PRE Breeding Approval – GRADING Stallions & Mares

GRADING 2024 IS BOOKED FOR AUGUST 13th & 14th at the Unicorn Trust EC, Stow-on the Wold, Gloucestershire


For 2024 there is just ONE Venue in the Centre of the UK with TWO Days of PRE Grading Evaluations
AUGUST 13th – PRE Stallions Day, plus PRE Mares arriving in mixed loads in afternoon & evening.
AUGUST 14th – PRE Mares all Day

Basic Grading in mid August gives Breeders and Youngstock more chance to prepare properly during the long days of the summer months resulting in well conditioned and trained entrants.
Some Breeders/Owners will be concerned about the eligibility of their un-graded 4yr olds in the ANCCE affiliated classes at the National Show but this is actually a matter for the National Show Organisers.
The decision as to whether to accept un-graded 4yr olds at the GBPRE show in the ANCCE affiliated classes is up to the current Show organisers – GBPRE






Current BASIC GRADING Certificate with Colour Coded FAULTS

Grading_Measurements Step By Step Photograph Record

Purebred Spanish Horses (PREs) must be Approved for Breeding (referred to as ‘APTO’) by the Spanish Studbook at the Basic level and entered into the Permanent Register before they can be bred from. Any foals that are born from PRE horses that are not approved for breeding (NON-APTO) must be registered either as PRE FUSION HORSES Appendix-A or Appendix-B, or in the Appendix of the appropriate Register II Breed Studbook, depending upon the status of the other parent

The process of Approval for Breeding is referred to as the Basic Grading and in Spain it is called Valoracion Basico. The evaluation of the young horses is done by an ANCCE LGPRE trained equine veterinary surgeon (referred to as the Delegate) who is in the full time employment of ANCCE LGPRE. Most of these vets spend every day working with PRE breeders in Spain, Inscribing foals or evaluating horses for Basic Grading. The Delegate is a different person each year; we don’t know who is coming until a few days before the event starts.

1.Horses must have actually reached their THIRD Birthday or be older, ie. all horses born on or before 13th AUGUST 2021 or earlier are eligible for the AUGUST 2024 Grading.
2a. The horse must be owned by a person who has an ANCCE-LGPRE BREEDER CODE. This ownership must be correct on the ANCCE-LGPRE studbook (Check your horse on and should be correctly registered in the current owner’s name with BAPSH Ltd.
2b. If you need to change the ANCCE-LGPRE ownership of your horse to your Breeder Code via the ANCCE-LGPRE Service 619 process then you MUST now allow 4 weeks to do so before you can book your Grading slot – NEW ANCCE-LGPRE Rules.
3.There are a number of conformation faults, any one of which will lead to automatic Failure of the Basic Grading. These are known as DISQUALIFYING FAULTS and are detailed in this accompanying document Current BASIC GRADING PASS or FAIL CRITERIA & FAULTS LIST, along with the VERY SERIOUS FAULTS, and the SERIOUS FAULTS. Please read through this document carefully and then have a good look at your horse and try to make an objective assessment of him or her regarding the presence/absence of any Disqualifying Faults before you apply to get your horse Graded. In 2021/2022 NEW Disqualifying FAULTS and NEW Serious Faults were added to the List and many other Faults moved from SERIOUS to VERY SERIOUS. Also the number of Serious Faults and Very Serious Faults before failure occurred were reduced. The document – Current BASIC GRADING Certificate with Colour Coded FAULTS can help you understand how the ANCCE system works.
If you need any help or advice regarding Disqualifying faults please email the BAPSH Registrar with your question/s.

The Annual Grading in the UK has historically taken place in the last week of May and has been located in several venues but in 2017 we CHANGED the format of the UK Grading to ONE Central Venue and to later in the year – it was a great success.
2020 – Due to the COVID-19 pandemic both attempts to run a 2020 Grading were cancelled.
2021 – Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the 2021 Grading Central Venue in May was cancelled and then changed to a set of stud-farm venues in September where a Grading could be held on short notice if International travel became possible.
2022  – we returned to ONE Venue in the Centre of the UK, and continue with the One Venue pattern.

