An award to help young riders and to celebrate the life of jockey Jan Wilson was launched last week to coincide with what would have been her 20th birthday (1 May).

The young jockey was killed with fellow amateur rider Jamie Kyne in a fire last September in Malton, North Yorkshire.

The award was launched last week by the Pony Racing Authority (PRA).

“The PRA Board is proud and honoured to introduce the Jan Wilson Memorial Award, at a particularly poignant time for Jan’s family and friends,” said Rebecca Morgan, chief executive of the PRA.

“Her untimely death was a tragedy felt by all in racing and I hope pony racing can do her memory proud in offering this new award in her name.”

“I have worked closely with Jan’s mother Margaret Wilson, who has acted with dignity and determination, to create a fitting and meaningful award for Jan.”

The points based award is for riders participating in Northern and Scottish fixtures of the 2010 Charles Owen Pony Racing Series. It aims to encourage young riders to compete more often on the Northern circuit, which is where Jan enjoyed her career, and will help prepare them for a career in racing.

The rider accumulating the most points and winning the inaugural Jan Wilson Memorial Award will receive a perpetual trophy and personalised racing breeches, boots and saddle supplied by Gibsons Saddlers and P H Kingsley Ltd.

Media training will also be offered together with a placement at a trainer’s yard of choice and tuition at the Northern Racing College.

Margaret Wilson added: “Jan loved racing and I am delighted to offer our support to young riders like Jan starting out on their careers. If you want good jockeys we have to help them on the road. It was important to me that the award is something Jan would have wanted to win herself and I am sure she will be watching down on these young riders following their dream like Jan did.”

A court case in which Peter Brown, of School Croft, Brotherton, North Yorkshire, denies two charges of murder, two charges of manslaughter and one of arson with intent to endanger life, is ongoing.