Speed to Safety
The Speed to Safety Program, which is rapidly growing in popularity every year, requires riders to ride over 1000m in as close to their given optimum time as possible. These times are based on their set time for their cross country competitions. Teaching riders this skill of riding to time not only benefits their time-keeping for eventing, but also engages them in the skills required to ride track work for race horse trainers. Each of the 17 riders who qualified for the Championships at Moonee Valley, had secured their place through taking part in some of the 30 qualifying training days held at race courses all across the State. This year is the first year that all 10 zones of the Victorian Pony Club had Representatives competing - a great achievement in such a short time. With over 90% of riders taking part in this program being female, it was great to see brothers Harry and Timmy Grace keeping the side up for the boys, representing North Eastern Zone.
This year’s winners were Riley Perry-parmenter (Midland Zone) and Celina Gray (East Gippsland Zone). They were this year’s Champions in their respective grades.
Riley rode her Off the Track thoroughbred, Desertline, to victory in the Grade 1 and 2 sections and was less than a tenth of a second outside the optimal time of 109 seconds. This was a great achievement for Riley, after she had finished 3rd in last year’s State Championships. Riley contributed her success to the riding experience she gained through the Racing Victoria Track Rider Program, plus work experience with Melbourne Cup winning trainer Darren Weir, Peter Moody and especially her current employers, Terry and Karina O’sullivan.
Celina, also no stranger to the racing scene, took out the Grade 3 and 4 sections. Celina was also placed in last year’s Championships, when
THE 2015 SPEED TO SAFETY STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS WERE FULL OF EXCITEMENT, FUN AND SMILES FOR EVERYONE. HELD AT MOONEE VALLEY RACE COURSE ON AUGUST 22ND, THIS DAY TURNED ON GLORIOUS WEATHER AND WAS THE PERFECT DAY FOR PONY CLUB MEMBERS AND THEIR FAMILIES TO GET A PREVIEW
OF SOME OF THE HORSES PREPARING FOR THEIR SPRING CAMPAIGNS.
she finished a strong 4th. She returned in style this year to win with just one second over her optimum time of 120 seconds. Celina’s family come from a strong racing background with her father Brian a retired jockey and now a barrier attendant and her grandfather Peter being an owner and trainer. Celina really made it a family affair, when she rode her championship ride in her father’s race saddle and her grandfather’s colours, of which she was most proud. Celina now heads off to University to study to become a Veterinarian and definitely sees herself as a race track vet, once her studies are complete. Huge congratulations go to all riders who not only qualified for the State Championships, but to all who took part in the training and qualifying days throughout the year. Qualifications will start again in February 2016 and we hope to see everyone return, while bringing a few new faces along. For further details on Racing Victoria’s Speed to Safety Program, visit
or contact Lisa Coffey