I think we should forget the wash out summer weather, it was so unimportant when you look at all the amazing things that have happened that bring the words 'inspirational' and 'triumphant' come to mind. Firstly the brilliant Queen's Diamond Jubilee Celebration, which as you will see later in The Annual several Branches and Centres' really celebrated in style! This was followed by the Olympic and Paralympic Games which exceeded all our expectations in terms of organisation, atmosphere and medals; especially the equestrians, most of whom were former Pony Club Members.
The buzz word from these events was legacy and a way forward so that the next generation should be inspired to achieve. I think you will agree that The Pony Club is proof that you are already on the way to future success. Your participation in ALL that The Pony Club has to offer, from your first rally to competing at our Championships, means you are part of this bright future.
I hope you enjoy your first digital annual and will join me in saying thank you to everyone who makes it happen.
Happy Christmas and have a brilliant 2013.
Front leaders in Equestrian e-learning, our Media and I.T. team have gone one step further with this new initiative of developing our own online magazine.
I say front leaders, as many of you will have seen on our web site that The Pony Club recently won Best Project (not for profit sector) at the prestigious National E-Learning Awards in London, for its ongoing work on www.PonyPrep.org I know you will want to join me in congratulating the team.
It has certainly been a year to remember with one of the worst summers on record. However in true Pony Club spirit, your Branches and Areas all pulled together to carry out your summer programmes and to enable the qualifying competitions to run so that those of you who qualified were not denied your once in a lifetime experience
Cholmondeley Castle, our new Championship home, and Musketeer Event Management did us proud and we now look forward to many more years at this magnificent venue.
The London Olympics & Paralympics have been acclaimed by many as the best ever and the medal success of the equestrian teams unprecedented with 17 of the 18 athletes taking part, bringing home medals, and 13 of them beginning their equestrian careers in The Pony Club. Of that we should be very proud. Training remains our most important objective, and it is with The Pony Club where you will receive the very best.
Taking into account the Olympic and Paralympic Games together with World and European Championships this year, our equestrians have brought home 27 Gold, 17 Silver and 12 Bronze medals, again with the majority of these riders having started life within the Branches of our organisation. A truly amazing record and an inspiration to those of you with future medal winning aspirations, but equally for those of you who want to have fun, friendship and to learn how to be safe around our four legged friends.
Enjoy your Annual!
Very Best Christmas Wishes to you all.
Who should I speak to?
Who should I speak to?
Branch Members: Your main point of contact for your Pony Club will be your District Commissioner (DC) and Branch Secretary.
Centre Members: Your main point of contact for your Pony Club will be your Centre Proprietor.
Not sure who your Area Representative is?
Then have a look at the map! Click here
The Pony Clubs Annual Conference was held across the water, on March 7th 2012, at Belfast's Waterfront and enjoyed a surprise visit from HRH The Princess Royal, patron of The Pony Club!
The day had a great line up including Eric Smiley FBHS and William Blane FBHS talking about Training, East Down Branch Members, Luke Kilmacki and Luke McMullan, talking about Tetrathlon and Andrew Finding, CEO of the British Equestrian Federation, speaking about The Pony Clubs contribution to equestrian sport. HRH The Princess Royal also addressed delegates on the importance of recognising and rewarding volunteers, whilst Dr Janet Gray MBE gave delegates a feel for the incredible highs and low throughout both her personal life and her medal winning water skiing career.
The Annual Conference is open to officials and instructors from Branches and Centres, and is a great opportunity to hear about what's new in The Pony Club; so if you are an older Member or Associate who is instructing or helping in the Branch why not come along? Applications are usually done in batches through your Branch or Centre, and places can be booked through the Annual Conference pages of the website or by contacting Siobhan Brown: 02476 698304 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Here at The Pony Club we want to give you the correct knowledge, so that when you go out for a hack on the roads, in rural or urban areas, you are as safe as you can possibly be.
Here at The Pony Club we want to give you the correct knowledge, so that when you go out for a hack on the roads, in rural or urban areas, you are as safe as you can possibly be.
So, we have three levels of ‘Road Rider’ to take our Members from the basic information all the way up to having the skills to hack out on their own and understand the rules of the road.Road Rider Mini Achievement Badge
This badge can be taken if you are at E’ -‘D’ Test level and must be attained before you can be awarded your Pony Club ‘D’ Test.Road Rider Achievement Badge
This badge can be taken if you are at ‘D+’ -‘C’ Test level and must be attained before you can be awarded your Pony Club ‘C’ Test.Road Rider Test
This badge can be taken if you are at ‘C+’ -‘B’ Test level and must be attained before you can be awarded your Pony Club ‘B’ Test.
There are three books that we recommend you have a read of for all three levels of Road Rider.
The Pony Club Junior Road Rider - available from The Pony Club Shop, this book will help you understand everything you need to know for the ‘horsey’ elements of your Road Rider at all three levels. The book is divided into three main sections:
The Pony Club Road Rider DVD, suitable for anyone taking their Mini Badge up to their full Road Rider Test, has really great animation and real life riding situations to help you learn. The DVD is split into four sections, so you can just dip into it or watch it all at once:
Chapter 1: ‘Be Seen to be Safe’ looks at High Visibility wear versus dark clothing, the importance of tack checks, the use of games to learn and basic road signs and signals.
