The Hong Kong Pony Club, an overseas branch of the British Pony Club, is a non-profit-making organization, which was set up to promote the riding and care of ponies by Hong Kong children, aged 5 to 21 years, and through this develop responsibility, moral judgment, leadership and self-confidence. It does this through fun activities as well as more serious training, but even the more serious side is approached in a way that brings out and hopefully enhances the enjoyment of the sport and its heroes, the horses and ponies.
The Pony Club has been running in Hong Kong since 1973 and in 1975 was registered independently as an Exempted Society and became affiliated to the Hong Kong Equestrian Federation. We have a current membership of about 150 members.
It is run largely by parents and volunteers, without whom it would very likely cease to exist. Through all our events we place a great emphasis on having the older, experienced members, generally over the age of 16, come to our events as volunteers and mentors. This is an extremely important part of the Pony Club as this is one of the main ways we help them develop skills such as responsibility, leadership and self-confidence.
What We Do
EFFICIENCY RALLIES/TESTS & ACHIEVEMENT BADGES
The Pony Club encourages members to take tests, which enable them to learn progressively about horse and pony care and riding. The tests are taken at recommended ages and are designed with certain objectives in mind.
These Stable Management rallies really are the backbone of the Pony Club. They are designed to teach our members how to care for horses and ponies in all areas from feeding to basic veterinary care to riding theory and everything inbetween.
These rallies are so important in Hong Kong as children generally only get to ride the ponies and do not have much opportunity to learn how to look after them. The rallies prepare them take them through a syllabus that teaches them stable management and general horse and pony care, both theory and practice, and also riding theory, such as the importance of rhythm and balance, what they mean and how to achieve them.
Time spent with a pony in the stable is invaluable and is how bonds are formed, and without that riding as a sport loses a lot of its unique value.
We believe that good horse people are the result of good educational programs. The unmounted program strives to develop knowledgeable, competent, well-prepared, responsible and dependable riders.
These are new to Hong Kong, and we hope to get them running at as many stables as possible. The achievement badges are designed to fill in the gap years between the D and the C Efficiency Tests and to give Pony Club members the opportunity to improve their general knowledge. On passing each test they are awarded a cloth achievement badge, which they can sew onto their Pony Club Hoodies or shirts. The idea is to cover the 'D' or ‘C’ Test Stable Management syllabus without the children realizing they are doing it!
These epitomize the fun side of the Pony Club. Gymkhana Games are fun, fast and fantastic! Of course, in Hong Kong they can also be quite hairy! Our ponies are not quite as used to all this fast fun as those for example, in the UK, but we adapt as needed to make sure that both safety and fun are paramount. The mounted games are designed to be exciting for the spectator and rider alike and encourage good horsemanship, skills and balance without the need for ‘specialist horses or ponies’.
The unmounted games provide all the fun without the need of the ponies!! Getting the parents involved in events such as a Mum’s sack race or a Dad/Child three-legged race provides ample opportunities for laughter!
These are fun events where the children ride round a course of poles and cones. Traditionally it has been for the younger riders and is held once a year at Pokfulam Riding School. This year we are holding a second Cone Scurry at Pokfulam for older kids who, having watched the fun the younger ones have had, have requested we hold one for them. We are also planning on holding another Cone Scurry at TMPRS.
This is a very prestigious international team event for riders of an advanced level who are aged 17 and above. This exchange runs every two years and is hosted on a rotational basis by the countries involved. In 2009 (postponed to 2010) Hong Kong hosted the event to great success. Unfortunately we were not able to hold it in Hong Kong but instead held at Camelot Country Club and Riding Resort. The following IPE took place in New Zealand where the Hong Kong team performed well against some very advanced riders. In 2013 the IPE was held in Australia and we are sent a team of 4 riders who did a great job, the competition was as always very high and our riders performed very well. 2015 we saddly weren't able to send a team but are hoping to put a team together for the 2017 trip to the USA Please read the HKPC Blog to hear all about it. www.hkpcblog.com
This has been postponed due to lack of volunteers to help organise it.
This is a new event we are hoping to start this year. There will be a number of quizzes held over the year, leading to a final. The quiz is primarily educational and intended to help them study towards their Pony Club Tests, but in a fun environment. All the questions will be based on the Pony Club testing system. This is a good event for the HKPC as we will not have to deal with the issues of horse hire and paddock space.
This event only runs if we have people willing to take on organising it, with our help, so if you are willing and able please let us know.
Annual Horse Show
We try to run this every year but are limited to when the riding stables can give us ponies and horses. Usually the show is held at Tuen Mum Riding Stables, but in 2015 we held it at Beas River, which although an incedibly hot day, was also a lot of fun. We had members from lead rein level to HKJC junior team members taking part in jumping and and obstacle/handy rider class.
Traditionally the Philip Day Memorial Challenge has been held at this show and a member of the Day family comes Hong Kong to present the prizes. The Philip Day Cup is a two round competition over a technically demanding course of jumps at a height of 1 metre. The Philip Day Bowl Competition at a height of 80cm. Kendall Kruger is the reigning champion of the Philip Day Cup.
Pony Club Camps
There are three main camps held during the year, these are our flagship camps and are run by the Pony Club. Mixed Camp and Junior Camp are held at Tuen Mun Public Riding School (TPRS) and our Senior Camp which is held at Beas River Equestrian Centre (BREC). Individual Private riding stables also hold their own pony club camps; these are organized and run by those Riding Schools/Clubs.
The instruction at all camp is given by British Horse Society Qualified instructors, or by instructors training for their BHS teaching exams. Where the instructors are training for their teaching exams, they are overseen by a trained instructor. We also have older members who wish to work towards their BHS exams assisting the qualified instructors to get experience.
Encouraging the older members to volunteer to help at camps is on the most important aspects of the Pony Club. Our mentoring program at the camps gives the older members the opportunity to ‘give back’ to the HKPC and the community by sharing their knowledge and experience with the younger campers. It is also very beneficial for the younger members to have role models to learn from. Below is an outline of the three main PC camps.
This has traditionally been held at Beas River and is a residential camp for members aged 12+ and are able to Walk, Trot and Canter with balance and confidence as well as jump a small course, 60-80cm. The members ride twice and attend two lectures each day. Generally finishing with a competition on the final day.
Apart from the beauty of the surroundings and the general high level of facilities at Beas River, one of the great attractions of holding the Senior Camp there is the opportunity for the riders to train over a X-country course, something that very few young riders get to do in Hong Kong unless they regularly ride at Beas River. This is very important looking ahead to the future of Hong Kong riders. In order for Hong Kong to continue putting together teams of riders to represent Hong Kong, there needs to be a well defined training program that starts when the children are young.
This a non-residential camp that is held at TPRS for all Pony Club members from age 6 and up. There are generally between 35 and 45 children at this camp. The members are divided into groups according to ability. This camp also gives the younger members the chance to watch and learn from the older members, and gives the older members the opportunity to help and mentor the younger members. The children ride twice a day and attend stable management training sessions, lectures and talks and horsey arts and crafts. The beginner riders are allocated mentors who help them tack up, muck out, groom etc. The mentors are overseen by parents who are responsible for specific groups of children.
This camp, held at TPRS is open to riders aged 6-12 inclusive. Again, riders are grouped according to ability and work with a partner. The emphasis is on fun activities that teach the younger children to work safely with their horses. The format is very similar to Mixed camp, but there are generally only about 25 places at Junior Camp