Close-knit: The Rokewood group, including Imogen Tuffen, is the smaller of two pony clubs calling Woady Yaloak Equestrian Centre home. Photo: SUPPLIED

Strong bonds at Shire’s little Pony Club

August 11, 2020 BY

WITH eleven members in its group, Rokewood Pony Club is a small community.

But with riders between the ages of nine and 17, secretary Nadine Gass said it’s an inclusive space for young people of all abilities and experiences to bond, with their horses in tow.

“We provide support and riding instruction to children in a safe environment, and we cater for everybody,” she said.

“They bring their own horses along, have three or four lessons and work on flat riding, show jumping, cross country, games, grid and theory.

“They work through certificates and get a reward for them to show that they’ve completed theoretical or practical demonstrations.”

Although not a big group, Ms Gass said the social side of her club is one of its strengths.

Tamsin Murphy

“Because we’re small, riders get to know each other better and develop closer friendships. A lot are friends outside, but met through Pony Club and catch up during the month.

“All our parents are fantastic. We’re so lucky that everyone’s friends and supports each other, and that’s the beauty of having such a small group,” she said.

Rokewood Pony Club meets for a rally on the first Sunday of every month, excluding January. Memberships are offered to riders as young as five.

Based at the Woady Yaloak Equestrian Centre, Smythesdale, they’re part of Pony Club Victoria’s Barwon zone and launched in 2001, originally based in Rokewood.

They usually facilitate one competition each year, the Pony Club and Open Combined Training Day, although this won’t run in 2020 due to COVID-19.

“Our fundraising efforts are a little bit hampered by that, but we’ll manage,” Ms Gass said.

Riders are welcome from anywhere in the region. They can try a rally to see if Rokewood Pony Club is for them before committing to a membership.

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Make contact via 0409 423 757 or [email protected].