Eight members of Zone 13’s Pony Clubs were recognised for their efforts in and out of the saddle by the state’s governing body.
Pony Club is run entirely on people who give up their time to help out the organisation.
Zone 13’s chief instructor Belinda Williamson said she was “extremely” proud to have so many people within the region recognised.
“We go to a big effort to put together the paperwork and send it in but they still have to be granted the award, it is not a given,” she said.
“It is a big moment when you put all that together and you send it in and they are granted the awards.”
Glen Innes chief instructor Julie Donnelly, Uralla chief instructor Jason Jones and Guyra’s Vicki Light received volunteer of the year awards.
Williamson said the trio of volunteer of the year recipients were worthy of the award with each of them long-term servants at their clubs.
“Apart from the normal day-to-day volunteering, they have all given above and beyond,” she said.
“Vicki has held positions in Guyra, for example senior instructor.
“Jason was instrumental in the cross country course at Uralla.
“Julie has been the senior instructor of Glen Innes for quite a number of years and is also very effective on the fundraising front.”
In accepting her award, Light thanked the Zone for nominating her.
“I have been a member of PCA NSW for the past 24 years and have enjoyed instructing and supporting Pony Clubs in Zone 13,” she said.
Zone 13 has many talented riders in all disciplines. It is rewarding to see how riders improve from one year to the next and to know that I have supported and instructed them in one discipline or another.
“Pony Club is a team effort where parents, riders, horses, instructors, clubs and committees should always continue to work to encourage young people to ride, learn and enjoy.
“To instill in young people the proper care of their animals and to promote fellowship, citizenship and loyalty to cultivate strength of character and self-discipline in members.
“It is important that Zone 13 foster the aims of PCA NSW.”
Glen Innes’ Amelia Tunamena and Walcha’s Ireland are part of the 17 to 25-year-old associate rider category.
“Every year Zone 13 tries to put in a nomination for an associate rider that has gone through the ranks of junior membership of the club, then they have become an associate, they come back to the club,” Williamson said.
“Not only do they ride and compete but they give their time.
“The kids look up to them, they have watched them ride through, they know how good they are and it gives them something to aspire to.”
Siddella Donnelly, Amy Baker and Shae Partridge earned junior serviced awards for their efforts in helping out around the club.
“They might help the younger riders with cleaning out their stables, they might give a hand carrying jump wings and jump rails,” Williamson said.
“They are just involved.”
Pony Club is set to get back in the swing of things next month with five of the Zone’s clubs conducting their annual camps before the interclub season starts.