Pony Club taster tickets

The Pony Club year is set to end in festive style at Olympia, The London International Horse Show (December 12-18 ). There will be lots on offer including Taster Tickets for anyone who is interested in being part of the largest equestrian organisation for young people.

Visitors can pick up a Taster Ticket from The Pony Club stand – in its new location G47 – and go and experience for themselves all the fun, learning and friendship that is to be had at Pony Club.

Team Pony Club will be on hand to speak about the organisation and give details of the wide range of training and riding opportunities available across the nine equestrian sports available to members, as well as items to purchase.

Close up of Pony Club chaps

Also available on the stand will be Pony Club ‘must haves’ including Pony Club saddle pads from Nuumed, a range of Pony Club full chaps, half chaps and waterproof chaps from Just Chaps and books from superstar authors Nick Skelton, Carl Hester and Clare Balding.

Pony Club saddle pads

Alongside these will be sensational stocking fillers, including a new design lycra hat covers and pencil cases, and best sellers ‘Pete the Pony’ cuddly toys, fleece ear warmers and plastic mugs.

Olympia shoppers do not need to worry about buying heavy or bulky items, as they can be safely left at The Pony Club Shopping Drop Off point. The Shopping Drop Off is being run by an army of invaluable Pony Club Volunteers including members, parents, District Commissioners and centre proprietors, and can be found on stand GH7.

For more information about the show please visit https://www.olympiahorseshow.com/ and for information about The Pony Club contact Vicky Kangurs at vicky@pcuk.org

Olympia Pony Club Mini Major

The Mini-Major Show Jumping competition returns to Olympia, the London International Horse Show, on Sunday December 17 and once again promises to keep the audience on the edge of their seats

An annual favourite, the competition sees Pony Club Members aged 12 and under pair up with a top international rider to each complete a Show Jumping round in the quickest time with the fewest faults.

Annie Gibson (11)  winning at Olympia last year riding her pony Magic
Photo: Kit Houghton

The lucky riders competing in this year’s Mini Major are:
⦁ Thomas Bradburne (11 years old – Old Berkshire Hunt) riding Runaway Dolly
⦁ Sophie Wicks (10 years old – Furness & District) riding Bubbas Delight
⦁ Connie Mensley (8 years old – Quorn Hunt) riding Gemstone Sienna
⦁ Simone Leathem (12 years old – Iveagh) riding Mohill Sundance
⦁ Kym Moore (9 years old – Tullylagen) riding Smoke Gun
⦁ Poppy Deakin (11 years old – Tynedale) riding Forever Penny
⦁ Savannah Roper (9 years old – East Aberdeenshire) riding Glen Hill
⦁ Robert Russell (9 years old – Iveagh) riding Newtown Black Guy

Excitement is high amongst the eight riders who are all looking forward to riding at this prestigious show in front of the onlooking crowds.

“It’s a dream come true!” said Kym Moore, who turns 10 just a few days before Olympia. “Smokegun may enjoy making holes in his timber-built stable, but he’s my best friend and always looks after me.”

Poppy Deakin loves her pony Forever Penny, known as Sooty, who has taught lots of riders to jump including Poppy and her sisters. Poppy said “Sooty talks to me; she always whinnies when she sees me, especially at tea time.”

Sophie Wicks said she ‘could not believe it’ when she and Bubbas Delight qualified. Look out for their lucky red earmuffs, a gift to Sophie from Bubba’s previous owner.

“When we bought Bubba, Sam who used to ride him sent us his lucky earmuffs which he said he has to wear.” said Sophie “We always make sure that he has them on; he just doesn’t look right without them!”

For more information about Olympia, the London International Horse Show, go to https://www.olympiahorseshow.com/


Pony Club celebrates HOYS double

The Oakley Hunt West Pony Club has won the Prince Philip Cup after dominating the competition over five nail-biting days at the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).
The team, consisting of Charlie Yates (14), Charlotte Sabatier (14), Jaimsye Bailey
(14), Sophie Grimshaw (14), Jaime Medcalf (14) and reserve Luke Grimshaw (12) won
every session they took part in to clinch victory with 124 points; a massive 24 points
ahead of joint runners-up West Hants and Eglinton Hunt.

