Showing Guidelines


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Rules for IDHS (GB) Showing Classes
Show Qualifiers Form
BSHA Amateur Status Definition  IDHS (GB) £2000 Challenge

This information has been compiled by the Irish Draught Horse Society (GB) to provide advice and guidelines for Owners and Exhibitors on showing their horses.
1.  Registration/Eligibility
2.  SID Mares.
3.  Judges’ Interest
4.  Conduct.
5.  Complaints.
6.  Public Liability Insurance.
7.  Disclaimer of Liability.
8.  Exhibitor Ring Etiquette
9.  Dress and Turnout
10.  Welfare
11.  Inoculations
12.  Championships
13.  Format for Irish Draught Classes
a)   All horses (with the exception of foals up to 6 months of age) exhibited at Affiliated Shows must be identified with the Society and entered in classes using their registered name, age and details.
b)   Changes of a horse’s registered name are not allowed.
c)   The Society is affiliated to the Central Prefix Register and all prefixes must be registered through the Society.
d)   It is the responsibility of exhibitors to ensure that the information given on show entry forms is accurate and that horses compete in their correct classes.
e)  It is a requirement of the Society that owners of Pure Bred Irish Draught horses that are shown in the In Hand Breeding classes must be Members of the Society. By contrast, Irish Draught Sport Horses may be owned and shown by Non-Members.
f)   If a horse changes ownership after the closing date for entries, it must be transferred into the name of the new owner (who must become a Member of the Society if the horse is entered in the Pure Bred In Hand Breeding classes) before the date of the Show in order for the horse to be eligible to be shown.
g)  Horses must be four years old and over to enter Ridden Classes.  The age should be calculated from 1st January in the year of birth.
h)  Three-year-old Colts may not be shown.
        From 2012, SID mares must be shown in Irish Draught Sport Horse Breeding classes. For further details please refer to the Rules for IDHS (GB) Showing Classes 2012.
Exhibitors must not enter a class if they are aware that the Judge has an interest in his/her exhibit.  For the purposes of this rule, a Judge has an interest in an exhibit if their immediate family or employer has bred, owned, leased, sold, trained, produced, kept at livery or ridden in competition on the horse, or has had or has, a financial interest or gain from it. Stud fees are exempt from financial gain.

If an owner or exhibitor acts in an inappropriate or un-sportsmanlike manner at an Affiliated Show, such person may be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the Society’s Articles of Association.
a)   Complaints regarding the conduct and /or performance of any person officiating or acting in any capacity on behalf of the Society at any event or show, must be made in writing to the Society’s Complaints Officer in accordance with the Society’s Complaints Procedure, details of which can be found on the Society’s web site or a copy of which can be obtained from the Society’s Office. Each complaint will be dealt with in accordance with the Society’s Complaints Procedure.
b) Any other objection or complaint relating to Shows should be made in accordance with the procedure set out in that Show’s Rules.
All exhibitors and riders/handlers are strongly advised to carry their own accident and third party liability insurance cover.
The Society, its officials and judges, accept no liability in respect of any horse or its owner, exhibitor, or any other person responsible for it, howsoever arising at a show or other event organized by the Society.
a)  Exhibitors should arrive in the collecting ring in good time for their class.
b)  Exhibitors should listen to instructions provided by the Ring Steward or Judge and watch other exhibitors in front of them.  When asked to walk/trot a horse out in hand, they should ensure that the horse travels alongside them, not behind. When turning, the horse should always be turned away from and not towards the exhibitor.
c)  Exhibitors should at all times be polite to Stewards and Judges, but must never speak to the Judge using his/her name.
d)  At no time should the exhibitor try to influence the Steward or Judge by offering information about their exhibit.
e)  In Ridden Classes, exhibitors are not usually allowed to enter the ring after the horses have commenced trotting as a class, unless they have the Judge’s permission, which will only be given in exceptional circumstances.
f)   Once a Judge has commenced judging a class, a horse should not leave the ring without the permission of the Judge.
g)  In In-Hand Classes, the handler who enters the ring with the horse should remain throughout the class. Exhibitors are not usually allowed to enter the ring after the horses have commenced trotting up unless they have the Judge’s permission.
h)  Only in exceptional circumstances, and with the permission of the Judge, may a person other than the handler/rider who entered the ring with the horse be permitted to trot the horse up.
i)    In Ridden Classes, exhibitors must have due regard to the size of ring and number of entries forward.  They must ensure that health and safety is observed at all times, and maintain a sensible distance between horses.
j)    In Ridden Classes, Judges will view unfavourably: -
i)   exhibitors who purposefully place their horse between the Judge and another exhibitor at any pace, so as to obscure the Judge’s view of that horse.
ii)  exhibitors who continually circle in front of the Judge to keep their horse in the Judge’s eye.
k)  In Ridden Classes, there shall be no change of rider or tack, unless a horse is ridden sidesaddle.  In this case, the saddle may be changed in order to allow the Judge to ride.
l)    Only in a Championship, when a competitor finds he/she has more than one eligible exhibit, is it permitted to have a change of rider or leader.
m) Exhibitors must ensure that all grooms wait until the whole class has been lined up before entering the ring. Health and safety is of paramount importance and the minimum amount of equipment should be taken into the ring.