APPLICATIONS for the 2024 Grading ARE Open on 25th March. 
There is the usual sliding scale of fees with the lowest Grading Fee per horse increasing substantially after 10th JUNE 2024.
There will be a MAXIMUM of 20 to 22 Horses per day accepted for 2024 Grading on a ‘first-come-first-served’ basis according to the recipt of correct applications with fees. Depending upon numbers, the plan is to have all Stallions on Tuesday 13th from 8.00 or 8.30am onwards. Later in the day, any Mares travelling in mixed sex lorry loads will be Graded, and possibly other Mares may be Graded in the evening if numbers require. Wednesday 14th will be for PRE Mares all day until mid evening.

2022 saw considerable toughening of the Basic Grading Criteria and a change in the Basic Grading Certificate layout with the Addition of Croup Shape from sideview & rearview.
Detailed Information below and in downloadable documents.

Here is a brief outline of changes in the Grading Criteria in the past 12 months. For details about the current combinations of Serious & Very Serious Faults that will result in a Pass or a Fail in the Basic Grading go to the bottom part of this Page for the Current BASIC GRADING CRITERIA – DISQUALIFYING FAULTS etc . This information is also available as a PDF document (see Downloads at top of page) then goes on to list all the different conformation and type faults and how serious they are considered to be. It may be easier to understand what this document is referring to if you have at hand the following supporting documents:-

1.  Grading Measurements Step By Step Photograph Record
2. Current BASIC GRADING Certificate with Colour Coded FAULTS which shows a version of the Grading Assessment form with each level of Fault coloured in a different shade. This BAPSH created document has been highly commended as extremely helpful by the ANCCE-LGPRE and we recommend that you study it thoroughly.

Naturally we all hope that our horses will have No Faults, but the perfect PRE doesn’t exist so it is important to realise that a good PRE with one or two Very Serious Defects can still be approved for Breeding.

APRIL 2021 – A NEW PRE BREED STANDARD WAS PUBLISHED by the Spanish Government. It has again (since 2017 changes) increased the seriousness of many faults, and added further new faults.
There are too many to detail here and a full list can be found at the bottom of this page, but perhaps of particular Note are the following :-
Melanomas in the Perineum are a SERIOUS FAULT
Crest of the Neck – (Looking from behind or above the horse)
A ‘Not Straight Crest‘ is now a SERIOUS FAULT &  the next Class (4) between ‘Not Straight’ and ‘Incipient Fallen Crest’ has become a VERY SERIOUS FAULT
An Incipient Fallen Crest is a DISQUALIFYING FAULT (previousy a very serious fault)
Dorsal/Back line – the acceptable shape for a PRE back has become much more narrowly defined

Leg Conformation – 6 Leg Faults have been changed from Serious Faults to VERY SERIOUS FAULTS

Defects relating to extensive White Markings with Pink Skin underlying and Eye colour were added to the Grading Criteria in April 2016, but in April 2017 these defects were changed to 8 NEW DISQUALIFYING DEFECTS, 4 NEW VERY SERIOUS DEFECTS, and 4 NEW SERIOUS DEFECTS  in the Basic Grading assessment parameters. These can be found highlighted in BOLD TYPE further down this page

WHITE MARKINGS & BLUE or LIGHT EYES – Breeders & Buyers of youngstock intended for Breeding, please TAKE NOTE that the majority of these New Faults relate to the longer WHITE Leg Markings found on some PREs still being marketed by some Spanish Studs as highly desirable, but a PRE with 1 long White Stocking Over most of the Knee or the Hock joint will FAIL the Basic Grading under the new criteria.
WHITE Leg-Marking Disqualifies when Over the HOCK or KNEE JOINT on Most Sides.
A WHITE PATCH 3cms or more in diameter on the body (this does not include white marks due to acquired scars), and WHITE over most of ONE Eye Orbit are NOW classed as DISQUALIFYING Faults.
BLUE or LIGHT EYES that are NOT associated with a Cream Dilution will now be classed as A DISQUALIFYING FAULT,  also EYES of two Different Colours eg one blue and one brown.
Horses with Blue or Light Eyes MUST have an ANCCE-LGPRE Coat Colour Genetics Certificate (ANCCE Service 243) to prove that they are either homozygous Cream or are Cream-Pearl before being presented for Grading; contact the Registrar if you need advice.



