Riders can begin to take their first steps on The Pony Club Talent Pathway, supported by Aberystwyth University, as applications for the 2017 scheme have opened.
The Pony Club Talent Pathway builds on the popular Rider Development Pathway (RDP) which was introduced in 2014 to aid the development of Pony Club Members who showed an ability to progress in Show Jumping, Dressage or Eventing.
Ossian Fletcher is a member of the current RDP Squad. He said: “The RDP is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I would definitely recommend it to anyone. It is not about what results you are getting or what resources you have; it is about your skills and ability, your desire to succeed and your ambitions and aspirations.”
Ossian continued to say he felt proud and honoured to represent his Branch, the Holderness Hunt Pony Club.
The new Pony Club Talent Pathway scheme sees the minimum criteria expanded to enable more riders to take part and, at each stage of the programme, receive training from The Pony Club’s vastly experienced coaches at some of the most prestigious equestrian locations in the UK.
The programme will work as follows:
- If they wish, riders can initially take part in a Training Day by booking a space at one of several venues across the UK. Held until March, riders will receive training tips and advice from top class coaches. Some Members will then progress to Regional Assessment Days, but they do not have to attend a Training Day to go to an Assessment Day.
- Regional Assessment Days offer further training opportunities and will be held throughout April. Riders take part in two training sessions at these events, with flat and/or jumping coaches as appropriate, and will receive feedback to help their future development.
- Riders will then be selected for a weekend-long National Camp where they will work with discipline-specific coaches, and benefit from other mounted and dismounted sessions.
- Six riders will then be selected to form The Pony Club Talent Pathway Squad. Squad members will benefit from support from an experienced mentor who will continue to develop their progression and training within their discipline, plus a training bursary and numerous other opportunities.
Julie McKeown, Marketing Director. Aberystwyth University, said: “We are really looking forward to seeing the next wave of talented riders coming through the Pony Club ranks and are proud to support them. As the oldest equine tertiary education provider in the UK we have seen many of our students come from a Pony Club background and we are very pleased to be involved. It would be lovely to see some of these young riders getting to the top and perhaps coming to Aber to finish their education – whatever they choose to study they can bring their horse with them.”
Visit pcuk.org. to find out more about the scheme, and apply today!