I am very interested in doing Pony Club pony racing because I have a really fast pony. Could anyone tell me if it is compulsary to use a proper race saddle and proper girth and stirrups etc. And where I might find one fairly cheap, because I don’t want to go and buy a saddle and a load of gear and then to find that all the other ponies that compete are a lot faster than my little 12.1hh and that it’s not worth me doing it after all.
Ibelieve you would be expected to have a racing saddle and proper overgirth. Any other one would probably be too heavy. You can get them quite cheap on Ebay sometimes though. You other option is to contact a local racing yard and see if someone will let you borrow one.
For more info on Pony Racing have a look at http://www.ponyracing.info
I don’t know what area you are in but we have regular pony racing here in East Anglia and it is very well organised. At Ampton on Sunday we have the usual two races at Noon and 12.15 before racing starts. You’ll be able to see from the times they clock if your pony is likely to be fast enough.
Some of the most successful ponies like Gemini in our area have been thoroughbreds (he was a twin by Alzao) or irish bred racing ponies. The most success children have usually been the offspring of trainers – Simon Andrews’ kids used to dominate and now Georgina has started off in points. However normal kids on decent ponies have been competitive too.
If you were to go and have a look and talk to the organisers like Paula Twinn (for East Anglia) they will give you good advice.
Also you have to be a member of a Pony Club and your DC should be able to give you good advice or put you in touch with somebody on your committee who can point you in the right direction.
The ponies need to be hunted and the child needs to be able to take him down to post himself with being led.
You don’t have to use a racing saddle, no – I’ve seen GPs used at Newmarket in a series final.
If the pony is only 12.1hh there is also an age limit on how old the child can be who is riding it, I can’t remember what it is. There are 2 categories, something like up to 13.2hh and up to 14.2hh, IIRC, and each category has an upper age limit.