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Jockey Skills 

Ten Pony Club members are selected to participate in the course at the world renowned Racing Academy and Centre of Education (RACE) in Kildare town prior to the Race Day. The course is open to Irish Pony Club members aged 14 to 16 years who hold a minimum C test certificate and who are under 9 stone weight.

The overall winner of the Jockey Skills course will be announced at the Race Day. During the exhibition race at the Curragh, the members who completed the Jockey Skills course will ride the pony/horse they usually ride at Pony Club activities.

It is a two-day course where you stay overnight in RACE. You will learning the correct procedure for tacking up the race horses, get an assessment ride on Friday afternoon with instructors providing helpful suggestions and feedback on how to improve their race horse riding skills. Following this the riders learned how to feed their horses and received simulator instruction. Friday evening brought another tough fitness assessment for the candidates followed by a delicious dinner and free time to build new friendships with their fellow riders.

The following day began with yard work and riding out two different race horses. Simulator training followed the morning workout, where instructors gave the riders pointers on how to correct their position and balance in the saddle. Another fitness work out completed the second day of the course.

On passing the two day course all riders get to ride their own pony for a 3 furlong Exhibition Ride at the Curragh Racecourse at the end of September.

Holly Gleeson from our branch participated last year and she loved every minute of it. In her words ‘the thrill of riding past The Curragh stand will last with her forever!’

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