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Exciting finale set for 2023 National Pony Racing Series at Royal Randwick Racecourse: Pony Club Australia

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Pony Club Australia (PCA), Media Release, 15 April 2024

The 2023/24 National Pony Racing Series reaches its peak with a thrilling final at Sydney’s Royal Randwick Racecourse on Saturday, April 20.

Young riders, aged 9 to 15 years, representing Pony Clubs nationwide, will vie for victory in either Pony Race 1 (Small Category) at 11 am or Pony Race 2 (Large Category) at 1 pm. The action takes place against the backdrop of the grand finale of Sydney’s Autumn Racing Carnival, the Schweppes All Aged Stakes Day.

A partnership between Pony Club Australia™ (PCA) and Thoroughbred Industry Careers (TIC), the series spanned five states, hosting qualifying race days in Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia, and South Australia. The top performers from each state, winners and runners-up from the two height categories, qualified for the honour of saddling up on Saturday, with 10 riders in each race.

PCA Chief Executive Officer Matt Helmers extended his congratulations to the series finalists and all PCA members who participated, while also expressing gratitude to TIC for their support in making the National Pony Racing Series a reality. 

“Pony Racing is an exciting sport that’s been run in Ireland, England and the US for some time. The emphasis of the sport is to advance riding ability and skill, learn balance, fitness and control, and the wellbeing of both pony and rider,” he said.

“The inaugural National Pony Racing Series has provided a platform for our young riders to demonstrate the close partnership with their pony and showcase their riding skills to an audience of horse lovers”

TIC Chief Executive Officer Lindy Maurice emphasised the significance of the event, highlighting the support from major names in Australian Racing.

“Each pony racer will wear sponsored racing colours and some of the biggest names in Australian Racing have put their support behind the series,” she said.

Supporters include Annabel Neasham Racing, Arrowfield Stud, Carl and Lorraine Holt, Chris Waller Racing, Ciaron Maher Racing, Craig Sneesby, Frank and Christine Cook, Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott Racing, Godolphin, Hermitage Thoroughbreds, Inglis, Jonathan Munz, Linda Huddy, Lizzie Jelfs Racing Club, Magic Millions, Ranvet, Seymour Bloodstock, Tony Gollan Racing, Woppitt Bloodstock and Yulong Stud.

Gai Waterhouse, Lizzie Jelfs and Kerrin McEvoy are official ambassadors for the series, with Gai’s granddaughter an entrant in one of the pony races in NSW.

Lindy Maurice said the objective of the series was for riders to have fun by experiencing the sport of racing and all the excitement a live race day offers, while also serving an important purpose for the wider industry.

“This series will help create awareness of career opportunities within the thoroughbred industry and help build relationships between the equestrian and thoroughbred communities,” she said.

“Many pony racing riders in Europe have had very successful careers in the thoroughbred industry worldwide.

“It also helps the riders become educated about thoroughbred welfare and life after racing.”

  

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