In The Saddle

Chipping Pony Club have had an action-packed start to the year, setting a positive tone for the coming months, writes Megan Conlon. Photography: Dobbin Photography

From training to competitions, Chipping Pony Club members have been able to try their hand at new things, while simultaneously honing their skills from last year too.

A key part of Pony Club is developing a ‘can-do’ attitude, so members braved the tumultuous weather to further their equestrian learning and have fun with friends along the way.

There is no better example of this than the successful rally at Osbaldeston Riding Centre, where riders were grouped based on ability and experience and given top-notch tuition on both flatwork and jumps. These rallies occur regularly over the year and are a great opportunity to build on previous tuition in a welcoming and encouraging environment. There is often a particular focus on how to tackle upcoming competitions, as well as preparation for the Pony Club Efficiency Tests, which are nationally recognised achievements for all levels of riders.

Chipping also stepped forward to host the Arena Eventing competition. This is a seasonal spin on the jumping segments of a full eventing competition – show jumping and cross country – where all of it is contained within one arena, with riders tackling a round of show jumps first, then continuing straight onto the tricky cross-country fences. This is a great opportunity for gaining confidence in this type of environment, before the better ground conditions in summer mean the cross-country fences are moved to a more open space. The competition was a success, with 120 entries from far and wide, even as far as Anglesey, Cheshire, Kendal and the Peak District!

Another big day of competing for Chipping was the very last Winter League Mounted Games competition. These competitions have been running throughout the colder months, and our members have improved massively over the course of the League, racing against the other clubs in the Area in a sport of skill and speed. Our Novice Junior team of Edith, Elsie, Harry, Arthur and Oliver had a wonderful time, finishing in seventh place on the day, and seventh overall in the League, where the results from all the competitions are considered. They are the perfect example of what hard work can do and have improved in both confidence and ability over the months. A few even managed a canter in this last competition!

Chipping also had a brand new Senior team (formerly the superstar Juniors) of Olivia, Maisie, Alice, Toby and Millie. They were all a little jittery to be competing against the other senior teams, some of whom have been highly successful in the past, but they held their own and finished fifth out of nine teams, doing Chipping proud. Mounted Games has always been very popular at Chipping Pony Club and it is lovely to see this new wave of riders continuing the club’s success in the discipline.

In the coming months, our competitions – and hopefully our successes – are sure to continue, with regular training sessions to keep improving what members have learnt in their time at Pony Club. The skills and friendships made in this club last a lifetime and the environment of team spirit is unmatched. Let’s hope the rest of the year continues as it has so far!

If you’d like to know more about Pony Club, in particular Chipping Branch, please contact the District Commissioner Joanne Conlon 01200 445143 or email:



Tedd Walmsley

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