SPORTS PONY STUDBOOK SOCIETY

  A DEFRA approved Passport Issuing Organisation

Studbook Office: The Last House, Keysoe Row West, Keysoe, Bedfordshire MK44 2JJ

Tel: 07703 566066    Email: 

Normal office hours - Monday to Friday 9.30am to 4.30 pm

Note that the SPSS Office relocated in April 2014 and the contact details at the top of the page should now be used for all contact with the SPSS
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INFORMATION
including Frequently Asked Questions
Note that the SPSS Office relocated in April 2014 and the contact details at the top of the page should now be used for all contact with the SPSS.

Click on the question to jump to the answer...

 

Click here to find out  how to change the owner's details in an SPSS passport

 

 

 

General Questions:

* What is a sports pony?

* Why do we need a Sports Pony Studbook?

* What ponies are eligible for registration with the SPSS?

*  How can I find out how SPSS is structured and how it is governed?

*  How can you find out more?

*  Who is on the SPSS Committee?

*  How do I get a copy of the SPSS rule book?

*  What do the abbreviations used on the site mean?

*  How do I make a complaint or appeal against a decision?

*  What is the SPSS Social Media Policy?

*  What is the SPSS Data Release Policy?

Grading Questions:

*  Is my pony eligible for grading?

*  How do I enter my pony for grading?

*  What happens at a grading?

*  What is the expected 'turn-out' at the Grading?

*  How do I prepare my pony for Grading?

Where can I find the Grading Entry Forms?

*  Does the SPSS grade geldings?

*  Can an unsuccessful stallion be represented for grading?

Youngstock Evaluation Questions:

*  Is my youngster eligible for SPSS Youngstock Evaluation?

*  How do I enter my youngster for an SPSS Youngstock Evaluation?

*  What happens at an SPSS Youngstock Evaluation?

*  What is the expected 'turn-out' at an SPSS Youngstock Evaluation?

*  How do I prepare my youngster for an SPSS Youngstock Evaluation?

Where can I find the SPSS Youngstock Evaluation Schedule & Entry Form?

Passport/Registration Questions:

*  How do I change the owner's details in an SPSS passport?

Is my foal eligible for a SPSS passport?

*  Are there any height restrictions?

*  Can I use a prefix when naming my pony?

*  How do I get a passport for my foal?

*  When does my foal need a passport?

*  I have a pony with a Scottish Sports Horse passport - can the SPSS help?

What are the legal responsibilities of owners in relation to equine passports?

Successful British-bred SPSS passported/graded ponies

From top left:

SPSS ELITE Graded Mare Falaza (Libro x Embla George) & Beth Vernon 2011 Pony European Championships Jumping Team and Individual Gold British-bred by Jane Fowles. Photo by Hannah Owen

SPSS Passported Gelding Cruz (Caesar 171 x Don Larino) & Phoebe Peters 2014 BD Novice Open National Champions British-bred by Rachel Silk. Photo by Kevin Sparrow

SPSS ELITE Graded & Passported Stallion LE Chiffre (Caesar 171 x Donnerwetter) & Lara Kuropatwa 2014 Pony European Championships Dressage Team Reserve. British-bred by Bev & Sam Brown

SPSS Passported Gelding Bathleyhills Sea Wurzel (Caesar 171 x Gigman Jacana) & Grace Johnston 2015 BD Novice Restricted Music Freestyle Champions British-bred by Bathleyhills Stud. Photo by Kevin Sparrow

SPSS ELITE Graded Mare Catherston Nutsafe (Catherston Nightsafe x Dutch Courage) & Chelsea Pearce 2014 Pony European Championships Eventing Team Silver medalists. British-bred by Lizzie Murray

 

General Questions

 

What is a sports pony?

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The nine indigenous Mountain and Moorland pony breeds of Great Britain are amongst the national treasures of these islands and the incomparable British Riding Pony is almost equally revered amongst equestrians of every age and nationality. Despite this, across the disciplines – and most particularly in dressage and showjumping - growing numbers of children were competing on imported sports ponies bred in mainland Europe. In fact, many of these sports ponies can trace almost every one of their ancestors to one or other of our native pony or riding pony studbooks.  However, because they are selectively bred and performance tested for several generations for their paces, performance talent, soundness and temperament, rather than for breed type or show ring potential, they are now more like a small warmblood competition horse than a cross-bred pony and their proven record of wins at top level is increasingly making them the first choice for keen children, parents, trainers and sponsors.

 

Why do we need a Sports Pony Studbook?

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In the late 1990s, as interest in sports ponies grew, not only schoolmaster geldings but also graded stallions, approved mares and younger ungraded colts and fillies were imported to the UK and a number of enthusiasts began to breed from them. However, before the SPSS formed in 2000, it was impossible to register the vast majority of these ponies or their progeny in the main section of any stud book as no existing organisation graded or approved the ponies as breeding stock in the European manner.  The formation of the Sports Pony Studbook Society (SPSS) in 2000 solved this problem and, as the only specialised sports pony studbook recognised by DEFRA, all SPSS registration documents also conform to the EU requirements for universal equine passports.  You can read more about the first 10 years of the SPSS in an article written by Founder Director and SPSS Chair from 2000-2014, Celia Clarke, for the Special 10th Anniversary Souvenir Booklet and Stallion Guide - click here to read "Ten Years to the Top".

 

What ponies are eligible for registration with the SPSS?

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Stallions and mares (of no more than 158cms in height) already graded into a recognised European or American sports pony or warmblood pony stud book are generally eligible for direct entry into the SPSS stud book as an SPSS graded mare/stallion. Stallions and mares (again no more than 158cms in height) with pedigree papers from all other recognised stud books (both British and foreign) that successfully attend a SPSS grading will also enter the studbook.

