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Heather Nyberg-Schlotzhauer

Beacon Correspondent

The Lost Coast Pony Club is holding a fundraiser today at Applebee's from 5-9 p.m. in Eureka. The group has organized this event to help support local youth pursue their equestrian dreams.

Applebee's will be donating 15 percent of all food sales to the Lost Coast Pony Club from customers who present a coupon from the pony club.

The club, dedicated to educating junior riders about English riding and horse care, is affiliated with the United States Pony Club.

”For those of you that would like to support the cause but do not have a coupon you can contact any pony club member or meet the group in the parking lot at the Gold Excursion,” pony club mom Heather McTigue said.

Pony club members pay fees to the organization and due to the remoteness of the area there is a lack of instructors in the English disciplines.

”We do have some great instructors in our area, but just not many,” McTigue said. “We need to bring clinicians and instructors from out of the area in order for our members to be able to compete and improve their skills on a regional and someday soon, national level.”

Certifications in the field and very hard to come by and both rider and their mounts are put to the test. “When they reach a certain point, they can no longer certify locally and have to certify regionally,” said McTigue.

Recently the club had a member achieve their club's first C3 certification in Oregon. The student traveled to Springfield, Ore., and had to pay over $300 just to take the test. Just taking the test does not guarantee a pass and students can be out that money with having to pay return fees to retake the test with their mount.

”This funding helps to promote our members' education,” McTigue said. “One great example of that is we were able to bring in U.S. Equestrian Olympic Coach Daniel Stewart. He instructed our members and they gained a lot of valuable knowledge and experience.”

If you would like to help support the Lost Coast Pony Club you can attend the Applebee's fundraiser event or make a donation directly to them. You can contact the club on Facebook by searching for “Lost Coast Pony Club.”

Photo by Heather Nyberg-Schlotzhauer/Beacon

Lost Coast Pony Club member Emily McTigue puts her training to the test on her horse. Emily is one of many members who have been working hard on their training to reach certification.