Santa Cruz County

About Santa Cruz County

The United States Pony Clubs, Inc., develops character, leadership, confidence and a sense of community in youth through a program that teaches the care of horses and ponies, riding and mounted sports.

Santa Cruz has always inspired visionaries. It does today and it certainly did in 1956. That is when a visionary team of local horse-people and youth leaders was inspired to found a chapter of the United States Pony Club here in Santa Cruz.  USPC is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) equestrian education organization.

Of course, Santa Cruz was much smaller in 1956, the county was home to fewer than 75,000 people. That did not stop a committee of 12 forward thinkers from establishing the first USPC chapter west of Chicago. The original SCCPC membership invitation offered instruction in basic riding skills and horse management, safe competitions based on one’s riding level, and a variety of special activities to broaden the member’s equestrian education.

Response was immediate, and the club that began with 9 members in 1956 soon had 23 members by 1957. These youngsters came from families in Aptos, Ben Lomond, Capitola, Corallitos, Felton, Santa Cruz, Soquel, and Watsonville. Over the intervening 60 years, approximately 1500 young women and men from across the county have learned riding and horse management skills through the USPC curriculum. That legacy endures today, as SCCPC provides the full non-profit USPC range of instruction and activities. 

Many SCCPC graduates are still active locally, regionally and nationally as instructors, judges, organizers, competitors, veterinarians, farriers, and equestrian community leaders. 


USPC Pony Clubs and Riding Centers are assigned to one of 41 geographical regions, which are administered by a volunteer Regional Supervisor (RS) and other appointed and elected officers. Regions offer additional activities and opportunities for members and support for the club and center leaders under their administration. Santa Cruz County Pony Club is part of the Middle California Region. Visit the region's website for the contact information for the Regional Officers.

Visit the Pony Club website to learn more about the Pony Club educational program, national events, activities and opportunities for members.