 

The progeny of SPSS graded stallions and mares (apart from pure-bred offspring eligible for the stud books of one of the indigenous Mountain and Moorland breeds of the UK) are eligible for an SPSS passport/papers and may attend grading in due course (unless they go over the grading height limit of 158cms). If graded they will enter the SPSS stud book as approved breeding stallions and mares in their own right.

 

The SPSS has graded and licensed some exceptional breeding stock, ranging from European team ponies to youngsters with sports potential. It particularly welcomes registration and grading enquiries from British-bred pony stallions and mares with a proven competition record as children’s mounts as the SPSS committee attaches great importance to the development of a child-friendly pony that also has true sports talent.

 

How can I find out how SPSS is structured and how it is governed?

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The SPSS was formed in 2000 as "The Sports Pony Studbook Society", a Private Limited Company and is registered at Companies House (Cardiff) with Registration No. 4106148.  The Registered Office is The Stables, Higher Farm, Limington, Yeovil Somerset. BA22 8EG.  The routine business of the studbook is done from the Studbook Office (see top of page for the address and contact details)

 

The SPSS currently has 3 directors, Jacke Mathieson (Chairman), Jackie Vincent (Treasurer and Company Secretary) and Lucy Sheldrake (Studbook Manager) and they form the Governing Committee and are responsible for the day to day operation of the Studbook, supported by the Studbook Secretary, Philippa Cole and the other members of the SPSS Committee (see below). 

 

The operation of SPSS is governed by the formal Memorandum and Articles of Association and by the Rule Book and these may only be amended by resolutions at a General Meeting of SPSS Members.  The minutes of the 2014 AGM (including associated documents) may be viewed/downloaded here and the minutes of the 2015 AGM (including associated documents) may be viewed/download here.

 

How can you find out more?

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If you would like to passport, register or grade your pony with the SPSS then there is more information on the specific pages of this site or you can call the Studbook Office and talk to our Studbook Secretary, Philippa Cole, on 07703 566066  or write to her at the address at the top of this page.

 

As the Studbook Secretary, Philippa is responsible for the routine administration of the Studbook including issuing and updating passports, registering ponies with passports from other Studbooks, maintaining the studbook database and as the initial point of contact for questions and enquiries.  Philippa also acts as webmaster and administrator of the Facebook page.

 

For queries, news or other information concerning the Web Site please

 

 

 

 

Who is on the SPSS Committee?

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The SPSS Committee consists of:

 

Jacke Mathieson (Chairman)

Jackie Vincent (Treasurer and Company Secretary);

Lucy Sheldrake (Studbook Manager)

Philippa Cole

Kerstin Coward

Abigail Owens

Jacke (far left) and Lucy (far right) are pictured (with past SPSS committee members Kerensa Pluess-Cobbledick and Hannah Owen) in the new SPSS jackets and gilets at the 2014 grading.  Photo by kind permission of Julia Shearwood Photography

 

Contact details for the Committee are at the start of our rules - click here to view/download.

In addition, Philippa Cole is the Studbook Secretary and (from 1st April 2014) is responsible for the routine administration of the Studbook including issuing and updating passports, registering ponies with passports form other Studbooks, maintaining the studbook database and as the initial point of contact for questions and enquiries.  Philippa can be contacted on 07703 566066.

 

How do I get a copy of the SPSS Rule Book?

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The latest SPSS Rule Book (updated as at 9th January 2017) can be downloaded by clicking here or can be obtained by sending a stamped addressed envelope to the SPSS Studbook Office (address at top of page) - please make sure you include a note to say what you want!!

 

What do the abbreviations used on the site mean?

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AES = Anglo European Studbook

ApHC = Appaloosa Horse Club

BApS = British Appaloosa Society

BCS = British Connemara Society

BHD = British Horse Database

BPS = British Palomino Society

BRP = British Riding Pony

BSPA = British Skewbald and Piebald Association

BWBS = British Warmblood Society

BWP = Belgian Warmblood

CHAPS = Coloured Horse & Pony Society

Conn = Connemara

D-Old = Danish Oldenburg

DRP = Deutsche Reitpony  (ie German Riding Pony)

DSP = Dansk Sports Ponyavl (ie Danish Sports Pony)

GRP = German Riding Pony

GSB = General Studbook (ie TB)

Hann = Hanoverian

HPA = Horse Passport Agency

ID = Irish Draft

KWPN = Koninklijk Warmbloed Paardenstamboek Nederland

NF = New Forest

NPA = Nederlands Pony met Arabisch bloed

NRPS = Nederlands Rijpaarden en Pony Stamboek

NWPCS = Nederlands Welsh Pony & Cob Stamboek

OLD = Oldenburg

PB = Part Bred

SHAPS = Spotted Horse and Pony Society

SHB(GB) = Sport Horse Breeding (Great Britain)

SPSS = Sports Pony Studbook Society

TB = Thoroughbred

TRAK = Trakhener

W'BYS = Weatherbys

WPCS = Welsh Pony & Cob Society

XX = Thoroughbred

 

How do I make a complaint or appeal against a decision?

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Customer Service is important to the SPSS and we endeavour to provide a high quality service at all times. If you have an issue, please contact us to discuss it as soon as possible and we will try to resolve it informally. However, if you would like to register a formal complaint or if you want to appeal against a decision we have made, please follow the procedure below and we will then investigate formally.

 

Informal Contact Details: To contact us informally,  ; phone the Studbook Secretary (Philippa Cole) on 07703 566066.

