Breeding Rules

The information detailed in this section describes the basis of the Hanoverian breeding programme and the stud book regulations which govern the breeding and activities of the Hanoverian society.

This programme and the regulations are produced by the Verband hannoverscher Warmblutzüchter (Hanoverian Warmblood Breeders’ Association) and govern all areas of Hanoverian breeding both within Germany and outside.

Where appropriate, specific aspects of this information have been adapted to relate to the British Hanoverian Horse Society and activities within the UK.

The society will enter into the breeding book, animals of the same breed, line or cross that are eligible for entry under the breed criteria, without discrimination on account of their country of origin.

Breeding programme

  1. Introduction
  2. The Breeding aim
  3. Breeding methods
  4. Restrictions on the use of stallions
  5. Inclusion of other breeding populations
  6. Selection Criteria
  7. Licensing of stallions

Studbook Regulations

  1. Registration conditions for stallions
  2. Registration conditions for mares
  3. The Elite Mare Scheme
  4. Amendments to studbook registrations
  5. Obligations of the breeder
  6. Obligations of the stallion owner
  7. Stud Book
  8. Covering certificate & covering list
  9. Foal registration
  10. Certificate of origin
  11. Pedigree certificates
  12. Birth certificate
  13. Amendment of breeding or other data
  14. Identification
  15. Registration number (life number)
  16. Registration name
  17. Branding regulations
  18. Assurance of identity by means of DNA test
  19. Concluding provisions

Appendices to the Breeding Rules

The Breeding Programme

1. Introduction

The Society’s breeding programme embraces all measures appropriate to making progress in achieving the breeding aim. The breeding method, in particular, is also important, as well as such factors as assessment of the conformation of the horse, performance testing, appraisal of the breeding value and also the selection measures based on these. In establishing the breeding value consideration also may be given, in addition to the results of the Society’s own population, to those of other breeding associations or locations as well.

The breeding programme shall be executed exclusively in the area of the society as laid down in the statutes. Hanoverians in the sense of the BHHS are horses of predominantly Hanoverian descent which are bred according to the breeding concept of the Verband hannoverscher Warmblutzüchter (Hanoverian Warmblood Breeders’ Association) and have pedigree papers issued either from the BHHS, the Verband or any other Hanoverian Society recognised by the Verband.

2. The breeding aim

The Hanoverian is bred as a breed which is particularly suitable for sports. We strive for horses which, due to their inner values, rideability, their external appearance, their movement, their jumping ability and their soundness are suitable as performance and pleasure horses.

Each of these aspects are outlined below with a description of the desirable and undesirable attributes of each one.

Healthy horses are also a clear aim for the breed. It is important that horses are free from hereditary diseases and other health defects, which may impair their use for breeding or as a riding horse

On this basis we strive for breeding horses with a main emphasis on dressage, jumping or eventing.
With the characteristics mentioned above, we also strive for horses which are suitable for driving.

Attributes of the Hanoverian horse

Inner values and rideability



Desirable attributes

Undesirable attributes

Inner values
  • Intelligence, good character (affable, but sensitive, uncomplicated)
  • good temperament (balanced, strong nerves, awake)
  • high willingness to perform (ability to learn, courageous / brave and eager to perform)
  • high performance ability. Horses which, due to their physical conditions and their inner characteristics are able to fully utilise their performance ability.
  • bad character
  • unfavourable temperament
  • low willingness to perf
  • stable vices.


  • A horse which, with good activity of the mouth, responds to the aids, calmly cooperates with the rider and is comfortable to sit.
  • The horse should move from active pushing hindquarters and with an elastic, swinging back in a natural balance. Rhythm, suppleness, contact between hand and mouth shall be visible.
  • Unlevel rhythm of movement
  • downhill tendency in movement
  • tight back
  • bad rideability
  • difficult temperament


Extemal apprearance

External appearance covers colour, size and conformation. With regard to colour, there are four basic colours chestnut, black, bay, and grey. In terms of size, the society aims for a horse with a final height around 165 cm (stick measure).

Desirable and undesirable attributes of conformation aspects are described below.



Desirable attributes

Undesirable attributes

Breed and sex type

  • a model, noble and willing sport horse of varying calibre
  • nobility, big framed, a well defined outline, lean texture, well-muscled with a clear sex type
  • too small or too tall horses
  • coarse body parts
  • stocky, plain and rough types
  • no sex type
  • poorly marked outline.


  • noble and well defined (that is, not much subcutaneous tissue)
  • should match the size of the horse's body
  • a large, keen eye with a calm expression
  • large nostrils
  • a clearly defined mouth and light jaw.
  • too large in comparison to the overall size of the body
  • a bland expression
  • Roman nose
  • dish-nosed head,
  • sheep's profile
  • small sunken eyes with much white showing
  • fish-eyed
  • strong jaws
  • droopy ears
  • serious dental defects.


  • well proportioned and developed
  • well muscled
  • growing smaller towards the head
  • light and flexible connection between neck and head (light poll)
  • set at right angle to the shoulder with a clear and well muscled crest to the top.
  • too low or too high put on neck
  • insufficiently muscled
  • too long or too short
  • no tapering towards the head
  • thick poll
  • thin neck
  • ewe neck
  • swan neck
  • fat neck.

