Rallys are a big part of the pony club experience. This page contains useful information you'll need to be a properly informed parent and rally competitor.
Click here to download Rally Organizing Parent responsibilities (word document)
What is a rally?
A rally is a Pony Club competition where teams of Radnor Hunt Pony Clubbers compete against other teams for other Pony Clubs within the Eastern Pennsylvania Region. For many Pony Clubbers, competing in a rally is one of the best things about Pony Club. Except for Quiz and Un-rally, rallies are mounted competitions usually made up of teams of 3-5. All of the team members ride in the competition except one, who acts as the stable manager, helping with all the essential ground work that must be done to support the mounted competitors.
On the day of the rally, parents are not allowed to interact with their children at all. It is up to the team to pull together to take care of all the details and logistics. This is wonderfully liberating for parents and kids, and stimulates teamwork and leadership within the Pony Club teams. In addition to the riding performance of the team members, the rally teams are also judged on horse management.
What is Horse Management?
During the day of a Pony Club rally, each team is required to setup a complete and organized tack room (usually using an empty horse trailer or tent) containing all the necessary gear. Saddle racks, bridle racks, first aid, equipment, tack, etc. is all set up in the stable. Everything must be labeled and in proper cleanliness, repair, and condition. Points are taken off for things like dirty tack, and missing required items.
A great deal of preparation goes into getting ready for a rally, not the least of which is attending mounted practice sessions, often on weekdays after school.
A non-qualifying rally is a one-time rally, with no progressive competition for winners. By contrast, winners at regional qualifying rallies have the opportunity to move on to advanced competitions at Pony Club Championships, which are held in Lexington, Virginia for the eastern half of the United States. Every three years is considered a festival year, in which national championships are held among pony clubbers from all over the country. National championships are hosted in Lexington, KY.
Team Captain Responsibilities
The captain is the communicator for the team. You call team members. You help relay information.
During the rally, check the scoreboard frequently and act as spokesperson if there is a scoring dispute, which must be made within 30 minutes of a score being posted. The captain is the only one who can make inquiries and protests.
Arrange for 2 team meetings with the stable manager if possible. Coordinate equipment organization and meetings before the rally.
Communicate with your teammates about the rally before the rally; help the younger/newer members along and show them the ropes. (Example, remind younger members that their ponies and tack should arrive to the rally absolutely spotless.)
Get stall card information from team members and make stall cards or remind each team member to make their own.
Arrange arrival time. Ask for parents to help carry heavy equipment, but the TEAM must do set-up and take-down of the tack room.
Coordinate trailer planning, including tack trailer if not using a tent.
Provide team leadership on rally day regarding time management, teammate and mount preparation, etc.
Stable Manager (Horse Manager) Responsibilities
Contact teammates for equipment meeting; supervise and check equipment & label.
Figure out who will bring required extra tack and equipment.
On rally day make a competitors time schedule and chart
Go over equipment list to make sure each person has required personal equipment.
Remind teammates about stall cards.
On rally day, get team ready for HM inspections.
On rally day, assist each team member in preparing for Formal Inspection and get them to the formal on time.
Go with the competitor to formal inspection if possible.
On rally day, get rider in the warm up ring in plenty of time before each test.
Be available to assist wherever needed during rally.
All team members should be helping the stable manager and each other; the stable manager is never a slave!
RALLY EQUIPMENT GUIDELINES
The club has inspected our equipment prior to entering the rally season. Our goal has been to provide 4 teams with MOST BUT NOT ALL of the equipment for rallies as specified in the "USPC Horse Management Required Equipment Checklist" for One-Day Rallies. from the "USPC Horse Management Handbook & Rules for Competition"("LIST"). See the USPC National Web site to download the Horse Management Rulebook which includes the equipment checklist. Pony Club Rulebook
Even with that in mind, some items will need to be provided by the team members in certain cases. First, we will continue having each team member provide their own "Grooming Kit" contents as specified on the LIST. (However, grooming boxes themselves are provided.) Second, some equipment will be required based on each team’s particular needs (for example, the size of riders/mounts and types of equipment used by members such as tall boots and peacock irons). On items with expiration dates, check them.
Each team needs to double check and, if necessary, provide the following (broken down by categories on the LIST):
- Equine First Aid Kit: Appropriately sized padding for 4 stable wraps (NOTE: appropriate sizes for all team mounts, so a team may need more than one set if there are different size mounts on a team.)
- Grooming Kit (per horse): ALL contents except wash buckets.
- Extra Equipment: ALL. NOTE: (1) appropriate sizes for all members and mounts (for example, leathers and irons must fit all members, so a team may need more than one size of each) and (2) if anyone uses peacock irons, 2 rubber bands and leather straps.
- Stall Equipment (per horse): ALL. NOTE: List requires one water bucket, but RHPC strongly recommends TWO.
- Tack Room Equipment: NOTE: (1) USPC Horse management Rulebook and each rally rule book must be "current" (most recent edition) and "complete" (having the annual spring newsletter and any addenda), and (2) for each member with tall boots, boot trees (both leg & toe).
- Tack Cleaning Kit: tack sponge(s) & cleaning cloths.
- Overnight Rallies: club members who attend are responsible for reviewing the appropriate USPC Horse Management Required Equipment Checklists and providing any additional equipment.
REMEMBER: TEAM MEMBERS HAVE THE FINAL RESPONSIBIITY FOR ENSURING THE AVAILABILITY AND CLEANLINESS OF THEIR TEAM’S EQUIPMENT.