Area pony club member places sixth in championship
The Aiken County Pony Club was well represented at the United States Pony Club Eastern Regional Championships this summer, which were held at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, Va., July 28 through Aug. 1.Ansley Summer and her horse Brodie placed sixth in eventing at novice level. Summer has been an Aiken County Pony Club member for the past seven years. It was the first time she had appeared at the Regional Championships, said Ginny Allen, Aiken County Pony Club.Austin Allen enjoyed success in the tetrathlon, placing sixth. He found the experience to be very rewarding. The event gave him the opportunity to meet a lot of new people. He partnered with Ripley, who was provided by his trainer, Radway Stable's Kim Davies, who performed admirably, he said. The tetrathlon is composed of running, swimming, shooting and riding and was held over four days. Both the running and shooting phases of the competition were held on the cross country course. The swimming portion of the event was held at the YMCA. "It was fun, and I enjoyed it," said Allen, who is hoping to qualify next year in polocrosse. "It was a nice facility with plenty of room. It's a beautiful place (the Virginia Horse Center). You definitely have to be in shape. On the jumping course, we jumped between two feet nine inches and two feet eleven inches. We had a slip rail, where you had to dismount, slip the rail and then lead your horse through. You also had to open a gate while on your horse. It just wasn't straight jumping."Grace Thompson competed in show jumping, and after her horse went lame, her trainer, Kim Davies of Radway Stable, lent her horse Quiz, allowing her to compete."I had only ridden the horse a couple of time, so it was a learning experience," said Thompson. "It felt awesome. I was smiling the whole time."Heather Bartlett competed in the Stable Manager division at the USPC Eastern Regional Championships. "I qualified as a stable manager for eventing, which means I help out the teams," said Bartlett. "Next year, I'm hoping to qualify for regionals with my horse at Training Level (in eventing)."