Changes to the Racecourse Series Handicap System

December 2021

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  clarissa@ponyracingauthority.co.uk.  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 gradings here.