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.”
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.”
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)