Upper Valley Pony Club

Riders start the season with colourful new jumps

Upper Valley Pony Club

Colourful new jumps

Riders start the season with colourful new jumps

The members of Upper Valley Pony Club are excited to saddle up and get jumping thanks to a grant for $1,500 from the Hutt Mana Charitable Trust. 

“This season is going to be amazing. With the funding, we purchased 40 new poles, which means we now have a full set of bright new jumps for our arena,” says Ness Ingerson, Club Secretary. 

Upper Valley Pony Club attracts children from the ages of 5 to 16 and now has over 30 members. From September through to April, the club holds weekly rallies that teach children how to stay safe, how to manage their horses, and they quickly grow their riding skills. 

“It’s been amazing for us to replace our jumps because our gear was getting really old,” says Ness. “It’s made such a difference to how our club looks and feels.”

Building a riding community

The pony club gives children and families the opportunity to come together, learn new skills, share knowledge, and have lots of fun. Some families have been riding for years, but others come to the club not knowing much about riding or horses at all. 

Club President Claire McClay says the weekly rallies give children skills and knowledge, starting from the basics right through to instructor level, with high level dressage and show jumping. 

“We also hold camps, annual shows, events and the kids make great friends. It’s been so wonderful to get the grant and be able to upgrade our jumps. By looking professional, it’s really helped us grow our membership,” says Claire. 

Every new rider brings parents with a new set of skills and knowledge into the club and they rely on their volunteers to keep the grounds and equipment maintained and looking tip top. 

“We got the kids involved with painting our new jump poles. It was crazy, with paint everywhere, but they really enjoyed it and it’s made them so proud of their club,” says Claire. 

Funding the club

With its new show jumps, the arena looks bright and attractive and the committee are chomping at the bit to hold their first show. 

“Shows are an important fundraiser for us, so having nice gear, and a professional show jumping ring will be amazing and attract riders from all over the lower North Island,” says Ness. 

Their club also relies on memberships, local sponsorship, and donations. It was a welcome surprise to get a grant from the Hutt Mana Charitable Trust. 

“We didn’t think we would get funding, but we gave it a go and we were so surprised and relieved when it happened,” says Claire. “Persistence definitely pays off!”

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