Pony riding community
Matamata Pony Club, at over 50 years old, has provided an avenue for horseloving children in Matamata-Piako to socialise and learn about their horses for decades. went along for a look. Like most clubs across Matamata- Piako district, Matamata Pony Club is a family affair.
You’ll find mums helping their children saddle their horse and you’ll see dads helping out around the club’s property. Everyone pitches in.
The club also has a lot of history, having been formed in 1948. Like a lot of rural clubs, it entered recess in 1956 and was brought out of recess in 1966. Head coach Jo Schumacher has a long association with the club, joining when she was just 2 years old.
As a former district commissioner, Schumacher has a passion for pony clubs. She loves the the real seeing the growth and development the young club members achieve, she said.
The club reached its peak around ten years ago and was capped at 75 riders. Former club secretary Stacey Akers said the club has had its ups and downs over the years.
‘‘But we’re building up now and getting strong again.’’
Matamata Pony Club provides the perfect opportunity for young people to compete in a team. It also boasts a strong social element as well as plenty of learning opportunities.
Along with lessons in show jumping, flat work, cross country and games, members also learn
CROSS COUNTRY: Sophie McQuade, 7, and her horse practice cross country
OBSTACLES: Jordan Edmonds, 10, leads her horse over an obstacle.