Months of hard work paid off for the Waitara Pony Club when it launched its new arena yesterday.
The club celebrated the opening of the $76,000 facility by hosting a show jumping day featuring 80 horses and ponies from around Taranaki.
Olympians Heelan Tompkins and Matthew Grayling were on hand to help with the festivities.
The TET and TSB trusts pitched in $20,000 and $10,000 respectively to help the club gallop towards its goal.
"The rest of the funds came from selling thousands of pies and chocolates, and hundreds of bottles of wine," Waitara Pony Club president Mandy Mahony said.
"We also ran and set up many events to raise money to help fund the project."
AA Contracting owner Andrew Adlam, of Bell Block, said the arena was "a pit metal base with a lot of sand on top".
"What makes a good arena is one that is smooth with no rocks under it," he said.
The club wrote to the New Plymouth District Council asking the council for the extra paddock two years ago.
Mrs Mahony said the club hosts up to 20 events a year and the old paddock used for trainings and events was not ideal as "a little dew or water" on the grass makes it "quite slippery".
"We can't hold events when it gets yucky out there because we don't want people injuring themselves," Mrs Mahony said.
One year, bad weather forced the club to cancel the North Taranaki One Day Event, but Mrs Mahony is confident the new arena will allow them to hold events in various conditions.
Rider Emma Mahony, of Waitara, said she had a lot of fun trying out the new grounds.
She said the old grounds got a "little bit hard", and in wet conditions tended to make horses slip over.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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