Sunday May 26, 2019

Role of Parents / Guardians – Code of Conduct The Pony Club’s purpose is:

The Pony Club is a voluntary youth organisation for young people within an equestrian environment.

  •   To encourage young people to learn to enjoy all kinds of sport connected with ponies and riding
  •   To give instruction in riding and horsemanship and to educate Members to look after and take proper care of their animals
  •   To promote the highest levels of sportsmanship, citizenship and loyalty to create strength of character and self-discipline

The Pony Club is a volunteer organisation and depends on parents and guardians to help. Fairness should take precedence over competitiveness. Teaching by example will foster caring and respect

for all.

Parents/ Guardians should therefore:

  •   Be a positive role model for his / her child and other Members by respecting coaches, officials, volunteers and leaders, their authority and decisions, and the rules and regulations under which The Pony Club operates
  •   Agree to discuss disputes / appeals at a suitable, agreed time with the correct officials, within the appropriate level of The Pony Club organisation, without resorting to hostility or violence.
  •   Always remember that Pony Club activities are intended to be educational, safe and fun to benefit the Members rather than parents / guardians.
  •   Respect the horses and ponies and show humane care for them at all times.
  •   Respect the property and equipment used in any activities, considering safety uppermost inall situations
  •   Be knowledgeable about the rules of the discipline or competition their child is taking part inand encourage their child to know, be familiar with, and follow these rules.
  •   Promote the physical and emotional well-being of their child, other Members and horsesahead of any personal desire to win or succeed in any activity.
  •   Teach their child that taking part, learning and showing sportsmanship in all competitions,testing situations, clinics, etc. are more important than winning.
  •   Praise all Members equally for trying hard and competing fairly.
  •   Inform officials as soon as possible if they or their child is unable to fulfil commitments orattendance at events.
  •   Help their child and others to understand the satisfaction of co-operation, group work andteam spirit in achieving personal goals and growth, and good results.
  •   Volunteer their services and skills, whether equine-related or not, whenever possible.
  •   When using social networking sites always conduct yourself in an appropriate way as you

would face to face. Be aware of what you say and how you say it – the use of sarcasm and

innuendo are not appropriate.

  •   Encourage his / her child to learn the rules and ride within them.
  •   Discourage unfair competition and arguing with officials.
  •   Help his / her child to recognise good performance, not just results.
  •   Never force his / her child to take part in equestrian events
  •   Set a good example by recognising fair competition and applauding good performances of all.
  •   Never punish or belittle a child for losing or making mistakes.
  •   Publicly accept officials’ judgements.
  •   Support his / her child’s involvement and help them to enjoy their sport.
  •   Use correct and proper language at all times.
  •   Encourage and guide performers to accept responsibility for their own performance andbehaviour.

Parents / Guardians should not:

  •   Force their child or other Members to take part in activities with which they are not comfortable.
  •   Disrespect the decisions of coaches / officials concerning the skills and abilities of their child or other Members.
  •   Undermine the authority of coaches / officials by interfering with, or coaching any Members from the side-lines.
  •   Dispute the decisions of coaches / officials and volunteers during an event or in front of their child, other Members or parents / guardians.
  •   Engage in or condone unsportsmanlike behaviours such as booing, taunting, using profane language, refusing to congratulate winners, etc.
  •   Criticise officials, coaches, volunteers or members on social networking sites or by the use of text messaging.
  •   NB: It is unacceptable, under possible assault, to photograph or video an injured person / rider.


 HEAD INJURY AND CONCUSSION  New rules for 2017 


(i) General Advice

Head injuries and concussion are life threatening and potentially life changing incidents. Serious head injuries are usually obvious, but concussion can be very subtle and not always immediately apparent.

Head injuries result from a mechanical insult to the head, and can cause traumatic brain injury, possibly leading to permanent disability or death.

