N.I. Shetland Pony Group

Established in 1991



2021 members update

membership - all membership paid in 2020 is being extended to cover 2021 ..

agm - due to corona virus our agm will not take place this year ..

University survey 31-01-2021 news

Could anyone help this lady with her survey ? 

   Message : Hi, my name is Shania McParland, and I am a final year Biology student at Ulster University in Coleraine. I am undertaking an undergraduate project investigating the views on the welfare of horses and ponies in NI. I am looking for owners and those who lease horses/ponies in NI to help me investigate the perception of equines in Northern Ireland.

I was wondering if it would be possible to get my survey advertised on this web page, or possibly even forwarded to people that own horses/ponies in NI.

It is an anonymous questionnaire that should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete.

Responses would be highly appreciated!
https://redcap.science.ulster.ac.uk/redcap/surveys/?s=9K8NPJDCN4 to edit text

2019 NEWS

Principal Awards presented recently  at the N.I. Shetland Pony Group Dinner,  which was held at the Bannville Hotel, Banbridge, Co Down. Good evening & well attended.

2018 NEWS 

Since our Group show we have had a few events mostly social events. First in Dec 2015 we had the Christmas party, this was held in Tannaghmore gardens, with a visit to the museum and then games & food in the Pavillion hall, we ended our party with a visit from the big man in red, this visit was appreciated by the younger members ..
Our next event was our Annual awards night, we were lucky enough to have a good turnout with so many trophies and gifts to give out members ..
this was also the launch of our fireside quiz which is 1 of our fundraisers this was drawn on April 7th & winners were as follows:
1st Katie Bell
2nd Molly Bell
3rd Matthew Bell
The Group were ask this year to participate in a promotion at City Hall, Belfast, making people aware of Scotland as a holiday destination this included a variety of scottish items on show including shetland ponies provided by members, ponies that took part were Beltoy Stelsari, Loanin Helga & Ronelle Pollyanna..
Next on our agenda was the much looked forward to trip to The Idylic Setting of Castledillion, this is a great outting with watersports, zipline, walks, gator rides, assault course and play park, something for everyone, and as usual we end the day with a barbecue and raffle with prizes provided by T & M wood turners, beauiful hand made items which are really saught after...Fun was had by everyone...
Our next event will be our Group show on 3rd Sep 2016 @ which our Judge will be Mr D Mcarthur.
Good luck to everyone out showing ...


The Committee of the Northern Ireland Shetland Pony Group,  Wish to confirm that Mr Gordon Laverty has not been a member or had any association with the Group from 2013.


The committee of The Northern Ireland Shetland Pony Group would like to thank all the sponsors who donated to the running of our annual group show ..Also a special thank-you must go to Marie Bell from Kyle...THANK YOU everyone..Your sponsorship is much appreciated:
Abbeynook Ponies            
W.m Bell & Co (Funeral Directors, Banbridge)
Beltoy Stud
Jamie Bell
Michelle Cumberland & Colin Gough
Glenlough Stud
Pam Harris
Ronelle Stud
T & M Wheeler Woodturners
Tony Bell 
Fireside Quizz
Castledillion Raffle 
Massive thankyou to you all... 


The Group enjoyed another great outing on 31:5:15 to Castledillion Estate, by kind invitation of Mr Cecil Haffy, and very kindly organized by Tony & Mary Wheeler..With the most outstanding scenery and leisure activities, this is one of the most looked forward to events on the NISPG Calender..

This years activities included a zip line, trampoline, and loads more..Everyone enjoyed the Barbecue, and was a great opportunity to catch up with members old and new after a long winter..

Mary very kindly ran a raffle and donated some of her beautifully hand turned wood items as prizes, all proceeds were very generously donated to The Group funds. A massive thank you to the Wheeler family for a great day, enjoyed by everyone who attended...  

AGM  - 23:02:15

The Northern Ireland Shetland Pony Group's AGM took place tonight at The Bridge Community Centre, Lisburn. It was a productive night, with lots of new ideas for the up & coming year..

We would like to welcome our new committee member Mrs Ann Bell...


