Grading explained : Sports Pony Studbook Society

By: Horse Deals

Grading explained : Sports Pony Studbook Society
Grading explained : Sports Pony Studbook 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.


Until the SPSS was formed, Britain had no organisation to grade and register small warmblood horses and ponies. There is now a high demand here and in Europe, where most pony breeding programmes are based on imported UK stock.

A grading is held each October over two days, with mares on day one and stallions on day two. Competition results are also taken into account. Successful stallions and mares must be DNA tested before their progeny can be issued with papers. Stallion owners must also provide a veterinary certificate of freedom from hereditary disease.

Grading procedure

Grading is open to animals standing no more than 158cm. They are inspected individually for conformation, in-hand and loose movement and loose jump at the owner’s discretion. Ponies can also be shown under saddle. Young ponies are not disadvantaged by having no competition or progeny record.