Chapter 2: ‘Be Aware’ demonstrates ‘defensive riding’, showing the best road positions to adopt, more advanced road manoeuvres and signals, set up of a simulated road route for practise.
Chapter 3: ‘Road Rider’ shows more road manoeuvres, using animations. It also shows the layout for a more complicated simulated road route, similar to the one you will have in your Road Rider Test.
Chapter 4: is full of information for your instructors and parents, so they can learn too!
The Dengie Winter League Show Jumping was introduced in 1995, and proved so successful over the years that a Winter League for Dressage was introduced in 2007.
There are three stages to the competition: Preliminary Rounds are held throughout the country from October to February. Those who are successful in the Preliminary Rounds qualify to go forward to one of 19 Area Competitions – if they are successful at the Area Competition they may be heading for the Dengie Winter League Championships!
There is also an Open Show Jumping competition, for those wishing to tackle bigger fences.
The Audi Pony Club Polo Championships culminated at the weekend (10 to 12 August) at Cowdray Park, West Sussex, with thrilling play by some of the best young players in the UK.
The Championships host the annual finals for both The Pony Club Polo sections of Handley Cross, Surtees, Loriner and Rendell, as well as the Junior HPA Polo sections of Hipwood, Langford and Gannon.
A weekend of glorious weather greeted the 170 Pony Club players, who had taken part in friendly qualifying matches all over the country in early August before securing their Championship slot.
The action kicked off for all the sections on Friday morning with the mission to secure a coveted slot in the Sunday afternoon finals, which culminate in Junior HPA Gannon section final - the pinnacle of achievement for any Pony Club Polo player. As well as the play, there was also time to soak up the atmosphere during the weekend, including the BBQ and disco on the Saturday evening, attracting players, parents and supporters alike.
After two days of hard fought play, the fantastic parade of all players and their ponies on Lawns I marked the start of the finals on Sunday. The Handley Cross section, for those aged 14 and under riding ordinary Pony Club ponies, kicked off the action and saw the Newmarket & Thurlow Branch enjoy the first taste of victory, as they clinched the Handley Cross title.
The eagerly awaited Gannon final saw the 2011 title holders, Cowdray Park, take the stage against the Grafton Hunt. The play was fast with terrific youth polo talent on display, and Grafton Hunt doing all they could to hold off their opponents, but in the end it was not enough and Cowdray Park were again victorious, taking an incredible seventh Gannon title in a decade.
The Pony Club Polo Championships have been held at Cowdray Park since 1977, and have enjoyed the generous support of Audi since 2009, allowing them to develop the three days of competition, that always deliver fantastic youth sporting talent, displays of sportsmanship and a lot of fun!
Over 1600 Members of The Pony Club headed for The Pony Club Championships, August 16th-19th, at their new home of Cholmondeley Castle, by kind permission of The Marquess of Cholmondeley.
The four day Championships hosted the finals for Show Jumping, Dressage, Eventing, Mounted Games and Polocrosse, as well as the Centre Equitation Competition, Horse and Pony Care Championship and Musical Ride. Full of inspiration from the equestrian success at London 2012, The Championships attracted a crowd of over 5000 spectators, and with over 200 Pony Club Branches being represented from across the country the atmosphere was electric!
Then check out these top tips from Fiona Lace, Chairman of Pony Club Dressage and trainer for the winning West Lancashire Team in 2012!
The Pony Club Tetrathlon Championships took place, August 22nd-23rd, at Hartpury College, Gloucestershire. Pony Club Tetrathlon incorporates the disciplines of running, cross country riding, shooting and swimming and provides a gateway for young people into Modern Pentathlon. Full of inspiration from Moder Pentathlons' Sam Murray and Mhairi Spence, a former Pony Club Member, at London 2012, over 200 Pony Club Members took part at this year's Championships.
Highlights of the 2012 Tetrathlon Championships included Steph Courty (17), from the Percy Hunt Branch, taking the Open Girls Individual top slot a score of 4392, which combined with the scores of team mates Lizzie Pettifer (19), Suzanne and Rebecca Barwise-Munro (15) also netted the Percy Hunt Branch the Open Girls Team honours, on a score of 12880 to receive the Hollington Biscuit Barrel, complete with biscuits!
You can find out more about Tetrathlon and a full set of Championship results on
It was well worth the long trip for Aylish Paisley, from the Eskdale Branch in Dumfriesshire, who won the Intermediate Girls Individual on a score of 4332 and Oliver Christopher, aged 18, from the Pentyrch Branch finished on a final score of 4457, to receive the Wilkinson Sword as the winner of the Open Boys Individual. In the Intermediate Boys team competition, William Bower (13), William Cass (16), Simon Mousdale (17) and Daniel Grant (15) from the Pendle Forest and Craven Hunt Branch finished on a score of 11,144 to take the win.
