Tickham Hunt Branch was established in 1937 and is part of Pony Club Area 11. We are a very friendly close pony club with over 50 members and our aim is to make every member feel welcome and comfortable, whilst encouraging them to develop their riding and pony care skills.
The Pony Club ethos is to encourage young people to learn to ride and handle their pony in a safe way, whilst having fun and this is what we try to achieve within our Branch. We encourage our members to take part in rallies across all disciplines and to represent the Branch in Team and Individual competitions.
Last year, we had representation at area level across the board, including dressage, show jumping, eventing, tetrathlon and mounted games with some individual successes.
This year Tickham has not just made up the numbers in the Prince Phillip Cup games but with Deana Foulds steering the ship has managed to achieve fourth place at Junior level(under 11) in the Area games and representation from an up and coming senior team. We also have a mini (lead rein) team, who have enjoyed much success at friendly competitions over the past two seasons.
Tetrathlon:- what fun this has been! It involves shooting, running, swimming and showjumping/cross country. Our mini team have been successful this year with both team and individual placings, including a 2nd for the team at the recent Eridge Branch Tetrathlon, where our members came 2nd, 9th, 14th and 15th out of 32 children, aged 8 and under. We have some very keen juniors too, who are posting respectable running, swim and shoot scores and jumping clear rounds over 80cm cross country courses.
Tickham have show jumping rallies with Neil Boorman once a month at Arran Bank in Bredhurst. We usually have 3 or 4 group lessons starting with small cross poles and going up to about 90cm in height. Neil is a very inspirational and encouraging instructor and the children all progress and gain confidence in this discipline and most participants will represent the Branch either at Area or Hickstead inter branch Team Showjumping this summer.
Tickham currently runs 2-3 dressage rallies a month in the Summer with Samantha Mabb. These are open to all ages and are usually small groups. They are run by club secretary and List 5 dressage judge Samantha Mabb who helps the members prepare for up and coming tests for eventing or dressage or just improves the flatwork to help with jumping and rider tests. Every year we send teams to Area Dressage and we are currently practising and selecting for this competition, held in July.
We have had senior members qualify for dressage championships and dengie winter dressage champs and show jumping championships. Some of our senior members have gone on to enjoy success at British Eventing, having started their eventing careers within the Branch, trained by Alex Hudson.
We usually run at least 2 camps a year, age groups determined by member interest. Activities include dressage and SJ instruction, stable management, badge work, biscuit painting, PC quiz, culminating in a final day of competition and prize giving. Last year, Former Tickham Hunt District Commisioner, Buzzie Reader, attended to award prizes and was delighted to see the enthusiasm from our young members for their riding and pony care. During the period of the camp, all the children grow in confidence and improve their riding skills, whilst having great fun and making new friends.
We organize an annual coach trip to the Olympia Horse show in December where our members get the opportunity to see professional riding displays and ear mark some early Christmas presents!
As well has having fun and developing riding in the disciplines we also hold badge testing days so members can gauge their improvement with their riding and stable management combined. In half term week, we held a Test Day where all 10 children attending achieved a test pass, with one member gaining Bronze Level 3, 2 passing their D Test and all 7 children put forward for their D+ Test passing first time. This is a huge achievement for a relatively small branch and I am very proud of all the successes Tickham members have achieved in the past 2 1/2 years that I have been serving in this role.
For anyone considering joining our Branch, a warm welcome awaits you and I guarantee that you will have huge amounts of fun, both in the saddle and out, attending the various activities that we host for our members. Whether you have ambitions to represent the Branch in competition, or simply want to partake in an Easter fun ride and work towards some achievement badges, Tickham Hunt Branch will welcome you and encourage your development in the saddle!