Seventy-seven riders compete at Vines Pony Club One Day Event

Vines Pony Club held its first One Day Event in four years at its Oakville grounds on Sunday, June 17.

The event attracted 77 riders not only from Vines’ own home zone – Zone 26 –  but from zones right across the state. 

Members of clubs from as far as Megalong Valley, Mangrove Mountain, Mt. Sugarloaf, Singleton, Tall Timbers and Watagans travelled to take part on the day.

Visitors enjoyed the welcoming warm campfire on the Saturday night prior to the event, and both riders and spectators enjoyed the event’s sunny weather.

All riders were aged between five and 25 years old and completed all three phases of the one day event – dressage, showjumping and cross country – on ponies and horses up to 17hh.

The dressage tests were held on the club’s three dressage 20m by 60m arenas, with each test only taking a few minutes to perform.

During the cross country phase, combinations tackled about twenty five fixed jumps including logs, ditches, bridges and water.

Riders were also required to ride up and down hills and banks, in courses that were approximately 2km in length.

The jumps varied in heights and difficulty depending on the grades of the horse and rider combination. These grades are decided on grading days before the competition by an official Pony Club instructor, with some riders jumping 60cm jumps and some taking on obstacles up to 1.05m.

The course was very twisty and undulating, resulting in only a couple of riders able to avoid incurring time penalties for riding too slowly.

The final phase, showjumping, was also fun for competitors and competition on the day was fierce but friendly.

It was a challenging and fun day; some riders got lost and one had a fall into the icy muddy water of the water jump, but still emerged with a smile on her face. No one was injured and the majority of people, if not all, had a very memorable and enjoyable day, according to organisers.

“The food in the canteen was delicious; some parents even cooked homemade toffees, cakes and slices,” a statement from organisers said.

“Vines Pony Club would like to thank the riders and their parents, volunteers, judges and sponsors including members of Zone 26 Pony Club, Horseland, Nominate, Riverview Produce, Sydney Equestrian Supplies, Tate’s Tyres and Turtle Nursery all of whom contributed to the day’s success.”

The Vine Pony Club grounds are used most weekends, and Pony Club usually meets on the first and third Sunday of the month with Zone, Area and State events held other weekends.

NSW is currently considering opening Pony Club to riders of all ages, the statement said.