The formation of the New Zealand Pony Clubs Association began in 1944, when Dorothy Campbell read about the British Horse Society and Pony Club in the magazine Riding, which inspired her to write to the secretary of the organisation.
At that time, many children in New Zealand were growing up on farms and most had ponies and often rode them to get to school. There was no television and not as many other sports activities available as there are now. So these children spent a lot of time with their ponies, but there was often no instruction available to teach them to ride safely or to care for their ponies properly.
Dorothy Campbell thought that both children and ponies would benefit from some organised activities and she arranged to hold a first fund raising gymkhana in Hawkes Bay. She was amazed by the number of riders who attended.
As a result of this enthusiasm, Dorothy established the Heretaunga Pony Club, which became affiliated to the British organisation. Over the next two years, quite a number of other pony clubs were formed, and a meeting was called in Palmerston North on 15th October 1946, at which the NZPCA was formed.
From this beginning, the NZPCA has grown to encompass 16 Areas with 81 Clubs and 238 Branches throughout New Zealand, as at 28/2/09.
A big “Thank You” to the many thousands of volunteers who have, over the years, given generously of their time and expertise, to make the New Zealand Pony Clubs a wonderfully successful youth movement.
A full history of the first fifty years of the NZPCA is in the book BOOTS & BRIDLES available from the Pony Club Shop.