Shoulder and saddle position

  • a long, sloping shoulder
  • clearly pronounced withers, extending far back and connected to a slightly downward pointing top line.
  • flat, upright, small shoulder
  • short, flat, straight, high withers
  • straight, arched or hollow back


  • A rectangular horse, long-legged, big outline and compact with harmonious top line
  • a well set neck, sloping shoulder; long withers, a long enough back; broad, well muscled loins; long, sloping, well muscled croup
  • body, divided about even into forehand, middlepiece and hind quarters
  • a deep enough chest with compact flanks.
  • short outline
  • short legs
  • very long or very short back
  • flat topline
  • hollow back
  • arched back
  • open or tight loins
  • short, flat, downhill croup
  • lopsided or high tail
  • poor flanks.


  • from a lateral view a line dropped from the middle of the shoulder should bisect the forearm, knee and cannon bone and then carry to a point just behind the heel
  • From a front view, the legs should be straight and stand parallel to each other
  • Lean, well muscled foreleg, well defined, strong joints
  • elastic and medium long pasterns, with the angle between ground surface and pastern approx. 45 to 50 degrees
  • strong, even-sized and even-angled hooves proportionate to the size of the horse, angle between ground surface and the anterior line approx. 45 to 50 degrees.
  • lack of muscle
  • all faults of conformation such as sagging knees, calf knees, standing under in front, camped in front, off-set knees, upright, base wide, base narrow, toe-in,toe-out, fine, flat, weak joints, all abnormal conformation of bones, joints or tendons; too long or too short pasterns, too weak or too upright pasterns, all abnormal conformation of the hoof as contracted hoof, club foot, narrow, sloping, deep hoofs, fat heels.


  • ­from a lateral view a line dropped from the tuber isschii should hit the point of the hock and go down the posterior aspect of the hind cannon
  • viewed from behind a line dropped from the point of the tuber isschii bisects hock, cannon, pastern and hoof
  • lean, well defined joints, strong, well defined hocks
  • elastic and medium sized pasterns, angle between ground surface and the anterior line approx. 50 to 55 degrees.
  • all faults of conformation such as standing over or standing under behind, bow legs, cow­hocks, sickle-hocked, wide or narrow at the hocks, hoof pointing inwards or outwards; excessively upright legs with hocks at an open angle, weak pasterns, too long or small or incorrect joints like curby hock and bone-spavin, abnormal conformation of tendons and bones.

Tail carriage

  • straight and well carried tail
  • crooked, deep-set and/or wagging tail





Desirable attributes

Undesirable attributes

Correctness of gait
  • viewed from the front and from behind the foot path should be straight and regular (even).
  • all faults as winging, dishing paces, loose joints.
  • a clear two-beat rhythm with cadence
  • a high level of impulsion, elasticity, ground cover and balance
  • active, well bending hind legs moving with thrust under centre of gravity
  • clear activity of the musculature of the back (suppleness) and the thighs,
  • uphill-moving forehand with a freely moving shoulder.
  • uneven rhythm
  • uninspiring
  • not enough ground cover
  • flat
  • swaying
  • rhythm (three-beat)
  • impulsion, elasticity, ground cover and balance
  • every canter stride should be a powerful push with well bent hindlegs
  • clear, uphill canter, hind legs striding under centre of gravity.
  • irregularity
  • not enough ground covering
  • uninspiring
  • flat
  • no impulsion
  • lacking cadence.
  • rhythmical and even four beat
  • ground covering,
  • energetic and elastic walk
  • well balanced
  • pacing
  • unrhythmical
  • irregular
  • short, tight or weak.
Free jumping
  • agile, full of ability and scope 
  • coolness and intelligence
  • clear pick-up
  • well-developed quick legs at take-off (almost horizontal lower front arm over the jump
  • ­well rounded back with clear marked withers
  • downward rounded neck and hind legs opening slightly (bascule)
  • the flow and rhythm of the canter should be maintained.
  • little ability
  • uncontrolled or hesitant jumping without rhythm
  • hanging legs
  • high head carriage over the jump
  • hollow back


3. Breeding Methods

The method of pure breeding shall be applied in striving to fulfil the breeding aim. This means that first and foremost Hanoverian stallions and mares shall be registered in the most important Studbooks.i.e. the “Stallion Book” and the “Main Studbook”. This does not exclude the admission of genes from other riding horse populations.

4. Restrictions on the use of Stallions

In order to avoid too much constriction of individual bloodlines in the population and the danger of an increasing degree of in-breeding, a restriction on the number of registered mares which may be bred to a stallion may be laid down by the committee and the stallion owner informed thereof. The latter is obliged to inform the owners of the mares which are presented to the stallion of this restriction.

In order to promote the method of pure breeding, the extent of the use of stallions from other breeding populations shall be limited (see other breeding populations below)

Three-year-old or four year old licensed young colts of the Society’s own population may be used to a very limited extent prior to taking the stallions’ performance test. They are limited to serving only 20 registered mares per year .
If more mares are covered or inseminated by one stallion than the number laid down and communicated by the BHHS, 50% of the covering fee shall be paid to the BHHS as a fine for contravening this regulation.

