SWANA Inspection Tour 2018

Before you sign your horse up for inspection remember that the horse has to be registered with SWANA and the owner of the horse has to be a current member of SWANA.

The 2018 inspection tour featuring judges Christina Olsson and Mikael Nolin from SWB in Sweden will visit 8 different sites across the United States. These are the dates and venues:

9/22 Beall Spring Farm, Beallsville, MD,  Thora Pollak

9/23 Golden Oaks Farm, Ocala FL, Megan Wexler

9/24 Tailwinds Farm, Collinsville, TX, Molly Gengebach

9/25 Pembroke Farm, Lemitar, NM,  Carol Reid

9/26 Trilogy Farm, Santa Cruz, CA, Helen Dilworth

9/27 Seattle, WA area

9/28 Volte Equestrian, Princeton, MN, Val Vetos

9/29 Brady Equestrian Center, Fargo, ND Margot Brady





Inspection Basics

Foal and Mare inspection


Registered SWB foals, may be presented for inspection during the SWANA Inspection Tour.  The SWB judges will evaluate foals at the dam’s side, with the foal free, and the dam in hand.  Foals will be shown in hand with halter and lead for evaluation of conformation, walk and trot.


Only mares that are to be graded for quality and have not been evaluated at an earlier date need to be evaluated for conformation. Mares are evaluated in three different areas; a 30-point scale: Type, HNB (head, neck and body) and Legs. Mares of all ages are scored however are not classified. The judges will score each and every area on a scale from 1-10 where the use of half points (0,5) is possible. The score is given with one decimal.

The petition for a quality grading of a mare is done with SWANA. The inspection score sheet along with performance merits and a list of offspring are sent in to the SWANA office.


General Inspection

Weanlings, one – and two – year – olds may undergo a general inspection showing their gaits free and in hand. Two-year-olds are required to be shown in a bridle. They can be shown on the same track as the 3-4-year-olds.

Older horses that are to be branded also need to undergo a general inspection before a branding can occur. The general inspection is also for any horse where the owner would like to have it inspected and evaluated.

The horse will be judged in six areas with a maximum score of ten possible in each area:

  • Type
  • Head/neck/body
  • Legs
  • Walk (in hand)
  • Trot (in hand)
  • Free Canter

Foals, yearlings, and two-year-olds will be divided into four classes:

Class I 45 points and above with no score lower than five
Class II 42-44 points with no score lower than five
Class III 40-41 points with no score lower than five
Class IV <40 points or any single score lower than five

Class III and above registered SWB horses only are eligible for branding.

The 3-and 4 -year old test

The Three and Four Year Test encourages earlier riding and training of the young horse and builds a closer cooperation among breeders, trainers, and judges, which in turn results in more young horses partnered with the right rider. From a breeding standpoint, it should lead to a better identification of good mares for breeding as 3-year-olds. Horses of all genders are eligible to participate in the test.

The horse is judged in the following two categories:

1. Gaits in freedom, free jumping and conformation.
Evaluation is best done indoors in a riding arena. It is recommended that the horse is shown for evaluation of canter at liberty first, then free jumping and finally shown in hand for evaluation of its conformation.

2. Voluntary riding test.
This riding test is mandatory for horses to be eligible to qualify for diploma. The riding test is done with groups of 1-4 horses, ridden in walk, trot and canter in both directions according to the judge’s directions.

The Quality Test

The Quality Test is an assessment of dressage and jumping talents, consisting of the 4-5-year-old division and the open division for horses from 6 to 10 years of age. Horses that have been inspected before are welcome to return and do the Quality Test.

For the 4-5-year-old division, mares that were bred at age three may enroll in the Quality Test as five-six year-olds. Horses in this division are eligible for diplomas.

The New Open division of the Quality Test is for horses from 6 to 10 years of age. Horses in this division receive an excellence award if they score in the top of the class. Participants in the Open class may opt out of the jumping phase. This needs to be stated in the entry.

Horses are tested and evaluated at three stations. These three areas are health, conformation and gaits, and the choice of free jumping or jumping under saddle. If the assessment is interrupted by the judge, the horse will receive a rating based on the stations completed.


  • Identity verification
  • Registration verification
  • Riding test
  • Conformation evaluation
  • Jumping test (Owner chooses between free or under saddle.)
  • Horse must be presented in a bridle with reins.
  • No shoes with pads.
  • No studs.
  • Handler must wear appropriate attire for showing horse in hand.

The horse will be measured on hard level surface.

