Aiken Trials Introduces Inaugural Pony Race

The 76th Running of the Aiken Trials Introduces the Inaugural Pony Races

March 17, 2017 – The Aiken Trials –  The First Leg of Aiken’s Triple Crown

National Steeplechase Foundation Announces Young Rider Flat Race Series


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 series kicks off on Saturday, March 17th in Aiken, South Carolina, at the Aiken Trials, an unsanctioned event for young horses to have a leg-stretcher before the spring races. The races will be held on the Aiken (dirt) Training Track.  The NSF will also sponsor a FREE young rider and pony racing clinic the night before the Aiken event.  This clinic is open to ALL young riders on horses and ponies wishing to learn more about racing.  The clinic will begin at 4:30pm and will be located near the Aiken Training Track.  For more details on how to participate, click HERE.


Conditions for the young rider race at the Aiken Trials are:

  • Amateur riders 15-21 years old on horses.
  • Distance of about 5/8ths of a mile (*or a distance agreeable to the field and race management) on the dirt track.
  • Riders are not to have won a sanctioned jump or flat race. Racing tack permitted, but will be inspected and may be requested to be altered by race officials.
  • Catch weights.
  • All entries must utilize an approved helmet, neck strap or yoke, overgirth, and protective vest

Additionally, US Pony Racing will be conducting pony races at the same event. Small, Medium and Large flat pony races for riders who have not had their 16th birthday as of the first of the year are on the card, as well as a Lead Line Trot Race for riders 7 years of age and under. Interested parties traveling over 100 miles may be eligible for shipping reimbursement or a free ride to the event for their mount. For more details contact and to enter visit .

The Young Rider Flat Race at the Aiken Trials is the first stop in the five race series sponsored by the NSF 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.


The series schedule includes the following Point-to-Points and race meets. Race distances, age limits, and rules may vary from meet to meet, so please check with individual races for condition specifics.


Saturday, March 17

(5/8 mile*)

 Aiken Training Track, Aiken, South Carolina


Sunday, March 25

Cheshire Pt-to-Pt  (1 1/8 mile)

Plantation Field, Unionville, PA


Saturday, April 7

Old Dominion Hounds Pt-to-Pt (1 ½ mile)

Ben Venue Farm, Ben Venue, Virginia


Sunday, April 15

Loudoun Hunt Pt-to-Pt (1 ½ mile)

Oatlands Plantation, Leesburg, Virginia


Sunday, April 22, 2018

Blue Ridge Hunt Pt-to-Pt (1 ½ mile)

Woodley Farm, Berryville, Virginia


To learn more about the NSF’s expanding program and opportunities for junior and young riders visit or contact Regina Welsh at 410-329-3749.