End of Season Awards

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!

‘Super Saturday’ for Pony Racing

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.

Congratulations to them all!

2017 Finals

The 2017 Charles Owen Series will come to a close on Saturday with the Finals being staged – very aptly – on Future Champions Day at Newmarket.

The children, parents, ponies and support teams have travelled the length and breadth of the country to earn points to compete in the Finals. The quality of fields in the 2 pony races gets better and better each year and this year is no exception.

Charles Owen Series

We are so grateful to the support of the Racecourses throughout the summer who allow us to hold 2 pony races before or after their professional card. We are also thrilled to continue our 10 year partnership with Charles Owen who have sponsored pony racing since it formally started in 2007.

This will be a number of competitor’s last race and they will be graduating to the ‘real thing’. Recent graduates making names for themselves include James Bowen, Harry Cobden, Joshua Bryan, William Cox and George Wood to name but a few. Who will we be the ones to watch: well Saturday’s pony races may give us some clues as to who will be the Future Champions – both human and equine!

Tom Marquand lands first Group win

3 years after graduating from pony racing Tom Marquand continues to hit the headlines. He was Champion Apprentice in his first year of racing, rode out his claim within the first couple of years and has now landed his first Group 1 winner for his boss Richard Hannon on Anna Nerium at Salisbury racecourse.

Hollie Doyle, who also works for Richard Hannon and started in pony racing, also rode her first Group 1 winner earlier this season.

Both Tom and Hollie work hard and have always shown determination and grit to get to the top. Even when they were pony racing – and even when they weren’t always in the winners enclosure – it was obvious to all those watching that they had the work ethic and talent to get to the top.

Pony racing is where it all started for Tom and Hollie. To see the up and coming jockeys of the future come to the Charles Owen finals at Newmarket on Future Champions Day – 14th October 2017.