Young rider round up: Pony Racing Series ready to roll

  • The Point-to-Point Secretaries Association Young Riders Pony Racing Series gets underway at the Mid Devon Foxhounds point-to-point at Black Forest Lodge on Saturday 11 February. There will be two races – for ponies 13.2hh and under and ponies between 13.2hh and 14.2hh. Riders must be aged between 9 and 15 to enter.

    There will be 57 Pony Racing fixtures across the country, and to qualify riders and their ponies must either have been hunting together at least four times or have attended three Pony Club rallies. Children aged nine, 10 and 11 on 1 January 2006 may compete in the 13.2hh and under races, while 12- to 15-year-olds are eligible for the 14.2hh and under races. Ponies must be between five and 20.

    Distances are four to nine furlongs and no weight limit is imposed. Fixtures continue at point-to-points until early June. A racecourse-based summer series is in the pipeline, but rules and fixtures are still being finalised.

    Entries close at 10pm on the Saturday a week before the scheduled races. Rules and entry forms can be obtained from Lucy Brack (tel: 0207 189 3856 /07771 51825) or by emailing lucyb@care4free.net.

    Pony gold medallist honoured

    Louise Saywell, individual gold medallist at last year’s Pony European Championships, was honoured at the British Show Jumping Awards Ball last week.

    The 15-year-old from Nottingham was presented with the Outstanding Pony/ Rider Performance Award in recognition of her gold medal-winning round on board the piebald pony CJ’s Kemosabi.

    Louise was part of the 2005 Pony European Team that travelled to Italy for the Pony European Championships and her foot-perfect performance helped the team achieve a Silver Medal.

    Partnering CJ’s Kemosabi Louise has won many prestigious titles including the Kitt-Kraiburg Junior Show Jumper of the Year at Horse of the Year Show, and the JA Grand Prix at the Royal Show. The talented pair was also part of the winning Pony Nations Cup Team in Freudenburg in Germany last year.

    Ben is the best

    Ben Maher’s stunning 2005 season was also recognised at the British Show Jumping Awards Ball. The 23-year-old received the award for the 2005 Best Up and Coming Rider, an accolade voted for by the 100 top BSJA ranked riders. 

    Ben, who made history last year by winning both the Speed Derby and the Hickstead Derby at the age of 22, was the outright winner of the prestigious award.

    There is no doubt that Ben is one of Britain’s most talented riders. His potential first came to light when he was still riding ponies, winning two Team Pony European Gold Medals. In 2004 he was a member of the Young Rider European Gold Medal Team as well as a member of the Nations Cup Team in Podebrady, Czech Republic. He was the youngest rider to win the Hickstead Derby in 25 years, and only the second rider since Ireland’s John Ledingham to win both titles in the same year.

    If you have any young rider news please email anna_tyzack@ipcmedia.com

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