Regional Pony Club Candidates Achieve National Certification

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By Meredith Tipton

U.S. Pony Club is the largest equestrian educational organization in the world. Members have the opportunity to participate in local and national activities such as clinics, rallies, and certifications.

Certifications begin at the club level with D-1 and progress to the national level: B, H-A, and A. Each year several National Certifications are held throughout the U.S.

The Deep South Region recently had the opportunity to host a national certification November 16-18, 2018 at the beautiful Holly Hill Farm in Benton, Louisiana. Members practice and prepare for years for National Certifications, and they often have to travel far distances to attend a test. This year we had candidates come from Illinois, Texas, Arizona, Tennessee, and Louisiana to test. Of those testing, we had eight Traditional/Eventing candidates, one Show Jumping Specialty C3 candidate, one Traditional/ Eventing B candidate, one Dressage Specialty C3 Candidate, and one Dressage Specialty B candidate. 

Pony Club now offers membership to both youth and adults alike, so the candidates for this testing included high school students, college students, a graduate student, and a married veterinarian. National Examiners from Washington State, Georgia, and Kentucky came to oversee the testing, all of whom are upper level Pony Club graduates themselves.

The candidates were tested on things such as their turnout, bandaging, longeing, and riding skills. Candidates doing the Traditional certifications had to successfully pass sections including a dressage warm up and test, switch horses and ride other candidates’ horses, grid work, no stirrup grid work, a stadium course, and a cross country jumping section.

Of the eight candidates, four successfully achieved their C3 rating. Two of these candidates belong to Middle Tennessee Pony Club of Nashville, TN and Boskydell Pony Club of Carbondale, IL, both clubs in the Midsouth Region of Pony Club.

Two other candidates achieved specialty Dressage certifications. The C3 test included movements and a test ridden at First Level, and the B test included movements and a test ridden at Second Level. These candidates also had to switch horses and show work done on an unfamiliar horse at their specific level.

Congratulations to all of the candidates involved in this certification! Your hard work and dedication did not go unnoticed.  Also, very big congratulations to our newest nationally rated members: Traditional C3- Nora Goldfarb, Annabelle Staples, Chloe Bonnaure, and Christy Wood; Dressage C3- Jessica Fan; and Dressage B- Kate Hauck.

If you would like to find out more information about Pony Club activities in the mid-south area, please contact the RIC for the Deep South region- Meredith Tipton at

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