Success was also very much in the air for Area 9 of The Pony Club, with three Branches from the Area also taking the top slots. The Ledbury Hunt Intermediate Girls Team of Alice Harper (15), Libby Walker (17), Camilla Barnes (17) and Millie Walker (15) finished on a score of 12,238 to take the Intermediate Girls Team top spot, and the team success continued in the Open Boys for the VWH Branch Team of Rory (19) and Paddy Gilling (17) and Oliver (18) and Greg Hall (16) on a score of 12,482. Whilst George Screuder, (17), from the Cotswold Vale Farmers Branch was on form in the Intermediate Boys Individual on a score of 4460.
Mhairi Spence is a British modern pentathlete, who has won a series of medals at European and World Championships and took part in the Modern Pentathlon at the Olympic Games 2012.
Mhairi started her riding career in The Pony Club, with the Moray and Nairn Branch, where she also took part in Tetrathlon which lead her on to her Pentathlon career. We caught up with Mhairi to find out what London 2012 was like, what she enjoyed most about her Pony Club days and what's next!
The Pony Club are introducing a Triathlon competition for Mini, Junior and Open competitors. Area Qualifiers are being planned across the country, with the Championships being held at Stantonbury Leisure Centre, Milton Keynes on the 17th March 2013.
The two first placed individuals from each class will qualify. Should the event be combined with another Area, the first four individuals from each class shall qualify - regardless of which Area they are from.
Kelsall Hill Equestrian Centre, Cheshire, played host to the eleventh Pony Club Novice Championships, generously supported by NFU Mutual during the weekend of August 25-26th.
The Novice Championships are very much the starting point for future talent, and hold the finals at Novice level for Pony Club Eventing, Show Jumping and Dressage.
The two day event welcomes Pony Club Members in teams and as individuals, in numbers of 800 upwards, aged between 10 and 18 from John O Groats to Lands End, not forgetting the Irish contingent!
There was a mixture of weather across the weekend, but nothing that could dampen the spirits of those taking part, who delivered some strong grassroots sporting action.
Highlights included the host Branch, Cheshire Hunt (North), winning the Team Eventing, the East Down Branch made their long trip worthwhile by taking the top slot in the Team Show Jumping and it was the West Warwickshire Branch's day, with three scores over 70%, to take the Team Dressage honours.
Arena 1: Milly Petchell (Brocklesby Hunt)
Arena 2: Sadie Carrington (Whaddon Chase)
Arena 3: Victoria Hopkinson (Grove Hunt)
Arena 4: Nicole Curtis (Wylye Valley)
Arena 5: Harriet Bloxham (Quantock Hunt)
Arena 6: Ciara McLellan (East Cheshire) & Ciaran Rees (Carnwyllion)
1st: West Warwickshire
2nd: Grove Hunt
4th: Whaddon Chase
5th: Taunton Vale Harriers
6th: Atherstone Hunt
Show Jumping Individuals
1st: Grace Popham (Quantock Hunt)
2nd: Jessica Harrison (Spooners & West Dartmoor)
3rd: Hollie Smith (Iveagh)
4th: Healey Ramus (Romney Marsh)
5th: Isobel Lee (North Hereford Hunt)
6th: Isabel Lindsay (Fife Hunt)
Show Jumping Teams
1st: East Down
2nd: Old Berkshire Hunt
4th: West Cumberland
5th: West Lancashire County
6th: East Devon Hunt
Arena 1: Eleanor Simes (East Sussex)
Arena 2: Georgina Ewell (Cotley Hunt)
Arena 3: Bethany Lee (Cheshire Hunt North)
Arena 4: Katriona Ratcliffe (Cheshire Hunt North)
Arena 5: Dominica Rogan-Pfaff (Weston Harriers Hunt)
Arena 6: Joe Dowse (Scunthorpe & District)
1st: Cheshire Hunt North
3rd: West Warwickshire
4th: Tanatside Hunt
5th: Bedfordshire South
6th: East Devon Hunt
A full set of results from the Novice Championships can be viewed on the Championship web pages.
Endurance Championships 2012
Pony Club Endurance enjoyed the sunshine for its Championship, held over the weekend of September 15-16th 2012 at Kelsall Hill, Cheshire.
Pony Club Members, from all over the country, travelled to take part in the Championships at Novice, Intermediate and Open level.
Do you fancy having a go at Endurance? You can find out more about Pony Club Endurance rides and the different levels on www.pcuk.org, but we thought we would give you a few tips to get you started!
Junior Novice Individuals
1st: Annabelle Lyndon (Hampshire Hunt)
2nd: Florence Rowsell (Hampshire Hunt)
3rd: Georgina Child (Wilton Hunt)
Junior Novice Teams
1st: Annabelle Lyndon, Florence Rowsell & Archie Moffat (Hampshire Hunt)
2nd: Holly Thomson, Tara Barker & Amelia Trueman (Hurworth Hunt)
3rd: Rosie Moore, Cordelia Moore & Daniel Vickery (Old Surrey & Burstow Hunt)
Senior Novice Individuals
1st: Elizabeth Child (Wilton Hunt)
2nd: Jimmy Mitchell (Hertfordshire Hunt)
3rd: Caitlin Birkett (Vale of York)
Junior Intermediate Individual
1st: Charlotte Vickery (Old Surrey & Burstow Hunt)
Senior Intermediate Individual
1st: Louise Hazelwood (Albrighton Hunt)
Senior Open Individuals
1st: Katie Bedwin (Lord Leconfield Hunt)
2nd: Katy Mellor (United Pack)
3rd: Emma Harris (Cumberland Foxhounds)
Senior Open Team
1st: Sophie Webber, Helena France & Emily Peirson (Bedale & West of Yore)
Your hat must be of the correct standard (see The Pony Club Endurance Rule book) so make sure you are wearing the right hat. Conventional skull cap type hats can prove to be both heavy and hot when riding longer distances which is why lightweight, ventilated hats have become popular among Endurance riders. Pony Club Members are permitted to wear these, provided that they meet the required standard at Endurance rides.
