The United States Pony Clubs Inc. (USPC, or “Pony Club”) has made a significant change to its national events offerings for members. Starting in 2024, the well-known educational organization will be celebrating the USPC Festival every other year in Lexington, Kentucky instead of every three years.
The festival offers its national championships competition in eight disciplines, with two open competitions in two of its newest disciplines during the first part of the week. This is followed by more than 50 clinics and workshop sessions taught by Olympians, Pony Club experts and equine industry professionals.
Throughout the week, participants, family and visitors can shop at the USPC Festival trade fair, participate in and watch the mock foxhunt, and enjoy all aspects of Pony Club activities. This unforgettable experience attracts 2,500+ Pony Club members of all ages, their families, volunteers and leaders, coaches, judges and clinicians, as well as equestrians from the equine community.
The USPC Festival has always been a much-anticipated event for Pony Club, and it is open to members and non-members alike. First held in 1983 at the world-renowned Kentucky Horse Park, it was the brainchild of then-President Mary Lou Anderson, who had the idea of gathering the entire Pony Club family in one place for national competitions and mounted and unmounted education. The festival is a time of excitement as friends are made, goals are met and awards are earned. For more information, visit www.ponyclub.org/events/festival.
A shift in focus
This shift away from annual championship events will also help USPC focus on who matters most—its members, volunteers and leaders—as Pony Club works to strengthen regional support and continues to grow its programming. This decision was made after an extensive review period during which the National Office gathered information about USPC events and regional activities, and, most importantly, solicited feedback from membership.
“We listened to the membership and carefully reviewed all of our options for our national events. This was the best option by far, as members have always loved Festival, and everyone who attends gets so much out of the experience,” said USPC Executive Director Teresa Woods. “The amazing friendships and bonds that are made at a USPC Festival are truly awe-inspiring, and the educational programming is always top-notch. It’s always inspiring for me to attend and see our members as they learn and compete at this special event.”
The United States Pony Clubs Inc., which is the largest equine educational organization in North America, is celebrating its 70th anniversary throughout the year–and especially at the 2024 Festival. The organization is currently planning special ways for attendees to help it mark 70 years of equestrian education.
In addition, the USPC has several exciting program options for members that will be unveiled during the 2024 USPC Convention, to be held January 24-28, 2024, in Reno, Nevada. Anyone interested in Pony Club programming is encouraged to attend the 2024 USPC Convention to learn more while enjoying equine education, camaraderie, leadership training and connection to equine enthusiasts from around the country. For more about the 2024 USPC Convention, visit www.ponyclub.org/events/convention.
About the United States Pony Clubs Inc.
The United States Pony Clubs Inc. (USPC or Pony Club) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization that builds the foundation of teamwork and sportsmanship through riding, mounted sports, and care of horses and ponies, while developing and enhancing leadership, confidence, responsibility and a sense of community in its youth and adult members. USPC is proud to offer instruction and competitive opportunities in 11 competitive disciplines through hundreds of clubs and centers across the United States. USPC’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. For more information, email [email protected] or visit www.ponyclub.org.
NOTE: Landing page image by Elizabeth Moyer/United States Pony Clubs