Breeding Approval & Grading for Stallions & Mares In PFH, SSSH, SNH, & AAH Studbooks


PFH, SSSH, SNH, AAH STALLIONS Breeding Approval STAGE 1 Reproductive Exam by Vet 2019/2020


Publication of National Grading Photos & Results 2019/2020




ORV BANDIT  – Gold Award Breeding Approval.
3 years old, 1.58m, Grey (dark Bay) Stallion – pictured with his breeder, Jennifer Thomson and her partner Kyle.
First ‘PRE Fusion Horse’ Stallion to be Approved For Breeding under the new DEFRA certified PRE Fusion Horse (PFH) Breeding Programme.

ORV BANDIT  – flying down the jumping lane



2020 SEPTEMBER 9th sees the second annual Grading Event for the PRE Fusion Horse (PFH), Spanish Spotted Saddle Horse (SSSH), Albion Azteca Horse (AAH), and Spanish-Norman Horse (SNH) which are all registered in their respective BAPSH Ltd Studbooks.

Breeding Approval evaluation for Stallions registered in the above Studbooks consist of Two Stages, Stage 1 – the Veterinary Reproductive Examination, & Stage 2 – Grading at the central venue + DNA Typing + certified freedom from the relevant genetic diseases.
Breeding Approval evaluation for Mare s registered in the above Studbooks consists of Stage 2 – Grading at the central venue + DNA Typing + certified freedom from the relevant genetic diseases.

Stage 1The Veterinary Reproductive Examination for Stallions. This examines the horse for the presence/absence of undesirable inheritable traits and this must be completed before 30th June 2020 in order to enter Stage 2.
The Owner requests the PFH, SSSH, SNH, AAH Breeding Approval Reproductive Examination Form from the BAPSH Registry Office and books a visit from an experienced Equine Vet from their own Vet Practice. The Fee for the Examination is paid direct to the Vet Practice and equates to the cost of a standard 2-Stage Vetting with an average cost of £125.00 + VAT.
A 30 to 40 strand Hair Sample is pulled from the horse’s mane by the Vet at the end of the Examination and placed in the DNA Sample Envelope (stamped & signed by the Vet) to be sent to BAPSH Ltd with the completed Reproductive Examination Certificate, the £26.50 fee for DNA Typing if the horse does not yet have a DNA-Type recorded with BAPSH, and the PRE Fusion Breeds Stage 2 Grading Application form and the £85.00 fee for Stage 2.

Stage 2Grading. This consists of Measurements, Conformation & Type, Movement in-hand and loose, and loose Jumping   
The 2020 Grading Event venue is the Unicorn Trust Equestrian Centre, Stow-on-the-Wold, Warwickshire, GL54 1JZ, which has a large Indoor arena, 2 outdoor arenas, refreshments, some onsite accommodation for humans plus plenty of local B&Bs and hotels.
The Grading Evaluation is done by the Directors of the BAPSH Studbook who each have over 30 years experience in breeding and assessing PRE breeds and blends. The Grading takes at least 30 minutes to assess each horse, so only 2 horses or less per hour.  The Overall Grading result is scored out of 10

Horses must score a minimum score of 5/10 for all parts of the assessment to be Approved for Breeding.
Horses with an average score of 5/10 or 6/10 across the assessment are recognised with the Bronze Award.

Horses with an average score of 7/10 across the assessment are recognised with the Silver Award.
Horses with an average score of 8/10 or above across the assessment are recognised with the Gold Award.

All the data for each horse  is recorded on the BAPSH Studbook. The information gathered is used to monitor the development of each breed and to assist breeders to make informed choices when planning their studfarm breeding programmes.

Late applications for the Stage 2 Grading Event are considered individually and are charged at a higher fee if accepted.
Applications received 1st – 31st July = £120.00, those received 1st to 10th August = £220.00.

Requirements To Meet For Acceptance to Attend the GRADING

1.Horses must have reached their 3rd Birthday or be older, so all horses born on/before 09/09/2017 or earlier are eligible.

2.The horse must be registered with BAPSH Ltd & owned by the person recorded in the BAPSH National Studbook and in the Passport for the horse.

3a. The horse must have a DNA Type/profile completed and received at the BAPSH Registry Office before the application for Stage 2 Grading application can be accepted.

3b. The horse must be certified Negative for the genetic diseases which may affect one of the purebreeds which contribute to the foundation of the Studbook. The relevant Certificate/s for the horse or it’s ancestor must be at BAPSH Registry Office.

4.Stallions must have passed Stage 1 – The Veterinary Reproductive Examination, and the Certificate must have been submitted and accepted by the BAPSH Registry Office.

5.The Grading Booking Application Form and the Fee have been received.


General – Your horse should be clean BUT NOT COVERED IN SHOWSHEEN or similar product! It is difficult to measure a very slippery horse !!

