Greenville Foothills Pony Clubbers to compete at TIEC

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Members of the Greenville Foothills Pony Club are gearing up to compete at the US Pony Clubs Championships East at the end of July. Pony Clubbers from all along the Eastern part of the United States will be competing at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) July 27-31.

This will be the first time that this prestigious competition will be held at TIEC, and our riders are excited to be able to compete at our local world-class competition venue. The competitions will be spread across a variety of disciplines, including polocrosse, games, showjumping, dressage, eventing, tetrathlon and the knowledge-based Quiz competition.

Competitors are all entered as teams, typically with four riders and an unmounted Stable Manager who helps keep the team organized and getting to their riding phases on time. GFPC is proud to have had 16 riders and two Stable Managers qualify for and enter Championships East 2016.

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If you come to watch the spectacle at TIEC, don’t be surprised to see people riding horses and ponies of all sizes. The term “pony” in USPC was a representation of the age of the rider (youths), not the size of the mount. Riders up to the age of 25 can be regular youth members of the USPC organization.

In more recent years, USPC has expanded to include adult members, called Horsemasters, into the organization as well. Members of all ages enjoy the benefits of participation in Pony Club activities that teach not only riding skills, but horse management, teaching, land conservation, leadership and volunteering.

At all competitions, parents are barred from entering the barns; the Pony Clubbers are solely responsible for the proper care of their horses. Coaching is only allowed in warm-up areas with approved coaches. No one can call out instructions while the riders are competing.

Competing at championships is just one of the many activities that our GFPC members and their families enjoy throughout the year. Most of our instructional activities occur during our monthly Mounted Meetings, where all members participate in one mounted lesson and several unmounted lessons, as well as have downtime to socialize with their Pony Club friends.

All of our instructional activities are subsidized through a variety of fundraisers that our GFPC families organize, including putting on three schooling/fun shows a year, a garage sale, and the Stick Horse Races at the Blockhouse Steeplechase in Tryon, N.C.

Interested in learning more? GFPC will be holding an open house at our next Mounted Meeting on August 27 at Riverbend Equestrian Park, 175 River Bend Road, Greenville, S.C. We welcome riders of all ages, and horse ownership is not required to be an active member of Pony Club.

Our members ride in the English disciplines of eventing, dressage, games and hunt seat equitation, as well as participate in other activities like hunter paces, and competitive trail riding. Come see our members ride, learn about the certification process, see unmounted activities, then check out our garage sale before you go. Horsey and non-horsey items will be available.

For more information, email

– article submitted

by Sandra Larson