Inspection Criteria (General)
This is an outline of the inspection and licensing requirements. It describes what to expect at an inspection. Copies of the blank judge’s evaluation sheet will be made available to all participants prior to inspections. A copy of the actual inspection score sheet, with comments, will also be provided to owners.
Inspections will consist of 2 divisions, one for horses 2 years of age and older (Premium Grading w/Predicates and Stallion Approval) and one for horses under 2 years of age (Young Stock Premium Grading).
Premium Grading with Predicates will consist of 3 levels, to include: In-Hand inspection, Working Inspection (Ridden or Driven) and Offspring Results. Owners may choose to have their horses inspected in any one or all three levels.
Premiums will consist of 1st, 2nd and 3rd Premiums
Predicates will consist of: Star *, Model** and Elite***
All stallions seeking breeding licenses will have to undergo a vet exam. The exam will include (as a minimum) an inspection to determine that both testicles are fully descended with no obvious abnormalities, a soundness test (including heart, lungs and flexion test) and inspection of the mouth/bite and eyes. This exam is to be done prior to the inspection and is the responsibility of the stallion owner. Exam forms will be provided by the GCDHA. Questionable conclusions resulting from this vet exam may require further tests/x-rays to rule out potential genetic abnormalities.
Licensing approval for all stallions will be given on a provisional basis, based on the quality and genetic integrity of their offspring. Stallion licenses, will not be issued to any horse less than 2 years of age (24 months). Licensed stallions who have been proven to consistently produce very poor quality offspring, or offspring with genetic abnormalities, may have their licenses suspended and/or revoked.
Inspection Levels and Stallion Licensing:
Level I: Horses will be inspected in-hand while standing quietly and also at the walk and trot. Inspection criteria will include breed characteristics, conformation, movement, soundness and temperament. Applicants may be asked to present their horses on the triangle or other patterns. Level I is the minimum requirement for stallions seeking licensing approval.
Level II: All Level II inspections require the horse to be presented working, either driving or under saddle. Ridden horses will work at walk, trot, canter and stand quietly and will also be asked to back. Driven horses will work at a walk, trot and working trot and must also stand quietly. Horses may be asked to back and, depending on type of driven presentation, may also be asked to canter (i.e., driven dressage, etc.). A simple pattern may be requested but shall not include lead changes or hand gallops. Scoring marks to include breed type and characteristics, brilliance of working movement, safety, soundness, willingness and work ethic. Handlers will be allowed an opportunity to showcase additional movement/maneuvers, at their discretion. This is considered a brief bonus time and does not have to be used. However, if a handler chooses to take advantage of the allowed bonus time, it will be evaluated, scored and included in the final marks.
Level III: The highest level of inspection is geared towards breeding mares and stallions (geldings see the note below). Level III will be based on the scores of a minimum number of registered offspring (offspring to include Drum Horses and Gypsy Cobs but no part-breds to be included). Stallions must sire a minimum of six offspring who achieve a Star Predicate and Mares must produce a minimum of three offspring who achieve a Star Predicate.
Any two levels, or even all three levels, of inspection may take place during a single inspection or may be spread out over a number of years and inspections and/or inspection sites. There will be no extra charge for Level II inspection if done at the same time as a Level I inspection. Level III inspections will only be assessed the cost of individual inspection of said offspring. Offspring of Level III applicants need not be owned by the same owner.
Predicates will be awarded to horses 2 year of age, or older, who receive 1st Premiums in any of the three Inspection Levels.
A horse earning a 1st Premium in any level will be awarded a Star* Predicate
A horse earning a 1st Premium in any two levels will be awarded a Model** Predicate
A horse earning a 1st Premium in all three levels will be awarded an Elite*** Predicate.
Note on Geldings: Because geldings cannot be judged on offspring, to attain elite status they must be judged in both ridden and driven disciplines. For instance, if they attained their Model status while being ridden, they would be required to test for Elite status while being driven. If they received their Model status while being driven, they would be required to test for Elite status while being ridden.
