Saddleview Pony Club, formerly known as Fernhill, recently held its annual prize-giving celebrations at The Commercial Tavern in Green Island, Dunedin. The club’s roots have been in the Greater Green Island area for more than four decades, with the past 20 years in Flower Street, Fairfield.
The branch held its 40-year celebrations in December 2016, and as well as the prizes awarded for turnout and attendance, a special commemorative sash was given to all members.
Long-term and loyal patrons, Robert (Bob) Fairhurst and his wife Toni, were also presented with a commemorative sash. Bob is the Founding President of the club and Toni was a founding member and coach back in 1976; three generations of their family have now been been involved. Bob’s speech at the prize-giving was filled with stories of the fun that he and Toni, their children and grandchildren have had at the club. He reiterated the benefits that pony club offers to riders and their families, and reminded everyone of the great life-skills that are gained through having a pony to take full responsibility for, to work with as a partner through highs and lows, and to have as a friend.
Bob and Toni’s support and commitment to Pony Club – and other activities that involve horses – is greatly appreciated and respected by the Saddleview committee: “The pony club committee feel it’s very important to respect and acknowledge the work of those before them, those who have worked hard and paved the way for the benefit of future generations. It is wonderful to see some of those people still heavily involved with the club decades later.”
SVPC membership numbers may not be as high as they have been in recent years, but members come and go; all clubs seem to experience these fluctuations. What the club might lack in membership numbers, it makes up for in enthusiasm, spirit and camaraderie, with a great bunch of members, a passionate committee and a team of experienced coaches. There are new ventures and plans for the coming seasons and the branch vows to continue with the same drive, spirit and integrity they have always had.
New members are very welcome, whether you have a pony or not, as there are NZPCA programmes available to cater for all.
Thank you to Kathy Fuller for contributing this article and Louise Lawrence for the photos. If you have news from your pony club you would like featured on our website, please email firstname.lastname@example.org