Saturday January 20, 2018

Catch up on all the latest news here

Au revoir Liza and Sarah

Farewell to our wonderful Liza DC and Secretary Sarah on their retirement after their stalwart and successful innings in office. A huge thank you to both of you for all of your dedication, help and enthusiasm over the years.

Pony Club Day, Cheltenham Racecourse, New Year’s Day 2018 Meeting

We very much look forward to welcoming you back to Cheltenham Racecourse on New Year’s Day 2018. For 2018 we have reserved the Parade Ring Viewing boxes 1 & 2 for The Pony Club, providing a warm base for the day along with a selection of food and refreshments to purchase. A discounted ticket price to gain entry to the racecourse is also available to all Area 9 Members.

This is a day for the kids, with Paddington Bear making appearances throughout the day in the kids entertainment area, along with other fun activities to keep the little ones amused. For the grown-ups there are seven races scheduled to take place.

Gates open at 10:00am with the first of seven races at 12:15pm and the last at 3:45pm. We will be providing the opportunity for everyone to enjoy a tour of the racecourse providing a glimpse of what happens behind the scenes at Cheltenham Racecourse. The Adult (18+) ticket price will be £20 and this discounted price can only be accessed by buying tickets online at and using discount code NY18PONY. This is limited to 4 per household and Under 18’s will get in for free.

Efficiency Tests

We have had some successful efficiency test days recently with lots of passes of the C, B and B+ tests! Congratulations to all who passed.

Area 9 PC/BE League

A new league open to all area 9 PC members that are also members of BE. For each BE competition entered in 2017, competitors will be awarded points.

Congratulations go to Isabel Waluga who placed 3rd in the 80cm section, Jaymee Savill who placed 2nd in the 100cm section, Flo Finzi who placed 1st in the Intermediate section and Alex Norris who placed 2nd in the Intermediate section. It is intended that an awards night will be held in February half term.

Results can be found here.

Parents Rally

The first VWH parents’ rally got off to a great start. We promised a fantastic instructor, lovely venue and free cake – we got lots of enthusiasm and a widely differing bunch of horses all going better at the end. Mix that in with some lively chat and a good social gathering and what’s not like! So if you are left holding the reins while your child is at school or uni, or you have your own horse but not quite the confidence or opportunity to do much with it, come and join us on a Thursday near Minety. The emphasis is on building confidence and everyone’s welcome. Sessions will be 1hr 15 mins long to allow for breathers and there will never be more than four in a group. Hot drinks and cake will be included in the price. To begin with, we are offering a flatwork session with some polework to finish. Mel is happy to be guided by what participants want to progress to. So the ball is in your court, get out and get sociable without the kids! And you can bring a friend too. Reserve your spot today, only £20 a head by emailing See here for more dates.

VWH Hunt Gate Jumping: 17th September

Mahoney Knight won our gate jumping competition clearing an impressive, foot perfect 1m30.


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Area 9 Show Jumping Championships: 10th September 2017

Class 2 – VWH team placed 5th and the mixed team (with one VWH member) placed 4th. Individually, Hattie Backhouse placed 4th.

Class 3 – VWH team placed 6th. Individually, Morgan Kent placed 3rd & Alice Backhouse placed 9th.

Class 4 – VWH teams placed 3rd, 6th. Individually, Isla Riddick placed 1st & Morgan Kent placed 4th.

Class 5 – VWH team placed 4th. Individually Heidi Ford placed 6th.

Class 6 – Two mixed teams (both containing one VWH member) placed 2nd and 3rd. Individually, Lauren McNally placed 4th, Alina Svedlova placed 6th & Alice Hall placed 7th.

Great results all around – well done everyone!

Regional Pony Club Championships: 26th-28th August 2017

This year, the regional PC Championships were held at Rectory Farm with Dressage, Show Jumping and Eventing competitions! Another very successful trip for our VWH members.

We had two teams in the Show Jumping team competition – they placed 1st and 3rd!

We also had a team in the Eventing competition, of which Madison Tapner placed 1st in her section and Morgan Kent placed 3rd in her section. The team placed 1st overall!

