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QIPCO British Champion Series inspires kids at Guineas Festival

12 May 2017

Around 100 Pony Club members attended the QIPCO Guineas Festival at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile Racecourse on Sunday

Around 100 Pony Club members attended the QIPCO Guineas Festival at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile Racecourse on Sunday 7th May to learn about the sport of horseracing and enjoy the QIPCO 1,000 Guineas, the second Classic of the flat racing season and the second race in the QIPCO British Champions Series 2017.


QIPCO British Champions Series launched its partnership with The Pony Club in 2013 and this year has extended its associated activity to include ‘Kickstart’ days at Newmarket and York on Saturday 27 May, 2017. The aim of the ‘Kickstart’ days is to inspire and educate young equestrians towards the beginning of the Flat season and ahead of the summer school holidays, when they have the time to pursue a new interest in the sport.


On arrival at the new ‘Pony Club Zone’ at the Rowley Mile, the 100 young racegoers, in addition to various young members of the public, enjoyed a tour of the racecourse. The tour included a visit to the paddock, the weighing room and even the ITV presenters’ podium, where some of the children got the chance to meet ITV Racing’s anchor, Ed Chamberlin, and co-host Oli Bell.


The tour was followed by an afternoon of activities such as farrier demonstrations, an exhibition of racing tack, the opportunity to meet an ex-racehorse and a racing pony along with bitesize race riding lessons at ‘Jockey School’. Pony Racing Authority ambassadors were on hand to pass on their top tips alongside jockey coach Rob Bellamy, while staff from the The National Heritage Centre for Horseracing & Sporting Art developed the young riders’ skills on the museum’s race riding simulator.

Pony Club members were also educated on the opportunities that exist within racing for young equestrians, including courses at the British Racing School in Newmarket and pony racing in Britain.


QIPCO, the sponsor of the Guineas Festival and British Champions Series, showed their support for the initiative on the day by inviting Pony Club members and Pony Racing Authority ambassadors to present the trophy for the closing race of the two-day Festival, the QIPCO Supporting British Racing Handicap. The children were joined by Pony Club Chairman, Mary Tuckett, to present the trophy to connections of Leshlaa.

David Redvers, Racing Manager to QIPCO Director Sheikh Fahad Al-Thani, commented: “We believe it is hugely important to engage the younger generation in horseracing and to make it fun and accessible for them. The partnership between QIPCO British Champions Series and The Pony Club allows us to do just that. It is fantastic to see so many young riders attending these prestigious race meetings and learning about the plethora of opportunities that exist for them within the sport.”