Rules for Conduct of Shows

Untitled Document


Rules for Conduct of Shows

1.  By participating at a show, show organisers, judges, exhibitors, owners and handlers agree that they will unconditionally submit themselves and the persons assisting and accompanying them to the "Rules for Conduct of Shows" and, as regards veterinary matters and drug misuse, to the relevant ECAHO Veterinary Regulations and ECAHO Rules for Medication Control. The accompanying persons include e.g. trainers or persons representing the show organizer as well as assistants of any of those persons. They will accept the jurisdiction of the Disciplinary Committee (DC), the Standing Disciplinary Committee (SDC) and the ECAHO Appeals Committee (EAC).

The person responsible for the horse is the registered owner or the lessee, but the person who signs the entry form, the handler, and other support personnel including but not limited to grooms and veterinarians may be regarded as additional persons responsible if they are present at the event or have made a relevant decision about the horse.  Should the person responsible designate someone to represent them (e.g. a lawyer) any correspondence sent to this representative will be deemed to have been communicated to the person responsible.

These Rules will be interpreted when necessary under the provisions of the laws of Switzerland.

Show organisers are not permitted to introduce rules which are in conflict with the EAHSC "Rules for Conduct of Shows".

2. Horses must be accompanied at the show by a horse passport containing all vaccination records. Those horses coming from a country that does not issue a passport, must be accompanied by an official Registration document which includes a graphic description and all vaccination records. If, when a horse attends a show, it’s passport is at the Registry for any reason, then a letter from the registrar attesting to this must be provided along with a photo-copy of the passport, including the description and the vaccination records.

The Show Organiser 

3. The show organiser reserves the right to refuse an entry, but must give the reason for refusal in writing.

4. The show organizer will issue a printed show catalogue. The name of every horse must be printed in the show catalogue, as well as the names of sire and dam, (and maternal grandsire if possible) date of birth, colour, the names of the breeder and the owner. Should a horse’s name not be mentioned in the catalogue, its participation at the show will be allowed only if the exhibitor cannot be blamed for the omission; it will be for the DC to decide.

The show catalogue shall furthermore contain:

  • The names of all the Officials
  • The Rules for Conduct of Shows
  • The judging system used; the rules for ties and rules for championships.
  • For shows where prize money is awarded the total amount and distribution of the prize money

5. No class may be split unless there are more than 10 horses entered. Combination of a class with the next age group of the same sex is permitted if the number of entries for the class is below three.

6. a) No announcement indicating the identity, breeding or past performance of exhibits, or the identity of their owners will be made during judging. It is, however, permissible for this information to be given out after the judges score sheets have been collected for each exhibit.
b) Show organisers will not release details of competitors or their exhibits to the press at any time prior to the catalogue being put on sale at the showground. Catalogues will not be offered for sale, published or posted on internet more than one day before the commencement of the show.

7. a) No member of the show organising team may judge, or officiate as member of the Disciplinary   Committee.

     b) If an ECAHO Official or a member of their family is a part of the Organizing Committee of an independent A or Title show, which is not organized by the National Association of the country where the show is held, then that Official cannot officiate at any other A or Title shows.

c)  Members of the Organizing Committee of A and Title shows may not enter their own horses in a Show which they organize.

d)  No judge may judge more than one Title Show within Europe and one Title show outside Europe during the same calendar year.

e)   No Judge may judge more than 15 Arabian horse shows in ECAHO Member countries in the calendar year.

  • No Member of the DC / Ringmaster may officiate at more than 15 Arabian horse shows in ECAHO Member countries in the calendar year.

8. The show organizers will ensure a proper rotation of judges.

9. The show organiser will provide appropriate transport, accommodation and meals during the show, for the judges, DC members, ring master and any other ECAHO show officials. If a judge, DC member or ring master cancels the invitation after the travel arrangements have been made, he will pay all the costs arising out of this booking.

10. The following minimum daily fees are mandatory and to be paid by the organizer to judges, DC members and ring masters per working day regardless of the actual hours: B International and C International, European and specific origin shows: € 100/- A shows: € 150/- Title shows: € 200/-. 
For all other shows a daily fee is optional and at the discretion of the show-organization.  Material gifts are always allowed, regardless of the category of the show.

Judges, DC Members, Ringmasters and respective probationers, hereafter referred to as ‘official(s)’

11. Officials invited to officiate at ECAHO affiliated shows agree to do so with integrity and honesty and to carry out their duties solely with the objects of ECAHO and the welfare of the horses in mind.

12. a) Officials appointed at a show will not knowingly officiate in a class in which horses are entered concerning which there may be an actual or apparent conflict of interest.  No official appointed at the show may exhibit, ride, drive or handle an entered horse or pursue any other activity not consistent with his duties at the show in which he is officiating.

       b) Exhibitors will declare on the entry form any actual or apparent conflict of interest with any of the officials invited for the show.  Any exhibitor not declaring an existing conflict of interest, of which he is aware, will forfeit all entry fees and will be prevented from showing the horse.

       c) Organizers will not accept any entries for which any actual or apparent conflict of interest with one of the appointed officials has been indicated by the exhibitor, unless a reserve official is available.

       d) Judges will not visit exhibitors ‘premises or accept exhibitors’ hospitality or gift immediately before or during the show concerned, or accept any other benefits that could bring into question the judge’s integrity or honesty.