Oakley Pony Club Action at Horse of the Year Show
Photo: HOYS

Three other teams, including Romney Marsh who finished fourth, Banwen and District
and first timers North Herefordshire also qualified to compete at HOYS after battling
it out at the Area competitions.
The final at HOYS captivated the crowds, with the teams giving it
their all to thrill spectators with some very close finishes. Classic games such as the
Bending Race race tested the Members’ control and athleticism, but the loudest
cheers were for the novelty games which included the 3D Worms game which saw a
team member dressed as a worm!
The Pony Club Mounted Games is a competition requiring courage, determination
and all round riding ability. The concept of the competition was first introduced by
HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, who suggested that Cavalry competitions could
be adapted for young riders on ponies in an entertaining and visually engaging
format. The first competitions were held in 1957 and the winner received the
coveted Prince Philip Challenge Trophy.


Pony Club mini-major

The Pony Club Mini-Major returned to Olympia this week, seeing Pony Club Members paired up with a top international rider in a thrilling competition to each complete a Show Jumping round in the quickest time, with the fewest faults.

Top of the tree this year was eleven-year-old Annie Gibson who teamed up with Anna Power to finish in 25.29 seconds; clinching victory by just 0.01 of a second.

The long journey from Northern Ireland was worthwhile for Iveagh Branch Member Annie, who said: “The whole experience was amazing! I’ve never been to Olympia before and the atmosphere was incredible. I met lots of my heroes, including Nick Skelton and Cian O’Connor.” Annie went on to thank Anna Power for being ‘such a good partner,’ her family for supporting her and her coach Joe Sharkey.

Special thanks also went to Iveagh DC Vanne Campbell who made the trip over to support Annie, despite being on crutches. “I’d like to qualify for the Dengie Winter League and The Pony Club Championships next!” commented Annie.

Annie has been a Member of The Pony Club for eight years and she and her pony, Lisboy Black Magic, have represented their Branch on numerous occasions. They qualified for Dublin Horse Show in July, leading to Annie receiving an Outstanding Sporting Achievements award from her school.

Annie Power in action Photo: Kris Houghton

Annie Power in action Photo: Kris Houghton

A last minute call-up proved lucky for runner up Harriet Birkby who rode alongside Lorenzo De Luca to finish in 25.30 seconds.

Eleven year old Harriet, who is a Member of the Southdown Hunt West Branch, finished ahead of third placed Amy Morris (also eleven) from the Edinburgh Branch, who was partnered by Laura Renwick.

They completed in a time of 25.82 seconds.
Members from all over the UK applied to be amongst the eight drawn to take part, and the lucky riders were selected at random to compete at Olympia in front of a sell-out crowd.

Mary Tuckett, Chairman of The Pony Club, said: “This year the Mini-Major kept everyone on the edge of their seats. Our members and their partners gave it their all which resulted in some nail-biting moments and some very close finishes. I’d like to thank the team behind Olympia for inviting us to be part of this very special event, and acknowledge the tremendous effort of the families and helpers who support the riders; some of whom travelled for several hours to take part.”

Great action at Pony Club Championships

THE Pony Club Championships, kindly supported by Berkeley Group, saw an array of action recently at Chomondeley Castle, Cheshire. It was a day jam packed with action, with competitors showing their skills in Dressage, Show Jumping, Polocrosse, Mounted Games, Horse and Pony Care and Dressage to Music.

In the Vibac 3D Worming Open Individual Show Jumping it was a win for Lucy Morgan (22) from the Monmouthshire Branch with Cannavaro. “I am absolutely over the moon, as I just missed out last year, and it’s probably my last year in Pony Club, so I decided to just go for it!” said an excited Lucy, who also called Cannavaro her horse of a lifetime. Lucy went on to comment that being a part of The Pony Club Rider Development Pathway had also been a fantastic opportunity, and also thanked her Branch District Commissioner, Area Rep and coaches Andrew Williams and Helen Dawson.

