The Pony Club is reporting a rise in tetrathlon — running, shooting, riding and swimming — thanks to the exposure of modern penthathlon (which also includes fencing) at last summer’s Olympics Games.
Many former Pony Club tetrathletes have been successful in the discipline, including Mhairi Spence, who represented Britain in London.
“There seems to be an appetite for disciplines that have traditionally been more niche, such as tetrathlon,” said a Pony Club spokesman.
Though central figures are not available, some branches are reporting a surge in interest.
Jacqui Morgan, district commissioner for the South Pembrokeshire Hunt branch, said they’ve seen a “big interest” in the sport.
“Once a group of them start, more follow and it’s especially popular with boys,” she told H&H.
“We hosted a tethrathlon competition in October that attracted 50 children, and as a result we’re running a winter series in January and February.
“For the younger members, there’s beanbag throwing instead of shooting,” she added.
The Lancaster and District branch has run some pentathlon/tetrathlon development days — with help and support from the governing body, Pentathlon GB — with more planned to introduce children to the sport.
“Niche sports such as tetrathlon are an unparalleled opportunity for young people, especially as Pony Club usually delivers them at minimal cost,” said James Helyer, chairman of tetrathlon.
“I would like to like to think that the Pony Club tetrathlon is promoting a legacy in niche sports for its grass roots members. Some of our recent success are a measure of this — such as Coral Kennerley, who who has now been selected by Wales for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.”