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Posted by Equestrian Australia on 15/11/2012.

Junior equine participation program ‘Ready Set Trot’ unveiled at EQUITANA

Equestrian Australia (EA) and Pony Club Australia (PCA) today unveiled plans for their new junior participation program Ready Set Trot aimed at getting young people involved in equestrian sport.

Aimed at children aged 5-12 years old, the program offers a variety of ways young people can get involved in equestrian regardless of whether they own a horse.

Children will have the chance to participate in Ready Set Trot via specially designed school classroom activities, an interactive website where they connect with other horse enthusiasts as well as a tailored eight lesson program that will be delivered by accredited Ready Set Trot Centres such as EA and PCA Clubs and Riding Schools.

The first phase of the program was today unveiled at EQUITANA Melbourne, with EA and PCA calling on the equine industry to support the initiative and become an accredited Delivery Centre.

Olympic Games silver medallist and Equestrian Australia’s 2012 Coach of the Year, Megan Jones, sees the value of starting in the sport at a young age.

“I started to ride when I was five and by the time I was 10 I knew this was the path I wanted to take with my life so I know first-hand the importance of encouraging participation at an early age.”

Megan’s Kirby Park Riding School has signed on as an accredited delivery centre and will be one of the first riding schools in Australia to deliver the program.

“Ready Set Trot is all about making horse sport more accessible to young people. It’s a great opportunity for riding schools, clubs and coaches to reach a new audience and the structured lesson plans make it an easy program to run.”

Equestrian Australia’s CEO Grant Baldock said the sport is calling on equestrian clubs, pony clubs and riding schools to join Ready Set Trot and become an accredited delivery centre.

“It’s easy for clubs and riding schools to be a part of Ready Set Trot and we want as many young people to have access to this program,” said Mr Baldock.

“By giving more children the opportunity to experience equestrian sport through classroom activities, online games and through our delivery centres, our goal is they will go on to be members of their local equestrian or pony club or participate more in the local riding schools.

“Today we unveiled the first phase of the program and we’ll be following up in January with a national media campaign that will ask young people to get involved either through their primary school or by visiting one of our accredited Ready Set Trot delivering centres,” he said.

The program will be delivered two ways through ‘playground skills’ and ‘stable skills’. Playground skills will be fun and interactive games that students and teachers can do at school or as part of after school programs.

Stable skills is an eight session introduction course provided by accredited Ready Set Trot Delivery Centres and provides a hands on interactive session that introduces children to horses and provides basic horse skills.

Pony Club Australia’s President Greg Bailey said Ready Set Trot is about reaching more young children through working together as an industry.

“Pony Club Australia has a strong tradition in brining young people in the sport. By working together with Equestrian Australia through Ready Set Trot we can reach more young people and new audiences that hopefully will mean more participation in our sport,” said Mr Bailey.

Thanks to the funding through the Australian Sports Commission as well as support sponsors Horsezone, EA and PCA will be able to deliver Ready Set Trot nationally making it the largest joint junior participation program ever developed in the sport.

Clubs and Riding Schools interested in becoming a delivery centre should visit or call Equestrian Australia national office on (02) 8762 7777

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