Lucia Thomson, 11, and her horse Annabelle in Hawaii-inspired fancy dress costumes. Oskar Wood, 5, right, with his Nan Sally Wood. Oskar and sister Kelia’s matching 50th cake and present costumes won second place in their age groups in the fancy-dress competition. Lifetime members Sarah Cornelius and Peter Hannent cut the cake.
It has been half a century since Betty Buckby and Adrienne Wright started a pony club that included the whole family – and current members are proud to say that the family focus remains.
“We are a family club that has always been as much about community as riding and ribbons,” club president Hannah Main says.
The Silverdale branch of the North Harbour Club celebrated its 50th birthday with a Funday on November 24, inviting the public and past and present members to enjoy activities, food and the cutting of the anniversary cake.
The club began on farmland behind Silverdale Rugby Club, before having to move in 1998 to make way for the Northern Motorway extension.
After two years on a temporary property, the club found a new home on a Dairy Flat farm owned by WWII serviceman and local body politician Jim Holdaway and his wife, Ann.
Jim and Ann’s daughter, Sarah Cornelius, a lifetime member of the club, was at the Funday.
“I can feel Dad here in spirit today – family was everything to him,” Sarah says.
Jim sold the farm to the Council in 2007, hoping it could become a public park.
The Rodney Local Board will confer with the public about potential plans for a park early next year.
Since merging with the Wainui Club last year, the Silverdale Club now has 118 members with a few families into their third generation of membership.
Long time members recall having to ride your horse to get to pony club.
“I rode my horse from Northcote to Dairy Flat,” Sarah says. “Imagine trying to do that today!”