Standard of Excellence
The Shetland Pony should provide a versatile hardy pony ideally suited as a child’s saddle pony or a harness pony either single harness or up to six in hand using a recognised show class vehicle. It should possess a kindly nature free of vice (kicking, biting, etc.) be of a tractable “level headed” nature but still retain an alert bright manner. It is by nature an intelligent pony and is easy to train and control.
Not exceeding 10.2 hands high
In the pure bred Shetland, black is the foundation colour with black/brown, grey, brown, bay, chestnut, palomino, buckskin, piebald and skewbald other options. White stars, socks, stripes, blazes and snips are all acceptable.
The coat changes according to the season of the year – double coat in winter and smooth in summer. Clipping and dying of coats is not allowed.
The head should be relatively strong without coarseness and be in balance with the body. The eyes should be large and prominent. The face should be neither dished nor roman nosed. The muzzle must be broad and the teeth and jaw correct, i.e. the teeth must meet together when the jaw is shut.
Thick set with deep, well sprung ribs, relatively short back with broad chest and quarters, nice sloping shoulder, tail well set on with profuse mane, tail and feathering all of straight hair. Loins strong and muscular.
Well placed under the shoulder and neither knock kneed nor too far apart, pigeon toed or splay footed, with well muscled forearm, strong though not coarse of knee, flat faced in profile, followed through by good flat bone and not back in knee. Short strong cannon bone with nicely sprung pasterns.
Thighs strong and muscular, with broad well developed hocks, carried under the body, followed through by good flat bone and pasterns (not cow hocked or wide behind) in balance with the forelegs. Disproportionately long legs which produce too much light under the body are a weakness in conformation.
Tough, round and well shaped (not short, narrow and contracted)
Straight free movement fore and aft with sufficient action to show all four soles when viewed from rear. Action not exaggerated nor stilted.
When shown as a representative of their breed, Shetland Ponies must be shown in natural coat and full feather. Shetlands must not be clipped or dyed.