Pony Clubbers get a taste of HOY
The excitement from the 20-strong group from the victorious Palmerston North Pony Club members is palpable.
The club won the hotly-contested Horse of the Year Pony Club competition which saw 20 gain six-day passes, a camp site for them all and a VIP tour of the show.
All Pony Clubs in New Zealand were invited to share a club of their members sporting the official HOY 2017 hashtag #RoadtoHOY. There was plenty of imagination from people around the country, with their photos catching the imagine of hundreds who liked them on Facebook.
However, Palmerston North took things to a whole new level with more than 1000 likes for their clever photo featuring the team standing on top of their horse
The group are all sporting new uniforms for their prize-winning jaunt.
Head coach Vicky Sowry is credited with being the driving force behind the club’s win.
For many from the Palmerston North Pony Club, it is a dream come true to visit HOY.
Dana Sutton, mum and coach says little faces were squashed to windows as they arrived at the show.
“Some didn’t have any idea of what HOY is like – the shopping, the people, the size of the jumps and more. It is amazing to see their eyes light up when they see it all.”
Parent help Tiffany Good says winning the HOY prize has been incredible for them all.
“It is a nice way to promote our Pony Club, but particularly for the younger members to come and see where they may be competing one day. This is the ultimate!”
Eight-year-old Sophie Sowry and five-year-old Zara Sutton – both of whom have represented their Pony Club in mounted games at regional level – are clear they plan to star at HOY in the future.
Sophie’s older sister Charlotte is on debut at the show loves watching the best of the best win classes and is hoping she will get to meet her hero Vicki Wilson.
Zara has her sights set on the Lady Rider crown. Considering mum Dana is an accomplished showjumper, chances are high she’ll see that dream to fruition.
The win has seen a small spurt in membership numbers for the club, and that makes them all very happy.
HOY marketing manager Nigel Chenery welcomed the winners to the show.
“It is just great to give them the opportunity to experience HOY,” he said. “This is the next generation of competition and riders and it’s neat to see the sheer delight on their faces.”