Pony racing showcases talent with launch of 2016 Charles Owen Racecourse Series

The crème de la crème of pony racing will be competing for top spot when the first fixture in the Charles Owen Racecourse Series takes place at Kempton Racecourse on 26 March 2016.

Sponsored by global brand Charles Owen since 2005, the Racecourse Series is the showcase for pony racing talent.  Ponies and riders have to be qualified to compete, and combinations accumulating the most points across the series are eligible to race at the Charles Owen Racecourse Series Finals held on Cheltenham Racecourse on 22 October 2016.

Clarissa Daly, chief executive of the sports governing body the Pony Racing Authority (PRA), said: “The Charles Owen Racecourse Series is as close as it gets to ‘the real thing’, attracting young jockeys who have come through a number of different routes, such as point-to-point pony racing and Pony Club race days, as well as having completed specialist training to ensure they are ready, fit and safe to ride at this elite level.”

“As far as possible, we try to mirror the professional racing experience so that these young riders have a real insight and understanding into the way the professional sport operates. As well as giving them the thrill of a lifetime out on the racecourse, we aim to give riders a strong platform for going into the racing industry, perhaps as an apprentice jockey or into one of the many career paths that racing offers.”

Finals October 2015 at Aintree Racecourse
148cm Finals October 2015 at Aintree Racecourse
Push The Button (Sophie Smith) wins the 138cm & under, Aintree October 2015
Push The Button ridden by Sophie Smith, winner 138cm Finals 2015 at Aintree

Widening participation in pony racing is top priority, as Clarissa explained: “To encourage children onto the Racecourse Series, we are adding three Conditions races which are open to children or ponies who have not been placed (1st – 4th) in a Charles Owen Final in the last two years. This leads up to a Conditions’ Finals at York Racecourse on 4 September. It was so popular when we introduced the format last year – to encourage children to make the step up from point-to-point pony racing – that we’re doing it again!”

Roy Burek, managing director for Charles Owen, said: “We are proud to be sponsoring the Racecourse Series – the top flight of pony racing in Britain – for the eleventh year running. It’s fantastic to see the dedication and passion in these young riders, and the partnership they create with their ponies, to perform at this level. We’re looking forward to an exciting season building up to a highly-competitive final at Cheltenham in October.”

Clarissa Daly added: “Charles Owen’s investment in the sport has been significant and without their steadfast commitment for more than ten years, many of the opportunities today through pony racing would simply not be possible.”

York Prizegiving
Presentation, Conditions Final 2015 at York Racecourse

Notes 

Charles Owen, sponsors Racecourse Series 2016

2016 Charles Owen Racecourse Series fixtures: 

 

26 March                     Kempton

30 March                     Exeter

17 April                        Wincanton

13 May                        Aintree

14 May                        Newmarket

22 May                        Nottingham

30 May                        Huntingdon

2 June                         Ffos Las

5 June                         Goodwood

3 July                          Market Rasen

9 July                          Ascot

24 July                        Uttoxeter

25 July                        Newton Abbot

28 July                         Stratford

4 August                      Great Yarmouth

7 August                      Chelmsford

12 August                    Newbury

18 August                    Stratford

19 August                    Bangor On Dee

27 August                    Beverley

29 August                    Chepstow

4 September               York – CONDITIONS FINALS

4 September               Fontwell

11 September             Bath

25 September             Musselburgh

2 October                    Kelso

22 October                  Cheltenham – FINALS

 Charles Owen Conditions Series

Three Conditions Series races will be held, leading to a Conditions Finals on 4 September at York

13 May            Aintree 

24 July            Uttoxeter

18 August       Stratford

 Charles Owen Finals

The culmination of the Racecourse Series is the Finals held at Cheltenham on 22 October. After racing, the PRA hosts lunch for everyone and sponsors Charles Owen provide a helmet for each finalist.

About Charles Owen www.charlesowen.com

British manufacturer and global brand Charles Owen, best known for its range of riding helmets and body protectors, has been the main sponsor for the Racecourse Series since 2005.