Youth and Pony Racing


The TGSF focuses much of its efforts on supporting the next generation of participants in the sport of American jump racing.

In 2013 NAPPA (North American Point-to- Point Association) closed its doors and passed along its mission to the TGSF. With the guidance of U.S. Pony Racing to spearhead the initiatives, the TGSF is helping junior racing gain increased popularity in the USA.

Your financial support helps pay for youth steeplechase camps, domestic and international trips for young amateur riders, the sponsorship of some races such as the Pennsylvania Junior Hunt Cup and the promotion of junior and pony racing at key events, including the Maryland Horse Expo.

More can be done with your continued gifts and guidance. Together, you can help junior and pony racing grow in the areas where it is already established and expand into other geographical areas.

Youth Trips

Developing Rider International Trip to Ireland

TGSF announces participants for the Developing Rider Trip to Ireland

The Temple Gwathmey Steeplechase Foundation (TGSF) is pleased to announce the participants for the Developing Rider trip to Ireland, to be held tentatively July 18 – 26, 2022. The Ireland trip will be a hands-on experience for riders interested in a career in steeplechase racing.

Participants were selected based on their their riding strengths and history, career aspirations, recommendations from licensed trainers, and their professionalism when interacting with TGSF board members and when observed during their time in the industry. Three participants were selected from a pool of seven highly qualified applicants.

The 2022 TGSF Developing Rider trip to Ireland participants are Eliza Edwards (West Grove, Pa); Taylor Kingsley (Camden, SC); and Thomas Young (West Grove, Pa).

Former TGSF Chairman Sam Slater and wife Lornie Forbes are the masterminds behind the trip, which is based out of Slater’s family Cahervillahow estate in the Golden Vale region of County Tipperary.

“The intention of this trip,” Slater says, “was to introduce young amateur American jockeys to how other parts of the world train flat and jump race horses. We want these up and coming riders to have a chance to make connections with Irish trainers that they normally would otherwise not come in contact with. A few of the past attendees have gone to work in Ireland after their experience on the trip.”

The trip will be led by NSA licensed trainer Regina Welsh, the founder and director of U.S. Pony Racing, who has also led the four previous TGSF trips for developing riders to Ireland. Along with Slater and Forbes, Welsh will see to it that the riders meet, ride, and work for top Irish trainers. Previous years they have galloped for Gordon Elliot, Willie Mullins, Enda Bolger, Pat Doyle, and Jessie Harrington. The group hopes to tour top racing businesses and venues like The Curragh, Coolmore Stud, RACE School, and Ballydoyle, as well as take in the first day of the Galway Festival.

The Temple Gwathmey Steeplechase Foundation promotes the betterment of American steeplechase racing, and supports amateur and young rider programs to help ensure the future of the sport.

For more information email


TGSF Domestic Rider Trip

The Temple Gwathmey Steeplechase Foundation (TGSF) is currently accepting applications for a modified version of our Young Rider Domestic Trip. The 2022 trip will be a hands-on experience for riders interested in a career in steeplechase racing.

This trip is designed to give 13-18 year olds the opportunity to learn from top steeplechase barns in the mid-Atlantic region. Activities include hands-on visits to trainers’ barns in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia; attending lectures and discussion sessions with trainers, jockeys, owners and stewards; and attending races at Colonial Downs in Virginia.

The 2022 Young Rider Domestic Trip is TENTATIVELY scheduled for Monday August 15 – Saturday August 20, 2022 (but please TENTATIVELY also pencil in dates of Wednesday August 17 – Monday August 22, with pick-up at Colonial Downs).

Each applicant must have one letter of recommendation from a professional who has a first-hand familiarity with the applicant’s level of ability, work ethic and overall horsemanship. Letters should NOT be from a family member.

Applicants must email the TGSF, before August 1, 2022, a 500-word biographical essay that includes his or her riding experience and states what he or she hopes to achieve if chosen to participate. They should send an email immediately indicating their interest, followed by their essay. An application form will be sent to the Applicant after an email indicating their interest has been received.

