New competition celebrates the therapeutic value of horses and ponies

Rachael Turner

A new competition has been launched to celebrate the therapeutic value that horses and ponies bring to our lives. It is open to any horse, pony, donkey or mule that provides any type of therapy for a person, whether mental, physical or emotional.

The Community Pony class can be entered by ridden or non-ridden equines, whether owned by the entrant or just known by the individual (provided they have permission from the riding centre or charity who owns the horse or pony).

The event is part of the Weeton Show, held on 30 July in Leeds, where the winner will be announced and rosettes will be presented to all entrants. A 100-word entry summarising the horse must be submitted, with optional photos, and the entries will be showcased at the event. The equines will not attend the event themselves.

Although the event is limited to those within a 20-mile radius of the showground (LS17 0AN), organiser Grace Olson said it could benefit the wider equestrian community if class was introduced at additional shows in the future.

“The class is not a popularity contest – it is an opportunity for everyone to take part and showcase how amazing
equines are for all their talents – not just for sport and showing,” she said.

Those wishing to enter the Community Pony class can do so online or via a postal entry. Click here for more information.

In addition to a showcase of entries, there will also be a parade in the main ring at the show to celebrate the therapeutic and holistic values of horses. This is not part of the Community Pony Class, and organisers are
looking for volunteer horses and handlers. To express your interest, contact Horse Secretary Rebecca Middleton at

Profile image of Rachael Turner Rachael Turner


Rachael is a writer for Your Horse. She has worked for equestrian, lifestyle and news publications and trained with the Press Association. Rachael has ridden all her life, enjoying showing and mounted games as a child. She was a member of West Street Pony Club and competed in area championships in jumping, dressage and horse trials. Today she likes to venture between the white boards, as well as taking part in fun rides, hacking and a bit of jumping. Have a story? Email

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