The Objectives of The Pony Club

  • to encourage young people to ride and to learn to enjoy all kinds of sport connected with horses and riding
  • to give instruction in riding and horsemastership and to educate Members to look after and to take proper care of their animal
  • to promote the highest ideals of sportsmanship, citizenship and loyalty to create strength of character and self-discipline
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Autumn Newsletter for DC Sally Williams

Hi All

Well, it’s been a mixed the last few months between equine flu and weather.

First off, can I say a big, GET WELL SOON JIM! We are all thinking of you.

For those that don’t know, Jim is one of our younger members. He has been very ill in hospital but I am pleased to hear from his mum that he has turned the corner and is on the mend. I look forward to seeing him back at Pony Club even if he is only on foot. Thank you to everyone who kindly donated to give the whole family a trip to Chester Zoo – it will be something they can look forward to. I have also been told that he has received his card and loved that his pony club friends had all signed it and that it perked him up. If you have not yet donated but you still wish to do so, then please get in contact with me at:

Well done to those that took part in any of the Area Competitions, with mixed results but all trying their best. I was really pleased with everyone at the Area Dressage, with some novice combinations who appeared to be nervous but trying their best and getting some nice scores, with a few even getting into the placings. This year for the first time in the Area Show Jumping, there were classes

for the lower heights giving younger or more novice members a taste of what it’s like to go to Area Competitions.

The Pony Club 90th Anniversary Celebration was on Saturday 3rd of August, and a few of us got together at Marshbarn and had a barbeque. We took some pictures which were sent to the Pony Club Office, and thank you to those that came; we had a lovely time to just socialise.

Next came Camp which went very well with a good turn out and everyone enjoying it. The food was great as usual (thank you, Liz). The night line was very wet due to the number of water-pistols in action, but thankfully it was very warm. We had a good talk on farriery by Jake Preece, and had our film night which included both BIG SCREEN and POPCORN! A mystery Unicorn (see the video on Facebook and hopefully the website) turned up one night and caused havoc with our fun unicorn competition! And we finished with our competition on the last day, unfortunately cut short by the weather.

We were then due to have a Show Jumping team and the Musical Ride at the Flower Show but due to the weather both were cancelled, so we looked forward to the Championships. But a few days later that also had to be cancelled due to the wet weather and ground conditions. We had some very sad competitors from both Polocrosse and the Musical Ride who had all worked really hard to get there.

Thankfully we managed to get the Musical Ride in at Minsterley Show at the last minute, where they looked absolutely fab in their costumes and performed very well. They were all pleased with how they had done, and there were even a few tears amongst some of the parents. We then heard that Pony Club were running a Musical Ride Championship to be entered by video, so we did this at Marshbarn and Beccy sent it off to the Pony Club Office. We came 8th.

Dallas Burston then said that they would be running a Polocrosse Tournament to replace the Championships on the weekend of the 14th September. As most of you will have seen on Facebook there were fab results for the United Pack members once again. Also well done to Jess Clarke, Philip Watney and Scarlett Gibson for getting into the teams for the Polocrosse Home internationals. I have heard good reports and they all played well. Also to Philip for his place in the UK Polocrosse team against South Africa. We continue to show great strength in this discipline.

In August we had two half day rallies, one at Jenny Huffer’s at Clunton, and the other at my place (Marshbarn). Both were well attended and everyone enjoyed their day.

On another note, WELL DONE! to Izzy Ellis on passing her B Test. She worked hard before the Test and Beccy got an excellent report from the assessors about Izzy’s knowledge and riding ability, and how polite and nice she was to talk to.

STOP PRESS: We’ve just heard that Holly Mehta and Libby came 3rd out of 12 against good competition in the 128cm race at the Pony Club Race Day at Wolverhampton Racecourse on 22nd September. Well done Holly!

We are now coming into the winter months when we will still have things going on i.e. Club Nights, Rallies and extra Training. I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at these things which keep us going into the next year.

It seems much too early, but this programme runs to the end of 2019, so



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Winter Preparation Awareness and Advice from Head Coach Beccy Fitter

Winter will soon be upon us and there are some things that, as horse/pony owners we all need to be aware of.


Acorns – This is a bumper year for acorns which if eaten by horses can cause colic (Stomach Ache). Often signified by sweating, kicking the stomach and in severe cases rolling. If in doubt call your vet as colic is a serious condition that can be fatal. The best and least time-consuming way of dealing with them is to either move fields (if this is an option) or electric fence around the trees branch perimeter allowing for the wind blowing them too. The most time consuming way is to go and pick them up, daily! Acorns should be clear by the beginning of December.

