Info here for the upcoming Camp

The second joint Berrima District and Moss Vale Pony Club Camp was held again at the Moss Vale Showground. This time it ran over 6 days – we needed it as there was alot to fit in. From team penning to polocrosse, mounted games to flatwork, equitation to rider in action and a wonderful day at Araluen on the cross country course there was alot to do.

There were 45 riders this year ranging in age from 5 to 15 years old and all seemed to have a great time, making new friends as well as learning something different on horseback.

Sunday was set up day and vet check. There was a little rain about but this did not stop all unloading horses, gear and bedding and being organised and ready for our first dinner. Sally Quirico provided some of the best camp food and worked with a team of helpers throughout the week to give us all 5 meals a day. A fantastic effort.

After some difficulty getting to sleep and with the lure of the gymnasium equipment just asking to be jumped on everyone got to sleep.

On Monday morning we welcomed Jacqui Van Montfrans and Robbie Soster as our flatwork instructors and despite many moans of “I really don’t like dressage” I think it was a must! Others learnt some show jumping or equitation but the really fun part was getting to know how to move cattle around in the sand arena. Some disco dancing was seen in the dining room later that evening and everyone collapsed into bed abit earlier!

On Tuesday, Trevor Morris and Peter Gillis arrived to provide show jump coaching. There was an enormous improvement over the week with a number of riders getting their first grading card by the end of it. Nothing beats riding 4 hours a day for 5 days straight to get the confidence going. Paula Hambly gave a demonstration at lunchtime on what a stock horse work out is – something most of us had not appreciated before. Richard Burrells (a show jump course builder) also volunteered his time and came out on two nights to talk to riders about the “ins and outs” of show jumping, what can go wrong, what to look for when walking a course etc. All vital information on competition day.

The wind picked up on Tuesday (it had been snowing in the Snowy Mountains) and it felt like 3 degrees . Nor did the weather improve the following day for our “outing” to Araluen. With Peter Gillis, Trevor Morris and Sam Lyle as our jumping coaches as well as many of our own volunteer pony club instructors we spent all morning and most of the afternoon taking advantage of the cross country grounds and all the different types of cross country obstacles. For many it was their first visit to a cross country course and everyone had a go. We arrived back at the showground safely and enjoyed another great dinner and early night!

Thursday was polocrosse day and Rider in Action. The weather got better and with Julia Frean running the polocrosse and Alex Wansey designing, building and instructing the Rider in Action course we had another huge day. This was followed by an enormous bonfire with lots of stories, tales and jokes.

The last day was competition day. The 8 teams: The Pussy Cat Dolls, The Beibers, The Spice Girls, The Other Guys, The Pinks, Lady Gaga’s, The Incredibles and The Fantastic Four went out to race. We had been practicing different mounted games all week and so the competition was Rider in Action followed by Barrels, Scudahoe and the Bag Race.

Everyone put their hand to clean up and then after lunch and prize giving the week was over.

Of course, none of it could have happened without the enthusiasm and support of all the parents and riders. In particular the parents who volunteered nonstop – from putting up show jumps, taking down show jumps, moving show jumps to preparing and cooking food and of course instructing. Once again a lot of our parents instructed and put together wonderful lessons for the riders. It is a huge effort, as for many it is not their chosen field, but they are very capable of helping our children learn something new and in the spirit of fun. So thank you to everyone.

Louise Horsley

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This was the first time that Berrima Pony Club has hosted the camp at Moss Vale Showground and what a success.! The facilities are wonderful, the weather was perfect and we had 42 keen and smiling riders from both Berrima and Moss Vale Pony Club.

The first day started with a troop drill and Melissa Meredith’s group were a stand out. This is something that we can continue to practice at our Rally Days. The previous day we had hauled over alot of mounted games materials and implements from the BDPC shed and discovered a whole range of games that we, as a club have not practiced for many years, including potato scrambling, hilo, sack races, tyre races and the three mug race. Whilst not entirely suitable for those big warmblood types the smaller agile ponies and their riders had an opportunity to show their stuff! So anyone keen to do more games let us know.

Over lunch, Steve the saddler gave a talk on fitting saddles and pointed out the problems to look for when fitting a saddle to your horse. He carried out some fittings and managed to find one broken tree.

With more than 4 hours in the saddle, lots of setting up and catching up there was no problem in getting to sleep on Thursday night.

Up early, but not too early, Friday was a big day. Raph Kennedy instructed jumping equitation, the beginners had a go at bareback riding and we covered more mounted games including Postman’s Chase and team rope bending. Tim Barnes the dentist gave a great talk on horse dentistry and its importance to the health and happiness of your horse.

However, the highlight of the day was cattle penning. Scott Tudgey and two fine stock horse riders brought over a mob of heifers and everyone had a go at penning. In the afternoon, there was a chance to compete against the clock and some fast times were achieved. Lachlan Tudgey, Pernella Veyerman and Mikala Veyerman were the winners in 47 seconds and three head – a very impressive achievement. Watch this space for more cattle penning to come!

Again after another great meal from Melissa Meredith and her team, some hard fought and determined apple bobbing competitors and everyone was asleep as soon as their heads touched the pillow. We are now considering apple bobbing on horseback, so again – watch this space!

Saturday was a half day but we managed to fit in Jackie Montfrans teaching flatwork, more jumping equitation, bareback jumping, plaiting and the beginners learnt to canter.

Congratulations to all our riders for participating and working together to put everything away at the end. It was a job well done. A big thank you to all the instructors, volunteers (especially dads who get all the heavy work) and particularly to Alison Lalak and Lisa Shepherd for being Camp Mothers, Meredith Lawson and Melissa Meredith.

See you again next year

Louise Horsley

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