Members and ex-members of Shepparton and District Pony Club came together to celebrate the club's 60th birthday at the weekend.By Estelle Griepink
It was a family affair for those who attended Shepparton and District Pony Club’s 60th birthday celebrations at the weekend.
Almost 100 people attended the event at the Shepparton Pony Club Grounds in Kialla, including ex-members from as far away as Melbourne.
Only five other Victorian pony clubs have celebrated the same milestone.
The club’s present longest-serving members, Marni and Bree Hicks, said they were proud to be at the event.
‘‘We were here for the 50th, so that shows how long we’ve been here for,’’ Marni, 19, said.
‘‘Sixty years is massive — it’s so good it’s still going.’’
Marni said she could still remember her first horse at the pony club — a little white pony named Toby.
Nowadays, Marni and her sister have moved into teaching roles.
‘‘There is a little bit of an age gap between us and the other members, so we are a little like role models now,’’ Marni said.
‘‘We do some coaching — it’s good to teach them what we learned,’’ Bree, 22, added.
Marni said her involvement in the club was one steeped in family history.
She was introduced to riding by her parents when she was about four years old and her mother Debbie is the club’s president.
‘‘I would definitely encourage all families to get involved — even if they’re not from a horsey background,’’ Marni said.
‘‘It’s such a friendly atmosphere and it’s good fitness.’’
President Debbie Hicks said she was excited to see the club turn 60.
‘‘It’s just excellent, and as far as history goes it’s pretty special,’’ Ms Hicks said.
‘‘Our zone’s club just reached 50 years, so we’re even older than the Pony Club Association of Victoria.’’
Ms Hicks said the club was a great place for people to honour family memories and create new ones.
‘‘For a lot of the families here, their parents rode and they brought them,’’ she said.
‘‘You don’t just come and go — it’s a lifestyle and it just gets under your skin.’’
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