A few photos from Pony Club Australia’s 2015 National Championships at South Australia:
The New Zealand Pony Clubs have three National Competition Events: Dressage, Games and Horse Trials. Equestrian NZ have held a Pony Club Area Teams Show Jumping competition at the Horse of the Year for the last four years. Visit www.nzpca.org for more details.
Dressage: To alleviate the huge expense of crossing Cook Strait, which separates the North and South Island the National Dressage competition is held in both Islands, with the same tests being used and the same judges flown to both venues.
Games: Since the 50th jubilee year in 1996 the Areas have held the Prince Phillip Games competitions. Again, to alleviate huge traveling distances these are held in Zones, with each Area being able to send a maximum of five teams, either Club or Branch teams.
Horse Trials: The longest running National event this began as a Club teams event in 1956 then became an Area event in 1960. From 1969 the format has been a team of three DC riders (16yrs and under) and three A1 riders (17 and under 21yrs).
Show Jumping Teams Event: Newest event, being held at the Horse of the Year since 2008. Two pony riders (16yrs and under) compete at 1.05m while two hack riders (under 21yrs) compete at 1.10m. The second round of the competition is competed in the Main Oval, a huge thrill for our Pony Clubbers.
During 2012 it was decided, for ease of operation, to amalgamate the various Branches in Zimbabwe into one Branch under the direct control of the Executive Committee.
This has proved to be the right move and as a result Pony Club has enjoyed a vibrant year with a well attended Pony Show – which included our Zambian counterparts. Zimbabwe then sent two teams to Lusaka to attend the Zambian Show and a good rapport has been established between the two countries.
In the Eventing discipline there has been a marked increased in the number of Pony Club members competing and a successful Dressage team competition and Championship was held earlier in the year.
Our year will finish with a camp to be held at the home of our Chief Instructor and we are encouraging our slightly older teenagers to give active help and tuition to our youngest recruits.
The Dubai Pony Club based at Bab al Shams Emirates Equestrian Centre(EEC) had another busy year, meeting weekly during the cooler months of October to April, for rallies , competitions and clinics with International guests. The older kids were lucky enough to show off their skills by doing Drill Ride Demonstrations at International Show Jumping Competitions, FEI Dressage Competition and also at the prestigious Arabian Horse Show.
The Dubai Pony Club has 49 members the majority being girls, with age range of 7-17 years of age. We mostly use the EEC ponies however we do have a few members now lucky enough to have their own ponies. We divide our PC into three groups Green, Blue and Red we then have a Rally once a month for each group and on the fourth week we will all get together and have a competition, this will depend on the kind of rally we have had, for example each group will do a jump rally and on the final week we will have a jump competition. Its good fun when we all get together and it is good for our littlies to be able to watch the older ones compete and the older ones are very good at helping and encouraging the little ones.
We were very lucky last season to have Nereide Goodman, who co-runs Dressage Anywhere to do a Dressage clinic with the older riders, the riders found this very useful the group was split so half the group rode and the other half judged the tests with the help of Nereide, so riders were able to see how tests were scored.
Matt Ryan and Alan Falzakalay were other guest trainers we had Matt focusing on eventing and Alan on the Jumping.
Our older riders again were very busy with their Drill Riding which has become very well known here in Dubai. The Drill team performed this year at the FEI World Dressage Challenge, the Dubai Show Jumping Championships (which is a World Cup Qualifier) and also at the Prestigious Arabian Horse Show. So we could involve more of the PC members we also did a games display at the SJ and Arabian Horse shows. These displays with the PC members not only helps us promote PC here in Dubai but also throughout the GCC.
Throughout the season we try to cover all aspects of riding, starting at the beginning of the season with flat work, to jumping and to cross country or even for the youngest of riders this is rustic fences in the safety of an arena. At each rally we do stable management, and this year we focused on achievement awards, we felt members were not quite ready to move onto a higher tests or quite ready to start tests so the awards were still a great way to encourage kids with learning the stable management. Badges taken were Grooming, Points of the Horse,Saddlery, feeding and Mucking out to name a few.
We had a fantastic event added to our schedule this was an event sponsored by Sheikha Maryam, there was Dressage, SJ,XC and a special event for Pony club our intermediate kids were able to join a 60cm jump class, and every rider was gifted an ipad, the kids loved this event and were very grateful of the wonderful prize they all got.
PC camp is at the end of the season (April) its a two night three day camp and this gives the kids to put their practise of looking after the ponies into reality, for the whole 3 days. We all had a fantastic time everybody went home tired, a little bit dirty but very happy!!
Our last event is BBQ, we give out awards to most improved riders and achievement badges.