Eligibility & Hardshipping

Eligibility for Registration
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Registered Miniature Horses form the very foundation of the Society- the Stud Book. The Stud Book ensures that this very special breed of horse is protected, and remains so. By registering, you and your horse can be a part of that.

Registration also means that you can show in a huge range of classes at shows across the country, including the BMHS International Breed Show and qualifiers for The Royal International Horse Show (RIHS) and The Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).

Any miniature horse bred from two BMHS registered parents is automatically eligible for stud-book registration.

Any adult miniature horse (3years and over), without two BMHS registered parents, can be hardshipped onto the breeding section of the stud-book, subject to assessment. Hardshipped miniature horses will be placed on the Breeding Only register, and will not be eligible for affiliated showing.

Eligibility for registration depends on the following:-

  • Only the proven offspring of two BMHS registered parents are automatically eligible for BMHS Stud Book registration. This is a DEFRA instruction for all recognised Stud Books. To be proven offspring:-
    1. Mating must be recorded with BMHS. This is done when a Stallion Breeding Report is filled out by the owner of the stallion at the time of covering, and sent to the BMHS head office prior to the foals birth.
    2. The foal must be identified at foot by a veterinary  surgeon before it is 6 months old (this is usually done at the same time as microchipping).

  If these two conditions are not attainable, then DNA testing will be required.

  For more information on Stallion Breeding Reports and DNA Testing, click here.

  • If your miniature horse does not have two registered BMHS parents, and is 3 years old or over, then it can still be registered through hardshipping assessment. See the hardshipping section below for further details.

If you have any queries relating to eligibility then please contact the BMHS Head Office.



Hardshipping Procedure
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Horses that do not have two BMHS registered parents can apply to be hardshipped onto the BMHS Stud Book through our cross-breeding programme. This is done through an assessment.

Horses must be at least 3 years old before they can be put forward for assessment.

Assessments usually take place in small groups; each horse is studied in all places and thoroughly examined by a team of assessors who each give an independent score, which are combined to give an overall percentage mark. The teams are usually made up of at least one show judge, an experienced breeder and a committee member wherever possible.

In addition to the assessment, your horse will be given a veterinary inspection to ensure it’s soundness, and that it does not carry any hereditary faults (this is mandatory). You are able to show your horse on the same day as the assessment, subject to its passing.

Any horse scoring 50% or less is not eligible for Stud Book registration.

The following scale is used for horses scoring more than 50%:

Up to and including 60% – 100% of the hardship fee is payable.

Up to and including 70% – one half of the hardship fee is payable.

Up to and including 80% – one quarter of the hardship fee is payable.

Up to and including 90% – normal registration fee is payable.

Above 90% – no additional fee is required.

Hardshipping fees are published annually to all members along with dates of pre-arranged assessments. The actual cost of assessment will vary depending upon the amount charged by the attending veterinary surgeon and is normally between £100 and £150. You are under no obligation to register your horse once an assessment has been carried out but if you wish to do so then you should do this within six months of the date of the assessment.

If you are unable to attend one of the published assessment days but still wish your horse to be assessed, please notify the office of your interest so that further assessment dates and suitable venues can be arranged. Due to the costs involved in running the assessments additional dates cannot be added unless there are sufficient numbers to justify the costs.

If you have a number of horses that you would like to put forward for assessment it may be possible to arrange for three assessors to visit your premises.

If you need any further information, then please contact the BMHS Head Office.