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 May 2016



Important Links


VRPC Website

VRPC FaceBook Page

VRPC Twitter

VRPC Calendar

May 2016
May 5 
H-B/H-A Unmounted Prep
Purcellville, VA

May 7 - 8
Dressage Rally
Manakin Sabot, VA

May 15
C3/B/A Riding Clinic
Location: Hunt Club Farm

May 15
 H-B/H-A Unmounted Prep
Location: Hunt Club Farm

May 19
 H-B/H-A Unmounted Prep
Purcellville, VA  

May 22 
Polocrosse Rally
Great Meadow, The Plains, VA

June 2016
June 4-5
VRPC Show Jump Rally
Morven Park, Leesburg VA

June 11-12
MOCPC Horse Trial
Glenwood Park, Middleburg VA

June 18-19
VRPC Eventing Rally
Glenwood Park, Middleburg VA

June 22
C-3/B/A Riding Clinic
Antenucci's Farm, Upperville VA

June 22
H-B/H-A Unmounted Prep
Antenucci's Farm, Upperville VA

June 25
Mock H-B Test

July 2016
July 6
C-3/B/A Riding Clinic
Deep Run Hunt Club, 1540 Manakin Rd, Manakin-Sabot, VA

July 6
H-B/H-A Unmounted Prep
Deep Run Hunt Club, 1540 Manakin Rd, Manakin-Sabot, VA

July 8-10
Great Meadow Intn'l CIC3*
Great Meadow, The Plains VA

July 15-17
H-B Certification
Jarvandi Farm, Haymarket VA

July 19-20
C-3/B/A Mock Test

July 22
Open Games & Polocrosse Practice
Great Meadow, The Plains, VA

July 27-31
USPC Champs East
Tryon Intn'l Equestrian Center
Mills Spring, NC

August 2016
Aug 5-7
C-3/B Certification
Glenwood Park, Middleburg VA

Aug 9-10
Daniel Stewart Clinic @ DVPC

Aug 13
MOCPC Combined Test
Glenwood Park, Middleburg VA

Aug 13
Open Games Practice
Great Meadow, The Plains VA

Aug 21
VRPC D-1/D-2/D-3 Eventing Rally
Hunt Club Farm, Berryville VA

Aug 27-28
LHPC Horse Trials
Oatlands Plantation, Leesburg VA

Important Reminder
We'd love to include your Club activities in our VRPC Calendar. Send information to Cindy Shelberg at

Greetings from the RS

Dressage Rally was a great affair. Many thanks to Deep Run Hunt Pony Club for taking the lead in organizing the rally. Special thanks to Abigail Winfree who, after spending Saturday taking the SATs, ran the sound system for the musicals on Sunday. Lots of fun, learning and S’mores were had by all. Look for the results on the VRPC website.

Invitations are out and entries are coming in for Polocrosse, Show Jumping and Eventing. It is shaping up to be a great rally season. Come join the fun.

If you plan on attending Champs East this year, please check out the article which details housing opportunities at Tryon International Equestrian Center. Housing will be a bit different from previous championship years in Lexington, VA.

Please contact me with any questions or concerns. Rally on!


CWPC Member Picked for USPC Polocrosse in Australia

Congratulations to VRPC member, Baker W.!  Baker, a 16 year old member of CWPC, has been selected to represent the US in Australia this summer, as part of the American Polocrosse Association U16 Player Development Program, an 8-member polocrosse team.  Riding with players chosen from across the country, Baker will compete in 3 polocrosse tournaments, proudly wearing the red, white, and blue jerseys.  

He has long dreamed of playing internationally, and he is so excited to represent Pony Club and the USA! 


Champs East 2016 at Tryon International Equestrian Center

It feels like rally season is just beginning, but we've already held four qualifying rallies, with only four more to go! Up next is our qualifying Polocrosse Rally on May 22 at Great Meadow. Details for this rally are on the website calendar.

Our current list of qualifiers is posted on the VRPC website 2016-Championships-Qualifiers. Be sure to check the list if you think you’ve qualified and let me know if there is an error.  

USPC 2016 Champs East will be held July 27-31 at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mills Spring, North Carolina.  If you are ready to sign up for Champs, please go to the USPC Goldbook  to read about the process. Also available is the Qualifying Criteria. Please note that wherever “age” is referenced, it means your pony club age—your age on January 1, 2016.