Most Endurance riders favour short riding boots and half chaps as opposed to tall boots as the latter tend to be too hot for the time spent riding. Your usual jodphur boots with a smooth sole will be acceptable across all organisations but you may find on longer rides or in bad weather that they offer limited grip, both in the stirrup and on the ground. In this case you may wish to consider an alternative and Pony Club Endurance rules do allow for this provided that you ride in a caged stirrup. Trainer style riding boots are popular with Endurance riders as they provide good arch support, have a soft sole, and are ideal for frequent mounts and dismounts for gates etc.
Well fitting, comfortable jodhpurs are the most commonly used legwear and should be more than sufficient at Pony Club level. You may however wish to give some thought to the material they are made from as brands with a high percentage of nylon or polyester can become hot and cause rubbing over longer distances. Heavy weight fabric (such as denim style jodhpurs) can also be an issue as it takes longer to dry out if you become caught in a shower and the clinging, damp fabric can become extremely uncomfortable. With regards to colour, there are no rules within Pony Club Endurance, but it is common to get quite grubby over the course of a ride and so you may prefer to keep your best cream breeches for the show ring! As you progress you will probably see specialist riding tights being worn by some advanced competitors.
Underwear may not be the first thing you think about, but after several miles of hard riding you may wish that you had given more attention to it! Cotton with Lycra for stretch is better than Nylon. For male riders especially, close fitting underwear is preferable to loose cotton boxers which can cause soreness from rubbing. Female riders will also want to give consideration to a supportive bra.
The Eventing Committee were pleased to introduce the Young Event Horse Series in 2012.
The series is open to Members and Associate Members aged 15 years or over with horses or ponies aged 5, 6 or 7 years, who compete at Level 3 (Novice) Eventing Competitions, and is designed to promote the correct training and provide an opportunity for older Members to bring on and compete their young horses and ponies.
1st: Heather Wyles riding Dark Shadow (6), Atherstone Hunt (37 points)
2nd: Sarah Rosser riding Innishowens Law (6), West Street (35 points)
3rd: Heather Wyles riding Flurry Knox Esq. (7), Atherstone Hunt (32 points)
4th: Molly Walsh riding Big Owl (5), Old Surrey & Burstow Hunt (16 points)
5th: Holly Airey riding Pure Echonomix (7), Cumberland Farmers' Hunt (South) (15 points)
6th: Alysa Spittle riding Rodney Clover (5), Fife Hunt (14 points)
7th: Michelle Watkins riding Pick Of The Day (7), Burton Hunt (12 points)
8th: Lucy Shaw riding Ballin Solli (7), West Perthshire (10 points)
9th: Sam Rippon riding Tipsy Laird (5), West Lancashire County (8 points)
10th: Annabel Cole riding Chevaliers Dream (7), Middleton Hunt (East Side) (7 points)
Heather Wyles, the 2012 winner of the series with Dark Shadow comments "I'm so pleased that the Young Event Horses series was introduced. As an Associate Member with young horses, the series has given me something to aim for, and will encourage Members in the same situation as me to compete at Pony Club competitions".
Congratulations to the top ten riders and horses in the 2012 Young Event Horse Series!
The points-based Open League is designed to give riders increased opportunity to compete at Pony Club Open level and so gain the experience and encouragement to help them go on to compete in The Pony Club's Area Competitions and Championship. Pony Club Branches whose events include an Open (1.10m) Class, are eligible to register for the League with entrants gaining points for places and double clear rounds. The horse and rider combination with the highest number of points at the end of the season wins, with further placings being awarded to 10th place.
Likit Open Eventing League competitions were held all over the country in 2012 and accommodated an amazing 600 Pony Club horse and rider combinations across them!
The winner of the Likit Open Eventing League for 2012 was Stephanie Elliot, from the North Warwickshire Branch of The Pony Club. Stephanie, aged 22, amassed a total of 19 points with her horse Miss Ellie, and will benefit from the top prize of a day's training with Olympic event rider Mark Todd!
All the winners down the line to 10th place were invited to attend Your Horse Live, where they received their lovely Likit rugs and training bursary amounts on The Pony Club tradestand. For a full list of 2012 winners check out the Likit Open Eventing League page.
Olympic fever took over up and down the country for London 2012, and many of our Branches and Centres celebrated, and competed, in their own way!
