The Pony Club
Logo of The Pony Club
|Chairman of The Pony Club / Chief Executive||Mary Tuckett / Judy Edwards|
The Pony Club is a voluntary organisation founded in England in 1929. It has now expanded internationally and Pony Club branches can be found worldwide. It is one of 16 organisations that form the British Equestrian Federation.
Pony Club was formed in Great Britain in 1929 when the Institute of the Horse formed a youth branch of their organization, "The Pony Club." It was formed to encourage children to start riding, while providing them with opportunities in the field that they would not be able to reach on their own. The group grew rapidly, with 300 members in 1930, to over 10,000 in 1935. When the Institute of the Horse joined with National Horse Association of Great Britain to form The British Horse Society, Pony Club was incorporated in the new group.
Table showing growth over years
|No. of Branches (UK)||167||201||255|
The Pony Club is divided into nineteen areas each of which is subdivided into branches. Each branch is administered by a District Commissioner and a voluntary committee. They are in charge of organising activities for the branch.
There are two types of membership, Branch membership and Centre membership. Branch members must have their own pony or be able to borrow one to participate in activities. However Centre membership is run by Riding Schools and the members use the ponies belonging to the Riding School.
Membership is open to anyone up until the end of the year in which they turn 25.
The Pony Club encourages its members to take several Efficiency Tests on Riding and Horsemanship. The Tests range from E Standard all the way through to the prestigious A Standard. The tests must all be completed in progression, however the E and B+ tests are optional. The Riding and Road Safety Test also must be completed which ensures that members have the necessary knowledge to ride a horse or pony on the road. The B Standard Test demonstrates a high level of riding and horsecare and the A Test is thought of highly by employers in the horse industry as the holder of an A Test certificate has proven to have an extremely high level of riding and horsemanship.
Pony Club camp
The highlight of The Pony Club calendar for many children is the annual Pony Club Camp, organised by the branch or centre. This allows for all members to spend additional time with their rides, often in a new setting doing a variety of activities, including cross country as well as the typical mounted games.