Pony Racing is an exciting sport that’s been administered in Ireland, England, and the US for some time. It varies slightly from country to country but is a sport that predominantly involves young riders and their ponies competing on a racecourse.
It is important to note, Pony Racing is NOT about speed, the emphasis is on advancing your riding ability and skill, learning how to better control your pony, your balance, and the fitness and well-being of both you and your pony.
It is also a chance to explore the vast range of career opportunities available in the thoroughbred industry, which spans from media to veterinary, marketing, breeding, sales, hands-on horse care, riding roles and much more.
In Australia, in 2023 Thoroughbred Industry Careers (TIC), in conjunction with Pony Club Australia (PCA) has been running pop-up exhibition races around the country to showcase this sport. Given their popularity, we are now developing a series of races for riders aged between 9-15 yrs.
Many Pony Racing riders in Europe have had very successful careers in the thoroughbred industry worldwide.
Everyone is welcome (all ages on any size pony or horse) to come and have a fun day and learn new skills. The only criteria for this day are that you need to be able to walk, trot and canter independently in a group situation.
These days will be made up of riders and ponies who are SELECTED from the taster days (and have expressed interest) to further their skills towards displaying their ability and control on a racetrack.
Fields of 10 will be SELECTED from the TRAINING DAYS (in two age/height categories – see more information) to complete on a racetrack.
*All riders must be a current Pony Club Member
Local Pony Clubs in conjunction with TIC and PCA will be running taster days on Pony Racing where everyone of all ages and sizes (horses/ponies) who can walk, trot and canter independently and in a group situation are welcome to come and learn new skills including:
Health and well-being of horse and rider
Riding with control and balance
Mount and rider fitness with advice on equine feed programs
Explanation of Pony Racing and what it entails
General racing rules and safety expectations
Careers in the Thoroughbred breeding and racing industry
The opportunity to be selected to compete on one of Australia’s best racecourses.
All ages and sizes of riders who can walk, trot and canter independently and in a group situation are welcome to come and learn new skills. At these TASTER DAYS, riders who wish to progress to the next level (and are within the Pony Race selection criteria) will be invited to progress to the next stage of Pony Racing, the TRAINING DAYS.
The Eligible criteria for selection to the next stage are:
Riders on a pony under 12.2hh
Riders on a pony 12.2hh – 13.3hh
*Riders need to be aged between 9 and 15yrs to participate on Raceday (age at 1st January 2023)
If you have been SELECTED to attend a TRAINING DAY, riders and their ponies will attend a racetrack and further their skills towards displaying their ability and control on a course.
Final fields and reserves for RACE DAYS will be selected on these training days.
Final fields will line up in two races on a selected race day. Riders will be supplied silks from famous racing stables, studs or owners and be mentored by leading jockeys and industry people to prepare them for the race.
450m – ponies under 12.2hh, riders 12 yrs and under
750m – ponies 12.2hh – 13.3hh, riders 12 yrs – 15 yrs
Pony Club Australia (PCA) has been an instrumental organisation in Australia’s history, with around 850 clubs scattered right across the country, and over 40,000 members.
It was the first major sponsorship we planned before we launched TIC three years ago because we wanted to financially support this historical organisation for all the work they do, predominantly, through parents and volunteer helpers.
Photography credit: Luke Marsden & Michael McInally