The annual Pony Club conference held recently at Warwick University saw more than 360 branches represented.

It was reported that membership is flourishing with nearly 40,000 children attending rallies and camps around the country.

Delegates heard that as the Pony Club enters the new century, it intends to build on its membership by encouraging more non-pony owners to become involved.

A scheme called Centre Membership enables riding schools to extend Pony Club membership to children who ride at their establishment. At present, 243 approved centres have joined the scheme. The target is to have 300 centre members by the end of 2001.

The new century is proving to be a time for change at Pony Club HQ with Tim Spencer-Cox retiring from his position as chairman. His successor is yet to be announced.

The Pony Club’s role in fighting the ongoing threat to the countryside was reiterated at the conference by director of political affairs and chairman of the Vale of Aylesbury hunt, John Gardiner. Mr Gardiner encouraged all Pony Club members to show their support by attending the Countryside March next spring.

The Pony Club will also be launching a new website to improve communication between head office and the branches.

Speakers at the event included former Pony Club members, the Olympic medallist Kate Allenby and Jeanette Breakwell.

For a full report see Horse & Hound issue dated 30 November.

Visit H&H Online’s new Pony Club forum to meet other members from all around the country.