Why the U.S. Pony Club relies on Custom Polo Shirts for more than one reason
In 1954 The United States Pony Club was founded, expanding on an idea that had begun earlier in Great Britain. Today the Pony Club is found in 31 countries around the globe, with an estimated annual membership of 130,000 children aged 6-21. The club provides sound instruction in horsemanship for children, particularly for those who cannot afford expensive private instruction.
Attire of the ParticipantsThroughout all the events and years a child typically spends in a Pony Club, there is only one required article of clothing: a polo shirt. While many in the non-horse world would look at any equestrian sport as exclusive and too expensive, Pony Club has always been all about equal opportunity, and many scholarships exist. In fact, many of the horses and ponies used in Club events are shared, leased, or outright loaned to the young riders. It is not uncommon for the same horse to "raise" multiple riders in a club, and these trusted mounts are revered.
The Polo ShirtThe use of custom polo shirts in Pony Club is as old as the Club itself, and for good reasons: - Reasonably priced - Different colors and custom logo's help identify individual Clubs within the larger organization - Maintain a respectful and respectable appearance - Easy to care for - wash and wear. It's hard to ruin a polo shirt! - Longevity - many clubs maintain a clothing trunk filled with various sizes, handed down from earlier generations - Functional, safe clothing - Age appropriate and non-distracting - Helps keep the focus of the activity on the participants, not their outfit - Co-ed sizing, adult sizing, child sizing - all available in the same dye lots - Semi-fitted with square tails, the shirts look professional. In an organization working with 1,000 pound animals, it's essential that the proper environment is maintained at all times, and children learn to be aware of themselves and their surroundings at all times. - Collars are essential, not only for the professional image they present, but because they can sustain repeated applications of Club pins
The Goals of Pony ClubTake a look at some of the goals of Pony Club are as follows, gleaned from the Pony Club Pledge. (following the British tradition, all the mounts used in Pony Club are referred to as "Ponies," including the larger horses). You will see that the standards and expectations are admirable. The attire chosen by this organization also reflects these same values. - I stand for the best in sportsmanship as well as in horsemanship. - I shall compete for the enjoyment of the game well played and take winning or losing in stride - Without good manners and good temper, sport loses its cause for being. - I shall endeavor to maintain the best tradition of the ancient and noble skill of horsemanship - Always treating my horse with consideration due a partner.
Each Region of the Pony Club has their own custom logo, typically designed with some aspect of the region included. Pins are made that feature these logos, and are affixed to the collars of the shirts, and the individual Club Logo's are embroidered on the upper chest of the shirt itself. It's a truly heartwarming thing to see a club standing together in the same attire, from the smallest D-1 children all the way to Graduate A students and Instructors. (Pony Club employs a rating system as the children progress in skill and knowledge, all the way to A level - which is instructor/professional level achieved by age 21.
National and Regional Rallies are held yearly: thousands of children walk together into a stadium for opening and closing ceremonies, youngest to oldest, all in polo shirts. It's truly something to witness.
If you are a Pony Club or other Youth Organization seeking a low-cost, durable, unique-yet-consistent apparel choice, then please contact us for information about Custom Polo Shirts.