area girls to compete
in Pony Club Championship
work to finally pay off
in competition for a shot at finals
Helen E. McKinney
LA GRANGE, Ky. (July 2008) Since February,
five young girls have been looking forward to competing in the national
Pony Club Championships in Lexington, Va. They have lived and breathed
the basics of horsemanship, hoping to show off what they have learned.
submitted by Chris Miles
County area riders prepare
for competition at a recent match.
The girls, who are all members of the Covered Bridge Pony
Club, train once a week as a team at Windhover Farm in La Grange, Ky.
Four are Oldham County residents, and one lives in Jefferson County.
Windhover Farm owner Sara Greiling said the girls really work
hard at it. Located on Old Sligo Road, Windhover Farm provides
a place to teach mounted games and basic riding lessons.
The girls will compete in the junior division for ages 10-13 on July
24-27, representing the Mid-South Region. If they win or place in the
top three or four spots of the Pony Club Championships, they will qualify
for the Prince Philip Cup. This latter event will be held at the Kentucky
Horse Park during the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event on April 23-26,
Its the only four star level event in North America,
said Missy Camp, whose daughter, Mary Peabody Camp, 11, is a member
of the team. As an added bonus, the girls were able to attend the 2008
Rolex event and watch professional Rolex riders conduct pony games,
The girls won the regional Mid-South Games Rally in February at the
Kentucky Horse Park to qualify for the Pony Club Championships.
These championships consist of relay races on ponies, said Emily Ragan,
whose daughter, McKenzie, is also on the team. Ragan, an instructor
at Mint Spring Stables on Chamberlain Lane, said, It teaches strength
and coordination. And its fun.
In an age where many kids do not get enough physical exercise Ragan
said, You can tell a difference in kids whove had strength
training. This sport is a basis to put into something else and build
When competing, teams will often take a team name, and the girls have
chosen The Silver Speed as theirs. The national Pony Club Championships
are held in Kentucky every three years.
The championship competition consists of many different disciplines,
said Greiling. These include eventing, show jumping, mounted games and
quizzing. But the girls can only enter in one discipline,
by Chris Miles
for a photo in between
events at a recent
The girls need to raise additional funds to cover the
expense of this trip to cover hauling fees, feeding and boarding. Hauling
five ponies to Virginia with a professional trailer would cost $1,500.
Each member must also pay half of the $375 entry fee, the Mid-South
Region covering the other half, said Ragan.
One in-kind donation that has been made so far is the use of a truck
and trailer for transportation from a local farm owner, Ragan said.
Not all of the girls own horses.
Participants in the Pony Club Championships travel from all over the
country, including Illinois, Maine and Michigan. Speed and accuracy
are extremely important in these competitions, said Ragan.
The girls compete a lot, Ragan said. In the winter months
they compete in more indoor games, which do not take up as much space.
Friendly competitions are held in Frankfort and Lexington.
The Silver Speed team trains together at Windhover Farm to perfect their
techniques as a team. When competing as a team, many props are used
and the girls must be in perfect sync, working together and with their
They may have to hop off of their pony and pick up a piece of
equipment and then pass it off to the next team member, said Greiling.
The sport is as entertaining to watch as it is exciting for the girls
who compete, she added.
The type of training they receive before competing teaches a lot
of balance, confidence and how to work together as a team, she
In horseback riding, its just you and the pony, said
Camp. But games are really a team effort. The girls have to get
along with each other and become a cohesive unit.
For more information or to make a donation,
contact Emily Ragan at (502) 802-3277.
Back to July 2008 Articles.