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February 2015



Important Links

USPC Website

VRPC Website

VRPC FaceBook Page

VRPC Twitter

VRPC Calendar

February 2015

H-B/H-A Prep
Feb 6      6 pm - 8 pm

Dover Saddlery
Chantilly, VA

Rally Organizers Meeting
Feb 7      9 am - 12 pm

Warrenton Visitor Center

33 North Calhoun Street Warrenton, VA

Regional Council Meeting
Feb 7      1 pm - 4 pm

Warrenton Visitor Center

33 North Calhoun Street Warrenton, VA

H-B Prep Session
Feb 8
      9 am - 1 pm
John Barton Payne Bldg
Warrenton, VA

Quiz Rally
Feb 21
    8 am - 4 pm
The Falls Church
115 E Fairfax St.
Falls Church, VA
March 2015

HM Seminar
March 8      12 pm - 4 pm

15301 Mountain Crest Court, Haymarket, VA

RBPC Combined Test & Schooling Show
March 15
    8 am - 4 pm
Frying Pan Park
Herndon, VA

Annual Meeting Rebate

VRPC members who attended the USPC Annual Meeting can receive a $20 rebate. Submit the AM Rebate Form. Forms due Feb 15th.

Website & Member Info
Rally season is here!!! Our new website will be used to register for rallies and send out news about all things VRPC!  If you have not yet logged into the VRPC website, please do so immediately! This email address is your User Name, click "Forgot Password" to set up your password. Check out the"Members" section for our rosters. If you have questions, please check our FAQs page or contact Aldona Petraitis at


Greetings from the RS

Thank you to all of the fantastic parents, leaders, and kids from the Virigina Region Pony Clubs that donated their time and talents to the hosting of the USPC Annual Meeting. By all accounts the meeting was a huge success! From a regional perspective, thanks to the efforts of Vicki Fox, Margaret Good and Leslie Case (Capital Region), the auction raised over $20,000 for the two regions to split. We have prepared a number of great articles summarizing the various activities our members participated in at the Annual Meeting. Save the date for next years' USPC Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida, February 3-7, 2016!

Now that the Annual Meeting is behind us, it's on to the region's business! We've had a number of meetings of our RIC Committee with our new RIC, Kris Gerald. Kris is well on her way with the H-B preps underway and plans for a number of clinics and preps coming soon. I've also met with our new VRS Activities, Erin White, and our HMO, Brian Smith to discuss the upcoming Rally season and how to improve our overall rally experience for members, parents, and volunteers. Stay tuned for more information on upcoming HM training opportunities, our standards and certifications clinic, and the HM Seminar!

I am looking forward to seeing our leaders at the Regional Council Meeting on Saturday, February 7 at the Warrenton Visitor Center (note the change from John Barton Payne where we had our last meeting). I also look forward to seeing our members and parents at the Quiz Rally! That's all for now - read on...
Winners at Annual Meeting!Janna, D-2, DRHPC
VRPC members were big winners in several of the USPC's Annual Meeting activities!  

Research & Art Fair
Janna S., D-2 from DRHPC won overall highest points awarded and first
in her division 11-13 age group for her research project entitled "Evaluation of Friction Between Different Pant Materials and the Saddle". By measuring dynamic friction with a spring scale, Janna proved wearing any brand of riding pant with a half chap is far superior to wearing jeans or nylon sweat pants for riding stability (stick) in the saddle.

Virginia C, C-2, CWPCVirginia C., C-2 from CWPC, won first place in the 14-17 age group for her project "Out Condition The Competition", demonstrating that the best conditioner is Pure Neatsfoot Oil, followed by Hydrophane, then Horseman’s One Step, Lexol, and Leather Therapy. She timed water droplet absorption for 5 products, 5 times proving reapplication does dramatically influence the water resistance of conditioning products on previously untreated (tanned) leather samples. 

Hunter S, D-2, CWPC Hunter S., D-2 from CWPC, won first place in the 9-10 age group for his project "Don’t Get Soaked: Pony Leg Protection for Wet Conditions". Woof Wear Sport Brushing Boots proved to soak up the least amount of water by weight compared to polo wraps, fleece lined boots, and sports medicine boots.

Priscilla H., a D-3 member from CWPC, won first place in the Art Fair for her pastel drawing of her pony Sunny Delight.

Priscilla H, D-3, CWPCPriscilla also won a third place ribbon for her research project "How many bones does a horse have in it's body; what are these bones; and how do they function in relation to a horse's anatomy?"

At the Fine Arts Fair,  Scott C., D-3 of CWPC, won the 10 & under category for his video
 Jr's Rockin' Pony Club. C
heck it out at: 

Ella R. Recognized by National Mall Foundation
DRPC's Ella R. (H-HM) was honored by the National Mall Foundation for her submission to the National Mall Barn Project. Ella and five other members from around the country participated in the US Park Police Barns project by submitting plans detailing new and improved barn facilities for the U.S. Park Police, headquartered at the Mall in Washington, DC.

