Guidelines for Showing Shetland Ponies
Dress : One of the main considerations should be neatness and practicality. No training shoes or jeans. Sensible footwear is essential to allow a pony to be shown effectively. For in-hand classes hats are not compulsory for either sex but they may improve the overall picture of pony and handler (and may be compulsory at some Shows). In the interests of safety, handlers aged 14 years or under must wear a hard hat when exhibiting in in-hand classes. Hard hats must be worn by all ages of exhibitors in ridden classes. There must be no individual stud, person or pony names displayed in the ring e.g. on clothing, rugs, saddle cloths.
Ring Etiquette : The Judge must never be spoken to using his/her name. Listen to instructions provided by the Steward or Judge and watch exhibitors in front of you. Do not leave the ring before the end of the class without first gaining the permission of the Judge, through the Steward.
Championships : Where a Shetland is eligible to go forward to a Supreme Championship involving other breeds, every effort should be made to attend. This should be considered an honour and a chance to promote and bring the Shetland breed to the attention of others. If you cannot attend a Championship for which you are eligible, please ensure you advise the Show Secretary and/or Steward as soon as possible.
Exhibitors are asked to note that whilst in the ring showing ponies, they must remain standing at all times. Kneeling is not permitted for safety reasons and potential insurance issues.
Trimming/Clipping: Only working ponies of four years old or over may be clipped in the interest of welfare, otherwise ponies are shown in full coat. Under no circumstances should foals be clipped. Ponies should always be shown in a clean condition. The ponys ears may be trimmed flat but there must be no trimming inside the ear. Trimming of whiskers on the jaw line is acceptable. Manes and tails must not be pulled but tails may be rough trimmed to clear the ground if dragging. Leg feathers must not be trimmed. No false hair, artificial colouring or make-up should be used.
Tack/Equipment: Colts and stallions of two years old or over must be shown bitted. Younger animals and older females may be shown in a suitable leather headcollar. For in-hand showing, only plain English-style jointed or straight bar snaffles are permitted. This includes the Metropolitan/Horseshoe Liverpool bit often refered to as a stallion show bit. Chifneys or other similar bits are not acceptable. For ridden classes suitable bridles must be used. In lead rein classes ponies must be shown in a suitable snaffle bridle with the reins going directly from the bit to the riders hands. The lead rein must be attached to the nose band only. Whips or show canes carried must not exceed 30" in length. Spurs may not be worn in ridden classes.
Registration/Eligibility : Three year old fillies with foals at foot may not be shown. Foals must be a minimum of three weeks old on the day of the Show. Colts and entire males are not permitted in Young Handlers classes. Children aged under 14 yrs. may not show colts (excluding foals) or entire males in In-hand classes. Children aged under 11 yrs. may not show entire males in ridden classes. Please ensure your pony is correctly registered in your name.
General : Exhibitors should be aware that a Judge may not place in a class a pony, which to his/her knowledge has been bred, sold, leased or produced by the Judge or his/her immediate family or employer; nor may he/she place a pony in which he/she has a financial interest; nor may he/she place a stallion by whom he/she has had a mare stinted in that season. Should a situation arise when such a pony appears, a referee, preferably on the appropriate panel of Judges, should be appointed by the Show Secretary to place the pony in question in its position in the class. If you intend to show a pony under a Judge falling into any of the above categories, therefore, please ensure you advise the Show Secretary well in advance of the Show. Always check show schedules to see if a current flu vaccination certificate is required.