Mesa Meadows Pony Club Third Place

Mesa Meadows Pony Club Brings Home Ribbons from the Camino Real Regional Mega Rally

“The team was super helpful throughout the weekend!” expressed Mesa Meadows Pony Club member Chloe, regarding their recent 3rd place finish at the Camino Real Regional Mega Pony Club Rally held at the Hansen Dam Equestrian Facility in Sylmar, CA May 9 & 10, 2014. Chloe had a fun reason to appreciate the helpfulness of her teammates, Annie, Taylor G. and Taylor L. as their help was a key to getting her to her Prom on time! “I literally handed my horse to my teammates after my last round and got in the car with my mom and drove to the Prom. I got ready in the car! I used wet wipes to clean up with, and brought a power converter for the car to plug my curling iron into, and got dressed as we traveled. My boyfriend gets this. He gets the horse thing.” explained Chloe. Chloe didn’t even know how the team did before she left. Her teammates collected Chloe’s ribbon for her and took care of her horse, loaded her mare into the trailer and brought the horse home. Now that’s teamwork!

I literally handed my horse to my teammates after my last round and got in the car with my mom and drove to the Prom.

Mesa Meadows Pony Club in Nipomo sent a team of Show Jumpers to the Mega Rally which was also the qualifying Rally for the National Pony Club Festival to be held this summer at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. The Mega Rally brought 11 teams from all over the Camino Real Region to compete together in a variety of disciplines and 25 of those riders were trying to qualify for the Pony Club National Festival. Each team member could compete at a different level but still be one Mesa Meadows Team. The Show Jumping team was comprised of Taylor L. who competed in Intro – non-qualifying (jumping fences 18”-2’), Chloe who rode in the Developing Horse and Rider division (jumping fences 2’9″-3′) and Taylor G. competed in Horse 1 (jumping fences 3′-3’6). The team also took on a “scratch” rider, Savannah, from Moonlight Pony Club in Norco, CA who competed with them as Mesa Meadows. Savannah and Taylor L.’s horses were siblings coming out of the same dam! In addition, their very own Annie was the Stable Manager.

Taylor L and Savannah with their sibling horses.
Taylor L and Savannah with their sibling horses.

Friday the participants arrived and set up the stable area. Each horse had to pass the jog out held that day which determines if the horse is sound to compete. Saturday was the jumping day. Stable Management is a huge part of the final team Rally score and the judging for that begins on Friday when the Rally opens. Each team has a Stable Manager whose job is to facilitate working in the stable area and assist the riders with their horses and tack. Chloe was especially appreciative of Annie’s work because on Saturday she and Taylor G had forgotten about “Turn back” where the stable management inspectors come and check out how you cleaned your horse and tack after their first two rounds of riding. “Annie was there and took care of cleaning our tack and the inspection for us.” Another aspect of the team stable management score is the equipment brought for the team. Taylor G. remarked that, “The rule book was updated just before the Rally and we didn’t catch a new ruling that states that all medicines must have an expiration date and be current. We had an antibacterial spray in our kit that did not have an expiration date. They took a point off for that!” Chloe was surprised by the careful inspection of their boot trees, “Our boots must have boot trees in them when not being used. We made some toe trees out of old socks. They actually checked to see if the toe trees filled up the whole toe!”

Taylor G. going to Formal Inspection
Taylor G. going to Formal Inspection.

Saturday morning started out with “Formal Inspection” for the riders trying to qualify for the Nationals or “Tack and Turnout” for those not qualifying. The difference being in the dress – those trying to qualify dressed and rode in a hunt coat and those not qualifying dressed in polo shirts. Each horse/rider team rides 4 different Show Jumping rounds during the Rally. The first round is warm-up and does not count towards final score. The next was an Equitation round (including faults for knock downs, refusals or run outs). The third round was “Pick Your Own Line” where each rider must decide how to jump all twelve jumps (either direction) within an optimum time with no faults. The final round has a jump-off for time if the horse/rider pair has had a clean (no knock downs, refusals or run outs) first round.

Taylor G and Kadenza going into an In and Out Combination
Taylor G and Kadenza going into an In and Out Combination.

Taylor L. on her Welsh/Quarter cross pony “Mini” had four clean rounds at the Rally. “This was my first Rally where I had NO points taken off, with four clean rounds and a perfect Tack & Turnout inspection.” Taylor G. and her mare “Kadenza”, were the only Camino Real competitor in the Horse 1 division. “My favorite round is the Equitation round, because I like to show off!” Chloe riding her mare “Lady Godiva“ realized this about her horse, “My horse is very fast and usually goes clean and is super-honest when I am confidant. If I sit up and wait she will jump the moon!”

Chloe and Lady Godiva jumping the moon.
Chloe and Lady Godiva jumping the moon.

Not only did the Mesa Meadows Pony Club place 3rd in the Camino Real Regional Pony Club Mega Rally, in addition to that success 3 of the members qualified and then made the final cut to go to the Pony Club National Festival in Lexington Kentucky this summer! Taylor G and Chloe will take their horses with them and Annie the wonderful Stable Manager qualified for the Quiz event – which is horseless but about horses. Great job girls!

To learn more about Pony Club in general or Mesa Meadows Pony club contact Kelly Greene:

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