 

Formal Process: Please make your complaint or appeal in writing to the SPSS Studbook Office either by post or email clearly indicating that it is a complaint or appeal and providing as much detail about the issue as possible. We will then:

(1)

Provide written (by post and/or email) acknowledgement of receipt of the complaint or appeal within 1 working day of receipt.

(2)

Provide, within 15 working days, written confirmation of how the complaint/appeal will be dealt with.

(3)

Provide written confirmation of the outcome, including a procedure to appeal that outcome if applicable.

Formal Contact Details: To contact us formally with a complaint or appeal, please   ; or write to us at: SPSS Studbook Office, The Last House, Keysoe Row West, Keysoe, Bedfordshire MK44 2JJ.

 

Click here to download the above information as a PDF file.

 

What is the SPSS Social Media Policy?

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The SPSS, along with most other studbooks, uses social media to promote the Society and associated ponies with participation by both SPSS members and non-members being encouraged.

However, it is important that all social media is used responsibly, accurately and legally. The SPSS will monitor content, both on official SPSS social media pages and elsewhere on the internet, to identify any postings that refer to the SPSS, it’s members and it’s officials. If content is found that is derogatory, defamatory and/or could damage the reputation of the SPSS, it’s officials and/or members (past and present) then appropriate action will be taken both to have the content removed and seek redress from the originator and any others who have participated. In addition, overt promotion and/or advertising is not permitted on the SPSS social media pages by anyone other than the SPSS page administrator(s).

Principles

The following principles apply to your online participation in the context of being a member of the SPSS and set out the standard of behaviour expected in representing the society. We encourage positive representation and promotion of the Society and therefore welcome members building upon this through use of social networking websites. You are representing our society and we trust you to act accordingly. Therefore:

  • Be professional; remember that you are an ambassador for our society.

  • Be responsible and honest at all times. When you gain insight; share it with others where appropriate.

  • Be credible; accurate, fair and thorough and make sure you are doing the right thing. Although a controversial comment can sometimes spark a good debate, rude, offensive or defamatory remarks must be avoided at all times.

Always remember that participation online results in your comments being permanently available and open to being republished in other media. Social media encourages conversations and collaborations as its core, however never give out personal details like home address and phone numbers unless totally satisfied who the recipient is. Also be aware that you may attract media interest in you as an individual, so proceed with care whether you are participating in an organisational or a personal capacity. As well as protecting your own privacy, it's important to respect the privacy of others, so don't copy and share things which aren't yours, without getting prior permission and make sure that your postings comply with the requirements of copyright legislation.

 

Abide by the rules of the social media site(s) you use. Stay within legal frameworks and be aware that libel, defamation, copyright & data protection laws apply. False statements, unsubstantiated claims, offensive, defamatory and/or threatening comments could lead to suspension or removal from SPSS membership and/or to other appropriate action (including legal).

 

You can download the Policy here

 

Derived primarily from “Social Media Planning Guide for Voluntary Sector Organisations” by Simon Duncan, Regional ICT Champion – Yorkshire and The Humber (used under Creative Commons License: Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alik; Wales) with additional information from the CMI’s “Using Social Media Effectively - Checklist 267”

 

What is the SPSS Data Release Policy?

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The SPSS is a registered organisation under the Data Protection Act 1988 and acts in accordance with the Data Protection Principles contained in the Act. In addition, the SPSS will only release data of any sort (including but not limited to membership and ownership information, pedigree information, copies of applications etc) under the following circumstances:

  • If required to by EU/UK legislation applicable to a PIO. This includes but is not limited to:

(1) the release of equine information (including but not limited to ownership information) to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), including to it’s authorised database (historically, the National Equine Database (NED)) and to local authorities or law enforcement agencies as required by law.

(2) any requirement under the Companies Act 2006

  • If legally required to by a Court Order

  • If required by another studbook in order to ensure completeness and correctness of equine pedigrees. Note that only pedigree and other equine related (non personal) data will be shared

You can download the Policy here

 

Grading Questions

 

Is my pony eligible for Grading?

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Stallions:

We accept entries to our grading for any breed of stallion provided they:

  • have a full 3 generation pedigree in their passport (exceptions to this are dealt with on a case by case basis);

  • are no more (and don't mature above) 158cm;

  • and are at least 2.5 years old.

With all sizes of pony/horse, as well as assessing the conformation, paces and temperament, the judges also look at suitability as a sire of sports ponies and, along with a pass mark of 75%, this does make the assessment quite stringent and not all candidate stallions are accepted but each one is judged on his own merits. If he has 3 full generations, is accepted at our grading and complies with the post grading procedures (see rule 4.2 in the Rule Book), then he can stand as a SPSS stallion from 2016 and we would also issue passports to any progeny born in 2016.

 

Mares:

We accept entries to our grading from any breed of mare including those of unknown breeding.  Mares must also be at lest 2.5 years old and no more (and don't mature above) 158cm.

 

Mares are also have their confirmation, paces and temperament assessed, along with their suitability as a dam of sports ponies.  The mark achieved by a mare and the completeness of her pedigree determine the studbook she will be placed in as follows:

Head Studbook

Head Studbook (HSB) status will be awarded for the following:

  • Three full generations of recorded pedigree plus grading marks of 80% or above or

  • Three full generations of recorded pedigree plus grading marks of 75% or above plus a successful competition or breeding record.

Main Studbook

Main Studbook (MSB) status will be awarded for the following:

  • Two full generations of recorded pedigree and grading marks of 70% or above.

Preliminary Studbook

Preliminary Studbook status (PSB) will be awarded for the following:

  • All mares achieving grading marks of 65% or above but lacking the required recorded pedigree

  • All mares entering the grading with SPSS Green (Section X) papers (see Rule 1.3).

