Grading explained : British Hanoverian Horse Society

By: Horse Deals

Grading explained : British Hanoverian Horse Society
Grading explained : British Hanoverian Horse Society

Modern day British sport horse breeders are almost spoiled for choice as the number of internationally recognised UK studbooks continues to grow. Horse Deals highlights just a few of the best-known societies, with details on how to grade your stallion or mare.

BRITISH HANOVERIAN HORSE SOCIETY (BHHS)The BHHS is a full daughter society of the German Verband Hannoverscher Warmblutzüchter (Hanoverian Warmblood Breeders’ Association). Stallions and mares are graded and have their own performance tests.

Colt assessment is an additional service for British breeders, where yearlings or two-year-olds are assessed at the annual show for potential to make licensed stallions. It is also open to stallions aged four and over who require 70-day performance testing before licensing.

No X-rays or vettings are required and horses are presented on the triangle. The judges assess conformation, type and movement and discuss their findings with the owner/handler.

Stallion licensing Stallion licensing for two- and three-year-olds is held each year at the main UK show. Horses must be vetted and X-rayed beforehand and the results checked with the German studbook for acceptability. Successful stallions must pass their performance test in Germany within 12 months.

Performance test Stallions must pass a 70-day performance test by the age of four. They remain at a testing centre for 70 days while undergoing training by professional riders to ensure that the performance test is a fair comparison. The test is a "two-day event" examining dressage, show jumping and cross-country performance as well as paces.

Mare testing The mare performance test takes place on one day at the BHHS show or at a regional centre. It is open to mares aged three and over and comprises free jumping, a group ridden test and assessment by a test rider.

Successful mares are known as "Elite Mare Candidates" (EMC). To become "Elite Mares" (EM), they must receive a 1A prize at a society mare grading, pass the performance test with a total of seven or an average score of 7.5 in basic gaits, rideability or free jumping, be certified free from roaring and have had at least one foal.

Mares from other recognised warmblood societies can be presented as long as the BHHS studbook manager confirms that the pedigree is acceptable.