Grading explained : Scottish Sports Horse

By: Horse Deals

Grading explained : Scottish Sports Horse
Grading explained : Scottish Sports Horse

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.

SCOTTISH SPORTS HORSE (SSH)The SSH, which was formed by a group of influential Scottish breeders, is an open studbook that accepts any sport horse/pony mare or gelding, regardless of parentage or pedigree.

Once they have passed an inspection at an SSH mare grading, mares and geldings are entered into the studbook from the year they reach the age of three. The society maintains a Head studbook, an Auxiliary mare book, a Foundation foal section and a basic register.

Stallion grading Stallion grading open to all sport horse and pony colts and stallions in the year they become three or older is held each spring. They are assessed for conformation, movement, health and soundness and jumping ability. They must pass a full two-stage vetting at the grading before the loose schooling phase and X-rays must be submitted to Rossdales & Partners, Newmarket, for assessment before the grading.

The grading levels at which a stallion can commence his breeding career are:

L1: an overall average score of 70% or over at the initial grading. Stallions presented at three must be return later under saddle or provide official performance results. They become Approved after competing successfully in dressage (65% at medium), show jumping (1.30m double clear), eventing (intermediate) or endurance (75-mile gold series) and producing at least 12 foals achieving grading marks of no less than 68 — seven of which must be 1st premium — during their first four seasons at stud and passing a fertility test.

L2: stallions with an average of 70% or over at initial grading but without a complete and verified three-generation pedigree.

Elite: L2 stallions that do not fulfill the Approved pedigree requirements but have shown exceptional performance results and produced a high standard of progeny.