n)  Riders should make themselves aware of the Show’s rules regarding the type of headwear that must be worn. A rider whose hat comes off or strap comes undone whilst competing must replace it or fasten it before continuing, failing which they may be liable to disqualification.
o)  Exhibitors should at all times have regard for others, particularly if they have a badly behaved animal.  If the animal becomes so unruly that the Judge asks for it to be removed, the
exhibitor must accept the decision with good grace.
a)  Anyone riding a horse at an affiliated Show, whether competing or otherwise, must wear a hard hat.  It is strongly recommended that people should wear a hat that is currently to the BSI or European Standard.
b)  Any rugs, clothing or items of tack that reveal the identity of the horse or owner should not be worn in the ring.
c)  It is the responsibility of exhibitors to ensure that grooms entering the Show Ring for the conformation judging of a Ridden Class are smartly and correctly dressed.
d)  Exhibitors must not display any rosette or award won in another ring, whilst competing in a class or Championship held in a different ring.
e) Exhibitors must not display any rosette or award won in a previous class whilst competing in the same ring, unless that class is a Championship.
Exhibitors:  Breeding and In-Hand Classes
a)  Gentlemen should wear a suit or jacket and trousers, collar and tie and a suitable hat. b)  Ladies should wear a suit, or jacket and skirt or trousers, and a suitable hat.
c)   It is strongly recommended for safety reasons that all handlers wear protective head wear.
Exhibitors:  Ridden Classes
a)   Bowler hat, hunting cap or skull cap.  A skull cap and safety harness, with a black or navy cover that is approved to the current BSI or European Standard must be worn by all competitors in the jumping phase of any class.
b)  Tweed jacket for gentlemen and ladies. c)  Plain shirt.
d)  Collar and a tie, which must be pinned down.
e)   Plain fawn or buff-coloured breeches, not white.
f)   Plain black or brown boots.
g)   Spurs must be of smooth metal, no longer than 3.5 cm. and without rowels. The shank if curved must be directed downwards and the ends blunt.
h)   Any form of leather or string gloves.
i)   Plain malacca or leather cane not exceeding 30" (75 cms). j)   No earrings or visible jewellery allowed.
Horses:  Breeding and In-Hand Classes
a)  Manes should be plaited. b)  Tails pulled or plaited.
c)   Foals manes should be natural and tails may be natural or plaited.
d)   Heels are normally left natural for pure-breds, but trimmed for sport horses.
e)  Bridles or head collars to be plain leather.
f)   Yearling colts and all two and three-year-olds must have bits.
Horses:  Ridden Classes

a)  Manes should be plaited or may be hogged. b)  Tails pulled or plaited.
c)  Heels normally left natural for pure-breds, or may be trimmed.
d)   Bridles to be plain leather.
e)   To show your horse at its best, saddles should be reasonably straight cut.
f)   Ordinary shoes or barefoot.
g)   Martingales and front boots, of a plain colour may only be used in the jumping phase of Irish Draught Performance Horse classes and Working Hunter classes.
h)  Girths, and numnahs if worn, should be plain white, black or brown.
i)   Competitors are encouraged to show 4-year-olds in a snaffle.  Snaffle bridles are permitted (without incurring penalty) in all classes.
j)   Cosmetics of any kind are discouraged.
k)   The showing of overweight horses is discouraged, and Judges will take this into consideration when making their awards.

If, in the opinion of the Judge, a horse is lame or otherwise abnormal, he/she may give the exhibitor
at the earliest opportunity the option of withdrawing the horse from the class, or being placed at the bottom of the line.  If this option is not accepted a Veterinary Surgeon may be called but, if not immediately available, then the Judge’s decision is final.  If the Judge feels that the horse’s welfare is being compromised the Judge has a right to ask the exhibitor to leave the ring and may, if deemed appropriate, refer the matter to the Council of the IDHS (GB).
Show schedules should be checked to see if a current vaccination certificate is required.
Where an Irish Draught is eligible to go forward to a Supreme Championship involving other
Breeds, every effort should be made to attend.  This should be considered an honour and an opportunity to promote and bring the Irish Draught breed to the attention of spectators and other exhibitors.
a) The In-Hand Classes
In-Hand Irish Draught horses enter the ring at the walk on the right rein. The Judge will see the
horses walk around and will then instruct the Steward to stop the horses in one corner before a long side of the ring, and ask the exhibitors to trot their horses round individually.  The Steward will then ask the class to resume walking whilst the Judge selects his/her initial line up. Each horse will in turn stand up in front of the Judge, who will look all round the horse and then ask each exhibitor to walk the horse away and trot back towards him. On completion of this stage the Steward may ask the class to circle at the walk so that the Judge can make the final selection and ask the Steward to line them up in that order. The Judge (s) may in some circumstances
vary this procedure.
b) The Ridden Classes
Ridden Irish Draught horses enter the ring at walk on the right rein and walk, trot, canter and
gallop as signaled by the Steward on instruction from the Judge.  The Judge may then request a change of rein and ask to see all paces again.  The Steward will then ask the exhibitors to walk in a circle whilst the Judge makes his/her initial selection. The Ride Judge will then ride each horse in turn. On completion of the rides, the horses are stripped and shown in front of the
Conformation Judge for conformation assessment as for In-Hand Classes. When all horses have been ridden and assessed for conformation, they will be remounted and the Steward will ask the exhibitors to walk in a smaller circle whilst the Judge or Judges call them into their final order. The Judge (s) may in some circumstances vary this procedure.
c) The Performance Classes
Horses enter the ring individually and give a short ridden display of walk, trot and canter of
approximately one minute, to be awarded marks out of a possible 30 points. The competitors then proceed directly into the jumping phase. If there is only one class, the 4 - 6 year olds will jump first, the fences will then be raised for the 7 year olds & over.  Each jumping effort is marked out of 10 and 20 points are available for the overall impression of the round.  All horses, unless eliminated, are required to come back without saddles for conformation assessment, to be awarded marks out of a possible 50 points.
d)  Working Hunter Classes
Rules as per SHB (GB).

Rules for IDHS (GB) Showing Classes
Show Qualifiers Form

Last Updated Monday 09 December 2019 


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