Budding jockeys who don’t own a pony can still have a go at the sport, thanks to a scheme by the Pony Racing Authority.
The PRA youth training scheme starts on 4 October and is for children aged 11-14 who do not own their own ponies and are unable to participate in pony racing due to financial or circumstantial reasons.
Alecia Smith took part in last year’s course.
“I enjoyed every second of the 12-week course and would recommend it to anyone. My next step is to try and find a racing pony to loan,” she said.
The course will comprise 12 Saturday morning sessions, with the chance to participate in a pony race if the required standard is reached.
The course is fully funded and includes hire of ponies and equipment but each rider will need to provide their own safety equipment including a riding helmet, body protector and riding boots.
Clarissa Daly from the PRA told H&H: “We are delighted, with the backing of British Horseracing Authority grant funding, to be able to offer the chance to pony race to children from every walk of life — whether they have the means to take part or not.
“This scheme is open to everyone who wants to be a jockey but may not have the knowledge or means to start”.
First published in Horse & Hound magazine on Thursday 4 September