Over 55 years ago Colonel Sir Mike Ansell, Director of the Horse of the Year Show and Prince Philip devised a competition for children who could not afford expensive, well bred ponies.
Prince Philip wanted to see a competition that was designed for the rider not the horse. In 1957, the Horse of the Year Show staged the first Mounted Games Championship, with the winners receiving the Prince Philip Cup.
Mike Ansell was an outstanding leader of equestrian sport in Britain and former Chairman of both the British Equestrian Federation and the British Showjumping Association.
In the 1930s, as a young cavalry officer, Ansell had already shown himself not only to be an exceptional and inspirational commander but an international showjumper and polo player.
Ansell was wounded during the war and spent 3 years in a prisoner of war camp. It was during those years that he began to put together his ideas about promoting equestrianism as a sport.
At the Horse of the Year Show in Harringy Arena in 1957 when the first MG Championship for the Prince Philip cup was held it was an enormous success but because Pony Club rules stated that riders must finish competing in the games when 14, Norman Fitzpatrick, the then Chairman of the Pony Club Mounted Games Committee, felt that there was a need for an organisation where riders could continue to play the games past this age and so decided to form his own organisation.
On 21 January 1984, Norman Fitzpatrick’s 70th birthday, the MGA of Great Britain was founded. Sir Mike Ansell, the instigator of mounted games became the Patron of the newly founded Association.
The objective of the association is ” To encourage friendship between young people of different nations”
The popularity of the games spread right across the world and led to the formation of the International Mounted Games Association in 2003.