Cheers to 70 Years of Equestrian Education with the USPC

Press Release

Lexington, KY — The year 2024 is a big year for The United States Pony Clubs, Inc. (USPC or Pony Club) as the organization celebrates its 70th Anniversary. The organization’s vision is to be the leading source and voice of education in horse care, safety, and equestrian pursuits. Officially founded on February 24, 1954, as a youth organization to teach safe riding and the proper care of horses, USPC has developed into an organization for all ages and experience levels. Over the past seven decades, the U.S. Pony Clubs has served more than 175,000 members with 68% of them staying involved with horses for life. In addition to learning horse care and riding, the skills, habits, and values instilled by the USPC program translate to valuable life skills that members and volunteers use in all areas of their life, including skills in goalsetting, volunteerism, service, teamwork, stewardship, and more.

“The vision of USPC’s founders to create a long-lasting and influential organization teaching youth safe riding and the proper care of horses has grown into so much more than they ever could have dreamed,” said USPC Executive Director Teresa Woods. “With 70 years of equestrian education throughout the United States, USPC’s longevity shows their vision has stood the test of time.”

With Horse Management as USPC’s foundation, the Standards of Proficiency, as the Pony Club curriculum that influences USPC education, and the USPC Manuals of Horsemanship make Pony Club unique as an organization within the horse industry, due to the focus on horsemanship and horse care rather than competition. Along with nine competitive riding disciplines, Quiz, and experiences and information in six resource disciplines, USPC’s program is all encompassing. The USPC curriculum also includes certification tracks in Hunter Seat Equitation/Show Jumping, Dressage, Eventing, Western, and Western Dressage.

The United States Pony Clubs is comprised of more than 475 clubs and riding centers with members who keep coming back year after year, along with new members who find many reasons to join. Some of the reasons members are drawn in include: the opportunity to create a customizable journey as they seek various certifications, the ability to learn all there is to know about horse management, the chance to try a variety of disciplines or to compete in a team environment, or by the extraordinary special opportunities through international exchanges to other Pony Club-participating nations, where participants can experience culture with a competitive edge during their time abroad. Additionally, members have the option to experience leadership opportunities, earn scholarships and grants, participate in awards programs, and all become part of the Pony Club community, where lifelong friendships are made.

Over the next year, you will see various ways that USPC is celebrating its 70th Anniversary. The kickoff of the 70th Anniversary happened in January 2024 in Reno, Nev., at the 2024 USPC Convention, Presented by Via Nova Training and Sponsored by Lincoln Memorial University. Attendees enjoyed a special photo and memory area in the trade fair area, and alumni and current members, volunteers, and board members wished the national organization a “Happy 70th Anniversary” during a video that played during the Meeting of the Corporation at the convention. With USPC’s Founders Day of February 24, the organization will kick off a “7 Days of Giving” campaign, complete with historical information via USPC’s communication channels. Anyone wishing to support the organization can do so with an online donation at https://donate.ponyclub.org.  

In addition, USPC will feature its 70th Anniversary at events that it attends throughout the year, such as the Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event, along with offering multiple ways to celebrate 70 years during USPC’s capstone event, the USPC Festival. Festival, which will now be held every other year, features championships in multiple disciplines followed by several days of educational clinics with a wide range of equestrian experts to total eight days filled with fun, friendship, and camaraderie at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky., July 15-22, 2024.

For more about Pony Club’s history, visit https://blog.ponyclub.org/category/uspc-history throughout this 70th Anniversary year as we share all of the stories that have made USPC what it is today.

About The United States Pony Clubs, Inc. The United States Pony Clubs, Inc. (USPC or Pony Club) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit 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, please visit www.ponyclub.org

Press Contact: Sarah Evers Conrad, [email protected]

Pony Club: ponyclub.org | (859) 254-7669

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