Our History

In 1962/63 as a horse mad teenager who had been lucky enough to attend a rally at the new Murray Pony Club, I rode around the neighbourhood on my old black mare knocking on the doors of the local farms trying to gather interest for a local pony club. Thanks to the support of my parents, John & Kerry Coffey, and local families such as the Kiely’s, Chaves, Hectors and Richardsons, the Serpentine Horse & Pony Club was founded.

How things have changed! We used the same ground as we do today but because it was so wet in winter we also had the land on the other side of the road (now part of the Golf Course) to use. The grounds had previously been the Serpentine Showgrounds and our club room was the old open sided exhibition pavilion which after years of disuse was in quite a dilapidated state. Over the years it was gradually enclosed. We thought we were really lucky when, with the support of the Allsema family’s Allsema Glass, we finally had some glass windows and doors.

We were named the Serpentine Horse & Pony Club to allow the adults to join in all the activities. Races such as the Four Furlong Flutter, Spear the Melon Race and the Rescue Race, which involved galloping bareback halfway around the oval where your partner would be waiting to vault on behind you for the final gallop home, were some of the favourites. This was great for balance and courage but not so good for safety. Most people rode to rallies, others came by stock truck. Gradually the corrugated iron horse floats started to become popular. I remember a wonderful camp at Long Point; everyone rode the 20 miles to the beach, camped for two nights then rode home again. We also enjoyed some picnic rides to the historic “Lowlands” property. Gradually the rough and ready riding was replaced by what is now the accepted Pony Club style. Our first uniform was a Bottle green material waistcoat with white shirt and green tie, and as can be seen in the photo, baggy jodhpurs and often Cuban heeled riding boots.The first W.A. State Pony Club Eventing Championship was held at our club - I think it was because we had suitable grounds, certainly not that we had riders of that standard. I represented our club on a borrowed horse whom I had ridden once before, trying to do a dressage test, which not only had I never ridden but had never even seen one ridden before. I still have that test - my highest mark was 3!

As with most clubs membership varied from year to year but particularly during the 1970s we were probably one of the biggest, most successful clubs in the State. Over the years the club has been very successful in all the Pony Club Championships and produced riders that have gone on to be Open State Teams representatives in Dressage, Eventing, Showjumping, Polo and Polocrosse. It has also nurtured Champion jockeys, race horse trainers, coaches and sports administrators. Many lasting friendships have been formed and hundreds of children have learnt to care for and value their horses and ponies. This appreciation is being passed from generation to generation; we now have some third generation riders at the club which augers very well for the future.

All throughout this time we have been supported by our local shire and now boast one of the best grounds and clubhouses in the state.

Thank you for the honour of being your Patron and for Life membership.

Kind Regards,
Jan Godwin

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