Former pony racers can compete exclusively against each other in a new race next month.

The first race restricted to jockeys who have graduated from pony racing will be held to showcase talented riders.

The Pony Racing Authority’s (PRA) graduates handicap hurdle will be held on Wednesday 18 April at Cheltenham racecourse.

The race is restricted to riders that have graduated from PRA pony racing who hold a category A, category B or conditional jockeys’ licence.

Jockeys must have also completed 10 starts in point-to-points and under Rules.

“Over 100 riders have already graduated from PRA pony racing and now hold a licence,” said the PRA’s Rebecca Morgan.

“This race is an opportunity to show the next batch of talented riders coming though.”

Champion trainer Paul Nicholls, whose daughter Megan pony races, said: “This new race is a great idea, and I hope to support it with a couple of runners.

“I cannot speak highly enough of pony racing and how much it has brought on young riders.”

Pony racing was formally introduced in Britain in 2004 to encourage young people to consider a career as a jockey.

Graduates of pony racing include Sam and Willy Twiston-Davies, Lucy Alexander and Gina Andrews.

For more information on pony racing visit www.pra.gb.com