FORMER Cheltenham Racecourse managing director Edward Gillespie is "greatly honoured" to have become the new chairman of the Pony Racing Authority.
In the past eight years pony racing has become one of the country's fastest-growing equestrian sports and is pivotal in the training and developing of many talented young riders in horseracing.
Gillespie has been a strong supporter, with races being run regularly at Cheltenham during his spell in the hotseat.
He said: "Pony racing in Britain is a massive success story.
"I feel greatly honoured to be asked to chair the PRA and shall do all I can to help the board, executive and the extensive support group build on that success."
Chief executive of the Pony Racing Authority Clarissa Daly believes Gillespie, who stepped down from his role at Cheltenham in the autumn after 32 years at the course, will help increase the popularity of the sport.
"It is such an exciting time for pony racing with some great initiatives planned," she said.
"The PRA is committed to increasing the numbers from non-racing and non-horsey backgrounds and to make racing more accessible to children and young people from all walks of life," she said.
"With Edward as our new chairman we are better placed than ever to achieve this."