In The Saddle

Even in harsher weather conditions, members of Chipping Pony Club continued their team spirit and camaraderie throughout December, writes Megan Conlon

Wrapping up warm, with a bit of tinsel here and there, Chipping Pony Club held their annual Christmas Rally which, as ever, saw some brilliant outfits, constructive expertise from our instructors and of course, chocolate!

It is always a lovely way to begin the Christmas holidays and bring some Christmas cheer with our friends and horses – even if some of those smaller ponies might be on the naughty list! Our members were put into different rides based on ability and previous experience and worked their socks off both on the flat and over jumps and the ponies did their riders proud with their determination. If Father Christmas ever loses a reindeer – he knows who to call!

We also got into the Christmas spirit with the annual wreath-making fundraiser. With the guidance of Sarah Fishwick, everyone picked their materials and got to work on their wreath. No two look the same but every single one was picture-perfect, certainly rivalling any shop-bought one. It is a lovely chance to switch off from the outside world and create something with a personal touch to add to your home.

We also contributed to a local project within Chipping at St Bartholomew’s Parish Church where we decorated our own Pony Club themed Christmas tree! Members adorned the branches with drawings of their ponies, achievement badges and rosettes, ribbon in gold, blue and purple Pony Club colours along with twinkling fairy lights! It certainly stood its ground among all the other lovingly decorated trees and we are always thrilled to get involved at local Chipping village events.

We also took a look back at our 2023 Awards Evening. From January right through to December, members have been to training sessions, fundraisers and competitions and all of this culminated into the much-anticipated night of trophies and rosettes, not forgetting the all-important pie and disco after! There were awards for attendance in all age categories and overall, the combined tack and turnout marks from our rallies, exceptional members in various disciplines such as eventing, showjumping and mounted games and general horsemanship. Individual members (and even ponies) get to appreciate their value within the club and reminisce on the successes of the year.

The Winter League competitions have also continued, with Grace coming sixth in the Winter League Dressage, doing us proud. These will go on into 2024, along with our annual bingo night at Chipping Village Hall and the National Quiz competition which our members have been working hard for.

Looking back on 2023, it has been a year of fun and friendship, of bonding with our equine companions who do so much for us. This is precisely the energy we are taking forward into 2024, where there are undoubtedly many more happy memories to come!

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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