Get set for pony racing

PUBLISHED: 09:00 02 December 2007 | UPDATED: 11:26 11 June 2010

Pony racing at Axe Vale.

Pony racing at Axe Vale.

Copyright Archant Ltd

Pony Racing, open to riders between the ages of 9 and 15, will be coming to 10 point to points in the Devon and Cornwall area, starting with the Mid Devon at Blackforest Lodge near Exeter on February 3.

Pony Racing, open to riders between the ages of 9 and 15, will be coming to 10 point to points in the Devon and Cornwall area, starting with the Mid Devon at Blackforest Lodge near Exeter on February 3. Many young riders have their sights set on getting their ponies fit and qualified to run. If you have thought about trying the sport with your pony, why not give it a go. It can be great fun and all you need to do is get your pony club or hunting pony a bit fitter than usual to take part. Two things you need to think about in advance though. Races are generally held in two divisions - under 148cm and under 138cm and if your pony is close to the upper limit of these heights you will need a JMB height certificate. Also your pony will need to have been vaccinated against equine influenza to take part. This year the races will all be under the umbrella of the PRA, the Pony Racing Authority, and riders will need to pay £20 to become a member before they can ride in a point to point pony race. The £20 will include public liability performance, and a copy of the new rule book.To qualify, the rider and their pony will need to attend at least four pony club rallies or to have been hunting with a local pack. You will need to get a form signed by your pony club District Commissioner or by your local hunt master to say you have done so. This is to ensure that the combination are competent to take part. It isn't all about thoroughbred ponies-in-training. There will be various spot prizes on the day for things such as 'best local' and there will be two new trophies at the end of the season. One will be given for the rider accruing most points during the season (points will be given from first place to 10th) and another for the best effort during the season. The entry for the race costs £15 and must be made to the secretary of the point to point staging the meeting at least a week before the event takes place. You can ride in your usual cross country riding kit - your colours and details of you and your pony will be printed in the racecard - and it is advisable to wear goggles to protect your eyes from flying mud! Medical armbands, as used for pony club cross country rallies and competitions must be worn. There will be 10 races in the Devon and Cornwall area this season - Dates (to be confirmed)Mid Devon on Sunday, Feb 3, (Emma Dixon 01647 432895); South Devon at Ideford Arch, Kingskerwell on Saturday, Feb 9 (Julian Greatrex (01822 880274); South Pool at Buckfastleigh on Sunday, March 9 (Eileen Ashby 01548 531490), Eggesford at Upcott Cross, nr Okehampton on Saturday April 12 (David Gruncell 01363 83633); Dartmoor at Flete Park, nr Modbury, Saturday April 19 ( Lee Glanville, 01752 830439); Axe Vale at Stafford Cross, near Seaton on Sun, April 27 (Shirley Cork 01884 821752); Modbury Harriers at Flete Park, Sat May 3 (Lee Glanville 01752 830439); Dulverton West at Bratton Down, Exmoor, on Saturday, May 17 (Clare Wright 01598 710495); South Tetcott at Upcott Cross on Monday, May 26 (Mike Clark 01409 231106) Torrington Farmers at Umberleigh on June 14 (Judy Congdon 01271 858244). Points accumulated go forward to the final meeting where trophies and prizes to the winners will be presented. Races are held over approximately six furlongs, and will vary from course to course, often being run in an opposite direction to the point to point . For general information look at the website - www.pra.gb.com - info will be updated for 2008 as soon as ratified - or for Devon and Cornwall information contact coordinator Mrs Lee Glanville on (01752) 830439.

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