Exeter Racecourse will be raising money for the Devon Air Ambulance at its race meeting on Sunday, November 24 and the meeting will kick-off in fine style with the first Dartmoor Hillies race.
Eight ponies bred on Dartmoor will come dashing down the home straight and racegoers will be able to place their bets, with every penny donated to the charity.
Charlotte Faulkner, on behalf of Friends of the Dartmoor Hill Pony, said: “We are delighted to be coming to having a Hillies race at Exeter Racecourse to show how fabulous these amazing ponies from Dartmoor are while helping to raise much needed funds for a fantastic charity the Devon Air Ambulance.
"Its dedicated and skilled staff provide a service which ensures so many lives are saved across Devon. So come and enjoy seeing the ponies at Exeter and support a very important charity.”
The Hillies are an important part of Devon’s culture, with visitors travelling from far and wide to see them in their natural habitat on the moors.
They are believed to have lived on Dartmoor since the first century and have had had many uses, such as carrying granite, and working in the mines. Nowadays they are regarded as excellent children’s ponies.
General manager Jack Parkinson said: “We’re delighted that the Friends of the Dartmoor Hill Ponies are bringing eight of their ponies here to showcase their talents, and we’re sure the race will be exciting to watch. The Devon Air Ambulance is vital in Devon, and we hope that this raceday will help towards raising much needed funds, as well as being a great day out for all the family.”
Entry is always free to under-18s at Exeter, making it the perfect family day out, with a range of free activities to enjoy including a helicopter simulator.
The Dartmoor Hillies will race at 12.20pm and then seven more races will take place, with thoroughbred horses taking centre stage.
There’s also a chance for supporters of the Devon Air Ambulance to enjoy a day at the races in its own hospitality suite, with tickets available direct from the charity.
To find out more about Devon Air Ambulance Raceday visit www.exeter-racecourse.co.uk