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The Pony Club Update - Issue 12 - August 2022

Dear all,

It is great to see so many of our members enjoying camps and competitions this summer! Huge thanks to our army of volunteers for making these things happen. Well done to everyone who took part in the Scotland, North and Northern Ireland Grassroots Regional Championships earlier this month and we look forward to the other Grassroots Regionals at the end of August.

Best wishes,


Marcus Capel

  • It’s GO time at the JCB Pony Club Championships!
  • Pony Club Polo Champs at the famous Cowdray Park
  • Handling the hot weather
  • Health, Safety and Horse Welfare Updates
  • Come Pony Racing with The Pony Club
  • Fundamental Movement Skills for Rider Development Booklet
  • Tony Vaughan-France memorial service 9th September
  • Changes to the Highway Code
  • Horseball trainers’ course
  • Equine ethics and well-being commission survey

JCB National Championships Offchurch Bury 12th – 20th August

Good luck to everyone competing over the next 9 days at our National Championships at Offchurch Bury, Warwickshire. A packed timetable features 7 of our 9 sports and we are delighted to see the return of the Musical Ride and Blue Cross Horse and Pony Care, celebrating the highest level of welfare knowledge and skills. All Members and supporters are welcome to come and watch, for full details of the JCB National Championships, including the timetable, please click here:

The Pony Club (

Pony Club Polo Championships, Cowdray Park 12th – 14th August

Good luck to everyone at this weekend’s Pony Club Polo Championships at Cowdray Park Polo Club, the final tournament in The Pony Club Polo season and a full weekend of polo for all ages. We also look forward to watching some of our players in their special matches at the JCB Championships at Offchurch Bury later in the week.

Handling the hot weather

As with our previous guidance issued a few weeks ago, we are all mindful of the welfare of our horses and ponies in hot weather. At the championships, the vet will be on site monitoring horses’ health, there will be additional water across the site and extra shade. The timetable for some of the events may be adjusted to take advantage of the cooler mornings. All riders can help their horses with carrying extra water whilst travelling and having ample buckets and sponges to cool down after exercise. 

BHA hot weather advice

World Horse Welfare advice

As well as caring for our horses and ponies, we need to look after ourselves, see below a link to the NHS page with tips on how to cope in hot weather. 

Heatwave: how to cope in hot weather - NHS (

Health, Safety and Horse Welfare Updates

Risk Assessments

As part of clubs running pony club activities, risk assessments are to be carried out with hazards and measures to support safety considered. To support there are template versions ready to edit and available on the Pony Club website:

For those new to Risk Assessment, The Pony Club does offer Risk Assessment training which is geared towards use of the Risk Assessment templates, booking for these sessions can be found :

Accident Reporting

Thank you to all branches for your support and engagement with the online accident reporting system, we very much appreciate the feedback on the system we have received. Following this, updates have been made and we will continue to develop this area along with more detailed guidance on the club access area.

To see further information on accident reporting please see:

Vaccination Rule 2022

The current pony club vaccination rule for area competitions and above is accessible via the pony club website, please ensure compliance prior to attending an area event or above. The full details can be found here

Pony Club Insurance

The Pony Club has carried out is annual renewal of Insurance with Howden Group. As a result the new documents to support are accessible on the website and due for renewal summer 2023,

Come Pony Racing with The Pony Club

Calling all Members,

Pony Club Pony Racing restarts in September with the Wolverhampton Race Day in September. The Race Day dates and entries can be found on the website:

Pull out your colours and please do come and join us!

BEF Fundamental Movement Skills for Rider development Booklet

The BEF have launched a Fundamental Movement Skills for Rider Development digital booklet.

The aim of the booklet is to provide equestrian coaches with an understanding of how children and young adults develop and physically mature, allowing them to tailor their coaching to meet the needs to those they’re teaching. It also covers specific movement skills necessary for success in dressage, eventing and showjumping, and how physical limitations can impact ridden performance.

The booklet can be viewed here.

Tony Vaughan-France Memorial Service

We are extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Tony Vaughan-France, a real friend to The Pony Club. There will be a service to commemorate his life 9th September, 2.30pm at North Curry Church, North Curry, Taunton, Somerset.

Changes to the Highway Code

The Highway Code changed earlier this year to improve road safety for people walking, cycling and riding horses. We're supporting THINK!’s new campaign, reminding people to Travel Like You Know Them and check the Highway Code changes.

People don’t see people on the roads. They see horses, bikes, lorries and cars. But inside or on every one of them is a person –it could be your brother, your mum or your mate. So, Travel Like You Know Them and help keep everyone safe.

People horse riding should now be passed at speeds under 10mph, with at least 2 metres space. To raise awareness of this and the other changes to the Highway Code, we would love you to share the attached social media asset on your channels. You can also use the following copy alongside this:

The #HighwayCode has changed! Pass horse riders at under 10mph, leaving at least 2 metres of space. #TravelLikeYouKnowThem, check the #HighwayCode changes here:

Horseball Instructors Course

I am pleased to share details of a course sent to me by Jim Copeland, Director of British Horseball (a fellow BEF member). Several of our Branches and Centres have had a go at the sport and enjoyed taster sessions. Jim would like to promote an instructor’s session on 24th September in Barnet. Please click here for further details.

Equine ethics and well-being commission survey

The FEI are conducting a survey into the riding of horses. If you have a minute or two to spare, please consider taking a look and filling it in: