The Finals of the Dragon (TV & Film) Studios Racecourse Series took place at Cheltenham Racecourse on Saturday 22nd October before the main card.
The 138cm Final was won by Bruce Vaughan riding Zendaya and the 148cm Final by Lowan Cruise Mills on White Water.
The Finals were the culmination of a series of pony racing fixtures taking place at racecourses across the country from May through to October. Over 40 children took part in races of different distances and in two separate height categories, 138 cm and 148 cm. All those taking part in the Finals at Cheltenham had qualified by accumulating points over the season.
Jockey Billy Loughnane rode his last pony race before riding in his first races as a licensed jockey 2 days later on the at Newcastle Racecourse.
The Finals were followed by an Awards Ceremony for all PRA Pony Racing Jockeys who took part in the Racecourse Series. See PRA Awards news.
Pony Racing will be back in action with the ARC sponsored Winter Series that begins in January 2023 along side Point-to-Point Pony Racing which will run from January to June.
These changes will be used for the 2021/22 AW Winter Championships and the 2022 Racecourse Series.
All ponies participating in the Racecourse Series will be Graded prior to the season. This grading will be based on previous Racecourse Series form (including the winter series) and will take into account Point-to-Point Pony racing form but will not rely exclusively on this as ponies do not carry a minimum weight in Point-to-Point pony races.
138 cm ponies will be Graded A to D carrying the following minimum weight at the start of the Racecourse Season:
Grade A 8 st
Grade B 7 st 10 lbs
Grade C 7 st 5 lbs
Grade D 7 st
For each race won in the 138 cm and under Racecourse Series race a pony will carry a cumulative 3 lb penalty. The maximum penalty a 138 cm and under pony may carry is 9 lbs.
148 cm ponies will be Graded A to E carrying the following minimum weight at the start of the Racecourse Season:
Grade A 9 st 3 lbs
Grade B 8 st 12 lbs
Grade C 8 st 8 lbs
Grade D 8 st 6 lbs
Grade E 8 st 3 lbs
For the first and second race won in the 148 cm and under Racecourse Series race a pony will carry a 5 lb penalty. For a third win a pony will carry a 3 lb penalty. The maximum penalty a 148 cm pony and under may carry is 13 lbs.
First season ponies will start the season in Grade B. The PRA will revisit the grading of first season ponies during the season at their discretion.
A list of ponies registered to participate in the Racecourse Series will be published on the website with their grade. The Grading system will be subject to review at the end of the season. Any owner wishing to challenge their grading must do so in writing to the PRA Chief Executive by emailing email@example.com. This will then be reviewed by the PRA Board.
The reason for these changes is to give all ponies and riders a fairer chance and therefore make pony races more competitive, improving participation and thereby the spectacle. All ponies except those in Grade A will in fact start the season carrying less weight than in previous years.
As the season progresses, we may introduce some Graded races for ponies. View the gradingshere.
All PRA Members are invited to the 2021 PRA End of Season Lunch and Awards at Newbury Racecourse on 28th November.
We will celebrate both the Point-to-Point and Racecourse Pony Racing Series and will present awards for the 2021 Racecourse Series. This is a chance for the pony racing community to come together and celebrate being back pony racing after a year off!
Please book your tickets now. Bookings will close on Monday 15th November. PRA Members are free to attend but please purchase tickets for those accompanying them here. Numbers are limited.
We are thrilled to announce the new Arena Racing Company Winter AW Championship Series.
This will be a series of pony races for 148cm Racecourse Series combinations whose riders are aged 14 and above. One race will be run at the following race fixtures: Saturday 11th December 2021 – Newcastle Racecourse Sunday 9th January 2022 – Southwell Racecourse Saturday 5th February 2022 – Lingfield Racecourse Saturday 12th March 2022 – Wolverhampton Racecourse Finals : Friday 15th April – Lingfield Racecourse
The series will mirror ARC’s All Weather Winter Championship concluding with the finals at Lingfield on Derby Trials day held on Good Friday. We look forward to some competitive racing over the Winter months!
Today saw the first Sky Bet Sunday Series Meeting which was held at Musselburgh Racecourse. Congratulations to all the Jockeys and Ponies who took part and huge thanks to their ‘support’ teams who did all the driving! Watch some of the coverage here.