The main Astor Ring will feature ‘The Shetland Pony Grand National’ on all three Show days. The jockeys are children aged between 8 and 13 years old who, will not only entertain the crowds, but their participation is part of a qualifier for the ultimate Shetland Pony Grand National at the Olympia Horse Show later in the year.
The spectacular sees the children take part in a high-speed dash on their pint size Shetland Ponies. This could have been how some of our racing legends have started their careers. The first Shetland Pony Grand National was over twenty years ago, when it was designed to mirror the famous Aintree race on a miniature scale. Since then it has become a firm favourite with audiences from all over the UK and this year they will be raising funds for the Bob Champion Cancer Trust. Bob is a sporting legend, the Jockey who came back from the brink of death with testicular cancer went on to win the famous Grand National in 1981 on Aldaniti.
The young riders mirror their older counterparts with full silks and racing colours, albeit their tiny steeds have a maximum height 42 inches. Spectators will be able to cheer on their favourite horse and jockey during the two and half laps of the ring, incorporating 12 miniature Aintree fences, including the famous Becher’s Brook (the notorious fence at the real Grand National which has a 6ft 9in drop).
Look out for them on all three days of the 2017 Kent County Show.