Housing information for Champs East can be found at the Tryon website Tryon USPC Accommodations.  Please check out this page for information regarding housing and dining options while at Champs East.

You may want to add this B&B to your list of housing options:
Butterfly Creek Inn B&B (Continental Breakfast only).  10 minutes from Tryon Equestrian Center. Sleeps 13; 6 Bedrooms --5 King beds, 1 Queen & 1 twin.  Gourmet kitchen, laundry facilities. Would like to rent the whole house to one group.

Stay tuned for more information as the date gets closer!
We Got Game Team Wins Prince Philip Cup at Rolex!

May 1, 2016, Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington KY—Virginia Region mounted games team, We Got Game!, is leading the victory lap  in ROLEX Stadium today at noon during the opening ceremonies of the final show jump phase at Rolex Kentucky 3 Day Event.

The 2016 Prince Philip Cup and first place ribbons will be presented to the team of: Grace on Patty, Virginia on Jack, Ronald on Jitter, Scott on Sebastian, and Rachael on Carrots.

Colleen Rutledge, Alli Saxton, Erin Severenson, and Ellen Dougherty-Hume rode 4 exhibition celebrity games with each Pony Club team at Fridays session. Brian Rutledge added color commentary and reminded us for these riders, “Pony Club is Where It All Begins…”  The first round of 10 games Friday had Virginia Region team a close 2nd, 3 points behind first place Capital Region Red Hot Chili Peppers. 

We Got Game! topped second round of 10 games Saturday played in the Rolex stadium with 76 points just one point ahead of the Sunshine Region Lemon Heads in second. Exciting (over) vaults, spelling challenges and corrections, and skilled play entertained the crowd and kept the competition close.

Thank you all Virginia Region members and volunteers for participating and supporting members to earn great opportunities offered by Pony Club.


New USPC Website
by Dawn Bellinger

The new USPC website has launched! Same URL, There's lots of great stuff on the new site but things are organized slightly differently. The new site requires a new user name and password. You can still access the old site at but only until May 30.

So, what's new and how can you easily find what you're looking for? First, if you have not already set up your or your member child's profile in the new site, you need to request the link be sent to you. Then, you can view the USPC webinar that actually shows you how the new site is organized. Finally, keep an open mind and just surf the site!

All have access to a number of new and important resources. For example, there is a new Pony Club IQ resource from for members looking for educational materials geared toward their next certification. There are separate sections for Instructors, Volunteers/Parents, and Alumni too.

If you are looking for something in particular on the new site, ask yourself three questions:

1) Who uses this information?

2) When do they need it?

3) What do they use it for?

The answers will tell you where to look on the new site. For example, you are looking for the chaperone form for Dressage rally. Answering the above questions, you think a Rally Organizer would need this form and they would use it before the rally starts. Looking through the list of Rally Organizers resources for "Before the Rally," you think it would have to be in one of the rulebooks. But a chaperone form is not discipline specific so it should be in the HM Rulebook. Sure enough, it's on page 104 under Judges' Guide to HM at USPC Rallies.

If you can't find what you're looking for, ask your DC/CA or another club/center officer. If they can't find it, they will call USPC or ask a regional officer (ie. me). If I can't find it, I will ask USPC. It's always possible that what you're looking for hasn't been moved over from the old site to the new one. If you need it, chances are someone else does too. So, please ask if you have a question.

Why Should Everyone Go to USPC Champs at Least Once in Their Pony Club Career?
by Dawn Bellinger

Driving away from Championships every year, my daughter would spend the first hour or two complaining about her teammates, the HM judges, the scores that were wrong, the heat, the flies, the horses, the courses, etc. Then, she would sleep for the next hour or two, usually at a rakish angle during which I tried to both drive the trailer and prop a pillow under her sagging head. When she woke, I would stop for gas and a potty break and she would eat more than the horse we were towing.

Once back on the road, I would gently suggest that maybe she didn't want to go to Champs ever again. "WHAT! NO! I didn't say that! Of course I want to go next year! In fact, I want to go every year!" What did I miss? Did she not hear herself complaining just two short hours ago? Finally, I got used to rally exhaustion and learned to love it.

My daughter loved regional rallies but she loved Champs even more. She loved being on a team with boys and girls from other clubs. She loved reconnecting with her friends from other regions every summer at Champs. She loved the physical labor involved, the team work required and the chance to live and breathe horses every minute. She loved being rewarded for her hard work and preparation. She loved being mentored when she was young and developing leadership skills as she aged.

