Find out more about the sport of pony racing and how you can get involved
What is Pony Racing?
If you aged between 9-15 you might like to consider giving pony racing a go!
The Pony Racing Authority (PRA) hosts over 100 fixtures per year at racecourses and Point to Point Courses allowing youngsters to experience the thrill or riding in a race. The PRA hosts races throughout the UK for ponies and riders of all abilities and experience. Pony racing is not only a good grounding for future jockeys but also acts as a springboard to other careers in the horseracing industry. There are three types of pony races run by the Pony Racing Authority, further detail can be found below.
Pony Club Race Days
These are run on racecourses and Point-to- Point courses, throughout the year by local pony clubs for everyone to have a go. There are races for all size ponies from 128-148cm and the only qualification required is the combination of pony and rider must have attended 2 working rallies or a PRA/PC Training Day since 1st August the previous year. These are great way to see if Pony Racing is for you!
Point- to Point Pony Races
These take place before or after racing at a Point-to-Point from February-June. You will be looked after by the PRA Point-to-Point Pony Racing organiser, walk the course with a professional and have a great time! Races can be for ponies measuring 128cm, 138cm and 148cm and under. There are also novice races run in each Point- to-Point area.
This runs from March- October with two races being staged before or after a race meeting on a professional racecourse. The races are for ponies measuring 138cm and under or 148cm and under. Your pony has to be registered with the PRA and must have a valid JMB height certificate.
How to get Involved
Since Pony Racing's introduction in 2004, the sport has blossomed and become popular throughout the UK. There are two main categories of pony races; 138cm and under and 148cm and under. At Pony Club Racedays there is also often a 128cm and under category. To take part in Point to Point and Charles Owen pony races both the rider and pony must be registered with the Pony Racing Authority
The PRA in a joint initiative with the Pony Club also run Training Days, these days allow children to ride their own pony in a controlled environment and on the gallops and also provide an insight into balance and control in a forward seat with the simple use of wobble boards, space hoppers and stepping stones, running alongside the use of traditional racing equipment such as an equicisor. In addition to riding tuition, the training programme includes advice on rider and pony fitness and nutrition, tack guidance and race day procedures and etiquette.
DON'T OWN A PONY BUT WOULD LIKE TO PONY RACE?
The PRA Youth Training Scheme is for children who do not own their own ponies and are are unable to participate in pony racing due to financial or circumstantial reasons. The courses are fully funded and includes hire of ponies and equipment but each rider will need to provide their own riding equipment.
FINISHED PONY RACING AND LOOKING FOR THE NEXT STEP?
If competing in Pony Racing has made you fall in love with horseracing there are lots of opportunities and it is not just about being a Jockey! If you want to work in a yard, become a work rider or move towards stud work explore all the courses at the main training providers.
Visit the Pony Racing Authority's website, watch the latest pony racing videos, read our Pony Racer's blog and see the latest industry news.