IN THE SADDLE
After a well-earned mini-break from competition, Chipping Pony Club is now back into full swing, training in all disciplines, writes Paula Kopydlowski. Photography: Sean Conlon, Paula Kopydlowski and Diane Marsden
For Chipping Pony Club half term brought everyone back together for a working rally. Riding and stable management rallies (lessons) are the bedrock of the Pony Club system where members can meet with their friends and have some fun while learning.
Chipping’s rally consisted of a 45-minute flatwork session followed by a 45-minute jumping technique session, under the safe, careful guidance of qualified coaches. This rally was held at Osbaldeston Riding Centre. The committee received some great feedback from the coaches, including a comment noting that Chipping could potentially have an exciting eventing team for 2020! All the riders were challenged and given some food for thought.
Members and their ponies are expected to be turned out immaculately for rallies. Riders should be dressed smartly in their Pony Club uniform, including highly polished, shiny boots that wouldn’t look out of place in the British Army! Ponies must be clean and tack should be sparkling. Tack and turnout is always marked at rallies and members are awarded points, which accumulate over the year. The winner with the most points is announced at the club’s Presentation Evening, which this year takes place on 30th November. It’s a great opportunity for members to get together in their ‘glad rags’, leave their ponies at home and have an enjoyable evening with awards, supper and dancing.
The Pony Club not only teaches members up to the age of 25 to ride and care for their ponies, but also promotes high standards of sportsmanship, citizenship and loyalty. It positively encourages pride in appearance and behaviour, promotes members to be respectful of other people’s feelings, be polite and courteous and know how to shake hands properly! The vast majority of British elite riders started their competition careers in the Pony Club, representing their branch at area, regional and national competitions.
There are many benefits to becoming a member of Chipping Branch of the Pony Club. The annual subscription includes third party personal liability insurance, members can take Achievements Badges and Efficiency Tests which are highly respected throughout the industry, there are many inter-branch, area, regional and national competitions to aim to qualify for in all disciplines and you are with like-minded people so it is very sociable and friendly, with opportunities to go to summer camp, visit places of interest and attend social events. The overriding aim is to make membership informative and fun.
The Pony Club has nine different sports you can take part in, including Dressage, Show Jumping, Eventing, Mounted Games, Polocrosse, Polo, Pony Racing, Tetrathlon and Endurance.
If you are interested in joining the Pony Club, please contact Chipping’s District Commissioner Joanne Conlon 07739 687972 or email: email@example.com