top of page
  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Pony club kids have time of their life at Moonee Valley

Updated: Sep 8, 2022

ABOVE: Brigitte Graesser and Toffatin were representing the Wannon zone. Picture: JANICE GORICK

THE final of Pony Club Victoria’s ride-to-time series for 2022 has been won by Wannon zone representative Brigitte Graesser, who completed the trial just 0.29 seconds off the optimum time on her off-the-track Thoroughbred Toffatin.

The maiden section was won by Bessie Penhall, of the Midland zone, riding Icarus Endeavour with a time of 0.95 seconds.

The event was held at the Moonee Valley Racecourse during Saturday’s Cox Plate Qualifier meeting, with the club showering the 19 finalists and their families with attention.

Moonee Valley Racing Club general manager Rozalee Erceg had approached various trainers and owners of high-profile horses to gain permission for the riders to wear their silks.

As she presented the silks to each one, she provided information about the horses represented, which included winners such as Kingston Town, Maldivian, Dulcify, Bonecrusher, Northerly, Pinker Pinker, Sunline, Better Loosen Up and Fields of Omagh.

Two riders rode in Moonee Valley Racing Club’s silks as part of the Cox Plate celebration, while others who had connections to trainers wore their silks.

ABOVE: Bessie Penhall and Icarus Endeavour from Midland zone. Picture: JANICE GORICK

Riders were also presented with racing saddle cloths which they could keep as a souvenir of the day.

Jockey Chris Symons was the commentator for the event, providing information about each rider and their mount as they rode around the track.

Their rides were broadcast on the big screen, adding to the thrill for families and friends.

Presentations were made on the track at the finish line by MVRC committee member David Sinn, with all finalists receiving a trophy and a sash.

Further presentations were made at a celebratory function in the Sunline Room. The MC was Lisa Coffey from Racing Hearts, which was instrumental in setting up this discipline many years ago.

Riders also received a soft-shell jacket embroidered with “2022 State Ride to Time Finalist” supplied by MVRC, a framed certificate from Pony Club Victoria and a bag of goodies.

They were also treated to a presentation by special guest jockeys Jaime Kah, Linda Meech, Patrick Maloney and Jordyn Childs who dropped in between races. They shared their journey into racing and it was no surprise that some had been pony club riders before beginning their career.

Other prizes presented on the day included a personally inscribed and autographed copy of the new Felix Francis novel “Hands Down” (donated by the author himself) going to Brigitte Graesser for good sportsmanship, attitude and work ethic.

The best presented combination prizes went to Tahlei Spratling riding Ascot Party Dance in the open section and Makayla Lowther riding Tenola Park Domain Magic in the maiden.

The most participant zone trophy was presented by Pony Club Victoria general manager Mat Glasson to Barwon Zone, which had 29 attendees over the 2022 series.

ABOVE: Some of the ride-to-time finalists celebrating a great day. Picture: JANICE GORICK

Stories on The Regional’s website are free to read and always will be.

If you enjoyed this article you can show your support by joining our mailing list (either by filling out the form below or sending us a message).

We'd also get very excited if you put a "like" on our Facebook page.

bottom of page