Conformation & Gaits
Test is ridden in a 20 x 60 meter arena. Horse and rider are given a few minutes to get acquainted with the arena. The judge will give directions and the following work will be expected:

  • Working trot (posting), following the track in both directions.
  • 20 meter circles in both directions, showing transitions to the walk.
  • Show variations of lengthening the stride and tempo of the trot, down the long side or across the diagonal.
  • Walk in both directions on a long rein and with light contact, then back to a working trot, making the transitions to canter.
  • Working canter on 20 meter circles, showing the canter in a two point position (light seat).
  • On the 20 meter circles, the reins must be given for 2-3 strides to show proof of self-carriage.
  • On the middle circle, during posting trot, stretch the horse (long and low) while maintaining the trot rhythm.
  • Free walk.
  • Dismount and remove saddle. Line up on the centerline for conformation judging.

Jumping Under Saddle
Owner chooses between free or under saddle.


Free Jumping

The ground pole in the corner is a cut white pole, preferably two since the diagonal distance is longer in the corner. One more cut pole should be available if the judge wants to use one in between the jumps.

Help fence 1 should have a pole 60 cm (23.6 inches) in height above ground with a ground pole 30 cm (11.8 inches) in front of it. Fence is placed 3 m (9 feet 8 inches) after center point of ground pole in corner. Corner pole is on a diagonal.

Help fence 2 should have a pole 60 cm (23.6 inches) in height above ground with a ground pole 30 cm (11.8 inches) in front of it. This fence is placed 7 m (22 feet 9 inches) in front of help fence 1 and 17, 5 m (57 feet 4 inches) from short end of arena.

Main fence starts as a vertical with two poles 80 cm (2 feet 6 inches) above ground with a ground pole 10 cm (3.9 inches) in front. When the actual judging starts the fence should be an oxer. The main jump is placed 7, 30 m (23 feet 9 inches) in front of help fence 2. The back pole should be 10 cm (3.9 inches) higher than the front pole and rest on safety cups.

The heights 110 cm (3 feet 6 inches), 120 cm (3 feet 9 inches) and 130 cm (4 feet 2 inches) are marked on the stands and the length 110 cm (3 feet 6 inches) and 120 cm (3 feet 9 inches) is marked on the wall. Depending on footing and size of horse the judge has the right to move the main jump +/- 20 cm (7.9 inches)..

WARM UP (Practice jumps)
The horse is shown free cantering on the track, both directions. Thereafter all poles are laid down on the ground and the horse is waiting at the starting point directed by the judge. All three jumps are built at above mentioned heights and the horse is allowed one round as warm up. Thereafter another pole at 80 cm (31.5 inches) is coming up on help fence 2 and the back pole on the main jump is now at height 90 cm (35.4 inches) and the length 90 cm (35.4 inches). The ground poles are the same. This is when the actual judging starts.

After about three rounds the main fence should be at 39.3 inches (100 cm) in height and the length 100 cm (39.3 inches). If this size of fence is jumped ok according to the judge the score 5 (sufficient) is given. A horse is not guaranteed a score of 5 just because the fence is cleared. The owner of the horse can before the judging starts let the judge know that, if horse jumps sufficient, that will be plenty. Increasing the height of the fence can be done to a maximum of 130 cm (51.2 inches) for horses that are capable but the length of the fence can only be 120 cm ( 47.2 inches) and has to be a normal oxer with the front pole 5 cm (2 inches) lower than the back pole. Judging should be done when about six jumps over the main jump is completed.

The horse must wear a bridle with a cavason and reins at all times. A regular snaffle bit, single or double jointed, is recommended. Soft rubber bits or shanks are not permitted.

An English saddle must be used.

Boots for the jumping part are allowed for the front legs only, no hind boots or wraps.

The rider must wear formal attire with an approved helmet; whips and spurs are optional. Stallion riders must carry a whip.

The arena is 20 by 60 meters. (65’ 7” by 196’ 10”)

Pre-breeding evaluation


In order to identify possible stallion prospects, a colt may be inspected as a stallion prospect from when it’s a yearling and up to three years of age. This will enable the breeder/owner to make an educated decision whether to geld the colt or not. This evaluation is unofficial and only serves as a service to the stallion owner. The colt will be evaluated for conformation, gaits in hand and at liberty and free jumping (voluntary). Three year old stallions are also to be shown under saddle.


The pre-breed category is also for mares, of any age. Present your mare to have her evaluated as a brood mare prospect.

Stallion Inspection

Individual Testing
The individual testing consists of an evaluation of the stallion’s pedigree, conformation and a one – day performance test. Upon approval, the stallion will receive a Certificate of Breeding number (CRB) and will then have 2 years to complete the performance requirements before receiving full approval with SWANA.