Ella R, H-HM, DRPCThe Trust for the National Mall will review all of the plans submitted. Teresa Durken, Senior Project Director for the Trust for the National Mall spoke during the USPC's Awards Banquet saying "we are in awe of the talent, focus, vision and commitment to excellence.  All of the designs took into account how the new facility would function for the horses and the police officers. We will definitely use the submissions as a planning tool when designing our new U.S. Park Police facility."

Ella and five region pony club members also took a field trip to the U.S. Park Police barns at the National Mall.  Ella describes the day, "
we learned all about the history of the mounted police, the working of the Police parks, and lots of anecdotes of the adventures they have. After our discussion, we headed out to pest-proof their feed room, move hay, and help with small chores around the farm. This behind the scenes view of the National Mall, was a unique and enjoyable event for all attending." VRPC members who attended were Olivia N., Clare N., Kayla K., Ciara S., of Difficult Run Pony Club and Isabella M. of Vicki Fox, USPC Founders AwardRiver Bend Pony Club.

Founders' Award Presented to Vicki Fox
Vicki Fox was presented the USPC's Founders' Award by our own Maggie Compton and Gegi Winslett.  Each year USPC presents this prestigious award to those volunteers who have made a significant contribution to Pony Club at the local or regional and national levels over a period of 20 years or more. Congratulations Vicki!

National Candidates' Tips
Topic:  Testing Part 2

Submitted by Vicki Fox

Here is part 2 of our advice to all VRPC members who wish to test for a national certification (C-3 and above) this year. If you are considering to test this year for C-3, H-B or above, please review these tips and those listed in our January issue.  Preparation is the key to success!

Tip #5: Expect a long and intense day or weekend for the test.  Come to the test well rested.  Arrive at the test site at least an hour before the briefing or however long it will take to set up the stall and take care of your mount for the test.  

Tip #6: Arrive early for briefing. Remember that the national examiners’ first impression of you as a Pony Club member is at the briefing and being late would not look good.  You should come to the briefing in workman like attire (including appropriate footwear), hair secured, your pony club pin and medical armband.  Although not a rally, khakis, a polo shirt and paddock boots are perfect.  Jeans, pajama pants, tank tops and any daisy dukes (especially ones with writing on the rear) do not make a good first impression.

Tip #7: Your horse must be properly fit and appropriately trained to test at the level and for the duration of the certification.  Your horse must be able to demonstrate your skills at the level.  Your horse must be suitable for switching.  As one wise pony club mom stated recently, “Don’t bring a green bean to an “A” testing.” 

Remember, you don’t have to bring your own horse to the testing and as a matter of fact you can bring a different horse for each phase of the testing.  It’s also a good idea to have a second horse as backup in case your horse goes lame.  But a word of caution – if you borrow a horse or horses, you need to ride them regularly before you come to the test.  Chances are you will not meet standards if you have never ridden  or only ridden the horse a few times.

Tip #8: Develop your verbal skills and work on these constantly. Know how to express yourself and describe knowledge orally. Use different ways of explaining things.  Make sure that your instructor(s) are listening to you discuss your riding on a consistent basis.  Throughout the Standard and the Test Sheet you will see DISCUSS over and over again.

Tip #9: Develop your listening skills.  You need to be able to listen carefully to what the examiners are asking for and hear what they are saying.  Make sure you are not listening selectively and hearing what you want to hear or misunderstand what the examiners are saying.  This is an area where your impartial observer may be able to help.

Tip #10:
Master your flat warm-up. Many candidates misunderstand the importance of the flat warm-up.  This is the first part of every mounted certification and gives the examiners their initial impression of you as a rider. Many candidates don’t meet standards on this section and sometimes it sets the tone for the remainder of the testing. Establish a flat warm-up routine and practice discussing your warm-up. Try to ride with different instructors and some national examiners and practice your discussion of the warm up. The more eyes & ears, the better!

Good luck to all of our National Candidates in 2015!

Lilia S. wins 2014 Hilltopper Division at Junior Field Hunter Championships

Congratulations to Lilia S. and her mount Conway Cymbel for winning the Hilltopper Division at the Junior North American Field Hunter Championships.

Lilia, 10 years old, is a D-1 and member of Blue Ridge Hunt Pony Club. Lilia's trainer, Iona Pillion, also trained Lilia's mom and the current DC for Blue Ridge Hunt, Anne Williams!

Lilia comes from a long line of equestrians, including her great grandfather, Alexander Mackay-Smith who co-founded both the U.S. Pony Clubs and what is now the U.S. Eventing Association. Mr. Mackay-Smith was also the Master of Fox Hounds of the Blue Ridge Hunt and Rock Hill Hounds as well as an editor of The Chronicle of the Horse.

Quiz Rally Set for Feb 21

Rally organizers are excited for the new location, The Falls Church, located in Falls Church, VA. River Bend, Grey Ghost and Blue Ridge Hunt will cohost again this year. 

