The competition is fierce, the jockeys are tough, and the horses are fast in this awesome Shetland pony race.
When you think of horse racing, you probably envision sleek Thoroughbreds, Quarter Horses, or Arabians. From flat racing to steeplechases to barrel racing, there are many different ways for horses and riders to prove that they're the fastest and the best in the competition.
But there's one type of race that you may not have seen before: the Shetland pony race.
Racing isn't just for full-sized horses anymore. These small ponies are accompanied by child jockeys as they take to the races. Shetland pony races are growing in popularity and are held on the flat, as well as over fences.
The race you'll see below is a mini steeplechase - the ponies and their riders negotiate small fences at speed, all contained within a regular riding arena. The crowd loves it, and you can't help but get caught up in the thrill of the race. Take a look.
Think that a Shetland pony race looks like tons of fun? You may be able to find one in your area to observe or even participate in. These races are typically held as fun events which are part of larger competitions or meets. Be sure to check the rules for the race - there are specific rules about the jockey's age and other safety measures that must be met.
If your own Shetland pony isn't quite cut out for a race, there are still many other things that he can probably do. You might want to teach him to drive, or you could teach him to jump fences in hand. Some Shetland ponies can make great therapy horses due to their small size which makes them more portable and approachable than larger horses are.
One thing's for sure - if you ever have the chance to watch a Shetland pony race live, then you should definitely do so!