A massive thank you to everyone who came and supported the Northern Ireland Shetland Pony Group show yesterday.. It was fantastic to see so many old & new members..Hope you all enjoyed your day, Thank yous must go to our Judge Mr Irvine Burgess, Stewart Miss Claire Walker, Unafiliated sec Judge Mr Tony Bell, and everyone else who helped yesterday. A special thank you to our Secretary Marie Bell, without her hard work and dedication this show might not run just as smoothly...


We would like to congratulate the Beltoy shetland stud, Barns Rosanna & rider Eva McClurg on gaining their ticket to hoys...A great achievement for all involved...We wish them all best wishes for the months ahead & trip to hoys...



Shetland Tales
Following on from the success of the Junior members 2012 ‘ Shetland Story Time’ a further competition ‘Shetland Tales’ is being held for 2013.
Same format, a short story from the Juniors capturing their fun-times with a Shetland pony during 2013. The ‘tale’ may be accompanied by photographs/drawings etc. & emailed to Marietony@beltoy.freeserve.co.uk  or posted to 31 Ballywillan Road, Larne, Co Antrim, BT40 3LQ,closing date Friday 3 January 2014.
The winning ‘Shetland Tale’ will be announced & prizes presented at the NISPG Awards Evening & Dinner on Saturday 11 January 2014.
Please encourage all the Juniors to get involved.
Awards dinner
The annual awards night will be held in Knockaghview Lodge, on Saturday 11th Jan. 2014 @ 7pm ....
Raffle tickets will be on sale..
Trophies can be returned to Group Secretary, Marie on 028 93 378850 in advance of the Dinner, on or before 6th Jan 2014


NISPG Christmas Shopping Open Evening - 17 December 2013, 7.00pm - 10.00pm

Doagh Farm Feeds, 10 Ballyclare Road, Doagh, Ballyclare BT39 0PE.

All NISPG members, friends & family welcome. Enjoy 10% discount on all items [excluding feed & shavings).


It has been said that this years Performance Show "Was one of the best ever". There was so much laughter and fun had with the variety of classes..including clear round jumping, in hand jumping, Agility course, long reining, driving obstacles, and not forgetting the new class for this year "the fancy dress" with the high-light of the show being The puissence. 

The Photographs from 2012 & 2013 N I Shetland Pony Group Show will soon be available to view & purchase on the gallery page....1 x e-photo =£5 or 5 x e-photo's =£20 or prints £7.50 each...

Our next event on the NISPG calender is the group Awards Dinner...It will be held this year on Saturday 11th January 2014 in knockaghview lodge, greenisland...

The childrens writing competition will again be taking place this year, details will be sent to all members in due course, It will be judged, and the winner annouced at the awards dinner...


NISPG SHOW - 31:9:13

The Group Show this year was held once again at Knockaghview EC, Greenisland. It was Judged by Mr Steve Rendall from The Shetland Isles. Most classes were well Supported, with the Lead rein being one of the largest classes of the day with 7 entrants...Photo's are posted on the Juniors page of lead rein, riddens & young handlers.

A huge thank you goes to everyone who helped on the day: Judge Mr Steve Rendall, Photographer Mr Neil Mawhinney, Steward Miss Claire Walker, Secretary Mrs Marie Bell & the Paramedics, and anyone else who helped on the day..

The photographs will be on sale at the performance day event on sat 12th October 2013

A big thankyou to everyone who came along with ponies or to help and made it a great day, and the weather for being Kind to us...


The shows have enjoyed good weather but reduced class numbers this year as the current climate has affected class entries, But the competition was good and picnics were at a premium .....

Shows in N. Ireland are now nearing an end for the season, the next big event on our calender will be our own N.I. Shetland pony Group Show, This years Judge is a Mr Steve Rendall from the Shetland Isles to be held on Saturday 31st August 2013 at Knockagh Equestrian Centre, Greenisland..Everyone is welcome at this event both members and non members, with shields and trophies galore (these are awarded at the NISPG Awards dinner)

Shows available for shetlands over the next few weeks are as follows: Saintfield Horse & Pony show on 17:8:13, NISPG show on 31:8:13, Ahoghill show on 14:9:13, Country Comes To Town show on 21:9:13, & Mount Hill Fair on 5:10:13

Please keep an eye on the Events Page for other events suitable for shetland pony enthusiasts


This year the Juniors Fun night was held in Knockagh Equestrian Centre, Greenisland...We had 17 junior members in attendance + parents/grandparents. The juniors had a fun filled night of games, facepaints & refreshments...

