The Pony Club (as it is called in the United Kingdom) was founded in England in 1929. It began primarily as junior groups of the numerous Hunt Clubs, to encourage young people to learn to ride and enjoy horse sports. The first overseas club was in Gibraltar. Today, Pony Club is represented in no less than 29 countries with a worldwide membership exceeding 110,000 making it the largest association of young riders in the world. The first recorded Pony Club in Australia was formed in Ingleburn, New South Wales in 1939 . The Pony Club Association of NSW was established in 1952 and Pony Clubs began in Victoria with the Mountain District Horse and Pony Club in Croydon, in 1944.Their aim was “Education and Entertainment” with Horsemastership being as important as Horsemanship. Membership was open to all irrespective of horse or rider ability. The Australian Horse Society was begun in 1950 and Equestrian Federation of Australia (EFA now Equestrian Australia) in 1951. The first meeting of the Victorian Pony Club Association was on January 13 1954. The name was soon changed to the Pony Club Association of Victoria. The aims of PCAV were to help the existing clubs provide instruction and organized activities, as well as facilitating links between Victorian clubs and the wider world.
Australian Pony Club Council
The first meeting of a potential national body was held on September 1st 1961, in Melbourne, thus easing the way for representatives from all states to attend. This meeting sounded out the possible formation of a federal association to endeavour to bring uniformity to the Pony Club movement throughout Australia. Initially an Advisory and Liaison Committee was set up, with Erik Kolle (from PCAV) as chairman; with elected representatives from each state. Tasmania’s clubs were at this stage part of PCAV. The ACT, Northern Territory and New Guinea were invited to be members. Today Pony Club Australia is recognised by Sport Australia as the National Sporting Organisation for Pony Club. Its members are the recognised State Sporting Organisations for Pony Club in each state and Territory. It is a not for profit organisation that encourages young people to ride and teaches them horsemanship and how to care for their horses through approximately 850 member clubs. Australia has embraced Pony Club with the largest Pony Club membership in the world with just under 55,000 financial members as reported in The Land Magazine September 2018.
Pony Club continues to innovate and expand its services to current and new memberships, 2019 saw the new and exciting Rider Centre affiliation program established whereby Riding Schools are able to become accredited providers of pony club for children and adults without their own ponies and horses who would like to experience the pony club culture.
The Equine Club are excited to be a founding affiliation of this amazing new innitiative and look forward to years or working with pony club to bring the joy of riding to those who do not own their own ponies and horses. The Equine Club became the first affilated program November 2019 and will roll out the new syllabus Febraury 2020.
Contact us below to get in touch and find out more about our exciting program.