We offer the following guide to assist those judges/competitors who many not be familiar with our Society. The A&ASP Inc. Show Guidelines may also be downloaded as a pdf document here.
SECTION 1: Standards for Appaloosas and Australian Spotted Ponies (ASPs)
The colour patterns and markings differ greatly between animals and sometimes during an individual animal's lifetime. Eligibility for the show ring is the responsibility of the Classification Sub-Committee. However, please report to the Show Secretary any entry that in your opinion needs re-checking.
While colours and markings are not normally determinate factors in judging, it should be borne in mind that where two Appaloosas or ASPs are equal in type, conformation, action and soundness, the award should be made to that particular entry which is most easily recognizable as Appaloosa/ASP.
1.1. Characteristics and Colour Patterns of Appaloosas and ASPs
Characteristics of Appaloosas and ASPs
Characteristics are white sclera around the eyes, mottled skin on the nostrils, mouth, anus and genitals and vertically stripped hooves. Striped hooves are desirable but not essential; some homogenous animals (e.g. Snowcaps, Few Spots and LP Roans) may not display vertical striped hooves and have white hooves instead. Animals with white markings above the hoof will also have a white hoof.
Description of Colour Patterns for Appaloosas and ASPs
LP Roan/Varnish Roan: Basic dark body colour with white sprinkled over all or part of the body. Varnish marks (areas of near solid colour) may be present on the hips, knees, hocks, elbows and facial bones. Not to be mistaken with Roan in non LP breeds.
Snowflake: Basic dark body colour with white spots over all or part of the body.
Blanket: Basic dark body colour with white blanket over croup, hindquarters, loins, back or part of these. Blankets may be spotted (spotted blanket) or free from spots (lace blanket or snowcap blanket).
Near Leopard: White body colour with dark spots over entire body. Head and part of neck and legs may be solid or roan.
Leopard: White body colour with dark spots over entire body, neck and head.
Few Spot: White body colour with few or no spots on the body. Areas of colour or dark roan on the ears, behind the elbows, the flank and the underside of the neck. Strong sclera and mottled skin are required.
1.2. Appaloosa Standard
Basically identical by that used by AAA except A&ASP Inc. does not allow the showing of solids or animals exhibiting excessive white (bald faces, white extending over the eye or wrapping over the jowl and white extending past half way of the knees or hocks).
General Appearance: Symmetrical and smooth, head is straight and lean, showing parti-coloured skin about the nostrils and lips, forehead is wide. Sclera of eyes is white, giving the eyes prominence and adding distinctiveness to head appearance. Ears are pointed and of medium size. Neck shows quality with clean cut throat latch and large wind pipe, chest is deep and blends into a well muscled sloping shoulder. Withers are prominent and well defined, forearm is well muscled, long, flat and tapered down to a broad knee. Cannons are short, wide and flat with wide smooth and well supported forelocks, pastern is medium long and sloping, hoofs are striped, rounded, deep, open and wide at the heels. Back is short and straight, loin is long with flank well let down. Hips are smoothly covered, being long, sloping and muscular. Thighs are long, muscular and deep, blending into well rounded quarters. Gaskins are long, wide and muscular extending to clean, clearly defined straight hocks.
Forelegs: Viewed in front, a perpendicular line from the point of the shoulder should fall upon centre of the knee, cannon and foot. Viewed from the side, a perpendicular line from the elbow joint should fall upon the centre of the knee and the pastern joints and the back of the foot.
Hind Legs: Viewed from behind, a perpendicular line from the quarter should fall upon the centre of the hock, cannon, pastern and foot. Viewed from the side, a perpendicular line from the hip joint should fall upon the centre of the foot and divide the gaskin in the middle, and a perpendicular line from the point of the quarter should run parallel with the line of the cannon.
Weight and Height: Weight usually ranges from 430 to 566 kg (950 to 1250 lb), and height from 14hh to 16hh. The minimum height for a mature Appaloosa (5 years and over) is 14hh. There is no maximum height.