A fun night was had by all....below is a picture of 1 of the youngest members Molly Bell,  getting her first rosette & prizes, Also included are Marie bell (secretary) & Claire Walker



For the first time in over 116 years, the Balmoral Show has packed its bags and moved to a new venue, Balmoral Park, Maze Long Kesh, Lisburn.

Also this year for the first time Shetlands ponies were asked to attend the show and take part in a Shetland Pony Parade. The Shetland Parade included 2 stallions, 3 mares, & 2 geldings in hand, also 2 lead rein & 1 open ridden pony, from the following studs: Glenlough, Beltoy, Megheradartin, Ronelle, & The Wheeler Family.... 

The Shetland Parade attracted great crowds who cheered the parade on as the ponies were put through their paces.

Tony Bell did the commentary on the history of the Shetland pony.

Balmoral Show is one of the largest shows in the UK, and the Shetland pony owners were very honoured to be asked to take part in this event.

CASTLEDILLON "get together and walk"- 12:5:13

N I Shetland Pony Group members were once again invited to the beautiful Castledillon Estate, by kind permission of Mr Cecil Haffey. The event was ran by Mary & Tony Wheeler.

This event is looked forward to every year as a social get together, it allows members to get to know each other and is a day of relaxation for all. This Estate has so much to offer the group, they can walk around the estate and take in some of the most beautiful views, and on the way pass the wild garlic & bluebells and of course a variety of animals including deer, Walibies, Llama's, Alpaca's, Zoe sheep, Jacob sheep and not forgetting the cyldsdale Horse.

A gator was available for trips around the Estate, which the juniors of the group made exccellent use of. There is great facilities for the Children with a well kitted out play area, and the Archery is always a great hit...Unfortunately the weather didn't allow the boat and canoes to go out this year, but it didn't stop the barbeque and banter had between everyone.

As always a great day out & really enjoyed by all who attended, once again our sincere thanks go to The Wheelers for all there hard work & Mr Haffey for allowing us the use of Castledillon Estate...

Some pictures have been added to Phopo Gallery in castledillon 2013 album

SPRING NEWS - 10:5:13

The Group members have once again been invited to Castledillon Estate by kind permission of Mr Cecil Haffey....We look forward to seeing old and new members, having a quiet relaxing funfilled day...Remember folks the raffle will be held at this event....

This week will see the Shetland Ponies in attendance at Balmoral Show, for the first time..We will be having a parade starting at 2.30pm & again on the Thursday in the main Arena at 6.30pm

The show season has began in the province, with NPS area 32 & N I Festival, both these shows had shetlands in attendance both in hand and ridden. Well done to all who took part...

With the weather conditions not being good at present please keep an eye on the events page, as far as possible all cancellations will be noted...

The Web site is always looking for shetland pony related news, foal pictures, junior stories and for sales, remember this web site has a vast audience ....


This proved to be a very informative night, with Tony Bell and Marie Bell heading the discussion and providing those new to the ridden side of things with some very good information...All those in attendance came away with some new piece of knowledge that will help them along in the show ring...

This was a nice informal night with tea coffee and tray bakes provided throughout the night.

Once again thanks to Tony & Marie Bell for taking the time to look up rules and for coming along and doing the question & answer session...


N.I. Shetland Pony Group held its AGM in the Bridge Community Centre, We welcome new comittee members Mr Tony Bell, Mr Gordon Laverty, & Miss Michelle Cumberland, and thank outgoing committee  member Mrs Jackie Bell.  


The N I Shetland Pony Group Awards Dinner took place on Saturday 19th January 2013 at Knockagh Lodge Hotel.

The event was extremely well supported with 60+ Adults & juniors in attendance, members, along with family & friends enjoyed a beautifully served meal, and then the prize giving.

It was lovely to see so many of the juniors all seated waiting to hear their names called.

The Shetland Pony has really been making its presence felt in Northern Ireland in the last few years as they take part in pony club, driving events, forest rides, working hunter, lead rein, ridden and in hand classes,  This was in evidence at the awards dinner as a variety of awards for performance and in hand showing were given out to kids and adults..(hard to say who had the most fun!!!!)

