The Gympie & District Pony Club enjoys a rich history
GYMPIE ESTABLISHES A PONY CLUB
In 1958 the concept of establishing a pony club in Gympie first arose in public meetings at the Gympie Showgrounds, leading to the club’s eventual formation. It was at this time the club’s first instructors were also inducted, paving the way for the club to assume full operation. In 1959, the club confirmed its identity with its official uniform consisting of a gold cap, white shirt, maroon tie, fawn jodphurs and blue check saddle cloth.
The club also announced its arrival in staging the first ever gymkhana event, an event that today continues to draw in record numbers of competitors. As the years went by, the club adopted official changes in 1961 to its uniform to comprise of a pink shirt, bottle green tie, bottle green vest and white helmet. It was at this time the club also released its first newsletter.
In 1962 a major change to the way the club functioned was made as it was decided to relocate the club to the Queens Park grounds, where the club remains today. The relocation was a big task at the time, requiring the construction of the first club house and other facilities.
Judy Carsley, member for 30 years, said the relocation was a great initiative which paved the way for expansion.
“Our facilities are wonderful and over time have allowed us to grow with the increasing interest in the club,” she said.
THE CLUB CONTINUES TO GROW
The club grew in stature and this was acknowledged when in 1988 Gympie proudly held the Queensland State Championships for dressage, combined training and one day eventing. It was a huge gesture of confidence in Gympie’s facilities at the time and Carsley said the eventing course built in conjunction with the Gympie Active Riders “is deemed the best in Queensland”.
The boost of confidence allowed the club to surge ahead and again in 1997 Gympie played host to the Queensland State Championships for showjumping and jumping equitation. At the time, it was the biggest meet held for the event. The years that followed saw a number of achievements for the club, including the completion of stage one of redevelopment to the club rounds, the installation of new water lines to improve water access and the finalisation of the lease agreement for the club’s grounds.
A new clubhouse in 2007 together with the construction of day yards and the realisation of stage two of redevelopment have launched the club into the future. Carsley says, “There is an endless list of achievements to reflect on”.
But perhaps the biggest achievement is the club’s ability to exist as a pivotal part of the community.
“During its 50-year history, Gympie Pony Club has consistently assisted in developing some of the best riders, employees and business people in Queensland.
“We have maintained the mission statement of the club for the youth of the surrounding districts and look forward to being of service to the community (in years to come),” she said.
And Carsley summarises, saying “the club is the essence of its members”.
* reproduced from an article published in the Gympie Times, Nov 15, 2008