About Us

A brief history of the north Kilkenny Branch of

The Irish Pony Club : 1978 to 2003

 North Kilkenny Pony Club was founded in 1978 by Phyllida Clarke, William White and Billy Julian.  The founding members were Tami Clarke, Fyona White, Anne Julian, Meave McCheane, PJ Grace and Etta Armitage; joined very early on by Fiona Connery, Irene and Finula Flanagan and Albert Lennon       

The first annual camps were held in Swiftsheath, then in Kilrush, Nuena Farm and Clomantagh Castle, before moving back to Nuenna Farm. For 12 of those years the members slept under canvas for the week of camp.

NK was always a small branch. The emphasis right from the start was on riding for fun while aspiring to a high standard of safety and horsemanship and sportsmanship.  Activities were based mainly around regular all day rallies but also included long distance over-night rides, woodland and cross country rides, Easter egg hunts, quizzes, outings, inter-branch competitions, tests, parties and our annual gymkhana.

Among the many achievements during those years, members won the national junior games championship, the national minimus triathlon championship, the National shield for the best turned out team and were placed many times in The championship one day event, Robbie Bailey jumping and represented the area in the senior mounted games at the RDS. Two members took A test and ten H test.  Members also represented Ireland in Britain, in pony club games and at the Euro Pony Club Camps in France in Germany.

The branch has been the proud winner of the Carroll Trophy for the best small branch of the IPC many times, reflecting the NK ethos of participation and inclusion.

Past members include a farrier, several jockeys, a riding school proprietor, instructors, Equine Science University lecturer, Vet. student, bloodstock breeders and an international stunt rider among their many other achievements and careers.

Phyllida served as DC and chief instructor for twenty-five years, a post she shared at various times with William White, Mary Fitzpatrick and Gerd Leikens and was succeeded by Gerd Leikens and Mary Shea. The first secretary was Billie Julian, succeeded by Mary Fitzpatrick and then Phil Skehan.

         In recent years the club has had great success in National and International competitions.  In 2009  we were the winnners of the Robbie Bailey cup and in 2010 we had two members on the winning International boys and girls junior teams in Bedale, North Yorkshire.  Also in the same year we won the Irish National Tetrathlon Jnr boys competition.

The present committee would like to thank all present & past members for their support over the years and especially all who helped in the day to day running of the club.
We look forward to participating in all aspects of Pony Club events and having lots of fun.