Noisiest championships have to be the most fun you can have on four legs
THE much-loved head of the Pony Club Association, Kay Irving, is remembered by Victorian pony clubbers through the annual Pony Club Association of Victoria Kay Irving Memorial Games that includes games, flat riding and musical team rides.
Known simply as “Miss K” by generations of riders, she consistently stressed pony club was not a riding academy but a youth organisation to train children to become co-operative and contributing members of the community.
While she could see the importance of producing talented riders who would later carry the Australian flag, she also cared a lot about those who rode for fun and enjoyment.
Horse trials were the original state championships held by pony club internationally, but later, showjumping and dressage championships were added.
Miss K saw how many youngsters still had no state titles so she instigated the annual state games, flat teams and musical rides championships, which is run as a team sport with no individual rider placings.
This year, the event was conducted at Woodlands, near the Tullamarine Airport, with 271 youngsters braving capricious weather, laughing and riding as a team.
Miss K would have loved it.
The flat teams of four ride was won by South Metro Zone’s Mornington Peninsula team of Kate Dugnan (Primrose Laini), Lauren Monkhouse (Lihntzrock My World), Kiana Williams (Technicolour) and Seth Staley (You Got Me Rocking).
Riddles Creek Pony Club’s Grace Bradshaw (Trigger), Michelle Woodcroft (De Groot) and Tana Males (Jum Jum Silver Star) had a great show winning the musical ride with a race day theme, and the club also took out the pair ride with Michelle Woodcroft (De Groot) and Tamsyn Harvey (Misty Night).
The games competition is possibly the happiest (and certainly the noisiest) championship event in the history of horse sport.
After battling their way through the bending/baton relay, the mug race, carton race, sock and bucket race, flag race, baton relay, milk bottle race and flag and drum race, the Woodlands Jets Central Zone team was declared the champions.
The team comprised Ben Hamilton (Princess), Jack Hamilton (Rainbow), Seren McKeeer (Sunny), Sigrid Black (Peppercorn), Tara Murphy (Tommy), Taylor Perkins (Nova) and Zack Sakemire (Hank).
ABOVE: (clockwise from top) Midland Zone's games team the Bealiba Brumbies placed fourth; Riddells Creek riders Michelle Woodcroft and Tamsyn Harvey, with their coach Jo Heinz, won the pairs; and, third placegetters in the team of four (minus their Shetlands) Clara Greenwood, Olivia Logan, Nina Ryssenbeek and Kandi Parslow of Macedon Pony Club. Click below for full results.