Pony Club members, leaders and equine enthusiasts connected online January 27-30 for the 2021 Virtual Equine Symposium & Convention, hosted by the United States Pony Clubs, Inc. More than 500 attendees from seven time zones logged in during the event for a blend of live and on-demand educational opportunities, with over 75 workshops, live presentations, networking sessions and interactive learning experiences on a variety of equine topics. As an added benefit, meeting attendees will enjoy access to all content on the digital event platform for the next six months.
Based on attendee feedback and requests, registration will reopen from February 8-28 for anyone who missed the event but would like to access recordings of the live and on-demand sessions.
Representatives from 41 United States Pony Club Regions plus attendees from international Pony Club organizations participated in the event, working to expand Pony Club programming for current and future members. In addition to educational workshops, attendees enjoyed a variety of online activities, from viewing research project fair entries and exploring the anatomy lab to shopping the virtual trade fair and exhibit hall. Pony Club members got advice to prepare for horse management at certifications and rallies, and workshop tracks focused on leadership, instruction, veterinary care, and riding disciplines.
The convention welcomed 14 delegates to the 2021 National Youth Congress as well as honoring the inductees into this year’s Academy of Achievement: Royce L. Evans-Mason, Emily Harvey, and Sara Lieser.
Many Pony Club awards were announced at the Friday evening Meeting of the Corporation. The Olympus Pony Club (formerly named Vashon Island Olympus) in the Northwest Region and St. Margaret’s Pony Club in the Maryland Region received 50-Year Club Milestone Awards, while Rose Lake Pony Club (Great Lakes Region) and Shaker Valley Pony Club (White Mountain Region) were honored with 25-Year Club Milestone Awards. Upper Level members received special recognition for achieving Pony Club’s highest certification, with members Anna Douglas (Lakeville Pony Club, New York/Upper Connecticut Region) and Kim Goto Miner (Santa Rosa Valley Pony Club, Camino Real Region) earning their A Certifications. The Brookfield Land Conservation Award was presented to Groton Pony Club in the Central New England Region, while the Flash Teamwork Award went to Woodside Pony Club in the Middle California Region. Winners of the USPC Research Project Fair sponsored by Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation were announced, and attendees celebrated the recipients of the USPC Founders Awards for 2020, recognizing longtime volunteers Lynn du Celliee Muller and Cindy Healy for their dedicated service to Pony Club.
The 2021 Equine Symposium & Convention was possible thanks to the support of our sponsors, including the Arabian Horse Youth Foundation, Aurora Pharmaceutical, Flair Equine Nasal Strips, Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, Small Bytes, Specialty Program Insurors, and Stites & Harbison Attorneys, as well as USPC corporate sponsors Kerrits, Shapley’s, Triple Crown Nutrition, Wintec, and The Horse.
The 2022 Equine Symposium & Convention hosted by USPC will be held January 26-30, 2022, as Pony Club will “Seas the Magic” with the Old Dominion Region at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott in Norfolk, Virginia.
About Pony Club — The United States Pony Clubs, Inc. (Pony Club) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1954. The United States Pony Clubs, Inc., develops character, leadership, confidence, and a sense of community through a program that teaches the care of horses and ponies, riding, and mounted sports for an inter-generational audience with a focus on youth. Pony Club is one of the largest equine education organizations with thousands of members and hundreds of clubs and centers throughout the United States. USPC is proud to provide education to equestrians of all ages, with instruction and competitive opportunities in more than 10 different disciplines. Pony Club’s educational standards continue to be instrumental in curriculum development for schools, universities, equestrian professionals and organizations across the United States. Many of the nation’s top equestrians, including Olympic team members, as well as successful business professionals and leaders in a variety of fields, have roots in Pony Club.
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