ThoroughBred Racing

National Pony Racing Series Launched by Thoroughbred Industry Careers

National Pony Racing Series Launched by Thoroughbred Industry Careers

Thoroughbred Industry Careers (TIC) has teamed up with Pony Club Australia (PCA) to launch a National Pony Racing Series, which is scheduled to kick off in Brisbane next month and run across five states (Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia, and South Australia), culminating in ‘The Finals’ during the Autumn carnival in Sydney next April.

 

The series will have 12 qualifying races, comprising six individual qualifying race days with two different age and height categories before the two finals, which will see the winners and runners-up from each state compete.

TIC has run a number of pop-up exhibition races run in Australia in recent times that have proved hugely popular with a broad racing audience. Off the back of that success, the TIC National Pony Racing Series has been formed.

Participating clubs for the qualifying races are the Brisbane Racing Club (Eagle Farm August 12), Moonee Valley Racing Club (27 October), Western Australian Turf Club (Ascot December 9), the Gold Coast Turf Club (January 6, 2024), the Australian Turf Club (Warwick Farm, January 26, 2024) and the South Australian Jockey Club (Morphettville 11 March 2024), before The Finals in Sydney over the Autumn.

In total, 120 riders will compete across the race series with 10 riders in each race.

Each pony racer will wear sponsored racing colours and some of the biggest names in Australian Racing have put their support behind the series; Annabel Neasham Racing, Arrowfield Stud, Carl and Lorraine Holt, Chris Waller Racing, Ciaron Maher Racing, Craig Sneesby, Frank and Christine Cook, Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott Racing, Godolphin, Hermitage Thoroughbreds, Inglis, Jonathan Munz, Linda Huddy, Lizzie Jelfs Racing Club, Magic Millions, Ranvet, Seymour Bloodstock, Tony Gollan Racing, Woppitt Bloodstock and Yulong Stud. 

Gai Waterhouse, Lizzie Jelfs and Kerrin McEvoy are official ambassadors for the series.

TIC Chief Executive Officer Lindy Maurice said the objective of the series is for riders to have fun by experiencing the sport of racing and all the excitement a live race day offers, while also serving an important purpose for the wider industry.

“This series will help create awareness of career opportunities within the thoroughbred industry and help build relationships between the equestrian and thoroughbred communities,” Maurice said.

“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 and we will be working with ‘Kick Up For Racing’ to deliver these important messages.”

The race series is open to all PCA members aged between 9 and 15 years old with the height of ponies capped at 13.3hh. There is an open invitation for all PCA members to partake in ‘Taster Days’ which are designed to be a fun and educational learning experience, but also shortlist the most capable riders for qualifying days.

The first of those Taster Days was held just outside Brisbane earlier this month, with Channel 7’s Horse Racing documenting that day on its National Racing coverage on Saturday.

Pony Racing is an exciting sport that’s been administered in Ireland, England and the US for some time. The emphasis of the sport is to advance riding ability and skill, along with balance, fitness and control, with the safety of both pony and rider paramount.