FEI Pony Measurement Rules Fine-tuned and Regulated

Thu, 04/17/2008 - 00:00
FEI Dressage News

The FEI reissued the rules and regulations for FEI pony competition sport on January 1, 2008. The International Equestrian Federation has made several important changes to the measurement procedures for ponies.

Most important rule change is that ponies are no longer allowed to be reshod after measurement and inspection.

Last year at the 2007 European Pony Championships, several ponies were presented with shoes only a few millimeters thick. The millimeter shoes allowed the rider/owner to subtract one full centimeter of the height of the pony during measurement. After the measurement, those ponies were reshod with new, normal shoes that are almost one centimeter thick. This FEI has realised this fraudulous tampering with the rules and banned it.

The FEI's definition of a pony still is, "a small horse whose height at the withers, having been measured on a smooth level surface, does not exceed 148 cm without shoes or 149 cm with shoes."

Pony Measurement

  • All ponies competing at the CH- EU-P will be measured on site before starting the competition. Random testing at various CDI-P may also take place.
  • The FEI definition of a pony is in accordance with A rticle 3103.1.
  • Nevertheless, to allow for the f ct that FEI pony measurement takes place under competition conditions ponies measured at competition must not exceed 150cm without shoes or 151cm with shoes in o rde r to be permitted to compete.
  • Where FEI Pony Measurement is to be carried out before the Horse Inspection, the period of an Event shall commence with the first Pony Measurement. Such provision shall prevail over the General Regulations.

Measurement Annex

1. Measurement of ponies for at FEI Events and Championships can only be conducted by a designated Measuring Veterinarian appointed by the NF FEI and working under instruction of the NF FEI . Their independence and freedom from conflict of interest must be assured in each case.

2. The Organising Committee must ensure that a suitable smooth and level area at least 3 meters by 1 meter is available at the place of measurement, free from avoidable disturbances and distractions which may unsettle the pony. This will be verified by the Technical Delegate in consultation w ith the Veterinary Delegate.

3. It is the responsibility of the owner, and in his interest, to ensure that the pony is well handled, accustomed to the application of a measuring stick, and correctly prepared for measurement.

4. The Measuring Veterinarian(s) carrying out the measurement must identify the pony against its FEI passport (or its national passport which has been approved by the FEI).This will be done as the pony is given time to relax. 

5. A pony must be presented for measurement in the shoes and pads in which he will compete at the competition. Once the competition has begun shoes may not be changed without the written authorisation of the President of the Ground Jury and the FEI Veterinary Delegate. Any shoe change after measurement – either authorised or suspected – may, at the discretion of the Ground Jury, result in a remeasurement of the pony. In the case of the second measurement differing f rom the first, the higher result w ill be taken into account. Details of all of the above must be sent with the Official Reports following any event.

6. A pony must be presented for me asurement in either a head collar without a bit or in a bridle with a bit. 

7. The pony should be handled quietly and allowed to relax before measurement is attempted.

8. In the interest of safety no more than two people may accomp any the pony to measurement (this may include owner, rider, Chef d’Equipe, team veterinarian or g room).

9. Any parties impeding the work of the FEI measurement officials or failing to cooperate may be asked to leave the measurement area. The FEI measuring veterinarians may refuse to measure a pony in the event of parties interfering with or obstructing their work.

10. The pony must be positioned for measurement with the front legs parallel and perpendicular; the toes of the front feet should be in line. Both hindfeet must be taking weight and as near perpendicular as possible; the toes of the hind feet should be not more than 15 cm out of line with each other.

11. The pony’s head must be in its natural upright position.

12. The measurement must be taken at the highest point of the withers (i.e. immediately above the spinous process of the 5th thoracic vertebra) which should be identified by palpation if necessary and marked before any measurements are made. The FEI measuring ve terinarians may refuse to measure a pony whose withers show signs of having been interfered w ith.

13. The veterinarian carrying out the measurement has the responsibility that the stick he uses is an accurate one. The stick must be fitted with a spirit level and must be shod with metal. A laser device can also be used.

14. Each pony will be measured in succession by two FEI Measuring veterinarians. Should the two measurements differ, the lower of the two heights will be taken as definitive and no further measurement will take place at the competition.

15. At the time of measurement, the physical condition of the pony must, in the opinion of the Measuring Veterinarian, be such that the pony is fit to compete. If the pony on presentation to the veterinarian shall in his/her opinion be unfit to be measured for any reason, or present evidence of improper preparation, the owner shall be informed that the pony cannot be measured and the refo re cannot participate in the competition.

16. If a measuring veterinarian is unable to measure a pony, the owner may request that the pony present for remeasurement. A maximum of one further attempt at measurement may be carried out. This will be carried out by the same FEI veterinarian and the pony must be represented for measurement within a maximum time of 1 hour of the initial measurement. The pony must be accompanied to a holding paddock by an FEI steward for the duration of this waiting period. The pony may be ridden during this period. Should the pony be unfit to be measured a second time for any reason the owner shall be informed that the pony cannot be measured and therefore cannot participate in the competition. The veterinarian’s decision as to fitness and preparation for measurement shall be final.

17. In addition to the report made by each FEI designated veterinarian a Check list (see A nnex CI I ) will be completed in triplicate for each ind ividual pony measured. A copy will be sent to the FEI by the measuring veterinarian along with his report. A copy will be given to the pony’s owner and a copy will be given to the Ground Jury. These forms should form part of the Ground Jury Presidents report to the FEI .

18. It is the responsibility of the President of the Ground Jury to ensure that any pony failing to pass the FEI measurement is not allowed to start in the competition.

19. It is the responsibility of each NF to ensure that any pony measuring overheight is not entered at any further international events and that the passport be sent to the FEI within the 15 days immediate ly following the event at which the measurement was carried out. The fact that the pony has measured out will be marked in the passport and recorded at FEI HQ and the passport will be returned to the N F. 

Dress and Tack

  • When mounted protective head gear secured by a three point retention harness is compulsory.
  • Fly hoods will be permitted solely in order to protect horses from insects. These will be permitted in extreme cases only and at the discretion of the President of the Ground Jury/ Technical Delegate. The fly hoods should be discreet and should not cover the horse’s eyes.
  • The snaffle bit must be made of metal or rigid plastic and may be covered with rubber. Rubber snaffles are allowed. Double bridles, hackamores and gags are not allowed. 

Individual Championship

  • Open to the best 15 competitors/ponies of the Team Championship and Individual Qualifying Competition (see 7.2), maximum of 3 riders per country may participate (se lected by the Chef d’Equipe) including those who tie for the 15 th placing (Individual Championship Test).

Complete Pony Rules can be found here

Related Links
Follow-up on Pony Measurement Conducted during the 2007 FEI European Pony Championship
New Pony Measurement Rules Announced on FEI Website
FEI Decides to Ban Over-Sized Ponies