Owners with scarred or blemished horses will be able to show with pride at Cricklands in Wales, later this month.

A new series of showing classes for the “all but perfect” will be included in the Cricklands Showing Spectacular on 19-20 September, and have been organised by Fran Moore and Chrissy Chambers.

Ms Moore approached Cricklands to include the class after finding a lack of opportunity for her own horse, 13-year-old Crystal Fizgig, who is scarred after putting a hindleg through a fence four years ago.

“She’s conformation, but there was nowhere to show her,” said Ms Moore. “I wanted a class to give horses like her a second chance.”

Any horse is eligible, whether they have scars, half a tail or even one eye, but they must be 100% sound and healthy.

Cricklands organiser James Broome said: “Horses do hurt themselves — maybe out hunting or when kicked in a field — leaving a physical blemish but nothing wrong.”

There are 12 “all but perfect” classes, including best turned out, best ex-racehorse, best coloured horse and best rescued horse or pony.

The classes will be judged on conformation, manners and suitability, but blemishes will be ignored.

Tony Tyler of World Horse Welfare, said: “Many horses with scars and blemishes that may have gone through rescue centres have considerable potential for their future use. It’s great to see a class encouraging people to take part.”

Di Arbuthnot from Retraining of Racehorses added: “Anything that helps give a racehorse a second chance is a great idea.”

Ms Moore and Mr Broome believe the number of classes for blemished horses is a first.

“It would be great if it could become a national class, and get some cracking horses out of their stables and back in the showring,” said Mr Broome.

A spokesman for the British Show Horse Association said similar classes are run at fun shows, but said it was not a concept they would pursue.

This article was first published in Horse & Hound (3 September, ’09)