Young jockeys will battle it out on the racecourse this weekend at the finals on the 2011 Charles Owen Pony Racing series.

Twenty-four riders aged between 11 and 15 – including Champion trainer Paul Nicholls’s daughter Megan – have qualified for the finals, which will take place on the hallowed turf of Aintree racecourse on Saturday (22 October).

Pony racing is a rapidly growing sport – 92 graduates from the initiative now hold a jockey’s licence. And over 200 pony races took place in 2011 at point-to-points, racecourses and Pony Club racedays.

The two finals (138cm and under and 148cm and under) will take place before racing starts on over distances of 6f and 9f – at 1.35pm and 1.55pm.

Sam Twiston-Davies, pony racer-turned-professional jockey, says: “My brother Willy and I learnt so much from pony racing – from how fit you need to be to race-riding skills and tactics and general racing etiquette.”

Rebecca Morgan, chief executive of the Pony Racing Authority, added: “This season has been the most competitive and successful yet. We are really seeing the rewards of the initiative now, with nearly 100 jockeys having graduated through pony racing.”

For more information visit: www.pra.gb.com