1.3. Australian Spotted Pony Standard
Ideally the Australian Spotted Pony should be true pony type with good action and temperament. Height under 14 hands. In addition an ASP has the colour and characteristics described in Section 1.1.
As ASPs are still relatively few in numbers, not many classes have height divisions. This means that all the ponies in the class must be treated equally as regards conformation, action and temperament, and no special preference should be given for size. A judge may ask an ASP to give an individual workout just as an Australian Hunter Pony would be asked to do.
Please remember when judging Australian Spotted Ponies that the standard is a true pony.
Head: Should show quality with alert, well-proportioned ears, flat forehead, large well-filled eyes, and open nostrils. The head should be set on a well defined gullet.
Neck: Should be slightly crested with a good length of rein and no sign of coarseness.
Shoulders: Should slope to well defined withers. The shoulder should show no sign of heaviness or coarseness and the chest should be neither too narrow or too wide.
Back: Should be strong and the loins well coupled with deep girth and well ribbed.
Hindquarters: Should be well rounded and show good proportionate length of croup.
Tail: Should be well set on, perfectly straight and well carried.
Legs: Bones should be quite flat, showing strength without coarseness. Joints should be well shaped and proportionate to the pony. Cannon bones should be short and straight and pasterns of moderate slope and with proportionate width.
SECTION 2: Show Procedures
2.1. A&ASP Show Rules
These rules are for State and National and any show running under A&ASP (Inc) rules.
Animals shown at A&ASP Inc. State or National shows must be owned by, and shown by, financial members of A&ASP Inc.
Any shows run under A&ASP Inc. rules, where questions arise, AQHA rules apply.
At open shows the rules of the show in progress take precedence.
Formal protest in writing to council must be accompanied by a $20 fee.
Dressage and Eventing will be run under EFA rules.
Harness classes will be run under the rules of the Australian Driving Society.
Novelty events (games) will be run under the rules selected by the Show Society.
Appaloosas and Australian Spotted Ponies shown in Western gear are not to be plaited. Banding of manes is permissible but not a requirement.
Appaloosas and Australian Spotted Ponies shown in English may be plaited either in hand or under saddle.
A&ASP Inc. prohibits:
- Any drug or artificial item that will aid competitors' or animals' performance.
- Any drug or item masking any fault/blemish or injury on the horse/pony.
- Any drug or item that restricts movement or circulation of the tail.
- Lip chains in Halter classes.
Bandages or boots are only permitted in Jumping, Harness and games/cattle events. Competitors not obeying this rule will be asked to remove item or they will be withdrawn from the class.
Any Appaloosa/ASP shown with artificial markings shall be disqualified. This includes any dyeing of manes or tails or any other interference with the natural colour of the animal, also including makeup that changes the natural facial colour. Blackening of hooves is prohibited. Hoof striping to be visible. Clear Lacquer recommended.
False tails are now permissible when shown in open company, but not at our State/National or shows run under A&ASP Inc. rules.
No foal under the age of 6 months from 1st August of the year of its birth is to be shown in rings controlled by A&ASP Inc. The foal must be weaned, unclipped and restrained at all times. See A&ASP Rules Terms number 4 for age calculation.
A&ASP Inc. will not take responsibility for any loss or damage to property or any accident relating to pony/horse, competitor or spectator.
- Competitors shall neither contact, nor attempt to contact, the judge regarding his/her judging of any horse at that show.
- Competitors shall not approach the Judge for any reason prior to the completion of judging unless the Ring Steward is present.
- Any attempt to speak to the Judge must be made through the Ring Steward.
- No competitor will visit or socialize with a judge the day prior to, or day of, the show or contest.
- A judge may order any person or horse/pony from the competition for bad conduct of one or both or may disqualify any contestant for excessive abuse of the horse.
- The judge, at his/her discretion, may refuse entry into the arena or remove an entry from a class for improper attire and/or equipment.
