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Three Thousand Years of Volunteering Rewarded

Marking the enormous contribution made by Pony Club Volunteers, the biennial Cubitt Award ceremony was enjoyed by around 150 attendees, and saw four newly-elected Life Vice Presidents announced.

The Cubitt Awards are held in honour of Volunteers who have given in excess of 20 years to The Pony Club, and take their name from the late Hon Guy Cubitt who was Chairman of The Pony Club for 25 years, and President for almost a decade.

At this year’s event, 73 Volunteers were awarded the Cubitt certificate and badge for 20 years service alongside 26 awardees who received their Cubitt Bar for more than 30 years service, a further five for 40 years or more service and one for an extraordinary 50 plus years of voluntary service.

This year’s awardees have given an incredible amount to The Pony Club, with over 3,000 years of volunteering between them. One particularly notable nominee was Pony Club Chairman Mary Tuckett who was delighted, and very surprised, to receive her Cubitt badge.

Mary’s involvement with The Pony Club began as a Member. Her three daughters followed in her footsteps and joined the Whaddon Chase Branch where Mary started as a Volunteer before becoming DC in 2002. During her time as DC membership trebled and the diversity of activity increased across all sports and levels of training; some of which was held at her farm.

Mary became Area 12 Rep in 2010 and continued to apply her energy, wealth of experience and commitment to the Area until her election as Pony Club Chairman in 2014. 

In this role, Mary has continued her tireless support; determined to give Members and future Members the chance to fulfil their talents, dreams and ambitions. 

Mary said: “Our awardees come from all walks of life and carry out a huge number of roles for the benefit of our Members. Their dedication, time and effort is much admired and hugely appreciated, and these awards are one of the ways we say ‘thank you’ for all that they do.”

The Pony Club’s Board of Trustees agreed to create four new Life Vice Presidents in recognition of the dedication they have shown over a large number of years. The four people selected to join Ernest McMillen MBE in this post are Cherry Michell, Mary Anderson, Robin Danielli and Tadqik Kopanski.

Cherry Michell was Chairman of The Pony Club from 2008 to 2013, having previously been Vice Chairman, Area 11 Rep and DC of the Romney Marsh Branch. Cherry remains actively involved with the Romney Marsh Pony Club where her grandchildren are Members.  Cherry said she felt ‘honoured’ to receive this recognition.

There are very few roles Mary Anderson hasn’t done at Branch, Area and National level including a term as Chairman of The Pony Club from 2004 to 2007.  The Pony Club is truly indebted to Mary, and delighted to recognise her enormous contribution by making her Life Vice President.

Robin Danielli recently retired from 19 years service as Treasurer of The Pony Club. During this time he played a major role in the management of Pony Club Head Office accounts; using his financial skills, time and energy to oversee considerable growth. Robin remains Treasurer and Membership Secretary of the Cotswold Vale Farmers’ Hunt Branch, where he is described as doing the ‘most amazing’ job.

Lt Col. Tadzik Kopanski was Executive Officer of The Pony Club from 1986 to 1997. His inspiration and passion to spread The Pony Club ethos to children without their own ponies led to the creation of The Pony Club Centre scheme, which was trialled in 1998 and now sees a membership of over 14,000. Tadzik continued to serve as a Volunteer on the Show Jumping Committee until 2016.

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