My pony club story
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For more than 80 years, young Australians have ridden, cared for and had fun with horses at their local pony club. Some have gone on to become Olympic equestrians; others remember it as a great time spent with friends (both two-legged and four).
Contributions will feature in the exhibition, which opens in Canberra in September 2014, and on our website. A small number of contributions may also be selected to be featured on the Australian Broadcasting Commission's (ABC's) Bush Telegraph website or radio program.
Ray18 Aug 2014
Guyra Pony Club has only ever been a small club with numbers varying from 22 in the 1960's to about 70 at it's peak. The average would be about 40. The Club had their first camp in 1959 and have run annually ever since. Guyra also has various activities throughout the year.We are only a small town of about 2500 residents plus the surrounding district. The club relies heavily on the rural people of the area and it's fortunes tend to fluctuate with the agricultural sector.
The sporting achievements of our club members,after progressing through the ranks,probably would be unrivaled any club in Australia. I will give a brief summary of the achievements with the member's names attached.
Dianne Newberry (nee Mulligan)
Many Royal Show Champions in Hacking and Riding Classes and ASHS Events including Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne. Also Director of ASHS.
Ray Mulligan, Phillip Snell Dean Mulligan and Peter Mills.
Numerous Australian Championships in various Rodeo events.Also between them they have represented Australia at Calgary Stampede as well as representing NSW and holding records in the timed events.
Campdrafting. Ray Mulligan rode for Qld in State of Origin Campdraft winning the Cut-Out.
Polocrosse: The Grills family have fourteen members who have represented Australia, both here and Overseas.Peter, Roger,Lucy, Jim, Ben, Brad, Adam, Dean, Abbott,Matthew, Gabby, Sarah and Rebecca have all been representatives.
Charlie Grills has also been a Coach for Australia when Overseas and coached Canada at the World Cup.
Harry Kirk, also a member of this family has played for Australia.
Tim & Gemma Rice won numerous Showjumping events(NSW Pony Club C'ships).
Neil Harvey (Home Member Armidale PC) Australian elite showjumper and Record Holder, always attended Guyra Pony Club Camp to gain extra instruction.
Lindsay Mulligan went on to make his mark as a topline cricketer representing : Australian Emus NZ tour 1973 & Australian Emus World tour 1974.
These are some of the sporting highlights of this small club and do not include many, many awards at regional and up to state level. Also, quite a number of very good riders have been unable to continue after leaving school due to career commitments. I believe the Guyra Pony Club can take a large amount of the credit for putting these members on the road to great achievement in the sporting world as well as being great citizens.
Kesley17 Aug 2014
Anne13 Aug 2014
When we moved to Perth in 1968, I didn't have my own horse, but rode at a riding school in Swanview, who kindly hired their horses to riders for pony club, WA Horsemans Pony Club. We would ride from the riding school in a large group to pony club, ride all day, and ride back to the riding school. I will always be grateful to Nancy Dear, the owner of the riding school, for giving me this opportunity. My last 2 years of pony club were spent on my own horse, much to my delight.
When my son came along some years later, he attended pony club from the age of 6, and I also gained my instructor's certificate,and spent many more years enjoying all that pony club has to give.
Horses in Australia is part of the National Museum's People and the Environment program. Discover more stories about people's relationships with Australia's natural and built environments on our People and the Environment website.