In the winter of 1979, twenty-seven people gathered at the Royal Agricultural Society (RAS) for a general meeting to form the WA Branch of the Australian Riding Ponies as they were called. From that meeting our first executive was elected. Mrs Margaret Campbell (Balmoral Stud) as President, Mrs Lesley Barrett-Lennard (Drumclyer Stud) as Treasurer and Mrs Helen Moore (Thorne Park Stud) as Secretary. Every person present was asked to donate $10 to set us on our way.
As was the rules back then, every pony has to be classified into sections A, B, C or D according to breeding. So early in the 1980’s, Mrs Lee Sinclair, Mr Geoff Penaluna and Mr Eric Dudley flew over from Victoria and traveled around WA classifying almost 100 horses and ponies. This system continued for some years until it was decided to let the showring be the judge.
Our first show was held in 1983 which was to become our annual Riding Pony Show including Led and Ridden Riding Ponies of the Year. It was a battle, initially, to have our ponies accepted as a breed and be allowed to compete at the Perth Royal Show, but after much persistence we were eventually acknowledged and a new breed was added to the program.
From these humble beginnings, it is almost inconceivable to see where and how far our wonderful ponies have come. Undoubtedly the leading ponies and galloways in the showring today are Riding Ponies.