MEMBERS of the Irish Pony Club recently took part in an international virtual dressage competition where they faced rivals from similar organisations in Australia, Canada, the Cayman Islands, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the USA.

Run under the umbrella of the Pony Club International Alliance which was founded in 2005, the competition offered classes from USDF Training Level (for riders aged 14 and under) up to USDF Second Level (25 years and under) while there were no age restrictions on those competing in the Pas de Deux freestyle to music or the Prix Caprilli.

The Class 1A (Training Level) team competition was won by a European quartet comprising IPC members Kate Moore (Kildare Branch) and Darragh Whyte (Newcastle Lyons) and the UK’s May Mooney (Old Berkeley (North)) and Lilly Davies (Vale of Aylesbury).

Here, Australia finished second and Hong Kong took third place.

Mooney topped the individual standings on a score of 77.7% ahead of Whyte (76.7) with Hong Kong’s Jeffrey Wong finishing third on 75. Kildare Branch members Sophie McEvoy and Alexandra Butler placed fifth and sixth on 74.8 and 74.4 respectively while Moore achieved a score of 69.6 to finish 10th. McEvoy and Butler were on the fourth-placed IPC/Kildare team along with Alex Short and Georgia Kehoe.

In Class 1B, the team honours comfortably went to the United Kingdom Pony Club representatives of Jennifer Thursfield (North Down), Ava Tweedie (Peebles Tweedale) Alexander Bland (Hertfordshire) and Veronica Owings (Vine). Second place here was filled by members of the New Zealand Pony Club while South Africa finished third.

Three members of the winning team filled the top three individual placings, viz Bland on 75%, Tweedie on 73.7 and Thursfield on 72.1. New Zealand’s Katie Fitzsimons and Laura Lloyd prevented a UK whitewash as they finished fourth and fifth on 71.7 and 71.3 ahead of Owings on 70.6.


The First Level competition for riders under 18 was also divided with the IPC being drawn in Section B where the Kildare quartet of Lucy Maughan, Ella Butler, Andrew Moore and Jamie Maughan finished second. The winners represented South Africa with the Cayman Islands placing third.

Butler claimed the individual honours on 69.7% ahead of three South African members viz Sophia Fourie (68.6), Abby Hanes (68.4) and Abigail Howarth (68.1). Moore placed fifth on 67.2 while Lucy Maughan IPC finished 10th in the 20-strong field on 64.7.

There were no IPC members in Section A where the team prize went to Australia whose Lauren Rowe achieved a score of 72.9% to top the individual leaderboard.

Nor were there any IPC representatives at Second Level (riders 25 years of age and under) where the team honours went to New Zealand while Anjali Iyer of the Singapore Pony Club was the individual winner. Hong Kong’s Furla Ng and Oliver Stapleton won the Pas de Deux and Charlotte Van der Zwan claimed the Prix Caprilli for the New Zealand Pony Club.

Entries for the IPC’s own Halloween virtual dressage competition close at 23.59 tomorrow, Sunday having opened at 9am on Saturday, October 15th. Details regarding the tests being used and how to enter the competition can be found on the IPC’s website.

Members can ride more than one test, at more than one level, on more than one pony and all uploaded tests will be assessed, and commented on, by Listed judges.

While most IPC activity at this time of the year is at Branch level, the Muskerrys have held two qualifiers in their Jumps Ahead league at Ballindenisk where the final will take place on Sunday, November 27th. Participation at two qualifiers allows entry to the final when double points will be on offer. There is one more chance to qualify on Sunday next, November 20th.