IN THE SADDLE
The Pony Club offers spectacular opportunities for members and their ponies. However, at the beginning of this year it offered membership to non-riders, so anyone can join in, writes Megan Conlon. Photography: Diane Marsden
This year Chipping Pony Club will be representing the North West of England in the National Quiz championships after winning the Area Competition. This will take place in a few weeks’ time, so the team are hard at work, revising at home.
The quiz will take place remotely but that won’t stop them from giving it their all. It will test their knowledge on the Pony Club as an international organisation, rare and native equine breeds, equine first aid, along with the rules of show jumping and mounted games. They are all very excited to be representing the Area and will try their very best. This quiz is open to all members and everyone is a valuable member of the team.
Closely linked to the Annual National Quiz is the Horse & Pony Care Competition, in which members go into various stables and work stations and demonstrate their expertise in a more practical setting. The lead up to this competition includes lots of playing with ponies and learning new things along the way, not forgetting the biscuit breaks!
Another popular activity for riding and non-riding members alike is the triathlon and biathlon competitions. These are comprised of running, shooting and swimming, and members’ strengths are combined to create strong teams who are able to excel in each area. We have had lots of training sessions, especially for the shooting aspect and members enjoy being able to display their physical prowess in a fun, competitive way.
Non-riders can also earn achievement badges which revolve around all sorts of activities, some more equine-related than others. Badge days are held, with mini badges available for younger members, and they can all wear their badges on their Pony Club jumpers with pride. These days are always enjoyable and help to reinforce the camaraderie and teamwork among all members when on foot.
For those more creatively-inclined, there is also an annual art competition! Each year there is a new theme and there are different age categories. Anyone can have a go!
So, as you can see, there is a huge range of activities available for non-riding members – you might want to consider joining! No matter what you do, you’ll be met by new friends and smiling faces.
If you are interested in joining, please contact Chipping’s District Commissioner Joanne Conlon 07739 687972 or email: email@example.com