The Boards have paid due regard to the Charity Commission guidance on community benefit when reviewing the aims and activities of The Pony Club.
The Pony Club is a voluntary youth organisation which is open to all young people under the age of 25 throughout New Zealand.
The aims of The Pony Club are:
To encourage young people to ride and to learn to enjoy all kinds of sport connected with ponies and riding.
To give instruction in riding and horsemastership and to educate Members to look after and to take proper care of animals.
To promote the highest ideals of sportsmanship, citizenship and loyalty to create strength of character and self-discipline.
To values, encourages, develop and recognise the volunteers who are the backbone of Pony Club and its success
The Pony Club promotes the education of young people through the provision of instruction and examination in riding, horse care and animal welfare. At camps and rallies children are taught best practice in a fun and safe environment.
Competitions are held at Branch, Clubs, Area, and the National levels allow Members to compete at the highest level. Tests and competitions help young people to develop potential and encourage them to strive for the highest standards of equestrian achievement. Many former Members go on to compete at international competitions which helps to raise the international sporting profile of the nation.
In determining the fees and charges for membership, the Board’s priority is to set these at a level so that membership of Pony Club is accessible to the widest possible section of the public. Traditionally, Pony Club Members had to have their own ponies, but Pony Club has developed Riding without Ponies Programme specifically designed for children who do not have their own ponies. Pony Club has also opened up membership to Riding Centres again to assist member for children who do not have their own ponies.
An additional focus is to raise public awareness of Pony Club across as wide a spectrum as possible, and to that end the Board are looking at increased advertising and the use of social networking sites (subject to child protection considerations), to reach children who may not yet be aware of Pony Club and its work. The Pony Club website is free to all and aims to educate all young people interested in riding and animal welfare.
The physical training offered by horse-riding brings considerable health advantages associated with rigorous exercise. Training is offered to Members and volunteers in Road Safety, First Aid and Health and Safety. They are also taught how to assess risks through practical instruction and educational resources. This encourages young people to ride safely and helps to reduce accidents and injuries.
The Pony Club publishes the Pony Club Manuals series which supports the certificate system and rally activities. These Manuals are widely regarded as the most reliable and informative book in this area, used not only by New Zealand Pony Clubs but also the Australian Pony Clubs Association.