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H&H guide to stallion gradings: BHHS

What happens at the grading?

Four-year-olds and over must pass a performance test or have advanced competition success. On the day, passports are checked and each horse is loose jumped, shown loose, trotted-up and stood on hard ground. Three-year-olds and over are ridden, showing working and medium paces. No horses are jumped under saddle.

All are presented individually in-hand at trot on a triangle and walked as a group for the judges’ final decision. Results are given in the ring, along with the judges’ opinions on successful stallions.

How are the marks distributed and what qualities are looked for?

The judges look for horses who — due to their temperament, appearance, movement, jumping and soundness — are suitable performance and pleasure mounts.

Marks out of 10 are awarded for conformation, breed type, correctness, gaits, general impression and development and loose jumping (style and ability). Stallions must achieve an average score of seven to pass, with no mark under five.

How many judges grade the stallions?

A minimum of three, but usually four, including two German judges.

Which horses are eligible?

In addition to Hanoverians, a limited use of Thoroughbreds is possible if they fulfil the requirements for type, licensing and performance. Non-Hanoverian branded stallions approved by the German mother society may be used, as long as they comply with certain requirements.

Do stallions need a prior veterinary examination?

A stallion must have a full five-stage vetting and a full set of X-rays submitted for approval.

How many stallions come forward and what percentage is successful?

Last year, nine were presented and two passed.

What are the different grading levels?

Licensed and performance tested.

What is your assessment of the standard of presentation? How should people prepare?

Most horses are well prepared and presented — many are shown by professional handlers. Some owners need to practice loose jumping to give their stallion the best chance.

Are there turn-out rules?

Handlers should wear white or black trousers and a white or yellow shirt; no whip is allowed and gloves are preferred. Tack is a snaffle bridle and boots for free jumping only.

What is the entry fee and is any documentation required on the day?

£200, along with pedigree and life number.

After grading, does the stallion have to be reinspected?

Once licensed, the stallion must pass a performance test.

Dates and venues of 2007 gradings

Addington Manor, 23 September. Contact: (tel: 01353 777078) www.hanoverian-gb.org.uk

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