Across the country, all kinds of events were held during the Diamond Jubilee central weekend of 2nd-5th June, and some of you sent us your pics to show us what you got up to to help the Queen celebrate!
Nicola Wilson was a part of the Eventing Team, alongside William Fox-Pitt, Zara Phillips, Mary King and Kristina Cook, who brought home an amazing Silver medal at London 2012. Nicola has been pathfinder for the team at the last two major championships; she was part of the team that won gold at the 2010 World Equestrian Games, alongside fellow Olympians Tina Cook, William Fox-Pitt and Mary King while she won European team gold in 2009 and team bronze in 2011; and guess what, Nicola, along with ALL the Eventing Team members is a former Member of The Pony Club!
Kathrine Stevens, from the Cobham Branch, was selected and you can read a bit about her experience below:
Over 2 years ago I applied to become a Young Games Maker for London 2012. Not for one minute did I actually think I would be appointed to the position of a crossing point steward on the cross country day of the Eventing at Greenwich Park!
Training & Rehearsals
I had to attend many training sessions in order to receive my shift details. The training (although interesting) did become a little boring at times, with hours of footage on working with horses, including training on how not to approach a horse from behind - I did wonder if the organisers knew we all had to have our B Test to apply!
Before our shift we all had to attend a 'rehearsal day' with golf buggies going round the cross country course, acting as a horse and rider, and scenarios such as a rider falling involved the driver of the buggy jumping off and lying on the floor... usually laughing!
After the rehearsal we were given the chance to walk the cross country course, and as we neared the end we saw the GB Eventing Team working with Yogi Breisner and waved from a distance. After our course walk a few of us went on search for anyone in team kit, and Leslie Law happily had a picture with me and signed our handbooks.
The BIG Day!
When the Eventing day finally came I found out I was situated at crossing point 40, right after the last fence, and what a place to be! Not only did we get waved at by riders as they finished, but riders then trotted back up the finish strip to wave at Games Makers and show their appreciation for the crowds.
It was such an exciting experience, one which I will not forget in a hurry, but at the same time I learnt so much from the veterinary teams situated at our crossing point (it was like a very high level stable management rally!)
At the end of the day we went and saw the NZ team being interviewed and amazingly the TV cameras asked for an interview with us! We also got an autograph off all of them and one of the YGM's in my team even managed to kiss Andrew Nicholson on the cheek!
It was the most amazing experience of my life and it's something I would do anything to repeat again, I will be the first one to apply for Rio!
Kathrine Stevens - YGM Team 4
The Young Games Maker (YGM) programme for 16-18 year olds provided up to 2,000 volunteering opportunities for young people during the 2012 Games. The programme supported LOCOG's commitment to inspire young people to choose sport and leave a volunteering legacy. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the young volunteers to be a part of the greatest show on earth – and The Pony Club were able to put 48 of their Members forward to be YGMS!
8,000 inspirational people, from tens of thousands nominated, carried the Olympic Flame on its journey across the UK. It was their moment to shine, inspiring millions of people watching in their community, and guess what? Pony Club were represented during this historically traditional start-up for the UK Olympic Games, by Members, former Members and Volunteers alike!
Gorgs Geike (previous Member of Mid Devon)
Carried the Flame through: Okehampton
Kate Allenby, MBE (previous Member of Spooners and West Dartmoor)
Carried the Flame through: Bath
Kate Charlton (Morpeth Hunt)
Carried the Flame through: Foulden
Martha Todd (Duke of Buccleuch Hunt)
Carried the Flame through: Berwick-Upon-Tweed
Tilly Sayburn-Hughes (Oxenholme)
Carried the Flame through: Kendal
Georgie Harland (previous Member of East Kent Hunt)
Georgie carried the torch in Warwick
Katie Spaughton (Bedfordshire South)
Carried the Flame through: Rugby
Hannah Gallaher (Puckeridge Hunt Western)
Carried the Flame through: St Albans
Xavier Vrigneau (Portman Hunt)
Carried the Flame through: Winterborne
Sara Tremlett (Lord Leconfield Hunt DC)
Carried the Flame through: Petworth
Mary Joy Langdon (Wormwood Scrubs DC)
Carried the Flame through: Hounslow
YELA is an award scheme for the British Equestrian Federation designed to recognise the time and effort which young volunteers give to equestrianism and shape their experience, so that they become equestrian leaders of the future. So far over 900 candidates aged between 13 and 25 are registered on the scheme and are logging hours at BEF Centres and events all over the county.
The award is a fantastic way to experience a wide range of equestrian leadership roles, from coaching and instructing, stable management, mentoring young members, planning and running fundraising events, or even equestrian journalism!
Click on our canidadates below to learn more about them.
Participating in YELA is a great way to learn new skills, click here for more information
Participating in YELA is a great way to learn new skills, meet new people and above all its great fun!
Among the awardees for 2012 many were husband and wife combinations, including Mr and Mrs Philip White who as some of the longest serving volunteers have been associated with Route Hunt since 1960; with Pony Club rallies being the background to both their friendship as well as their romance!
The Pony Club held their annual Cubitt Awards ceremony at Stratford Manor, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire on Monday May 28th.