  • All mares with a full 2 or 3 generation pedigree who fail to achieve the grading marks for the Main or Head studbooks

If at any point you have any questions about eligibility or anything else, please call or email the Studbook Office (details at top of page)

 

How do I enter my pony for Grading?

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Stage 1:  Check that your pony is no more than 158cms in height.  Note that stallions close to the height limit will have to produce proof of height; at the point of entry this can be a letter from a vet or JMB certificate.  Successful stallions on or near the height limit will need a JMB height certificate before permanent approval is granted.

 

Stage 2:  If not already a member, join the SPSS - click here for membership fees and application form.  Note that your membership application can be sent to the Studbook Office at the same time as your pony's registration and grading forms.

 

Stage 3:  If you pony is not already registered with the SPSS - ie does not have an SPSS passport or their non-SPSS passport overstamped by the SPSS - then complete the relevant Registration Form - fees and forms are available on the Registrations page (click here).

 

Stage 4:  If entries have opened for grading days then you can download entry forms and enter at the same time as returning your pony's registration form.  If the date has not yet been announced, entries have not yet opened or entries have closed but you have registered your pony and expressed an interesting in grading him/her, then the Studbook Office will notify you as soon as the next Grading dates are announced.  Details of the next Gradings are here

 

If at any point you have any questions on any part of the process, please call or email the Studbook Office (details at top of page)

 

What happens at a Grading?

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The ponies will be individually inspected for conformation, in hand and loose movement including loose jumping down a grid (normally 2 fences).  Three year old and older ponies can also be shown under saddle (see below for more detail), either just on the flat or to jump as well.  Mares in foal or with a foal at foot are not excepted to loose jump or be ridden – but can be if the owner wants. Mares are not disadvantaged by not doing these stages. For mares with a foal at foot, if the owner is concerned that letting the mare loose may risk the safety of the foal, then that stage too may be omitted – however, it does limit the mare’s opportunity to show her paces.

 

Competition and progeny results are taken into account as well as performance on the day – details should be submitted with the Grading Entry Form.  Note that young ponies are not disadvantaged by not having a competition or progeny record.

Penny Walster presents 2010 Mare Champion, Bathleyhills Seaspray to the Judges

Photo by kind permission of Julia Shearwood Photography

Firstly, all the ponies will be shown individually, 'on the triangle', so that they can be assessed for conformation and movement.  Enter the arena at walk and go over to the judges.  Stand your pony up in front of them – there may well be two parallel poles to indicate the spot.  It is generally advised to stand in front of your pony so that the judges get a clear view and it is best if the pony stands with the front leg nearest to the judge slightly forward and the back leg nearest to the judge slightly back.  When the judges move to look at the other side of your pony then push him/her back a step so that he/she stands nicely again. 

 

Once the judges have done the visual assessment, they will then direct you how to proceed.  This can be to walk directly away from them, then to turn and come straight back or it may be to walk around a marked out "triangle" (generally on the right rein so the handler is not between the judges and the pony).  Sometimes the judges will ask for both to be done.

After the walk has been shown, the judges will normally then ask for a trot around the triangle.  The key points are to go straight away from the judges and straight again on the way back; extend the trot when side on to the judges.  Note that being straight is more important than following the exact triangle – the poles or corner markers are for guidance only.

 

Once you have completed a circuit in trot, then at the SPSS Gradings, the next stage is normally (see Note below) to show the pony loose.  This enables the judges to see their loose movement and to finalise the marks for temperament.

Pictured above (by kind permission of Julia Shearwood)  is SPSS graded stallion Sunwillow Jubilee at his grading in 2011.

 

 

Mare owners can then decide whether or not to show their pony loose down a pre-built jumping lane (mares in foal and/or with a foal at foot are not expected to loose jump) - note that this is compulsory for stallions.  The fences do not have to be high for youngsters and can be built up over 3 or 4 attempts as the judges look at the technique and attitude at this point.

 

 

Pictured on the left (by kind permission of Julia Shearwood) is 2014 Champion Stallion, the WPCS Sec D, Taraco Fabrizio.

Once all the ponies have been assessed in-hand and loose, then any ponies being ridden return individually to the arena.  Ridden ponies are expected to show walk, trot and canter and can jump if they wished. For the flatwork section, the judges want to see the working paces as well as extended trot and canter. Showing walk on a long rein with the pony fully stretched is also considered very important as this shows the correct attitude and suppleness of the pony.

 

In general:

  • 2 year old stallions are not ridden

  • 3 year old stallions may be ridden if they are ready but those that aren’t are not disadvantaged

  • We expect 4 year old stallions will be ridden, but the judges will take into account how long they’ve been backed when assessing them

  • We expect older stallions to be ridden but will consider exceptions on a case by case basis. Exceptions will normally only be made when an older stallion has proven progeny.

4 year old SPSS passported & graded DeLaRoche Brillanz, Reserve Champion at the 2014 grading

Photo by kind permission of Julia Shearwood Photography

NOTE Mare owners may choose whether or not to present their mare under saddle; mares in foal and/or with a foal at foot are not expected to loose jump or be ridden.  No mare will be disadvantaged through not being loose jumped. For mares with a foal at foot, if the owner is concerned that letting the mare loose may risk the safety of the foal, then that stage too may be omitted – however, it does limit the mare’s opportunity to show her paces.

 

All entrants are seen in-hand/loose before any are seen ridden

 

What is the expected 'turn-out' at the Grading?

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Ponies should be presented plaited (a running plait or looped long plaits are acceptable for pure-bred Mountain & Moorland ponies).  Ponies should be shown in hand in a snaffle bridle with reins or leather lead rein.  Ponies who are presented under saddle my may wear their normal bridle and bit for the ridden phase.  No boots or bandages are to be worn other than for the loose and ridden jumping (if wished). 