Lucy Morgan with trophies Photo: The Pony Club

Lucy Morgan with trophies Photo: The Pony Club

The NAF Superflex Open Dressage saw the Old Berkshire Hunt Team of Max Warburton (17), Jack Whitehead (18), Sasha Hargreaves (15) and Siobhan Heneghan (14) take the top slot, with Jack Whitehead winning his respective arena (B) individually. “We are all really shocked!” said the team who didn’t realise their success until they arrived at prize giving.

In the NAF Superflex Open Individual Dressage it was tight at the top and, after the Ride Off of the top 12 from the earlier arena placings, it was Maddi Briggs (17) from the Garth Hunt riding Real Dancer who resisted the pressure and produced the solid winning score of 72.71%.

There was also success for Matilda Haley (14), who made sure the long drive from the Deeside Branch paid off, taking the top honours in the Open Individual Freestyle Dressage to Music Competition, supported by the Worshipful Company of Loriners. Finishing on a score of 77.14%, well ahead of her competitors with Watch Me! Matilda commented “I am so excited and pleased, Watch Me! was amazing. I am hoping to go to Sheepgate Equestrian for the U25’s championships next, then it’s home to Scotland to train for the 2017 season when I hope to move up to Advanced Medium level. Thanks to my Cathy Burrell and of course my parents for driving me all the way here”.

In the NFU Mutual Polocrosse the North Warwickshire Branch team Katie Loutsiou (18), Danny Woodward (18), Chris Milburn (25), Fin (14) and Tegan (12) Bristow and Theo Cornforth (14), fought hard to take the Malden Championship; involving teams of three Junior and three senior Members, to help encourage and support younger players. The team thanked Chris Milburn for coaching them and North Warwickshire Polocrosse manager Gill James; Chris Milburn extended his thanks to The Pony Club and noted how great it was that Pony Club Polocrosse as a discipline had grown so much in recent years.

The Blue Cross Junior Horse and Pony Care Championship saw a closely fought final, with the Sir Watkin Williams Wynns team of Naomi and Pip Young and Kate Rutherford coming out on top on a score of 486, just one point ahead of their nearest rivals from the Chipping Branch.   “We were 5th last year so to come back and win a year later is unbelievable” commented the team; who also thanked thanked Tonia Rutherford who helped coach them to the win.

The Stonar Novice Eventing saw the Essex Hunt North team of Ella Caton (16), Emily Pohl (15), Georgie O’Connor (14) and Alice Caton (14) clear of the competition to take the top slot. The team was absolutely ecstatic and said the win was unexpected and ‘a lovely surprise’ before thanking their parents, Branch District Commissioner and their horses.

Saffron wins 2016 Charles Owen title

The 2016 Charles Owen National Pony and Racesafe Equestrian Junior Championship titles were both taken by ambitious young females at Brand Hall Horse Trials in Shropshire over last weekend (June 3-5).

The competition also boasted an array of British Eventing classes which took place in superb sunshine with competitors set a true challenge over Janet Plant’s impressively designed cross country courses.
After two consecutive years of the Charles Owen National Pony Championship wins being dominated by Thomas Tulloch, 15 year old Saffron Cresswell (GBR) from Malvern, Worcestershire, took the 2016 title with her own 14.1hh Irish-bred gelding, Cuffesgrange Little Ric. 

Saffron led the field from the beginning of the competition and finished the event on her dressage test result of 36.5. Even with eight show jumping penalties, she was able to finish with a 19.9 penalty margin. Saffron and Little Ric were the only combination to complete the cross country phase clear and inside the optimum time.

Saffron was a part of the British gold medal winning team at the 2015 FEI Pony European Championships (where she finished in fifth place individually) and will be in a good position for selection for the 2016 Europeans which will be held in Denmark.

Saffron Cresswell in action: Photo:

Saffron Cresswell in action: Photo: Charles Owen

Her season so far in 2016 has been very strong, with five top six placings including two Charles Owen Pony Trial wins.

Saffron commented on her Championship win: “I came to Brand Hall with the hope of winning, but to lead from the dressage phase made it quite nerve-wracking! I hadn’t made my mind up completely on the second day which route I would take through the water across country but when I got closer to the fence he was feeling so good that that I took the direct route, which I think that helped us get inside the optimum time. I really wanted to show jump clear even though I knew I had some fences in hand, so when I heard a pole go my heart sank.

