In The Saddle

Chipping Pony Club members travelled to Cheshire recently to take part in a mounted games event competing against riders from all over the country, writes Megan Conlon

Both at home and away, members of Chipping Pony Club are advancing in their riding abilities by the day. Our senior mounted games team travelled to Cheshire to put the skills they learnt over the winter months to good use and many members passed their efficiency tests.

With members aged nine to 12 making up our fierce team, the tents were packed, horses loaded into trailers and they were on their way to the two-day competition. Other clubs had travelled from far and wide, including some from Scotland, resulting in a daring test of speed and skill up against some of the best. This competition differed from what our members are used to as there was a total of 34 games, as opposed to the standard eight. This meant that stamina and team spirit were crucial to keep motivation high for the entire duration. Races required mounting, dismounting, tight manoeuvres and moving a variety of items, and were all done with precision and speed. After a challenging rollercoaster of a competition, the team ended up finishing in fifth place overall, testament to the effort they have put into training over the last few months.

Back at home, members have been working hard towards their efficiency tests by attending rallies and training sessions with expert instructors and the day finally arrived to give it their all on the official test day. These tests are designed to accompany a member’s journey through the Pony Club and mark their achievements with a qualification (B test and above can be used as a qualification for PE GCSE) and they are widely recognised in the equine world. Tests range from E to A, with only a few highly advanced members passing their A test nationally each year.

Chipping had great successes this time round with Edith, Robyn, Arthur and Louis passing their E tests first try. We also had Arthur, Toby, Alice, Olivia, Grace and Connie passing their D tests, and Alice, Olivia and Ellen passing their D+ tests. In these tests, members had to showcase their equine knowledge and answer questions about their ponies throughout. The structure of rallies is often to encourage members to take these tests, and they can be a brilliant motivator to learn as much as possible when expert knowledge is available.

The mounted games team are due to reunite soon for the Area competition when they will be competing against all the local clubs for a chance at the National Pony Club Championships – more about that in the next issue!

With the weather and ground drying up, there will be far more opportunity for riding outdoors while we prepare for the upcoming summer competitions surrounded by friends. After all, there’s nothing quite like a picnic in the sunshine at a Pony Club rally.

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:



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