Another plus for the Shetlands this year is the new classes at Balmoral show, these will run on the wednesday and schedules should be available soon..

The NISPG ran a winter competition in which the children had to write a short story, This was well supported and the judge found reading the entries very heart warming & enjoyable..A winner was eventually chosen, but the judge felt all were worthy of prizes...We are hoping to put these stories on the juniors page for everyone to read...

This year we had visitors from England, we hope Sue and her husband enjoyed the night.

Lastly we would like to congratulate all the prize winners and hope everyone had an enjoyable night.

Due to snow on the night we postponed the annual raffle until another date as this can sometimes run quite late..We hope to have it at the AGM on the last monday of February (25th)  


Shetland ponies will be on show this year at Balmoral Show. There will be 2 in-hand classes & championship. The show will be in its new setting at the Maze. These classes will be open to all registered shetland ponies. More details on date and entries to follow...

Our Annual Awards dinner will be held on 19th January 2013. It will be held in Knockaghview Lodge, Greenisland. Menus will be issued shortly. Everyone Welcome....

Please remember everyone this website is for the use of all members, It can be a junior/Adult out enjoying his/her pony, someone wanting to sell either a pony or riding wear & harness, A piece of news that may be of interest to other shetland pony enthusists, An event that would suit a shetland pony, or a picture for the gallery...


Over the winter months we will be putting some competitions up for the juniors, the first of these will be up shortly on the juniors page, it is very kindly sponsered by Marie Bell and the prize will be handed out at the N.I. Shetland Pony Group Dinner and awards night to the best entry.


Our performance day was held at Knockagh Equestrian centre, Greenisland, by kind permission of Ruth Wilson.

We had 40+ members/non members adult & juniors in attendance with ponies. We started the day with clear round jumping for the juniors which was really well supported..Then it was inhand jumping this included classes for adults and juniors...the group then moved on and had loads of fun and laughter doing the handy pony again for all ages...The Puissence was up next this class always attracts the adults and brings a lot of competition .....The afternoon session included long reining/obstacles and cone driving

A big thankyou goes to Tony Bell for for the smooth running of the classes, Ryan Anderson for overseeing the clear round jumping and Michelle Cumberland for doing steward, also all other helpers on the day including the secretary for dealing with entries on the day and on the spot entries...

The afternoon session had facepaints and games for the juniors and I have to say there were some great versions of horses, dogs and spiderman not forgetting the flowers and butterflies....big thankyou to Kelly Harris for applying the face paints....

On the whole we had a fantastic day and it finished with the annual raffle a big thanks to all who donated prizes.. 


CCTT is set in the peoples park, Portadown. The show is all about Native breeds and as far as possible they will be shown in there own breed group. The shetland ponies had 6 classes, ridden, in hand and young handler. ending with a championship. It was a lovely relaxed atmosphere and the weather kept good..  


The group will have photographs for sale of the N.I.shetland pony group show day...

The pictures will cost £5 for an 1 E-Photo or £20 for 5...We can also do printed versions at £7.50 each, all money raised will go into group funds.

Photograghs will be available to view at the N.I. Shetland Pony Group Performance Day to be held on Saturday 13th October...After this date photos will be added to the website Gallery..

Anyone not able to make the performance day but who wish to purchase photographs please contact either the Secretary Marie Bell, or Chairperson Sharon Cumberland contact no.s can be found on the committee page...  

NISPG SHOW - 1:9:12

The Northern Ireland Shetland Pony Group hosted the yearly show on 1:9:12, with the Affiliated classes judged by Mr David Hodge and unaffiliated judged by Mrs Julie Gilpin...Many thanks to both Judges...

We had a very good Turnout of both members and non members and ponies..This year saw an increase in the ridden classes both lead rein and ridden. All other classes had good entries and the day ran very smoothly, all thanks has to go to the group Secretary for all her hard work.

Thanks also to the ring steward Miss Claire Walker and the ring Photograper Mr Neil Mawhinney.

It was lovely to see both old and new members, thank you all for taking part in an enjoyable day...Sharon (Chairperson) 

NEWS UPDATE - 16:8:12

Over the past few months we have had a noticable increase in the groups membership, we would like to welcome all the new members both adult and juniors and we hope they enjoy the events the group run, after all our group is all about having fun and encouraging all members to enjoy the shetland breed.