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

Trimming – Manes and Tails -Stallions and riding mares should have their manes and tails worn loose as shown by the young stallion on the left wearing the correct Spanish in-hand showing headgear called a ‘Serreta’, and the riding mare on the right who is wearing a sturdy but elegant Headcollar.

Mare Manes and Tails – Potential Brood mares should have their manes and tails clipped in the traditional manner as shown in these three examples below of beautifully prepared traditionally clipped mares who have attended UK Basic Gradings over the past few years.

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. 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 two mares in the left and right photos above.  Please do NOT use any form of rope halter such as the one shown in the middle photo above – to comply with health and safety requirements.

Stallions should be presented in a Spanish Serreta with a long leadline. Do Not use a show halter with a chain under the jaw – these destroy the correct outline of a PRE.

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 PREs to our visiting Spanish Delegate. 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 the PRE. Good manners and good behaviour are also very important – any horse behaving badly/dangerously can be dismissed un-graded by the Delegate.

There are 2 sections to train your horse for.

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 9 for each pace (less than this will count as a Serious Fault)
The Grading Delegate 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, Overtracking is better. Some Delegates permit the horse to be trotted on a circle so it is advisable to practise both.

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. Train your horse to go on as large a circle as possible – this will improve his/her balance and reduce the chance of the horse scrabbling around in an off-balance manner.

Maryss Warlock - trotting  A3 - ALTO HABANA 4 trot close-up

A3 - ALTO HABANA 6 canter close-up crpd
IF your horse collects 2 or 3 unnecessary ‘Serious Faults’ on its Movement due to laziness or lack of training, and then also gets 1 or 2 ‘Serious Faults’ in Conformation (which cannot be avoided due to the horse’s natural conformation) it will FAIL unnecessarily – all due to lack of training/presentation.


CLICK on ‘Grading Measurements Step by Step Photograph Record’  to download this essential document for owners intending to Grade their horses. The copyright to this document belongs to BAPSH Ltd and it is not for general or commercial reproduction.

2018 PRE GRADING EVENT IN ACTION – 3yr old, British Bred Colt, Aragorn de Esperanza, has his knee circumference measured by the ANCCE Delegate, whilst his breeder holds him quietly. Photo: Emma Thomas.

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 widthThis 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.
Measurements around the circumference of the body and legs are taken with a steel expanding tape-measure as shown below.

Measuring circumference of the knee jointThe ANCCE-LGPRE are quite clear about the requirement that the horse being assessed must stand quietly and calmly whilst being measured. They state that 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  may require the stick to be across the head with the callipers measuring the outside edges of the eye orbit bones, or the vet may use the measuring tape.
  • Length of neck: Length of the straight segment between the centre of the scapular spine (shoulder-blade) and the base of the ear.
  • Width of chest: Distance across the front of the breast between the outsides of the points of shoulder.
  • Length of shoulder: Straight distance along the shoulderblade spine from the highest point of the withers to the point of shoulder.
  • 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 steel 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: Divide the height at the withers by the body length (Scapular-isquial length) & multiply by 100. This should result in a number from 95 to 105 for breeding approval.

TO APPLY – COMPLETE BAPSH 2024 PRE Grading Booking


If they have:-

If they have:-


Height at Withers – LESS than 152cm (59.85inches or a fraction under 15.0hh) Females,
                                    LESS than 154cm (60.63inches or a ¼” under 15.1hh)  Males
Body too Long or too short in proportion to Height at Wither = Proportionality Index less than 95 or more than 105 (Divide your horse’s Height by it’s Body Length & multiply the result by 100 to get the Proportionality index)
Fallen Crest – classes 5 & 6 – Incipient, class 7 – Crest Falling, 8 – More than Falling, 9 – Crest Fallen
Ewe Neck – classes 6 &  7 – Inverted Neck, 8 – More than Inverted, 9 – Very Inverted
Head Forehead Profile – class 1-Ultra Concave, class 2- More than Concave, class 3 – Concave, and class 9-Ultra-Convex
Poor Fidelity to Breed Type – Awarded Less than 5 points
Monorchid – not accidental (Only One Testicle descended)
Cryptorchid – not accidental (NO Testicles descended)
White marking on Front Right Leg – class 6 – Over Most of the Knee through to class 9 – Up to the Elbow
White marking on Front Left Leg – class 6 – Over Most of the Knee through to class 9 – Up to the Elbow
White marking on Hind Right Leg – class 6 – Over Most of the Hock through to class 9 – Up to the Stiflejoint.
White marking on Hind Left Leg – class 6 – Over Most of the Hock through to class 9 – Up to the Stiflejoint.
Roundness of Croup – sideview – class 1 – not at all rounded
Roundness of Croup – rearview – class1 – roof-ridge, and class 9 – so fat it has a split-profile
Blue or Light Eyes not appropriate to the genetic coat colour
Eyes of Different colours.
White Marks on the Body (not accidental) 3cm or greater in diameter.
White Marks that Invade Most of the Orbital arcade (arch) .


