The Isle of Man Pony Club is jumping for joy after receiving a helping hand for new and improved facilities at its much loved and popular equestrian centre.

The local branch has been awarded Community Awards funding from Manx Lottery Trust to help develop the club, after recently moving from its old site in Santon and relocating to a new venue at Ballacorey Equestrian in Andreas.

£8,000 has been used towards the cost of timber and to undertake groundworks and construct fences for the club’s new cross-country course. A further amount of £7,650 will be used to purchase additional equipment for the safety and comfort of competitors, including a portable toilet, generator, and some walkie-talkie radios.

The Isle of Man Pony Club aims to encourage young people to ride and connect with horses, instil the proper care of animals in its members, promote the highest ideals of sportsmanship, citizenship and loyalty, ensure that young people who wish to develop equestrian excellence in the Isle of Man may do so and endeavour to help them achieve their full potential and, finally, provide a framework for members to develop equestrian skills and enjoy the comradeship of those with similar interests and abilities.

The Community Award funding is a big boost to the club which is a hive of activity all year round and caters for all levels of ability. An international voluntary youth organisation for those interested in horses, ponies and riding, the local branch is part of the largest association of riders in the world with a membership exceeding 110,000.

Alice Corrin, District Commissioner at Isle of Man Pony Club, said: ‘Our new venue in the north of the Island is great, we just needed a little help to make it fit for purpose and develop the cross-country course for our members as the old fences had to be moved and replaced. We’re really pleased with the end result and are so grateful to Manx Lottery Trust for helping to fund it, and of course for the additional funding which will be used to purchase essential new equipment for our club.

‘The support from Manx Lottery Trust will be invaluable in enabling us to create a Centre of Excellence for Equestrian Sport in the Isle of Man.’

Sarah Kelly, Chairman of the Manx Lottery Trust, added: ‘The Isle of Man branch of the Pony Club offers a safe space for young people to connect with horses and develop special bonds with the animals. We’re pleased to award funding from Community Awards to help the club to improve the space at its new venue.’

Manx Lottery Trust has been delegated to distribute National Lottery money that has come from The National Lottery Community Fund. To find out more about the Community Awards programme, please visit: www.mlt.org.im/grant-programmes

Isle of Man Pony Club is jumping for joy after receiving funding from Manx Lottery Trust