A Brief History by Estelle Bertram (founding member)

In 1983 a group of riders at Sherbrooke Equestrian Center got together to discuss forming an Adult Riding Club. David Turnbull, a former newsreader on television, originally brought up this idea. The club could be affiliated with a new association known as Horse Riding Clubs Association of Victoria (HRCAV), which was just forming to promote competition between Adult Riding Clubs.

There were ten original members that gathered at John Lewis’ place in Clematis for the first meeting of the club. These founding members were:

David Turnbull
Gayle Stockley
Charles & Di Politz
Mary Jenkins
Robert Prentis
Sandra Howard
Allison Dodds
John Valcich
Estelle Bertram

The original name of the club was to be the “Tara Lye Riders” after the Lewis’ property, but after some discussion it was decided to call it the Clematis Adult Riding Club after the area from which riders were from.

The club was fortunate to be able to start meetings at the present grounds at Wards Road Reserve in Monbulk courtesy of a friend connected to the Pony Club. After holding rallies there for four years it was decided at a General Meeting in 1987 to rename the club Monbulk-Clematis Adult Riding Club (MCARC) to incorporate both areas from which riders came. It was at the same meeting our uniform was changed to its present colours. The original uniform colours were maroon with gold trim. Due to the maroon dyes having a different colour each time they were delivered, it was decided to adopt the present colour scheme. These consist of a black and white logo, black or pale coloured breeches, white shirt and black tie with a black and white trim saddle blanket. In 1991 a Cross Country Polo shirt was introduced, which was white with a black stripe on the collar.

Our club logo was designed by Carol Bertuch who was previously a member of our club.The logo is used on our uniforms and also used on our official correspondence.

For the first three years the HRCAV held State Championships at Werribee Park, which were attended by many of the MCARC members. A great time was had staying in on-site caravans, with the horses accommodated in outside stalls. A grand parade of every club represented was held with two members of each club parading with their club banner – a very colourful sight.

From these beginnings our membership has grown to our present riding membership of between 25 to 30 riders, with a few more social members. Three of the founding members are currently still members of the club, these being Di Politz, Mary Jenkins and Robert Prentis.

Our Club has established itself as very competitive, with many riders being very successful over the years. We have previously run Showjumping competitions Navigation rides and Dressage competitions. We have also hosted two Top Team Navigation Rides and co-hosted a Top Team Horse Trials.

Our Club grounds have improved over the years, from a humble converted tin garage clubroom. In 2004 a new and much larger colour bond Clubroom / Education Center was built.