Wollondilly Pony Club celebrates 50-year anniversary: Photos

The Wollondilly Pony Club will toast a special milestone this weekend.

Current and past members will come together at Picton Bowling Club on Saturday night to celebrate the pony club’s 50th anniversary.

One of the club’s founding members, Betty Wallace, still remains actively involved.

Wallace said the club came from humble beginnings and was originally called Wollondilly Horse and Pony Club in 1968.

“We had more than 20 people attend our first meeting in the old CWA hall at Tahmoor,” she said.

“There were so many kids with ponies back then so there was a real need for a club.”

The club’s name was changed to Wollondilly Pony Club in 1971.

That year also marked a move the club out to Thirlmere Way, where it remains today.

Wallace said the club had undergone many changes in the past 50 years but their core goal was still the same.

“You get kids that want to learn about their ponies and learn about horse riding,” she said.

However, Wallace said there were a lot more external pony club competitions now compared to the past.

“There is a lot more outside competition and the kids sometimes forget they have to learn the basics first,” she said.

"Pony club had to move with the times, but our basic teaching and core values are still the same."

Wallace said member numbers had fluctuated over the past five decades.

“We had about 25 kids originally but we were up to 70 children at the club during the 1990s,” she said.

“There’s been ups and downs over the years and we have close to 30 riders now.”

Wallace said she loved being involved with pony club because she grew up with horses and loved teaching children how to ride.

"It's been an absolute pleasure to teach the kids,” she said.

“You can learn a lot from books, but you've got to have that practical experience too.

"I'm so pleased that we've been there to help the young people over the years.

“But if you had told me that 50 years ago I’d still be here, I’d say ‘don’t be silly.”

Wallace said she looked forward to this weekend’s pony club reunion.

“There are quite a lot of coming and there will be lots of tales to tell,” she said.

The event is invitation only.