5. Inclusion of other breeding populations (origins) including use of non-Hanoverian foal branded stallions and mares

The pedigrees of the East Friesian Studbook, which amalgamated with the Society in 1975, are on a par with the stallions and mares of the Hanoverian Stud Book.

5.1    Non-Hanoverian foal branded stallions

In addition to Hanoverian stallions, the limited use of English Thoroughbred stallions is possible. These must, however, fulfil the requirements for the registration of stallions with regard to type, a (licensing score of 7) and a performance (as defined under Registration of stallions).

Non foal branded Stallions approved by the VhW may be used in the U.K. that comply with the following requirements:

  • the stallion has a breeding Value of 120 in jumping or dressage in the Hannoveraner Jarbuch Hengst.
  • the stallion must have at least 100 riding horse points in the Hannoveraner Jarbuch Hengst.
  • the licensing commission may accept an exceptional performance record in the case of stallions too young to have calculated breeding values.
  • the Stallion must have a score 7.5 at a licensing of the VhW in Germany.

Confirmation of the decision shall be sought from the VhW.

5.2    Non-Hanoverian foal branded mares

In addition to Hanoverian mares, those of the following populations (origins) can be registered in the Main Stud Book.

  • English Thoroughbred mares, which gain an overall mark of 7 in the Stud Book inspection and do not have a mark in any section which is lower than 5.
  • mares with a valid pedigree certificate from another recognised Warmblood Breeders association, which:
  • have at least 50% approved ancestry
  • fulfil the pedigree requirements necessary for registration in the Main Stud Book according to the registration conditions for mares below
  • gain an overall mark of 7 in the studbook inspection and do not have a mark in any section lower than 5.

The following are considered recognised populations which may appear in the pedigree of a breeding animal

  • English Thoroughbred
  • Anglo-Arab
  • Pure-bred Arab
  • Trakehner
  • Westphalian Warmblood
  • Holstein Warmblood

Concerning the type and extent of the involvement of breeding populations described above under non-foal branded Hanoverian stallions and mares, as well as other foreign breeding populations which help to achieve the aims laid down in the breeding programme, the committee shall decide on an individual basis.

Mares of non-Hanoverian breeding populations registered with the BHHS are to be paired with a stallion which either bears the Hanoverian foal brand mark or was entitled to that brand, and which is registered in the Stallion Book or by a stallion specially approved by the VhW.

Mares registered with the society from other populations with at least 50% Hanoverian blood are on a par with mares with the Hanoverian foal brand mark.

6. Selection Criteria

The selection criteria are based on:

6.1 Evaluation of the external appearance,movement and jumping ability

The evaluation of the mares and stallions takes place before registration in the Stud Book. The evaluation shall be carried out at collective events so that the animals presented may be compared with a sufficiently large number of other horses also presented there, unless this should not be possible because it would inflict hardship or cause danger to health.

The horses are evaluated according to the following points:

  • 1. Breed and sex type
  • 2. Quality of the conformation:
    • Head
    • Neck
    • Saddle position
    • Frame
    • Fore limbs
    • Hind limbs
  • 3. Correctness of the gait
  • 4. Impulsion and elasticity (trot)
  • 5. Walk
  • 6. General impression and development
  • 7. Overall evaluation

The horse’s canter when turned out loose as well as free jumping may be considered additionally as individual criteria when making the overall evaluation.

The mark for quality of conformation represents a summarised evaluation of the features listed. It is not, however, an arithmetic mean of these features as individually they are subject to different weightings.

The overall evaluation of a horse concerning the features of the external appearance results from the average of the marks one to six, as well as, if applicable, cantering when the horse is turned out loose and free jumping. If the mark “0” is given, this factor shall not be taken into consideration.

The criteria in the different sections shall be assessed according to the following marks :

  • 10 - Excellent
  • 9 - Very good
  • 8 - Good
  • 7 - Quite good
  • 6 - Satisfactory
  • 5 Sufficient
  • 4 - Insufficient
  • 3 - Quite poor
  • 2 - Poor
  • 1 - Very poor
  • 0 - Not evaluated

6.2 Health

Breeding horses are required to be healthy and fertile. Health characteristics in stallions are taken into account at the stallion licensing and in mares for the award of the title Elite Mare. (see comment under Elite Mare Scheme)

6.3 Performance tests

6.3.1  Stallion performance test

Results from performance tests are only taken into account if these are approved by the Verband hannoverscher Warmblutzachter e. V.

As a basis for judging the performance of stallions the following alternatives apply:

  • The station test for riding horse characteristics (at least 70 days) with at least 90 points as an overall index
  • A 30-day suitability test in combination with horse shows (young-horse-classes)
  • Horse show results in dressage, show-jumping or eventing at advanced level. Three placings (first to third) have to be achieved
  • By approval of the BHHS commission, stallions who have passed the 30 day test but not completed the additional requirements may cover 20 mares in the U.K. as a three or four year old and will be approved as full licensed stallions on completion of the 70 day test or when they reach the required standard in the additional requirements.

6.3.2  Mare performance test

As a basis for judging the performance of mares, the following performance tests apply, the exact execution of which shall be laid down by the committee of the society:

  • The mare test for riding horse qualities, or
  • Competitive sport test.

6.4 Colour

According to the regulations under Registration of stallions and Registration of Mares.

