The International Mounted Games Association (IMGA), founded in 2003, is the world governing body for the very popular equestrian sport of mounted games. With over twenty national federation members from five continents, one of the federation’s primary objectives is to ensure the momentum continues as the sport is introduced and developed in other nations around the world. IMGA is responsible for rule-setting and the management of competitions. Some of the biggest events include the World Team Championship, the World Pairs Championship and the World Individual Championship. Member nations are nominated to host these events with the first World Team Championships held in 1986 in England. Initially the three home nations competed as Great Britain and dominated the sport for over a decade. From the year 2000 England, Wales and Scotland competed separately and for the next decade until 2007, England and Wales shared the honours with only Canada winning in 2001. Since then we have had New Zealand, France, Ireland and the USA winning the prestigious competition. By 2018 a junior version of the championship was also introduced.
For riders taking part in mounted games, good riding skills are essential. It is a sport that requires a high degree of athleticism with good hand-to-eye coordination, as the games are played at a fast pace. All ages can participate on ponies up to the height of 15 hands (152 cm). Prince Philip (Duke of Edinburgh) was the inspiration behind mounted games. The objective was to establish a competition for children who could not afford an expensive pony. The first Mounted Games Championship was held in 1957 at the Harringay Arena in North London, England, which became an immediate success. The sport as we know it today was founded by Norman Patrick, with the objective to extend it to a much wider involvement. The Pony Club originally set an age restriction on the participants. After the establishment of the Mounted Games Association of Great Britain in 1984, the sport began to take off internationally. Today it is enjoyed by thousands of participants worldwide as the sport develops and grows towards potential official Olympic recognition.