The Iron Pony competition is a compilation of 20 athletic competitions to determine a winner, featured in the episode Fall Weather Friends, after Rainbow Dash challenges Applejack, with Twilight Sparkle acting as judge. Commentated by Spike, originally only Pinkie Pie, Rarity and Fluttershy come to spectate, however by the middle of the competition the competition garners a massive audience, including cheerleaders. Unlike the other events in Equestria, it hasn't had an annual appearance.
Only 12 of the 20 events are shown, with eight in the first part and four in the second.
The barrel weave was the first event of the competition. Each competitor had to run a zig-zag pattern through a row of barrels as quickly as possible, with a five-second penalty for each barrel hit. Applejack ran first, completing the course in 17 seconds but hitting one barrel for a total of 22 seconds. Rainbow's time was 18 seconds with no penalties, giving her the victory.
For this contest, a variation of a "high striker" carnival game was set up, with a weight that could slide up a vertical scale and hit a bell at the top. Instead of hitting a lever with a mallet to send the weight up, each pony bucked a target at ground level. Although Rainbow rang the bell, Applejack's buck smashed the target and knocked the bell off, giving her the win and tying the score at 1-1. "Years of applebuckin'," she explained.
Next, each pony tried to throw Spike off her back as quickly as possible. Applejack's strategy was to buck her entire rear end into the air, while Rainbow bounced her entire body up and down like a jackhammer. Rainbow achieved the faster time to take a 2-1 lead overall.
Each pony now had to lasso Spike, who wore a horned helmet to stand in for a bull. Applejack quickly dropped her lasso around all four of Spike's limbs and hogtied him to win this event; Rainbow Dash failed and got tangled in her own rope to end up hanging upside down from a tree. The score was now 2-2.
Ball Bouncing ContestRedigera
In the fifth event, both competitors had to bounce balls off their heads repeatedly, a throwback to Rainbow's attempt at setting a world record in Dragonshy, presumably as many times as possible. Applejack lost her balance and fell flat, leaving her ball to bounce away and end up balanced on one of Rainbow's hooves as she kept bouncing her own ball. Rainbow won the event and took a 3-2 lead.
Hay Bale TossRedigera
Each competitor threw a hay bale for distance. Rainbow's throw landed at the far end of the track, but as she taunted Applejack, the latter's bale slammed down on top of her and landed slightly farther downrange. This performance won the event for Applejack and tied the score at 3-3.
The seventh event was a hoof-wrestling match, similar to that depicted in The Ticket Master. Rainbow quickly beat Applejack, forcing her to the ground in the process, and took a 4-3 lead.
For the eighth event, each competitor kicked an American football as far as possible. Rainbow's kick sailed under several pegasi who were watching from a cloud, but they had to duck in order to avoid being hit by Applejack's ball. It nearly hit Fluttershy as well and knocked the score placard out of her grip before she could hang it up to give Applejack the victory. The placard landed neatly on the scoreboard, leaving the ponies tied 4-4.
The next two events were not depicted, but Spike noted that the score at the halfway point was 5-5. The eleventh event was a push-up contest; both ponies were able to do 99, but Applejack collapsed at this point while Rainbow used her wings to do one more and win the event. No one noticed the use of her wings, however.
Each pony ran up to a line and jumped for distance, landing in a sand-filled pit, with Applejack going first. When Rainbow jumped, she realized that she would fall short; using her wings, she was able to hover just off the ground and push herself far enough ahead to win.
Here, each pony was given four baby chicks and had to carry them on her back down the length of a mud-filled trench, where a mother hen was waiting at the other end. Applejack's trotting stirred up so much mud that her chicks quickly jumped over to Rainbow, who let all eight chicks ride on her spread wings in order to stay clean and dry. She won the event.
The final event was a tug of war. Standing on opposite sides of a mud pit, the ponies took the ends of a rope in their teeth. A red flag was tied to the midpoint, presumably for determining a winner after a certain period of time had elapsed. As Applejack dragged Rainbow toward the mud, Rainbow went airborne, hauled Applejack off the ground, and tricked her into letting go of the rope. Applejack fell in the mud, losing the event and giving Rainbow a 15-5 victory in the overall competition.
- The competition name is based off the "Ironman Triathlon".