6.5 Performance of progeny.

At the latest, six years after entry into the Stallion Book, the progeny of these stallions are subjected to an evaluation of the hereditary performance by the committee. In this evaluation, data from competitive sport is used as well as information received from the evaluation committee of the BHHS. The following results are taken into consideration:

  • inspection of foal progeny
  • stallion licensing, Stud Book registrations and mare shows
  • stallion and mare performance tests.

7. Licensing of Stallions.

Licensing is the decision taken by the BHHS concerning the use of a stallion within the context of the breeding programme. In making the decision the features of the external appearance, as well as the performance potential, are considered particularly carefully in as far as these would have negative influence on his breeding ability and breeding value.

7.1 Licensing decision.

The licensing decision is as follows:

  • Licensed
  • Not licensed
  • Provisionally not licensed.

The licensing decision is “provisionally not licensed” if the stallion does not fulfil the requirements concerning conformation and / or suitability for breeding, however it may be expected that he will fulfil them in the future. When the licensing decision is made, the period is also to be stipulated before the end of which the stallion may once more be presented for licensing.

The decision concerning licensing is to be passed on to the owner in writing. The decision “licensed” is to be entered on the pedigree certificate.

The Licensing:

  • is to be withdrawn if a condition for granting it was not met with at the time,  is to be revoked if one of the requirements subsequently lapses
  • may be revoked if a condition was attached to the licensing and the owner has not fulfilled it or not done so within the required period of time,

7.2 Objections to the licensing decision

The stallion owner is entitled to file an objection to the licensing decision.

This must be done within a period of four weeks after the decision has been made known. This must be done in writing and include reasons. The committee shall nominate a new evaluation commission, all members of which, apart from the breeding adviser are to be newly appointed. The decision shall also be taken concerning place and time of the new presentation of the stallion.

7.3 Dates of licensing

The dates of the licensing and how these are to be conducted is to be laid down by the committee.

7.4 Applications

Application for the licensing of a stallion is to be made at the office of the BHHS.

7.5 Conditions for a stallion to be admitted for licensing

In order for a stallion to be admitted for licensing the following conditions are to be fulfilled:

  • he must be at least 2 years old
  • his pedigree and colour must correspond to the conditions for registration in the stallion book (see Stallion Registration regulations)
  • the pedigree papers must be made available.

The identity of the stallions is to be verified prior to licensing. Stallions without sufficient identification will not be permitted to take part in the licensing performance. The conditions under Assurance of identity by means of a DNA test are necessary for establishing the identity must be made available.

7.6  Health conditions

An essential condition to be fulfilled in order to be permitted to take part in the licensing, as well as for the licensing itself, is that the stallion should show no deficiencies in health.

Health defects are:

  • an impairment of the sexual organs, which justifies considerable doubts about the use of a stallion for breeding purposes, as well as symptoms indicating a hereditary susceptibility to diseases
  • corrective surgery
  • serious x-ray findings.

Health requirements are laid down by the committee Veterinary examinations are carried out by veterinarians determined by the B. H. H. S.

Veterinary Certificate to be returned with xrays to the Verband.

Verband hannoverscher Warmblutzüchter e.V. (reg.Soc.) 
Lindhooper Str. 92, 27283 Verden, Germany

7.7 Misuse of drugs

Colts which have to be excluded from licensing are those which, according to the regulation of enforcement of the studbook regulations of the German Equestrian Federation, were administered a doping substance or a forbidden drug or in which a manipulation was carried out in order to influence their performance.

7.8 Licensing of young stallions (colts)

Young stallions for the purposes of these regulations may be defined as 2 to 3 year-old stallions.

The evaluation commission shall decide on the provisional licensing of these stallions (colts).

A colt fulfils the requirement concerning its breeding value if in the evaluation of its external appearance and its movements it receives the overall mark of 7, and receives the mark of at least 5, for the criteria in the different sections according to the criteria laid down under Selection Criteria as well as at the canter and in free jumping.

The provisional licensing of the colt is on condition that he shall fulfil the requirements concerning performance for registration in the Stallion Book of the BHHS as laid down under Stallion performance tests by the end of his fourth year. In individual cases the committee may prolong this period for reasons of exceptional circumstances by a maximum of 15 months, If the periods laid down are not observed or the stallion does not fulfil the requirements according to the criteria under Stallion performance tests, then the stallion shall be considered to be not licensed.

Three year old stallions being presented for licensing must additionally be presented under saddle.

7.9 Licensing of older stallions.

Stallions for the purposes of these regulations are all stallions of four years and older.

The stallion must satisfy the performance test requirements (see stallion performance test requirements)
The evaluation commission assesses the external appearance as well as the movements of the stallions. The requirements here are the same as those which apply to the colts. If a stallion fulfils these requirements then the evaluation commission proposes the stallion for licensing.

The committee decides on the licensing on the basis of:

  • the evaluation of the evaluation commission or his performance test.
  • the evaluation of the performance of his ancestors, the stallion himself and his progeny according to the

Studbook Regulations regarding the stallion performance test, stallions of other warmblood breeds and English Thoroughbred stallions (see Registration of stallions)


Studbook Regulations

Studbook Sections

The stud book for stallions is: The Stallion Book.

