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Thursday, June 24, 2004


Jump racing and The Pony Club will join forces this Autumn with a new nationwide Pony Racing series aimed at encouraging 11-15 year olds to become jump jockeys.

The series, designed as a way of promoting racing to youngsters, will be run on a regional basis, with pony races taking place at Bangor, Huntingdon, Kelso, Market Rasen, Newton Abbot, Plumpton and Stratford with the final at Wincanton Racecourse on Sunday 24th October.

Riders must be members of The Pony Club and races will take place over approximately four furlongs for 13.2hh and under, and six furlongs for 14.2hh and under. The experience will be as near to real life' as possible with riders wearing silks, weighing in and out and parading in The Paddock before the race. Trainers and jockeys have pledged their support and will be making the presentations to the winners after each race.

"It's a great idea and I wish it had happened when I was younger," commented former Pony Club member and top British jockey Richard Johnson. "Pony racing in Ireland is so competitive;, most of the Irish jockeys start off that way and are at such an advantage.

"It will give kids here a great opportunity to have a go at racing and hopefully the buzz will encourage some of them to carry on riding and become jump jockeys. It can only be a good thing and I'm right behind it."

"We have received terrific support and enthusiasm from the industry and further afield and cannot wait to get the series up and running," says Rebecca Morgan, Wincanton's Clerk of the Course. "This year is a pilot scheme which we hope to build on in the future with the aim of encouraging as many kids as possible to hitch up their irons and have a go. We are delighted to be staging the final at Wincanton and look forward to what I am sure will be very competitive racing, and to welcoming Pony Club Members to the racecourse."

Chairman of The Pony Club, Mary Anderson, commented: "We have always provided a clear path for Members through to the disciplines but the same cannot be said for providing a clear path into the world of racing. Not only does this scheme provide another string to The Pony Club's bow but we hope that it will provide an added reason for youngsters from the ages of 12 to 15 to stay in The Pony Club."

For information on competing and how to become a Member of The Pony Club, please call 02476 698 300 or visit www.pcuk.org

A full set of Rules & Regulations, which include dates and venues, pony and rider eligibility and race conditions, are listed below.

strictly embargoed until midnight on Wednesday 23/06/04

2004 UK PONY RACING SERIES (in association with The Pony Club)

The series will take place on licensed racecourses between August and October ,2004, on the following dates:

Saturday 22nd August, Newton Abbot, Saturday 14th August
Monday 30th August, Huntingdon, Monday 23rd August
Saturday 4th September, Stratford, Saturday 28th August
Sunday 19th September, Plumpton, Saturday 11th September
Saturday 25th September, Market Rasen, Saturday 18th September
Sunday 3rd October, Kelso, Saturday 25th September
Saturday 9th October, Bangor, Saturday 2nd October
Sunday 24th October - FINAL Wincanton, Saturday 16th October

There will be two races on each occasion restricted to 13.2hh and 14.2hh ponies over distances of four furlongs and six furlongs respectively. Race distances are approximate and may vary according to each course.

The final will be held at Wincanton Racecourse on Sunday 24th October, Charity Race Day in aid of Spinal Injuries Association & Yeovil Hospice.

The winner and second placed from each race will qualify for the final which will see a maximum field of 14.

The timing of races will be decided by individual racecourses, and are likely to take place after the final race

A tuition session will be held at each racecourse either prior to the day, or the morning of the races. This will include walking the course and procedures at the start. Any rider who does not attend will not be permitted to compete.

The Pony Club will appoint a nominated individual to assist the Area Representative with organising the day and liaising with the racecourse. This person will take the entries and perform the ballot with the Area Representative where required


All ponies must be at least five years old and not more than 15 years

All ponies must be vaccinated against Equine Influenza and have available a certificate confirming compliance.

All ponies must have genuinely participated at a minimum of 3 working rallies since 1st July in the previous year, one of which must be in the current year, with a Member of The Pony Club.

Stables will not be provided for ponies

13.2hh / 4 furlong (approx) races - any rider weighing over 8st 7lbs may not ride a pony 13.2hh or under. Riders should be aged over 11 years and under 16 on the first of January of the current year

14.2hh / 6 furlongs races - any rider weighing over 9st 4lbs may not ride a pony 14.2hh or under. Riders should be aged over 11 and under 16 years on the first January of the current year and must not have ridden in a point-to-point

Rider weights are to include saddle, number cloth, lead bag (if used) and breast girth (if used)

Joint Measurement Scheme Certificates of height will be accepted, but if there is an objection and no Height Certificate is produced the Racecourse Vet will measure the pony and their decision is final

A 2lb weight allowance will be permitted for body protectors which all riders must wear

With the exception of running in the final no rider or pony may compete more than once in the 2004 UK Pony Racing Series.

