Ponying of Horses to the Start - Protocol

The British Horseracing Authority draw Trainers' attention to the following Protocol drawn up between the RCA and the NTF for the 'ponying' of horses to the start.


1. Trainers should notify the Clerk of the Course no later than the time making Declarations to Run if they wish to 'pony' a specified runner to the start.

2. Permission will only be granted on the basis that the runner will be led to the start by use of a tether from the 'pony' and under no circumstances will the 'pony' be allowed to proceed loose in front of the runner.

3. All 'ponies' shall be geldings and vaccinated in accordance with the Vaccinations Code.

4. The 'pony' will not be able to use the racecourse stables without permission from the Racecourse Executive, and only once a stable has been allocated to every runner engaged at the meeting. If the 'pony' uses the racecourse stables it can only be attended by authorised stable employees.


5. All horses to be 'ponied' should go down early and at a normal pace so that the other runners are not delayed at the start. They should pass the stands in the same way as all other runners (if required to do so by the Racecourse Executive). In the case of races with a parade, the trainer must comply with the instructions from the Stewards and the Clerk of the Course.

6. The 'pony' should wait outside the paddock until the jockeys are instructed to mount, when it may enter the paddock to join up with the runner. Alternatively, the 'pony' may wait at the entrance onto the racecourse before joining up.

7. On arrival at the start the 'pony' may stay with the runner until the horses go behind the stalls or may immediately separate and proceed behind the stalls, where it should wait at a safe distance until the runners are dispatched. It should then exit from the track by the shortest route which also avoids interference with the running of the race. The rider of the 'pony' will at all times obey the instructions of the Starter, his assistants or other relevant Officials.

8. The trainer will be responsible at all times for the conduct of the 'pony' and its rider while on racecourse property. The rider and the 'pony' should be of smart appearance and the rider wearing a skull cap and safety vest that meet current safety standards.

9. The trainer will in all cases be responsible for the provision and associated costs of the 'pony'.

10. The Stewards have the authority to cancel any 'ponying' arrangements if they believe the normal conduct of the meeting is likely to be, or is being, compromised.