13. a) An actual or apparent conflict of interest may occur if a horse is exhibited that:

  • is being trained or handled by a member of the official’s family
  • has been bought or sold by an official either as owner or agent
  • has been bred or is owned in whole or part by the official or by a member of the official’s family, or business partner in an Arab horse business venture
  • has been leased by the official, at any time
  • has been bred by or is the property of a breeding organization in which the official is or was an employee
  • has been regularly trained, examined or treated by the official in a professional capacity
  • Is the subject of an on-going negotiation to buy or lease, or a provisional purchase condition to which the official is a party.

An actual or apparent conflict of interest may further occur, amongst others, if the Official, irrespective of the payment of receipt of  remuneration or any other consideration, during the period of one year                 (365 days) before a show at which the Official officiates:

  • has entered into any business relationship with an exhibitor at that show.
  • has received, whilst being involved with the organization of any show or event, sponsorship from an exhibitor at that show or event.
  • This does not apply to those events organized on behalf of a National Association which is a Full Member of ECAHO, as long as the Official has no financial benefit from the sponsorship.
  • has performed consulting for an exhibitor at that show.
  • has purchased or sold a horse from or to an exhibitor at that show.
  • was involved with the breeding of a horse of an exhibitor at that show.
  • was involved in similar activities with an exhibitor at that show.        

In case of doubt, the DC’s decision will prevail
Any Official must decline to officiate if they consider themselves to have a conflict of interests concerning a horse, its ‘handler or its’ owner(s).

13. b) if, during the show a conflict of interests of which the exhibitor was un-aware becomes apparent, the following options are available:

  • If the official with the conflict of interests is a judge or probationer judge,
  • the judge or probationer judge will suspend his/her duties for the duration of the class and respective championship
  • a published reserve judge or another judge from the judges panel may be used for the class and respective championship
  • if the above mentioned (i) is not applicable and if no reserve judge is available or there are no more members of the judges panel, the total points in the class will be multiplied by the factor of planned number of judges divided by the actual number of judges, to calculate a comparable score in case of ties in championships.

      ii) if the official with the conflict of interests is a DC member, this DC member is not allowed to issue any yellow or red cards for the duration of the class respective championship, but may continue all other duties

     iii)  If the official with the conflict of interests is a Ringmaster, this Ringmaster may be replaced for the duration of the conflict by:

  • a reserve Ringmaster
  • a member of the acting DC

All aspects concerning actual conflicts of interests and their consequences will be recorded in the DC report.

14. All officials will receive a list of exhibitors and sponsors from the organizer immediately after the official closing date of entries.  Any later entries will be communicated without delay.

Judges will not consult the show catalogue before or during the show at which they are judging.

15. In the show ring, all communication between judges and handlers prior to the presentation of prizes will be through the Ringmaster.

16. Judges may withhold any award if in their opinion the exhibit does not merit such an award.

17. The judge, or if more than one, the panel of judges may request that the Ringmaster show a handler a yellow or red card if they consider that there is abuse to a horse or what there is misconduct.

Conduct of Halter Classes

18. All handlers at A and Title Shows must be in possession of a valid handler’s permit which they must present to the DC in order to participate in the Show.

19. Handlers will be neatly dressed. They may wear any costume normally worn in their country of origin. Handlers will not wear clothes carrying any form of advertising which discloses the connection of the horse they are handling.

20. The judge(s) may request that the ringmaster order unruly horses to be withdrawn.

21. The judge(s) may request that the ringmaster ask a handler to open a horse's mouth or pick up its feet for inspection.

22. Exhibits are to be judged standing, walking and trotting. Handlers who do not comply with the ring master's instructions regarding the above may be given a Yellow/Red card by the ring master.

23. a) Horses will appear in the collecting ring no less than 10 minutes before the start of the class.

b) Exhibits that appear late (missing the walk around the ring) will be excluded from the class.

24. Stallions and colts aged three years and over may be shown wearing bridles and bits that are both secure and comfortable for the horse.  All bridles without bits are equally to be both secure and comfortable for the horse.  Any horse that is not under control will be removed from the show ring and disqualified.

25. a) Any horse becoming loose in the collecting ring is subject to a penalty (of a fine not exceeding 100 €) at the discretion of the DC.

b) Any horse becoming loose in the show ring will immediately continue to be shown and is subject to a penalty (of a fine not exceeding 100€) at the discretion of the DC. Should the horse become loose a second time it will be disqualified.

26. All horses that are awarded a ranking in their respective class must take part in the Class prize giving ceremony.  Unless the DC decides otherwise in which case any representative of the horse may accept the medal without the horse being present.  Absence of the horse or any representative to appear in the prize giving ceremony will disqualify the horse from the show, with its record of score in the Class being deleted and it will be sanctioned according to Rules for Disciplinary Committees article 16.

