February 6, 2020 (Lexington, KY) – Equine enthusiasts and Pony Club members and leaders converged on the Hilton Seattle Airport & Conference Center, in Seattle, Washington, on January 29th–February 2nd, for the 2020 Equine Symposium and Convention hosted by USPC, presented by the Ben B. Cheney Foundation. Over 700 attendees were treated to more than 50 educational workshops, presentations, and interactive learning experiences on a variety of equine topics.
Attendees met “Where the Mountains Meet the Sea” in the Northwest Region. Representatives from 39 Pony Club Regions, including 41 states, were on hand working to expand Pony Club programming for current and future members. In addition to educational workshops, attendees enjoyed a variety of opportunities from viewing research project fair entries and exploring the anatomy lab to shopping the trade fair and silent auction. Pony Club members got advice to prepare for horse management at certifications and rallies, and workshop tracks focused on leadership, instruction, veterinary care and riding disciplines offered a customizable experience.
Friday’s convention activities welcomed 20 delegates to the 2020 National Youth Congress as well as honoring the inductees into this year’s Academy of Achievement: Katy Barglow, Ph.D.; David Silver; and Erin Tomson, Ph.D.
Many Pony Club awards were presented at the Saturday morning Meeting of the Corporation. Seven clubs received 50 year awards and 12 clubs received 25 year awards. Upper Level members received special recognition for achieving Pony Club’s highest certification, with six members earning their A Certification. The Brookfield Land Conservation Award was presented to Greenville Foothills Pony Club in the Carolina Region. The Flash Teamwork Award went to the Butte Valley Pony Club in the Sierra Pacific region.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has,” shared Deb Pearson and Holly Nielson in submitting their winning nomination for the Flash Award.
The Saturday night banquet was a highlight as attendees celebrated the recipients of the USPC Founders Awards for 2020: Katie Graham, Nancy MacIsaac, Nancy Pittman and Jan Whitehouse. Featured speaker for the evening was 5-star eventer and A-Certified Pony Club graduate, Maya Black. Black shared how her experiences in Pony Club laid the groundwork for her future success as a rider, trainer and Olympic equestrian. More than 370 people attended the banquet and danced the night away.
The 2020 Equine Symposium and Convention was possible thanks to the support of our sponsors, including the Ben B. Cheney Foundation, Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, Clover Valley Veterinary Services, University of Louisville Equine Industry Program, Arabian Horse Youth Association, RevitaVet Therapeutic Systems, Specialty Program Insurors, Tack Room Too, USPC White Mountain Region, North Country Pony Club, Passaconaway Pony Club, Ring Brook Farm and 8T Acres, as well as USPC corporate sponsors Kerrits, The Horse, Shapley’s, Star Stable, Triple Crown Nutrition and Wintec.
It was announced that the 2021 Equine Symposium and Convention hosted by USPC will be held January 27-31 at the St. Louis Grand Marriott, in St. Louis, MO, in the Midwest Region.