Show Horse

What is Show Horse?

Show horses are exhibited in three divisions; Pony, Galloway and Hack.

  • A Pony Show horse, Hunter must not exceed 14hh
  • A Galloway Show horse Hunter must be over 14hh and not exceed 15hh
  • A Hack Show horse, Hunter is over 15 hh.

The over riding principle is that a show horse after being beautifully conformed, of high quality, a magnificent mover and having lovely manners and paces. Showing is subjective so is subject to a Judges decision. The Judge will place the horses in the correct order. Movement is very important because a show horse must move with balance, elegance, lightness,correctness and with the right rythym for the gait. If a horse is not conformed correctly it will have difficulty in moving with perfect rythym. This shows as carrying head too high or too low, short choppy gait, too much knee action and not pushing through from behind and many more imperfections.

The horse should work with a nicely rounded back, naturally elevated in front and head flexed at the poll.  The contact should be light and even. Holding a horse in a shape with the use of brute strength or artificial gadgets is not truly getting a horse to accept and to come happily on to the bit. A show horse must give the impression of covering the ground easily and fluently.  The horse must be well balanced and work without any obvious effort by the rider or any untoward resistance from the horse. The whole picture should be pleasing to the eye.

A Show Hunter should possess more substance than the modern ridden Show Horse but it must be emphasised they should be quality animals. A quality Show Hunter must create the impression that it is capable of hunting over a variety of terrain – this militates against any weakness in conformation which would prevent this, and he must do it comfortably and safely for his rider. 


2024 National Show Horse Rules CLEAN Effective 1 January 2024

2024 National Show Horse Rules MARKED Effective 1 January 2024

Summary of National Show Horse Rule Amendments effective 1 January 2024 available HERE


Measuring Rules and Days

Measuring Rules and Days


Show Horse Judge

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Equestrian Australia Show Horse Committee

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