Wednesday, November 29, 2023
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Thoroughbred and Arabian Mare Requirements

Thoroughbred and Arabian Mare Requirements

Arizona Ali xx (Best Minister xx-Kamali xx/Wild Surf xx) tied for second-place high score mare with an 8.0 on her inspection during the 2019 tour. Owner: Jessica McMillen Breeder: Dinesh Maniar 

Thoroughbred, Arab and Anglo-Arab mares are eligible for inspection and placement in the Studbook, with the potential to move into the Main Studbook through successful completion of the Mare Performance Test (MPT).

Many of the top competition horses in Dressage, Combined Training, and the Hunter-Jumper ring today are the offspring of a Hanoverian-Thoroughbred or -Arabian cross. Athletic ability and strength combined with superior rideability results in a top horse for any discipline. The 1995 Grand Champion of the International Hunter Futurity, Gold Order, was a Hanoverian-Thoroughbred cross, as were the top scoring mares on the 1994 and 1996 AHS Inspection Tour. (These mares were out of approved Thoroughbreds.) Your Thoroughbred, Arab or Anglo-Arab mare may produce the next sport horse champion!

On the most recent tours, the inspectors remarked that the quality of the non-Hanoverian mares, particularly the Thoroughbreds was very good. The owners are now very aware of the exacting requirements for mares and why sufficient movement (impulsion and elasticity) is so important.

Why should I take my mare to a Hanoverian inspection?

Today’s Hanoverian horse is the result of a strict breeding program that dates back to the 1700’s! The American Hanoverian Society, an affiliate of the German Hanoverian Verband, requires both parents be approved for breeding to produce a foal eligible for registration. This selection process helps to ensure the production of a superior performance horse.

How do I know if my mare is eligible?

All Jockey Club-registered Thoroughbred mares, registered Arabian mares, and registered Anglo-Arab mares are eligible for breeding approval at an AHS inspection. The original Jockey Club or Arabian papers must be available at the inspection site for your mare to be inspected.

How is my mare judged?

The inspection is an evaluation of your mare’s conformation, gaits and movement. Your mare will be judged in hand, both standing still, and at the walk and trot on the triangle. A Thoroughbred, Arab or Anglo-Arab mare must score a 7 or higher for impulsion/elasticity as well as a 7.0 or higher overall (final score) with no subgroup below 5 to be accepted. A mare that is accepted will be entered into the Studbook.

Inspection Evaluation Scores

NeckTypiness, Femininity
Saddle PositionCorectness of Gaits
FrameImpulsion, Elasticity
HindlegOverall Impression, Development
Conformation Subtotal_______
(Divide Conformation Subtotal by 6
and enter the resulting number as the conformation score. If any category score is 4 or less, the subtotal becomes that score.)
Total Score________
Final Score________

Only whole numbers are used in scoring – no fractions are allowed. Marks are given on a scale of 1 to 10:

  • 10 - Excellent
  • 9 - Very Good
  • 8 - Good
  • 7 - Fairly Good
  • 6 - Satisfactory
  • 5 - Sufficient
  • 4 - Insufficient
  • 3 - Fairly Bad
  • 2 - Bad
  • 1 - Very Bad

When is the AHS inspection tour?

The AHS organizes a national tour each year in late July and early August which visits approximately 30 sites throughout the United States. To compensate for climate conditions and for members who are unable to attend the July and August inspections, a smaller fall tour has been added in recent years comprising of approximately seven sites. Information on specific sites is available in March. Inspection booklets with entry forms are mailed to all members in May and may be obtained by calling the AHS office. All mares must be pre-entered to attend an inspection.

What information is available to help prepare for an inspection?

The AHS Annual Breeders' Guide and Stallion Directory includes the article, "Presenting a Mare" and is an excellent source of information. A video tape, "Preparation, Presentation, and Judge’s Perception" is available for purchase through the AHS office. It is also helpful to attend an inspection to get a good idea of what to expect. Many sites offer the services of professional handlers to present participating mares.

What fees are involved in presenting my mare?

You must be a current active member of the AHS. Check the current Fee Schedule for more information on the cost of your mare's inspection. A Fee Schedule may be found on this site, in the Annual Breeders' Guide and Stallion Directory and also in the inspection booklet. All fees are due in advance.

Can I present my mare with a foal by her side?

Yes. Mares need to be presented no later than the year of birth of the foal. If this foal is by an AHS Elite Stallion and all paperwork is in order, your foal can be hip branded at the inspection if your mare passes. However, there are many benefits to presenting a mare in the year before she foals. Transporting a foal can be stressful (to horses and humans)! Many mares will show better without a foal by their side.

Can I breed my mare to any AHS stallion?

It is very important to remember that Thoroughbred, Arabian and Anglo-Arab mares must be bred to an AHS Elite Stallion with the Hanoverian foal brand or an AHS Elite Stallion whose pedigree contains at least 50% Hanoverian blood. Please call the AHS office to check the eligibility of the stallion you have chosen.

What is the Mare Performance Test?

This is an optional test evaluating a mare’s rideability, gaits and jumping talent, with each area weighted one-third in the final score. During the under-saddle portion of the test, a mare’s gaits are rated in addition to her temperament and character. Mares must be able to show a lengthened stride in each gait and such simple dressage movements as a three loop serpentine and free walk on a loose rein. The jumping portion of the test is conducted in a jumping chute without a rider rather than over a jump course with a rider. The mare’s technique and scope are scored. For upgrading to the AHS Main Studbook, a registered Thoroughbred, Arabian or Anglo-Arabian mare entered into the AHS Studbook with an overall score of seven (7) with no subscore below five (5), including a subscore of seven (7) for impulsion and elasticity (the trot), must meet the AHS Mare Performance Test criteria as prescribed for Elite Mares. This means completing the MPT with an overall score of 7.0 or better (at least 21 points) or with an 8 and two 6s (20 points) or through provision of scores in competition Because the Hanoverian breeding goal is to produce a superior riding horse, owners are encouraged to performance test their mares. A mare may take the performance test in the same year as her breeding approval inspection or she may take it during a later year.

For more details about Thoroughbreds entered into the Studbook and upgraded to the Main Studbook, visit the Procedure for Pedigree Upgrades page.

What happens if my mare is not accepted?

It is very important to remember that if your mare is not accepted, you still have a nice mare! It may be that your mare did not show her true gaits due to tension, nervousness, etc. A foal out of an unaccepted mare by an AHS Elite Stallion (with the Hanoverian foal brand or an AHS Elite Stallion whose pedigree contains at least 50% Hanoverian blood) is eligible for a Certificate of Pedigree from the AHS. Certificate of Pedigree horses are eligible for all of the AHS Performance Awards programs and may compete in Breed Shows in classes sponsored by the AHS. These horses are not eligible for a brand nor are they eligible to come in for studbook inspection.