 

Handlers should wear shoes/trainers and clothes (preferably white or light coloured) that are comfortable for running!  A Hat (to current safety standards) and riding boots must be worn by all those riding and hats are advised for those showing in-hand.

 

Note that at SPSS shows and gradings no-one will be disadvantaged by their outfit so please don't use us as an excuse to go shopping (unless you want to that is!)!!

 

 

Pictured on the left (by kind permission of Julia Shearwood) is pure-bred Belgium Haflinger mare Berline_K who graded in 2014 showing neat looped plaits.

   

How do I prepare my pony for Grading?

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Get your pony used to standing up correctly for the judge and walking and trotting in-hand around a large 'triangle' of white poles as this will make the showing on the triangle part far less stressful.  There may also be plant pots for decoration or the triangle may just be marked with a plant pot at each corner.

 

Teach your pony to turn by raising your outside hand towards its face when trotting on the triangle. This will make your turns tighter and tidier.

 

When showing on the triangle, note that the poles and/or plant pots are there for guidance only and it is most important to walk/trot (as directed) straight away from the judges and to take the trot forward when the judges have a side view.

2014 Mare Grading Champion, Ella

Photo by kind permission of Julia Shearwood Photography

Practise loose schooling/jumping your pony a few times so that it has the basic idea of what it's meant to be doing. In the past, ponies have charged at the judges and then wouldn't be caught again easily. It is not fair to expect a youngster to know what to do with a jumping lane, first time, when the eyes of the world are upon it!

 

Make sure you can catch your pony when loose schooling it - perhaps have a bucket handy or some treats in your pocket on the day.

 

Where can I find the Grading Entry Forms?

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The grading entry forms and other information about the Grading dates and location are available on the Gradings page - click here to jump to that page.

 

 

Does the SPSS grade geldings?

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The SPSS acknowledges that sometimes colts are gelded in order to pursue their competition career, especially where they have been sold on, are ridden by children and/or are kept at livery. If the pony* was graded by the SPSS prior to being gelded and there is frozen semen available, then this can still be offered with SPSS covering certificates by whoever owns the frozen semen (on payment of the standard annual covering fee). If the colt had been given an initial temporary licence then the SPSS Management Committee will still need to consider performance & progeny before issuing permanent graded status.

 

If a colt has been gelded before being accepted as a graded stallion by the SPSS then:

  • If the gelding has been graded/licensed as a sports pony by another studbook accepted by the SPSS, the SPSS Management Team will consider an application for acceptance as SPSS graded but this will only where the committee feels that the bloodlines and/or performance are exceptional and will benefit UK sports pony breeding.

  • If the pony was not graded before being gelded then, unless the pony has a SPSS passport and exceptional bloodlines/performance that the SPSS considers will benefit UK sports pony breeding, geldings may not be presented at the SPSS Stallion Grading. For those with a SPSS passport, the SPSS Management Committee will consider on a case by case basis whether or not that particular pony may be presented at a SPSS Stallion Grading.

Owners of geldings with frozen semen that are able to issue a covering certificate via another Studbook or Breed Society should note that as the SPSS will issue passports to the progeny of SPSS graded mares, regardless of the stallion used, and will include the stallion’s full pedigree (as long as this is verified in their passport). Thus progeny may still obtain a SPSS passport via the graded mare route. If an acceptable covering certificate is not available, DNA testing (at the mare/stallion owner’s expense) will be required in order to include the stallion’s pedigree.

 

* note that pony is used to mean equines up to the SPSS grading height limit of 158cm

 

 

Can an unsuccessful stallion be represented for grading?

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With young stallions who are entered for grading before they are backed (ie 2 or 3 year olds) or as recently backed 4 year olds, the SPSS grading judges can only assess what they see on the day and it may be that as the colt matures, he also improves.

 

Hence, if an owner wishes, any colt presented for grading as a 2, 3 or 4 year old who was not accepted as a SPSS graded stallion may be represented once as long as the pony* is still entire, is ridden as part of the assessment and clear evidence of achievement (at a level appropriate for the age of the pony) in one or more of the FEI disciplines (eg dressage, jumping, eventing or endurance) is provided. There is no time limit on this representation but colts that were on or near the 158cm height limit will need to provide a recent JMB height certificate proving that they remain no more than 158cm.

 

The full stallion grading fee will need to be paid and represented stallions will be reassessed (at a public SPSS Stallion Grading event) in all areas (ie conformation, paces and loose jumping as well as ridden although dressage stallions need not be jumped under saddle) . Owners should note that the pass mark for stallions is 75% and this is not easily achieved as stallions are considered and marked as potential sires that the judges feel will benefit sports pony breeding in the UK and the requirements are, therefore, quite specific and stringent. The judges’ decision is final and may not be appealed.

 

Other cases will be reviewed by the SPSS Management Team but it is likely that only stallions that have achieved a high performance level and/or have exceptional bloodlines will be allowed to represent for assessment by the SPSS grading judges.

 

* note that pony is used to mean equines up to the SPSS grading height limit of 158cm

 

 

Youngstock Evaluation Questions

 

Is my youngster eligible for SPSS Youngstock Evaluation?

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Entries are open to youngsters bred to be competition ponies or small competition horses (not expected to mature above 158cm unless SPSS passported when there is no height limit) regardless of breed, passport or colour as follows:

(1) Fillies (foals to 3 year olds);

(2) Geldings (foals to 3 year olds)

(3) Colts (foals, yearlings and 2 year olds only).

