H&H guide to stallion gradings: CHAPS

  • What happens at the grading?

    First, the stallion must pass a full five-stage vetting. Each horse is then presented to the judge, who assesses conformation, then on a triangle in walk and trot. Four-year-olds and under are free schooled, five-year-olds and over are ridden and must perform in their designated discipline.

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

    Conformation marks are out of 100, split into 10 sections. Marks are given for correctness of type as graded (eg show horse, show jumper)

    How many judges grade the stallions?


    Which horses are eligible?

    Any coloured horse aged three and over. It is optional for stallions to be presented at three, but mandatory for four-year-olds and over to stay in the appropriate studbook. All animals must grade with their own breed society first.

    Do stallions need to a prior veterinary examination?

    No, vetting is done on the day, for consistency.

    How many stallions come forward and what percentage is successful?

    On average, 25 stallions come forward for each of two gradings every year. Around 14% reach graded status, and 15% earn first stage approval.

    What are the different grading levels?

    First stage approval, graded and elite.

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

    People need to seek advice, as the current standard is insufficient and this is the biggest day of their stallion’s life.

    Do you have turn-out rules?

    Appropriate dress depends on the type of horse being graded. Sport horse handlers should wear white with the horse plaited; showing entrants wear tweed jackets and trousers, with horses plaited or traditional.

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

    From £100, plus £40 for a DNA test, if applicable.

    After grading, does the stallion have to be reinspected?

    If a stallion gets first stage approval, it has to be reinspected within two years. Each stallion can be presented only twice.

    Dates and venues of 2007 gradings?

    The spring grading is at Onley Grounds EC in Rugby on 25 February. The autumn grading is in October and will be in the Cumbria area. Contact: (tel: 01685 845045) www.chapsuk.com

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