Shetland Pony Grand National Limited is managed by Sebastian Garner and brings joy to children and supporters throughout the year. It also raises vital funds for Bob Champion Cancer Trust.
Sebastian Garner knows at first-hand the joy racing brings to young people as he is father to jockeys Tom and Ollie. He manages The Shetland Pony Grand National, which is a team of Shetland Ponies and jockeys that race all over the country, while raising money for charity. This year the recipient of this work is the Bob Champion Cancer Trust with money going to cancer research and the Children’s Cancer Ward at the Royal Marsden Hospital.
A very worthy cause
Bob Champion overcame cancer and then went on to win the Grand National on the great Aldaniti in 1981. Shortly after winning the race Bob formed the Bob Champion Cancer Trust and so far he has raised over £16m and the Trust has two research laboratories. Last year, the Shetland Pony Grand National team raised a record £45,000 for the Bob Champion Cancer Trust.
Competition is stiff
All the jockeys who take part are trying to gain one of the 11 places at the world-famous Olympia International Horse Show, which takes place just before Christmas.
Children taking part have to be aged between 8 and 14 and must be less than 5ft in height; all the ponies that take part have be registered with Shetland Pony Stud Book.
The Shetland Pony Grand National is great introduction for the children who want to make a career in racing and become a professional or amateur jockey.
Impressive roll call
A number of professional jockeys, such as Sam Twiston-Davies; Tom and Ollie Garner; Joe Akehurst; Freddie and Jack Mitchell; Charlie Bennett and George Wood started out this way. The 2016 Champion Flat jockey Jim Crowley cut his teeth in the Shetland Pony Grand National.
Shetland Pony Grand National is open to anyone and parents can contact the Shetland Pony Grand National management team for further information on how to take part. You can keep up to date with all the news, results and pictures by following the team on Twitter and Facebook – Shetland Pony Grand National or visit their website: www.shetlandponygrandnational.net