Initially set up by Kate Allenby MBE, Modern Pentathlon Olympic Bronze medallist and former Pony Club Member, mentoring was first introduced at the Tetrathlon Championships in 2010. Mentoring is available to competitors in all disciplines at The Pony Club Championships at Cholmondeley Castle and the Tetrathlon Championships at Bishop Burton College, and aims to help Pony Club competitors when it matters most
Kindly sponsored by NFU Mutual, this scheme gives competitors access to some experienced mentors, who can work with them around sport psychology, acting as a support to riders with any competition worries and to give guidance in making plans to build confidence and move forwards. The mentoring runs alongside the active competition and complements the work of the Members’ and Teams’ existing trainers and coaches. The Mentors are ex-Pony Club Members and/or experienced competitors, and will be on hand throughout the Championships. Each session completed will earn competitors a wristband, as well as aiding their development in performance skills via access to knowledge from high performing mentors, which in turn improves the pool of elite grassroots competitors moving up the equestrian performance pathway.
Pat Crann - Pat joined the Worcestershire Hunt Branch aged seven and most enjoyed Show Jumping and Eventing, including a second placing at The Pony Club Championships before achieving the prestigious A Test. She competed Internationally in Showjumping at Grand Prix and to a high level Eventing, and produced many Grade A standard horses. Pat is The Pony Club’s Coach Development Officer and trains new coaches as well as riders for The Pony Club and BS. She is a member of the Pony Club Training Committee and is a Centre Coordinator and also studying for UKCC Level 4!
Spencer Sturmey - Spencer joined The Pony Club when he was just five years old; competing in just about everything he could from Dressage to Tetrathlon. Age 16, he was snapped up by Carl Hester to be his second rider for four years. Since honing his dressage skills, Spencer has represented GB in Eventing, Tetrathlon and Modern Pentathlon. Spencer now coaches alongside riding at the top levels. He can also be heard commentating at many events all over the country - he will be commentating at the Longines FEI Eventing European Championships in September.
Jayne Smart - Jayne came from a completely non horsey background, so was not a Member of The Pony Club but started competing at about 14 years of age. Jayne rode Grade A show jumpers at Olympia, HOYS, RIHS and Hickstead and then decided to switch to Eventing, competing at Badminton and Burghley, amongst other CCI events. She now trains show jumpers of all levels, from Pony Club right through to senior professional riders.
Marie Ryan - Marie started off as a Member of the Suffolk Hunt Branch, representing them in Area Eventing, Showjumping and Tetrathlon. She went on to event successfully at 3* and 4* level, and was part of the GB Training Squad 2002-2008. Marie is now a very busy coach including coaching for the South Hereford & Ross Harriers and the Monmouth Branch, alongside running a small team of horses. Marie can also be heard commentating on the BBC Red Button at Badminton every year.
Jon Rogers - Jon was a member of the North Shropshire Hunt Branch. He competed in all 3 disciplines at Area level and qualified for the Championships in Open Dressage and Eventing when they were held at Weston Park. Jon is now a full time coach and says the experiences he had through Pony Club kick started his career with horses. He is Chief Instructor of the Albrighton Hunt Branch and tries to provide its Members, and those from other Branches, with the opportunities and quality of training that he received when he was a Member. Jon successfully completed his UKCC Level 3 with The Pony Club in 2014.
Cathy Burrell - Cathy was a Member of the Bramham Moor Branch until she was 21 and came 2nd individually at The Pony Club Dressage Championships in 1989 and 1993. Since leaving The Pony Club, Cathy has represented GB in Dressage at both young rider and senior small tour. She has continued to be involved with The Pony Club as a coach and has trained the dressage team for a number of Branches, as well as being a member of the Dressage Committee.
Kirsty Hardstaff - Kirsty was a member of the South Notts Hunt Branch, competing at the Championships in the Open Show Jumping teams. Kirsty, achieved her UKCC Level 3 through The Pony Club and is currently team trainer for South Notts Hunt’s show jumping teams. She also works with the Rufford Hunt and Blankney Hunt Branches, as well as fitting in lots of private coaching and looking after her two young children.
Amelia Payne - Since joining the Atherstone Branch of The Pony Club aged 8, Amelia hasn’t stopped! She competed at The Pony Club Championships many times, and Evented up to CCI 3* level herself, including winning a Bronze medal as part of the British Pony Eventing team. Amelia is now a full time coach, including coaching at many Branches and Centres across the Midlands. She gained her UKCC Level 3 through The Pony Club last year.
Katie Williams - Katie was a Member of the Cowdray Hunt Branch, and represented them at The Championships in Mounted Games and Eventing. Having evented at International level, Katie is now the Chief Instructor for the Monmouthshire Hunt Branch, and is a busy coach. Katie has achieved UKCC Level 3 with The Pony Club and British Eventing.