Deadline for competitors to sign up for this rally is Feb 10th. Entry fee is $15.
Competitors must register on our new website, To register for Quiz Rally:

  • Go to our Quiz Rally Event on our website calendar page.
  • Fill out and submit "Quiz Rally - Individual" registration form.
  • Coordinate with your DC or Rally Coordinator and submit payment according to your club or center's instructions.
  • Clubs and centers will ensure there is a chaperone assigned to each team; chaperone forms are also located on the calendar Quiz Rally - Individual Event 
  • Lunch is available to preorder for members and volunteers during Individual registration ($7 add'l). Homemade goodies & drinks will be available for purchase on site. Members & parents may also bring lunch from home if they prefer. 
  • Teams will compete for the best team costume award for Jr. & Sr. D and C level teams.
  • Study information can be found on the USPC Tack Trunk.
Quiz Rally will feature a Tack Swap again this year. Reserve your spot at the Tack Swap, then clean up your unused tack or clothing and bring to Quiz Rally.  This is a great opportunity for pony club members to buy and sell tack at a discount! For details go to the Quiz Rally - Individual Event and click on the Tack Swap document.

We are looking forward to a successful event again this year! 
HM Corner
Submitted by Brian Smith

The first big news is that Virginia Region has a new Chief HM Judge! Gina Nelson was voted in by the HM Committee as a full Chief! Congratulations Gina!

There are going to be new rulebooks for HM and all the disciplines every year. Also, newsletters containing the changes from the previous year will be published.  Here is a head start for 2015 HM rule changes…
  • HM 1b, C+ shall be judged at C3. HB will continue as C2.
  • HM 6h, Expanded to state that rulebooks on electronic devices must always be available to all team members.
  • HM 7b, Medical bracelets are allowed. See section for details on information required to appear on bracelet. Here is a link to USPC blog about armbands vs bracelets.
  • Page 9 Turnout Inspections, Formal Attire
  • -  Helmet or cover may be black, navy blue or charcoal gray
  • -  Shirts may be white or off white
  • -  Gloves may be black, brown, white or off white
  • HM 17e, Appeals are only permitted at champs now.
  • Page 28, “Uniform Officiation Rules for USPC Rallies” is back in the appendix.
  • There is an Index!
That’s it! Make sure you have new HM and discipline Rulebooks for this year's rallies!

Region's First Hunter Seat Certified D3 Allie C.

Congratulations to Allie C., a D-3 from River Bend Pony Club and the region’s first member to be rated in the Hunter Seat Equitation track. Allie, 15, completed her D-3 Hunter Seat Equitation rating in December with her reliable mount Dora. Allie competes regularly in the show jumping and hunter rings under the guidance of multiple trainers including Kama Godek, Maggie Griffith, and Tiffany & Guy Cambria.

The Hunter Seat Equitation track is a relatively new rating classification for USPC. This track focuses on hunter seat equitation riding standards, showing correct hunter seat equitation position over fences, applying natural aids consistently. Allie’s rater,
Ann Bellinger, watched for a light, balanced seat with independent leg and hands. “For a D-3, she has a really beautiful seat”, she remarked.

For the over fences portion, Ann had Allie ride two courses. One was a basic hunter line-diagonal-line-diagonal and the other was an equitation course with singles, lines, a trot fence, a hand gallop, and a related distance. "The second course was more just for fun and was above the level; she handled it excellently!" said Ann. In the open Allie rode at the walk, trot, and canter in a large field.

Ann (an H-A member from RBPC) commented, “Initially I wasn't in support of these new certifications but now I think it's a great way to spread pony club knowledge to areas outside of the traditional pony club disciplines.” Like many of our Virginia Region college age members, Ann has enjoyed riding in the IHSA (Intercollegiate Horse Show Association) league for her college. Making the transition to the Hunter world has been a fun challenge and surprised her with how much it has helped her show jumping.

Members and clubs interested in the Hunter Seat Equitation track should review the resources found on the USPC website. In addition, USPC members competing in the Hunter/Jumper ring, might explore USHJA's EAP, Emerging Athlete Program.

International Exchange Teams Commence Tour in Virginia
Submitted by Jennifer Carpenter

Pony Club riders from Australia, Great Britain, Canada, and the US will start their adventure greeted by Virginia host families when they arrive July 12 by coach from Dulles to a welcome picnic, hosted by Casanova-Warrenton Pony Club, at the Northern Fauquier Community Park in Marshall.

USPC Games Exchange coordinator and former CWPC DC, Jackie Horn, has planned a week of activities for the international guests including a minor league baseball game, a games clinic/friendly competition at Great Meadow, and a day at Splashdown Water Park before the tour moves on to stay with Maryland host families. The International riders, coaches and chaperones then travel on to Penmerryl Farm near Virginia Horse Center, the site of USPC Championships East. The International Games Teams highlight USPC Championships with the International Exchange Games Competition on Saturday evening, July 25.

To experience a Pony Club International Exchange, Virginia families are invited to host some of the 20, 13-15 year old riders or the adult coaches and chaperones in their homes Sunday 7/12 thru Tuesday 7/14 nights. Host families meet new friends with pony passion and receive gifts from the guests’ country. Ponies are also needed for the International Exchange competition Saturday evening at Championships. Those who loan ponies will also receive international gifts, sash, and pins from the rider and will be up close to the races in the holding area.

Contact Jackie at (540) 364-3081 to participate as a host family or to offer ponies for the international competition.

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