In the event of a disqualification, all horses placed behind the disqualified horse will move up one place in the Class ranking.


27. Exhibits that appear to be lame may be assessed and placed by the judges. Judges may exclude any horse so lame that assessment will inflict pain.

28. spare
Disguising of Exhibits

29. No alteration of the basic colour of the skin, coat or hooves is permitted. Hoof paints, colourless varnishes, coat dyes, glitter spray and cosmetic operations including skin grafts are forbidden. Tail and mane hair extensions are forbidden.
Colourless hoof oils, Vaseline or oil and white chalk used on white legs will be accepted.

30. Artificial methods of dilating the eyes or affecting the natural action of the horse or otherwise influencing its action or behaviour by oxygenating the bloodstream or by the use of weights or artificially weighted shoes, or by electrical or chemical treatment of any kind at any time before or during exhibition are forbidden.
Burns, cuts or other marks on the body of any exhibit in such places or positions as to indicate that prohibited methods have been used will be regarded as full and adequate grounds for exclusion of any exhibit from competition, at the discretion of the DC with veterinary advice.

31. a) In halter classes horses may be fully or partly body-clipped, subject to eyelashes being left uncut, hair inside the ears left unshaved and tactile hair left intact around the nose, muzzle and the eyes. Horses not fulfilling these criteria will not be allowed to participate. “Balding” is not encouraged.

b) No equipment intended to alter the natural appearance of the horse is permitted in the stables, including but not limited to necksweats, neck collars, tailracks, hobbles or weights. Anyone using such equipment on the showground will be sanctioned according to Rules for Disciplinary Committees article 16.

32. spare


33. Excessive whipping, excessive stimulation by noise, excessive circling of the horse, intimidation, use of electric shock devices or infliction of pain by any means are forbidden in all parts of the showground or stable areas, at all times.

Abusive shanking is not permitted.

34. The above actions will be sanctioned


35. Verbal warnings: DC members, ringmasters, stewards or show officials may issue verbal warnings. These are not recorded in the DC report.

36. Yellow and red cards may be issued by DCs and Ringmaster in the collecting ring and the main ring. They are issued to a handler and are a visible and public indication of an offence having been committed. The date and offence will be recorded in the DC report and must be made public by announcement at the show and/or on the ECAHO website and/or other usual means of communication of ECAHO.

37. A yellow Card may be issued if there is a further offence after a warning or it may be issued without such warning. 

38. A red Card will be issued if the handler receives a second yellow card for having committed a further handling offense during the same show. The offender will then be banned from handling any horses for the rest of the show in which he receives the red card. The horse being shown by a handler when he receives a red card may be shown by another handler at the end of the class. In the event of a serious offence involving mistreatment or dangerous behaviour, DCs may issue a red card without prior warning.

39. Any handler disobeying the instructions of any DC member, judge or the ringmaster will be sanctioned. Such sanction can be visibly and publically indicated with yellow or red card.

Veterinary Matters

40. Horses with apparent clinical signs of a disease may not participate at the show at the discretion of the DC Veterinarian. If the DC Veterinarian diagnoses apparent clinical signs of a contagious disease, the horse must be immediately put into quarantine and may not participate at the show.

41. Vaccination regulations for shows will require 12 months intervals normally, or shorter where local/national authorities mandate it. Such shorter intervals to be shown on the entry form (see Addendum – Equine Influenza Vaccination page 58).

42. All Veterinary treatment necessary at the show ground must be carried out according to ECAHO Veterinary regulations. The person responsible for the horse will ask the vet who treats the horse to complete a treatment form and present it to the DC-vet at the show. Any treatment given to a horse immediately prior to a show should be recorded on a treatment form by the treating vet and presented to the DC upon arrival at the show.

43. a) The administration of any substance not a normal nutrient (including irritants applied to the skin or mucous membranes or mydriatic drugs in the eyes), whether intentionally or unintentionally which may affect the performance, temperament or soundness of an exhibit is forbidden.
b) The DC may order chemical tests on any exhibit.
c) Judges may request the DC to test any horse.
(See the section on “Medication Control” page 46).


44. A show organiser, appointed judge, ring master, exhibitor, owner or handler of a horse entered at the show may lodge a complaint alleging infringement of the rules of the EAHSC, contained in the “Blue Book”. Any complaint, except concerning a complaint about a judge or any other official including show organisers, is to be made in writing before the end of the show. A deposit of € 200,- or equivalent in local currency will be lodged with the DC and may be retained at the DC’s discretion, if the complaint is considered frivolous. Such forfeiture belongs to ECAHO.

45. Any complaint about a judge or any other official including the show organisers is to be made in writing and signed by two individuals. Such complaint must contain any evidence and be sent to the ECAHO executive Secretary with full name and postal address of the complainant within 3 days of the show. A deposit of € 300 must be paid in accordance with the instructions and deadline given by the Executive Secretary. The Investigation of the complaint will be conducted in accordance with the Rules for Disciplinary Committees, articles 19 et seq.