Top honours for Tokai Pony Club riders

* The winning team, from left, Rylee Felton 9, Jess Viljoen 14, Angelique Lubbe, 12, and Amy Viljoen.

Every year the Pony Club of South Africa hosts a regional inter-branch competition bringing all the members of the pony clubs together to compete in various equine disciplines from show jumping to dressage, equitation, showing and arena eventing.

Tokai Pony Club was represented by Angelique Lubbe, 12, Jess Viljoen, 14, Amy Viljoen, 9, and Rylee Felton, 9, who competed against six other clubs from around the province at Stellenbosch Riding District in September.

Angelique, Rylee and Amy are from Sweet Valley Primary School and Jess is from Wynberg High School.

They brought home the overall winning team trophy for the best results while Angelique was awarded her Western Cape Club Colours for winning the show jumping.

District Commissioner of Tokai Pony Club Ros Chapman said they were thrilled for their riders who truly showed their grit during the three-day competition. “They were up against very strong teams, the largest team with 68 riders. Our team had no expectations from the event, albeit that each team member did very well in all of their individual events each bringing home a number of rosettes. When the overall winning team was announced we were flabbergasted that this little team of four had done so well,” he said.

“The valuable lesson learnt by these young riders is that even when you don’t think you have a chance of winning, go out and do your best. It may just be enough, so don’t ever give up,” said Mr Chapman.

The Pony Club is an international voluntary youth organisation, dedicated to encouraging young people to ride and to care for horses and ponies, while promoting the highest ideals of sportsmanship. It has been the starting point for many equestrian team members and, on the international circuit, Olympic medal winners.

Mr Chapman said the Pony Club was a wonderful way for like-minded youngsters to learn and have fun, make firm friendships and become part of a wonderful com-
munity. “We meet on a monthly basis, with some rallies being mounted. The Pony Club training structure encourages members to take tests which enables them to learn progressively about horse and pony care and riding. The children get awarded badges of accomplishment based on them having done both a theory and practical in each discipline in order to qualify for their badges,” said Mr Chapman.

“We’d like to encourage any children and parents that are interested to come along to one of our rallies and find out what it’s all about.”

* Juliet Lubbe is the deputy district commissioner for the Pony Club. Contact Juliet Lubbe at 082 652 8664 or juliet@ignitechange.co.za or Ros Chapman at
082 925 4148 or ros.chapman@uct.ac.
za