Is your mare inspection ready?

  • 18 March 2021, 09:56

Horse Sport Ireland will be holding Irish Sport Horse, Irish Sport Pony and Irish Draught Horse studbook mare inspections throughout the country in March and April 2021. Here are some helpful tips on how to ensure you and your mare are ready for the inspections:

  • All mares are expected to be presented at show standard and must be sufficiently trained and fit to take part in all aspects of the selection (veterinary examination, conformation assessment, in-hand gait assessment, free gait assessment and jumping assessment).
  • Mares must be able to stand correctly and quietly for the inspectors to make their assessment, the animal should be trained to show correctly in-hand, in walk and trot. Mares should also be trained through loose schooling for a number of weeks prior to the inspection. They should also be comfortable the free jumping prior to the inspection.
  • The mare should be in good condition, be clean and well-groomed and have well maintained hooves. Preferably mares’ manes should be plaited, or at least be pulled and neat. Each mare must be presented in a correctly fitted bridle. If there is a foal present with the mare a suitable head collar (leather/canvas) and suitable  leadrope should be used.
  • Handlers are required to dress neatly. Comfortable footwear must be worn to present the animal correctly. In the case where an owner has more than one horse on the premises, sufficient handlers must be on site to cater for each animal. All handlers must be dressed appropriately.

Studbook Classification: Following inspection, each mare will be classified in the applicable studbook. The mare classifications will be published online on Horse Sport Ireland’s Irish Horse Register, which will allow the public to view the classification of all mares.

Breeders looking to upgrade to a particular bloodlines can determine from the  mare’s classification that a particular mare has met the inspection requirements and as such those mares will return increased value to their owners.

Linear Profiling: Horse Sport Ireland’s mare inspections provide owners and breeders the with a detailed linear profile description of their mares.  The linear profile is a detailed description on numerous traits of the animal’s conformation, movement, athleticism and for the Irish Draught breed, Type.

A linear profile is of significant benefit to breeders as it details the strengths and weaknesses of each mare and therefore allows for more informed decision making when choosing the most suitable stallion for a mare.

Merit / Star Rating: Select Irish Sport Horses mares may be eligible for performance Star Ratings between 1* and 5*, while Class 1 Irish Draught mares may be eligible for Gold, Silver or Bronze performance Merits. Where Merits and Star Ratings have been awarded, they will also be published on Irish Horse Register for the public to see.

The inspection system, recognises that mares may be in foal and mares are therefore not required to jump to meet the classification requirements.  There is an option for owners to have their mare’s jumping ability assessed on the day of inspection.

Irish Sport Horse mares can receive a 1* rating for their athleticism on the day if they choose to loose jump and Irish Draught horse mares can receive a Bronze Merit on the day of inspection if they choose to loose jump and achieve a score of 70 or higher for their athleticism. Irish Draught mares can also achieve a Bronze Merit for conformation and movement if they achieve an average score of 80 or higher.

If mare owners choose not to jump their mare on the day, they may still be eligible for Merits or Star Ratings. If an Irish Sport Horse Mare has a performance record or their progeny has a performance record in show jumping, eventing or dressage – Horse Sport Ireland can assess the performance records  to see if the mare meets a 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 star rating in any of these disciplines.

If an Irish Draught mare has a performance record or their progeny has a performance record in show jumping, eventing, dressage, showing, driving or endurance – Horse Sport Ireland can assess the performance records to verify if the mare meets Bronze, Silver or Gold merits in any of these disciplines.

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