Monday February 6, 2023
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DC’S Newsletter 22nd January 2019

Now that the days are getting noticeably longer, your committee has been very busy planning the year ahead. There are lots of dates being added to our calendar almost daily at the moment as we confirm venues, instructors and pricing, so please do check it regularly. We have a full programme in the February Half Term and the website bookings are now open for all of these. If you are having any problems booking in via the website, please do let Amanda know on and she will be pleased to help you.

I am sorry to report that Jennie Bradley has decided to step down as our President as she is not able to get out and about to our events as much as she would like. Jennie was DC of the OS&B for the nine years before Abby and has been President for the last eight years. She will still take a keen interest in our activities though. However, I’m very pleased that Margaret Allday has agreed to become our new President. Margaret has been involved with the OS&B variously as a parent, grandparent, committee member, Assistant DC and volunteer for over 35 years and is currently our Membership Secretary and Tetrathlon Manager so she knows most of our members.

Speaking of Membership, I need to point out that renewal subscriptions are due at the end of this month. If members wish to compete at Area Competitions in the summer then their membership needs to be renewed by the 28th February at the very latest. Also after that date members will not be able to attend Rallies or benefit from The Pony Club’s insurance cover until their membership has been renewed. The renewal membership form can be downloaded and printed from our website and the renewal fee of £76 can be paid either by cheque or bank transfer to our HSBC account. However you pay, please complete and sign the paper form and post it to Margaret and please, please, please remember to fill in the gift aid portion legibly if you are a UK taxpayer as this is worth a valuable 25% for our funds.

This year the Pony Club have introduced a non-riding membership option at the reduced rate of £31 for siblings who might want to participate in non-riding events eg. Triathlons, the Quiz and Horse & Pony Care Competitions. Also this year, membership cards and a welcome membership pack will be sent out to members centrally from PCHQ at Stoneleigh from the end of January onwards. I hope that you find your Pony Club Membership good value for money. Most of our Rallies are heavily subsidised from our funds so that our members have access to good quality instructors and venues at much reduced prices. Plus the children and parents often make friends for life. Membership also includes substantial members’ liability insurance cover which is essential today. Full details of the policy can be found on the parents’ page of The Pony Club’s website.

This year, the Pony Club celebrates its 90th Anniversary and The Old Surrey & Burstow Branch are very proud to be one of the six original founding Branches. There will be a national celebration of this on Saturday 3rd August when every Branch has been asked to participate in The National Pony Club Rally at 12 noon. We plan to hold our Rally at Carewell which will be open to all current members and their horses/ponies and we would love to see as many of you there as possible. In the evening we plan to celebrate further at Carewell with a Hog Roast and Licensed Bar and would like to invite as many current and past members, parents, volunteers and committee members to join us as possible for a fun and memorable evening. So please save the date now and spread the word!

Hat standards remain the same this year with the aquamarine hat tag which is also accepted by BE and Riding Clubs. If you are buying a new hat please do check beforehand that it meets the standards which can be found on the Pony Club website – or just ask either Suzie or me. There is now a new body protector standard BETA 2018 Level 3 standard (blue and black label) although don’t panic as the BETA 2009 Level 3 standard (purple label) will continue to be accepted at Pony Club competitions until 31st December 2024!

Also my usual nag about ear-rings and piercings – if a child is planning to have these, please note that they will be unable to ride at Pony Club until the sleepers can be safely removed.

Finally, I must remind you about our own Tetrathlon Competition which we are organising at Felbridge Showground and Copthorne School on the weekend of the 9th/10th March. It would be lovely to see a good OS&B entry for this – there are weekly swimming practices during term-time and fortnightly shooting practices (under 8s throw bean bags!) – please contact Margaret for details. This event is an essential fundraiser for us and requires about 50 volunteers (yes 50!) to run it successfully. There is a role for everyone and there are plenty of jobs for non-horsey parents/relatives/friends. All roles are very straightforward, volunteers are made very welcome and it’s a really enjoyable event.

With very best wishes for a happy and successful 2019 and I look forward to seeing you out and about in the next few weeks.

Kind regards

Caroline Matthews