Pony Club membership is suffering because of the credit crunch, treasurer Robin Danielli warned at the organisation’s 80th anniversary conference at Cheltenham racecourse on Wednesday, 4 March.

Mr Danielli said figures indicate the Pony Club will suffer a 10% drop in members in 2009 compared with 2008.

This means membership could drop from 34,500 to 31,000, which would result in a £100,000 revenue loss for headquarters.

“We can stand that for a year, but it’s untenable for longer,” said Mr Danielli.

“This is just the start of the economic downturn. The trend can only accelerate.”

He said larger branches should come through the downturn relatively unscathed, but there could be problems for small ones, or those in areas hit by unemployment.

Read this story in full, including the organisation’s plans for its 80th anniversary celebration, in the current issue of Horse & Hound (12 March, ’09)