Entries expected to mature on or below 148cm will be assessed as potential competition ponies.

Entries expected to mature above 148cm will be assess as potential small competition horses

 

Note that there is NO requirement for entrants to be SPSS passported or regsitered (overstamped), nor to be British-bred, nor for the sire to be graded, nor the entrant to have a pedigree passport.  However, the judges will have sight of pedigree information and this may be taken into account when judging.

 

How do I enter my youngster for an SPSS Youngstock Evaluation?

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Stage 1:  Entries are open to youngsters bred to be competition ponies or small competition horses (not expected to mature above 158cm unless SPSS passported when there is no height limit) regardless of breed, passport or colour as follows:

(1) Fillies (foals to 3 year olds);

(2) Geldings (foals to 3 year olds)

(3) Colts (foals, yearlings and 2 year olds only).

Entries expected to mature on or below 148cm will be assessed as potential competition ponies.

Entries expected to mature above 148cm will be assess as potential small competition horses

 

Stage 2:  Download the Youngstock Evaluation Schedule & Entry Form (if it has been released) - check this page for availability and a link.

 

Stage 3:  Decide which evaluation you wish to attend, complete and return the entry form.  Note that the closing date for entries may be later for entries scanned and sent by email with payment by bank transfer than those sent by post with a cheque.  Please make sure that a photocopy/scan of key pages of the pony/horse’s passport (or those pages in the dam’s passport and the covering certificate in the case of foals that do not have their own passport) are be enclosed with the entry form unless the pony/horse is already registered with the SPSS. The pages copied must include the pony/horse’s name, UELN, date of birth, pedigree & ID Diagram.

 

Note that you don't have to be a member of the SPSS nor does your pony have to have a SPSS passport or have been registered (overstamped) with the SPSS in order to take part.

 

If at any point you have any questions on any part of the process, please call or email the Studbook Office (details at top of page)

 

What happens at an SPSS Youngstock Evaluation?

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Each entrant will be individually inspected for conformation, in hand and loose movement including (optionally) loose jumping down a grid (normally 2 fences) for 2 and 3 year olds.  Note that entrants not loose jumping will not be disadvantaged.

 

Yearlings, Two and Three Year Olds

When the steward asks you to go into the arena, enter at walk and go over to the judges.  Stand your pony up in front of them – there may  be two parallel poles to indicate the spot.  It is generally advised to stand in front of your pony so that the judges get a clear view and it is best if the pony stands with the front leg nearest to the judge slightly forward and the back leg nearest to the judge slightly back.  When the judges move to look at the other side of your pony then push him/her back a step so that he/she stands nicely again. 

 

Once the judges have done the visual assessment, they will then direct you how to proceed.  This can be to walk directly away from them, then to turn and come straight back or it may be to walk around a marked out "triangle" (generally on the right rein so the handler is not between the judges and the pony).  Sometimes the judges will ask for both to be done.

After the walk has been shown, the judges will normally then ask for a trot around the triangle.  The key points are to go straight away from the judges and straight again on the way back; extend the trot when side on to the judges.  Note that being straight is more important than following the exact triangle – the poles or corner markers are for guidance only.

 

Photos on left, above and below by kind permission of Julia Shearwood Photography

 

Once you have completed a circuit in trot, then the next stage is to show the pony loose.  This enables the judges to see their loose movement and to finalise the marks for temperament. Note that if a foal is accompanied by it's dam then the dam will normally be led.  If you feel your foal would show off better with his/her dam loose then please ask the judges if this is okay.  Those presenting 2 & 3 year olds that want to show them loose down a pre-built jumping lane may do this immediately or if the arena is small, they may be asked to come back in later once a jumping lane has been built.  The fences do not have to be high for youngsters and can be built up over 3 or 4 attempts as the judges look at the technique and attitude at this point.

Foals

 

It is anticipated that foals will be seen loose first then, if they haven't shown enough trot the owner may be asked to trot the foal in hand behind the mare.  If sufficient canter hasn't been seen then then the owner may be asked to hold the foal at one end of the arena while the mare is taken to the other end then the foal is released and allowed to return to the mare.  Make sure that you only slip the rein through the headcollar (rather than clip it) and so can release it quickly if necessary.

 

All Youngstock

 

After you have caught your youngster, you will then walk around while the judges finalise and add up the marks.  They will then call you over, tell you the mark and, if your youngster has achieved an average mark of at least 7.0 (and less than 8.0), present a Premium rosette or if the average score is 8.0 or higher, a Gold Premium rosette. 

 

A copy of the mark sheet will be emailed out as soon as possible after the evaluation - but this is unlikely to be until after all the September evaluations have been completed.

If at any point you have any questions on any part of the process, please call or email the Studbook Office (details at top of page)

 

What is the expected 'turn-out' at an SPSS Youngstock Evaluation?

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Foals

Foals must be shown in a leather head collar and should be shown with a plaited mane if the mane is long enough. Foals will be shown in-hand in walk then loose. Weaned foals may attend without their dam. Orphaned foals may attend with an equine companion. Mares (& equine companions) should be shown in a suitable bridle.

 

Youngstock

Yearlings, 2 and 3 year olds will be judged one at a time, in-hand on the triangle then loose. They must be shown plaited (unless pure Mountain & Moorland in which case may be shown unplaited – although a running plait or looped long plaits are preferred). Snaffle bridles are allowed for all and compulsory for 2 year old colts and all 3 year olds.

 

Handler Turnout

It is essential that the handler gives the animal being shown the best possible chance of moving forward as freely as possible. The handler should therefore be someone able to move well enough to show off its movement to the best advantage. To enable this to happen, handlers should be dressed neatly but comfortably in such a way as to be able to show their animals at speed. White tops and trousers are preferred (but not compulsory) and running shoes are acceptable. Whips may be carried. Protective hats are highly recommended.

