What a magnificent year to reflect on! Sunday 1st December 2019 saw members of the PRA join together, starting with a tour of the beautiful and historic Rhonehurst Stables in Lambourn– home to trainer Oliver Sherwood. With Oliver making an appearance on Nick Luck’s Racing TV show that morning, Tarnya and Assistant Andy were in charge at home. Photographs were taken by the stable once occupied by the famous Many Clouds and there was an insightful demonstration with one of the stable stars swimming in the equine pool. It was then on to Newbury Racecourse for the Awards and a delicious lunch in the Owners Club which had been quickly turned around after a busy day before.
We were delighted to be joined also by Kate Hills of RaceTech and Zoe Elliott of CareersinRacing who kindly assisted Chairman Edward Gillespie in handing out the prizes. Read on for full details of all the winners. We were also honoured to be joined by Anne Watts, winner of the 2019 Services to Pony Racing Awards.
2019 PRA Awards Winners
The Charles Owen Racecourse Series Finals Winners run at Cheltenham Racecourse on 17th November 2019.
138cm winner – Harry Davies riding Little Anne
148cm winner – Edward Vaughan riding White Water
The Charles Owen Racecourse Series Conditions’ Final Winners
run at York Racecourse on 8th September 2019.
138cm winner – Zak Kent riding Galway Girl
148cm winner – Ollie Proctor riding Steal My Girl
The One of a Kind PRA Award for Fifty and Counting
Presented to Push The Button. Winner of 50 PRA Charles Owen Racecourse Series Races in her career so far. Thomas Bradburne, current jockey, kindly accepted her winning rug on her behalf.
The RaceTech Racecourse Series Leading Riders Awards
138cm winner – Taylor Fisher
148cm winner – Edward Vaughan
The Rose Bengal Scholarship Awards
from nominations from Stewards and Coaches for rider/s who show the most improvement on and off their pony
138cm runner up – Taylor Fisher
138cm winner – Thomas Bradburne
148cm runners up – Lucy Aspell, Will Featherstone and Henry Main
148cm winner – Elliot England
Best Turned Out
for the rider/pony with the greatest number of BTO prizes throughout the season
138cm winner – Joe Leavy
148cm winner – Molly Burton
The Chiumbo Endeavour Award
in memory of a fantastic racing pony now retired who gave everything and taught lots of children about pony racing. Awarded to a jockey who has shown great commitment throughout the season both on and off their pony.
Joint winners – Daniel Ellis and Will Featherstone
Most Widely Travelled
the riders who rode in the most Racecourse Series Races over the season
138cm winner – Taylor Fisher
148cm winner– Molly Burton
CareersinRacing Video Competition
for the best video concerning Pony Racing
Runners up – Jack Dace and Lucas Murphy
Winners – Richard Cook and Daisy Dace
The RaceTech Point-to-Point Leading Riders Awards
138cm winner – Jack Dace
148cm winner – Ashley Lewis
Most Stand out rider of the Point-to-Point Pony Racing Season, for Conduct On and Off the Track – Edward Vaughan
The George Crawford Trust Bursary – created by George’s loving parents Cameron and Mary. George pony raced for a number The George Crawford Legacy Trust was set up in memory of George Crawford who died following a road accident at the tragically young age of 20. The George Crawford Bursary is awarded to a maximum of 2 pony racing children for them to buy equipment and pay for training towards their pony racing. The nominations were made through the Point-to-Point pony racing committee, Pony Club Race Day organisers and PRA stewards and BHA Jockey Coaches with the PRA Executive making the final decision.
The inaugural George Crawford Trust Bursary Award for Pony Racing was gifted to Charlie Clarke.
Services to Pony Racing
Anne Watts – presented by Richard Prince and Edward Gillespie
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.”
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.”
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