Shetland Pony Evaluation Scheme

The PBSA evaluation scheme is voluntary and is open to any pony breeder who wishes to join it. The aim of this scheme is to do what we can to ensure that at least the quality and purity of the breed is maintained and at best continues to improve.

Until July 2005 the Shetland Pony Stud-Book Society (SPS-BS) had in operation a Stallion Assessment Scheme whereby stallions, in order to be registered as breeding stock were required to pass not only a veterinary inspection by a Society appointed vet, but also assessment by a Society senior judge. From July 2005, under EC Decision 96/78, it was declared that the only criteria necessary for full acceptance in the Stud-Book of a stallion and his progeny, was that both parents of the stallion be themselves registered with the Stud-Book. The SPS-BS then abolished its assessment scheme, retaining only the veterinary examination part but placing it on a voluntary basis, naming it the Voluntary Veterinary Examination (VVE).

This left no programme in operation for selection of a stallion displaying good conformation and breed characteristics nor, perhaps more importantly, the rejection of one with bad. On the grounds that the abolition of the SPS-BS Assessment scheme could possibly lead to a deterioration of breed standards, Shetland, under the Pony Breeders of Shetland Association (PBSA), has set up a Shetland Pony Evaluation Scheme of its own. This scheme gives breeders the opportunity to have their stallions fully evaluated by not one but three senior Panel judges as well as the SPS-BS VVE. The VVE in operation under the SPS-BS, which is in fact a compulsory part of our stallion scheme, is not impinged upon nor affected in any way by the PBSA Shetland Pony Evaluation Scheme. Mares would be evaluated using the same criteria.

To avoid confusion with the previous SPS-BS Assessment Scheme, the PBSA scheme is called the Shetland Pony Evaluation Scheme. This scheme is entirely voluntary and participation is available to all. The aim of this scheme is to do what we can to ensure that at least the quality and purity of the breed is maintained and at best it continues to improve.

At the conclusion of a successful evaluation, ponies will receive a certificate of attainment on the day’s performance. Although the scheme itself and the certificate will not be used by the SPS-BS in their Stud-Book, those in possession of certificated ponies can have the confidence that their ponies have been scrutinised thoroughly by means of the PBSA initiative and have been evaluated by senior SPS-BS judges.

The wide interest shown and commendation on the PBSA’s stance on Shetland Pony evaluation, received from outside the Islands, both from the UK and abroad, indicate the marked preferences of many people for fully evaluated stallions, mares and their progeny. This up-dated version of our scheme contains information and instruction directed towards those who may be interested in joining with us in our efforts to uphold the Shetland pony breed standards.

The fully SPES Evaluation Pack, giving all information about the scheme, entry, scoring etc can be viewed HERE


This scheme is voluntary and is open to anyone who wishes to join it. It is the property of the Pony Breeders of Shetland Association (PBSA) and we have in place rules and regulations that we require to be followed. These are explained in this Information Pack.

The scheme requires that breeding Stallions undergo two rigorous examinations. The first is the Voluntary Veterinary Examination (VVE) currently in use within the Shetland Pony Stud-Book Society (SPS-BS). The second is by three senior Shetland pony judges selected from the SPS-BS Judges panel, who independently give evaluations on breed characteristics. For the PBSA scheme both these examinations are compulsory, however stallions having been through the SPS-BS Stallion Assessment Scheme prior to July 2005 are exempt from the VVE. Mares being presented for evaluation are required to have undergone an examination to International Veterinary Standards.

A vet will be on duty on the day of evaluation to conduct a brief check on general health and signs of lameness on every pony taking part and confirm their identity.

Ponies are evaluated in two sections – Junior ponies, those aged less than 6 years and Senior ponies, those 6 years and over.

To enhance a pony’s award, an opportunity may be available for them to participate in a temperament and performance test of your choice. Three disciplines, ridden, driven and long reining may be available at the discretion of the organising committee. These tests are not complicated and copies of the tests will be available in advance to those who request them.

Groups outside the Shetland Islands wishing to use the scheme, must register with the PBSA Area Organiser, who will be the point of contact for all groups.

To ensure uniformity, the PBSA will provide all documentation required. The PBSA holds a comprehensive record of all ponies that go through the scheme, therefore results of all evaluations are to be sent to the PBSA Area Organiser on completion of evaluations.

The PBSA must be informed well in advance, which judges are to be invited to evaluate.

This PBSA Shetland Pony Evaluation Scheme is in no way to be regarded as a competition and so competition terminology such as ‘champion’, ‘first’, ‘second’ etc., is to be avoided.

At the end of an evaluation session, certificates which record the ponies’ achievements will be presented. Rosettes may be awarded if desired but only to indicate the category of achievement, i.e., gold ribbon for that category, likewise for silver and bronze.

The PBSA undertake to promote all stallions and mares which successfully been through the scheme on the website. Photographs and ponies’ results may be available subject to owners’ consent.

For a PDF copy of the Requirements for entry, please click HERE

Further information and application forms are available from:

Miss Kerry Eunson, Duke Street, Hamnavoe, Burra, Shetland, ZE2 9LA tel: 07825 182495 ; e-mail: [email protected]