The Stud Book for mares is divided into:

  • Main Stud Book of Mares (H)
  • Stud Book (S)

Horses are entered in the Stud Book which corresponds to the particular requirements. The entry in a particular section of the Stud Book shall be noted on the pedigree papers.

1. Registration conditions for stallions

1.1 Registration in the Stallion Book.

The authorising body is the Licensing Commisssion..

The only stallions which may be registered are those with Hanoverian pedigree papers, or stallions which were eligible to receive Hanoverian papers, or Thoroughbred stallions to such an extent as laid down by the committee. Stallions which are entered in the Stallion book of the Verband hannoverscher Warmblutzüchter are accepted in the B.H.H.S. Stallion Book but non hanoverian foal branded stallions brought into the U.K. will need to be represented.

The registration of a stallion in the Stallion Book of the BHHS can take place, at the earliest, in the stallion’s third year when the stallion in question is licensed by the BHHS and the following requirements are fulfilled concerning the pedigree, the evaluation of the features of the external appearance and concerning the result of the performance test:

  • The sire must be registered in the Stallion Book 1 of the Verband hannoverscher Warmblutzüchter or be entitled to be registered. The sires of the five female ancestors in the direct dam’s line of the stallion must be stallions, which are registered in the Stallion Book 1 of the Verband hannoverscher Warmblutzüchter or fulfil comparable conditions of a breeding population,a total of six generations in all.
  • The dam and grand-dam must be Headstud book.

In the case of stallions which do not fulfil these requirements concerning pedigree, admission to the licensing can only be the decision of the Studbook Commission regarding the licensing in particularly well-founded cases.

A stallion mother, which was born in 1992 or later must have been presented in a mare performance test of the British Hanoverian Horse Society or at an equivalent test. A stallion mother may be excused on the decision of the committee but where a stallion mother has not completed a performance test the colt can come forward for licensing but cannot cover any mares until he has completed the performance test.

The stallion at a licensing of the BHHS according to the Stallion licensing criteria must have been awarded an overall mark of at least 7, and in each criteria in the sections according to the selection criteria, as well as cantering and free jumping the mark of at least 5

If a stallion was licensed at a licensing of the Verband hannoverscher Warmblutzüchter, then this result will be recognised. Nevertheless, the stallion should also be presented at a licensing of the BHHS.

In a stallions’ performance test, which is recognised by the Verband hannoverscher Warmblutzüchter, at least 90 points as an overall index or in dressage or jumping competitions at advanced level, five, or in eventing competitions at intermediate or advanced level, three placings (first to third position) have to be achieved.

Stallions of other warmblood breeds accepted (see non-Hanoverian foal branded stallions) must achieve at least 120 points as an overall index in a stallions’ performance test, which is recognised by the Verband hannoverscher Warmblutzüchter.

English Thoroughbred stallions fulfil the performance requirements with an end of season handicap of 80 in the list of the British Jockey Club or Timeform of 110 in flat racing or steeplechases and with performances in the stallion performace test as stipulated above.

A stallion which in the stallion test for riding horse qualities achieves a result of at least 120 points in a part index or can prove particularly outstanding successes in competitive sport, can receive a bonus in the evaluation of the features of external appearance of one point in the overall evaluation.

A Hanoverian stallion which has not yet himself taken part in a performance test can be provisionally licensed on condition that he takes the test before completion of his fourth year. The committee is entitled to extend this period by up to 15 months on account of particular circumstances.

If this stallion does not fulfil the performance requirements, then its male progeny may not be registered in the stallions section of the BHHS.

Stallions accepted according to the regulations regarding the inclusion of other breeds and the licensing of older stallions must satisfy the performance test requirements as stipulated and must achieve a overall mark of 7.5 or higher at a stallion licensing

Stallions of the following basic colours may be considered for registration:black, bay, chestnut or grey.(no white above the knee)

1.2 Repeat presentations.

For the continuation of a previously made registration of a stallion, the committee may require the stallion to be presented again,

1.3 Making an application and continuation.

Registration is made following written application by the stallion owner after fulfilment of the requirements of these Stud Book Regulations by means of a decision of the Licensing Commission.
The registration is always valid for one year only. Continuation follows an application made in accordance with (what?!!)

1.4 Publication of the registered stallions.

All active stallions registered in the Stallion Book of the BHHS shall be published annually in the BHHS newsletter or on the website.

1.5 The use of stallions for artificial insemination.

The place where the stallion is kept must be recognised as an insemination station.

The insemination permission of the competent authorities must be made available to the BHHS office.

The pedigree of all progeny resulting from the artificial insemination will be confirmed by means of a DNA test.

2. Registration conditions for mares

The authorizing body is the Mare evaluation commission. A mare may not be actively registered in two or more associations at the same time.

The registration of mares in the following two sections of the Stud Book takes place when the particular requirements concerning pedigree, colour and conformation have been fulfilled. Mares of the following basic colours may be considered for registration: black, bay, chestnut or grey.

Registration in the sections Main Stud Book or Stud Book may only take place when at the time of the evaluation; valid pedigree papers are presented which were issued by a breeders association recognised by the committee of the BHHS and by the Verband hannoverscher Warmblutzüchter.

