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Society licensing / grading criteria explained

Please select a society / association
The British Hanoverian Horse Society
The Coloured Horse And Pony Society (CHAPS UK)
The Connemara Pony Breeders Society
The Dales Society
The Fell Pony Society
The Hackney Society
The Percheron Society

The Coloured Horse And Pony Society

CHAPS UK hold two gradings every year, in March and in October. Stallions that are successful in their grading achieve stud book status, can provide covering certificates for progeny and are recognised as good examples of their type for breeding purposes.

The Grading is divided into 3, 4 or 5 stages, depending on your exhibit type/category, as follows:

Stage One – The Vetting (to include temperament assessment).
Exhibit will be initially assessed by the Veterinary Surgeon presiding on the day. All animals will be assessed for soundness and lack of congenital disease. Animals will be lunged on both reins in trot and canter to establish that their lungs and heart are functioning properly. The animal will also undergo tests to verify its soundness. This is an external examination only. Any problems which arise during th vetting which require referral to a specialist will be sought at a Centre of Excellence agreed by CHAPS
Veterinary Surgeon and the owner. All fees are to be met by the owner.
DNA profiling is the modern way of identification, enabling a permanent record to be kept of an unalterable characteristic of the horse or pony. A DNA profile is extracted from a non-invasive sample of the animal (e.g. Mane or tail hair), which will be done on completion of a 'passed' veterinary inspection.
Temperament will be assessed throughout the vetting. Any animal showing unreasonable behaviour may be asked to retire and the vetting will be discontinued. Animals which fail the veterinary inspection (or do not complete the procedure) will proceed no further with the Grading on this occasion. The object of the examination is to exclude stallion or mares from passing on undesirable traits. Allowances may be made for any obvious or provable injury (a copy of any relevant veterinary report must be submitted).

Stage Two – Conformation and Movement Assessment In-hand (by the Graders).
The next stage of the day, for all those passing the Vet, is to be assessed by the panel of Graders. This will consist of (usually 5) well-respected and knowledgeable people who have a wealth of equestrian experience behind them. The animals will undergo a Conformation, Movement and Type/Category assessment. The Graders are permitted to be 'hands-on' with any exhibit as they see fit. At the Graders’ request, a Traditional, Vanner or Native type exhibit may be requested to have its tail plaited during Stage Two to allow a better view of the hind limbs during assessment.

Stage Three – Loose Assessment,
Includes jumping assessment where applicable. All animals are free schooled in the arena. This is to assess their natural paces and presence. Sporthorses, Dual Purpose and Sport Ponies will then be required to loose jump down the jumping lane.

Stage Four – Ridden Assessment, for stallion 4 years old or over.
Ridden assessments apply to stallions only. These are voluntary and are intended primarily for those exhibitors who wish to compete under saddle at CHAPS events and in CHAPS affiliated show classes. In order to complete a ridden assessment a stallion must first have participated in the full grading process (either on the day of the ridden assessment or at a previous grading).

Stage Five – BSJA Jumping Assessment (ridden, optional for BSJA stallions only).
From 01.01.2005, animals wishing to include a BSJA Assessment will have to perform a ridden jumping display (if 5 years old or over) to comply with current (as designated at the time of grading) BSJA guidelines. Details from BSJA

The Coloured Horse and Pony Society -

See your societies grading information here.

If you would like your societies grading information featured here, please send the information to and we will be happy to include it.
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