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The Racecourse Series is the crème de la crème of Pony Racing.
Taking place on a racecourse before or after professional racing, two races are staged each time with ponies and riders having qualified to compete.
Fast, furious and competitive, Racecourse Series Pony Races can easily be mistaken for being “the real thing.” They normally take place between April and October with points accumulated for the finals, the pinnacle of the Pony Racing season.
The whole experience mirrors professional racing to give those involved an insight and understanding as to how the professional sport operates. The PRA steward and BHA Jockey Coach oversee the pony races on the day alongside the BHA Starter, Judge and Clerk of the Scales.
The Racecourse Series is the showcase for the sport.
The Arena Racecourse AW Winter Series of pony races is for riders who have competed in the previous summer Racecourse Series. There will be 1 pony race at each fixture of 148 cm ponies.
Southwell 15 January 2023 1 mile
Newcastle 18 February 2023 1 mile
Wolverhampton 11 March 2023 1 mile 1 furlong
Lingfield 7 April 2023 1 mile
Each race has a Best Turned Out and the series has a Riders’ Championship and Leading Pony Awards.
In addition, we have the Rose Bengal Scholarship Awards. These are awarded to the rider in each category who the PRA Steward and BHA Jockey Coach believe to have improved the most throughout the series.
The 2023 Dragon (TV & Film) Studios Racecourse Series Fixture list can be seen by clicking here.
The Racecourse Series Handicap System
All ponies participating in the Racecourse Series will be Graded. 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.
138 cm ponies will be Graded A to E carrying the following minimum weight:
Grade A 8 st
Grade B 7 st 12 lbs
Grade C 7 st 10 lbs
Grade D 7 st 7 lbs
Grade E 7st 4 lbs
For each race won in the 138 cm and under Racecourse Series race a pony will carry a cumulative 3 lbs 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:
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 lbs penalty. For a third win a pony will carry a 3 lbs 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 ponies during the season at their discretion.
Any owner wishing to challenge their pony’s grading must do so in writing to the PRA Chief Executive by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. This will then be reviewed by the PRA’s Chief Handicapper, Phil Smith, and the PRA Board.
The reason for the handicap system is to give all ponies and riders a fairer chance and therefore make pony races more competitive, improving participation and thereby the spectacle.