Wednesday 2nd March
Today its annual conference at Aintree Racecourse has heard how the most comprehensive review of the Pony Club since inception had been conducted, in consultation with the organisation’s volunteers and members.
The Pony Club ‘roundel’, most regularly seen on its badge, with tudor rose design and central horse illustration flanked by spokes, is now notably streamlined with a design that depicts what the organisation offers, whilst still ‘tipping its hat’ to the traditions that will always underpin the organisation. The new look is part of a new continuous review.
The Pony Club’s chief executive Pip Kirkby, who was recruited from The Jockey Club, another long-standing British equestrian institution which underwent a modernisation in recent times, comments:
“The Pony Club is an icon of British society. Its timeless values and history are loved by all who are a part of it. At its core, the Pony Club is about young people having fun.
“Refreshing our ‘brand’ allows us to represent ourselves in a more modern way, while respecting our heritage and remembering what makes the Pony Club ‘great’. We need to move forward in order to continue to be inviting to both our current members as well as potential new recruits.
“The review emphasises everything that is wonderful about the Pony Club, our traditions such as camp, our amazing alumni many of whom are household names and our incredible volunteers”.
“We want the refreshed brand to re-introduce the Pony Club to those who know and love what is great about it as well an introducing it to those who are yet to benefit from the fun at rallies and camps, as an integral part of what makes the Pony Club a part of British fabric and society.”
Still a largely volunteer led organisation, the Pony Club is for anyone aged from four to 25 years and including those with and without their own horses and ponies. As well as incredible opportunities for riding and care of horses and ponies, it also offers social development and the chances to make friendships; as well as forming part of the rider pathway up into the Olympic disciplines.
Acting as a grassroots breeding ground for talent, an incredible number of equestrian athletes including Olympians have started their careers in Pony Club, including the entire Olympic silver medal winning team of Zara Phillips, Nicola Wilson, Tina Cook, William Fox-Pitt & Mary King.
“I have great memories of my time in the Pony Club, where I learnt so much, whilst at the same time having great fun” comments Nicola Wilson, international event rider, Olympic medallist and former Pony Club member. “As an organisation, it is ideally placed to promote the highest ideals of sportsmanship and loyalty, whilst at the same time creating character and self-discipline, which I know has helped me in my career as an event rider. I fully endorse the re-fresh of the Pony Club brand as this will only further strengthen its appeal to the modern day young rider.”
Whilst a refreshed brand is the first phase, the project is part of a much wider membership campaign that see’s the Pony Club moving forward and re-positioning itself to be relevant to both its existing and potential members; the implementation of the Unity database system, also launched at the annual conference, is complementary to this.
Mary King, international event rider, Olympic medallist and former Pony Club member, said: “The Pony Club was a huge part of my younger life, everything revolved around the events, rallies, shows and quiz nights. I could not wait to hear of what was coming up for the school holidays. I hope the refreshed brand will mean it can continue to offer these benefits to a whole new audience for many years to come.”