UK and KWPN-NA inspections

UK inspections

Each year the KWPN organizes inspections in Great Britain where mares can be presented for Studbook entry or a higher predicate. In addition, also foals, yearlings, and two-year-old fillies can be presented for judging. The KWPN provides DNA testing, sketching, and measuring services at no additional charge for inspections held in the United Kingdom.



Mares may be presented for Studbook acceptance from the year they turn age three. To participate, mares must be recorded in the KWPN Foal Book (vb) or Register A (reg.A). Older mares are also eligible for studbook acceptance. The inspections are also open to mares registered in a KWPN recognized studbook.

At the inspection, each mare is measured and her markings are checked. Next, she must be presented in-hand before a panel of judges lining up and also in walk and trot on the hard surface. After that the mare will be turned loose in a fenced area to show her loose movement and jumper mares must also show themselves in free jumping. A linear score form is used to assess each horse. Mares that pass the assessment are entered in the Studbook and become eligible to earn the ster predicate. For mares that are registered A, studbook entry will be final after they met the required criteria.


Selection Day Procedures

To ensure an optimum start, we recommend arriving at the selection venue at least one hour prior to its start to allow ample time to prepare your mare and let her settle in. Upon arrival, please report to the secretary and present your mare’s registration certificate. The secretary will then issue you bridle numbers. Bridle numbers must be secured to both sides of the mare’s bridle, and the person presenting the mare must be dressed in white. Prior to the start of judging, mares should be hand-walked to allow them to relax and warm up for the free-movement or free-jumping evaluation.


Measuring and Sketching

In principle, every horse recorded in the Foal Book or Register A is sketched as a foal and implanted with a chip. At the selection, a judge will first check the mare’s chip number (if present) and then compare her markings with the markings sketched in her passport as a foal. If necessary, sketches are amended as it is sometimes difficult to accurately record a foal’s complete markings. Each change, if any, is noted in the mare’s passport and stamped by the KWPN. Next, the mare is measured. To qualify for Studbook acceptance, mares must stand at least 1.58m/15.2 hands; and to qualify for the ster predicate, they must measure no less than 1.60m/15.3 hands.


Linear Scoring

When the ring steward signals your mare’s turn in the ring, she should be brought in and lined up on hard surface in front of the judges. She should stand with her weight evenly distributed over all four feet, and all four legs must be visible to the judges. Next, the judges will ask for the mare to be walked back and forth over approximately 20-30 meters to allow them to assess leg conformation and movement. After that, they will request the mare be trotted back and forth in an unhurried tempo over at least a 30-meter distance to properly evaluate her movement. Finally, the mare must be lined up again before the judges, but this time showing her other side. This procedure avoids the judges disturbing horses by walking around them. Once the mare is lined up, the judges will evaluate her conformation and record their observations on the linear score form. The form, which is used to describe conformation and bio-mechanical functionality, provides breeders with an overview of their horse’s quality.


Free-Movement and Free-Jumping

In this phase, the presenter brings the mare to the indoor arena to demonstrate her movement (walk, trot, and canter) freely. Jumper mares must also undergo a free-jumping evaluation. (Horses may wear protective boots on their front legs during this phase.) Upon entering the arena, the presenter should walk the mare around the perimeter to let her acclimate to the surroundings. The judges will signal when the mare should be let loose, tracking to the right. The trot and canter are evaluated in both directions.

After completing several rounds of trot and canter, a jumper mare should be directed through a line with three jumps. The first is a vertical placed six meters from the short side of the ring, with a trot pole before it. The second jump, another vertical, is placed 6.60 meters after the first, and the last jump is placed 7.10- 7.65 meters after the second. The last jump is initially set up as a vertical and later expanded into an oxer, the height of which depends on the age of the mare in the ring. As soon as the judges have seen enough to evaluate the mare, she is caught and walked around the ring once more before exiting. The judges use this period to evaluate the walk and then describe the mare’s performance to the registered party and spectators, using the public address system.


Final Presentation

Once all the mares have been evaluated individually for free-movement and free-jumping, they must return to the ring as a group for the results. The judges evaluate them one last time as their presenters walk them around the ring prior to the announcement of the definitive results. These include scores for conformation and movement/jumping, along with commentary. Following the announcements, the judging chair is available for additional explanation of individual results.



A scale from 0-100 is used to evaluate conformation, movement, and free-jumping.

Dressage horses are evaluated on conformation and free movement. The score for movement is the average of scores for the walk, trot, canter, and posture. To be accepted into the Studbook, a mare must earn at least 50 points for conformation and also50 points for free-movement.

Mares that score at least 70 points for conformation and 75 points for free-movement are awarded the ster predicate and may participate in the Central Selection. Once results are official, duplicate copies of the linear score form may be obtained from the secretary. Mares that are awarded the ster predicate are immediately evaluated to determine if they also qualify for a provisional keur predicate. The judges’ decisions are announced on site.