2.1 Main Stud Book (H)

Mares of three years old and older shall be registered which:

  • are out of dams which are registered in the Main Stud Book or Stud Book.The sires as well as the sires of the dam, the grand dam and the great grand dam on the dams’ side either have to be registered in the Stallion book of the BHHS (4 generation pedigree) or fulfil similar conditions (e.g. regarding pedigree, conformation and performance) of a breeding population, the involvement of which is supportive to the achievement of the aims as laid down in the breeding programme and approved by the committee and Verband hannoverscher Warmblutzüchter
  • in the evaluation of the external appearance for the criteria in each of the 6 sections, achieve a mark of at least 5.0 and in the overall evaluation at least 6.0 points.

Example pedigree of a Main-Stud book-Mare:


1. Generation 2. Generation 3. Generation 4. Generation


H or S


2.2 Stud Book (S)

Mares of three years old and older shall be registered which are out of dams that are registered in the Main Stud Book or Stud Book. The sire as well as the sires of the dam and the grand dam on the dams’ side either have to be registered in the Stallion book of the BHHS (3 generation pedigree) or fulfil similar conditions (e.g. regarding pedigree, conformation and performance) of a breeding population, the involvement of which is supportive to the achievement of the aims as laid down in the breeding programme and approved by the committee and Verband hannoverscher Warmblutzüchter.

Example Pedigree of a Stud book-Mare:


1. Generation 2. Generation 3. Generation


H, S or V

For the criteria in each of the 6 sections according to the evaluation of external appearance, movement and jumping ability, mares must achieve at least 4 points and in the overall evaluation at least 5.0 points.

2.3 Subsequent registration of mares which suffer an untimely death.

It is possible to subsequently register mares which died before the date on which they could have been presented in the year of the birth of the foal. This possibility merely fulfils the purpose of issuing pedigree papers for the last born foal. The committee decides in each case if, and in which section the subsequent registration should take place.

2.4 Subsequent alteration of the registration

In as far as the registration of a mare was based on incorrect suppositions concerning the pedigree, an amendment in the registration can be made.

Mares which are registered in one section of the Stud Book, on well-reasoned application, can be presented again to the evaluation commission at a central event. The commission then decides whether or not to upgrade the mare by one section.

A subsequent alteration of the brand mark in the case of mares which are already registered shall not take place. Also in the case of already existing progeny, no alteration shall be made to the brand mark or pedigree certificate.

2.5 Withdrawal of mares.

Mares must be withdrawn by the owner in writing, at the latest, six weeks before the end of the year. Should the mare die, or need to be put down, the BHHS is to be informed of this immediately.

2.6 Re-registration of mares.

A mare which has been withdrawn can be registered again at any time following written application by the owner. The mare shall have the same status as when previously registered. A fee will be charged for re-registration.

2.7 Change of owner in the case of mares.

Following written information from the new owner of a mare, the change of ownership will be entered in the Stud Book. The requirement for this is:

  • that the new owner is a full member of the BHHS or will become one
  • that the mare is registered in a section of the Stud Book.

For this purpose the Society is entitled to request presentation of the pedigree papers.

3. The Elite Mare Scheme

3.1 Eligibility for the Premium mare scheme

  • As a rule, the title ‘Elite mare candidate’ is awarded to three four or five year old mares (up to the 1st August in their fifth year).
  • The mare must carry the Hanoverian stylised “H” hip brand or the brand of another approved Hanoverian society and must be entered into the main stud book. Her dam must be entered into the main stud book as well.
  • The title is awarded at an official mare show by the respective judges commission. The mares are graded – on the analogy of the proceeding in Germany – classified into 1A, 1 and 2. An elite mare candidate must be classified into 1A at such a show.
  • The mare must pass her performance test at the age of five at the latest with the following result:


Average gait
Average rideability
Average jumping
Versatile mare
Dressage talented mares

(average of gait and rideability score)

Jumping talented mares
(average of jumping and rideability score)


  • The mare must not be a roarer. The veterinary examination on this fault must be carried out in the year in which the title is awarded.
  • The mare must give birth to a live foal which is registered with the Hanoverian society. The mare is recorded as Elite mare candidate as long as she has not fulfilled this requirement. If the mare does not give birth to a live foal she is not awarded the title and no financial or other grants are given.
  • The title of Elite mare is noted down in the passport and is recorded as part of the name of the mare as soon as all the requirements (also concerning the foal) have been met.

3.2  Discretionary Awards.

On occasion of the mare grading or performance test, at the discretion of the judges, additional mares may be proposed which merit inclusion in the scheme but which do not meet the above criteria.

4. Amendments to Stud Book registrations.

The BHHS has to order the transfer of a horse to a different section, or indeed the deletion from the Stud Book if it subsequently receives information that the requirements for registration were not fulfilled or have subsequently lapsed. Each amendment is to be clearly made and marked as such. All originally issued pedigree papers are to be collected without exception and made inapplicable, however they are not to be disposed of. They have to be kept at the office of the BHHS for 20 years.

The member is to be informed of the measure. An objection may be raised to the decision within four weeks after the information has been communicated.

The Stud Book Manager, who for this purpose may make use of a computer, is responsible for the proper administration of the stud book.

