The British Show Pony Society (BSPS) oversees various pony classes across the United Kingdom including Show Pony, Show Hunter Pony, Working Hunter Pony or Mountain and Moorland (adult riders included). But this year they’ve added a new division that will have riders hopping.

A Hobby Horse Championship class will be run at some of the BSPS events and will end in a Final during the organizations summer championships. “We hope that this will raise awareness of our extensive Children’s Entertainment programme at both the BSPS Summer and Winter Championships,” reads a statement on the group’s website .

According to an article in The Guardian,  the hobby horse sport “involves riding a toy horse made from a wooden stick with one end decorated to look like a pony’s head. Riders – usually young girls – compete by trotting, galloping and cantering around a ring, sometimes leaping over jumps.”

In the BSPS Hobby Horse Scoresheet, “riders” are judged on coordination, balance, energy and body control for 50% of the mark, and on overall performance of show with energy and appeal for the remaining 50% of the mark.

“The BSPS wanted to embrace the hobby horse craze as an addition to our fabulous children’s entertainment programme, which sets the society apart from others in providing all-round family fun,” a BSPS spokesperson told The Guardian. “We are a children’s society and, as such, it is important to ensure that we make sure our championship shows are fun for all our smaller members.”

In other words, the organization wanted the sport to be more inclusive, including for kids who can’t afford riding lessons or a pony of their own.

The hobby horse sport isn’t limited to Europe, either. In Canada, HobbyHorse Canada in Duntroon, ON, offers info and summer training camps. South of the border, Tryon International Equestrian Center in North Carolina hosts the North American Hobby Horse Championships each year with free competitions in July and October.  At the Tryon event riders complete a course of jumps with their hobby horse, are scored for time, and incur faults for every rail knocked down. Ribbons are awarded to top scores per division, as well as special awards. The Tryon website has a downloadable official guide to Hobby Horsing.

Suffice it to say, with the increased cost of real horse ownership becoming impossible for many, don’t be surprised if an adult amateur division pops up at A-circuit shows near you!