Case Study – The Pony Club Way – an intergenerational social history project for the Iveagh Pony Club

The Iveagh Branch of the Pony Club was keen to find a tangible and lasting way of celebrating a 50 year history. SoundMór suggested that a collaborative community-based approach be taken in producing a book and film. The project was made possible by generous funding from the Heritage Lottery. Run over 11 months the project had a significant impact for the club and for the young people involved. It brought people together around a common theme other than that of riding horses! It was a very unusual departure for a pony club but one which has left a legacy of a sense of increased ownership of the club and for those involved an increase in their skill base.

someofeditboardAn editorial board of young people in the club ranging from 10-24 years old learned interviewing techniques with the help of Reminiscence Network Northern Ireland which they then used to interview members and friends of the club, past and present.

Intergenerational workshops held over the summer of 2013 allowed for the gathering of memories, photographs and margaretintergen

anecdotes. Board members then wrote about their own experiences of being in pony club. Over a similar period of time, filming of pony club activities was underway and these charted where possible the endeavours of board members.

The book and film were collaborative pieces of work linking past with present members using ethnographic and film skills of SoundMór to bring all  together in two final formats.

In February 2014 a launch party for the book and a showing of the film was held for 350 attendees.

Cutting the 'book' cake at the launch

Cutting the ‘book’ cake at the launch

 

 

In March 2014 the editorial board under the guidance of SoundMór went to England to present their highly unique intergenerational social history project to the UK Pony Club Conference infront of 600 delegates. Their presentation included extracts from the book and the film interspersed with explanatory narrative from the 16 board members who attended.

The book The Pony Club Way: 50 years of the Iveagh Branch of the Pony Club takes the reader from the beginnings of the club through to its success, both in competitive riding and at the grass roots level for those who simply want to enjoy their pony in a more knowledgeable fashion, by exploring key aspects of how the Iveagh Pony Club, a voluntary organisation is run and maintained. It is packed with photographs and provides a comprehensive history of the branch.

The film The Pony Club Way: from Iveagh playpen to world stage considers the 50 year history from a differentdvd_cover_pc perspective focussing on individual equine disciplines and showing how these start in the playpen with very young children and go via the activities of the branch to the world stage.