A group of four local teenagers with the Canadian Pony Club are celebrating their win in a regional quiz, which secures their spot in a national competition later this year.
The local P’s and Q’s (Parksville-Qualicum) Pony Club took first place in level C at the regional quiz in Nanoose Bay last month, where their theoretical knowledge of horsemanship was tested. The girls did individual written tests, identified a number of items and answered questions posed in a game-style. They competed against teams within the B.C. Islands Region, and it was the first time their club had achieved first place in over 10 years.
“I was really excited and proud of us because it’s our first time in (level) C and we beat some people who’ve been doing it for three years, so it was a really big confidence booster,” said 14-year-old Tessa Letcher, who has been in the Pony Club for three years. Her team mates were her twin sister Zoe, Anwyn Woodyatt and Ashlyn Richards.
The girls received a large plaque, ribbons and some smaller prizes.
The four girls are the oldest members in the local Pony Club, which accepts girls from ages six through 25. Besides competing in written tests, the club members also train and compete in riding, jumping, tetrathlons, stable management and more.
On Thursdays the girls have a learning day, which has been created in collaboration with Qualicum Beach Middle School, and gives them a course credit.
The girls have volunteered for the Therapeutic Riding Society in Courtenay, taken stable management classes, farrier clinics, vet clinics and art classes with renowned equine artist Joan Larson, among other lessons.
“It’s not just about learning to ride you have to learn how to take care of your horse,” said 15-year-old Richards.
Owning a horse or pony is not necessary.
Zoe said her favourite part about riding is the connection with the horses.
The national quiz is in Victoria in October.
To join contact Holly Strack at 250-752-9658. Visit www.ParksvilleQualicum.ponyclub.ca for more information.