Aspiring young jockeys will be heading to Cheltenham racecourse next weekend for the finals of the 2009 Charles Owen Pony Racing Series.

The races will be held on Saturday, 17 October, the second day of Cheltenham’s showcase meeting.

The top 15 ponies in the country have qualifed for the 138cm and under and 148cm and under races which take place at 12.45pm and 1.15pm respectively.

Rebecca Morgan, chief executive of The Pony Racing Authority told H&H: “We’re really excited about staging the 2009 Charles Owen Pony Racing Finals at Cheltenham for the first time. It will be wonderful to welcome the top 15 riders and ponies here for each race, and for them to enjoy the experience of riding at Cheltenham.”

The Rose Bengal leading rider and scholarship awards will also be presented that day.

The awards are named after racing pony Rose Bengal who had three successful seasons from 2006-08 before she was put down after an accident in the field.

She won many pony races with Philip Prince and was second in two finals of the Charles Owen Series in the past.

The scholarship will be awarded to one rider from both the 138cm and 148cm series who has shown commitment and improvement throughout the series.

And the leading rider award will go to the rider in each who has accumulated the most points throughout the series.

Both award winners will win 12 months’ membership to the Amateur Jockeys Association, training with the British Racing School, a racing saddle and a placement at a trainer’s yard.

Top placed ponies are:

    138cm: Jazz (Amy Milburn)
    Angelic (Megan Nicholls)
    She’s Wicked (Jessica Benfield)
    Oscar (Robert Williams)
    Little Chick (George Crate)
    148cm: Total Eclipse (Rachel Leyshon)
    Wotarisk (Harry Derham)
    The Sprout (Lucy Gould)
    The Bossy Hobbit (Alex French)
    Darby O’Gill (Rollo Deutsch)

The Charles Owen Pony Racing Series is for young riders aged 11-15. Successful graduates from the series include conditional jockeys Felix de Giles, Hadden Frost and Rhys Flint.

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