game requires skill in riding and leading but the ponies must work as a pair and not be aggressive towards each other as this could cause disaster!
The Pony Pairs

The Association Race Association Race
This is a pyramid building race. Riders collect lettered boxes from the end of the arena and place them on a bin further down the games field. The letters spell out the initials of the association, for example in Britain M, G, A, G and B are used as they stand for the Mounted Games Association of Great Britain.
The letters must also be stacked in the right order!

 Back to Mounted Games Index

With special thanks to
The Pony Express
(all photographs copyright of the Pony Express)
  The Mounted Games Association of Great Britain
The Mounted Games Association
of Great Britain
  The Mounted Games Association
The Mounted Games Association