Two Olympus Pony Club teams demonstrated their expertise in both riding and horsemanship at this year’s Northwest Regional Jump Rally in Monroe on Oct. 20, 21 and 22. Twenty-two teams in two divisions competed in stable management and show jumping, and Olympus teams took first and fifth places.
On the first-place team, Georgia Mechura stable managed for riders Julia Ellison, Chiara Heimbeck and Coulter Verharen. Rumor Pollard was stable manager for the fifth-place team with Malea Dickerson, Sylvia Bran and Julia Papa riding. Qualifiers for the 2018 USPC West Coast Championships to be held next summer at Donida Farm in Enumclaw were Dickerson, Ellison, Heimbeck, Mechura, Papa, Pollard and Verharen. Heimbeck received the High Point Equitation award. Verharen participated in the Oregon Region 2017 Show Jumping Rally where he was Reserve Champion.
Pony Club rallies are similar to traditional horse shows except that riders compete as a team of four to five per team. Rallies are an opportunity develop character, confidence, leadership and team cooperation skills. Teams must work totally independently and cannot have any outside assistance the entire time they are at the rally. Judges look closely at jumping form and faults or knock-downs, but the team is also rated on its overall horsemanship and stable management skills, including horse care and feeding, turnout (cleanliness of horse, saddles and bridles, neat attire and riding helmets) and safe practices.
— Lisa DeFaccio is a parent of a Olympus Pony Club rider.