In the saddle for half a century

The Far West Pony Club (FWPC) is 50 this year and will be celebrating the milestone next week.

The FWPC will host the highlight of the Eyre Peninsula Pony Club Zone year, the annual Zone School.

With clubs being spread across Eyre Peninsula it takes quite a financial and physical effort for members to get to Ceduna, with many about to travel over 1000 kilometres to attend.

The Zone School will run from Monday, April 14 until Thursday, April 17.

Pony club riders will have tuition from qualified, experienced instructors from Adelaide and lessons taught will be both ridden and theory.

The FWPC is fortunate to have instructors of this calibre in Ceduna for the event and this was helped greatly by generous sponsorship from the Ceduna Foreshore Hotel Motel.

A highlight of the event is the presentation dinner to be held in the function room at the hotel on Tuesday, April 15.

Pony club members from across Eyre Peninsula will be presented with various awards that they have achieved throughout the year.

The FWPC dates back to the inaugural meeting at the Ceduna Showgrounds on February 9, 1969 in which 15 adult and 15 junior members were present.

Featured in the minutes of that first meeting were well known members of the community: Dodd, Chandler, Handtke, Watson, Burnett and Trowbridge - all family names which are still prominent in Ceduna today.

Patron N Hurrell donated $10 to start the club off financially and membership fees were set at $2 per year.

FWPC hit the ground running with six instructors, held rallies twice a month, with a gymkhana in April and running of the horses at the Ceduna Agricultural Show.

Members travelled all over Eyre Peninsula to compete in gymkhana's, zone competitions and just to join other clubs in regular rallies.

The original formal uniform was a yellow 'pull over', yellow tie, with shirt with fawn jodhpurs.

A hard hat and riding boots were compulsory for all riders.

In the 1990s a brown jumper replaced the yellow, but this much-maligned coloured attire soon make a return to be teamed with a royal blue tie and saddle blanket.

In 2015, Far West had a complete makeover in changing the club colours to teal, grey, black and white.

As part of the celebrations, former members of the FWPC are welcome to attend any part of the Zone School 2019 and are especially invited to attend the presentation dinner to see what the club looks like today, celebrate achievement and catch up with old friends.

Please call 0448 394 307 or email secretaryfwpc@gmail.com to book a spot.

Tickets for the raffle are available from any FWPC members, B'orbae Hair and Beauty, during Zone School and at the presentation dinner.

All Far West members are looking forward to welcoming everybody to the Zone School in Ceduna and are planning on making the club's 50th year the biggest and the best.