Amber & Little Jack run for Arrowfield

Amber Kahler & Little Jack will proudly carry Arrowfield's historic "Black & Yellow Diamonds, Yellow Cap" in the inaugural National Pony Racing Series Final for small ponies at Randwick. (PHOTO: Arrowfield Stud)

The 2023/24 National Pony Racing Series culminates in a thrilling final at Sydney’s Royal Randwick Racecourse today, the final daymeeting of Sydney’s Autumn Racing Carnival.

20 young riders aged 9 to 15 years, representing Pony Clubs nationwide, will compete in either Pony Race 1 (Small Category) at 11 am or Pony Race 2 (Large Category) at 1 pm. 

The series is a partnership between Thoroughbred Industry Careers (TIC) and Pony Club Australia (PCA) and the finalists have emerged from qualifying race days in Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia, and South Australia. 

As a foundation partner of TIC, Arrowfield is delighted to support the inaugural series and will be cheering on our allocated rider Amber Kahler on Little Jack in the Small Pony race. 

12 year-old Amber & 18 year-old Little Jack, from the Kurrajong Pony Club, won the Queensland Small Pony Final by 9 lengths at Eagle Farm in August 2023. 

Amber says, “It’s unbelievable – I remember when we saw it advertised and we thought it would be something fun to give a try and I never thought I would be here, this is just amazing.”

“I’ve had Little Jack for a while, I was quite small when we first saw him,  and we actually got him as a jumping pony….he’s got so much personality, he’s just really fun to have around.”

Amber is keen to pursue a career with horses. “I really do want to get involved with the nutrition side of it, along with riding horses as well because that’s what I really love, but I think it would be good to know nutrition.”

She comes from a solid equine background, with mustering, campdrafting and pony clubs all in the family and arrived in Sydney with her mother Lisa on Thursday evening, after competing on the first day of the Toowoomba Royal Show. 

Amber Kahler with Little Jack whose special trick is to show his teeth when he’s asked to smile. (PHOTO: Arrowfield Stud)

Based in the small town of Goombungee, just outside Toowoomba, racing at Randwick is a dream come true.

Lisa Kahler says, “It’s pretty exciting for everyone, the whole town is behind her, the whole school is behind her, the family’s really excited.”

“The whole series is just an amazing initiative because it’s giving kids a chance at something they may not get a chance to do and it’s bringing through that next generation.

“We’re not worried about winning, we’re just going to have a heap of fun and it’s one of those things that we’re always going to remember this and always going to have the photos and videos and memories of it.

“If we do win well, that’s a bonus – he’s definitely a fast little pony and he’s really fit.”

TIC Chief Executive Lindy Maurice explains that the objective of the series is for riders to have fun by experiencing the sport of racing and all the excitement a live race day offers, while also serving an important purpose for the wider industry.

“This series will help create awareness of career opportunities within the thoroughbred industry and help build relationships between the equestrian and thoroughbred communities.”

“Many pony racing riders in Europe have had successful careers in the thoroughbred industry worldwide.”

“It also helps the riders become educated about thoroughbred welfare and life after racing.”

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