UK PonyCon is the longest running My Little Pony convention in the UK, and was founded in 2003 by Victoria Stapleton. Her vision for PonyCon was to create a convention to celebrate My Little Pony and bring together fellow collectors from around the globe.
PonyCon 2004 was held in Morecambe, Lancashire at The Platform. Hasbro attended and brought along ponies customised by celebrities to auction, and a custom headdress worn in The Vicar of Dibley! A local dance troupe entertained everyone by performing to songs from the My Little Pony cartoons, and Debra Birge attended to promote her book. The giant pony on display this year was Sunny Daze. The 2004 convention raised about £100 for HAPPA, the Horse and Pony Protection Association. Big thanks to sillysunshine for her hard work making the first convention happen!
PonyCon 2005 was held in Manchester, at Sacha’s Hotel. This year the convention had a theme: ‘Butterfly Island’. The convention was graced with TWO giant ponies this year! Both were pop-art themed. Hasbro attended the convention and showcased ponies from the upcoming Crystal Princess range - including Breezies! PonyCon 2005 was held over three days (the 10th, 11th and 12th of November), having two members days on the Thursday and Friday with the main event on the Saturday. Other highlights of PonyCon 2005 included a custom pony scene themed around Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory made by Escarchita using real sweets! Spanish pony lovers Snow and Escarchita impressed people with their display of Spanish ponies. This year £250 was raised for the Starlight Childrens Foundation. This donation was used to fund a Christmas party for the children at Withington Hospital!
PonyCon 2006 was held at the Britannia Hotel, Birmingham. The theme this year was ‘Crystal Princess’ and the convention had it’s first mascot, Sprinkles the wingless breezie, designed by Archer! This year we saw the introduction of the gameshow-style Pony Weakest Link. The pop-art pony attended the convention for a second year. Other memorable sights were Gypsywildflower’s Megan costume and Bagginslover’s Steamer costume. Sillysunshine had an amazing stall which was made to look like Dream Castle! Some fantastic contest entries this year too, including a pony carousel and a Chinese Dragon pony! The convention raised over £1000 for Redwings Horse Sanctuary who had a lovely stall and donated some fabulous artwork to the auction. The auction was a big part of the day and there were some amazing lots, including a Mint in Pack Bay Breeze!
PonyCon 2007 was held at the Redwood Hotel and Country Club in Bristol. The theme for 2007 was ‘Silver Anniversary’ in celebration of 25 years of My Little Pony! 2007 was the first year that the convention offered an exclusive pony to attendees: Celebration Pinkie Pie. Sales of this pony really helped to raise a lot of money for The Rainbow Centre, a Bristol based children’s charity. This year there were two amazing prize draws, for a full set of Mountain Boy Ponies and also a full set of Twinkle Eye Ponies! One of the giant pop-art ponies made another appearance this year. Some fabulous costumes were seen at this convention; Jemofirongate’s Lily Lighty dress, Dusky’s Celebration Pinkie Pie costume and several Super-Pony costumes!
PonyCon 2008 was held in Brunel University, Uxbridge. The theme this year was ‘Birthday Party’ which lead to the very first instance of the member’s day event ‘Cakey Bakey’! Member’s day this year was held in a seperate building to the main convention, a sweet barn conversion aptly named ‘The Barn’! Some more new features of Member’s day 2008 included ‘Pinch a Parcel’ and goodie bags for every attendee. PonyCon 2008 supported another children’s charity this year, Wellchild. An exclusive pony was available this year - the only true European exclusive pony so far - named Bumblebee. Special prize draws were held with the main prizes being a full set of So Soft Ponies and a set of collector’s pose Nirvana Ponies. A new giant pony made her debut this year; Magic Marigold! The 2008 auction included a G3 Core 7 Collector’s Set and the ‘Fingerprints of PonyCon’ styling pony which attendees had made their marks on!
