Ben Colmer has been relishing his first competitive action in the saddle.
The Widley 11-year-old has taken the reins at Ascot and Whitfield after successfully graduating from the Pony Racing Authority (PRA) youth training scheme.
It has been really good. I just wish I had another race soon!Ben Colmer
Colmer, who is a student at Court Lane Junior School and dreams of becoming a top jockey, followed up the 12-week course at Appletree Stud in Banbury with fourth place in a novice contest at Ascot.
He then partnered the same pony – Kerrells Razzamatazz – to sixth spot in a hot race at the Whitfield point-to-point meeting in Northamptonshire at the end of last month.
The five-and-a-half-furlong race had attracted some of the best young riders but Colmer was not overawed.
He is now hungry for his next race, although may have to wait until later in the year.
In the meantime, he has the British Racing School’s week-long pony racing camp to look forward to in Newmarket in August.
There he will get the chance to ride alongside – and pick the brains of – a leading jockey as his emergence in the sport gathers pace.
The young talent said: ‘It has been really good. I just wish I had another race soon!
‘The first race was really exciting because I didn’t expect her (Kerrells Razzamatazz) to go that fast but she just shot off at the start.
‘She went from right behind and shot straight up to fourth place.
‘The second race was with all of the best jockeys, so I wasn’t expected to finish anywhere high.
‘But it was really good experience anyway.’
Colmer is indebted to the support of Patrick and Julie Scott at Appletree Stud and he continues his self-funded development in the sport.
The young jockey will continue to visit their Oxfordshire base for training throughout the summer.
And he has shown his dedication to securing a future in the sport by joining City of Portsmouth Athletics Club to give his fitness an extra boost.
‘For the entire week leading up to the last race, I was on the simulator every day,’ he said.
‘I do hill running on Mondays and then do normal running on Thursdays to keep fit.’
Sponsors are being sought to help with Colmer’s training and racing costs.
If you think you can help, email firstname.lastname@example.org