Pony Club Association of Victoria
The Pony Club Association of Victoria, commonly abbreviated as PCAV, is the controlling body for Pony Clubs in Victoria where young people can ride and learn all disciplines of equestrian sports. The Association co-ordinates, develops and promotes horsemanship in Victoria and is committed to providing a high standard of instruction for its members.
Children and young adults to the age of 25 learn the skills of riding and general horsemanship and compete in local events, but can also go on to compete at state, national and international events, including the Olympics. Pony Club is one of the few sports were males and females compete on equal terms.
Victoria is divided into 10 Zones currently comprising of 210 Clubs. Each club is organized and arranged separately, but the Zone also has an organizing Committee. Each Zone also has a Chief Instructor whose duty it is to supervise and encourage the instruction policy within the Zone. Each Zone sends Councilors to Association meetings to determine general policy.
In each Zone there are as many as 30 different Pony Clubs.
Aims and Objectives
- To encourage young people to ride and to learn to enjoy all approved types of sport connected with horses and riding
- To provide instruction in horsemanship and riding and to instill in the members the proper care of their animals.
- To promote the highest ideals of sportsmanship, citizenship and loyalty, thereby cultivating strength of character and self-discipline.
- To coordinate Clubs affiliated with the Association and to act in affiliation with the Australian Pony Club Council (APCC), the Equestrian Federation of Australia (EFA), and the Youth Council of Victoria.
- To establish Zones for close contact and liaison between the Clubs.
- To operate and control the policy of the Clubs.
Membership is open to anyone who is not considered a 'professional' under the Association rules. Junior members are under 17 years, Associate members are 17 and under 25 years and Senior Members are 25 years and over. Only Junior and Associate members are allowed to compete or receive instruction.
How to join
One can conduct a Club Search via the Pony Club Victoria homepage, to locate the closest Pony Club. Contact the Secretary of that Pony Club to find out when the next Rally Day is and what the membership fees are. Questions about joining Pony Club should be directed either to the local club's secretary or to the Victorian State Office on (03) 8685 8925.
Activities in Pony Club
Rally Days There are lots of different activities that you may participate in at rally day including showjumping, dressage, cross country, mounted games, sporting, polocrosse, horse care and theory. These days can be mounted or unmounted. Each club's Rally Day differs slightly and the activities and schedule are arranged by the local club.
Certificates Throughout their pony club career, riders are encouraged to undertake various efficiency tests according to their age and ability, commencing with the basic ‘D’ test through to ‘A’ test the highest level. These certificates aim to encourage the interest and improvement in knowledge of its members. They are viewed as a measure of a rider’s progress in their overall efficiency. In working for them riders acquire valuable knowledge and skills, which enhance their riding experience.
Competitions To supplement Rally Days there are other activities offered such as gymkhanas, camps, trail rides, lectures and films, visits to places of interest and demonstrations. Inter-club competitions are often held in the form of a Gymkhana, which has a mix of show riding events, Sporting and Showjumping competitions.
Zone championships are generally held once a year for most disciplines, including Dressage, Show Jumping, One Day Eventing, Horse Trials, Sporting, Flat teams, and Mounted Games.
State Championships are held at roughly the same times each year. Please check the calendar, available through your club or via the website, www.ponyclubvic.org.
Clothing and Uniforms
Safety is paramount in Pony Club, therefore each member is required to wear the following at all times, while mounted:
- Smooth soled elastic sided riding boots. These need to have elastic sides (they can not be lace or zip up boots, only riders over 17yo may wear long boots.)
Each club sets its own uniform. This will generally include an informal uniform for club rally days such as a club polo shirt and a formal uniform, consisting of a long-sleeved shirt, tie, and jumper or vest. Each club will normally have its own saddle cloth.
Each Zone and State also have their own colours and uniforms. Zone representatives in state competitions must wear the Zone's colours.
Examples of club jumper colour schemes
- Apollo Bay Pony Club: Royal Blue and Orange.
- Portarlington and District Pony Club: Purple with a Yellow Sash
- Shepparton Pony Club: Royal Blue with a Light Blue Sash.
- Trafalgar Pony Club: Red.
What do you need to start Pony Club?
Ownership of a horse or pony is not required for membership, but arrangements for obtaining a suitable mount must be made on an individual basis.
It doesn't matter if the mount is a horse instead of a pony, as long as it is suitable according to Pony Club policy. The word "pony" in Pony Club comes from the British Pony Club and was originally used to refer to the size of the rider, not to the size of the horse.
Example: The North Eastern Zone
The North Eastern Zone comprises the pony clubs in the North Eastern part of Victoria. There are 19 Pony Clubs in this Zone:
- Albury Pony Club (84)
- Alexandra & District Pony Club (85)
- Beechworth-Murmungee Pony Club (86)
- Benalla Pony Club (87)
- Bethanga Pony Club (88)
- Bright & District Pony Club (89)
- Caniambo & District Pony Club (90)
- Euroa Pony Club (91)
- Heathcote Pony Club (92)
- Howlong (93)
- Kergunyah Pony Club (94)
- Mansfield Pony Club (95)
- Moyhu Pony Club (96)
- Myrtleford Pony Club (97)
- Seymour Pony Club (98)
- Shepparton Pony Club (99)
- Wangaratta Pony Club (100)
- Wodonga & District Pony Club (101)
- Yarrawonga Pony Club (102)
Each of these clubs has its own meeting place, uniforms, shows, rally/training days, sponsors, and committees.
No two Pony Clubs share the same grounds. Quite a few Pony Clubs, such as Bacchus Marsh and Sale, use the local showgrounds. Some clubs, such as Werribee, use special horse facilities like the Werribee Park National Equestrian Centre. Other clubs, such as the Barwon Heads and District Pony Club and Moe Pony Club, have their own grounds which either belong to the club or are leased from the Local Council. The Pony Clubs themselves normally pay for the upkeep and maintenance of facilities, although often government grants will supplement club finances such as the 2008 sand arena at Drysdale/Leopold Pony Club.
The PCAV was formed in 1954 as an outgrowth of the British Horse Society, which itself had its origins in 1928 in Britain with the Institute of the Horse. In 1963 the Association was divided into Zones.
- Great Britain: The Pony Club
- United States of America: United States Pony Clubs
- Canada: Canadian Pony Club
- Republic of Ireland: Irish Pony Club
- Australia: Pony Club Australia
- Europe: Euro Pony Club
- China: Hong Kong Pony Club
- New Zealand: New Zealand Pony Clubs Association
- ↑ PCAV Mission
- ↑ AS NZS 3838-2006 Helmets for horse riding and horse-related activities
- ↑ The Australian Equestrian Federation extracts Appendix C from the AS NZS 3838 document, being the helmet requirements for horseriding
- ↑ City of Greater Geelong council news, 4 April 2008
- ↑ PCAV Website, origins displayed in a family tree