“I am absolutely over the moon to have won and hope the next step for us will be the European Championships again.”

The top three combinations in the Pony Championship at Brand Hall were;

  • 1st Cuffesgrange Little Ric, ridden by Saffron Cresswell who finished on a score of 44.5
  • 2nd Killacoran Blue ridden by Eloise Bartlett, 64.4.
  • 3rd Holiday Chase ridden by Lauren Booth, 74.2


Superb pony club hunter trials in Arundel Park

CRAWLEY and Horsham Hunt South Pony Club held its annual hunter trials recently in Arundel Park, enjoying perfect weather and superb ground conditions.

Great organisation skills were shown by the show team and entries were full, so were closed early.

The pony club had the use of Arundel Park for the whole weekend, and held a showing show on the Saturday, which made a great start to the weekend.

There were some great new and challenging jumps for the hunter trial, adding to a well set out course designed by James Lee, chairman of Goring and District Riding Club and a qualified course builder.

Crawley and Horsham Hunt South  would like to thank the Duke and Duchess of Norfolk for the use of Arundel Park and all the people that gave their time to help organise and run the shows over that weekend and to the sponsors for their generosity in supporting these events.

Abigail Brittain and Diamond Slave, winners of 90cm class. Photo: LRGPhotography

Abigail Brittain and Diamond Slave, winners of 90cm class. Photo: LRGPhotography- www.lrg-photography.co.uk

Top placings: MINI (up to 60cm) .Section A. Under 16. 1 Amelia Southon – Duke of York;  2 Morgan Donovan – Finn; 3 Sophie O’Sullivan – Fredorgia; Georgia Stephens – Pulleen Lady.  5, Eloise Allen – Poppy . Section B. Over 16.1 Sinead O’Sullivan – Avena; 2.Emma Taylor – Wish Upon A Star; 3 Danielle Smith – Mariannes;4 Koran Marner – King of the Rein. 5 Tina Cook – Bento.

MINI PAIRS (up to 60cm). 1.Harry Wingfield – Jelly Bean and Evie Wingfield – Harry Horse; 2 Ashlene Wootton – Garfield andHolly Mayling – Greenholme Yabadabado; 3 Pippa Shaw – Cocalicious and Bridget Preist – Sprite; 4 Kerry Stafford – Jay Mondue and Caroline Pook – Western.;5 Kristie Tee – Gambler and
Addie Carter – Clive.

NOVICE (up to 80cm) Section A. Under 16.1 Ella Farnes-; 2.Brooke Litchenberg – Casper; 3 Julie Rogers – Autumn Rain.4 Amelia Jarrett – Charlie Boy;5.Amy Little – Fizz; 6.Elsa Ireland – Marmite;7.Layla Smith – Cherokee Lass; 8.Max Tosspell – Maudlin Bobby. Section B. Over 16. 1 Abbie Ward – 50 Shades of Grey;2 Addie Carter – Clive; 3 Audrey Watson – Charm. 4 Caroline Andrews – Charm; 5 Jess Mungavin – Piper; 6.Lydia Jeffries – Jensen; 7,Camilla Mulholland – Whats Occuring; 8 Paris Maria Johnson – Maylin Rose.

NOVICE PAIRS.(up to 80cm).1 Sam Hicks – Jeffrey and Helen French – Bobster; 2 Toni Carter – Donna Spring and Lucy Carter – Millicano; 3 Toni Carter – Donna Spring and Mark Carter – Locon; 4Tabitha Baines – Chase and Jenny Roberts – Mousie; 5 Elly Bielski – Corky and Alice Bock – Marco; 6 Hollie Shotter – Prince and Suzie Lunt – Billy; 7.Jason Doe – Jimmy and Donna Heath – Dance Easily;
8.Nanique Oliver – Reevesgate Merrylegs andSam White – Devine Harliquin.

INTERMEDIATE.(up to 90cm). 1 Indi Limpus – Ariel; =2.Flora James – Chatroom.com; =2.Dani Giles – Curious George; Indi Limpus – Bobby; 3 Indi Limpus – Jessie; 6 Romy Jackson – Misty Flight 7 Sally Moore – Mithian. 8 Abbigail Brittain – Diamond Slave

Beryl wins Unsung Hero Award

A WEST Sussex woman has been awarded the Pony Club Daks Unsung Hero Award because of her long-standing commitment to training Mounted Games Teams. Beryl Millman was born in Liverpool but came to West Sussex in her late teens and since that time has been involved in the Pony Club, Beryl is also known for her remarkable association with Aldaniti, winner of the 1981 Grand National, trained by Josh Gifford and ridden by Bob Champion. She was presented with the award recently at Royal Windsor.

When she first came to work in Sussex it was with Captain and Mrs  Ryan Price, when Captain Price trained racehorses at Findon. Beryl also helped with the training of the Chiddingfold Branch Mounted Games team, which qualified for one of the first Prince Philip Cup Championships at Horse of the Year Show. She has been training Mounted Games teams ever since.

Beryl Millman receiving the prestigious award

Beryl Millman receiving the prestigious DAKS Unsung Hero Award from Mr Paul Dimond, Deputy Chairman of DAKS at Royal Windsor Horse Show. Photo: Kit Houghton / The Pony Club

The Embiricos family at Barkfold, near Petworth, where they ran a National Hunt stud. She also helped with the childrens’ ponies and horses and, through this, became involved with the Lord Leconfield branch.
She has always been actively involved with the branch – mounted games, rallies, camps, and the highlight of the summer holidays was the rally that she and her late husband, Wilf, ran at Barkfold.
There, the morning was spent in lessons, then there was a talk during lunch followed by the much anticipated ride in the afternoon.
Beryl and Wilf made cross-country jumps around the estate and members went off in two rides – one for the younger members jumping smaller jumps and, what everyone aspired to – the ride with the big jumps. This included a huge hedge which, like fish, got bigger with every telling – health and safety was not an issue in those days.

Mr. and Mrs Nick Embiricos owned Aldaniti who, in 1981, won the Grand National ridden by Bob Champion and trained by Josh Gifford at Downs Stables, Findon.Everyone knows the story of how Bob was recovering from cancer and Aldaniti from a serious leg injury.

Beryl Millman pictured with Aldaniti in the old days at Barkfold

Beryl Millman pictured with Aldaniti in the old days at Barkfold

It was Beryl as Head Groom, who looked after the horse during his long box rest and convalescence, before returning to be trained for the National. It was such an outstanding story that a film was made called ‘Champions’ which Beryl worked hard with producers to auhtenticate.

The Bob Champion Cancer Trust was founded in 1983, and in 1987 Aldaniti was ridden for 250 miles, over 5 weeks, each mile being ridden by different people, including celebrities. It started at Buckingham Palace and finished at Aintree on Grand National Day, with Beryl escorting and in charge of Aldaniti throughout.

A huge sum of money was raised and Beryl continued to accompany the horse on many other fund-raising ventures including a sponsored walk in Ireland in 1993. In 1996 she also raised money for the Ride for Life, with awalk with Brave Highlander, another horse trained by Josh Gifford at Findon, going from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to Buckingham Palace.

Beryl continues to raise money for the Bob Champion Cancer Trust, making a small charge for the Mounted Games practice sessions. This is donated to the charity each year, with Beryl donating her expertise free of charge. She has helped to raise more than £920,000 since 1987 for the Trust and individually has raised £15,400 over the years from the Mounted Games. A grand total of £935,400 – which is amazing in itself.

The many events that Aldaniti attended over the years, as well as the Walks/Tours, would have been unthinkable without Beryl, she was always a great team member and everyone described her as  ‘a joy to work with and she had heart of gold’.

Beryl is still actively involved in Pony Club instructing at camps and rallies. She has a wonderful rapport with children, young and older, and members of her Mounted Games teams.

She is always ready to help with any Pony Club event and much enjoys following the fortunes of the branch that is so close to her heart.

Arena eventing at Coombelands

HORSHAM and District Riding Club and Coombelands equestrian recently had to make the unfortunate decision to cancel the planned annual Hunter Trial at Coombelands due to the continuing wet ground conditions on the track there.
But Gaye Harwood and the Horsham Riding club representatives Carol Porter and Caroline Exley, pulled out all the stops and put together a great arena eventing competition instead in the lovely all weather arena at Coombelands, with the second arena for warm up to replace the Hunter Trial.

