For breeding purposes mares undergo a selection process. As well as fulfilling pedigree requirements, mares have to pass an inspection in which their breed type, conformation, movement and correctness of gaits are assessed.
In Germany, this is known as the Studbook Inspection. In New Zealand, we call it the Mare Classification. Mare performance testing is available in New Zealand, but is not compulsory for the breeding approval of the mare, this will be covered in a separate fact box.
The mare Classification is carried out in New Zealand by our internationally approved Classifiers, and / or by a representative of the Hanoverian Verband. The Classification process is the same for all studbook administrated by NZHS, Main Hanoverian Studbook, Pre -Studbook Hanoverian and Rheinland Studbook. Eligibility criteria and passing scores differ in each studbook, please refer to the flow chart at bottom of this fact box or see Fact Box Part One – Eligibility.
The registration of a mare in any section of the mare Studbook can only take place if she fulfills certain criteria.
  • She must be three years old or older
  • She must have valid pedigree papers issued by the NZHS or other breed association that is recognized by the Hanoveraner Verband, or …
  • If she is a Thoroughbred mare, she must have at least four generations of pedigree recognized by the New Zealand Racing Conference.
  • She must pass her mare Classification.
  • If she has not been DNA tested prior to entry in the broodmare Studbook, this will have to be done before her first foal can be registered.
Preparation of the mare
· The mares should be turned out in good condition and with manes plaited
· Handlers should be fit enough to enable the mare to trot to her optimum to ensure the best scores
· Standing up the mare is also a very important aspect of the presentation. These both need to be practiced at home.
Before the Classification the mares should be trained in presentation and in handling in walk and trot. It is advantageous to lunge the mare regularly before the classification in order to have the mare fit and well muscled. You should ensure that the mare is in good condition (not too fat, not too skinny), has a shiny coat which indicates a good general condition, and also well groomed hooves.
Presentation of the mare
Classification always takes place on a triangular course.
The first step is the individual inspection. You place the mare at a distance of about 4 to 5 meters in front of the classifiers with near side facing the classifiers
The handler is to stand in front of the mare facing her – with a mare’s head lifted high to enable the classifiers to see the expression on the face and a clear view of the connection between the head and neck. This is among the many things that you can practice at home.
Here the so-called open position is obligatory. Now the classifiers give the individual marks for conformation.
Afterwards you are asked to walk away through the center of the triangle and back again directly towards the classifiers. This is for judging the correctness of the gaits.
Then you are asked trot one lap with the mare.
The judges stay at the same place, and due to the triangular form of the course they are able first to inspect the mare from behind, then its action from the side, and finally its correctness from the front. For that reason it is, necessary to follow exactly the triangular course. At the trot the mares should be given the chance to move as freely as possible.
When a number of mares have been judged at a trot they are assembled in a large circle and judged at a walk. The walk should also be shown as freely as possible. Afterwards the judge will announce the result of the inspection.
Which marks are given?
The scores cover the marks from 1 (the worst) to 10 (the best). The marks in the left column are the main scores and decisive for the studbook-entry. Only full numbers are given. The score sheet contains the following:-
A right column which contains the conformation scores out of ten for: Head, Neck, Saddle Position, Frame, Forelegs, Hindlegs
These scores average out to one mark out of ten.
This mark is carried over to the left column which has the remaining characteristics: Breed type and Sex type, Conformation, Correctness of Gaits, Swing and Elasticity of Gaits, Walk, General impression and development – each score is out of 10.
If you would like a copy of our Mare Classification Handbook please send us a message. Inquiries and questions welcome, contact us via:
More information can be found in Fact Box Part One – Eligibility, section two -Mares.
Fact Box 2 – Mare Classification Process as at 2018
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