JUST WHAT IS "RALLY"?

A Guide for New Pony Club Parents

"Pony Club is unique among riding organizations because its educational programs place equal emphasis on the teaching of riding skills, horse-care fundamentals, and team participation with sportsmanship... Pony Club prepares its members to take on the responsibilities of owning a horse by the judging of Horse Management at all its competitive rallies. The competitors are judged within their respective rating levels on their knowledge and use of sound, practical horse care, which they have acquired through regular practice." USPC Horse Management Handbook... 1996.

The USPC Standards of Proficiency is a progressive ratings system designed to provide a framework of common knowledge for members at any given rating. The MidSouth Region of the United States Pony Club offers Dressage, Show Jumping, Tetrathlon, Mounted Games and Eventing Rallies.  They all have horse-care judging and riding competition based on the rating level of each team. The goal is to develop independent, responsible riders who are capable of unloading their horse at a show, setting up their own stall in a safe manner, taking good care of their very expensive equipment and monitoring their horse's health without needing their parents or coach to do it for them. Rally promotes these goals by not allowing any adults, except for the Horse Management Judges, in the barn area or warm-up rings for the duration of the activity. The kids learn to share the work and their equipment with each other, while their parents volunteer for different jobs during the day.

We hold D-level Rally Camps beforehand to simulate Rally conditions and get the kids used to working as a team. Please understand that even though the horses are included, this is not a riding camp - it is a horse management camp. Your child must be in a regular lesson program and prepared to ride at their desired level as a prerequisite to signing up for Rally, since we cannot teach them how to ride a dressage test or manage their horse out on cross-country five days before Rally, but we do have some riding instruction. Our focus is on checking that all necessary equipment has been assembled, tack is in good order, and horses are properly trimmed and clean, etc. We require that each "D2 & up" child has have several successful cross-country school with their instructor within the previous fall/winter season or have attended a show that includes cross-country before the Rally Meeting so that their preparedness can be properly assessed at that time.  Each rider must provide a current-year certificate to that effect from their instructor as part of their Rally entry papers.

Those kids who do not have a horse to ride are encouraged to come as Stable Manager for a team. They help their teammates get ready for Formal Inspection, riding, turn backs, etc. Each team is responsible for providing a place in one of their rooms for their Stable Manager if they are coming without parents. CBPC pays their entry fee.

Watch your email for the date of the Rally Organizational Meeting in April.

MegaRally is held the third week in June at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. Dates are posted on our web site. The 'D' Rallies, Dressage and Show Jump Rally teams all ship in on a Wednesday. D1s, D CT, Dressage and SJ kids finish on Thursday, while the D Eventing are finished Friday afternoon. 'C' levels ship in Thursday and finish Sunday.

All kids who sign up will be contacted about Camp, which is held one or two weeks before Rally.

D1s have C Advisors to assist them at Camp and at Rally.

WE WANT ALL YOU KIDS, ESPECIALLY D1s, TO COME TO RALLY!!! If the parents have any questions, please call us so we can help you solve any potential roadblocks to your kids joining this gathering of several hundred young riders in Lexington this summer.

Come to the Kentucky Horse Park and discover the "Pony Club Way"! :>)