PCA Team

A life with horses starts here

Pony Club Australia business is run day-to-day by a small team of specialists.

Dr CATHERINE AINSWORTH, CEO

Catherine has undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Veterinary Science. Her postgraduate study was in equine reproduction which led to many years in equine stud practice. With an interest in a corporate career, Catherine worked in the veterinary pharmaceutical industry in marketing and technical support roles and then agribusiness, whilst completing a MBA part time at the Melbourne Business School (University of Melbourne). Catherine went on to be the director of the Victorian state veterinary laboratory for 10 years, managing animal health diagnostics and research from 1999 – 2010. She then led the development of the new agricultural science centre in Victoria and investment programs in animal and plant biosecurity and biotechnology for 5 years. Catherine is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the AICD Mastering the Boardroom program. Catherine has been CEO of Pony Club Australia since 2016 and has led the organisation through major initiatives with a sharp focus on connecting with and delivering benefits to club members.

Catherine comes from a non-horsey family and joined Narrandera Pony Club in NSW only after she could convince her father she could look after her horse herself.

BRONWYN WHEATLEY, MARKETING & DEVELOPMENT OFFICER

Bronwyn Wheatley has a background in secondary school English teaching, followed by 15 years as a journalist for her regional town’s newspaper and contributing writer for several magazines. She became Public Relations Manager for Bendigo’s public then private hospitals, handling their communications, public relations, event planning and marketing.

She had her first pony by age 13 and joined Preston Pony Club as a founding member, competing to state level in eventing. Her early riding years involved riding several kilometres to Pony Club and sharing a Chapman’s Horse Transport truck with other members who kept their ponies at the same riding school, to get to shows and gymkhanas. She also competed in EFA (EA) dressage and eventing. She is a life member of Kilmore and District Pony Club where her daughters attended and she was Chief Instructor for several years.

Dr KIRRILLY THOMPSON, PARTICIPATION MANAGER

Dr Kirrilly Thompson is a trained cultural anthropologist who has an international reputation for her research into human-horse relations, safety behaviours and risk perception. Kirrilly is passionate about making the benefits of horse riding more accessible to the community, increasing participation and improving horse welfare. She is a life member of Pegasus Pony Club in South Australia, where she started riding as a teenager when she leased a horse from the treasurer. Kirrilly competed up to state level in dressage and showing and went on to coach at the club where her father became president and served for 18 years. Kirrilly received a Service Award from PCA SA and served on the Chief Instructor Panel in the early 2000s. She still competes regularly in dressage.

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© Pony Club Australia 2020

A life with horses starts here

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