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
- Creative Activities - activity ideas for members, branches and centres, as well as links to shared resources
- Sports and Competitions - updates on the status of Pony Club competitions and information on what each sport has planned
In preparation for the lock down easing and the resumption of activities The Pony Club has created an operational plan, which has been designed to guide our members, branches, centres, staff and volunteers on the journey to resume all activities over time. At the heart of our phased approach is the welfare and safety of everyone involved in The Pony Club.
To download the plan please click below:
Dear Members, families, volunteers and staff,
This week we launched our new webinar series, Centres Connect, for our Pony Club Linked Centres. The first episode was called ‘Embracing Change Together’ and has been designed to offer support and share best practice in these changing times. We have received a great response to the content and for proprietors who haven’t seen it, please check your emails for the link to watch the recording. It has also been great to see many Centres starting up activities with socially distanced riding bubbles and unmounted activities.
I would like to say a huge thank you to all our District Commissioners and their dedicated committees. As the holidays are upon us many Branches have been working extremely hard to run activities for members. They have been adapting to their new normal and have been focused on keeping everyone safe whilst having lots of fun. In the office we have started work on online resources and training for volunteers and Branch officials to support all their hard work.
As I mentioned last week, queries about your membership should be made in the first instance to your DC or Centre Proprietor. If you need to directly contact the office, please dial the office number and press 1 for membership.
Latest Government Advice - Team Sports
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has given the green light for the team sports of Mounted Games and Polocrosse to resume, following their approval of plans submitted by British Equestrian and The Pony Club.
The Return to Equestrian Team Sports Action Plan and the sport-specific action plans and risk assessments are available here.
In addition, Polo can also start running under HPA guidelines which can be viewed here.
Devolved Government Update
The latest guidance from Scotland allows a coach to teach more than 4 households in a day. We anticipate from 24th August outdoor contact sport will be allowed.
The latest announcement from Wales is that, from Monday, up to 30 people will be able to meet outside, while social distancing, regardless of how many household they are from. Children under 11 will not have to social distance in Wales from Monday.
For Branch Officials
DBS (England & Wales)
Disclosure Services have provided the online DBS service on behalf of The Pony Club for several years now with most Branches and Centres holding their own accounts.
To help Branches, processing of disclosure checks in Wales and England will be directly between the Branch and Disclosure Services for all accounts needs, queries and payments. This should be more efficient, flexible and quicker than the current arrangements.
Branches have full responsibility for ensuring their volunteers’ and coaches’ DBS checks remain up to date on Unity until we migrate entirely to the PELHAM system where this should continue. There will be no need to separately notify the central office of checks via the e-notification function, provided Unity/PELHAM are kept up to date.
If you aren’t currently set up with an account to process DBS checks online, please contact Disclosure Services directly to discuss how to do this.
Disclosure Services contact details are as follows:
Tel: 01978 510100
Note, this service is only available to Branches and Centres in England and Wales. Scotland require PVG checks and Northern Ireland require Access NI checks
I do hope all our members are enjoying some form of activity with their horses and ponies in this lovely weather. I am still very aware that not everyone can move back to full activity, which can be frustrating. Please do not forget your online members area where you can download some fun worksheets to complete and keep building your knowledge.
Dear Members, families, volunteers and staff,
We are excited that, in many areas, competition planning and preparation for the future is underway and we are thrilled that The Pony Club Home International Dressage has a stage at the virtual Royal Windsor Horse Show in the autumn. Our central team of dedicated staff have been working hard to adjust to new working patterns and continue to focus on projects that will benefit our members most. Many of our team are still only working part time, whilst we continue to be prudent with our finances and access the Government furlough scheme.
As we start to plan and run training and competitions, where we can around the country, it is important that we continue to do so under current Government restrictions. Virtual competition is in full swing and is an ideal option available to many. However, we have seen the appetite for live competition to begin again. Working with our BEF colleagues we continually meet to review our plans and support each other as we resume activities.
To support our Branches and Centres who are exploring running Pony Club training and competitions, our updated document is available to download above.
This document holds a wealth of information around how we should be running all activities. It is important for both organiser and member to review this document to understand what is expected at an event. The priority is always the safety of our volunteers and members at all times, please remain patient and respectful as we all adapt to the 'new' normal.
Latest Help and Advice
We pride ourselves on offering the best customer service to our members with only a team of 20 supporting a membership of over 30,000. However, it is important to recognise that our team is still not running at full capacity and we are juggling our priorities. We want to continue to focus on those important tasks that help and support our members and volunteer network most.
We have all expanded our roles and have been manning reception, answering helpdesk enquiries and the continued stream of emails. We love speaking with our members and volunteers as it ensures we stay connected to what you need, but I would like to ask for your support to help us increase efficiency levels.
We are working hard to keep our website as up to date as possible and before you contact us directly I would ask that you check there first - www.pcuk.org. Your District Commissioner or Centre Proprietor should be the first point of reference for additional support before reaching the central team. DCs and Proprietors are in turn supported by the Area Representatives and Centre Coordinators who have access to the latest updates and news.
For ease of use here are a few quick links to frequently asked questions:
- CEO Update and associated documents are available to download on this page.
- Help and Advice on Disclosure Checks, Safeguarding, First Aid, CPD, Insurance, Vaccinations and much more is available here.
- Don’t forget your membership area, it is full of activities to download here
We will of course continue to be available on the phone to help but please do check the online and local support available first. Thank you for your continued support of The Pony Club and have a great weekend.
Dear Members, families, volunteers and staff,
Thankfully, it has been a quieter week regarding announcements from local Governments. We can celebrate the pockets of the UK clear of coronavirus, but we must also remain aware that so many are still battling against the spread. Watching how everyone in The Pony Club has come together over these last five months has been nothing short of exceptional. You have all been a testament to our values of Togetherness, Empathy, Respect, Learning and Passion, thank you.
Former Pony Club Chairman
It is with great sadness that we have to inform you that Cherry Michell, Pony Club Chairman from 2008 to 2014 and Life Vice President, sadly died last week. We all have so many fond memories of her energy and enthusiasm and deep love for The Pony Club, she will be greatly missed, and our thoughts are with her family.
The IT and Membership team are working extraordinarily hard to continue the roll out of our brand-new CRM system. We are pleased to see The Pony Club moving into a place where we can increase efficiencies and provide an improved experience for Centres, Branches, Members and Volunteers.
There is a phased plan in place over the next few months to accelerate the final stages of the project. We are pleased to report that all Centre and some Branch memberships are being processed on the system and we now have new capability to keep these members up to date with the status of their membership. We endeavour to keep any challenges with the system to a minimum, but if you are encountering errors/issues please email firstname.lastname@example.org to keep us informed.
We are delighted to announce our new webinar series called Centres Connect starting this month. These webinars are going to be a place where we provide support, share useful ideas, latest advice and answer questions from Centre Proprietors. We will also be connecting with a different Centre every time, to share best practice.
Our first webinar is called ‘Embracing Change Together’ and it will be available on Wednesday 29th July at 2pm. We will send all Centre Proprietors a link to join and it is recorded for those who would like to view it at a different time.
We hope these webinars offer a useful way to support you and your business as we progress in these changing times.
We hope you have all been enjoying the variety of posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We are continually looking to share member stories, educational posts and bring the latest news directly to you. We are also pleased to announce that the very popular Pony of the Week is returning. We thoroughly enjoyed seeing our members favourite ponies, and we have missed them!
Every week we ask that you send your pictures to email@example.com and we will pick the Pony of the Week to share on Wednesdays. Hopefully, we will all enjoy a little smile to help us through the rest of the week.