Watch the Shetland Pony Congress live online this week


History in the making has been the theme every year for the last 65 years of the National Shetland Congress Show. It started back in 1947 with a very dedicated man who gave extraordinary time and energy to coordinate the 1st National Shetland Pony Congress. Mr. William A. Simpson was held in high regard as one of the best Welsh, Shetland and Hackney breeders in the United States at that time. The event was held during one of the largest fairs in the world- the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa. The show was meant to be a “Breeders’ Showcase” that encouraged breeders to show off their achievements in Shetland Pony breeding. The ponies were judged by a standard of perfection set by the American Shetland Pony Club (ASPC).

The National Shetland Pony Congress continued on into the 1950s with upwards to 300 quality Shetlands presented annually. It was 1997 when the 50th anniversary of the Shetland Congress was celebrated. That year the Classic Congress was held in Mason City Iowa and the Modern Congress was held in Columbus, OH.

Watch a live feed from the 2011 Shetland Pony Congress Below. Click here if you are unable to view the feed.

The 2011 American Shetland Pony Congress will be a history making event! The Opening Ceremony will be held in the original Congress Arena in the Iowa State Fair Coliseum with a presentation of past Congress Champions. Although Mr. Bill Simpson is no longer here to witness this awesome commemorative reenactment of his 1st National Shetland Congress, Mr. VanDeWalle will be here from Iowa, who was the 1st Official Ring Master of the 1947 American Shetland Congress Show! He will be included in this ceremony along with many other ASPC members whose families and relatives have participated over the past seven decades of the Congress Show. ASPC is expecting over 500 ponies to compete this year for Congress Titles.

When asked what keeps the family involved Amy Roberts said, “There’s something about these ponies, these events and the people involved. No other equine organization can boast of anything even close to the Congress and what such an event means to its people in terms of tenure and both the ability to attract new people AND retain so many long-term stables.”

The Roberts Family of Willow Hill Illinois has their 5th generation of family showing American Shetland Ponies.

“We look for this to be a spectacular Congress,” said ASPC President Pat Sanders. “I see this as a destination which Congress has been looking for several years and we hope it will become the permanent home for the American Shetland Congress Show.”

All are invited to join the ASPC in celebration of the 65th Annual American Shetland Pony Congress. The Event is going back home to where it all began and will continue this history making event for the future generations of the American Shetland Pony!



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