Stambrook Musicality and her foal KMD Rialto (by Rembrandt DDH) and handlers Jack Beard & Kirsty Millard are good examples of turnout

Photo by Julia Shearwood

An example of good turnout for the handler and ponies is shown on the right but at SPSS shows and gradings no-one will be disadvantaged by their outfit so please don't use us as an excuse to go shopping (unless you want to that is!)!

   

How do I prepare my youngster for Evaluation?

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Get your pony used to standing up correctly for the judge and walking and trotting in-hand (note that foals won't be asked to trot in hand) around a large 'triangle' of white poles as this will make the showing on the triangle part far less stressful.  There may also be plant pots for decoration or the triangle may just be marked with a plant pot at each corner.

Teach your youngster to turn by raising your outside hand towards its face when trotting on the triangle. This will make your turns tighter and tidier.

 

When showing on the triangle, note that the poles and/or plant pots are there for guidance only and it is most important to walk/trot (as directed) straight away from the judges and to take the trot forward when the judges have a side view.

 

Practise loose schooling your pony a few times so that it has the basic idea of what it's meant to be doing. In the past, ponies have charged at the judges and then wouldn't be caught again easily.

 

Also practise loose jumping if you plan to do that (it's optional for 2 & 3 year olds and ponies not doing it wont be disadvantaged). It is not fair to expect a youngster to know what to do with a jumping lane, first time, when the eyes of the world are upon it!

 

Make sure you can catch your youngster when loose schooling him/her - perhaps have a bucket handy or some treats in your pocket on the day.

Photo by Julia Shearwood

 

Where can I find the Youngstock Evaluation Entry Forms?

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The Youngstock Evaluation schedule entry forms (if available - they are normally released 2 months before the event) and other information about the dates and locations are available via links on this page.

 

 

Passport/Registration Questions

 

How do I change the owner's details in an SPSS passport?

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When a pony holding ANY type of SPSS passport changes ownership, the passport must by law be returned to the SPSS Studbook Office within 30 days of purchase to have the new owner's details recorded.  The SPSS Transfer of Ownership form signed by both last registered owner and new owner should be sent with the passport and a cheque for £25 made out to "SPSS".  If this is not possible, then the Transfer of Ownership form should be completed by the new owner and sent with the passport and fee AND a letter, receipt or bill of sale that is signed by the last registered owner and gives the new owners name and address  Click here for more info.

 

Note that the Head Office address to use is The Last House, Keysoe Row West, Keysoe, Bedfordshire MK44 2JJ (as at the top of this webpage) NOT our previous addresses (Sock Farm, Chilthorne Domer & New Barn Farm, Ludgershall) that may be printed in the passport - the Studbook Office moved on 1st April 2014 and previously in 2005.

Is my foal eligible for a SPSS passport?

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The SPSS will issue passports to the offspring of any SPSS graded pony regardless of expected adult height apart from pure-bred offspring eligible for the stud books of one of the indigenous Mountain and Moorland breeds of the UK.  The SPSS may also issue a passport to a foal conceived abroad or from imported semen, if the sire is currently graded with a recognised sports pony studbook abroad, regardless of whether the dam is SPSS graded or not - such applications will be dealt with on a case by case basis.

 

The SPSS will accept covering certificates from other studbooks or legitimate organisations for both SPSS graded stallions and other (non-SPSS graded) stallions. 

 

Please contact the Studbook Office if you are unsure about eligibility.

 

Are there any height restrictions?

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No adult stallion or mare over 158 cm will be eligible for SPSS grading but foals and youngstock with one SPSS graded parent and the other over height are eligible for a SPSS passport including registration and pedigree papers (regardless of expected adult height).

 

Can I use a prefix/suffix when naming my pony?

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The SPSS is a member of the Central Prefix Registry, and all breeders wishing to use a prefix or suffix when registering an animal with the SPSS must apply for approval and registration of that prefix before it can be recognised as their own (even if they have already registered the prefix with a different breed society or studbook). The SPSS will check with the Central Prefix Register on behalf of the breeder that this prefix is acceptable, but in order to avoid disappointment advises all breeders to consult the Central Prefix Register’s own web page http://www.centralprefixregister.com/  before finalising their choice.

 

The fee for Registering a new Prefix is £50 or £20 to extend an existing prefix.  Please contact the Studbook Office (details at top of page) for forms etc.

 

How do I get a passport for my foal?

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Download and complete a Membership Form and the Passport Application Form; ensure that your vet takes a DNA sample (a few hairs from mane or tail put into a small plastic bag with the vet’s address and signature and showing the foal’s name) and that he/she completes the ID diagram on page 4 of the Registration Form.  It is mandatory for all foals to be microchipped which should be done at the same veterinary visit and the information recorded on page 4.  A checklist has been provided below to assist with your application.

 

Items required for SPSS Passport Issue:

  1. The original Covering Certificate given to you by the stallion/semen owner. Please ensure that you have completed the declaration of birth at the bottom of the page. Covering certificates issued by other studbooks or legitimate organisations will be accepted by the SPSS but please note that the foal’s ID/Markings should be recorded on page 4 of this form rather than on the covering certificate.

  2. A completed and signed SPSS Passport Application Form (including the Identification Form on page 4 which has to be completed and signed by a Veterinary Surgeon).

  3. A DNA hair sample (taken by your vet) in a plastic bag showing your vet’s address, signature and the foal’s name.  A DNA sample is also required for the dam (unless one has already been supplied to the SPSS)

  4. Microchip barcode and number – PLEASE NOTE that we need one unused sticker for the foal’s passport.  Most providers give you several of these with the microchip.