The annual event honours those who have so generously given at least twenty years of voluntary help to The Pony Club, and 2012 was no exception, with an amazing 74 recipients on the list and an incredible combined service of over 1700 years between them!!
The Pony Club Cubitt awards take their name from the late Hon Guy Cubitt, who was the Chairman of The Pony Club for 25 years and President from 1970 - 1979.
I have now completed my Bronze and Silver award and I'm currently going on towards Gold.
For silver I volunteered with my local driving for the disabled group where I met a variety of people, all with different stories to tell. I loved seeing people's joy whilst out on a drive; it gives everyone a chance of participating in a sport that is both enjoyable and life changing.
I also volunteered with my local Pony Club Centre. It was always a day to look forward to as the young ones put a smile on your face with their personalities, I loved spending time with them, and teaching them about horses and horsemanship.
The experience YELA has given me has allowed me to volunteer at new places for Gold and it's motivating me to get out and volunteer with other people and member bodies. I'm constantly improving my knowledge and gaining great experience for the future!
Through completing my YELA (Bronze, Silver and Gold) I have gained a lot of valuable experiences. I have learnt a lot about working with people and horses and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute.
As part of my award I was asked to teach The Pony Club Bird Watching Achievement Badge for the Morpeth Branch. The session was working towards the goal of teaching Members more about the countryside so that, in the future, Members are more countryside-aware and can hopefully work to conserve the nature of our countryside. The sessions went well as each of the Members left with more than enough knowledge to be worthy recipients of their Bird Watching badge.
Recently, I have been applying to the veterinary schools and YELA has proved important in showing my volunteering in my personal statement and I have been able to use my volunteering with horses through YELA has as evidence of work experience required by the vet schools.
For me YELA has been challenging, but in a good way, and so rewarding.
The award has encouraged me to branch out of my comfort zone to meet new challenges and new people and I can honestly say it has been one of the best things I ever signed up for. It has taken me to Windsor Castle as a volunteer groom for The Diamond Jubilee Pageant where I met people and horses from all over the world. I have unwittingly become a mentor to much younger children and, in return, I take enormous pleasure from their success.
Some people think they will not have the time or the skills to volunteer but I say it's worth making time. You will learn something, improve the skills you already have and gain further skills along the way and this can only improve your chances of success in the future and your general confidence in meeting challenges and overcoming obstacles.
Ask anyone who is a current or former Member of The Pony Club and they will tell you that one of the best things about membership is Pony Club Camp! Everyone's Branch and Centre Camp is slightly different, some camps last a couple of days, some last for a week, some have tents to sleep in and at some Members come in and out of a camp on a daily basis, but they all have one thing in common
FUN, FUN, and more FUN!
There are many Pony Club Camp traditions, but getting as wet as possible seems to be one that is here to stay and that everyone loves!
Mid Devon Hunt Pony Club Camp 2012 was truly awesome! At one point it looked like I couldn't go, as my pony Mathew was lame, but thankfully he was all right for it. Our camp was held at The Grange in Okehampton and lasted for five days. Each day we got up at 7am, mucked out, fed the ponies and had breakfast ourselves. Then there was a riding lesson, a snack, stable management and jobs before lunch, followed by more riding, and stable management, another snack and an evening activity before supper. Then we gave our ponies their evening feed, had a hot chocolate and went to bed. As it rained every day, hot choccy was in great supply (thank goodness!)
Everybody was put in to a team; there were five teams and we all practised for a musical ride display at the end of the week. The five junior girls had great fun in the dorm, with caterpillar wars, sweets and non-stop giggles!
The evening activities were: swimming on Thursday, an obstacle course on Tuesday and a demonstration on the other three nights. We had a lady called Josie who told us all about stunt riding on Monday (she worked with the people and horses from Merlin!), and on Wednesday a nice lady brought in her lovely dun horse for a Western riding demo. On Friday a lady called Vanessa brought in her horse and we had a demo and talk on horse agility.
When we were out on the cross-country course it was a bit wet, and we all got soaked so we had to clean our tack very well that night.
On the last day we all dressed up smartly, did show jumping and then our musical ride, before teams received their prizes - my team came 4th.
Mid Devon Hunt Pony Club is the best!
Maddy Earp (aged 10)
The essential textbook for any Pony Club Member, The Manual now boasts numerous improved and updated features, including an increase in size to 235mm by 154mm, making for ease of reference. There are enhancements to the inner style, with the traditional brown highlights being replaced with cornflower blue to highlight the text and bring out the best in the illustrations and diagrams. The chapters have been rearranged into three themed sections:
Part One - The Horse
Part Two - The Rider and Riding
Part Three - Saddlery and Lorinery
All the information contained in the publication has been reviewed and brought right up-to-date, including major updates to the Bridle, Bitting and Additional Saddlery, Shoeing, Worm Control and Training Scale chapters.
These knee high socks in Pony Club colours are slim line for a perfect fit under long boots. They feature a padded toe, sole and heel for comfort.
£6.00 (adults) &
£5.75 (child's 1-3)
This wallchart clearly shows which body elements are common to both horse and human, in a 420mm x 594mm full colour display, making it the perfect addition to the bedroom wall of any young horsey person.