Manes and Tails -This is a matter of personal choice for Owners, who can choose between Plaited mane & tail or Loose mane & tail. The decision should be based upon producing the best look for a particular mare or stallion; some look better plaited up, others look better with loose flowing hair.

‘Loose mane and tail’ – demonstrated by the PRE Fusion Horse mare, Mistrasl Snow Fire,  above left, also wearing a smart leather Headcollar with long leadline.


‘Plaited’ – demonstrated by 3yr old Spanish-Norman Horse at a County Show (Note:- a bridle with bit is not used for Grading Events).





Alternatively, Mares of all 4 breeds may be presented with manes and tails clipped in the traditional manner for PRE Mares as shown below by these two beautifully prepared traditionally clipped UK mares.


Hairy Fetlocks & Heels – should be neatly Trimmed. Long tufty hair sticking out of the ears should be trimmed short level with the ear  edge,  and any long winter hairs left on the jaw line should be removed .
Feeler whiskers do NOT need to be trimmed off – they are important to a horse’s sensory input.

Hooves should be well shaped, and may be grown a little longer and deeper if there might be a height issue for your horse (check your Breed Standard). You may also present a horse fully shod or shod in front only. Extra thick shoes are not acceptable and will be deducted from the wither measurement. It is preferable NOT to oil your horse’s feet.

Horse head-gear
Mares should be presented wearing a suitable strong Headcollar /Halter with a fixed ring attachment for the lead rope that gives good control or a Spanish Serreta as demonstrated by the the mare on the left. Do NOT use any form of rope halter.

Stallions should be presented in a Spanish Serreta, or similar head-gear with a fitted & fixed Non-tightening Noseband, with a long leadline attached.

Spanish-Norman Horse Stallion, Silversons Winchester, presented in a nicely fitted serreta.

Do Not use a show halter with a chain under the jaw – these destroy the correct outline of any horse and will have a Negative effect on your horse’s Grading.  You will need a 20ft Lunge line to clip to your horse’s headgear for the Movement Section plus a lunge whip or similar.

Handlers – Please wear smart but sensible clothes yourself – you are representing the UK breeders/owners of your respective Breeds at the very first National Grading. BAPSH recommends that both male and female handlers wear smart but comfortable trousers, and jackets that do NOT flap about in the wind or when you are moving. Footwear should be sturdy and easy to run in.


It is IMPORTANT to give your Horse every advantage for the Grading by presenting your horse in good condition, nicely muscled with a smooth covering of fat to give the typical firmly rounded outline that we love in our four Breeds based upon the PRE horse. Good manners and good behaviour are also very important – any horse behaving badly/dangerously can be dismissed un-graded by the Directors.
There are 3 sections for which you need to train your horse. NB This is the usual order but Sections b & c can be completed first if preferred by the handler/owner.

The PFH, SSSH, SNH, and AAH Horses will have the same sequence of measurements as the Purebred Spanish Horses. BAPSH want to build up a database of dimensions that are typical for each breed. Please check the individual Breed Standards on our website for the normal height range etc. Download the Grading Measurements_Step By Step Photograph Record  to see the measurements that you need to familiarise your horse with. The copyright to this document belongs to BAPSH Ltd and it is not for general or commercial reproduction.
Your horse must be trained to stand quietly and calmly for around 30minutes whilst this section is completed.
The measurements will be made using an expanding metal measuring stick with one or two sliding callipers attached which project from the stick at right-angles.
A5 - GIRALDA LXV 96 hip width
This can be a bit unnerving for a horse if you haven’t practised measuring it with a stick, so it is very important that you spend time accustoming your horse to having a solid stick placed all around his/her body, head, and neck.  I suggest that you start your training with a short piece of lightweight wood, eg., dowelling, and progress to longer pieces as your horse’s confidence grows.

BAPSH expect the horse being assessed for conformation type and measurements to stand quietly and calmly whilst being looked at and measured. Any horse that cannot be measured will be dismissed and have to come back another time with a brand new application and full fee.

Here are the measurements that will be made and a description of where they are taken to and from on the horse

          Height at the withers: Measured from the highest point of the withers vertically down to the ground where the horse is standing.

