All About Isabella

Published : 30/06/2024 09:13:25
Categories : Latest News

All About Isabella

Cherhill Shetlands , based in beautiful Wiltshire,  was created in 2019 with the aim of promoting and breeding quality performance ponies.  Their lively bunch of registered Shetland Ponies are participating in showing competitions and the exciting Shetland Pony Grand National with events up and down the country.

Hiho is proud to sponsor Cherhill Shetlands helping raise vital funds for the Bob Champion Cancer Trust. The daily running of the team falls to Isabella, aka "Bella" for the team.  She does all the care, exercise and training 
with the assistance of remarkable young riders and their supportive parents

Find out more about Isabella in today's article - her love of Shetland ponies and how she was inspired to set up this wonderful organisation. 

Isabella, please can you tell us a bit about yourself, what do you do, where are you from? 

I am 24 years old from Melksham in Wiltshire. My day job is in agricultural events management, which I really enjoy. However, my main passion is Shetland Ponies. When I’m not working, I travel the country with my team of Shetland Ponies taking part in the Shetland Pony Grand National at some of the most prolific venues in the UK.

 What inspired you to set up Cherhill Shetlands, how did it all begin?

I have been around Shetland Ponies since I was about 3 years old as I was lucky enough to live near to a farmer who bred them. The farmer very kindly allowed me to ride her ponies and when I was 10 years old, she gave me the opportunity to race the Shetland Pony Grand National. Fast forward a few years and I was too old to ride Shetlands myself but wanted to stay in touch with the breed, so I bought myself a couple of young ponies to break in for local children to ride, this saw the creation of Cherhill Shetlands. Over the last couple of years Cherhill Shetlands has grown and we have had around fifteen Ponies, some of whom are still with us whilst others have now moved on to family homes.

Can you tell us more about Cherhill Shetlands and what it’s all about?

At the moment we have seven Shetland Ponies - with one foal due any day now! Four of the Ponies are in ridden work, three of which compete in the Shetland Pony Grand National. Our main aims are to breed & produce Shetlands that are good enough quality to win in the show ring but also capable of doing ridden activities like pony club and Shetland racing. Whilst taking part in the Shetland Pony Grand National we are also raising money for the Bob Champion Cancer Trust, a cause that is relevant to so many people and their families.  

How do you all get ready before a racing event and how do you calm the nerves?

The racing Ponies are in training for about ten months of the year. They have to have a fine balance of fit enough & “awake” enough to put in a good performance and be competitive without being so fit & spicy that they are unmanageable. When we are at the events, it is very important to keep the Ponies, riders & parents calm before a race! We try not to tack the ponies up too early so that they can make the most of every bit of down time they have. We spend lots of time over the winter preparing the children for the racing atmosphere, we play music, clap and cheer a lot during our training sessions to try and simulate the crowds. Most of our riders seem to be really good at focusing on the ponies and not paying attention to the 1000s of people watching them.

Where can we watch the team racing, so we can cheer them on and where can we follow you online?

2024 has already been a really busy year with the Royal Windsor Horse Show, Badminton Horse Trials, Suffolk Show & Royal Cornwall Show just to name a few! We have lots more venues to come to including The Game Fair, Sandown Park Racecourse, Wellington Horse Trials, Moreton Show, Burghley Horse Trials & more! You can keep up with everything we get up to through our Facebook and our TikTok & Instagram (Team_Cherhill_SPGN).

If anyone is local to you and was interested in being part of the team or getting into racing, how can they do this? 

Spaces with any Shetland Pony racing owner are a bit like gold dust! We often have a waiting list of riders wanting to take part. If your child is aged between 8-13 years, comfortably under 5ft in height, happily jumping 2ft and confident galloping at speed then they are more than welcome to get in touch with us about having a go on a racing Shetland. You can contact us through any of our social media pages or by emailing
If you have your own registered Shetland Pony and would like to get into racing you can contact the Shetland Pony Grand National about how to get involved.

What is your ultimate Hiho love (favourite piece from the Hiho collection) and why?
I currently have a necklace from the Thelwell collection which I wear nearly all the time and call it my good luck charm for all our races! I take great pride in being able to wear something from the Thelwell collection as Thelwell & Hiho Silver are both great supporters of our racing Shetlands.
I also love the Hiho Bee & Daisy Collection as I think the pieces are very elegant and it’s nice to be able to wear something a little different that’s still got character. A particular piece I have my eye on is the Gold-Plated Honeycomb & Bee Necklace. I always choose to wear small stud earrings, so I would probably pair the necklace with the Gold-Plated Bumblebee studs.
You can follow Isabella & Cherhill Shetlands on Instagram

Share this content