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Five Minutes with Pony Racer, Katie!

We caught up with Park Lane Stables Member Katie (14) after her ride at the Eridge Hunt Branch of The Pony Club Race Day at Lingfield Park Racecourse, where she took part in the Champion Safety Wear Novice 148cm & under race

How long have you been a Pony Club Member and riding at Park Lane Stables?

I have been a Member for 7 years, but began riding at Park Lane Stables 8 years ago.

What is it that you love most about horse riding and the stables? 

It’s a good escape from everything, school, work and other stresses outside of school.  I love camp especially the cross country, and I love going fast! 

My favourite horses are Pocos and Eddy, I love them both very much.  Going to school is more relaxed now as I know I am only there 4 days instead of 5, this helps me to cope with the stresses of school.  I find it hard to listen at school and I do not have many friends, but at The British Racing School I want to learn as much as I can and I have respect for my teachers.  I have made friends at The British Racing School because we have similar interests and this has made me much happier. 

How did you find out about Pony Racing and the opportunities that it could bring?

Pony Racing Katie My first experience was at camp 2016 when Natalie (Proprietor of Park Lane Stables) arranged for Ollie Mcphail (from Racing to School) to come and visit us. I had a ride on the equicisor and then we had a gallop on our camp pony. 

When I got home from camp I looked online about pony racing as we had been told about it by Nat and Ollie. I also had help from Patrick and Julie Scott from Apple Tree Stud Pony Club Centre who have helped me and other Park Lane Stables Members with their training, and I was put through a scheme run by the Pony Racing Authority (PRA) funded by the Racing Foundation.

How do you think that riding at Park Lane and starting pony racing has affected you?

It really opened up my future and made me realise what I want to do as a job. The stables has always been there for me when I have been going through bad times.  The race day was like nothing else, I cannot explain what it was like as it was like nothing I had ever experienced before.  My family are really proud of what I achieved on race day and my grandad cried. 

Where do you see your future heading now?

I want to work at a racing yard.  I am getting a job soon with Mark Pattison a trainer who saw me race at Lingfield, he spoke to Nat and me after the race.  I want to win The Cheltenham Gold Cup.  When I am 16 The British Racing School will find me a work placement where I will commence work and I will return to The British Racing School every 3 months as I must stay in education until I am 18. 

What is Pony Racing with The Pony Club?

Pony Racing gives Pony Club Members aged 9 to 15 the chance to experience the thrill of horseracing at some of the UK’s biggest and best known racecourses, including Ascot, Haydock and Cheltenham.

Just like jockeys, riders wear colourful silks, weigh in, weigh out and parade in The Paddock before the race – all adding to the exciting atmosphere and unique experience!  Members who are placed 1st to 3rd in a Pony Race are awarded points towards the hotly contested Pony Club Champion Safety Wear Pony Racing Points Series where they can win rosettes, certificates and salvers.

Pony Racing is for ponies in three height categories; 128cm, 138cm and 148cm, and you can also take part in training and get a Pony Racing Badge. Want to know more? Click HERE

(Images: ARW Photography)

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