Activities / NFU Mutual Mentoring Scheme 2018

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NFU Pony Club Mentoring Scheme

The NFU Mutual Mentoring Scheme exists to empower riders to realise their full potential, to help and support members to achieve their goals and perform at their very best especially when it matters most.

Kindly sponsored by NFU Mutual, this scheme gives competitors access to a great team of experienced mentors many of whom are returning again this year. Key areas they are working around are:

- Sports Psychology

- Rider Support - competition worries, confidence building, performance planning

- Mindset - learning to create the best headspace for riders and being positive in the competition environment

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 in the Mentors Marquee 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. 

Our Mentors:

Pat Crann Pat Crann - A current member of The Pony Club Training Committee, Pat joined the Worcestershire Hunt branch aged 7 where she most enjoyed Showjumping and Eventing, including a 2nd placing at The Pony Club Championships befire achieving the prestigious A test. She went on to compete successfully in International Showjumping at Grand Prix level and at a high level Eventing. She has also produced many horses to Grade A standard. In 2013 she was appointed The Pony Club and British Showjumping and trains new coaches, as well as being one of The Pony Club’s regional centre co-ordinators and studying for her UKCC level 4.

Jayne SmartJayne 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 RyanMarie 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 RogersJon 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 BurrellCathy 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 HardstaffKirsty 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 PayneAmelia Morris-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.

Antonia Moller - Antonia joined the Warwickshire Hunt branch of The Pony Club aged 6 and went right through to take her A test. She took part in all activities including Mounted Games, Eventing, Showjumping and Dressage up to Area level. Antonia runs a hunter/competition yard and holds her UKCC level 3.



Hayley Godwin - Hayley grew up in The Pony Club gained her B test and competed in Area competitions. Hayley has trained with Carl Hester and Stephen Clarke. Hayley has gained her UKCC level 3 and ridden at Medium Dressage level for Central England at The Royal International. She is the Chief instructor for The Vale of Aylsbury branch, Hayley is extremely honoured and excited to be joining the mentoring team and looks forward to helping any competitors that need assistance.


Ross Middleton - Ross was a member of the Braes of Derwent (South) Pony Club and regularly competed at the championships in Eventing, Showjumping and Dressage. He now runs an Eventing yard in Area 2 near Durham and has competed up to CCI*** level. He gained his UKCC level 3 coaching qualification through The Pony Club and coaches throughout the country.



Tom Fray -
Tom joined the Fernie Hunt branch aged 11, he enjoyed all aspects on Pony Club life representing the branch in Area Showjumping and Eventing teams (but says he was often left off the dressage squad!) Tom eventually mastered flatwork achieved his A test and was invited on to the Young Instructors Advanced Course. He is now a UKCC level 3 and Pony Club Area Coach. In 2016 Tom received the ABRS Jeffress scholarship awarded to ‘established riding instructors to advance their teaching and expertise’. Tom is a proud ambassador of The Pony Club and is grateful for not only the start it provided for his riding career but also the continued development and support of his coaching career.



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