SHOWING GUIDELINES FOR IDHS (GB)
SHOWING GUIDELINES FOR OWNERS AND EXHIBITORS
Download the Guidelines here
Rules for IDHS (GB) Showing Classes
Show Qualifiers Form
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.
2. SID Mares.
3. Judges’ Interest
6. Public Liability Insurance.
7. Disclaimer of Liability.
8. Exhibitor Ring Etiquette
9. Dress and Turnout
13. Format for Irish Draught Classes
INFORMATION FOR OWNERS AND EXHIBITORS
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
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
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.
2. SID MARES
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.
3. JUDGES’ INTEREST
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
b) Any other objection or complaint relating to Shows should be made in
accordance with the procedure set out in that Show’s Rules.
6. PUBLIC LIABILITY INSURANCE
All exhibitors and riders/handlers are strongly advised to carry their own
accident and third party liability insurance cover.
7. DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITY
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.
8. EXHIBITOR RING ETIQUETTE
a) Exhibitors should arrive in the collecting ring in good time for their
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
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.
9. DRESS AND TURNOUT General
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
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
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
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
Where an Irish Draught is eligible to go forward to a Supreme Championship
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.
13. FORMAT FOR IRISH DRAUGHT CLASSES
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