For the first time the Shetland Pony Grand National will be held at the National Heritage Centre at Palace House Newmarket.
Amongst the competitors are Messer’s Dettori and Aspell, the children of champion jockey Frankie Dettori and Grand National-winning jockey Leighton Aspell. They will be racing round the Peter O’Sullevan Arena at top speed, on Shetland ponies, jumping miniature obstacles that mimic those seen at the Aintree Grand National. Competitors are between 9 – 14 years and below 5 foot.
Rocco Dettori, competitor, said: “I can’t wait to ride at the National Heritage Centre, I came second at the Royal Windsor International Show so I hope I can get a win in my home town of Newmarket. My pony Beeswax is really quick and now I have more experience – people say I look a bit like Dad.”
The Shetland Pony Grand National has become a popular event at many of the big county shows and national horse shows. Chris Garibaldi, Director of the National Heritage Centre for Horseracing & Sporting Art said:
“We are really looking forward to hosting the Shetland Pony Grand National as part of our Father’s Day Funday - there is already a great deal of interest in this and we are sure it will prove extremely popular. It is all part of our fundamental mission to broaden our audiences by developing a stimulating programme of really imaginative events which appeal to a broad range of visitors – particularly families with children.”
The event will take place from 10am – 5pm with the races scheduled at 11.00am and 2.30pm. A pop up BBQ and Adnams bar will be provided by The Tack Room in the arena area. Tickets to the event in the Peter O’Sullevan Arena cost just £5.00 (under 5’s go free), and this will be redeemable against an annual pass on the day if visitors wish to look around the galleries in the National Heritage Centre. Additional family activities will be available in the arena for everyone to enjoy.