And, I loved watching her develop as a horsewoman, not just a rider. Her first experience with Champs was as a Stable Manager and she wanted to be the best. She went many times as a Stable Manager due to not having the right horse or having one go lame, etc. You know the drill. Horses give our children an opportunity to fail, not get what they want, and be let down a lot! I say it's an opportunity because our children grow when life deals them hard blows. The tears are hard to take at the time but down the road you see the fruits of their labors and their losses.

Now at 24, living and working in Boston and not riding very much, my daughter misses her pony club friends and family. She comes home to coach occasionally. She works a rally in New England every once in a while. But, she (and I) keep in touch with her pony club friends, celebrate their successes and cry for their failures. Teamwork continues even though the rally is over. She's a terrific employee, friend, and adult, in part, because of what she learned at pony club rallies.

Would she (and I) do it all over again? You bet! Rally on!

Visit to learn more.

Diamond Legacy Eventing Award at VRPC Eventing Rally
By Vicki Fox

Diamond Legacy is a 17 year old thoroughbred that was bred to be a show ring hunter but decided his calling was to be an event horse.  He is affectionately known by members in the Region as “Gus Bus” and he even has his own Facebook page with many followers.

As a member of Loudoun Hunt Pony Club, he attended many LHPC lessons, camps and regional preps/clinics.  He competed with Melissa Fox in several regional rallies and four times at USPC Champs, winning the USPC Grand Prix Eventing Award in 2009 (an all-expense paid trip to Ireland) and in 2011 ($1000.00 prize).  He was Melissa’s only partner when she achieved her “A” Traditional certification in 2011.  Gus also contributed to the success of other regional members in attaining their national level certifications.

He competed many times at the preliminary level at U.S. Eventing Association horse trials but settled nicely into training where in 2013, 2014, and 2015 he and Melissa topped the USEA leader board for adult amateur training rider and adult training rider of the year.  He has been in the top eight training horses for the last three years. They also won the Dover Saddlery Eventing Challenge ($900.00 prize package) for training amateur in 2013, 2014, and 2015. The pair placed third at the American Eventing Championships in 2014 and second in 2015 in the training amateur division.

Gus is the kind of horse that comes along once in a lifetime.  He and Melissa are undeniably soul mates.

To honor Gus’s dedication to Pony Club, Melissa has provided a perpetual trophy in the form of a silver plate to be presented at the Virginia Region Qualifying Eventing Rally to a regional member for best conditioned horse at the training level. 

Criteria for Awarding the Diamond Legacy Eventing Trophy

  • Best recovery rate as determined by the rally veterinarian after cross country. 
  • Competitor must complete all three phases without elimination.
  • Competitor must have no cross country jump penalties.
  • Competitor must come closest to the optimum time on cross country without penalty.

HM Corner - Clean Those Dirty Brushes
by Vicki Fox

You’re all ready for rally season.  Everything from your pony, your tack and equipment is sparkling clean.  But oops!– Did you remember to clean those dirty yucky brushes in your grooming kit? 

The Horse Management Rulebook indicates that the brushes in grooming kits should be"reasonably clean- about a day's worth of dirt". Since everything else is glistening let’s make those brushes shine as well. 

Cleaning your brushes regularly (at least 1 time per month and of course right before rally)helps keep your pony cleaner and can help eliminate nasty skin diseases. It will also help extend the life of your brushes and keep them in tip-top shape. Here’s one way to do it. 

  • Fill a small bucket with warm water and put a few drops of liquid dish detergent or shampoo in it. Swish the brushes in the warm water for about a minute. 
  • Fill another small bucket with one gallon warm water and about 3 tablespoons disinfectant (like Lysol) and swish the brushes in for about one minute to rinse. 
  • Shake excess water out of brushes then let dry, bristles down,overnight or lay them in the sun to dry. 
  • Try not to soak brushes with wooden or leather handles for more than one minute so you don't damage the wood or leather. 
  • Moms don’t look at what I’m about to say.  Plastic and rubber curry combs or mane/tail combs can also be thrown in the dishwasher or even the washing machine- a good hot bath will get them sparkling like new and sanitize them at the same time. 
  • Make sure your brush box is wiped out and ready for your nice clean brushes. Then wipe the goop off your hoof oil with a clean rag and lo and behold you've got a wondrously clean grooming kit that will impress anyone!  Especially those horse management judges.
For more helpful hints about horse management at rallies, click here!

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