Sycamore – Atypical Myopathy is caused by eating sycamore seedling in the spring and “helicopter” seeds in the autumn. This is a VERY severe and usually fatal poisoning. Visible symptoms are stiff/reluctant to walk, depressed/sedated demeanour, sweating/trembling and racing pulse (average resting pulse is 35 – 45bpm). This is not one to wait before calling a vet. As with acorns, the best way of dealing with these seedlings is to change fields or fence around the trees. Because of the shape of the seeds they can be carried a good distance if it’s windy.

Ragwort – Although the main ragwort season is past, the ones that remain are now dying back. As the plant dies it not only becomes more palatable but more toxic as well. The easiest removal technique is to put on a pair of gloves, and dig them up before burning them.

Laminitis – This year has been a particularly good year for grass growth and has resulted in great number of laminitis cases. There is a grass growth flush in October where the sugar levels in the grass are as high as they are in the spring so it’s worth keeping a continued eye on your pony’s weight and condition. Restricting grazing and keeping the exercise levels up

will help to minimise the risk of developing laminitis which is many cases will need veterinary intervention and a large amount of aftercare. Prevention is easier than cure especially as once they’ve had it, they are likely to be prone to get it again.


Hay/Haylage – Whether your horse/pony lives in or out through the winter they will need extra food in the form of hay or haylage. Hay is available locally and can be fed to most. Some ponies will need to have it damped/soaked if they have a dust allergy to help alleviate the symptoms. Haylage is easily available and whilst in many ways is easier to deal with and less messy is also not suitable to be fed to ponies. Haylage has a much higher sugar level than hay due to when and how it is produced which can in turn not only give ponies LOTS of energy(!) but can also encourage weight gain, laminitis (especially in ponies with Equine Metabolic Syndrome) It also can’t be fed in the same quantities as for the same reasons. Whilst a pony can quite go without food for up to 8hrs it’s not recommended due to the risk of colic and stomach ulcers so if you’re unsure go for hay. Remember to buy the best quality you can. Good hay should smell sweet and fresh NOT musty, damp and dusty. If you want to know suppliers of hay or haylage please do ask.

Water – As with people, horses need constant access to water so if it’s frozen or frosty the water buckets/ drinkers need to have their ice layer broken and removed every day. Don’t forget to insulate pipes so they don’t freeze and then burst.

Shelter/rugs – whilst they don’t need to live in, ponies do need to have some form of shelter out of the elements whether this is a big hedge, tree or man-made shelter. Likewise for rugs, many don’t need to wear a rug but with the weather we are now experiencing it is often useful to have a lightweight rug available. However once you’ve started using a rug you will probably have to continue using it, as the coat is no longer such a good insulator once it’s been flattened and smoothed out by the rug, so the pony will feel the cold more.

If you have any questions about winter care, please don’t hesitate to ask one of us!


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October Programme

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November Programme

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December programme

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July Newsletter

Hi All

It’s that time again for the Newsletter and Programme.

First of all, I would like to start with a reminder that when coming to any rallies or training you should be wearing either your PC sweatshirt or Polo shirt, absolutely NO HOODIES OR COATS WITH HOODS OUT. Also, a reminder to please help instructors by poo picking arenas and car park. As I have said before if we get charged by Caroline for not cleaning up we will have to pass this cost on to you.

On a better note we have had a lot going on over the last few months once the equine flu cleared up, including Day rallies, Le Trec, a Clinic, Mounted Games, Cross Country, the list goes on! We’ve also got a number of new instructors who you’ll start meeting at rallies. A couple are more experienced and a couple are junior instructors. All are lovely and are good at what they do so please make them welcome.

I would like to say a massive thank you to all those that helped at the 2-Day Mounted Games Competition. It is our major fund raiser for the year and we could not do it without you. The money raised goes towards subsidising camp, rallies, training sessions, club nights and Area Competitions entry fees. If your children are attending any of these then you are benefiting from the fundraising so PLEASE DO COME AND HELP.

