2018 NSW Pony Club Championships

Hundreds of young equestrians converged on Dorrigo on the weekend  of April 14-16 for the 2018 NSW Pony Club Championships.

Competitors travelled from 16 zones in the NSW and Queensland.

North Dorrigo Pony Club members received a big “thumbs up” for their efforts.

“Preparation for a state championship requires months of planning and hard work,” a visiting pony club official said on Monday. “And we’ve seen the outcome of these efforts during the weekend.

“I find it interesting  that many of the local people facilitating this event do not have children involved. I think this says a great deal for Dorrigo people and their sense of community.”

Dorrigo officials said they were pleased with their efforts, the standard of competition and an “absence of dramas”.

North Dorrigo Pony Club last hosted the championships in 1988.

Major competition during the weekend included sporting events, campdrafting and team penning.

Ages of competitors varied from under 11 to under 25 and riders and their families came from as far south as Canberra. More than 30 riders represented clubs in Queensland.

Eleven members of the North Dorrigo Club competed as members of the Zone Nine team of 17 riders.

State officials acknowledged the effort and cost borne by competitors travelling long distances.

One official was asked to estimate the value of horseflesh as about 25 riders paraded after one section of the campdraft.

“One horse out there I know is worth around $25,000, another sold recently for $12,500 while others vary in price down to about $1,250,” he said.

Participation  in pony clubs is not indicative of  an exclusive hobby but a love of horses, competition and the maintenance of an Australian way of life once common but now reduced in numbers.

The location of next year’s state championships has not been announced.