It was the year of 1970 when talks began between Coral Watts and Ian Kennedy about starting
up a pony club in the area. Children would be rounded up with notices going into local shops
in the area and general word of mouth. Coral said “you get the children together and I’ll arrange the lessons”.
Together with Julie and Ron Rafferty, who came in to help, things began to move along.
People in the area came along to help get going. John Cotton, being the first President of the club,
Kevin Richards, Helen Hurley, Robin Beatty, Jim Kelly, Sue Flett, Bob Jenkins and his
wife and daughter Bronwyn and Mr & Mrs Chugg.
It was decided that the rally would be held at the Pitson farm in Coburns Road starting in 1970
- the Pitson family volunteered their property for this venture.
After a period of approx. two years, the club decided to move on to “Mylandra”
a property owned by Jack Patton on the corner of Bulmans Road and High Street.
At around this point in time in 1972 the Club officially joined the Pony Club Association of Victoria
and became part of the Central Zone.
Then on the trail again; the Melton Pony Club moved from Jack Patton’s property
to an oval off Richards Road. As there was no PA system, Bronwyn Jenkins would ride her
horse around the oval, letting people know what was coming up next,
as cars and floats would be spread around the whole area.
Finally the Melton Pony Club was given some land by Council at Tullidge Street.
At this site, for the first time, the club could start to set up the grounds for their rallies in advance.
Also it came with a club house, equipment and toilet facilities. At this point in time,
the club had already built up quite a lot of people that were only too willing to help. Phil McKenna
aided in the toilet facilities and he also went on to become a President with the club
In this era Bernie Coburn had to hire a hall from Council to hold the Annual General Meeting
as the club had so many members and people that helped, that they needed
quite a large room to hold everyone.
As the years progressed at Tullidge Street, the number of members grew quite considerably,
to the extent that the club had approximately 110 riders for quite a few years and the
membership book had to be closed as the club could not take any more members
on the land that was available. There were ten instructors at this point with a Chief Instructor
- some groups had to be taken to the carpark area for their lessons.
Over the years there were many people involved with the club – the club owes them all for their efforts.
In 1995 the club changed it's name to Melton & District Pony Club and in December
that same year joined the Melton Adult Riding Club in occupying 40 acres at McPherson Park.
The riders at the club today would not realise the advantages they have at McPherson Park
in comparison with the facilities the club had then. The facilities at McPherson Park
have been developed with the assistance of three clubs at this park.
The change of name also saw a change of the club colours from Orange & Brown
to the Shire of Melton colours of Maroon & Gold
Jane Richards did not attend Melton Pony Club, but was the longest serving instructor
for a period of 15 years, only having one break within that time. Jane has continued submitting
her games team each year and has gone on to States with a team – this legacy continues to today
with the club’s current DC, Glenda Meddings, also taking her Musical Rides Team to States.
Over the years, numerous riders have gone on to high levels in the various aspects of
horse riding and have represented the club with pride at various State Level Events.
As the years have gone by, children have left and so have the parents, paving the way for
a new generation to follow, but not without leaving their input and dedication towards the club.
With that input, the present club says “thank you”. For a club to succeed as well as this club
has done and will continue to do so, it must always be moving on with new ideas and new people.
Awards of Merit