Want to Buy
This publication from The Pony Club helps novice or first time buyers to make the right decisions and avoid slipping up when purchasing a pony.
Following on from Vital Statistics, Body Basics and Fit for the Bit, this fourth title in the acclaimed Stablemates series brings equine fitness to life in full-colour.
Our popular cotton shopper bag, updated with a large Pony Club logo on one side in metallic gold and silver - a perfect pressie for Mum!
A 300 piece puzzle featuring all the fun of Pony Club Camp, through exclusive illustrations from Annie Horwood. (Recommended for ages 7 & upwards.)
Drawn exclusively by Annie Horwood and Kate Scurfield for The Pony Club, each pack contains 10 cards with envelopes.
Message inside read's 'With Best Wishes for Christmas and the New Year'.
In 2009, HSBC joined forces with The Pony Club offering a generous sponsorship for Area Eventing Training Days; to help as many Members as possible access the specialist training that is so important for progression in the sport.
The tuition Members receive is designed to capitalise on their talent and enthusiasm in a sport that Great Britain excels at. Through this sponsorship HSBC and The Pony Club hope that riders at the grass roots levels of Eventing will be encouraged and helped to develop their skills, therefore widening and strengthening the base of riders who may go on through junior and young rider schemes to represent their country at the highest level. So many of Britain's top event riders started their competitive careers as Members of The Pony Club, including all of those in the Silver Medal winning London 2012 Eventing team, and it is hoped that these courses will help more Pony Club Members to go on and reach their full potential too!
HSBC Event Training 2012 Click to read more
16 HSBC Eventing Training Days were held during 2012, focussing on a combination of Dressage, Show Jumping, Cross Country and course walking. The format for the courses is designed by The Pony Club Eventing Committee, which boasts a membership of several riders who have competed at 4* level and are now successfully coaching riders at all levels. Plans for 2013 are already in motion, so make sure you check the Eventing Training page for details of courses in your Area!
The winners of the HSBC Elite Training day 2012 were:
VWH Branch: James Norris, Alice Bibby, Pumbaa Goess-Saurau and Anna Horton.
Beaufort Hunt Branch: Georgina Preest, Marina Jodrell, Zoe Davidson and Gabriella Rose.
As well as a lesson with both Mary King and William Fox-Pitt, the teams enjoyed a tour of William's amazing yard, a look at William and Mary's Silver Olympic medals and a certificate as a memento of their day!
Associate membership is available to those aged 21-25 in The Pony Club, and is denoted by a different tie and badge.
Following a recent survey we noticed that some of our Associates were unsure as to what their Membership gave them access too, so below you can find out about all the many bits of The Pony Club that are still relevant for those aged 21-25.
Click below on the buttons to find out more
The Pony Club could not operate and provide young riders with fantastic opportunities without the dedication of around 20,000 hardworking volunteers. One of the most important aspects of volunteering is to give back to your Branch, so the next generation of Members can enjoy the same benefits that you did. Volunteering also benefits you in the following ways:
Young Equestrian Leaders Award (YELA): YELA is a new and exciting award that has been developed by Riding for the Disabled (RDA) for the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) in consultation with its Member Bodies to increase and encourage the number of young people volunteering in the Equestrian industry.You can find out more about YELA on page 36
Branch: As an Associate you can still take part in your Branch level competitions, in the appropriate classes.
Area & Championship: There is opportunity for you to take part in Dressage, Show Jumping, and Tetrathlon at Open level both individually and in a team. You can also take part in Polocrosse as part of a team.
If you are unsure about your qualification for a level of competition, please ask your DC to contact the relevant secretary at The Pony Club Office and they will be happy to help!
Insurance: All Members are covered by Third Party Public Liability Insurance. This policy covers claims made against the Member for accidental bodily injury to members of the public or damage to their property arising out of the Member‘s use or ownership or control of a horse or pony or horse/pony-drawn vehicle at any time - not just at Pony Club activities. Read more about our Members Insurance.
As a training organisation we have many opportunities for our Associate Members, in both horse care and riding. Hopefully you already have some Pony Club Efficiency Tests, and you are welcome to work towards any of the levels, but the below may be particularly relevant to you:
A Test: The Pony Club 'A' Test is the highest test within The Pony Club structure. It is recognised worldwide and is very much sought after! It can also be used to gain a certain level of exemption to help you gain a BHS Teaching Qualification. Further syllabus and application information can be found HERE
Young Instructors Advanced Course (YIAC): A Test holders are invited to attend the YIAC, which is a rolling two year course, with a new intake every second year, allowing students to share their ideas and experiences. You can find out more HERE
Coaching Certificate: The Pony Club has a Coaching Certificate for those who hold their B Test. The certificate gives candidates a sound base of coaching knowledge, to enable them to teach a group of riders up to C standard and a group of C+ standard for horse care. You can find out more on page 49.
