Pony races put youngsters on track for future careers

The youngsters lining up for pony races at Ascot today showed the focus and commitment of professional jockeys in a Group 1.

All the riders in the first National Pony Racing Series understood the honour of racing on the famous track just hours before the Northerly Stakes and among them were top jockey William Pike’s son Jett and daughter Aspen. Also trainers Grant and Alana Williams’ daughter Tahni, celebrating her 14th birthday and first race ride on the same day.

The small pony race was won by Rubie Gilberd on Rosie and first past the post in the large pony race was Cade Smith on Rusty.

The series, a collaboration between Thoroughbred Industry Careers and Pony Club Australia, gives young riders the chance to ride on the hallowed turf of some of the nation’s best-known courses, with the finals to be held in Sydney during the 2024 autumn racing carnival.

Lindy Maurice from Thoroughbred Industry Careers said the local riders had been fantastic to work with across a week of trials and races.

“The quality of ponies and riders shows the future of racing is very healthy in Western Australia,” Lindy said.

“This series will help create awareness of career opportunities in the thoroughbred industry and help build relationships between the equestrian and thoroughbred communities.

“Many pony racing riders in Europe have had very successful careers in the thoroughbred industry worldwide.

“It also helps the riders become educated about thoroughbred welfare and life after racing.”

In WA, racing supports more than 10,000 jobs and involves around 25,000 people as participants, employees and volunteers.

Lindy said the young hopefuls were the future of Australian racing, potentially taking up careers not only as jockeys but trainers, strappers or vets looking after horses on race days.

She emphasised safety over speed, briefing the young riders about balance, control and keeping their ponies straight on the course.

“It’s about mateship with your ponies and each other, looking after your ponies and each other,” she said.

The series runs across Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia and South Australia for riders aged nine to 15, kitted out in sponsored silks of some of the biggest names in racing.

About RS NewsWire

Racing and Sports is a global publisher of online horse racing form and information, and a leader in interactive racing technology. Racing and Sports is at the cutting-edge of information technology, allowing businesses and website users first access to emerging technologies.

Bookmaker Why Bet Sign Up Full Review
Bet Now at ladbrokes Back Yourself with Ladbrokes! Join Review
Bet Now at neds Back a Winner with Neds! Join Review
Bet Now at palmerbet Sign up to Unibet and start betting in minutes! Join Review
Bet Now at tab Sign up to TAB and start betting in minutes! Join Review
Bet Now at playup Sign up to PlayUp and start betting in minutes! Join Review