Running, equestrian, swimming and shooting, all one sport in Park City

PARK CITY, Utah. — The sport of tetrathlon is the next thing on the summer-fun schedule for Park City’s Cayenne Wilson, 13. The last thing was passing her C1 level exam with the Park City Pony Club (PCPC) on Monday. 

C1 is all about how the horse and rider get through experiences together including how the rider can communicate to an examiner about what may have not gone necessarily to-plan and how such challenges, large and small, were overcome.

Tetrathlon, the singular sport which encompasses an athlete running, horseback riding, swimming and shooting air pistols at targets, Cayenne does with her PCPC teammates. Two sisters round out the team which has just qualified to head to Nationals to represent Utah in Kentucky later this summer, Parkites Erica, 15, and Liv,13, Skyling.

Park City Pony Club members and US tetrathlon national’s competitors Cayenne Wilson on Rowdy, Erica Skyling on Pearl, and Liv Skyling on Flame.

Tetrathlon is one sport short of the Olympic Pentathlon, fencing. It excites Wilson to be involved in sports that remain the only contested events whereby men and women compete directly against each other. She said that’s “super cool.” In the show-jumping portion of the qualification for nationals, judges don’t count refusals by the horse. Rowdy had a few that fateful day so Wilson was quite frankly “pleasantly surprised” but elated to learn she had indeed gained that berth on the team.

Wilson’s mom Christy said, “It’s all about the rider knowing what may have gone well and what may have gone wrong on the field of play. They’re interviewed afterward by judges and as long as the athletes are able to articulate how they would approach a similar problem in the future, like falling off the horse which happened to Cayenne in the competition, then those lessons learned count as successes. That’s one of the most fulfilling aspects about being involved in the Park City Pony Club.”

Cayenne and Rowdy in their backyard in Park City. Photo: Christy Wilson

Cayenne said, “My favorite part of the sport is all the friends I’ve made, learning how to take care of the horses and knowing that this is a lifelong sport that I can do with my family and ideally in my career when I grow up.”

Living in Silver Creek provided them the opportunity during the pandemic to have Rowdy right at home. Conducting school online, in the beginning, was made tolerable by the simple fact that after-school activity meant walking outside into their back yard to happily muck stalls, groom, train and talk to her horse about the unpredictable situations going on in the world, situations which would melt away in his presence.

PCPC is open for boys as well as girls and has availability for ages six to sixteen.


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