This page gives the latest updates from The Pony Club's Interim CEO, Marcus Capel. You may also wish to check out the following pages:
- Help and Advice - advice from various bodies and answers to some frequently asked questions
- Reumption of Sports and Competitions - updates on the status of Pony Club competitions and information on what each sport has planned
Today there are no further updates in regard to the impact of changes in local Government guidance on Pony Club activities. www.pcuk.org continues to hold the latest advice and should you need a quick reference guide on the current situation please refer to the National COVID19 Restriction Summary Document.
Thank you to everyone who is working hard to keep activity going where possible and keeping our Members safe. I am however, acutely aware that some of you are not in such a fortunate position and all your activity has been halted. We hope that these periods of time are short but effective and you will soon be back out there enjoying Pony Club activities again.
Please remember we have our Online Resources Area where you will find many activities which might support Members through this restricted period. You can access this area via our website here.
We look forward to a time where we are all united again enjoying all activities.
The migration of data from Unity into PELHAM has been completed and the team are working hard to resolve issues where data has not been correct in Unity. The engagement from Branches and Centres has been excellent and most Branches and Centres have signed of the data and are using the system fully. Many are commenting on how the system has been easy to use and has already helped them ensure all their Member data is accurate and relevant. I urge you to log on and explore the system.
This continues to be one of the biggest projects rolled out across The Pony Club and the success of this has come from your engagement. New technology is not always easy, but we are grateful to everyone who has played their part in supporting this project. Let us give it the final push it needs to get us over the line and using PELHAM fully to benefit us all.
Virtual ‘Safeguarding for Equestrians’ Sessions
(in place of face-to-face courses)
I am thrilled that so many of our Coaches and volunteers have updated their safeguarding training requirement via our virtual training. Thank you to Stefanie Brazier who has been extremely busy ensuring we can offer dates and times suitable to as many people as possible.
Whether you need initial training or to refresh your knowledge these virtual programmes are for you. They cost £25 per person and we are running 13 programmes across November and December in the morning, afternoon or evening. To view dates and book online click here, make sure you scroll down the page.
Breaking News - 19th October
The Welsh First Minister has just announced the escalation of restrictions to apply to the whole of Wales, from 6pm on Friday 23rd October for a period of 17 days, until Monday 9th November.
The short, time-limited “firebreak” lockdown will be similar to the first lockdown in March, here are the 5 main points listed on the Welsh Government website to provide clarification:
- people must stay at home, except for very limited purposes
- people must not visit other households or meet other people they do not live with
- certain businesses and venues, including bars, restaurants and most shops must close
- secondary schools will provide learning online only for the week after half-term, other than for children in years seven and eight. Primary schools and childcare settings will remain open.
- face coverings continue to be mandatory in the indoor public spaces that remain open (subject to certain exemptions and exceptions), including on public transport and in taxis
Whilst professional sport can continue, organised sport cannot, this unfortunately means that all face to face Pony Club training and competition at Branches and Centres will be suspended in Wales from 6pm on Friday 23rd for 17 days, restarting on 9th November.
The Government has requested that all travel is limited where possible and whilst riding is not prohibited by the Government, they have stated all exercise must be undertaken alone or with members of your household. Therefore, it is important that Members safety is paramount at this time.
Due to the restrictions on travel the Welsh Government is advising that you should try to put in place alternative arrangements that do not involve travel if possible. Please visit the guidance for livestock and equine owners. They have also stated that whilst vets will be available, they should only be called for urgent treatment that cannot be deferred until after 9th November.
We all hope that Pony Club activities will be quick to resume after this temporary lockdown, therefore we encourage everyone to abide by the guidance and law and work to keep everyone safe.
GOV.wales firebreak FAQs
Dear members, parents, volunteers and staff,
I am really pleased to announce that plans for The Pony Club Championships 2021 have been approved this week. To plan for the eventuality of still working within COVID-19 guidelines, the Championships have been planned differently for 2021. They will be held at Offchurch Bury, near Leamington Spa, over a slightly extended period to minimise the total numbers on site each day. Offchurch Bury is a beautiful parkland setting with an undulating cross country course and in a central location.
- Friday 13th – Sunday 15th August - Polocrosse, Mounted Games and Tetrathlon
- Tuesday 17th – Sunday 22nd August - Dressage, Show Jumping, Eventing and Polo
Each sports committee will be responsible for their sport and we will make good use of online entries, timings and scoring. We are still exploring the best options for Horse and Pony Care, Centre Equitation and the Musical Ride competitions.
The Pony Club Championships will be preceded by the PC 110 Eventing Championships at the prestigious Festival of Eventing at Gatcombe on 5th – 6th August.
It is great to have The Pony Club Championships as a highlight of our sporting calendar. I hope this news will galvanise Branches, Centres and Members to set their sights high when defining their Pony Club goals and ambitions for next summer!
There is still much speculation of a complete lock down as a ‘circuit break’ to the virus and we will continue to monitor the latest from the Government, as I am sure everyone is.
As of today, The Pony Club will continue to run under our COVID-19 Operational Plan in line with the new tier system in the UK. In Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales activities can continue unless there are travel restrictions imposed. Pony Club activities are not essential travel, but some restricted areas are allowing travel for organised sport.
I will continue to update our National COVID19 Restriction Summary document weekly, so please view this (download link above) for what level of activity is allowed under Government guidance and law in each nation. It is all of our responsibility to keep everyone within our Pony Club community safe.
Dear Members, families, volunteers and staff,
This week, I want to reassure Members that The Pony Club continues to work in collaboration with British Equestrian and its member bodies to ensure equestrian activities can continue as safely as possible. Our activities as a national sporting and training charity are organised sport and youth work run in a COVID-19 secure environment. Branches and Pony Club Linked Centres are carrying out their activities in accordance with The Pony Club COVID19 Operational Plan and The Pony Club COVID19 Risk Assessment, alongside their existing risk assessments. I want to thank everyone for keeping within the guidance when attending activities and events. All our Branches and Centres are working so hard to put these on and their efforts are much appreciated. If you attend a venue to take part in Pony Club activities that has decided to adopt a stricter policy than that of the Government guidance, it is their right to do so and we advise all Members to follow the venue's rules in this instance.
We are all aware that across the country, restrictions are tightening, local lockdowns are becoming wider spread and now include central Scotland, northeast and northwest England, Birmingham and Leicester and north and south Wales. At this point the only changes to affect Pony Club activities are in; Scotland - Adult (18+) indoor group exercise activities are not allowed (more than 2 households / 6 members) this is a change to the previous guidance. Wales - the intention is to allow children to travel in or out of a lockdown area for sport. The First Minister has said the current regulations will be amended. I have summarised the latest news across the UK to support anyone looking for clarification on what they can and cannot do here.
For those budding jockeys amongst us and Pony Club Pony Racing fans, put the Qipco Virtual Champions Day on October 17th in your diaries! Whilst we cannot be there in person this year you can watch it online. There is a great Fan Zone area on their website to help you learn more about the sport of racing. You can download the horseracing handbook, packed full of activities and enjoy interviews with Tom Marquand, a previous Pony Club Member. They also have a great competition to enter, you could be in for a chance to win a new winter jacket! Visit their website here.