Registered Charity No. 1045045
BHS Approved RDA Centre Pony Club ABRS Honorary Member
LB Hammersmith & Fulham Licence N0. 1019/00107 5Star Rated Riding Establishment
A brief description of what has been achieved and the ongoing developments of the Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre
Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre was founded in the early summer of 1989.
The mission of the Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre is to provide riding and equine therapy to children and young people in a safe, caring and supportive environment. We specialise in children and young people with physical disabilities and learning needs.
Over the past 30 years a great deal has been achieved.
1989 First Open day was held in the pouring rain! The Mayor of Hammersmith & Fulham came and presented rosettes to the riders.
1989 First Christmas. the ponies were stolen by some gypsies. We managed to get them back but owing to no stables or security they were locked into the local sports stadium girls changing rooms.
1990 First Easter the gypsies were back and attempts were made to once again steal the ponies. The ponies were offered security in a local school where they spent the holidays locked in the netball courts.
Homemade stables were built by local volunteers and a fence put up around what is now the stable yard.
At this time we had no electricity, toilets, telephone and the water supply was from a stand pipe that used to be used for the fair ground.
The first pony camp was held. 15 children attended.
The Pony Centre was already getting a good reputation and was invited in the summer of 1990 to attend the 300 anniversary of the Rotten Row. This was the first major public event. The children riding polished ponies with the help of volunteers very proudly walked past Buckingham Palace with all the Queen's horses.
1990 The Pony Centre becomes a British Horse Society Approved Riding School.
1990 The Pony Centre becomes a Riding for Disabled group.
1992 The Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre is invited to become a branch of the Pony Club
1994 Following two applications to the BBC Challenge Anneka TV programme the Pony Centre was eventually chosen to be one of the projects for the new series in 1994. Of course initially it was all kept totally secret until the day the Challenge commenced. As a result the indoor arena plus other greatly improved facilities were built in 72 hours. The programme can viewed on YouTube Challenge Anneka - S06E01 - Wormwood Scrubs Riding School
1995 Further developments were made to the stable yard which set the style for the present day stable yard.
The first 'Horses in Harmony' Charity Concert was held in the new arena.
1999 The 10th Anniversary is celebrated with a visit by HRH The Princess Royal.
The Worshipful Company of Loriners gave a reception and the stable yard was named 'The Loriners' Yard'
2002 The Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre is invited to give HM The Queen an half hour of riding displays at Bushy Park. This was to mark her Majesty's Golden Jubilee.
2012 The Olympic Games were held in London. Through nominations Mary Joy Langdon was invited to carry the Olympic Torch on one of the last legs of the Olympic Torch relay. This was a great honour for the Pony Centre. The torch also came to the Pony Centre giving opportunity to the children and young people to take part in a torch relay.
The Caravan of Hope SLL Charity ride project travelled from the Camargue in the South of France to the Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre. This took nearly 6 months. They arrived with 2 large caravans pulled by French draught horses and 12 Camargue horses. 12 fortunate young people from France and England were given this incredible opportunity of riding this life changing expedition. Through the Caravan of Hope the Pony Centre now has a team of 6 Camargue horses
2014 The 25th Anniversary is celebrated with a Dancing White Horses display. HRH The Princess Royal presented Lornier medals to all the riders. The Worshipful Company of Loriners' hosted the reception and Mary Joy Langdon was made an Honorary Loriner.
2015 Celebrated the 21st anniversary of the Challenge Anneka TV programme. Anneka attended the event and took part in a fun race in the recently made outdoor riding track. There was also a showing of the TV programme on a large screen.
Volunteers were presented with volunteer badges.
2015 Clare Balding opened the Kilcline Stable Yard Classroom. The CEO of the British Horse Society was also present.
The Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre received the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service.
Martin Clunes OBE became patron of the charity.
2016 Emergency drill exercise were carried out by 40 children and young people in front of HRH The Princess Royal, London Fire Brigade, East Sussex Fire & Rescue, Chair of the Pony Club. The exercises included evacuating the stable yard, putting out a small fire, a CPR and defibrillation exercise, a first aid exercise following riding & horse related injuries. Finally the whole group gave a demonstration of Stop, Drop & Roll. The day also marked the 40th anniversary in modern times of the first female fire fighter.
2019 The Pony Centre celebrated its 30th anniversary.
The charity was invited to have a stand at the Saddlers Hall for the equestrian charity forum.
The old stables in the main stable yard were replaced with new stables.
A sketch of Goldie by Lucian Freud is auctioned in aid of the Pony Centre.
2020 ............A year with a difference. Owing to the Coronavirus most of the ponies were sent out of London in March. They returned in August for the commencement of the new term in September. Sadly we were only open for a few weeks before having to close again. Owing to the time of year all the ponies remained in London.
2021............The Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre is due to be re-opening in April. This will be to a restricted number of classes and activities.
Please scroll down to look at a fine selection of Pony Centre photos, showing various activities and the ponies, donkeys and horses.