Strong support: Smythesdale’s team is one of the larger pony clubs in the area with about 35 members. Photos: ROWENA LYNCH

In it to win for Pony Club’s survival

October 18, 2020 BY

UNABLE to run this year’s horse trials, gymkhana and combined training days, Smythesdale and District Pony Club have launched an online raffle as an alternative fundraiser.

District commissioner, Claire Kent said the committee has found the COVID era frustrating, but they have thought creatively to survive, selling 1049 tickets for $10, to win an iPhone 11 Pro.

“We have to earn some money to keep our club running. We’re hoping we can raise as much money as we would at our events,” she said.

“The prize is worth $1749. The ticket price is not a lot to ask to keep our club alive, and help us cover the expenses we still have to pay.

“We’ve got a healthy number of riders; about 35 members. That’s strong for a pony club in this day and age.”

During lockdown periods, Smythesdale and District Pony Club moved activities online. Children riding their horses at home have filmed themselves completing obstacle courses, dressage tests and pole work to share with their instructors and peers.

“It’s interactive. What we would normally do at a rally, we task them to do at home, and send it in so we can see how they’re going,” Ms Kent said.

“We’ve got coaching online, and they’re continuing with their certificate work. It’s really important for the riders to gain achievements and work their way through the Pony Club Victoria syllabus.

“We run our horsemanship, which is basically horse theory, online as well. Even when we go back to face-to-face rallies, that will be virtual, so we’re trying to continue to adapt to the climate where we can.”

The raffle will be drawn on Sunday, 20 December at the Woady Yaloak Equestrian Centre during the club’s last rally for the year.

“We’re trying to adapt to the times, every little bit of support helps, and we think It would make a good Christmas present.”

One hundred tickets have been released. Visit