Wednesday, October 4, 2023
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Licensing a Stallion

Stallion licensing is an involved and costly endeavor so it's important to make sure all the steps are followed and the rules adhered to. There are several options for stallions to work through the process and the timing for each individual stallion should be thought through based on his physical and mental development.

Stallion owners enjoy complete reciprocity between the AHS and the Hannoveraner Verband. Registered Hanoverian stallions approved for breeding by the AHS or HV may be included in the Stallion Book upon application and payment of fees and proof of approval. Eligible foals sired by HV-approved Hanoverian stallions standing outside of North America may be registered with the American Hanoverian Society. It is the mare owners responsibility to ensure that the chosen stallion is approved by either the AHS or the Hannoveraner Verband. Active stallions are listed on both the HV website ( and the AHS website ( annually.

It is also important for stallion owners to review the AHS Breeding Rules to understand the requirements for approval.

Pedigree Approval

One of several requirements for AHS breeding approval is that a stallion’s sire and the sires of the five female ancestors in the direct dam’s line of the stallion must belong to the AHS’s own breeding population or to a recognized breeding population approved by the AHS (six generations altogether). The dam must be entered in the AHS or HV Main Studbook or belong to a recognized breeding population. Her dam (the second dam) must also be in the Main Studbook or belong to a recognized breeding population, or if she is a Thoroughbred, Arabian or Anglo-Arabian mare that is not in the Main Studbook she must have scored an overall seven (7.0) and be in the AHS Studbook. The third dam (the great-granddam) on the dam’s side must at least be in the AHS Studbook or belong to a recognized breeding population. Under certain circumstances the rules placed into effect in 2008 will permit an AHS-registered Main Studbook F1 Hanoverian mare (i.e. a mare with a Hanoverian sire and Thoroughbred dam) to be a stallion mother. The conditions are that the F1 mare herself must have scored at least an overall seven (7.0) or better on inspection, and her Main Studbook or Studbook Thoroughbred dam must have accomplished the same qualifying overall score in addition to the necessary subscore of 7 or better for impulsion and elasticity (the trot). Additionally, as of 2008, AHS Main Studbook Thoroughbred, Arabian and Anglo-Arabian mares are now eligible to produce stallion candidates as they are in Germany. It is recommended that the dam have taken the Mare Performance Test.

Stallion Inspection

In the United States, at a minimum of three years of age, Hanoverian stallions are evaluated in free jumping (jumping pedigree only), conformation, gaits, presence, and masculinity. The inspection commission consists of representatives of the Verband and members of the AHS Mare and Stallion Committee. To pass the inspection, a Hanoverian-registered stallion must receive an overall score of seven (7.0) with no subscore lower than five (5).

Three- or four-year-old stallions that pass inspection are considered “provisionally licensed” and are limited to the registration of a maximum of 20 AHS foals per year. It is important to note that non-Hanoverian stallions (with the exception of Thoroughbreds) presented to the HV in Germany and to the AHS in this country must score 7.5 with no subscore lower than five (5) on their stallion licensing to gain Hanoverian approval. For the specific score requirements for Thoroughbred stallions, refer to the AHS Corporate Bylaws and Rules of Registration.

Performance Test

Stallions licensed at 3, 4 and 5 years old must complete a Stallion Performance Test at an AHS-approved test facility, where stallions are evaluated in dressage and jumping. Guest riders also evaluate the stallions. Until the Stallion Performance Test is completed, the temporary breeding approval is limited to two years during which the number of registered foals a stallion may produce is restricted to 20.

Forms Required

The stallion owner is required to provide the AHS office on or before November 30 of each year, a Stallion Service Report, which can be obtained from the AHS. The stallion owner must list all the mares serviced by the stallion during the previous year. Failure to submit this report may lead to inactivation of the stallion.


Owners of licensed-stallions must activate their stallion by submitting this online activation form. Activation and the owner’s annual membership fees must be paid to retain the stallion’s studbook status and to register his foals. Payment of dues also entitles the stallion to be included in the society’s annually published Stallion Directory. Our current Fee Schedule may be found on this web site.

German Licensing and Approval

In Germany at two years of age, stallion candidates are presented to a commission of the Verband, and undergo a rigorous selection process. The stallions that pass this initial inspection are then presented at the main stallion licensing when they are two-and-a-half years old. This evaluation includes a veterinary exam, free jumping evaluation and assessment of gaits. The stallions in Germany become licensed in three fundamentally different ways:

  • Successful completion of the Stallion Performance Test
  • The successful completion of a Stallion Performance Test and qualification for the Bundeschampionate as a five- or six-year-old in dressage or show jumping
  • Performance successes in dressage and jumper classes at the S-Level or in three-day events at the M-Level
  • Stallions selected for the German State Stud undergo an 11-month test at Adelheidsdorf.

Test Alternatives

Stallions may be approved through their successful performance in sport, namely dressage, jumping, eventing, show hunters, or racing as set forth below:

  1. In dressage, a stallion must place in the top three (3), five (5) times by three (3) different judges at FEI Prix St. Georges, or above, with minimum scores of 63% at USEF, FEI, or Equine Canada recognized shows, or
  2. In jumping, a stallion must place in the top three (3), five (5) times at 1.4m, or above, at USEF “A” rated shows or Equine Canada class “1” shows, or
  3. In eventing, a stallion must place in the top three (3), five (5) times at CCI*3 Long or Short, or above, at FEI licensed competitions, or
  4. In show hunters, a stallion must either:
    • place in the top three (3), five (5) times in a USHJA International Hunter Derby competition offering prize money of $20,000 or more; or
    • finish as champion three (3) times in a rated hunter division having six (6) or more entries, including at least three over fences classes, and jumping 3’9” or above, in either case at USEF “A” rated shows or Equine Canada class “1” shows,
  5. In racing, for Thoroughbred stallions only, a race record of the stallion may be accepted in lieu of another performance alternative if deemed of sufficient quality by the AHS and the HV.

Maintaining Approved Status

Once the performance test is passed, a stallion’s eligibility to produce AHS-registrable foals is verified yearly based on an assessment of his foals and the payment of annual activation and membership fees. The AHS office must receive a correctly completed annual Stallion Service Report by the specified deadline. Foals sired by stallions whose owners fail to comply with these requirements are assessed an Inactive Sire fee.