Pony Club comes to Park City
May 12, 2015
Park City now has a venue to educate youth and promote equestrian sports with the founding of the Park City Pony Club in association with the United States Pony Clubs, Inc.
Park City Pony Club is open to boys and girls ages 5-18 and serves all levels of riders, from those wishing to become competent, responsible and caring equestrians to those who wish to pursue Olympic dreams.
About 15 members were expected to attend the first meeting, which featured a hands-on veterinarian demonstration. Dr. Blair Lybbert of the Park City Equine Center gave an overall presentation on veterinarian care of horses and led students in performing basic health checks on horses, including checking a horse’s pulse, respiration rate and temperature.
Park City Pony Club District Commissioner Dawn Bowes said the mission of the Pony Club is to develop character, leadership and a sense of community in youth through a program that teaches the care and riding of horses and ponies.
"Pony Club is unique because its educational programs stress the importance of teaching not only riding skills, but also horse-care and team participation," Bowes said. "Children involved in Pony Club are part of a broad network of activities and educational programs that promote the health and safety of both horse and rider. Many past and current Olympic riders were members of a Pony Club."
Ownership of a horse or pony is not required for membership, but arrangements for a suitable mount must be made on an individual basis, according to Bowes. The club also will accept leased or donated horses to pair with members, provided the mounts are safe and sound, Bowes said.
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An adult program, Horsemasters, also is available for parents or anyone over the age of 18 to receive instruction in both riding and unmounted equine activities.
Mounted and unmounted meetings will be held alternatively every week. At mounted meetings, members will bring their horse or pony and receive instruction from local trainers in eventing, jumping, dressage and Western riding.
The nonprofit organization relies on member dues, donations and fundraising to support its activities. A tack sale to raise funds will be held at the club’s next meeting at 6 p.m. May 13 in Silver Creek. The tack sale is open to the public and donations will be accepted.
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