  5. A completed SPSS Membership Form (unless already a member). This form is available to download here.

  6. If your foal has ONLY ONE SPSS GRADED PARENT we require the following  information from the UNGRADED dam or sire’s passport:

    • A photocopy of the first page of the passport giving his/her life number, details and passport issuer; 

    • A photocopy of his/her pedigree page; 

    • A photocopy of any grading information he/she has undergone with another society.

  7. The appropriate fee made payable to SPSS - see top of Passport Form for current fees.  Membership fees are given on the Membership Form.

 

A passport will then be issued by the Studbook Office.  Please note that if you wish to use a prefix/suffix then you need to register it with the Central Prefix Register via the SPSS Studbook Office (see here for more details) BEFORE your passport can be issued.

 

When does my foal need a passport?

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As at 23rd September 2009, the guidance on the DEFRA website includes the following question/answer:

 

"Q5. When do I need to apply for a passport? Foals have to have a passport and microchip by 31 December in the year in which they are born or 6 months after birth, whichever is the latest. Animals born before 1 July 2009 which, at that date, do not have a passport under the existing rules will have to have a passport and microchip by 31 December 2009.

 

After this latter date you should apply for a passport as soon as possible. Owners of horses that have not applied for a passport within the timescales outlined in paragraph one above are committing an offence under the Horse Passports Regulations 2009. You should apply for a passport as soon as possible.

 

Owners should note that if you apply for a passport after the timelines outlined in the first paragraph then Part 2 of Section IX will be completed by the issuing body before the passport is issued, irreversibly excluding the animal from the human food chain. "

 

We recommend that you always check the DEFRA website (here) for the latest guidance.

 

I have a pony with a Scottish Sports Horse passport - can the SPSS help?

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The SPSS is very pleased to announce that, in collaboration with Sport Horse Breeding (GB) (SHB(GB)), we are able (if required) to assist with any queries relating to ponies passported, graded or registered by Scottish Sport Horse (SSH).  This is because ponies do not fall under the remit of SHB(GB) who have taken over the business of SSH with effect from March 2016.

 

As such we will happily accept SSH graded ponies into the relevant section of our studbook and can deal with ownership/detail changes for any SSH passported ponies.

 

We are also very happy to issue passports for 2016 (or earlier) pony foals by SSH graded pony stallions or out of SSH graded pony mares.

 

Please contact our Studbook Office on  or 07703 566066 if you have a SSH pony and/or wish to discuss this situation further.

 

What are the legal responsibilities of owners in relation to equine passports?

 

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Overview

By law, all horses (including ponies and donkeys) must have a valid horse passport.  It must be returned to the Passport Issuer (ie the SPSS) within 30 days when the pony dies or if ownership changes.  It must also be replaced with a duplicate (from the same passport issuer as the original passport) asap if lost or stolen.  Any passport that has come unbound is also invalid and must be returned to the Passport Issuer so that a duplicate can be issued.

To apply for a passport you must be the owner of the horse. You can be fined an unlimited amount if you don’t have a valid horse passport.

A horse must not have more than one passport.

The horse’s rider or keeper must have the passport with them at all times when they’re with the horse, unless it’s in a stable, grazing in a field, or being moved by foot. Owners can take their horses for short rides without one.

You (or the horse’s main keeper) may have to show the passport to a Trading Standards inspector or an animal health officer.

Your horse’s passport is valid for its life. When the horse dies you must return the passport (within 30 days) to the Passport Issuing Organisation (PIO) that issued it to have it invalidated. You can request that they return it.

A foal must have a passport within 6 months of birth or before 31 December in the year of birth, whichever is the later.

 

Slaughter for human consumption and medication record 

By default all horses are intended for slaughter for human consumption except where irreversibly declared as not so intended in the relevant part of the passport. For passports issued before 2016 this is Part II of Section IX; for passports issued from Jan 2016 this is Part II of Section II. If your horse has not been “signed out” of the human food chain, your vet may not be able to prescribe some medications and any medication or injections your horse is given must be entered in Section II Part III by your vet. You must notify the relevant PIO within 14 days of your horse being “signed out” of the human food chain.

 

Selling or buying a horse

You must give the passport to the new owner if you sell (or transfer ownership) of your horse - if you don’t, you could be prosecuted.

You must notify the relevant PIO that you’re the new owner within 30 days if you buy (or otherwise take ownership of) a horse.

Contact your local Trading Standards office if someone tries to sell you a horse, pony or donkey without a passport.

 

Importing or exporting a horse, pony or donkey

Any horse, pony or donkey you import from a European Union (EU) country must have a valid passport issued by an authorised PIO in the EU. If the PIO is unauthorised or there’s no passport, you must get a passport from an authorised PIO in the UK within 30 days of importation. Contact the Defra Horse Passports office if you’re importing or exporting a horse, pony or donkey from outside the EU.

 

Contact details

For more information about horse passports, contact the Defra Helpline on 08459 33 55 77 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) or by email to defra.helpline@defra.gsi.gov.uk . You can also write to them at: Defra, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London SW1P 3JR

 

Click here to download the above information as a PDF file.

 

Sources: GOV.UK website (dated 27 November 2015), The Horse Passports Regulations 2009 & EU Regulation 2015/262

 

The Sports Pony Studbook Society

Studbook Office:   The Last House, Keysoe Row West, Keysoe, Bedfordshire MK44 2JJ

Tel: 07703 566066    Email: 

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Registered Office: The Stables, Higher Farm, Limington, Yeovil, Somerset BA22 8EG