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Racing in the New Forest Point to Point. Peter Gregory



Hi I’m Peter Gregory, I’m 14 years old and I live in the New Forest.


I competed in the New Forest Point to Point on Boxing Day, Boys Ride Too wrote a Facebook post about it and because so many of you were interested I’ve been asked to write a blog about my race this year on Byzan.


The New Forest Boxing Day Point to Point race 2021 was Damp, Muddy and Fast!



I moved from Hertfordshire to the New Forest just before lockdown and so this was the first year I had friends racing with me. It was nice to see people I knew at the meeting point where we were all unloading our ponies and getting ready. We then hacked to the secret start points in big groups with the stewards.




Luckily for me Byzan, Rebecca Deacon’s pony, was very well behaved. I was kindly given the ride on him at the end of October so I’d had 8 weeks to get to know him and get him fit. I rode him three times a week before school and at weekends, by the end of term we were heading out onto the forest before it got light. He’d been to the gallops a few times and on some long weekend hacks with friends so I was happy that he was fit enough.





In the race you see things that don’t happen at Pony Club or hacking with my mum. It’s fast riding across really difficult terrain including bogs and rivers. New Forest ponies are amazing but sometimes even they struggle. For example this year a pony slipped and fell over right in front of me in the race, you just have to swerve around and keep on going. Luckily you know the stewards are there to help any fallen riders and loose ponies. That pony finished the race with the rest of us, just without a jockey.


When you get near the finish line you hear the cheering of the crowd and have to look for the finish line flags. You have to make sure that you cross that line. I could hear my Grandma cheering as I finished. It is amazing the adrenaline rush you get during a race.


So will I race again next year?... Yeah, probably. But I’d better win again. Just one small thing of course, I’ll need to find another ride on a local New Forest pony.


I love racing and I am already working on another blog for Boys Ride Too magazine all about pony racing and how you can get involved, whether you have a hairy pony or a speed merchant. Or even if you don’t have a pony at all.


I’ve also got some videos on my youtube channel if you’re interested in the meantime at https://youtube.com/channel/UCbVWbX8TAozrjcQf8JwaMrQ






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