Glen Innes Pony Club camp was jam-packed

Glen Innes Pony Club has long been one of the strongest and most competitive clubs in Zone 13.

With an array of top level horsemen and women at their fingertips to guide them, it's no wonder why.

This was evident at their annual week-long camp held over the New Year period with superb instructors giving lessons in their chosen disciplines throughout the week.

Around 62 pony clubbers took part in the camp with a handful visiting from Nambucca Heads, more from Gunnedah and another bunch from Queensland.

The club's Chief Instructor, Codie Law, is no stranger to high-level campdraft competitions and he was joined by a host of others to take their young charges to the next level.

"We are privileged to have a lot of capable and experienced local experienced instructors that are either directly involved with the club or have been coming for a while anyway and a few that travelled from Warwick, Moree, Tenterfield," Law said.

"We covered all the usual things; campdrafting, dressage, showjumping, flat riding.

"We had the musical ride/ troop drill competition again this year, they practiced that every morning.

"That was run on Thursday evening, green troop won that again for the third year running."

Aside from Law and other experienced coaches within the ranks, guest instructors included renowned Queensland-based horseman Scott Keogh and Deepwater Polo Club's Pat Herde.

The variation in disciplines and education offered at the camp has kept pony clubbers coming back, as well as new members joining.

Law believes it is also part of the reason why the Glen Innes club manages to hold on to teenage boy riders when most clubs struggle to keep them interested.

"We have been able to keep the boys. We have been doing some different things at camp too," he said.

"We had Pat Herde from Deepwater this year and last year and he did a day of polo with the kids.

"And also did a demonstration with a young unbroken two-year-old and all the kids, particularly those senior boys have been really interested in that, all the campdrafting instruction, Scott Keogh has been down the last two years and doing horsemanship type things that those boys are really interested in.

"We have been trying to do things that keep them keen and it seems to be working."

Another highlight of their camp included the annual leavers event which honours the junior members turning 17 during the year and will leave the pony club ranks to become associate members.

Kaitlyn Bennett, Isabel Biddle, Bridie Williamson and Riley Law will make the transition this year.

"They organised a colour run obstacle course and all the kids got involved in that and got covered in chalky powder that that washes out, including me, they dosed me with it," Law said.

"My glasses were blue and my hair was blue and pink and purple."

Law also made mention of the "strong and dedicated committee" and thanked them while noting the amount of riders who are second and third generation Glen Innes Pony Clubbers.

Camp rounded out with a gymkhana event which was a huge success.

Pointscores from the gymkhana events:

Rainbow Troop Five years and under

Girl: Reserve - Eloise Gray

Champion: Kalani Walmsley

Rainbow Troop Visitors

Reserve champion: Charles Pickering

Champion:

Geordie Drayton

6 Yrs and Over

Girl- Reserve champion: Isabelle Abbey

Champion: Olive Sorley

Boy-

Reserve champion: Matthew Pietsch

Champion: Charlie Schalk

Under 7

Girl-

Reserve champion: Lara Newberry

Champion: Charolette Neville

Boy-

Champion: Alec Newberry

7 and Under 9

Girl-

Reserve champion: Molly Waters

Champion:

Sophia Nugent

9 and Under 11

Girl-

Reserve champion: Allegra Pinferi

Champion: Lali Alt

Boy-

Reserve champion: Patrick Wright

Champion: Lloyd Newbury

11 and Under 13

Girl- Reserve champion: Clare Munro

Champion:

Emily Spencer

Boy-

Reserve champion: Mark Jones

Champion: Lachlan Munro

13 and Under 15

Girl-

Reserve champion: Alexandra Wright

Champion:

Mia Baker

13 and Under 15

Boy-

Reserve champion: Lachlan Cameron

Champion: Angus Cameron

15 and Under 17

Girl-

Reserve champion: Emily Mills

Champion: Kaitlyn Bennett

Boy-

Reserve champion: Riley Law

Champion: Sam Donnelly

Associate

Girl-

Reserve champion: Jaynika Hollis

Champion: Rachel Kiehne

Boy-

Reserve champion: Nash Killea

Champion: Luke Kiehne

Visitor

Reserve champion: Georgia Hollis

Champion: Oscar Thomson

With camp done and dusted, the club now turns to the annual Zone 13 Jamboree set down for Walcha Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Law said they have chosen a team of 20 under-17 riders and four associates to compete but it was a hard decision narrowing it down.

"We don't always have quite a big number to choose from because they have to be eligible as well; they have to have attended a few interclubs as well as pony camp and then they have to want to be available," he said.

"It would be nice if we could take everyone that wants to go."

There will be everything covered from dressage, showjumping, campdrafting, team of fours, show riding, and sporting at Jamboree.

There is also expected to be a minute's silence for Zone 13 Pony Club member and the northern Zone 13 interclub trophy namesake Keith Willcocks who died last week.