Concussion is a disturbance in brain function caused by a direct or indirect blow to the head. Some people describe concussion as mild traumatic brain injury. Concussion should be seen as part of a spectrum of brain injury with traumatic brain injury at one extreme and no injury at the other. Typically concussion cannot be seen on standard brain scans, which makes it difficult to diagnose objectively. Repeated injury to the head can worsen an already pre-existing concussion, even if the time between injuries is counted in days or weeks.

The Pony Club wants to ensure members / riders attending Pony Club activities enjoy themselves and get the most out of riding. At the same time, they must also balance that enjoyment with members’ / riders’


safety. This may mean on occasion that members / riders are asked not to ride by officials who believe they may have sustained a concussion either at the time of injury or from a previous injury (which may not have been sustained whilst riding). Parents / guardians, members, officials and other riders must respect this decision. It is a decision sometimes made without having objective evidence, but it is made in good faith and in the pursuance of avoiding further harm.

(ii) Incidents that could cause head injuries or concussion

Any member / rider who, at a Pony Club activity, suffers an incident that could cause head injury or concussion (for example, a fall from their horse / pony) should be assessed. Who does this assessment will depend on the first aid cover that is in place for that activity. Depending on the level of first aid cover then the exact process of diagnosing whether the member has suffered no head injury / concussion, a suspected head injury / concussion or a confirmed head injury / concussion will be slightly different. The process for diagnosing each option is talked through in more detail below.

From the assessment being carried out it may be immediately obvious that there is no cause for concern. In the course of Pony Club activities, the Pony Club is well aware that there are different kinds of falls and that assuming every fall leads to a head injury would be counterproductive to the aims of the organisation. We ask that reasonable care is taken to ensure members / riders have not sustained a serious head injury or concussion.

(iii) Unconsciousness

If a member / rider is unconscious following an incident they should be treated as if they are suffering with a confirmed concussion and the steps in points vii) below should be followed.

(iv) Who can diagnose head injury or concussion?

Diagnosis of a head injury or concussion (both confirmed and suspected) can be carried out by any level of first aid cover officiating at a Pony Club activity. These could be a trained or qualified first aider (including a coach), a paramedic or a doctor. If there is any doubt as to the diagnosis the member / rider should see the highest level of first aid cover that is present and they should make the diagnosis. If the first aid cover at the activity cannot reach a definite diagnosis then they should refer the member / rider to a hospital or a doctor off site for them to make a diagnosis.

It would be more usual for a trained or qualified first aider to say they suspect a head injury or concussion than to diagnose it themselves. If they are the highest level of first aid cover available at the activity that will mean the member / rider has to go off site to have the diagnosis made by a doctor.

The member / rider should not ride again until they have been seen by a doctor. This may mean that the rider will miss any part of an activity or competition.

(v) Actions to be taken in the event of a suspected head injury or suspected concussion diagnosis

If a diagnosis of a suspected concussion or head injury is made by a first aider, they should advise the parents / guardians to take the member / rider to hospital.



Any member / rider who has been diagnosed with a suspected or confirmed head injury or concussion should not be left alone and must be returned to the care of their parents / guardians where appropriate.

Once a diagnosis of suspected head injury or concussion is made by the highest level of official first aid cover present at the activity, then that decision is final. No one may overrule that decision on the day if it is made in good faith. If a member / rider is advised to see a doctor because of suspected head injury or concussion and the parents / guardians decide not to allow the member to be examined (either at the activity or in hospital), the member will not be allowed to ride again on the day and will be treated as if they have sustained a confirmed head injury / concussion. Depending on the circumstances, the decision not to allow further examination may be considered a safeguarding issue.

Where a member / rider is diagnosed with a suspected concussion by a first aider or paramedic and that member / rider subsequently sees a doctor who is sure that they do not have a concussion and did not suffer a concussion and will provide evidence that they are satisfied that the member / rider is well, that member / rider will be treated as if they did not sustain a concussion.