UK Coaching Certificate (UKCC): The UK Coaching Certificate provides a recognised stamp of quality coaching across all sport and across the UK. It has helped to raise the profile of equestrian coaching by establishing best practise coaching standards. We now have a nationally recognised framework of qualifications for coach education developed by the UK’s most successful sports. Levels 1-4 are available for Equestrian Sport within the UKCC structure and The Pony Club offers both Level 1 & 2 Courses. Further information can be found HERE
Annual Instructors Conference: The Instructors Conferences offer a great opportunity to find out more about The Pony Club’s hot training topics for the year, presented by some top class equestrian names. The 2013 Conferences will be hosted by Chris Bartle FBHS and Eric Smiley FBHS the following dates:
Wednesday 3rd April - Bishop Burton
Wednesday 10th April - Bury Farm EC, Buckinghamshire
The aim of this certificate, introduced in 2010, is to give you a sound base of coaching knowledge, to enable you to teach a group of Pony Club riders up to C Test standard and a group of C+ Test standard for horse care.
Before taking the Coaching Certificate, you must be 18 years old or over and have passed the B Test. We recommend that you have attended 'The Pony Club Introduction to Coaching' and 'Coaching Development For All' courses.
Attendance at First Aid (one day course) and Child Protection training is also recommended as this will be compulsory for all Pony Club Instructors from January 2014. You will be required to show your Pony Club Coaching Experience Log book as proof that you have been practising coaching within your Branch / Centre.
Before the day:
Read through all the Coaching Criteria, as you will be assessed against this on the day.
In the assessment, you will be observed instructing and coaching in a very realistic Pony Club situation, with Pony Club Members in your groups. You will be examined in three sessions:
A lesson plan must be produced for each session which will be discussed with the assessor.
Before the assessment, you should have practised completing risk assessments and accident forms; you should bring these along to show to the assessor. You will be expected to discuss risk assessments, safety procedures and accident forms.
You will receive a timetable from your organiser detailing the time you should arrive and when each of your sessions will be.
At the end of the day results will be given out and you will receive feedback to assist you with your future coaching. When you pass you will receive a Coaching Certificate and a metal Rally Instructor badge.
There will be Coaching Certificate training and assessments running in 2013 – find out more HERE
The B+ Test is a riding test which is halfway between the B and A Test riding levels, as it can take four or five years to get to A Test level after passing the B Test. The B+ Test was introduced earlier this year to help Members work towards the A Test and measure their progress.
The B+ Test consists of two phases; Riding and Theory of Riding. The Riding phase will be held outdoors, but the flat work section may be in an indoor or outdoor school if there is no suitable area in the field.
You will be examined in groups of no more than four, by two instructors. The Theory phase is split into two sections; one Examiner covers the flat riding theory and the other examines the jumping theory. You must be ready to start the test on time. Don't forget to allow time for walking the courses beforehand.
Check out the boxes on the right for further information on what you can expect in the B+ Test, and see the B+ Test web pages for a full syllabus and reading list.
In the theory section, you will discuss why school movements and lateral exercises can improve a horse's way of going, pole work and the requirements of various types of show jumping and cross country fences.
The examiners will be looking for knowledge about the principles of course walking, and the importance of speed and pace for cross country.
You will ride another horse for the flat work and the examiners will be looking for:
You will be required to ride and jump more than one horse, so it is likely that your horse will be jumped by someone else during the test. The examiners will select who rides which horse, but you will ride your own horse for the cross country.
In the show jumping, the examiners will be looking for
Horses for the B+ Test
You will need to bring your own horse for the B+ Test, which must be safe and suitable for all parts of the test. A young or very green horse would not be suitable for this test. You should work your horse in quietly for fifteen minutes before the start of the test.
Tack for the B+ Test
Your horse should wear a double bridle for the first section of the test; when the examiners will be watching for competent handling of two reins, and the ability to use either the curb or bridoon rein independently, considering the training of the horse.
There will be a chance for you to change into tack suitable for jumping and riding on the flat (if you want to). If there is a reason that your horse cannot wear a double bridle you can bring a different horse to ride in the double bridle but you would need to have a helper who can warm up your second horse, and put the first horse away.
has been designed to highlight the important issues in
each of the nine
competitive disciplines and encourage good training of horses and ponies.
The Badges are based on The Pony Club Achievement and Mini Achievement Badge ranges, which mainly cover horse and pony care or non-equine related subjects. We hope that the Competition badges will complete the set of badges and provide riders with fun opportunities to improve their riding or learn new skills in a discipline they haven't tried before.
There are two levels of badge for each Discipline:
"Intro" Badges - these are designed for younger or less experienced Members who are just starting out in the discipline. This badge will help you understand the basics to help you get ready to compete.
"Main" Badges - these are for slightly older or more experienced Members who are ready to or have already started to compete in the discipline. It will help you to understand the rules of the discipline and what is expected of the horse and rider in order to be successful in a competition.
Both levels of the Competition Badges can be worked on, practised for and tested during rallies, camps or lessons.
Intro to Dressage
Intro to Eventing
Intro to Show Jumping
'Intro to Tetrathlon'
Intro to Racing
Intro to Endurance
Intro to Mounted Games
Intro to Polo
Intro to Polocrosse
You can find out a bit more
about each of the Badges by clicking on the
icons below or visiting The Pony Club website for further details.