The group show is fast approching and with added unaffiliated classes we are hoping for a good funfilled competive day...We hope to see you all there...Classes begin at 9am with affiliated classes being judged by Mr David Hodge and unaffiliated classes judge still to be confirmed.

The IPS Championship's took place on sat 11th August, and ran a variety of classes which suited shetland ponies, some of the groups juniors competed and an enjoyable day was had by all.


Antrim show is in the Idyllic setting of Shanes Castle and caters for all. The day was filled with good heartfelt banter and fun events for all in attendance, not even the intermittened weather could dampen the equestrian worlds eagerness...The shetlands were well attended with classes to accomodate Youngstock, mares, stallions, and geldings, with the shetland championships to follow, At the end of the days events they then held a Supreme championship between shetlands & miniture horses with prizes very kindly put forward by HORSE FIRST...and we were are proud to announce that on this occassion it was the shetlands day in the supreme.... 


This is our only mid week show of the season, and the biggest turnout this year. The weather was fantastic and everyone was in jolly form...All classes were well supported with shetlands..With the mare class having 12 forward & the 2 & 3 year olds having 9 forward, the lead rein class and young handlers were the best entertainment of the day with big smiles on all the wee faces, Shetlands also took part in the M & M ridden classes.

There was also a large turnout of shetlands for the N.P.S. Championships which took place directly after Clogher showing classes finished, these included M & M youngstock and M & M 4 + in hand and M & M riddens...

A great day which included great showing, picnics and good craic..... 


Castlewellan show was a lovely relaxed day. the kids had loads of fun and the serious showers got down to business with preparing ponies for the ring. The weather kept up for most of the day, once again the junior members were looking splendid in their outfits ready for lead rein & first ridden classes...

OMAGH SHOW - 7:7:12

Omagh show was a lovely day out, the shetland classes were fairly well supported. Once again the N.I.S.P.G. sponsored the shetland champion and Reserve Champion rosettes. A good day had by all...


Juniors of all ages gathered for games of football, obstacle races and loads of fun. We had 19 juniors in attendence and everyone was able to play, or have their face painted, and at the end of the night everyone recieved a gift from the N.I.S.P.G. Comittee along with the usual rosette and sweets. This was a lovely way to start the summer holidays. Thanks to all who came and made it a very enjoyable and successful night  


Londonderry/Limavady show went ahead despite the heavy rain in the days running up to the show. This show is now affiliated to the S.P.S.B.S and was judged this year by Mr K Adams. The show as ever had a very relaxed atmosphere. 

The NPS area 32 Summer show was also held on the 30:6:12 at Knockagh equestrian centre, again group members were in attendance and a good day was enjoyed by all... 


A very wet and dismal day to start of with, in no way put off the shetland folk..The gelding and Mare classes were very well supported once again..Well done to everyone. 


A very successful evening was had by the ladies of the group at our juniors fund raiser on Tuesday 12th June. A great selection of Fascinators, Scarfs, Jewellery and Handbags were on offer. Everyone enjoyed light refreshments and Sharon West (Pretty Pearls Lady) provided a talk and demonstration. The ladies were then able to browse the hundreds of items on offer and make purchases, the Fascinators and Scarfs proving very popular. A raffle was held as well. The amount raised will pay for the Juniors fun night that will be held at the start of July.

Pictures will be added to the photo Gallery Soon... 

ARMAGH SHOW - 9:6:12

After all the wet and windy weather in the past week it was a great relief to see a dry morning. Shetland pony owners turned out in force and it was lovely to see the M & M lead rein class with 4 of the 5 entries forward shetland ponies and a shetland taking first place & mini M & M champion. Armagh show pictures will be added to the photo Gallery and juniors page. 


A lovely day out weather was just nice and again the largest classes of the day were the Young Handler & Gelding, It's lovely to see these classes going from strength to strength...Pics will be added to the showing 2012 Album & the results page for 2012 is now up and running... 


We have recently added some new photograph albums, many of the photographs used were very kindly donated by Joanne Carson and Marc Wheeler among others...The groups thanks go out to Joanne & Marc.