  • Height at point of croup: Measured from the highest point at the croup vertically down to the ground where the horse is standing.
  • Scapular-isquial length: Horizontal distance from the point of shoulder to the point of buttocks (ischial prominence).
  • Length of head: Length of the straight segment between the highest point of the poll and the edge of the upper lip.
  • Width of head: Length of the straight segment between the most laterally extended points of the zygomatic arches. This requires the stick to be across the head with the callipers measuring the outside edges of the eye orbit bones.
  • Length of neck: Length of the straight segment between the scapular spine (shoulder-blade) and the base of the ear.
  • Width of chest: Distance across the front of the breast between the points of shoulder.
  • Length of shoulder: Straight distance along the shoulder-blade from the highest point of the withers to the point of shoulder
  • Length of upper-arm: Straight distance from the point of shoulder to the point of the elbow.
  • Length of forearm: Vertical straight distance between the line, parallel to the ground, traced from the elbow down to the middle of the carpal joint (at accessory bone level).
  • Dorsal-sternum diameter: Vertical distance between the highest point of the withers and the underside of the sternum along the plane immediately behind the elbow.
  • Bi-costal diameter: Horizontal distance between the widest points of the rib arches along the plane immediately behind the elbow. We don’t know if this measurement is taken from above or below the horse so advise practising both.
  • Length of back: Horizontal distance between the low point of the withers and the end of the thoracic region.
  • Length of loin: Horizontal Distance between the end of the thoracic region and the point of croup.
  • Width of croup: Horizontal distance between the most lateral and caudal points of the tuber coxae. (the widest distance between the outer edges of the hipbones)
  • Length of croup: Horizontal distance between the most cranial point of the tuber coxae and the most caudal of the tuber ischii. (ie. From the point of the hipbone nearest the head to the bit of the ischial prominence farthest away)
  • Point of hip-stifle distance: Distance between the dorsal point of the tuber coxae (top of the point of hip) and the stifle.
  • Buttock-stifle distance: Distance between the ventral point of the tuber ischii (underside of the point of buttock) and the stifle.
  • Length of gaskin: Distance between the stifle and the point of hock.
  • Length of buttock: Distance that links the central point of the tuber ischii (point of buttock) and the start of the tendon (end of the muscle).
  • Thoracic perimeter: The reference points are the lowest point of the withers and the sternum along the plane immediately behind the elbow, ie circumference of the horse around girth area – this is measured with a flexible tape measure.
  • Perimeter of knee: Maximum perimeter of the transversal plane of the carpal bone.
  • Perimeter of anterior cannon bone: Perimeter of the upper third of the metacarpal region.
  • Angle of shoulder: Angle formed by the line of the length of the shoulder with the horizontal.
  • Angle of croup: Angle formed by the line of the length of the croup with the horizontal.
  • Proportionality index: Quotient between the height at the withers and the scapular-ischial length multiplied by 100 . This is a mathematical calculation taken from the previous measurements.

The Movement Section for the Grading process comprises walk, trot, and canter. It is VERY important to spend plenty of time practising with your horse in order to do this section as well as possible – you need to get 5 or more points out of 10 for each pace (less than this will count as a serious fault)
The Directors will be looking for the following:-
1.Walk in a straight line showing a four-beat walk that is active and tracks up well, PREFERABLY OVERTRACKING

2.Trot in a straight line showing good elevation, flexion, extension, and drive, and tracking up correctly, over tracking better. Some horses work better on a large circle so you will also be asked show your horse at the trot for 3 or 4 circuits on the lunge line.

A3 - ALTO HABANA 4 trot close-up

3.Canter on a lunge line in a circle – 3 or 4 well balanced circuits, ideally performed in a calm, WELL-BALANCED, but energetic manner, rounded and uphill.

4.Loose Movement in all three paces will be assessed prior to sending the horse down the jumping lane.

This section is to assess attitude, willingness, general athleticism, and shape over the jumps. A sequence of 3 jumps are to be negotiated down a jumping lane within the main arena; the distances between jumps will be adjusted to the proportions of the horse. The jumps will increase in height from the 1st to the 3rd, and will be modest to begin with in order to encourage confidence. Owners will be consulted about increases in the jump heights in relation to their horse’s age and experience. There will be 2 forays down the jump lane each time before the jumps are raised.

VALLE ASOMBROSO – First Spanish Spotted Saddle Horse to be Approved For Breeding. This young Stallion loose jumped with great style and scope.

TO APPLY For BREEDING APPROVAL – Download the Stage 1 & Stage 2 Application forms for Stallions, and just the Stage 2 Application form for Mares. Follow the procedures on this page and then submit your Application Forms and Fees to :-

BAPSH Registrar – Holly Trees Farm, Chesterblade Road, Stoney Stratton, Shepton Mallet, Somerset, BA4 4EQ.

Cheques paid to BAPSH Ltd OR pay by BANK TRANSFER – see details on the Stage 2 Application form

Links to the Forms are available at the Top of The Page or from

Stage 2 Grading Fee is  £85.00 up until the 30th JUNE (by the Post Mark)

Late applications for the Stage 2 Grading Event are considered individually and are charged at a higher fee if accepted.
Applications received 1st – 31st July = £120.00, those received 1st to 10th August = £220.00. (Bank Transfer Only)


If you have any queries then please email Mary McBryde, the BAPSH Ltd Registrar, at giving details of the query and a telephone number to call you back.
Please give a clearly identifiable SUBJECT in your email address box so that your email can be found if you get Spammed !!

Legendario – Approved For Breeding PRE Fusion Horse Stallion