When you think pony club, you normally associate the sport with young riders finding their feet in anything equestrian but in Armidale it’s the big kids who have dominated southern Zone 13’s competitions.
The Armidale Horse and Pony Club has no shortage of talented riders in the 17-25 years associate category and proved it when the final results were tallied from the six interclub competitions – Bundarra, Kingstown, Armidale, Guyra, Uralla and Walcha interclubs – at the final event on Sunday.
The Armidale associate team managed a massive win with more than 1000 competition points separating them from second place.
The under 17s held their own, storming home to finish runners up overall behind Guyra.
In addition to the team results, six riders from the Armidale club were named as the aggregate champions in the individual pointscores.
The results for the local club have come through hard work with competitors spending any spare moment in the saddle.
Armidale chief instructor Nat Meredith said the level of dedication is evident with improvement every week.
“I reckon from the start of the season until now there has been a big improvement,” she said.
“[I am] very proud, the club has represented themselves really well. They should all be proud.”
The culture within the small club has helped with the older members guiding younger members along the way.
“They all have beautiful attitudes, even though they have been very competitive, they have still been very gracious as well and their sportsmanship has been really good which is really nice to see,” Meredith said.
“Even our little kids that are more experience have been helping out.
“It is nice to see them taking them under their wing and showing them around.
“It is really nice to see some of these younger kids coming through.”
While the interclub season wrapped up on Sunday, the competition isn’t over with the biggest event on local calendars – the three-day Zone 13 Jamboree – little more than a month away.
The 2018 Jamboree will be hosted by Guyra on January 12, 13 and 14 and the best riders from all the way up to Tenterfield, across to Inverell and down to Walcha will compete.
Twenty juniors and six associates will represent each club across the Zone in everything from show riding through to campdrafting.