By Oliva Crespo
What does it mean to be Pony Club Proud? Well… Here’s what it means to me. I have been part of the USPC for 13 years, competed in 7 championship years, earned two bronze and one silver medal alongside my teammates in those years, and have made so many friends and relationships during my time in Pony Club. Now, I am 22, graduated from college, achieved my B Eventing Certification… and I have come to realize that Pony Club has been more influential in my life than I had ever expected. All of these things have built in me the very foundation of who I am. I am Olivia Crespo – sister, daughter, rider, competitor, equestrian, teammate, horseman, trainer, coach and friend.
Pony Club has taught me leadership, teamwork, sportsmanship, and humility. I was never the kid with the fancy horse, or the cleanest tack, or even the spotless formal inspection. I had mental breakdowns, emotional explosions, nervous jump rounds, and many eliminations. I have been embarrassed, defeated, and made so many mistakes – but that’s what it’s all about. My fellow Pony Club members came alongside me and encouraged me, built me up, kept me fighting for that last jump and stride. I came alongside them, cheering them on and helping them pass a difficult formal or written test (yes we all do that!). We worked together, helped other teams, and never boasted of our success and laughed along with the losses and mistakes. Being Pony Club Proud is to embrace these qualities in everything we do. Not merely at rallies and championships, but at home, around the barn, in school and at work. To be Pony Club Proud is to be humble, and kind; be confident and strong. We should embrace our mistakes and learn from our failures, sharing them with the younger members to guide them to success in their future. Being Pony Club Proud is being the kid in love with horses, sharing their love and passion with everyone around them. This year, I vow to be Pony Club Proud in every aspect of my life. Will you?
The National Youth Board (NYB) serves as a liaison between Pony Club’s youth members and the Board of Governors by communicating the needs, ideas, and concerns of USPC youth. NYB members also work with the national office on projects related to marketing, leadership development, and service for the benefit of the organization and all Pony Club members. Delegates of the NYB are between 18 – 23 years of age, highly motivated and dedicated, and have strong leadership and communication skills. To learn more, log in and visit the National Youth Board page.