Studbook Inspection

Studbook Inspection

All mares and stallions which will be used in Hanoverian breeding must be entered into the Hanoverian mare or stallion stud book. All the information concerning the horse are noted there (e.g. pedigree, colour, sex, date of birth, inspection score, performance test etc.) The breeding stock must pass through a selection procedure before being entered.

With regard to the mares this is the stud book inspection. A foal can be registered and branded only of its dam was entered into one of the stud book divisions. This can be carried out in the year of birth of the foal, but must be completed before the foal can be branded.

The Hanoverian Stud book is subdivided in two sections:

  1. Main-Stud book (Symbol H)
  2. Stud book (Symbol S)

As only mares that fulfil the pre-conditions for the Studbook or the Main-Studbook are registered, the rules of both of these sections shall be described in more detail. To be in a Studbook-section certain requirements concerning pedigree, conformation, and movement of a mare must be met.

Main studbook

To be entered into the Main-Studbook the requirements are:

  • Four generations of recognised ancestry must be proved. That means the sire, the sire of the dam, the sire of the dam's sire, as well as the sire of the granddam's dam had either to be entered into the Stallion-Book of the Verband or to belong to a breed which is recognised by the Verband. The dam of the mare must be entered either in the Main-Studbook or in the Studbook.
  • In its final judgement of conformation and movement the mare must at least reach total score of 6,0 points, and in each of the six main criteria it must come up to a minimum of five points at least (studbook inspection criteria)

Example pedigree of a Main-Studbook-Mare:

1. Generation

2. Generation

3. Generation

4. Generation

















H or S















To be entered in the Stud book the requirements are:

  • Three generations of recognised ancestry must be proved. The dam must have been either a Main-Studbook mare or a Stud book-mare or a Pre-Studbook I-mare.
  • At the Stud book inspection the mare must reach a total score of 5,0 points. In each of the six main criteria it must receive a minimum of four points. (studbook inspection criteria)

Example Pedigree of a Studbook-Mare:


1. Generation

2. Generation

3. Generation










H, S or V







The Inspection

A studbook inspection must be carried out before a mare can be entered into one of the studbooks and before any of her foals can be branded. If the mare has not been studbook inspected previously, this can take place prior to her foal being branded in the year of it’s birth.

Where do stud book inspections take place?

In the UK, stud book inspections take place at the annual BHHS show and at the various regional foal shows held around the country by the BHHS. Details of these events can be found under Annual Show and Regional Foal Shows.

Which mares can be presented for Stud Book Inspection?

The registration requirements concerning Main stud book and stud book mares are generally valid for three-year-old mares and older ones bearing the Hanoverian foal-brand.

Mares of other Warmblood Societies which are recognised by the Society can be presented for inspections and entered into the stud book, provided that a total score of at least 7,0 points is reached. In these cases, however, the BHHS stud book manager should always be contacted in advance to ask whether or not a pedigree is acceptable.

What are the stud book inspection criteria?

The marks awarded during stud book inspection can be seen on the stud book-entry form. 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 stud book-entry. The total score approximately represents the arithmetic mean of the six criteria above. The marks in the right column are the sub-scores for the respective score Conformation (left column).

In Germany, graders for breeding are the Stud book Commission. This is comprised of the manager of the State Stud at Celle or his deputy, the Breeding Manager of the Society or his deputy, and a selected breeder. In the UK, stud book inspection is carried out by qualified representatives of the Society at regional BHHS shows and the annual BHHS show.

Presenting a mare for studbook inspection


Before presenting your mare for stud book inspection, it is advantageous to prepare her for the event. The mares should be trained in presentation and in handling in walk and trot. Getting the mare used to standing still correctly will help the judges make a correct assessment of her conformation. 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 maintained hooves. It is customary to plait the mares' manes.


When presenting the mare for stud book inspection, the mare will need to:

  • have her mane plaited
  • wear a bridle with reins
  • be well groomed
  • be able to stand still and correctly for the judges to assess her conformation

The handler will need to:

  • wear white trousers and white shirt or top
  • wear trainers or shoes that will enable them to run well with the mare at trot
  • stand the mare up in front of the judges so as to show her off as best as possible

The studbook inspection process

It is imperative that you bring the passport of the mare with you because this must be handed to the Society's representative. If the passport is not available, a mare cannot be registered. The representative will firstly compare the colour and markings noted on the passport.

The stud book inspection always takes place on a triangular course.

There are three stages to the process.

  1. The first step is the individual inspection. You place the mare at a distance of about 4 to 5 meters in front of the judges. There are usually two parallel poles placed in front of the judges to help you. Here the so-called open position is obligatory as shown.

    The judges give the individual marks for conformation whilst the mare is standing in front of them.
    The handler should stand in front of the mare and keep her standing still. Try and attract the mare’s attention so she is looking ahead with her ears forward as shown.

  2. You will then be asked to walk the mare around one lap of the triangle. When leading the mare, hold the reins in one hand as shown in this picture.

    Do not have the reins too long or too short. Ideally, the reins should be unbuckled to avoid problems in case the mare gets loose at any time.
    Walk alongside the mare’s shoulder. Hold the reins in one hand and up and in front of you. This will allow the mare to walk as freely as possible.


    Walk purposefully without pulling the mare along or pulling her head back to you.

  3. Once you have completed one circuit at the walk, you will then be asked to 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 purpose it is, however, necessary to follow exactly the triangular from of the course.
    At the trot the mares should be given the chance to move as freely as possible. With regard to very actively moving mares, the exhibitor should be someone who is able to move well enough himself to be able to show this movement. As with the walk, when trotting your mare take both the reins in your right hand and hold them up and in front of you.
    It is very important that you stay alongside the mare’s shoulder in the trot and do not pull the mare’s head around to you when she is really moving, it will affect how she looks to the judges.
    Try and keep the momentum around the corners of the triangle and use your left arm and hand as shown to help turn the mare. A ‘half-halt’ is acceptable, but do not stop at the corner to turn and then trot on again.

    It is advisable that someone with a whip is driving your mare from behind as you are expected to show the mare without a riding whip.

  4. After the trotted lap, the mare is turned once again and shown to the judges from the right side standing. Afterwards the judge will announce the result of the inspection.