Following the BHA’s decision yesterday to relax the equine influenza protocols due to COVID-19, the PRA Board has agreed that during the remainder of 2020, for a pony to be eligible to compete in pony races, it will be necessary to have received an approved equine influenza vaccination within the last 12 months, instead of the existing six month requirement. The 12-month approach reflects the policy that was in place in Britain prior to 2019.
We do not know when we will be able to start pony racing but we hope this will be one less thing to worry about over the coming months.
Please read this press release for full details: BHA Announcement re Vaccinations
The Finals of the 2019 Charles Owen Racecourse Series were run at Cheltenham Racecourse on Sunday 17th November 2019. Both races were hard fought in testing conditions with Harry Davies on Little Anne coming out on top in the 138 cm race and Ed Vaughan riding White Water winning the 148 cm race. (See full results)
The Series has been run at 24 Racecourses starting at Aintree in May. The ponies have travelled from Fakenham to Chepstow, Fontwell to Ffos Las, Musselburgh to Great Yarmouth in a bid to win points to qualify for the Finals. 20 children qualified for the two races and it was a pleasure to see them competing in such inspiring surroundings under the watchful eyes of A P McCoy and Ruby Walsh.
This year’s races saw a recent graduate of the PRA’s Youth Training Scheme having his first ride in the finals. Ben Colmer started pony racing on the PRA’s funded scheme for those who don’t own their own pony. Ben has gone on to ride in many pony races since and it was a fitting end to his pony racing career to see him ride in the finals. Ben, who is currently riding out for Andrew Balding and Eve Johnson-Houghton, will be going to the BRS when leaving school next summer.
The 138 cm race was won by Little Anne who beat Push The Button – a pony who has now competed in 7 Series Finals and has won 50 Charles Owen Series races. Push The Button is the winning most pony of the Series and is responsible for starting the careers of Charlotte Greenway, Sean Bowen, James Bowen and Sophie Smith. She was ridden by Thomas Bradburne on Sunday.
Push the Button with Sophie Smith and Thomas Bradburne
After 12 years of sponsorship, this was Charles Owen’s last series. Clarissa Daly, CEO of the PRA said: “Charles Owen have been an incredible partner over the last 12 years and we could not have come this far without their support. They have branded the racecourse series and made it their own so they will be hard to replace. However we would like to thank them for everything they have done and in particular we will remember Roy Burek, Chairman of Charles Owen, who sadly passed away in April, for his personal support.”
Roy Burek presenting the cups to the winners of the 2018 Charles Owen Finals
The PRA is grateful to everyone who makes this happen. These jockeys would not be able to practice their skills and experience the thrill of race riding without the support of the racecourses, BHA officials and our supporters including RaceTech Media and CareersinRacing. With over 100 graduates of pony racing now holding a licence and more to come from this year the future looks bright for British jockeys.
For those who are competing in the 2019 Charles Owen Series, please download the reimbursement form for your nasal swabs here:
Nasal Swab Reimbursement Form
Lovely article here on what hard work and determination can lead to!
Click Here to read about the youngsters from St James’ City Farm, Gloucester
Win yourself a fabulous CareersinRacing Saddle or Rug for your pony.
All you have to do is a short video of yourself and your pony to tell us why you love pony racing.
- Include some elements of what you do to prepare for your races
- Tell us about how it feels to ride in a pony race
- Tell us about your fitness preparation – or your pony’s fitness regime
- Interview your parents to get their views!
- Diarise your Charles Owen Season as it’s happening.
Make the video your own and we will publish the winning films on the PRA and CareersinRacing website as well as on social media.
All videos to be submitted by 31st October 2019 along with a completed Entry Form to: firstname.lastname@example.org .
No video to be longer than 6 minutes.
Click Here to Enter and Further Information
We are very grateful to Racecourses and Point-to-Points for allowing us to give the jockeys of the future a chance to experience the ‘real thing’ by allowing us to run pony races on race days. Pony racing allows children to practice, experience and hone their skills before setting off as professional or amateur jockeys. But we are doing so much more than that. We are introducing children and their families not just to the sport of horse racing but also the industry. Many of the children who ride in pony racing will go on to ride as professional or amateur jockeys; many more will end up working in racing in other areas.
To view the 2018 Annual Report please click the button below.
VIEW 2018 REPORT
Roy was a pioneer of equestrian safety and a champion of pony racing. With Roy’s support through Charles Owen sponsorship, pony racing has grown and developed in GB to produce many of the top jockeys riding today.
Edward Gillespie, Chairman of the PRA, said “We are so sorry to hear Roy has died. This is a sad loss to the equestrian world. His long term support has ensured many children have enjoyed pony racing and been given the chance to ride at many racecourses. He will be missed and we send our condolences to his family”
Assistant to the Chief Executive of the Pony Racing Authority
The Pony Racing Authority is seeking an assistant, on a part-time basis, to help the CEO with all aspects of the administration of PRA pony racing. This includes helping to organise, promote and administer the activities run by the PRA – the Racecourse Series, PRA/PC training days, taster days and Youth Training Schemes. Also to help with general data collection, writing reports and implementing marketing strategies to promote pony racing to a wide audience. There is scope for the role to develop.
Competence with Microsoft Office and Excel is important and some knowledge of pony racing will be useful.
The job is part-time and based near Ludlow, Shropshire.
Please contact Clarissa Daly for further information or email your CV with a covering letter to email@example.com
Please download the BHA’s Declaration of Health form.
As you are aware you will need to complete this form on the morning before you arrive at the fixture.