- A judge may eliminate any horse/exhibitor as an entry which he/she feels is in violation of the intent of the Societies conduct rules, or which he/she does not feel has legitimately attempted to exhibit the horse/pony to the best of the horse/ponies ability.
When the ring is not being run under AQHA or HSAA rules (Agricultural Shows for example), animals being shown in English or Australian dress may be presented in bridles. Animals being shown Western must wear a Western halter. Appaloosas or ASPs shown in Western gear are not to be plaited; banding of manes is permissible but not a requirement. English, Western or Australian dress is acceptable, but in no circumstances can English, Western or Australian gear be mixed.
18 years and under. Birthdays from 1st of August each year.
At A&ASP Inc. shows, youth may not handle or ride stallions.
The class will be judged at a walk only in both directions of the ring. The competitor will be judged on his or her basic position in the saddle, hand, seat and back position. The horse must be lead by an adult (over 18 years). The lead must be at least 2m long (tail of lead must be held correctly and not left to drag) and be attached to the ring on the bit or halter that is under or over the bridle. In the line-up a judge may ask the competitors to back up their horses/ponies. If asked to back the adult should not aid the competitor.
The adult should only keep the horse/pony under control. The competitor may ride Western or English in this class. Person leading is to be dressed in accordance with the competitor. Chaps are optional as a western requirement for Leadline competitors.
Competitor to ride two handed in a snaffle bit regardless of the age of the horse/pony.
This class is limited to exhibitors 6 years and under who did not participate in any approved class at a show except for Showmanship and Halter.
2.5. Colour Classes
All animals participating will already have been classified. The judge only has to place the animals in the order of his/her personal preference. Conformation is not a factor in these classes. Some judges like bright patterns and others prefer a more subtle effect. There is no "right' or "wrong", and is definitely not dependent on such things as the number of spots or size of the blanket.
1. Best Leopard: All over spot pattern (spots over a white body).
2. Best Blanket: Predominately white area over rump - there may be spots in the blanket or other parts of the body.
3. Best Any Other Colour: Few spot (predominately white over entire body, may display varnish marks) and the LP roan/frosting type patterns.
No Appaloosa or ASP is allowed in more than one colour class.
2.6. Showing Suggestions for Appaloosas & ASPs In Hand at Agricultural Shows
All entries are required to wait until the judge requests them to present their horses/ponies. They then walk or jog to the judge in a straight line and walk or jog past him/her as requested. The animals then line up at right angle from the starting point. The judge then examines the animals in detail and decides the placings. As an Appaloosa/ASP is called out he/she stands a safe distance apart from the other competitors, nose to tail for sashing. Judges may prefer to use the normal Australian circle, call-in technique.
SECTION 3: Performance
This section is for judges (usually at Agricultural shows) less familiar with Appalosas and ASPs and how they should perform, especially in Western events. The material has been rearranged from the AQHA and HSAA SHOW AND PERFORMACE RULE BOOK.
Appaloosas are generally regarded as Western horses, but one of their attractive features is their versatility, so they also compete successfully in English classes. Australian Spotted Ponies are true pony types and are well suited for English performance. However, they are adaptable and can compete successfully in Open Western Performance rings.
Show management may divide or combine classes at their discretion, providing it is so stated on the programme.
3.1. English Classes
If the class on the program reads "Hack" or "Pony Hack", then it is judged as an ordinary English class. However, the program may say "Bridle Path Hack". This amounts to the same thing but the exact description is given below.
Bridle Path Hack Class
The horse should move with a rounder outline (than the Western Pleasure horse), hindquarters well under to achieve plenty of implusion and resulting in the poll being carried much higher. Paces should be well balanced with cadence and the horse should move forward with ease and smoothness. Horses should be obedient, have a bright expression and should respond willingly with light contact. Transitions should be smooth and flowing. The head position should be slightly in front of, or on, the vertical. To be judged 60% Performance and Manners, 30% Conformation, Quality and Substance and 10% Appointments and Presentation.
