Pony club weathers storm

Bony lesson. . . Taking part in a workshop looking at the bones that comprise a horse’s skeleton are (from left) Central Pony Club members Adielyn Moncur,4 and Michaela Argyle,8, Wyndham Pony Club members Erica Macbeth,7 and Tessa Cameron, 5, Tapanui Pony Club member Kate Hartshorne, 9 and Wakatipu Pony Club member Margo Hamilton, 6. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

Despite a state of emergency being announced in the Gore District on Thursday afternoon, pony club campers and their horses made the best of a soggy situation.

Campers were on their way to the annual Otago Southland Pony Club development camp when the state of emergency came into effect, committee member Brooke Cameron said.

About 70 of the 116 riders booked in for the camp arrived at the very wet Gore A&P Showgrounds on Thursday.

To not put any pressure on emergency services, the campers did not ride their horses on Friday, Mrs Cameron said.

Instead they took part in workshops that included learning about poisonous plants, horse bones, how to lead their horse and how to make a showjumping course.

Riders at the camp were aged between 4 and 24-yearsold.

The camp was a great opportunity as it gave riders coaching opportunities they would normally not be able to access..

‘‘In Southland we wouldn’t have access to coaches we have here.’’

It was also a social time with riders making new friends with like-minded others.

Australian show jumper Clem Smith was invited to take part in the camp.

He had been a member of pony club when he was younger, Mr Smith said.

‘‘Pony club camps are good for the foundation of young riders coming through.

‘‘It teaches kids to be a team and work and support each other.’’

Riding resumed on Saturday once camp organisers had permission from the New Zealand Police and the New Zealand Pony Club Association.