The BHA have today released an update on Equine Influenza in the UK. Following a decrease in the number of reported outbreaks of Equine Influenza in the United Kingdom and Europe, the BHA Veterinary Committee have agreed to further relax the requirements for all horses on Racecourse Property. This includes runners from non-Licenced yards (ARO, Hunter Chasers and PRA), non-GB runners (including France and Ireland) and other horses on racecourses (for example ROR).
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.
We had a very well attended Awards lunch at Cheltenham Racecourse on Sunday 25th November. We were very privileged to have a fabulous behind the scenes tour of the Racecourse, including the Stables and Royal Box, with Simon Claisse and Edward Gillespie.
The day gave everyone a chance to catch up without ponies getting in the way and a chance to thank our sponsors. Cheltenham gave every PRA member attending a fabulous goody bag and Mangan & Webb saddlers included a £50 voucher towards their racing saddles. So everyone was a Winner!
2018 Award Winners
Winner of 138 cm Final –Harry Davies riding Little Anne
Winner of 148cm Final –Charlie Sprake riding Mr Marshall
Winner of 138 cm Conditions’ Final –Freddie Gingell riding Wee Anthony
Winner of 148 cm Conditions’ Final –Lily Lewellyn riding Class Act Annie
2018 138cm RaceTech Leading Rider and pony combination
Daniel Ellis and Clear the Track
2018 148cm RaceTech Leading Rider and pony combination
Charlie Sprake and Mr Marshall
Violet Barton and Miss Wonderful
2018 138 cm Rose Bengal Scholarship Winner
2018 148cm Rose Bengal Scholarship Winner
Amateur Jockey Association Best Turned Out Overall
138 cm Winner
148 cm Joint Winners
Benoit de la Sayette
The Chiumbo Endeavour Award
(In memory of a fantastic racing pony now retired who gave everything and taught lots of children about pony racing awarded to a jockey who has shown great commitment throughout the season both on and off their pony)
138 cm Winner
148 cm Winner
The Most Widely Travelled
Joint Runners Up
CareersinRacing Diary Competition
(for the best account of their training schedule, participation and future plans)
138 cm Winner
138 cm Runners Up
148 cm Joint Winners
148 cm Runners Up
RaceTech Leading Point to Point Pony Racing Rider
Most stand out Point-to-Point Pony Racing rider of the season
Archie Frank won both leading P2P award and the overall awards
Elliot Stockwell won both leading P2P and overall awards.
Congratulations to James Bowen being crowned Champion Conditional Jockey 2017/18.
In October 2016 he was crowned pony racing’s leading rider for 148 cm ponies; in 2017 he was Champion Novice Point-to-Point rider riding a record number of winners and in April 2018 he is crowned Champion Conditional Jockey having ridden 58 winners.
James is following in his brother Sean’s footsteps although Sean only rode 51 winners to be Champion Conditional in 2014/15!
5 of the top 10 Conditional Jockeys all started their careers in pony racing and all have achieved a noticeable number of winners this season – Bryony Frost lies in 4th place with 31 winners, Charlie Deutsch in 5th with 30 winners, Ryan Day is in 6th place with 25 winners and Richard Patrick is in 9th with 20 winners.
The Championship table for professional Jump Jockeys sees 3 pony racing graduates feature in the top 10 with Sam Twiston-Davies riding 108 winners, Sean Bowen riding 82 winners and Harry Cobden, last year’s Champion Conditional, riding 76 winners.
The JMB’s on-line application and card payment system (whereby owners apply and pay on-line to the JMB Office prior to contacting an Official Measurer) proved highly successful in 2017. Popular with owners, their agents and with Official Measurers, it will be continued in 2018.
We recommend that anyone seeking measuring information refers to the JMB Website, www.thejmbonline.co.uk; e-mails firstname.lastname@example.org or telephones 01293 862101.
The JMB website contains the Rules, details about the Measurement Procedure, FAQ’s and other comprehensive information.
Owners and their agents or representatives are advised to visit Appendix 2 where they will find a helpful, practical guide to ‘Preparing the Horse or Pony for Measurement’.
It is in Owners best interests that horses and ponies have comfortably gained experience of the measurement process and of travel to different premises, prior to the ‘big day’ of measurement.
This simple, practical preparation should ensure that the lowest relaxed height can be obtained.
Owners and their Agents need to be aware that the JMB Board unanimously agreed that from 1st January 2018, RANDOM body-fluid samples (usually blood) will be taken at the time of Measurement for routine Annual and Full Measurements, as already happens at Re-measurements and Gold Certificate measurements.
