History of Capel Horse and Pony Club - by Helen Clements


The first rally was held in the paddock at the back our home in Capel  situated on the Western Titanium mine site.  Mary Wilson was the instigator and those of us with  children and horses hoped they could start a  Pony Club.  On that day Jenny Daley who later achieved her "A" certificate in Pony Club, rode her little round grey pony "Clydie" with dad local veterinarian Dr Peter Daley, an accomplished rider and breeder of stock horses, assisting her



A considerable area of land on the Goodwood Road, which had been a racecourse in 1878, was made available for lease by the Shire of Capel for equestrian use.  Polocrosse established itself at the grounds.  Yards, an enclosed arena, fencing and gates were build and a very substantial club house and toilet and shower block were erected.  



The Capel Horse and Pony Club was formed and registered with Pony Club Association of W.A.  We made our home the equestrian area on the Goodwood Rd.  Rallies commenced with input from people who had some knowledge of Pony Club.  Pat  Sharp came to held and Ruth McPherson became the Chief  Instructor.  

Some of us went to York for our first instructor's school, one of several. under the watchful eye of Miss K Irving.  At Capel we were able to present lots of activities because of the safe enclosed area, tent pegging, camp drafting, training for cross country speeds and galloping are some I recall.  A cross country course now2 enhances the area.  As part of the South West Zone we traveled  many kilometers attending meetings, training schools and competition.  Zone Assisted and K* coordinator were roles I undertook at Zone.



The State Championships was held in Capel and presented by the South West Zone and Pony Club Horse Trials Sub-Committee.  The course was built on Mr John Tucker's property, just a short distance from the Equestrian grounds.  Being involved resulted in a lasting connection which gave me immense pleasure.  It enabled me to see the young riders achieve the considerable skills required for eventing.  I became a member of the Pony Club Horse Trials Sub-Committee and remained a member for many years, extending my knowledge to become a Horse/Trials Steward.  I traveled the State meeting Pony Club members and evaluating cross country courses.  During this time I joined the EFA Horse Trials Committee, later taking on the position of Horse Trials Steward Coordinator, now Technical Delegates.  At this time we rewrote the Pony Club Horse Trials Rule Book to make it easier for young riders to understand.  Also we submitted to PCAWA meeting the possibility of making the pony club event courses the same heights and spreads as EFA up to RN level.  This was accepted.



It was then felt to encourage our more mature riders we should introduce courses at novice level, this was to be called A Plus.  I had great pleasure in providing the trophy for this competition.  Joining the Coaching Panel and spending time at clubs as a Visiting Commissioner to assess Coaches and held present coaching schools was a tremendous learning curve.  Domini Morgan, International dressage rider and coach, visited WA between 1982 and 19*99 as part of the Alcoa Coaches in Residence Scheme.  She was an inspiration for many coaches and you riders.



I was elected as State President of the PCAWA, a role which I considered an honor and gave me great pleasure.  Support was given by many people especially the Executive Officer Heather Appleby.

Receiving life membership of Capel Horse and Pony Club at this time was a further honor.

Always mindful of the Aims and Objectives of Pony Club and the Code of Conduct for everyone, I enjoyed the wonderful years spent withy young riders, horses and other people who made up the PCAWA movement.