Youth and Pony Racing
The NSF focuses much of its efforts on supporting the next generation of participants in the sport of American jump racing.
In 2013 NAPPA (North American Point-to- Point Association) closed its doors and passed along its mission to the NSF. With the guidance of U.S. Pony Racing to spearhead the initiatives, the NSF is helping junior racing gain increased popularity in the USA.
Your financial support helps pay for youth steeplechase camps, the sponsorship of some races such as the Pennsylvania Junior Hunt Cup and the promotion of junior and pony racing at key events, including the Maryland Horse Expo.
More can be done with your continued gifts and guidance. Together, you can help junior and pony racing grow in the areas where it is already established and expand into other geographical areas.
The National Steeplechase Foundation Developing Rider Program is excited to announce a series of five flat races for young riders between the ages of 15 and 21. The five race series sponsored by the NSF was created to encourage participation of young riders and give them a safe and educational platform on which to compete. The rider competing in the most races in the NSF Developing Rider Series will receive a Charles Owen skullcap. Ties will be broken based on points earned in the series. Riders do not need to ride the same mount to be considered for the series prize.
“I believe that attending this trip will help me move forward towards a successful career in racing and steeplechasing, become a better rider, learn about another country’s system of racing and culture…”
Those words from John Brophy’s essay that he wrote to be considered for the junior rider trip to Ireland in July captured the essence of how important these types of initiatives are for cultivating the next generation of passionate participants.
Three others joined him for a week of extraordinary experiences that included some riding, visiting Coolmore, Limerick races, Ballydoyle, the Curragh, Berney’s Saddlery, pony races in County Cork, and walking the course at Galway.
Perhaps even more meaningful were the connections these four made and the generosity provided to them by numerous professionals.
The juniors paid their airfares but a private funder covered all of the other costs of the trip that was expertly led by NSF junior program coordinator, Regina Welsh.
The NSF’s domestic trip commenced the following week in The Plains, VA, with five juniors introduced to steeplechase owners and jockeys and some of the top jump racing and flat racing trainers in the US. With stops in Maryland and Pennsylvania, it culminated with two days at the Saratoga races.
The NSF is dedicated to amateur participation. Your funding gifts provide educational opportunities to aspiring steeplechase jockeys.
To learn more, contact us at YoungRider@NationalSteeplechaseFoundation.org
ARCA alum Annie Yeager won the 2015 Vicmead Plate Amateur Apprentice Timber at Winterthur (Photo by Tod Marks)
2011 Domestic Young Rider Trip participant Eric Poretz won the 2016 and the 2018 Maryland Hunt Cup and the 2018 Grand National with Senior Senator. (Photo by Robert Keller)
2009 Domestic Young Rider Trip participant Gustav Dahl won the 2017 Virginia Gold Cup aboard Ebanour (Photo by Tod Marks)
Riding out in Ireland, 2015 NSF International Young Rider Trip participants (Photo by Regina Welsh)
2007 Domestic Young Rider Trip participant McLane Hendriks won the 2016 Middletown Cup Amateur Training Flat at Winterthur Races with Tempt Me Alex (Photo by Tod Marks)
Pony racing at the 2017 Green Spring Point-to- Point, held at Shawan Downs, Maryland (Photo by Robert Keller)