The nominating professional must email a letter of recommendation to the TGSF by August 1, stating why this candidate is qualified and should be considered for the TGSF Young Rider Domestic trip.

There are four to six spots available for this trip. Participants will be interviewed and chosen by a TGSF committee. There will be a $500 camp fee per person. All lodging and most meals will be covered by the fee. Applicants must have previous overnight experience such as school trips, Scout outings, etc.

The TGSF is dedicated to amateur participation. Your funding gifts provide educational opportunities to aspiring steeplechase jockeys.

To learn more, contact us at

Temple Gwathmey Steeplechase Foundation Developing Rider Flat Race Series Details

The Temple Gwathmey Steeplechase Foundation Developing Rider Program presents a series of five flat races for young riders for the spring of 2020, with additional races possibly added after publication.

Each participating race meet may have slightly different conditions or rules, but conditions for to be eligible for the series prize are as follows:

  • Amateur riders 15-21 years of age on mounts no younger than 5 years old
  • Distances vary from race to race, but typically one mile or longer
  • Riders are not to have won a sanctioned jump or flat race.
  • Racing tack permitted but will be inspected and may be requested to be altered by race officials
  • Catch weights

This is the third year for the series, which was developed to encourage participation of young riders and give them a safe and educational platform on which to compete. The rider, meeting series qualifications, who competes in the most races in the TGSF Developing Rider Series will receive a gift certificate for a Charles Owen helmet, the AP McCoy II model. Ties will be broken based on points earned in the series.

Aiken Pony Derby:
Saturday March 19, Aiken, SC
Conditions and entries with US Pony Racing.
Old Dominion Hounds Point to Point:
Saturday, April 9, Ben Venue, VA
Conditions and entries with Central Entry Office.
Blue Ridge Hunt Point to Point:
Sunday, April 17, Berryville, VA
Conditions and entries with Central Entry Office.
Loudoun Hunt Point to Point:
Sunday, April 24, Leesburg, VA
Conditions and entries with Central Entry Office.
Willowdale Steeplechase:
Saturday, May 14. Kennett Square, PA
Conditions and entries with US Pony Racing.

2019 TGSF Developing Rider Ireland Trip participants Skylar McKenna, Chloe Hannum, Virginia Korrell, and Elizabeth Scully with professional jockey Rachael Blackmore. Korrell states, “This trip definitely helped me improve as a rider and taught me a lot about race riding as well as training.”

ARCA alum Annie Yeager won the 2015 Vicmead Plate Amateur Apprentice Timber at Winterthur (Photo by Tod Marks)

2011 Domestic Young Rider Trip participant Eric Poretz won the 2016, 2018 and the 2019 Maryland Hunt Cup aboard Senior Senator and the 2018 and 2019 Grand National with Senior Senator.  (Photo by Robert Keller)

Elizabeth Scully (front) gallops with champion Irish jockey Ruby Walsh on the 2019 TGSF Developing Rider Trip to Ireland. Scully states, “Riding out at various racing yards in Ireland was a life changing experience and even the brief time there changed how I approached riding at home. This is a must-do for any aspiring jump jockeys.”

2009 Domestic Young Rider Trip participant Gustav Dahl won the 2017 Virginia Gold Cup aboard Ebanour (Photo by Tod Marks)
Riding out in Ireland, 2015 NSF International Young Rider Trip participants (Photo by Regina Welsh)
2007 Domestic Young Rider Trip participant McLane Hendriks won the 2016 Middletown Cup Amateur Training Flat at Winterthur Races with Tempt Me Alex (Photo by Tod Marks)
Pony racing at the 2017 Green Spring Point-to- Point, held at Shawan Downs, Maryland (Photo by Robert Keller)

Colin Smith (Monkton, MD), Teddy Davies (Monkton, MD), Eliza Edwards (Camden, SC), Chase Damron (Elkton, MD), Maddie Rowland (Landenberg, PA) and Parker Hendriks (Unionville, PA) on the 2019 TGSF Young Rider Domestic Trip