5. Obligations of the Breeder

The breeder is responsible for the correctness of the information on the covering certificate, registration of foaling, as well as further papers which he has to fill out, hand in or keep safely. He shall be obliged to check all Stud Book documentation and forms, including the pedigree papers after they have been issued by the BHHS to ensure that all information is correct. If incorrect information is discovered, the BHHS is to be informed immediately and the necessary corrections undertaken and a note made of this. The breeder is not permitted to make the corrections himself,

6. Obligations of the Stallion Owner

The stallion owner is responsible to the BHHS for correct execution of the covering acts, inseminations and their registration. Contraventions by the stallion owner of these regulations are punished in accordance with the fee schedule."

Specific obligations include:

  • Filling out and signing the covering certificates by the stallion owner or his representative. By doing this he confirms that the information on the papers is correct.
  • Keeping of a covering insemination list.
  • Returning the covering lists as well as the original sheet of each filled out covering certificate to the BHHS office by 30th September of each year.
  • Observation of all limitations concerning the use of stallions specified under obligations of the breeder. The Society is entitled to demand that the stallion owner and mare owner recognise in writing the legal consequences of non-observance of the Stud Book Regulations.
  • When a stallion is used for insemination purposes the stallion owner shall be contractually obliged to recognise the valid conditions of the BHHS which apply in this case.
  • Passing on to the BHHS on demand the information necessary for the execution of their duties and to permit the BHHS to look at the breeding papers.
  • Informing the BHHS office immediately of any change of ownership or location of a stallion. The same applies in the case of death of a stallion or any other event which means he is no longer available for breeding purposes.
  • Permitting the publication of data relevant to the breeding value of all stallions which are or were in his possession.

7. Stud Book

The Stud Book shall be kept and also maintained at the BHHS office or at a computer centre. In order to fulfil the legal requirements concerning the breeding of animals, the Stud Book must contain at least the following information for each horse entered into a section of the Stud Book:

  • the name and address of the breeder, owner and proprietor
  • the date of birth, sex, colour and markings,
  • the registration number
  • the brand marks
  • in as far as this is known, the parents and their colours and the grandparents
  • all results known to the BHHS of performance tests and breeding value assessments
  • decisions concerning registrations and amendments in the Stud Book - the issuing of pedigree papers (in the case of there being several copies, their purpose and number)
  • at least three generations of ancestors,  the evaluation of the horse
  • Its progeny, in the case of stallions the registered daughters and sons with registration numbers, in the case of mares all progeny with life numbers, exhibition successes and prizes awarded,
  • the blood type in the case of stallions
  • information concerning the birth of twins.

Moreover the decisions concerning licensing and insemination permission (with all conditions in detail) are to be noted.

The society directs all communications concerning the content of the Stud Book registrations to the owner.

8. Covering certificate & Covering list.

After payment of the subscription, covering certificates with three copies will be issued by the BHHS office to the owners of all registered mares. The name and address of the owner as well as the basic data concerning the mare are included in these papers. Before covering, the covering certificate is to be handed over to the stallion owner. After the covering has taken place the covering certificate is then completed by the stallion owner and signed by him or his representative. The covering certificate must include the:

  • name and number of the mare
  • name and number of the stallion
  • all data concerning covering  (e.g. date of covering, type of semen)
  • covering registration number
  • name and address of the mare’s owner
  • signature of the stallion owner or his representative.

The owner of the covered mare receives both duplicates of the covering certificate from the stallion owner. He is obliged to keep one copy until the mare foals, as certification of covering. Should the mare meanwhile be sold then her buyer shall take over this obligation. A further copy serves as a receipt for the covering fee.

The stallion owner collects the first sheet of the covering certificate and at the end of the covering season sends these to the BHHS office.

A blank certificate may, as a matter of principle, only be used in the case of mares which are not yet registered at the time of covering.

The stallion owner is obliged to keep a list of mares covered.

9. Foal registration

The birth of a foal must be reported within 28 days to the authorised representative of the BHHS. This person fills out the registration of foaling form, which is then signed by the mare owner. The authorised person passes the first sheet of the registration of foaling on to the BHHS, the owner receives one copy.

If a mare does not give birth to a foal, or if the foal dies shortly after birth then the registration of foaling shall also be filled in, with full reasons given, and passed on by the mare’s owner to the BHHS.

This also applies in the case of stillborn foals.

The registration of foaling must at least contain:

  • name and number of the foal’s dam,
  • name and number of the sire,
  • name and membership number of the owner of the mare and foal
  • date of birth, sex, colour and markings of the foal,
  • in appropriate cases, information about stillbirth or death shortly after birth
  • signature of the mare’s owner.

10. Certification of origin

This is the pedigree papers and birth certificate.

As certification of origin, the BHHS office issues pedigree certificates or birth certificates in a passport, providing the parents and grandparents are registered, or can be registered, in the Stud Book of the BHHS. Pedigree certificates, birth certificates and proof of ownership documents are certificates concerning the ancestry and performance standards of a horse. They belong to the horse and remain the property of the issuing breed society, in the case of change of ownership they are to be handed over to the new owner and in the case of death of the horse, to be returned to the issuing office. A duplicate copy of a certification of origin can only be issued on application, and then only on presentation of an assurance on oath about the loss of the original certification of origin with a signature certified by a notary public. It is to be clearly marked as a duplicate copy.

