Ponies (UK) is introducing new showing classes for the 2005 showing season to provide grass-routes members with extra classes and encourage local competitors to attend affiliated shows.

The 2004/2005 winter season sees the introduction of the society’s first ever class for unregistered and registered native ponies, as well as a Smartest on Parade turnout class with a set show, which is open to all.

The unregistered and registered native style & performance winter championship is open to all native ponies, including registered animals that are excluded from normal Mountain & Moorland classes, such as Eriskay, Lundy and Haflingers. Ponies of native “type” that are not registered with a recognised studbook will also be able to compete in this performance-based class.

Entries are required to jump an inviting course of fences (maximum height 2ft for ponies not exceeding 138cms/2ft6in for ponies exceeding 138cm) and perform a freestyle show of set movements. The exhibit’s conformation will not be taken into account in the final judging.

Betsy Branyan of Ponies (UK) explains: “There are lots of unregistered native ponies out there and also registered ponies, such as Haflingers, which are not allowed to compete in M&M classes, so we have decided to offer this class to accommodate them. If it is well received then we may well open it up to become a summer championship in the future.”

The summer season will see the expansion of the range of intermediate classes offered by the society, as well as the introduction of a working class for coloured horses and ponies.

“In the past we have offered intermediate show riding type, show hunter type and working hunter classes,” continues Branyan. “These classes have been very successful as a stepping stone for older children into adult classes and have also catered for larger children who simply cannot ride ponies any longer.

“We have now expanded the range of intermediate classes to include cobs, riding horses and hunters, allowing more juniors to get a taste of adult classes before they reach their 16th birthday, when they are allowed to ride against adults.”

With coloured horses becoming increasingly popular in all spheres, the new summer coloured working hunter class looks set to a huge success. The class is split at 148cm, with ponies jumping a course of maximum height 2’9″, while horses jump up to 3’0″.

For more information on any of the new classes contact Ponies (UK) (tel: 01487 830278) or visit: www.poniesuk.org