After 18 years as National Coach of the NZ Pony Club Association, Kevin Lawrence has finally called it a day, announcing that he will stand down from his role – which he has held since 1998 – on December 31.
Kevin, who has his British Horse Society instructor’s qualification, has been a driving force for Pony Club for many years and has helped to shape riders and coaches all over the country. He has also spent countless hours behind the scenes helping the NZPCA to attain its vision and mission. One of his significant achievements was updating Manuals 1 and 2 and rewriting Manual 3 to ensure they continued to meet requirements.
On the announcement of his resignation, he said, “I feel it has been an honour to have been a National Coach [NAT] and I truly value the time I have spent in that role. I know I have gained much, and in turn would like to think that I have contributed positively to the organisation. Being an NAT has taken me to places throughout New Zealand that I may well have not otherwise visited and of course I have made contact with so many amazing people – riders, parents, coaches, volunteers – there are so many people who just give so much in time and effort to Pony Club.
“I do need to make special mention of my fellow NATs who are always wonderfully supportive of each other and committed to being role models to other coaches and ambassadors for NZPCA.
“I will of course continue to support and promote NZPCA at every opportunity. It is a wonderful organisation with so much to offer, not just to riding members but also to helpers, parents, coaches and the wider community, who are all enriched by their involvement. I believe the future looks bright for Pony Club and that it is in a good place to move positively forward.”
Kevin’s last task as National Coach will be to examine at the South Island A&H exams in February but he will remain part of the National Coaching Advisory Panel.
Originally from Havelock in Marlborough, Kevin now resides at Lincoln, near Christchurch. He has extensive coaching experience in New Zealand, England, and Australia, holds a Diploma in Adult Education and Training, as a List 3 judge, has been very involved in the Royal Agricultural Society.
Kevin had a successful competition career, eventing nationally to two-star level, show jumping to B grade, and schooling and competing on a number of dressage horses up to Intermediate 1 level, representing New Zealand in the 1996 International Derby at the Queensland Dressage Championship, where he was second on Hilltop Otis. He was also employed as stable manager at Fulmer Riding Centre in Buckinghamshire, has broken in a number of horses and ponies. And, as the holder of an owner/trainer licence, he worked in racing stables and trained a winner in Australia.
He has always been interested in the development of riders and coaches, and in the progressive and systematic schooling of horses at all levels. His coaching philosophy is that the way of going of the horse or pony is simply a reflection of the rider.
Many pony clubbers have enjoyed meeting and spending time with Kevin: he has been a big influence in many people’s lives.
All the best with your “retirement” Kevin!