The East Donegal Branch of the Irish Pony Club was formed in 1984 and has gone from strength to strength since then.There are close to sixty branches of the IPC across the country with over 3,ooo members between them.The branches are divided into 9 areas countrywide and we come under Area 6, (see below).The Pony Club is a world wide, voluntary youth organisation, founded in 1969, to:
- Encourage young people to ride and to learn to enjoy all kinds of sport connected with horses and riding.
- To provide instruction in riding and horsemanship, and to instil in members the proper care of their animals.
- To promote the highest ideals of sportsmanship, citizenship and loyalty, thereby cultivating strength of character and self-discipline.
The Irish Pony Club is committed to providing a safe and fair environment for all members. Our first priority is the welfare of Members and we are committed to providing an environment, which will allow participants to perform to their best ability, free from bullying and intimidation.
To get the most out of being a member it is preferable to own your own pony, though this is not a requirement in order to join the Pony Club. Some members don’t own their own pony and generally borrow one from a friend. We are always keen to welcome new members but we would ask that riders are competent in rising trot, without being led, before they join. There are many excellent riding schools and freelance instructors in the area so if you need help or advice in finding suitable instruction we should be able to advise you. If you are interested in joining then please don’t hesitate to contact us.
The branch is a valuable source of friendship, support and expertise for its members and their parents and everyone involved is more than willing to lend a hand or offer advice.
Our committee members are:
DC : Sharon Kelly 086 338 9166
Secretary : Donna Bonner
Treasurer : Annemarie Ferry
Assistant Treasurer: Katie Coyle
Child Protection Officers: Kate McQuaid, Sharon Kelly
Safety Officer: Rosaleen Harkin
Equipment Manager: Paul McElhinney
PR Officer : Rosaleen Harkin
PC Shop : Sharon Kelly
Parents Rep: Andrew Simms
Area 6 Rep: Christine Shanley
Clew Bay Branch
South Donegal Branch
East Donegal Branch
Co. Longford Branch
Moy Valley Branch
North West Branch
Sligo Hunt Branch
Parents are encouraged to attend any parents meetings being held and to get actively involved in suggesting events and outings. A quarterly calender of events is circulated to each member family and reminder texts are sent out closer to the time of each event. It is essential to let the event organiser know in good time if your child will or will not be attending as rider numbers dictate instructor numbers and how long the venue is hired for.
Our branch holds regular rallies to provide instruction in every aspect of riding and pony care as well as offering the important opportunity for our members to get together and have the craic! These rallies take place in a variety of venues according to the type of rally.
Training towards the IPC efficiency tests is carried out at all regular rallies, with additional specific training sessions organised as required.
The high point of the pony club year for many members is the annual summer camp. We are one of the few branches in the country who still hold a residential camp each year and we hope we will continue to be able to do this as it is a very special experience for all concerned.
For the more competitive members we encourage participation in the various national competitions, where our members have brought great honour to their branch over the years. We also run a number of friendly branch and inter-branch competitions to allow our members to get out and compete in an easy going but safe and supportive atmosphere.
Not all activities are mounted and we also organise outings to places of interest, run table quizes, go bowling and generally have a good time!