PRA Academies

The PRA Pony Racing Academy Scheme is for children who do not have a pony and are unable to participate in pony racing due to financial or circumstantial reasons.

The PRA Pony Racing Academy courses are funded by The Racing Foundation and take place across the country.  The course consists of 12 sessions that take place over a time range of 3 months to 12 months. The mounted and unmounted coaching sessions, pony hire and costs of the race day are fully funded. The rider provides their own riding safety equipment including a skull cap and body protector  to current standards and riding boots with a smooth sole and small heel.

You need to:

  • Be aged between 11 and 15 years old
  • Not have a pony or access to a pony. To be accepted onto and remain on the course, riders cannot own, loan, part loan, lease, share, borrow or have access to a pony, including one belonging to a family member or friend, even if the pony is not suitable for pony racing
  • Have a level of riding experience that ensures you are safe and confident to canter in a group in a riding arena and in open spaces
  • Really want to have a go at pony racing
  • Show 100% commitment to the course

The schemes are currently being run north to south around the country in Aberdeen, Fife, Scottish Borders, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Oxfordshire, London, Hampshire, Sussex and Cornwall. We also work closely with the National Horseracing College in Doncaster and the British Racing School in Newmarket.

Over 300 children have completed the scheme and each year we aim to enable more children to achieve their dream of riding in their first Pony Race.  3 of our Academy Graduates are riding as licensed jockeys ‘under rules’ in the UK.

“The race at Cheltenham was one of the best days ever. I have always wanted to be a  jockey and it came true. I was so excited for the race and very grateful it happened. Not everyone gets that opportunity.”

“This will be a day I’ll never forget, if it wasn’t for this scheme I would never have got the opportunity. It’s something I will always be grateful for. The course has not only helped me but my family too as they have no clue when it comes to horses!”

“The 12 session Academy ran by the PRA is a wonderful opportunity for children without their own ponies to really experience Pony Racing. My husband and I still can’t believe that it was all provided free of charge to the children. They have been so lucky.”

“It has had a positive impact on her confidence and her riding in general. It has been an incredible experience and even more so because we don’t have our own pony.”

“Last Monday was a dream come true. My biggest dream is to become a flat jockey and being given the opportunity to be in a pony racing academy and take part in a race was an incredible experience and I have learnt so much. Having the chance to race at Ascot itself was unbelievable and being able to experience what it’s like in the weighing room and getting weighed out and then weighed in again after the race was a real insight of what it’s like to be a jockey.”

One rider who started the scheme in 2014 took part in our Racecourse Series Final at Cheltenham in 2019.  With grit and determination you can achieve your dreams!

Email the PRA for an application form: