Show Rules

BMHS Show Rules


BMHS Doping Policy




The permissible methods of presentation for showing the registered Miniature Horse are:

(a)  Freshly clipped, or in natural coat.

(b)  It is not permissible to razor to skin level anywhere on the horse. This should result in the horse being disqualified from a class on welfare grounds.

(c)  Tails to be 5cms from the ground or to fetlock level

(d) Mane and tail are to be natural and without extensions or additions, natural or artificial.

(e)  Hooves are to be unshod in all in-hand events. The feathers must be removed.

(f)  Hooves may be shod in the normal manner for driving events.

(g)  Manes and tails may be pulled or plaited or natural.

(h)  Whether the horse is presented clipped or in natural coat it is permissible to remove the whiskers from the muzzle, nostrils and jowl, the hair from within the ears, and the bridle path. Bridle paths should not be longer than 10cms and the mane should not cover the horses shoulder.

(i)   Yearlings and two year olds MUST NEVER be bitted. Stallions 3 years old & over may be bitted. Suitable Snaffle bits only. As always the Judge’s discretion in suitability is overriding.

(j) No alteration or attempt to hide or enhance the natural colour or markings of the body including legs, mane and tail of a horse by any dye, bleach or paint or any other means is allowed. Discreet use of equine makeup to enhance but not mask facial features is allowable, although we do not encourage excessive use of makeup. It is the Society’s right to enforce this rule regardless of the occasion. The Society shall have no liability in respect of any such disqualification.

General preparation and presentation will be at the discretion of the owner, but the Society requires that the horse must be shown to its best possible advantage in order to promote the Miniature Horse breed as one of beauty, intelligence and gentleness. Note: ‘Circus’ or ‘Cute’ type presentation is not relevant for any event, other than costume classes.

Any transgression of the above will be the responsibility or the owner/handler and will result in immediate disqualification.




(a)  Criteria for entry to affiliated shows is published annually, in the society newsletter. Copies are available from the BMHS office on request.

(b)  To enter a show the exhibitor must use the complete name of the animal as it is shown on the horse’s registration certificate. No substitutions or changes are acceptable. Horses shown under false identity will be automatically and immediately disqualified by the Show Management; the protest fee is waived. Entry forms must be completely filled out for all Shows, and must not be accepted by the Show Management until all information has been listed, copies of registration papers made available if requested and the entry blank signed by the Exhibitor.

(c)  Horses may be shown if the exhibitor furnishes proof that the registration has been received at the BMHS office. Where a horse is application leased, notice of registration of the lease must have been received at the office of the Registrar, with all requirements having been met at the time of entry to the Show.

(d) When a member has been suspended, all horses owned by said member at the time of suspension will be excluded from all BMHS affiliated classes for the length of the suspension at the discretion of the disciplinary committee. Should the member then transfer ownership or sell a horse during the suspension period said horse can still be excluded from BMHS affiliated classes until the end of the suspension at the discretion of the disciplinary committee.




(a)  The show age of the horse is determined from the 1st of January preceding its birthday:


  • A Horse must not exceed 87cm. in height.
  • Foals/Weanlings must not exceed 76 cm.
  • Yearlings must not exceed 82cm
  • Two Year olds must not exceed 84 cm.
  • Three Year olds must not exceed 86cm.


(b)  If an animal has not been measured or it is not in possession of a life height certificate, the exhibitor will be required to contact the BMHS Office prior to entering a show to ensure that there will be a measuring facility available at the show that they are attending. It will be the responsibility of the owner/handler to ensure that their horse has been measured prior to competing. Any failure to comply with this will result in their qualification being invalid.


(c)   An animal may be offered a life height certificate once it reaches the age of 7 years at a cost of £5.00 provided that it has been measured for at least three years previously.

Rule 4 – JUDGES


(a)  Whenever possible, all Miniature Horse events will be judged by a BMHS panel judge.

(b)  A judge shall not attend a show exhibitor’s party, or any other activity connected with a show on the day previous to the show at which he/she is officiating where that party or activity may cause the said judge to have contact with a breeder, owner, exhibitor or Miniature Horse entered in the following day’s show.

(c)  A judge shall not visit the horses’ stall area nor speak with owners, trainers, exhibitors or owners’ representatives nor inspect or discuss any horse entered in the show before judging is completed.

(d)  Judges may be asked to give fair and reasonable commentary on placings and decisions after each class.

(e)  Handlers must not converse with the Judge except to briefly respond to questions.

(f)   A horse may never be shown before a judge that has been owned or trained by the said judge, or by his/her family or employer. No horse owned by family members of the judge may be shown, and family members of the judge are ineligible to be exhibitors at that show. For the purpose of this rule “training” shall be deemed to include any form of continuous, repeated or regular activity designed to bring the animal to a desired condition.

(g)  Judges are to be named on the Show Schedule and Catalogues of Entries.




Any reputable person may act in the capacity of ring steward. The ring stewards must help the judge, not advise him/her. The steward must carefully refrain from discussing the horses or the exhibitors with the judge. It is mandatory that the show managers, ring stewards and any paid employees of that show and their immediate family or entities refrain from showing or having horses shown that are registered in the above’s names, where they are officiating or employed, other than with the express authority of the Show Management



(a)   The use of stimulants or depressants or any drugs affecting the showing of a horse in Halter or Performance class is strictly forbidden. Penalties for positive evidence of such drugging will include barring of the exhibitor, owner and/or trainer from showing at said show, and will include barring of all horses exhibited, owned and trained by them. All points received at said show will be forfeited for any horse shown, owned and/or trained by them. Any incidence or evidence of drugging shall be reported to the Society, which may at its discretion consider the incident in terms of its powers of investigation and discipline of members and impose further penalties accordingly.