A stallion is eligible for a breeding evaluation under the following circumstances:

  • The stallion meets the pedigree requirements listed below
  • It participates in the individual testing when the stallion is 3-5 years of age, and for stallions 6 years of age or older, have achieved the required performance level appropriate for their age group.

Pedigree requirements

  • A stallion must be three years old or older and registered in the SWB/SWANA registry.
  • The dam and sire must be registered in the studbook and/or in one of the other studbooks recognized by SWB.
  • The dam’s sire line must consist of qualified stallions (Qualified = 4 generations of evaluated breeding stallions). In the event a stallion does not fulfill the requirements, but descends from an unusually interesting bloodline and has remarkable proven competition performance, and/or offspring with unusual proven performance, the inspection committee can exercise the right to approve such a stallion for SWB breeding.

The stallion’s height at his withers and his cannon bone circumference are measured and recorded. The five following categories make up the conformation evaluation:

  1. Type (breed-, sport-, and gender)
  2. Head, neck and body
  3. Extremities and the correctness of movement
  4. Mechanics of the walk
  5. Mechanics of the trot

Each category is scored on a scale from 1-10. A stallion must receive a minimum of 23 points for the first three categories with no individual score below seven.

The stallion, at the earliest age of 2½, must have an obligatory x-ray examination according to specific instructions and be free of oosteochondrosis in the hocks and stifles. The colt must be identified with his registration papers and micro chip number at the time of having the x-rays taken. The x-rays must have the colt’s micro chip number on them.

A stallion must not exhibit any of the SH Board’s list of defects. (Check with SWANA for list)

Performance test for 3- year old stallions

The stallion is shown in hand and under rider. The owner chooses whether the stallion is to be presented as a dressage or jumping stallion. If it’s a jumping stallion, the horse is also presented in free jumping. A dressage stallion is only presented in conformation and under rider.

Performance test for 4 – and 5-year-old stallions

Judging is in either dressage or jumping or in both disciplines
“Dressage stallions” participate in a test of gaits under saddle with a private rider.
“Jumping stallions” participate in a jumping test under saddle with a private rider.

Jumping under saddle scoring is on a scale from 1-10 points in two categories
1) Technique and ability (HTF)
2) Temperament and general impression (HTA).

Jumping under saddle
Four-year-old Stallions: Course with 5-6 fences, well enclosed, consisting mainly of bars.
Five-year-old Stallions: Course with 6-10 fences, with at least one double fence.

Height and length of fences
Maximum Height Maximum Width
4-year-old stallions 1.10 m triple bars 1.50 m
other fences 1.30 m
5-year-old stallions 1.20 m triple bars 1.60 m
other fences 1.40 m

The fences are jumped in succession according to the judge’s instructions. At the judges discretion a stallion may be asked to jump additional fences. The maximum height and length of fences may also be exceeded with the rider’s consent.

Older stallions (6 years and above)
The minimum requirements for a stallion to be eligible for a breeding evaluation based on competition results in jumping are as follows:

6 years: Check with SWANA for requirements.
7 years: Check with SWANA for requirements.
8 years: Five placings in 1.40 m national level as a 7 yr old
9 years: Five placings in 1.45 m national level as an 8 yr old
10 years: Three placings in 1.50 m international level as 8-9 yr old
11 years and older: Three placings in 1.60 m international level

The minimum requirements for official show results in dressage are as follows:

6 years: Check with SWANA for requirements.
7 years: Check with SWANA for requirements.
8 years: A minimum of two scores over 70 % in PSG as a 7 year old
9 years: A minimum of two scores over 70 % in Intermediate 1 as an 8 year old
10 years and older: A minimum of two scores over 67 % in Intermediate II as a 9 year old

11 years and older: A minimum of two scores over 67% in Grand Prix

The Inspection Committee will determine how the older stallion is to be presented other than in conformation in hand.


How do I sign up for the inspection?

Sign-ups for the inspection tour will begin on June 1, 2018. Before then, make sure your horse is registered or in the case of foals born late in the year – that the registration process is started. The fee schedule is as follows:


Fee Schedule
Fees are quoted in U.S. dollars. Fees subject to change.

Broodmare evaluation $200.00
General Inspection $75.00
Stallion Evaluation: Entry Fee $500.00
Three- and four-year-old test $200.00
Rebranding $0.00
Pre-breeding evaluation $50.00
Inclusion into studbook of previously inspected mares $100.00
Inspection late fee $25.00
Branding $50.00
Quality Test $300.00
Stallion Evaluation: Completion Fee $500.00
Branding $50.00

Photo by Carolynn Bunch