Coast Teenager represents Qld at Nationals
JUMPING off and back on a moving horse in vaulting will be one of the tasks faced by coast teenager, Teleeka Adams, when she competes as part of the Queensland Team at Mitavite National Prince Philip Mounted Games Championships being held at the Nambour Showgrounds this Saturday. Adams is looking forward to competing at this year's championships in her local area.
Teleeka from the Nambour Pony Club will be joined in the Queensland Junior Team by Callum Miller, Ben Eastwell, Selena Madsen and Tim Burraston from the Warwick Club to compete at Pony Club of Australia's national championships, the Prince Philip Cup.
Queensland Coach Russell Duncan, from Mt Mee, said the teams would be put through a series of horseback games involving a high degree of athletic ability, good riding skills, hand-to-eye coordination, general determination to see things through to the end no matter what, and a competitive spirit which nevertheless requires an ability to work together with other riders and to be willing to help one another. Russell said the events, which include Mitavite Race, Rope Race, Stick Pegging, Potato Picking Scramble and Balloon Busting Race, all involve eye and hand co-ordination, with teams working in relays or together.
A team consists of five riders and ponies. In each game four out of the five take part, leaving the team trainer the flexibility to select the four best for any particular game.
Some Examples of Games
The Five Flag Race - with flags being put into and retrieved from witches hats, at high speed, two flags is another very popular game which is similar.
The Stepping Stone Dash Race - wherein the rider dismounts, runs nimbly across a set of cut logs (stepping stones), and vaults back into the saddle to complete the race, is another game of exquisite skill and control.
Local pony clubs have generously lent 70 ponies to be ridden for this event. Ponies are placed into groups of five and each State and Territory will use a team of ponies for one set (3 games) before being rotated to the next State/Territory.
There is not only a healthy good-natured rivalry on the field of play, but great cooperation between players off the field regarding matters of the games as well as those of personal relationships and logistics. Teams will be arriving to the Sunshine Coast from Wednesday 21st July and will be visiting Australia Zoo and seeing the sights of Mooloolaba before competition begins on Saturday.
Pony Club Association of Queensland's neighbouring zones 6 and 26 have been busily preparing for this event over the previous months. Zone 6 Executive Member, Tonia Murtagh, said "These championships would not have been possible to run without our wonderful volunteers within Pony Club and great sponsors."
"Event sponsors Mitavate, leaders in equine nutrition, have ensured the ponies supplied for the games are well taken care of as well as our volunteer stewards."
Our local Horseland store at Forest Glen has also ensured the need of our younger volunteers who are caring for the ponies during the championships are also met."
The national event will be held this Saturday 24th July at the Nambour showgrounds with six junior and seven senior teams competing. There is no admission fee and a canteen will be available.
Nambour Showgrounds, Nambour
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