Animals presented for Annual or Full Certificates will be selected randomly using anonymised data issued by the JMB Office and the Official Measurer will act according to instructions issued to him or her. Costs will be borne by the JMB.
Details about Prohibited Substances can be found in Appendix 3 of the JMB Rules.
This new procedure should go a long way to ensure that animals presented for measurements are free from Prohibited Substances and are in a healthy condition, mirroring the Rules of their relevant Competition, be it Pony Racing, Showjumping or Showing.
JMB Stewards: Dec. Doc. 2017
Ref: JMB Rules for Measurement.
The 2017 Pony Racing Awards were held at Sheepdrove Organic Farm on Sunday, 3rd December. We had a great turn out of children & families and were lucky enough to visit Jamie Osborne’s yard in Upper Lambourn in the morning. Jamie gave us a fascinating insight into his training methods including a demonstration of his treadmill in action. We were also treated to the extraordinary story of Toast of New York who has ended up back in training with Jamie. Very emotional and totally absorbing! Thank you Jamie for sharing!
We moved to Sheepdrove Organic Farm for the Awards presentations where we welcomed Richard and Dawn Prince to present the Rose Bengal awards, Zoe Elliot to present the CareersinRacing Best Turned Out awards and Kate Hills to present the RaceTech Awards.
The 2017 Award winners were:
Charles Owen Finals at Newmarket: Oakley Brown (148), Daniel Ellis (138).
Conditions Final at York: Owen Lewis (148), Harry Davies (138).
The Rose Bengal Leading Rider Awards sponsored by Richard & Dawn Prince: William Humphrey (148) and Finn Muirhead (138).
The Rose Bengal Scholarship Awards – Winner: Owen Lewis (148), runners up – Nia Kerslake & Alfie Godfrey; Winner: Elliot England (138), runners up – Poppy Scott & Megan Bevan.
The Careers in Racing Best Turned Out Award – Minty Bloss (138), (2nd Poppy Scott, 3rd Jamie Spencer); Joint winners – Nia Kerslake & Joshua Brown (148), (2nd Alfie Godfrey, 3rd Molly Burton).
Most widely travelled during 2017 – William Humphrey (14 Charles Owen races).
RaceTech Media Leading PtP Riders – Charlie Sprake(148), Freddie Gingell (138).
Overall contribution to Pony Racing – Richard & Dawn Prince
The PRA asked the riders to give some thought to anything they would like to see changed in the industry. They are the future of racing after all. Below are listed some of their suggestions:
– A warm up area in the weighing room
– Optional warm up fence on the way to the start of jump races
– Greater recognition of the work contributed by grooms
– Introduce more Pony Racing Graduate races
– Introduce a weight allowance for girls as they do in France
– Take away the whip to improve public perception and encourage
jockeys to ride a more balanced finish
– Re-introduce seasonal breaks for both codes
Worth listening to? We certainly think these ideas are worth exploring. Watch this space!
What a fantastic day at Cheltenham for pony racing graduates! 5 out of the 7 races were won by jockeys who all started in pony racing.
Bryony Frost, Tom Bellamy, James Bowen, Brendan Powell and Harry Cobden all started their racing careers riding in Point-to-Point and Charles Owen pony races.
All have been able to use the valuable experience they gained on the pony racing circuit and this is certainly showing. All of these jockeys are hitting the headlines early in their careers proving that pony racing helps aspiring young jockeys get a foot on the ladder.
James Bowen, who’s last pony race was the Charles Owen Final at Cheltenham in October 2016, won on Saturday at Cheltenham for his new boss, Champion Trainer Nicky Henderson. Bryony Frost and Harry Cobden were both winning for the previous Champion Trainer Paul Nicholls. All 5 jockeys have shown they can handle the pressure of riding winners for top yards on big race days; the experience gained by their early days pony racing has helped them get where they are today.
The Charles Owen Novice Finals were staged at York at the weekend and as always provided 2 very competitive races. Harry Davies on Little Anne won the 138 cm race and Owen Lewis riding Bongo Bay won the 148 cm race. Both were competitively fought and all the riders showed how much they had learnt and improved over the season.
William Derby, Chief Executive of York Racecourse, said the children “rode and conducted themselves with great credit”.
York Racecourse are always very welcoming hosts and made it possible for the PRA to be able to give the families, who support and drive the children around the country, a lovely day out at the races.
The Novice Series goes from strength to strength with 5 qualifiers this season leading up to the finals. All the points count towards the Charles Owen Series and therefore towards the Finals at Newmarket in October.
With only 2 fixtures left, places in the Charles Owen Finals are being hard fought for and parents will be driving as far as Bath and Musselburgh in order to gain much needed points.