When is a Horse Not a Horse?


Just to clarify the question of Cobs and Horse vs. Pony Supreme Championships …….


At the Sunshine Tour we welcome all types of cobs: Show, Maxi and Traditional. Show cobs are presented hogged and trimmed, they are 148cm – 155cm; Maxi cobs are also presented hogged and trimmed and are over 155cm; Traditional cobs are shown with full mane and feather, they can be any size and are sometimes below 148cm (14.2 hands, in old fashioned speak) meaning that technically they are a ‘pony’.


We offer both in-hand and ridden championships for a wide variety of breeds and types, which are broadly divided into groups for the purposes of supreme championships. Supreme championships take their name from the general group of classes, so the In-Hand Horse Championship includes Riding Horse, Hack, Thoroughbred, Hunter …… but also Cobs, which includes Traditionals, which can be a pony (!?)


Just to really fry your brain, the In-Hand Pony & Youngstock Supreme includes qualification from Mountain & Moorland Breeds, and some sections of M&M can be above 148cm – so they are horse (yup, all natives are called ponies regardless of height at the wither!)


We appreciate that size can matter (show jumping classes are strictly divided by height, regardless of breed) but in showing we are much more ‘inclusive’ and classes are grouped by type, not just a measuring stick.


Bottom line – please check the schedule for the specification of your championship class (bear in mind this might not be exactly the same as your original qualification class) and if you are placed 1st or 2nd in a championship showing class, do try to take part in the Supreme Championship for your group of classes – you can win unique 2024 supreme rosettes, sashes and maybe even a Sunshine Tour rug 😊


  • When a native is over 148cm it’s still a pony; when a traditional cob is less than 148cm it’s still a horse (for Sunshine Tour groupings).


Small, Large or Medium Size?

  • Small: Ponies are 148 cm / 14.2hh and under.
  • Large: Horses are over 148 cm / 14.2hh.
  • Medium: in some showing classes, there may be specific heights dividing type of horse e.g. small or large riding horse, various cob types – these may not be divided at 148cm.

Please note in mixed horse/pony classes in show jumping – you may be competing in the same class, but the distances in the double or combination is changed for horses and ponies for safety. For this reason, the class may jump in sections, although you are all part of the same class for placings.