All riders entered are active Members of the stated Branch of the Pony Club who have participated at a minimum of three working rallies of this or their previous Branch, excluding team practices and coaching, since 1st July of the previous year, and have been Members of the Pony Club since at least 31st January of the current year. Attendance at camp counts as one Working Rally

Should a breach of eligibility subsequently be proven the UK Pony Racing Series Working Group and The Pony Club have the authority to disqualify the offender at their discretion

District Commissioners of Branches will submit official entry forms by the required deadlines, failure to submit before the specified date may result in the entries being declined


There will be 8 runners per race - a balloting procedure will be adopted if necessary and a waiting list will be kept

Entries close seven days prior to each event and will only be accepted if submitted on the Official UK Pony Racing Series Entry Forms. The forms, completed and signed by the District Commissioner, will include certification of the rider and ponies' eligibility and suitability

Ponies must be declared to the nominated representative as having arrived at the organising racecourse at least two hours before the race.

All ponies will parade before the race in the Parade Ring and be led to post. Each rider must have a nominated adult at the start.

Races will be started by flag and all ponies must be facing forward

There will be an award for the Best Turned Out Pony in each race.

Prizes in kind will be presented and the winner from every race will be invited to spend a day at the British Racing School in Newmarket

All riders must Weigh Out and Weigh In. Failure to weigh in at the correct weight will result in disqualification

All ponies entered do so under the condition that they may be routine tested for prohibited substances in accordance with The Jockey Club regulations

Ponies competing in the final must be ridden by the rider who qualified them.


There will be a compulsory tack inspection of all riders and ponies carried out by The Pony Club's nominated individual

Saddles and Bridles (including reins) shall be well-fitted and black or tan in colour

For safety reasons knotted reins should be attached to the bit by a buckle (not a billet).

Coloured brow bands are not permitted.

Ponies must be turned out with well fitting and properly maintained saddlery, including saddles made on a conventional general-purpose tree and if the stirrup bars have safety clips, they should be in a downward position. They should be mounted with leathers, hunting or safety pattern irons and a girth on separate web straps.

Any saddles made without a tree, or those employing a half tree or front arch only, are prohibited. Similarly, racing saddles measuring less than 16 inches (40.6cm) in length (i.e. from front arch to cantle) and weighing less than 5 lbs. (2.8kg) are not permissible.

Saddlecloths will be provided which must be worn by all competitors

Girths may only be white, navy blue, brown or black in colour

The only Martingales permitted are Irish, Standing, Bib or Running, only one of which may be worn at any time. Standing Martingales may be attached only to a Cavesson Noseband or the Cavesson portion of a Flash' noseband fitted above the bit.
Only one noseband is permitted - Cavesson, Drop, Grakle or Flash. Sheepskin nosebands are allowed.

Neck straps are compulsory

Brushing / tendon protection boots may be worn. Bandages are not permitted.

No item of tack may be used for any other purpose or in any other way than the one for which it was designed and intended, e.g. Running Martingales may not be used as Standing Martingales.

The bit must be a plain snaffle with a straight bar or a single joint in the middle. The mouthpiece must be smooth all round. Bits of nylon or other synthetic material are permitted, but must only be used in their manufactured condition without any addition to/or on any part. Plastic bits with a cylindrical joint are not permitted, nor are Bitless Bridles, including Hackamores.

Badly fitting or unsafe tack, or saddles that are down on the withers when the rider is mounted, will result in the disqualification of that pony unless the tack can be changed to the satisfaction of the appointed Official before the start of the race

Nickel bits and stirrup irons can be dangerous and are not permitted

No blinkers, hoods, eyeshields, eyecovers, visors or sheepskin cheek pieces may be used

Studs are not permitted but Calkins are allowed

Whips and spurs are not allowed.

The nominated Official has absolute discretion in ruling on these matters

It is mandatory for all members to wear a protective helmet manufactured to one of the minimum standards. It must bear the CE mark and a quality symbol, either the BSI Kitemark, the SAI Global symbol or the official Snell label with number. The CE symbol on its own is not sufficient to ensure consistent standard of manufacture. The PAS 015:1998 and the Snell E2001 meet higher impact criteria and therefore give more protection.

1. PAS 015:1998, EN 1384:1996, BS EN 1384:L1997(all must carry the BSI Kitemark)
2. Snell E2001 with the official Snell label and number.
3. AS/NZS 3838:1998, or AS/NZS 3838:2003

Hats must be worn with the chinstrap correctly fastened at all times when mounted. Failure to comply with this will result in immediate disqualification


Riders must wear cream, white or beige jodhpurs or breeches (dark coloured jodhpurs are not allowed)

Riders must wear a medical armband

A stock must be worn but no stock pins or metal fastenings are allowed

Silks / racing colours will be provided which all competitors must wear

Standard riding or Jodhpur boots with a smooth, fairly thin sole, and a well-defined square cut heel should be worn. No other footwear will be allowed.

Half chaps are allowed, plain black or brown, with no tassels

Jewellery and watches are not allowed

All riders must wear a body protector which conforms to EN 13158:2000 or BS EN 13158:2000 or SATRA Jockey Vest Standard Document M6 Issue 3. Body protectors may not be modified in any way and must be in a serviceable condition.

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