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Youth attains national rating

The United States Pony Clubs, Inc. announces the uprating of Eliza Culbertson from C3 to B at a weekend-long testing held July 11-13 at Jumping Branch Farm in Aiken, S.C.

Culbertson, age 17, is the daughter of Rex and Carolyn Culbertson of Greer. She is member of the Greenville Foothills Pony Club. To earn the rating, Eliza passed an examination that tested horsemanship skills and knowledge. She has passed a series of six previous standardized rating tests since joining Pony Club in 2002. Each of the Pony Club rating levels is more difficult than the preceding one, and requires Pony Club members to learn more about horses and their care and to become increasingly accomplished riders and teachers of riding and horse care to younger members.

The top rating, &dquo;A&dquo;&squo; is reached by fewer than 1 percent of membership, and the &dquo;B&dquo; rating is reached by fewer than 2 percent of membership. These upper level ratings denote throughout the international horse industry a highly competent and knowledgeable horseperson. &bsp;

Eliza also competed at the USPC Championships in Lexington, Virginia the week of July 24-27. She had qualified as a Championships participant at the Carolina Regional Dressage Rally held in the Charlotte area in April.&bsp; In Virginia, her four member team earned 2nd place Overall, and 2nd place in Horse Management.&bsp; Eliza and her horse, Time to Tango, competed in the First Level Dressage Competition, winning first place in the Musical Freestyles.

There are approximately 10,225 members of USPC in 625 clubs throughout the country. Along with an emphasis on helping its members learn to ride and care for horses, Pony Club promotes teamwork, a sense of responsibility, safety, good moral judgment and self-confidence.

The United States Pony Clubs, Inc. (USPC) was founded in 1954 as a nonprofit national youth organization to teach riding and horsemanship through a formal educational program. Many of the nation&squo;s top equestrians, including most of the U.S. Olympic equestrian team members, have Pony Club roots. Members range in age from as young as 4 through age 25. Activities are English-riding based, and members ride both horses and ponies, depending on the size of the rider and the discipline.

All Pony Club competition is team competition, much like the Olympic games, where members learn the importance of cooperation and teamwork.