The day turned out to be sunny and dry, with perfect weather for both competitors and spectators. While the atmosphere was friendly, relaxed and unhurried the event was still highly competitive.

Horsham District Riding Club kept to the theme of the Hunter Trial with classes of Novice 75cm, Novice Pairs 75cm and Open 90 cm, with single classes split into Sections A and B  because of the high number of entries. The Pairs event was changed to a Pairs relay, making five classes in total.

Collage of Photo:

Striking collage of Jackie Oxley competing at Coombelands. She finished sixth in the Open on Shakespeare’s Romeo. Collage compiled  by Sally Gee from photos taken by Scott Howard, both of LRG Photograpy www.lrgphotography.co.uk


Coombelands was well represented in the competitions, with Alice Crowley ( daughter of Jim and Lucinda, nee Harwood) winning the first of the Novice 75cm classes riding Silver and third on Benjee,  while Ryan Perrett ( son of Amanda) was  fourth and Lucy Aspell      ( daughter of Grand National winning jockey,Leighton Aspell) was sixth.
Alice Crowley competing with Silver Photo: LRG Photography

Alice Crowley competing with Silver
Photo:Scott Howard of LRG Photography

Rachell Dorrell with Dainty Davey ROR had a great day winning the second 75cm class and was third in the second 90cm class.

 Olivia Watts had a very unlucky pole down one fence from the finish in the first of the 90cm classes, where she finished out of the placings but with the fastest time of both the 90 cm classes.
Rare sunshine made for a beautiful spring day lovely day for the event, which compensated for the loss of the Hunter Trial, and the day was a huge success thanks to Carol Caroline, Gaye Harwood and all those many helpers form Horsham District Riding Club  who give up their time to assist at these events.

Join Rider Development pathway now

Applications for The Pony Club’s Rider Development Pathway (RDP) close next Monday, February 22, so apply today if you want a stepping stone to success in Dressage, Show Jumping or Eventing

Supported by the Sport England funded BEF Excel Talent Programme, the RDP is designed to aid the development of Pony Club Members who show the ability to progress in the Olympic disciplines and provides opportunities for young riders working towards the British Equestrian Federation’s Sport England funded Excel Talent Programme and the UK Sport Funded World Class Programme.

The RDP is open to all Pony Club Members aged 12 or over, who fulfil the criteria, for their age bracket in their chosen discipline. Members apply to attend one of ten Regional Assessment Days, where three riders are selected to go forward to the RDP Camp.

Pony Club members on RDP course

Pony Club members on a Rider Development Pathway course

At the RDP Camp, riders receive a weekend of mounted and dismounted coaching from experts in the equine field, before six riders are selected to form the RDP Squad; who receive enhanced learning opportunities, including coaching from industry specialists to help improve all aspects of their performance, such as goal setting, equine nutrition and promoting them­­­selves using social media.


Bedfordshire South Branch Pony Club Member Samantha Wuidart was selected for the 2015 RDP Squad, and commented: “When I applied for the RDP I had just started competing at elementary level dressage so the world of FEI Pony Tests seemed a million miles away.
“The opportunities and training I have received have given me the confidence and motivation to train to medium level.”

Samantha’s goal for 2016 was achieved when she competed in an FEI Pony Dressage competition at Addington Manor Equestrian Centre; finishing in a pleasing sixth place with a mark of 66 per cent.  She has now set her sights on competing to an even higher level, and her next aim is to compete in a Premier League competition.
Samantha continued “I didn’t think this would be possible eight months ago when my pony and I started our RDP journey!”

Fellow RDP Squad Member Holly Lucas, who belongs to the Peak Branch of The Pony Club, said: “The whole RDP scheme has been such an incredible experience. I have been able to have extra training with some fantastic coaches which has been extremely beneficial.”

Through the scheme, Holly had also accessed support to begin training for the prestigious Pony Club A Test; the highest qualification a Member can gain in The Pony Club.

Further information about the Rider Development Pathway, including criteria and application process, can be found at www.pcuk.org/training/riderdevelopmentpathway or by contacting Jackie Minihane: Jackie@pcuk.org or 02476 698305