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Mounted Games

Mounted Games

Mounted Games are a pulse-pounding team event in which riders compete in relay races and obstacle courses on horseback. If speed, accuracy and horsemanship are your thing, this is the sport for you.

Mounted games races are an exhilarating mix of turns, hand overs, lightning dismounts, quick-fire mounting, as well as pick-ups and drop-offs, all performed at breath-taking speed. This is not a sport for the faint-hearted or the unfit.

The sport traces its history back to the 1950s when Prince Philip asked the Horse of the Year Show to stage a competition for ordinary children who might not own super expensive show ponies. The organisers duly obliged and in 1957 the first Mounted Games Championship for the Prince Philip Cup took place.

Then, because Pony Club rules stated that riders had to be under 14, the Mounted Games Association of Great Britain was founded which kept the door open for riders of any age.

Today, mounted games are played all over the world, and there is no age restriction to having fun in this sport. To cater for everyone, there are typically different divisions or competition categories based on age and skill level, for example Under 10s, Under 12s, Under 14s, Under 17s, and Open divisions for adults.

Although ponies tend to be the preferred mount for games, due to their agility and speed, some riders compete with horses up to 15hh.

The type of games you can expect to see at Mounted Games events include:

  • Mug Shuffle, where riders grab mugs from one end of the course and place them on poles erected along their team lanes;

  • Flag Race, where riders collect flags from a cone and place them in another cone in the middle of the course;

  • Sock Race, in which riders dismount and collect socks placed on the floor at one end of the course and then vault back into position to place the socks in a bucket in the middle of the course;

  • Bending Race whereby riders weave through a series of poles or obstacles to test their control and precision.

And these are just some of the many, many imaginative games on offer.

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