Shetland - Steeplechasing
Truly the height of racing.
While it exists primarily in the UK, Shetlands have their own full steeplechasing circuit leading up to the Grand National every year. Their site has a show schedule as well as regulations about age and height of riders & age, size, & registration of ponies.
This NYT article refers to the competitors travelling around the country in qualifiers in order to compete at the Olympia & the Royal Windsor Horse Show. It seems to steeplechasing not unlike pony hunters are to not-pony hunters–yes it's tiny and adorable, but still entirely serious.
Obviously the jump heights & race speeds are drastically lower than what TBs are running, so whether they're added to regular steeplechasing for simplicity or whether they get their own discipline I guess would depend on numbers? But flat racing is similarily divided by breed IRL but not on here.
Thank you for your time, please enable me to Unleash The Fluffs.
As with ponies in flat racing, I agree this would realistically be a separate discipline but as Steeplechasing is a very small discipline at the moment, it makes the most sense to combine them. I will leave this open for a few days to hear any evidence for other breeds or member opinions, otherwise will approve them to race starting in October. Thank you for posting!
I just have to dump this in here!
While not a Grand National (and this particular year's edition ended up rather chaotic...), this is a huge deal for pony racing riders in Sweden and there is a selection done on who gets to compete. So what I'm getting at is that this is indeed a thing even outside the UK, allthough pony racing of any type is rather small in Sweden.
Accepted! Shetland Ponies may now compete in Steeplechasing. Any other breeds will need to have their caps appealed in another thread