Jumpers are evaluated on conformation and free-jumping. The score for free-jumping is the average of scores for the canter, reflexes, technique and scope. In addition, jumpers receive a score for the walk and the trot. To be accepted in the Studbook, a mare must earn at least 50 points for conformation and also 50 points for free-jumping. The average scores for the walk and trot must be no less than 50 points. To receive the ster predicate, a mare must score at least 70 points for conformation, 75 points for jumping, and an average of 60 points for the walk and trot, upon which she qualifies for the Central Inspection. Once results are official, duplicate copies of the linear score form may be obtained from the secretary. Mares that are awarded the ster predicate are immediately evaluated to determine if they also qualify for a provisional keur predicate. The judges’ decisions are announced on site.


Foals and Yearlings

KWPN inspections in Great Britain offer evaluations of foals, yearlings, and two-year-old fillies. It is important that these young horses are well-prepared for the selection given their inexperience. First, we recommend acclimating foals to wearing a halter as soon as possible. Second, they should be taught how to walk obediently with a lead rope, as this is an important skill at large venues.

Owners should not be concerned if their foal still has a baby coat at the time of the selection, as foals are evaluated for their quality and not the texture or color of their coat. A healthy foal is more important than a shiny one. Moreover, the KWPN advises against body clipping foals as it puts them at greater risk for illness during bad weather. The hair around a foal’s eyes and its whiskers should also be left unclipped, for these are used for sensory perception to avoid injury from potentially harmful objects. However, owners may trim excess hair around the pasterns to allow judges to clearly view a foal’s legs. Finally, manes should be braided, regardless of a horse’s age.


In the judging process, foals are accompanied by their dams. Wearing a halter and lead rope, the foal should be lined up before the judges for an assessment of its conformation. To evaluate its movement, the foal should be turned loose to follow its dam led by the presenter. The judges will request a demonstration of the foal’s walk, trot, and canter. After each foal in a class has been evaluated, all the foals must return to the ring so the judges can determine the placings and announce the definitive results. The judging chair provides commentary on the foals.

While the foals are still in the ring or upon their exit, a KWPN representative will sketch their markings and pull hair samples for DNA testing. These procedures are required for definitive registration with the KWPN and issuance of a passport. The KWPN provides DNA testing and sketching services at no additional charge for inspections held in Great Britain. When you come with your mare to the inspections, it saves you having the vet to come out for sketching and you don’t have to pay for the DNA testing.



It is also possible to do a ridden test, the IBOP. The IBOP is open to three year and older mares, geldings and stallions and is in the UK available for Dressage Horses and Jumpers.

Tips for a successful inspection

Please read the current Rules and Guidelines. These documents include pertinent regulations and criteria. It is the responsibility of each participant to read this information carefully in advance.

The Entry form, Startinglists and Results can be found in the Overview of Events, several weeks before the events. You can find the rates list here.

Please Note: To enter the inspections you need to be a KWPN member to be able to login to MyKWPN. The horses you want to bring need to be regsitered in your name. The birth certificate of the foal needs to have been been returned to our office to be able to enter a foal. Please send in the necessary documents in time.

For more questions and eligibility please contact


KWPN-NA inspections

Every September the KWPN-NA organizes and holds its inspections throughout the U.S. and Canada. The KWPN-NA has a license agreement with the KWPN and operates from its own office in the state of Oregon. Inspections are open to eligible KWPN horses and those registered with an ‘Erkend’ studbook, that are owned by KWPN-NA members.

Young and mature horses are evaluated by a judging committee led by a KWPN inspector. The jury looks at foals, yearlings and two-year olds for premium grading, as well as horses three and older for acceptance into the studbook. There are also performance classes such as the IBOP, the DG Bar Cup for young dressage horses and the Claybrook Farms Cup free jumping competition for young jumpers and hunters. In addition to the Riding type horses, Gelders and harness horses are also judged.

To award breeders of horses bred and born in North America, Iron Spring Farm sponsors the Keuring Championship Awards, These awards will distribute prize money and recognize the Champion and Reserve Champion Foal and Mature Horses (3-7 year-old stallion, mare or gelding) in each of the breeding directions—dressage, jumpers, hunters, harness and Gelders.

Depending on interest in attending an inspection, the KWPN-NA office, Jury and Board of Directors decide the dates and locations of the inspections across the states and provinces of the U.S. and Canada. Inspections are open to eligible KWPN horses and those registered with an ‘Erkend’ studbook, that are owned by KWPN-NA members.

Different from inspections in Holland is that it is possible to present foals through 2-year olds, mares and geldings for studbook and predicates, as well as the initial inspection of stallions for approval – plus performance classes such as the IBOP for keur or the IBOP predicate, the DG Bar Cup (comparable to the Pavo Cup) and the Claybrook Farms Cup – at the same location on the same day. In effect it is possible for a prok mare to be accepted into the studbook, earn her ster predicate, become keur eligible (voorlopig keur) and pass her IBOP at one keuring – thereby going from foalbook to Elite in one day.

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About the KWPN

The KWPN (Studbook of the Royal Dutch Sport Horse) is a Netherlands-based organization specializing in the breeding of jumpers, dressage horses, harness horses, and Gelder horses.

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