The Prancing Ponies Games Team was the winner of the 2017 Flash Teamwork Award for their incredible act of sportsmanship and teamwork at the 2017 USPC Festival. Thanks to Emily Cambridge, an H-A grad and now Club Secretary of Northern Exposure Pony Club in the Western New York Region for submitting their story.
This year at Champs, I experienced something very special. I was the coach for my son’s junior games team, Prancing Ponies. On day two of the competition, his team saw that another team was struggling. The senior team, Impulsion, had two ponies that weren’t cooperating. One member of their team left the arena in a stretcher, and another of their ponies continued to give the team difficulty; it reared up during one of the games and threw its rider.
After witnessing this, the Prancing Ponies asked permission to loan the other team one of their ponies. The Prancing Ponies were told that they could loan a pony to another team, but by doing so, they would have to forfeit competing that particular pony for the remainder of the competition. The members of the Prancing Ponies collectively decided that they would forfeit the use of one of their games ponies, so that the other team could compete.
Prancing Ponies offered an Impulsion rider their pick from our team’s ponies. The Impulsion rider ended up choosing the Prancing Ponies’ best games pony. “Summer Surprise” had competed in Kentucky in 2014 and Virginia in 2015. In fact, he had been selected by the Australian games team in 2015 for the International Games competition and helped their team to victory.
Lending Impulsion the use of “Summer,” left Prancing Ponies to finished the competition with 5 riders sharing the remaining 4 ponies. Although they knew that they were at a disadvantage due to losing their team’s best games pony, the Prancing Ponies eagerly cheered on Impulsion with pride.
Both as a coach and a parent, I couldn’t be more proud of the team’s decision that day. Although they were a young team of 10-12 year olds, they showed maturity beyond their years. Not only did they demonstrate an excellence in horsemanship, sportsmanship, and teamwork amongst themselves, but they also showed compassion and true sportsmanship toward others!