History of Rugby Riding Club
In 1947 a certain boy named Theo Nichols used to ride around Hillmorton on a 11.2hh grey pony called Misty. Mr G.W.F. Cockayne, who also had a young son and knew many other young riders in the area, saw him and decided to call a meeting of all those interested, at the Red Lion, Hillmorton where the `Rugby Pony Club` was founded.
Shows were held at the Technical College playing fields and polo grounds and in 1950 news arrived that the Polo Club was going to be disbanded. The committee decided to apply to Rugby School to take over the lease and on Sunday 23rd April 1950 Rugby Pony Club held their first grand rally at their new grounds.
The club went from strength to strength, in 1955, riding clubs accepted their application for affiliation and the club name was changed to `Rugby Riding and Pony Club`. In 1962 Rugby Riding Club lost the tenancy of the polo grounds as Rugby School required them to extend their recreation facilities.
The search for a new ground became a priority and in February 1962 the Rugby Corporation offered us nearly 18 acres on an annual tenancy. The land is that bounded by the Ashlawn Road, Onley Road and the railway, and was opposite the old polo grounds. The final show held on the polo grounds was on 16 September 1962 and in December the agreement with Rugby Corporation for the lease of the new grounds at Rainsbrook was stamped, signed and sealed and so workbegan on preparing the grounds.
In 1963 the club was granted planning permission for a clubhouse. The wooden building was an old billet from Long Lawford Aerodrome, purchased through Long Lawford Football Club. With a great deal of hard work and help from members the clubhouse was erected ready for the 1964 season. Sadly, on 12th September 1980 the clubhouse was destroyed by fire and with it just about all the clubs equipment except for the show jumps.
Many people rallied to help the club, with donations from Oaklands Saddlery, Maddens newsagent and also the generous offer of the use of equipment by South Kilworth Riding Club. A cheque for £2000 from West Midlands Council was sent to the treasurer for the promised grant for the new clubhouse, and so work began on building a brick building which was completed in 1981.
The club has continued to thrive providing competition at all levels for every age and ability, with many successes at Area 5 and National Riding Clubs level. Shows are held regularly every Sunday from March till October offering a wide variety of events to suit all tastes and abilities.
The clubs old motto was "Good winners and very good losers" and we hope this still applies today!