(b) Any horse showing evidence of the use of ginger or other irritants to produce higher tail carriage shall be disqualified.

(c)   Switches, artificial tails or manes and high spoon cruppers are prohibited.

(d)   No horse having had surgery for purely cosmetic purposes will be permitted to show. Similarly, no horse having had surgery to correct faults will be permitted to show.




7A   All protests shall be handled according to the following:

(a)   Any protest must be made in writing to the Show Manager no later than one hour after the alleged incident. The protest shall be accompanied by a £50.00 fee in cash, which shall be returned to the protestor in the event that the protest is sustained. If the protest is not sustained the fee shall be forfeited.

(b)   Any protests shall be adjudicated by a protest committee of three show officials or BMHS officers not involved in the incident/dispute.

(c)   The show protest committee shall meet promptly and adjudicate the issue, make effective its decision upon the parties of interest and report its determination to all parties. A show protest Committee may disqualify a competitor and/or their entries for the duration of the show.


7B   Protests Concerning Height

(a)   The animal shall be measured by a designated measurer. The animal must be presented for measuring at the committee’s discretion, at a time and a place of the committee’s choosing.

(b)   All measurements must take place in the direct view of the owner/trainer of the protested animal and the individual who filed the protest.

(c)   Three measurements shall be taken, then added together and divided by three. The result shall be deemed to be the height of the horse.

(d) Any animal submitted for an official measurement must not show signs of lameness. If lameness is present this shall result in disqualification of the animal for the remainder of the show.




General rules

(a) Handlers should at all times be smartly dressed. In the ring hats and gloves should be worn. Jackets should be worn at all times, except in exceptionally hot weather, and at the discretion of the judge. Waistcoats are permitted but only if worn underneath a jacket. Handlers should not wear clothes carrying any form of advertising except for a badge of the Society.

At all times the exhibitor of a registered Miniature Horse must be aware that both horse and handler are on display, and hence present themselves in a neat, appropriate manner in order to promote the breed and Society in an appealing and proper way. Young people under the age of 14 must wear a hard hat whilst in the ring.


(b) All horses including foals should be led and shown throughout an entire class by the same person. Should additional handlers be required due to physical limitations or emergencies, the ring steward must be notified. At no time will handlers let horses stand unattended except when the class calls for it.


(c) Names of horses being exhibited will not be made known to the judge prior to the show. Exhibitors will be issued with a number for each horse, to be displayed on the back or arm of the handler, whenever the horse is in the arena/ring. The number will stand for the entire show.


(d) Conduct designed to distract the horse or otherwise interfere with the showing of an exhibitor’s horse, will not be tolerated. Offenders will be asked to leave the show area. If the offender is an exhibitor, he will be excused from the ring and barred from the show area for the duration of the show. His/her horses, however, may compete.


(e) An unruly horse should be excused from the ring by the judge or ring steward for safety reasons.


(f) Cruelty, abuse or inhumane treatment of any horse in the show ring or stable area will not be tolerated by the show management, and the offender will be barred from the show arena for the duration of the show.


(g) Conduct by an exhibitor, trainer, owner, or immediate family member, of an unsportsmanlike, abusive, or detrimental nature will not be tolerated by the Show Management, including, but not limited to, threatening, abusive, or intimidating conduct (physical, verbal, or written) toward any show official or fellow Exhibitor. Any person(s) guilty of such conduct should be reported immediately to Show Management by the judge, steward or show committee member.  

The Show Management must suspend the offender for the duration of that show. Any person accused of unseemly behaviour may appeal his/her case to the Directors of the Society, who shall render a decision. If found guilty, such a person may be banned from further participation in show activities, and the decision will be published in the official publication of the Society.


(h) Exhibitors and/or owners may not protest to the judge directly, or by inference, regarding the placing of any Horse. Any person(s) guilty of such conduct will be excused from the ring and forfeit the right to show in any additional classes at that show. No entry fees will be refunded.


(i) Horses eligible and entered must show unless excused by the show manager or judge.


(j) Children under 14 years may not show or handle on the showground a stallion of any age other than a current season’s foal.

(k) Horses to be shown in hand at the walk and trot. Horses must also be viewed in motion from the side, and judged on the priority of:

  1. Conformation, 2. Way of going, 3. Quality, 4. Presence, 5. Type.


(l) Classes may not enter the arena until all awards from previous classes have been presented: except at the direction of the gate steward. The announcer/gate person(s) to announce when the gate is OPEN for each class to enter the arena. It is the responsibility of the exhibitor to be on time for their classes. It is the responsibility of the Exhibitor to check their number in with the gate steward.


(m) Horses are not to be shown stretched which means all four feet are flat on the ground and at least one front and one rear cannon bone remain perpendicular to the ground. STRETCHED HORSES WILL BE PENALISED after the initial warning by the judge(s) in each class. (See following diagram).


Show Rules 1


(i.e. physically move the horse’s foot/leg with exhibitor’s hand.)


(n)     In the case of two animals being judged equal, the higher placement shall be awarded to the SMALLER. In no case however, shall a smaller horse be placed over a larger horse with better confirmation.


(o)     Whips and Canes in Halter

All whips or canes used in Halter classes (except jumping classes) must be a maximum length of thirty inches (including flapper). Whips or canes are prohibited from use in all Showmanship Classes.


(p)    Show Management may reserve the right to combine or cancel classes, as required, where lack of entries warrants it. Where a class is cancelled and no altenative class can be offered for those entered, entry fees will be refunded in full.


NOTE: It is of the utmost importance that the Judges realize that there are several different types of Miniature Horses, and that in each class the horses are judges as to the best horse of all types to be the winner. They should not be prejudiced to the horse type of his/her background.