Fallen Crest – class 4 – Slightly Incipient
Ewe Neck – class 5 – Slightly Inverted
Head – Forehead Profile – class 4 – Slightly Concave
Neck – Head/Neck union – class 1 & 2 – very poorly marked
Neck – Lower Trunk union – class 1 – very Low, and class 9 – very High..
Angle of Knee Side View – class 1 – Over at the Knee, & class 9 – Back at the Knee
Angle of Knee Front View – class 1 – Bench Knee, & class 9 – Knock Kneed
Angle of Hock Side View – class 1 – Very Closed, class 8 – More than Open , & class 9 – Very Open
Angle of Hock Rear View – class 1 – Very Convergent, class 8 – More than Divergent, & class 9 – Very Divergent
Dorsal-Lumbar line (backline) – class 1 – Convex (arched) , & classes 7, 8 & 9 – Concave to Very Concave (hollow)
Direction of Front Hoof – class 1- Very Turned Out, class 8 – worse than Turned In, & class 9– Very Turned In
Direction of Rear Hoof – class 1- Very Turned Out, class 8 – worse than Turned In, & class 9– Very Turned In
White marking on Front Right Leg – class 5 – To the Knee.
White marking on Front Left Leg – class 5 – To the Knee.
White marking on Hind Right Leg – class 5 – To the Hock.
White marking on Hind Left Leg – class 5 – To the Hock.
Roundness of Croup – sideview – class 2 – not rounded
Roundness of Croup – rearview – class 2 – semi-almond shape, and classes 7 – double bum & class 8 – semi split-profile


Neck – Head/Neck union – class 3 – poorly marked
Neck – Lower Trunk union – class 2 – quite Low, and class 8 – quite High.
Fallen Crest – class 3 – Not Straight
Ewe Neck – class 4 – Slightly Inverted
Poor Overall Harmony – Awarded Less than 5 points
Angle of Knee Side View – class 2–Somewhat Over , class 7–Slightly Back, & class 8–Somewhat Back at the Knee.
Angle of Knee Front View –class 2–Somewhat Bench Kneed, class 7–Slightly Knock Kneed, & class 8 –Somewhat Knock Kneed.
Angle of Hock Side View – class 2 – More than Closed, & class 7 – Open
Angle of Hock Rear View – class 2 – More than Convergent, & class 7 – Divergent
Dorsal-Lumbar line (backline) – class 2 – slightly arched, class 6 – somewhat Concave  (This was previously much more lenient at Class 7 – Concave).
Direction of Front Hoof/s – class 2 – worse than Turned Out
Direction of Rear Hoof/s – class 2 – worse than Turned Out
Quality of Walk – Less than 5 points (out of 9)
Quality of Trot – Less than 5 points (out of 9)
Quality of Canter – Less than 5 points (out of 9)
Height of Croup – croup more than 5cm higher than the wither
Melanomas – class 9 – A Large Number present.

FAULTS ADDED to PRE Breed Standard April 2017 which will affect Breed Fidelity Marks

Rounded and protruding nostrils,
Thick upper lip,
Chunky upper lip with limited mobility,
Over-shot and under-shot jaw,
Head-neck union is chunky, hardly differentiated and very deep
Lack of harmony and a disproportion between body areas and dimensions
Higher at the point of the croup than at the withers
Presence of melanomas in the perineum
Movement with poor elevation
Movement – irregular
Movement with poor extension
Movement – dishing
Movement – ambling.