Sunday December 4, 2022
For National Pony Club updates and information please go to pcuk.org
Pony Racing

Just like the ‘big’ racing but on ponies. Some of the biggest smiles can be seen on the faces of jockeys as they cross the finish and for parents and their families, it is the most wonderful day out with new experiences around every corner. Members are treated to the amazing opportunity of taking part at some of the most prestigious racecourses in the country. Imagine crossing the finish line at Ascot or parading your gorgeous pony in the ring at Cheltenham. These are just some of the experiences that lie ahead.

How does it work?

Pony Racing is structured in a way that enables members to dip their toe in and have a go through to events for those who are ultra serious.

Pony Club Racedays (organised by Pony Club)

Novice races for those who wish to have a go, even if it’s just a one off to see if they like it. Pony Club racedays are held at racecourses and in addition to novice races, there are also intermediate and open races for jockeys who are a bit further ahead in their racing career. Qualification for Pony Club racedays is attendance at two pony club rallies.

Point to Point Pony Racing (organised by the Pony Racing Authority)

Held during scheduled point to points at some venues. These are flat pony races run over point to point tracks. Usually only one or two pony races in a day. The Pony Racing Authority requires qualification of the jockey and pony which consists of attending a pony racing training day (a really fun and very useful day) which are run across the country through the Autumn and Winter ready for the start of the season.

Racecourse Series (organised by the Pony Racing Authority)

For the crème de la crème of pony racing combinations, these races are held at racecourses on a scheduled British Horse racing raceday and run infront of a full crowd, with races on the racecard and on course bookies taking bets! Entries here are for those who have qualified by previous form.

About the day

Pony Racing is a super day out. Jockeys get to use the jockey changing rooms, weigh out, parade in the parade ring then down the chute to make their way to the start. Jockeys are fully briefed before the race, walk the course and they are escorted to the start. The race is often recorded and there is a professional commentator keeping everyone informed of the action as it unfolds. It’s a very proud moment for parents standing at the finish watching their jockey cross the line, no matter what position they finish in.

1st, 2nd and 3rd take the honour of the winners enclosure and to ‘weigh in’.

There are often rosettes and cups and also prizes for best turned out.

Do I need lots of special kit?

No. To start with races can be run using your pony’s usual GP saddle and bridle. There are a couple of small bits of kit needed (overgirth, safety stirrups, neckstrap, buckled reins) which are available within pony club for you to borrow. Racing silks aren’t necessary – a XC base layer is very suitable

Is it expensive to take part in Pony Racing?

Pony Racing is very good value. A half day qualification training session is around £30. Even if you don’t need to qualify (Pony Club Racing) attending a qualification training session is a good idea.

Can anybody take part?

Jockeys must be at least 9 years old and maximum 16 years, ponies must be between 5 and 20 years old and ponies a maximum of 148cm (that’s about 14.2 to most of us!). No height certificate needed when starting out.

Will my pony turn into an unstoppable creature after a blast on a gallops or racetrack?

This is a bit of a myth – there’s no evidence to back this up. The ponies love the chance to have a blast but are still your reliable pony club pony.

What are the benefits of Pony Racing?

Pony Racing helps jockeys to develop exceptional balance and control along with fitness and stamina. It also encourages ponies to develop fitness and shed a few pounds as well as giving them something different and fun to do which is good for their wellbeing.

What about jockey weights – are they encouraged to lose pounds?

Absolutely not – there is no encouragement to weigh light. There are MINIMUM weights for the higher level races which, in most cases means that the jockeys would have to carry extra weight in their saddle cloths. The weighing out/in practices are to give jockeys the whole experience of racing.

Find out more – here are some links:

https://www.ponyracingauthority.co.uk   

https://pcuk.org/sports/pony-racing/

https://www.ponyracingauthority.co.uk/get-racing/point-to-point/

Or contact Louise at Curre Pony Club for more information:   Curre@pcuk.org