Hunter Under Saddle (no jumping)
The horse should move with long low strides reaching forward with ease and smoothness and be able to lengthen stride and cover ground with relaxed, free-flowing movement. Horses should be obedient, have a bright expression with alert ears, and should respond willingly to the rider with light leg and hand contact. The horse should be responsive and smooth in transition. When asked to extend the trot or hand gallop, they should move out with the same flowing motion. The poll may be level with or slightly above the withers to allow proper impulsion behind. The head position should be slightly in front of, or on, the vertical. This class will be judged on performance, condition and conformation. Maximum credit shall be given to the flowing, balanced, willing horse. A minimum of 20% of Condition and Conformation.
3.2. Western Classes
At Agricultural Shows there will probably be only one Western event - the Western Pleasure. The AQHA or HSAA judges will have no difficulty with this, although most likely the competitors will not be in the Western ring, but on the circle. For judges less familiar with the Western way the following description should be of assistance.
1. The following description shall apply whenever a specific gait is called for:
WALK: A natural, flat footed, four beat gait. The horse must move straight and true. The walk must be alert, with a stride of reasonable length in keeping with the size of the horse.
JOG: A smooth ground covering two beat diagonal gait. The horse works from one pair of diagonals to the other. The jog should be square, balanced and with straight, forward movement of the feet. Horses walking behind and trotting in front are not considered to be performing the required gait. When asked to "lengthen the stride", the horse will move to the ORDINARY TROT, performing with the same smooth way of going. Riders will NOT post, but will either sit or stand in the stirrups.
LOPE: An easy rhythmical, three beat gait. Horses travelling at a four beat gait are not considered to be performing a proper lope. The horse should lope with a natural stride, and appear relaxed and smooth going. Think of a gentle correct three beat canter.
2. WORK ON THE CIRCLE: In all classes on the circle the exhibits should be seen to bend into the circle from head to dock.
3. HEAD CARRIAGE: The head should be carried at an angle that is natural and suitable to the horse's conformation at all gaits. Artifically low or over bent head carriages should be HEAVILY penalized.
WESTERN PLEASURE CLASS
A good pleasure horse has a stride of reasonable length in keeping with his conformation. He has enough cushion to his pastern to give the rider a pleasant, smooth ride. He carries his head in a natural position, not high and over flexed at the poll or low with the nose out. He should flex at the poll and not at the withers. The horse should be relaxed but the rider commands without resistance or excessive cueing. All transitions should be smooth and easy.
Judges assess penalties in the following descending order:
1. BAD MANNERS on the rail or in the line-up, upsetting the class.
2. REFUSAL to back.
3. WRONG LEAD for 1/2 the arena or more.
4. GAPING horse's mouth open, especially during transitions.
5. HEAD CARRIAGE artificially low or over bent.
6. SOURNESS, excessive tail wringing, ears laid back etc.
7. TIGHT REIN for all or part of the work.
8. UNEVEN TRANSITIONS, head bobbing etc.
9. FOUR BEATING at the lope.
10. INABILITY to perform the ordinary trot.
11. WRONG LEAD for three or four strides.
Judges to apply the following rules and conditions:
1. To be judged: 60% on performance and manners, 30% on conformation, quality and substance and 10% on appointments and presentation.
2. Horses will be shown both ways of the ring at a walk, jog and lope on a reasonably loose rein.
3. Horses may be asked to change gait from any gait or stop from any gait, they may be asked to reverse inwards at the halt, walk or jog, not at the lope.
4. Horses may be asked to lengthen the stride at both the walk and jog.
5. Horses to back easily and stand quietly. Only the finalists are required to back.
6. Entries to be penalized for being on the wrong leads or for excessive speed.
7. Walk true and flat-footed.
8. Jog square, slow and easy. This is a ground covering gait.
9. Lope smooth, slow and easy on both leads.
10. Tack Appointments, Personal Appointments, Optional and Prohibited Appointments; see General Western Rules Section AQHA SHOW AND PERFORMANCE RULE BOOK.
11. Individual workouts not required._