Ballymena was a great start to the Agriculture shows. The sun shone and crowds were out in force. The Shetlands had well supported classes with the Young handler the largest class of the day.  

CASTLEDILLON  "get together and walk"- 19:5:12

The N.I Shetland Pony Group were invited by Tony & Mary Wheeler, By kind permission of the owner Cecil Haffey for an informal Get Together and Walk at Castledillon Private Estate.

Castledillon Estate consists of 80 acres Forest/Paddocks and a 50 acre lake.

This outing was very well supported by group members. It was a fun packed day with members taking part in Archery, canoeing, fishing, walks surrounded in Bluebells and wild garlic. We all had rides on a gator around the forest and paddocks were we where able to view 4 types of Deer, Emu's, Llama's, Alpaca's, Pigmy goats, Shetland sheep, horses and a selection of various types of Fowl

The day was rounded up with everyone enjoying a BBQ. A brilliant day was had by all and the weather remained good throughout.

A very big Thankyou to Tony & Mary for organising a great day out.. 

CASTLEDILLON - (invitation only)

A reminder to all members: informal ‘Get Together & Walk’ at 'Castledillon' Drumilly Road, Armagh on Saturday 19 May 2012 at 11.00am.

Awards Dinner Photos - 15:5:12

If any member has pictures of the awards dinner and would like them to be posted on the N.I.Shetland pony group website please forward a selection to the web site contact address...Thank you. 


Crosskennan has in their care, 5 shetland ponies that have been very badly treated, they are feeling much better now and they were wondering if anyone would be able to help place them in either temp or perm homes?

Anyone who thinks they may be able to help please contact:

Lyn on 07855079373

N.I.FESTIVAL, Cavan - 28/29:4:12

A very big well done to all the shetlands and owners, both adult and junior who took part in cavan this year. The line up was very impressive. 


The following letter was received from:
                 Dryknowl, Wildboarclough, Macclesfield, cheshire SK11 0BE
To: Group members
Dear Group Secretary,
As the 2012 Breed Show organiser I was wondering if your Group would be interested in either sponsoring a class or a stable, sending a donation or perhaps sponsoring a ring at the Breed Show in Bakewell, Derbyshire, on September 9th.
The cost of putting on the show has risen by about an average of 20% since I was last involved in helping at a Breed Show in 2006. Without financial help from the Groups and the members generally it would be almost impossible to put on an annual Breed Show. Please bring this letter to the attention of your members in the hope that the Group will decide to support the 2012 Breed Show. Your contribution will be most welcome.
To sponsor a class-£20; to sponsor a stable- £25; to sponsor a ring-£250; a donation may be any amount you feel able to give.
Class and ring Sponsors will have their name in the catalogue at the appropriate place and, if you decide to sponsor a stable, on the stable door as well. Ring sponsors will also have their name on the back of the catologue & it will be given out over the public address. They will also receive a champayne carvery lunch for two. Ring Sponsors may also like to put up a banner at the ringside. However, please contact me before you order your banner. If you decide to send a donation your name will also go into the catalogue.
Kind Regards,
Leonie J Sellars, Show organiser.
(Anyone requiring a Sponsorship/Donation form please contact Marie Bell)


Several members of the N.I.S.P.G. went along to the forest ride hosted by A LITTLE HORSE TRUST, we had an enjoyable day of mostly sunshine and we even managed the first picnic of the year..

Doagh Open Evening  29/3/12

Members of the group attended an open evening at Doagh Farm Feeds, Ballyclare Road,Doagh last night.

It was a very relaxed, informal atmosphere with the chance to get some great bargains in preparation for the show season.

Many thanks to Trevor McClelland for his hospitality.

Photos to follow!

2011 NISPG Show

The N.I. Shetland Pony Group Chairman & Committee extends sincere thanks and appreciation to everyone who contributed to the success of the Show. Thanks to NAF for sponsoring the Championships and to members & exhibitors for their generous donations.

Special thanks to SPSBS panel judge Mr Tony Jones, Isla Mona Stud, Wales and to Mrs Audrey Jones for her help & support in the Secretary’s Office, steward Claire Walker and finally the ‘Arena Team’ of Todd Cumberland & Josh Walker who worked tirelessly throughout the day.

Full show results are available on the NISPG Group Show page.


Recent Photos