Morgan, Poppy, Maddie, Alice

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Winning eventers @ Grassroots Regional Champs

National Pony Club Championships: 18th-22nd August 2017

We had a fantastic time at the PC Championships. We had some winners! Flo and Bonnie won their section in the Open eventing with a fantastic dressage result and double clear. They were also part of the mixed Area 9 team who won the team competition. Also, Chloe won her Novice section on her dressage score.

Intermediate eventing team Miranda, Alice, Lauren and Steph placed a respectable 6th, with Alice and Steph placing individual 6th and 7th respectively in their sections.

Our Open show jumpers team finished 12th whilst our Intermediate and Novice show jump teams both finished 10th.

In the Dressage competition, Flo placed 3rd in her Open section.

A huge congratulations to everyone who competed and a big thank you to all of our helpers – we couldn’t have done it without you! (Any Championship hoodies that were ordered and paid for, but not collected, contact Rebecca Faskin 01285 869090)

Tetrathlon Championships: 11th-13th August 2017

The Tetrathlon championships were held at Bishop Burton College in Yorkshire. Tetrathlon is a combination of 4 events: air pistol shooting, swimming, running and riding (cross-country). The levels range from Tadpoles up to Open with the distances and heights increasing as you move up the levels.

This year, our Open girls team, consisting of Phillippa Hall, Jemima Gray and Miranda King placed 2nd.

In the individual Open girls competition, Miranda King placed 8th.

Congratulations girls – fantastic results.

Philli and Jemima pre run

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Below are some images from our VWH Kemble Show: 29th May 2017

Show Jumping

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VWH Pony Club’s DC retires after 40 years with the club

By Penny Comerford

Rhona 3 (002)

VWH Pony Club and Hunt has marked the retirement of a key figure with a weekend of celebration for Mrs Rhona Reid, outgoing District Commissioner.

Mrs Rhona Reid has stepped down from her post as joint DC of the VWH, after 13 years in the top job and before that, many other roles in the branch, an involvement spanning 40 years.

To mark her retirement, Mrs Reid was presented with a stunning oil painting from her co-DC, Mrs Liza Dibble (left) at a special VWH Pony Club awards evening in Cricklade Village Hall, attended by over 100 PC members and their parents. The picture, depicting a familiar scene at the ever-popular Pony Club Camp, summer holiday highlight for many children, was painted by former member Lucinda Wright.

A longstanding resident of Fairford, Glos., Mrs Reid first became involved with the local Pony Club when her two daughters, Alexandra and Victoria, joined the VWH branch in 1976. Unstintingly generous with her time, Mrs Reid soon became an all-round volunteer at the numerous Pony Club activities, before her procession of official posts saw her become joint DC of the VWH in 2003.

Addressing PC members at the presentation, Liza Dibble thanked Mrs Reid for her contribution, saying, “you have been a stickler for rules and always engendered respect from children and parents alike, but your incredible kindness and calm encouragement has been the mainstay of many a child’s Pony Club career over the past forty years, an incredible achievement.”

Festivities continued the next day when the VWH Hunt hosted a well-supported farewell lunch at Oxleaze Barn ,Eastleach. Treating Mrs Reid to a “This is Your Life” presentation, former VWH Hunt Master, Julian Weston, noted that she had been a keen hunt member herself, a stalwart of Fairford village activities and generous and dignified officer at the Pony Club where she had supported thousands of children in the development and love of horses and the countryside which had been the mainstay of her own rich life. Mrs Reid was officially thanked for her contribution to the Pony Club on both local and national levels by Mrs Pleasance Jewitt, Area 9 Co-ordinator.

On behalf of the Hunt, Mr Weston presented Mrs Reid with a beautiful teapot by Caroline Hill, hand – painted with scenes depicting the Reid family’s country life. She said, “I have been overwhelmed by all the attention I have received as I draw in my reins and stand back from the Pony Club. The VWH Hunt Branch has been a wonderful stepping stone to the big, wide world, and it is always a joy to share success with our past members.”

Despite relinquishing her official role, Mrs Reid will still be on hand to pass on her vast experience to the Pony Club and she volunteered to help at the VWH Horse Show, which took place at Kemble Park on May 29th and was open to members and non-members, children and adults.