North Marston's Mary Tuckett scoops volunteer of the year at Horse and Hound Awards

Mary Tuckett, Chairman of The Pony Club has won the Volunteer of the Year Award at the Annual Horse & Hound Awards
Mary Tuckett, Chairman of The Pony Club has won the Volunteer of the Year Award at the Annual Horse & Hound Awards

Mary Tuckett, Chairman of The Pony Club has won the Volunteer of the Year Award at the Annual Horse & Hound Awards

Mary Tuckett’s long association with The Pony Club began as a child, when she was an active Member.

In the mid-90s her daughters joined the Whaddon Chase Branch, and Mary became involved as a Volunteer; later being elected as District Commissioner* of the Branch from 2002-2008.

During this time, membership trebled and the diversity of activity was high. All sports were encouraged and everyone was welcome at the Branch.

Activities were regularly held on her farm, and Mary lent horses to those whose horses or ponies were sadly unable to take part due to injury or illness.

With increased membership and active fundraising, modernisation was possible and money was invested in new equipment.

Traditional standards and dress codes were maintained however, and she always had a spare hair net in her pocket should it be required!

In 2010 she became Area 12 representative**, and in 2014 Mary took up the role of Pony Club Chairman; a post in which she continues to give her tireless support to provide Members and future Members the chance to fulfil their talents, dreams and ambitions.

In an interview with Horse & Hound, a ‘gobsmacked’ Mary said she could hardly believe she won the award, and advised anyone thinking about volunteering to ‘give it a go’ saying ‘there is something for everyone.’

Now in their second year, the annual Horse & Hound Awards honoured equestrian heroes from the past 12 months at a glittering, starstudded ceremony at Ascot Racecourse on Tuesday 02 November.

There were 12 categories this year; with 10 open to public vote and two being judged by Horse & Hound’s expert team.

The categories not only recognised high-profile stars, but also championed success among amateur riders and showed appreciation for those from all aspects of the equestrian world, including the volunteers and clubs who make it possible for so many to enjoy their sport