A group of young kids lined up, smiling at the camera in a group photo.

Club Highlight: Bath Pony Club

With questions answered by DeAnna Koch, District Commissioner (DC) of Bath Pony Club

Region of Club: Tri-State Region

When was your club/center formed?
1964

How many members are currently in your club/center?
38

Does your club host any events throughout the year?
We host three fundraising horse shows each year: a combined test in the spring, schooling mini trials in August and October, a regional upper-level camp for C-1, ages 14 and up , an all-member camp, a Halloween and a Christmas party, and usually between two to four certifications each year.

A group of young kids lined up, smiling at the camera in a group photo.
Photo Courtesy DeAnna Koch

What disciplines do your members participate in?
Eventing, Dressage, Mounted Games, Show Jumping, Tetrathlon, Trail

Do you have any favorite club traditions?
Our all-member camp is always a huge favorite, and we often have older members and alumni come in to town specifically to help with camp. Our Christmas party is also a long-standing tradition and much loved by the members.

A group of young kids indoors, smiling at the camera in a group photo.
Photo Courtesy DeAnna Koch

What are some fun activities your club likes to do?
All-member camp, which is primarily a fun-and-games camp (lots of Mounted Games, quadrilles, fun jump lessons, crafts, swimming, volleyball, bubble soccer), our Halloween and Christmas parties, and our older kids will often get together and do things outside of BPC, like escape rooms, bowling, movies, etc.

Do you have a story about your club you’d like to share?
I think my favorite story is the story of our founding. Raymond Firestone (of the Firestone Tire Company) and Joanie Schrank of Bath, Ohio, were the driving forces behind the purchase of our land, as well as gaining local community permission that extended riding access for the club. BPC ran a very active foxhunt for many years, and that was the original basis of our club. With Raymond Firestone’s passing in 1994, the future of BPC was very uncertain as our lands had been bequeathed to Ohio State University. Thanks to some very hard work from the then-DC and local community members, BPC was able to set up the partnership with the Medina County Park organization and retain the use of our grounds. One of the amazing things about BPC is the number of current members we have that are direct descendants of those founding and early members.

What achievements from your club would you like to highlight?
The year 2024 will be BPC’s 60th Anniversary, and we have been a large and active club for almost 60 years. We are blessed to have access to a phenomenal riding facility in Allardale Park, which is part of the Medina County Park system. We maintain a positive relationship with the park and our local community members. One of our mini-trials is done in partnership with the Bath Volunteers for Service organization and our proceeds benefit many local charities and community groups.

A group of young kids outside on a wagon, smiling at the cmera.
Photo Courtesy DeAnna Koch

Do you have any advice for other clubs?
Make it fun. Stress the education side to supplement outside training. Use social media as a method of marketing (get active Facebook and Instagram accounts). Involve your local trainers as one-day clinicians or substitute instructors.

What is your club’s website?
We do not maintain a website. We have two Facebook groups; a public page that we use for marketing, information, and advertising of our shows and public events, and a second, private Facebook group we use for all our in-club activities.

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