(vi) Actions to be taken in the event of a confirmed head injury or confirmed concussion

In the event of a diagnosis of a confirmed head injury or confirmed concussion, the doctor will advise the member not to ride or take part in any activity that potentially involves hard contact for three weeks. They will advise the member that they could, after 10 days, ask a doctor, who is experienced in assessing concussion (including in children where appropriate), whether they have any concerns about any ongoing concussion problems. If that doctor is happy to certify that the member is not suffering with a concussion, the member may ride again, providing evidence regarding that decision is provided. If no evidence that such an assessment has been made, the member should not take part in any Pony Club riding activity and/or any unmounted activity that may involve any hard contact for at least three weeks after the initial injury.

(vii) Actions to be taken in the event of a diagnosis of a confirmed or suspected head injuries/ concussions outside of Pony Club activities

The Pony Club has no official way of automatically knowing about members who sustain a confirmed or suspected head injury / concussion outside of Pony Club activities. A concussion may be sustained outside Pony Club activities, for example at riding activities organised by other BEF member bodies or at school football / rugby / hockey matches. It is for parents / guardians ultimately to make a decision about the welfare of their child.

However, if a Pony Club official in charge of any Pony Club activity becomes aware that a member has sustained a suspected or confirmed head injury / concussion and has been advised not to take part in any potentially hard contact activities for three weeks, they should not allow the member to take part in any mounted activities and/or any unmounted activities that could potentially involve hard contact for three weeks, unless the member or their parents / guardians can produce appropriate medical evidence of fitness to ride dated at least 10 days after the initial injury,


Updated Hat and Body Protector Rules of The Pony Club for 2016

The hat standard BS EN 1384 has been removed as an accepted hat standard from the 1st January 2016.  Members and their parents / guardians must bear this in mind when buying new riding hats.

  • The accepted hat standards are ASTM F1163 and VG1.
  • The new red BE hat tags are now accepted, so if Members have BE red tagged hats, they will not need tagging with a white Pony Club hat tag. However, please note tagged hats may still be randomly spot checked.
  • To clarify the position regarding peaks in cross-country riding including Eventing, Tetrathlon, Horse Trials and also Pony Racing and Mounted Games … a jockey skull cap must be worn, with no fixed peak, peak type extensions or noticeable protuberances above the eyes or to the front and should have an even round or elliptical shape with a smooth or slightly abrasive surface.
  • Body protectors used in Cross Country or Pony Racing must be BETA Level 3 standard. These have a purple BETA tag on them.

To download the full hat rule for 2016, please click here. To download the full body protector rule for 2016, please click here.



Dress Code/Turn Out at all Pony Club Mounted Events

A reminder about the correct turn out for Rallies and Camp.

  • Skull caps, with chin-strap fastened, and riding/jodhpur boots must be worn at all times when mounted (muckers or wellingtons of any kind are not allowed)
  • Members should wear either a jacket (black, navy or tweed) with a white shirt, collar & pony club tie OR our branch sweat shirt with white shirt or polo top with light coloured jodhpurs
  • In cold or wet weather, appropriate warm/waterproof a dark coloured riding jacket should also be worn
  • For cross-country, medical armbands & back protector are compulsory
  • Riding or jodhpur boots must have a smooth sole and a well defined heel
  • A correctly fitting hat must be worn at all times when mounted. The hat must have the BSI kite mark, the SAI Global symbol or the official Snell label with number. The PAS: 1998 & Snell E2001 give the best protection. All hats must  be checked and tagged by the club
  • Long hair must be tied back and secured in a hair net, so that it hangs no lower than the shirt collar
  • Older members may wear a stock in place of ties – white or cream with black or navy jackets; coloured stock with tweed jacket
  • No form of jewellery may be worn (earings, nose studs, etc) at any events
  • Ponies must well turned out, with correctly fitted, clean and well maintained tack. Your pony should always be well groomed with tail washed, and, where possible, manes plaited for dressage, showjumping & hunting