2019 Treehouse Pony Racing Graduate Award
A PPORA innovation in the 2017 – 2018 season, the Pony Racing Graduate Award showcases Pointing’s role as stepping stone from Pony Racing to competing over fences.
2018 – 2019 Award Eligibility
All former Pony Racers whose first ride in Point to Points was during or after the 2016 – 2017 Season are eligible for this award
As we search for our winner we’ll be following the progress of ex-pony racers from across the country. The award will be made to a former Pony Racer who has made a successful transition to racing over fences.
The selection criteria are broad – the winner may be a total newcomer who’s caught the eye, or a more established rider who has demonstrated enthusiasm and progression as a truly amateur race rider “Between the Flags”.
2018 -2019 Pony Racing Graduates …
The 2018 – 2019 award is sponsored by Treehouse Sporting Colours who’ve got together with some leading brands and created a fantastic kit bundle worth over £1000 as the prize for this season’s winner.
Competition across the novice ranks during the 2018 – 2019 season was the most open and intense for several seasons, and amongst these riders several former Pony Racers made their presence felt at championship level, from amongst these Jack Tudor has already announced he will turn conditional in July, Luca Morgan will ride as an amateur under Rules this summer with a view to turning conditional when the time is right, Liam Harrison expects to Point to Point for another season before making the switch. Numerous other Pony Racing graduates also showed themselves to good effect riding winners and building experience, these include Luke Scott, Lyall Hodgins, Will Humphrey, Albi Tufnell, Fergus Gillard, Harry Myddelton, Milo Herbert, Harry Atkins, Marcus Haigh, Cosmo Ball, Michael Treneer, Liam Carter, James Turner….. and of course 2018 Princess Royal Champion Jess Bedi – who’s now 2 ahead in this season’s Fuller’s National Novice Lady Championship!
… and our 2019 Pony Racing Graduate is … Liam Harrison
Wessex based Liam Harrison is 17 and works for Neil Mulholland. 2018 – 2019 was his first season Pointing and over the course of his campaign he has ridden 9
winners, 7 seconds and 6 thirds and attracted the support of several leading trainers including Sally Alner and Dean Summersby
Liam told us “Most days now I pinch myself. Growing up horses were my passion, and I just find it unbelievable that I’ve moved on from school and am starting to make a bit of a living from it … Pony Racing was great, I rode several winners but more important than that was progressing to riding in the pony races on raceways at racecourses. That gives a real understanding of racing and how it all works, the etiquette, the Clerk of the Scales, stewards, walking the track, it helps you understand professionalism – they really teach you a lot. Training your pony helps develop horsemanship too, that’s another important benefit of it.”
Asked a to name his highlight from the season Liam had no hesitation in choosing his second winner Truly Spoken in the Jockey Club Mares Maiden at Barbury International. The “magic touch” he says was that Truly Spoken is owned and bred by Robert Alner who was there to watch her achieve success.
Liam wins a fabulous prize – two huge Treehouse Sporting Colours Bags full to bursting with over £1000 of kit thanks to Treehouse and several of their leading brands including Zilco, MacWet, Champion, Mountain Horse, PC Racewear. Celtic Equine, Optimum Time. Global Vision, Breeze Up and Racesafe
and from the PPPORA a personalised cartoon by Racing Cartoonist Birdie
Liam joined us at the 2019 PPORA Road To Stratford Grassroots Awards Lunch where he told us “It’s been an amazing day and such a great privilege to be chosen to win this award and the fantastic prizes. A huge thank you to the PPORA, Treehouse and all the companies who have supported this award!”
… looking ahead
We’re already looking forward to next season when we’ll be watching everyone’s progress with interest – and of course looking out for the next cohort of Pony Racers graduating to race over fences between the flags! We’ll bring you news of next season’s award in the autumn!
… and looking back
2018 Pony Racing Graduate Jack Tudor:
Just three days after his 16th birthday in May, Jack kicked home his first winner – High Hatton at Holnicote – beating his great friend, and this season’s leading newcomer, Connor Brace to boot! In the final weeks of the Season Jack’s tally became 3 winners, 2 seconds and 4 thirds, and he looks a decent bet to follow in his family’s footsteps – his father Jonathan partnered more than 70 winners between the flags, and his cousin James was National champion in 2006/7. We’re looking forward to following Jack’s progress in the 2018 – 2019 Season.
Established as one of the UK’s leading equestrian safety wear specialists, providers of cross-country and racing colours, and retailers of equestrian equipment and clothing Treehouse offer PPORA members a 10% discount across their range. Find out more about PPORA Member Benefits here and see the range of wide range of products on offer from Treehouse at www.treehouseonline.co.uk