There have been a lot of requests for a BEACH RIDE at Ynyslas this year so it is being organised for 14th July by Sarah Brown. Please contact her for more details (, and book in on the booking form so we have a rough idea of numbers. The tides couldn’t be more perfect so arriving around 11am, there will be a slow ride in the morning and for those who want to, a faster ride in the afternoon. We need a couple of adults on horses to chaperone please so any volunteers would be welcomed!! Weather permitting, there will be a BBQ so please bring something to put on it, and then the day will be finished with cake.

We are very lucky to have been invited to two activities organised by the United Pack Hunt. These are first a chance in July to go out on hound exercise on bikes, followed by a BBQ at the Kennels. Sadly you have to be at least 8 years old to do this – but you can come to the BBQ however old you are. And second, a morning in August either hound exercising, or a Pony Club members only mini Autumn Hunting morning. Grown-ups are only allowed if they are chaperoning PC members!

We are now looking forward to the upcoming Area Competitions (Show Jumping, Eventing and Dressage) and then Camp in August. There’s a lot being planned for camp so please get your forms to me as soon as possible so we make sure we have enough instructors, unicorns, blindfolds etc.

From July the booking forms need to be sent to Nicola Fitter whose details can be found at the top of this newsletter and on the booking forms. She can only be contacted through email or snail-mail, not Facebook messenger as she doesn’t use it.

Our Treasurer Canty Williams sadly feels that the time has come for her to step down. The Branch thanks her very much for everything she has done for us, and welcomes Louise Watney who has offered to take her place. She should be contacted about all requests for paying for rallies etc by BACS.

Finally a BIG congratulations to Jess Clarke and Philip Watney who have been selected to play in the PC Home international Polocrosse tournament. Jess will be representing Wales and Philip will be representing Scotland. We will be waiting to hear how they get on, Watch This Space…

Looking forward to see as many of you as possible at Camp.


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July 2019 Programme

2019 July Programme

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August 2019 Programme

2019 August Programme<<Click here to download the August booking form>>

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September 2019 Programme

2019 Sept Programme

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Report on our activities in Spring 2019

Day Rallies
We had a fab day rally at Ferney Hall at Onibury by kind permission of the Fitzwilliam-Lay family. The weather was scorching and fun was had with a picnic, pairs jumping, an Easter Egg hunt and a (voluntary) race. We’ve been invited back so are looking forward to holding another one there.

The half term day rally wasn’t so lucky with the weather sadly. We got a little damp in the morning but everyone enjoyed themselves messing around in the river, were competitive with a scavenger hunt and of course finished with another (voluntary) race. The rally was kindly hosted by Huffer family who are happy to have us back in the future.

Clinic – Dressage & Show Jumping
We ran our first clinic at Easter for both Dressage & Show Jumping with Richard Hayward and Ben McClumpha. It was rather a chilly day but everyone who came enjoyed the sessions and showed big improvements in both horse and rider performance. We are hoping to run more of these in the future so please let me or Beccy know if there any coaches you would like us to try and book. It would have been nice to see more of our members on the day as many of the places were taken up by other branch and riding club members. This is a great opportunity for fantastic coaching at unbeatable prices.

2 Day Games Competition
What a brilliant competition this year. We had lovely weather for the weekend and around 44 teams took part including a couple of teams from Ireland. There was a lovely friendly atmosphere, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

Area Horse and Pony Care Competitions
We took 2 teams to the Atherstone this year to compete in the Area HPC competition – a Mini (under 10years) and a junior (under 13yrs). Both teams were very inexperienced but came a creditable 16th out of 20+ teams and were complimented on their teamwork and how well they worked around the ponies. Now looking forward to next year with training starting in October.

Area Mounted Games Competitions
We had 2 teams competing at the Area games competition this year, one junior and one senior. Both teams rode well with tough competition from some strong branches. The seniors came 4th, just missing out on Zone qualification with the juniors coming 5th. Good riding from all involved with lots to aim for next year.

The Shropshire County Show
We were asked by the County Show Team to put on a display in the main ring for the show. We decided to do a games competition and invited 4 other teams to join us, who were Flint and Denbigh, Wynnstay (WWW), North Shropshire and the Rockwood Harriers, who brilliantly came all the way from Yorkshire. Whilst we did some of the regular games we also did some of the more unusual ones like the Big Sack Race (the whole team in one sack, which the United need to practice…a lot!!) and the Balloon Race (involving popping balloons from your pony) which added to the excitement level for both the competitors as well as the audience. We’re very grateful that we were asked to organise it and hopefully we can do it again next year as this was a great showcase for both the United Pack and the Pony Club as a whole.

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