Certifications of origin are, as a matter of principle, only to be issued in the year of birth, It is a condition of the issuing of certifications of origin that the dam and / or the sire is registered with the BHHS within the year of birth of the foal.

11. Pedigree certificates

Pink pedigree certificates shall be issued by the society for foals by stallion book sires and out of Main Stud Book and Stud Book mares. The front page of the pedigree papers bears the BHHS emblem.

The pedigree certificates are to be issued when the following conditions are fulfilled :

  • both parents in the year of the covering act are registered in the appropriate section of the Stud Book, or will be at the latest in the year of the birth of the foal
  • the foaling was announced within 28 days after the date of foaling
  • the identification of the foal at the mare’s foot is assured by the breeding director or an authorised person appointed by him or in some other way
  • the requirements laid down under restrictions on the use of stallions and Non-Hanoverian foal branded mares are fulfilled.

The pedigree certificates contain the following information

  • name of the breeder’s society
  • place and date of issuing
  • registration numbername and address of the breeder and of the owner,
  • date when the mare was covered
  • date of birth, sex, colour and markings
  • identification
  • name, registration number, colour and breed of the parents and names, registration numbers and breed of a further generation
  • registration of the breeding horse and its ancestors in the section of a Stud Book
  • the signature of the person responsible for the breeding work or his representative
  • the results of the performance tests and the breeding value assessment of the horse, the parents and, in the case of pure bred horses, also of the grandparents
  • notes concerning licensing and insemination permission
  • performance evidence
  • show successes.

The registration of each new owner should be possible. The pedigree papers constitute an important document for the owner of the horse. The papers are an essential requirement for the registration in an appropriate Stud Book section.

12. Birth Certificate.

A birth certificate is to be issued when the conditions for the issuing of pedigree papers are not fulfilled, however, the following requirements are met:


  • in the year the mare was covered, or at the latest in the year of the birth of the foal, the sire was registered in the Stallion Book of the BHHS,
  • the foaling was registered within 28 days from the date of foaling.

The birth certificate shall contain the same information as the pedigree papers, however its appearance is otherwise neutral and it does not bear the emblem of the society.

Horses with a birth certificate from the BHHS cannot be registered into a section of the Stud Book of the BHHS.

13. Amendment of breeding or other data

All amendments, for example, breeding data, death or sale, amendments of colour or distinguishing marks, results of performance tests, are to be communicated immediately to the BHHS office by the horse’s owner without any particular request to do so being made.

14. Identification

Identification is made by means of a description, which should be as detailed as possible, of the colour and markings of the horses, by indicating the registration number and a name as well as the branding of a foal brand mark.

15. Registration number (life number)

Each horse is allocated a number when it is a foal, or at the latest when it is registered in the Stud Book. This number is not to be changed. This applies even if the horse concerned is transferred to a different section in the Stud Book. All existing numbers of horses issued with G.B. papers will be preceeded by 826 (UK) 006 (BHHS).

The life number is composed as follows: Example 8260061211194


826 006 12 111 94
Society issued
Stallion number
Covering registration number of the previous year
Year of birth


16. Registration name

Mares which are registered in the Main Stud Book or Stud Book as well as stallions which are registered in the Stallion Book, receive a name in addition to their number. This name is to begin with the same letter as the name of the sire.

The name allocated at the time of registration in a Stud Book must be maintained. A name given once to a stallion may not be given again to any other than a full brother (with the appropriate addition 11 etc); otherwise a stallion registered with a “duplicate name” will only be listed with its life number in all Society publications.

17. Branding regulations (optional)

Branding is now optional in the UK.  The branding is done by a responsible person appointed by the Society when the foal, before it is weaned from the dam, is inspected for the purposes of description, conformation, type, microchip, colour and markings.

Foals may only be branded on the hip when they fulfil the requirements concerning pedigree and other factors which are necessary for the issuing of the pedigree certificate. Then they receive a brand mark on the near side hip.

Foals exported in the mares’ womb shall only be given the brand mark of the BHHS in agreement with or after notifying the regional breeding association responsible. As a matter of principle, the branding regulations of the breeding area concerned should apply to these foals.

18. Assurance of identity by means of DNA test

For each registered horse or horse presented for registration and for each foal to be registered, a DNA number shall be deposited with the BHHS. In such cases, the cost shall be borne by the breeder.

On the occasion of the licensing or registration of a stallion, a DNA test of the sire and the dam are to be presented.

If the mare or the stallion is registered with another association, then this association shall be obliged to give administrative aid.

19. Concluding provisions.

Alterations to the above-mentioned stud book regulations and breeding programme will be agreed between the committee of the BHHS and the VhW before being made.


Appendices to the Breeding Rules

1. Mares Graded and Performance tested prior to 1997.

All mares which have already satisfied the qualifications will, for the purposes of this scheme, be treated as having qualified in its year of introduction (1997) and without penalty of age, must register a foal under rules regarding inclusion of other breeding populations within three further years.

2.  Mare Performance Test age limitation.

Mares over the age of 5 years will be eligible to qualify for the Elite Status if they satisfying requirements under the Elite mare scheme before 31/12/1999.