The Pony Club Champion Safety Wear Pony Racing Points Series has come to a close for 2017, seeing 346 pony and rider combinations taking part across six days of racing at some of the best known racecourses in the UK.
Taking the top spot with 31 points in the 128cm and under category was 10 year old Zak Kent riding Glebedale Stopwatch for the Essex Farmers’ Hunt. Essex resident Zak, who took part in six race days and won at Wolverhampton, aims to be as successful as his heroes Bob Champion and Sam Twiston-Davies. He said: “I would like to thank my parents and my brother Bradley for their help, but most of all I’d like to thank my pony who is my best friend and my partner in crime!”
The winner of the 138cm and under category was Grafton Hunt’s Harvey Poole, who lives in Northants. Eleven year old Harvey and his horse Warmwell Lizzie competed in five races, taking wins at Ascot and Haydock Park. Harvey, who said the win was ‘amazing’, commented: “I still can’t believe it’s true that I’ve won the Championship in my first year of racing. I hope to continue Pony Racing and become a professional jockey when I’m old enough.”
Violet Barton’s Miss Wonderful lived up to her name by winning all of their 148cm and under races at Wolverhampton, Lingfield Park, Cheltenham and Ascot. Fifteen year old Violet, who lives in Leicestershire and is a Member of the Quorn Hunt Branch, said: “I am thrilled to have won, and doing so well has given me the confidence to ride in more flat races.” Violet, whose ambition is to be a jockey, continued to thank The Pony Club for the opportunity to get into racing, adding: “It’s the most amazing feeling and is very addictive!”
The winners and their families will enjoy a day at the ‘Jingle All the Way’ Race Meeting at Ascot Racecourse where they will also be presented with their prizes.
Charles Barnett, Chairman of Pony Club Pony Racing, said: “On behalf of The Pony Club I would like to thank Champion Safety Wear for their generous support, and Guy Henderson and everyone at Ascot Racecourse for offering to host the prize giving.”
Charles continued to offer his congratulations to everyone who took part, and say he hopes to keep expanding Pony Racing; encouraging any Member to give it a go as there are races for all levels of ability. He said: “We have seen an increase in participation across the different heights of ponies, with a number of jockey and pony combinations having raced several times to gain points.”
Sponsored by Champion Safety Wear, Pony Club Race Days give Members a real taste of racing. Just like jockeys, riders wear colourful silks, weigh in, weigh out and parade in The Paddock before the race – all adding to the exciting atmosphere and unique experience.
All winners will receive a rosette, salver and certificate, and those placed 2nd and 3rd will be presented with rosettes and certificates.
Pony Racing is for those aged 9 to 15 years old, and is one of nine exciting sports available to Pony Club Members. The sport is becoming increasingly popular, and a number of former Pony Club Members have gone on to have careers in racing including Sam and Willy Twiston-Davies, Felix De Giles and Tom Marquand to name but a few.