Mallacoota Pony Club is delighted to announce it has been successful in receiving a Local Economic Recovery grant, to rebuild its club grounds and continue its 40-year history.
The grant, administered by Bushfire Recovery Victoria, will provide $296,000 to the club, which will see the finalisation of roadworks, carparking facilities, amenities, development of a three-grade level cross country course, additional fencing, seating and solar power for the grounds.
The Mallacoota Pony Club is a fun, friendly and family orientated club that teaches horsemanship and basic riding skills in a supportive club environment to junior and adult riders.
The club provides instruction, competition opportunities, and social riding, with qualified instructors visiting on a monthly basis.
The club caters for members as young as four, right through to seniors and has been very successful in bringing together people from the region for social and community connection benefits.
The Mallacoota Pony Club rebuilding project was triggered by the devastation to the club’s facilities in the 2019/20 bushfires.
The fire destroyed key infrastructure, including the perimeter fence around the reserve, four horse arenas, the clubroom/equipment store building, the jumps throughout the cross-country course, and general equipment.
Since the fires, volunteers and members have worked hard on clearing old fencing and burnt materials from the bushland grounds, planning, applying for grants and starting to clear and build a cross-country course.
The club was previously successful in obtaining bushfire relief funding through the RSPCA and also the Australian Sports Foundation – Equine Relief fund, to pay for the replacement of the clubrooms and development of a dressage arena.
Mallacoota’s Pony Club membership has grown substantially over the past year, with many young riders starting their training.
“We are absolutely thrilled to receive the funds to rebuild the club’s facilities, which will also enable us to invite and open up these fantastic grounds for other community groups and visiting Pony/Riding Clubs to share,” Mallacoota Pony Club president, Stephanie Mew, said.
The rebuild will provide the opportunity for other groups to utilise the grounds for purposes other than horse riding, with future uses possibly incorporating bushwalking, birdwatching, night sky watchers, mountain biking, markets and movies.
The Pony Club would like to sincerely thank Bushfire Recovery Victoria, East Gippsland Shire Council (special thanks to Eva Grunden), Richard Simon of Simon Leisure, the Mallacoota and District Recovery Association, Pony Club Victoria, Pony Club Australia, Darren Chester, Federal Member for Gippsland, Tim Bull MLA, Member for Gippsland East and local groups that provided letters of support for the grant application.
The rebuild process will begin immediately and will have a completion date in late 2022.
IMAGE: Mallacoota Pony Club riders at the current grounds. (PS)