Horses under 2 years of age are encouraged to be brought forward for inspection but will only be shown in-hand. These scores will become a permanent part of their inspection record, though they will not count toward stallion licenses or Predicate Status. Designation of awards for horses under the age of 2 years, earning high enough scores, will be recorded as Graded Premiums and listed as follows.
Awards and/or incentives may be given to the high scoring horse(s), nationwide, to be determined either by age, category, level or gender. These awards and/or incentives may change from year to year. These awards are different from our year-end show awards and do not require nomination. The Gifted Gelding program provides a category for high scoring geldings. Gifted Geldings earn national recognition and cash rewards.
Schooling your horse for an inspection: All horses should lead willingly at a walk and trot, moving briskly in a straight line. They should also stop and stand quietly, allowing inspectors to safely touch the legs, check the bite, etc. Horses being presented in Level II should be working quietly and safely in the chosen discipline and stand quietly, upon request.
The Gypsy Cob and Drum Horse Association takes its commitment to quality breeding practices, very seriously. The GCDHA encourages breeders to have all their breeding stock inspected. For a breeding stallion to receive his Stallion License, he must be brought forward for a physical inspection.
Below is a list of frequently asked questions that may be of interest.
Q. - What does this mean to me and will my stallion lose his registration if he is not brought forward for inspection or does not receive a score high enough to allow him his license?
A. - Stallions that are not brought forward for inspection, or who have scores too low to receive a license, will not lose their registration status. However, these stallions and any foals sired by these stallions and born in 2010, or later, will only be allowed in a section of the stud book designated as “Non-approved”.
Q. – Does my stallion have to be inspected every year?
A. – No, once a stallion is licensed, he does not have to be inspected again. However, even if a stallion has received his license, he may lose it if he sires foals of consistently poor quality or is proven to pass genetic defects.
Q. - If I have a foal registered in the Non-approved Stud Book, is there any way I can get it moved to the Main Stud Book?
A. – Yes, any offspring sired by a non-approved stallion, may be brought forward for inspection. If they receive an acceptable score, they may be moved to the Main Stud Book, based on their own merits. In addition, if a non-approved stallion is ever brought forward for inspection and receives his stallion license, all previously sired foals will be transferred to the Main Stud Book.
Q. – I am very committed to a quality breeding program, is there something more I can do, besides having my stallion licensed?
A. – Yes, in addition to stallions, our inspections are open to all registered Gypsy Cob and Drum Horses. Having your mares inspected is optional but is an exemplary way to evaluate your breeding stock and offer potential clients a keen insight into the quality of your breeding program. Plus, we offer gelding incentives for high scoring geldings.
Q. – How old does my stallion have to be before he is inspected.
A. – A horse may be inspected at any age, but for purposes of issuing a Stallion License, a horse must be a minimum of 24 months at the time of inspection and we strongly urge all owners to wait until 3 years of age before breeding their horses.
Q. – If my stallion scores too low to receive his license, do I have another chance to have him inspected?
A. – Yes, if your stallion does not score well enough, you can bring him back for re-evaluation. Many young horses can take several years to reach their full potential and may not score high enough if they are too young and/or immature at their initial presentation.
Q. – Why are we required to do a physical inspection instead of just photos and video?
A. – While we trust the integrity of our members, we know that photos and videos can often give a skewed perception of what a horse really looks/moves like. Many, less-than-beautiful horses can appear quite spectacular when photographed by a talented individual. The reverse can also be true, some truly superior horses are, occasionally, not very photogenic or have the luck of belonging to someone a little less talented with a camera. Not only are photos ineffective at capturing the true quality of a horse, they cannot allow a thorough exam of the leg and bone beneath the feather nor can they give a true representation of a horse’s disposition. Disposition is a key characteristic of a Gypsy Cob and Drum Horse and far too important to try and evaluate through photos/vidoes, alone.