On the first engagement of the day HRH The Princess Royal attended The Pony Club Annual Conference at Belfast Waterfront Concert Hall. Upon arrival HRH was greeted by the Vice Lord-Lieutenant of the County Borough of Belfast Sir Nigel Hamilton KCB DL. In 2009 HRH became Royal Patron of The Pony Club following the end of her Presidency term.
The Pony Club is the largest equestrian youth organisation in the world with 110,000 members in 18 Countries. It is the largest youth organisation in the UK with 50,000 members. In Northern Ireland The Pony Club has 11 branches with 981 members and 17 centres with 346 members.
Moving inside and accompanied by Mrs Michell, Chairman,The Pony Club, HRH joined The Pony Club Conference. On the stage in the Auditorium HRH heard presentations from William Blane, Chairman, The Pony Club’s Training Committee on training principles for 2012 entitled “Back to the Future”.
HRH also listened to a presentation entitled “Tetrathlon Experiences” - which gave an insight into life as a Pony Club Tetrathlete by Luke Kilmacki and Luke McMulland, East Down Pony Club.
HRH went on to hear about “The Pony Club’s Contribution to Equestrian Sport” from Andrew Finding, Chief Executive, British Equestrian Federation.
The final presentation of the morning entitled “An Addiction for which the only Cure is Poverty”, was given by Horse Breeder Diane Harron-Eakin who outlined her successes, from International Show Jumpers to Kerry Bog Ponies.
Following a few words from Conference Compere Mike Tucker, HRH was invited to present the “Secretary of the Year” Award to Mrs Doreen Carman, Secretary to the Lancaster and District Branch for over 30 years.
On the Stage HRH addressed the 350 delegates and viewed the “Pony Club Year” slide show. Following farewells HRH departed for the next engagement.