Meet Emilia Savage, a 12-year-old rider from Bangalow Pony Club, NSW. With her pony, Aspenview Aylan, she won the National Pony Racing Series in the large pony category at Royal Randwick in April. Her journey showcases hard work, determination, and a strong bond with her pony.

The Journey to Victory

Emilia’s road to her win had many challenges. She recalls, “The regional trials out in Casino were on a super-hot day, and it was bone-dry.”

Another obstacle came on Magic Millions Day. Emilia remembers, “It was competitive, and I had to work hard to get through it, with a little rain hitting just before we raced.”

Overcoming Obstacles

The road trip to Sydney for the finals was long, and on race day, wet weather created tough conditions. “I managed to get through with my determination and partnership with my pony,” Emilia says.

The Support Crew

Emilia’s success wouldn’t have been possible without her support crew. She gives credit to her parents, Rebecca and Nick Savage, saying they always support her in everything she does. She also thanks her sister, Sienna, who helped with grooming, and her grandparents who made the big drive with her to Sydney and back so her dad could keep working until race day.

“Thank you to my local sponsors, Bangalow Lions, Impulse Travel, Eltham Hotel, and Helz Pony Clipping. A huge shoutout to Lindy and her team at Thoroughbred Industry Careers, who put this entire experience together. Without them, the experience wouldn’t be possible for any of the riders. And, of course, Craig Sneesby for allowing me to wear his silks, and Pony Club Australia.”

“I loved every part of this experience, from the first qualifier through to Randwick.”

A Special Bond

Emilia shares a special bond with her pony, Aylan. “We are similar in many ways—stubborn and don’t like to be told what to do. We have grown together over the last 3-4 years, both learning and sharing many first riding experiences together. We both love going fast at all our pony club sporting and jumping activities.”

The Final Race

Riding in the final at Randwick was thrilling for Emilia. “I loved every part of this experience from the first qualifier through to Randwick. However, I was really determined — I wanted to win. I had made up my mind that my pony and I could win this! For a while, I thought I didn’t have a chance as I was up against so many good riders and ponies. However, I just didn’t give up until I got over the finish line.”

Looking Ahead

Emilia has big plans for the future. She is excited about a possible career as a jockey and wants to compete in the National Pony Racing Series again in 2025 to defend her title.

Final Thoughts

Emilia’s journey in the National Pony Racing Series is exciting and inspiring. She has a message for other young riders: “Don’t be afraid to give it a go!” Her hard work, determination, and bond with her pony, Aylan, led to her victory. We look forward to seeing what the future holds for this talented young rider.