PonyCon 2009 was held in Sheffield, in the Megacentre. The theme was ‘Ponies Around the World’ and this year there were a record number of international attendees! The exclusive pony was ‘Fancy Feathers’ and sales of this pony helped us raise a great amount for the new charity, the Riding for the Disabled Association. The 2009 grand auction was the most successful yet, raising over £700! Special items included Edgar the Elephant (who raised £60 all on his own!), a very detailed styling custom of the 2008 exclusive pony, Bumblebee, and some fantastic Nirvana ponies. This year the giant pony was a very special feature - she was Baby Cuddles, a Blackpool Illumination restored by the talented Gypsywildflower. Prize draws included a full set of Princess Ponies and Twice as Fancy Ponies. Other memorable features include the first game of Pony Mastermind and the introduction of prize vouchers for contest winners!
PonyCon 2010 was held at The Public in West Bromwich - a fabulously colourful venue which was very MLP! The theme this year was ‘My Little Pony and Me’, a celebration of our own personal memories and love of ponies. This year we invited the Riding for the Disabled Association back for a second time and the convention managed to raise £1300 for them. Part of this was due to the sale of gorgeous green exclusive pony, Meadow. The special prize draws this year included a full set of G1 Mail Order Birthflower Ponies and a ful set of Flutter Ponies. The giant pony this year was again the amazing Blackpool Illumination, but repainted as Baby Cotton Candy! Lots of new events made their debuts in 2010, including PonyCon gameshows; Mr and Mrs and Who Dares Wins, more panels and demos than ever before and the infamous member’s day scooter race! Special items in the auction this year included a set of MLP Collector’s Inventories kindly donated by the author, some great artwork by Cubeydoom and many Nirvana ponies and Mint on Card ponies!
2011 was the year PonyCon took a trip to the beach! Brighton provided a vibrant, fun environment for the convention's seventh year! Held in the beautiful grounds of Brighton Racecourse, the convention brought new elements such as a video room and even video games with the 'Rainbow Dash Attack' tournament!
In 2012, PonyCon was held at the Jury's hotel in Long Eaton, and we held our first ever PonyCon disco, which was a huge success! With videos running continuously in one of our two panel rooms, and many games and discussions being held in the other, this was our most active PonyCon yet! We even hosted our first late night panel video panel at midnight for those of us unable to sleep for all the excitement!
2013 saw PonyCon celebrate its tenth anniversary and the 30th anniversary of My Little Pony in a huge pony-filled weekend at the Mercure Holland House Hotel and Spa in Cardiff. The main room had tables offering everything from ponies to plushies, crafts to cupcakes! Presentations and videos showing in the panel rooms celebrated bronies and collectors alike, and the fiendish Archer returned with a pub quiz that ended in a dance-off to the Equestria Girls stomp! This year's auction included amazing items such as a print signed by My Little Pony creator Bonnie Zacherle, original art by the MLP comic artist Jennifer Blake and a copy of "Bronies" signed by Lauren Faust - all of which helped to raise a whopping £2000 for the Riding for the Disabled Association!
In 2014, PonyCon took it to eleven with a rock themed convention in Leicester! Our convention band, the Rainbooms, and our special guest Ayla of Antipode Geek Belly Dance entertained everybody with pony themed performances on the main stage and we had MLP card game and monopoly tournaments, karaoke, a dance workshop and face painting as well as old favourite, Pinch the Parcel. Prizes this year included a set of the Rockin’ Beats (of course!) and Dance ’n’ Prance ponies mint in their boxes, as well as some amazing original art pieces!
PonyCon attendees had a blast in 2015 with an out-of-this world space theme! 2014 was so much fun that we decided to return to Leicester, but we took over more rooms making the convention even bigger and better than ever! We're still recovering from all the excitement, so check back later for photos!
UK PonyCon in 2016 was the largest yet, attracting over 750 pony fans to the Royal Armouries in Leeds for a full weekend themed on Heroes and Villains. There were fifty stalls selling all sorts of pony goodies, and three large event rooms for a full programme of events.
The next UK PonyCon will be taking place soon, and we promise to make it the best yet!