In pony racing there are two series; the point-to-point series, held at point-to-point courses from spring until early summer, and then more competitive series at racecourses around the country, before or after the main day’s horse racing. I am the Midlands Champion for the point-to-point series and currently ranked fifth for the racecourse series. In the past I have won at courses such as Cheltenham and Ascot.
My pony, Miss Wonderful, is a Thoroughbred and was going to be a racehorse, but she didn’t grow big enough, and luckily was the right height to pony race. Ponies have to be 148cm or below and ridden by riders 16 years and under. All the riders are disciplined in the rules of racing and have to wear the same equipment and saddlery as professional jockeys. We race on the flat for a distance of around a mile.
All of us have to reach a certain standard of riding to be competent enough to race. This means passing courses that are normally held at the British Racing School at Newmarket. During the school holidays I also ride racehorses at a local trainer’s for experience.
Our pony races are only slightly slower than those of the professional adult jockeys and the bigger horses, and we reach speeds of around 35 miles per hour. It is incredibly exciting and dangerous! So far this season I have had three wins and three seconds from six starts. I am hoping for a career in the racing industry.
Violet Barton (K)