This is a relatively new category which has been provided to cater for the pony who demonstrates a bit more substance than would normally be acceptable in a ridden Show Pony class. Ponies which compete in Show Hunter classes cannot compete in Show Pony classes at the same show or in the same show season.
They are shown in the same range of height groups as Show Ponies and they are expected to demonstrate much of the same ability to provide a smooth, even ride and a reliable temperament.
From a conformation point of view they should exhibit true pony character and in the bigger classes less refinement or evidence of bigger blood although a heavyweight thoroughbred type probably is more suited to this category than a Show Pony.
They should be quality animals with a neat head, good length of rein and depth through the body with good limbs, short, well-defined cannons with sufficient forearm and second thigh for the height of the pony and a little more bone than a Show Pony. They should demonstrate suitability to carry a child across country over a variety of terrain and obstacles.
The pony should demonstrate that it is sound in wind and limb, but since these ponies are expected to show that they would be able to jump and perform across country, an honourable bump or lump can be overlooked as long as the pony is still perfectly sound.
Show Hunter ponies compete on the flat only and do not have to prove they can jump in the show ring. The workout should be similar to that for a Show Pony and should always include a gallop and a change of leg at the canter. The pony should cover the ground in all paces, with the gallop being well-balanced and moving from the shoulders, with the hind legs well under and a certain amount of knee action permissible. A flat and stilted action is unacceptable.
Manners are extremely important and small misdemeanours which may be overlooked in the Show Pony should be penalised in a Show Hunter Pony.
Saddlery should be clean, neat and well-fitting but may be more workmanlike than normal for a Show Pony class. A general purpose saddle with a deeper seat that a show saddle, and a more forward-cut panel to fit the knee comfortably is acceptable. Browbands should be plain and not ribboned and bitting is optional.
Riders should preferably wear a tweed jacket and dummy spurs are permissible. As for Show Ponies whips should not exceed 30 inches (75cm).