Grace Knowles, a PRA Graduate, won her first P2P race on Sunday, First ride first win !
Grace started out on ‘Taz ‘the Ginger Ninja, not an easy pony to ride . Taz had quite a few issues which Grace worked hard to overcome with him and a top tip from Nikki Sheppard made a huge difference . He’s a fab little pony now ,still tricky at times but could give a good little jockey a start into pony racing . She had to make do with him because a racing pony was out of our budget . They didn’t ever have a win but as Grace often quotes ‘he was never last either and he was good at winning best turned out ‘!!!
We then moved on to the wonderful Captain Hurricane. Due to covid he had to race in Open Races even though he’s a novice pony. Graces thoughts were that it would just give her experience for racing in general, good plan as they had a false start on Sunday! She had 5 great rides on him last season and learnt so much ,she was sadly too old for the racecourse series.
As a mother I was so worried the when we arrived at Caradoc for the training day with a pony that wasn’t used to racing ,not knowing what the form was, and even more terrified at her first Pony race at Maisemore but the kindness and help offered by so many brilliant people, from the PRA , PC and Friends made is easy.
After A levels she decided to take a gap year at Fergal OBbriens and try to gain knowledge about race riding and the whole industry.He first P2P ride was on Stacks Mountain a lovely 9yr old horse that came over from Cheltenham Gold Cup winning trainer Henry de Bromheads in August last year he is owned and trained by Fergal O’Brien .
Grace also won the £500 Dubarry voucher for best rider performance!