Shetland Ponies Race for Ribbons and Charity

by Kristin Berkery

Shetland ponies

A 2008 qualifying race for the Shetland Pony Grand National. Photo by Peter Facey

What could be more adorable than Shetland ponies running full speed over jumps with kid jockeys astride wearing real racing silks? It’s no publicity stunt — it’s an annual fund raising tradition held at the Olympia, London International Horse Show every December.

The jockeys are children aged 9 to 13 who’ve competed for at least one year in eventing disciplines and must run qualifying races to earn one of ten spots in the pint-sized steeplechase race. All mounts must be registered with the Shetland Pony Stud Book Society.