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Inspection - Thoroughbred and Arabian Stallions


Q: How does my Thoroughbred or Arabian stallion qualify for acceptance as an ATA breeding stallion? How do I apply?

  • A: Thoroughbred and Arabian s stallions must have exceptional performance records to qualify for consideration for Trakehner acceptance. (See the Exceptional Trakehner Stallion Recognition program criteria for examples of outstanding performance). Performance in disciplines other than those listed in the Exceptional Trakehner Stallion Recognition program will be considered if the horse has won at the regional and/or national level in a strenuous activity such as racing, endurance or the Olympic disciplines. Performance in halter classes and pleasure classes will not be considered. Send the results from an outside source along with the stallion's pedigree to the ATA central office. The results will be forwarded to the Inspection Committee and you will be notified if the stallion qualifies for inspection. If he qualifies you will need to complete an inspection application and submit it along with the $650 inspection fee. The inspection schedule will be posted on the ATA website by April 15th each year.
  • Veterinary instructions, clinical examination requirements and X-ray protocols along with required forms are located on this website under Inspection Stallion Guidelines.

Q: What level of performance is considered outstanding?

A: See Recognition of Exceptional Stallions elsewhere on this website.

Q: What does the stallion have to do at the inspection? See Stallion Approval Process

  • Stand to be measured (height, girth, and canon bone) and for veterinary inspection including having his temperature taken.
  • Walk and trot on a hard surface (sometimes asphalt)
  • Walk and trot on a triangle in an arena. (usually sand or other soft footing)
  • Walk, trot, and canter at liberty in an arena.
  • Free jump three obstacles. See Free Jumping Protocol
  • Perform an under saddle demonstration for stallions 4 years of age or older.
  • Walk for final evaluation before the results are announced

Q: Does he have to free jump if he is a dressage horse?

A: See Free Jumping Protocol

    • Qualified Thoroughbred and Arabian stallions whose only performance discipline was racing and are retired from competition, will have free jumping and under saddle phases optional for the owner.
    • Qualified Grand Prix level dressage stallions will have free jumping and liberty phases optional for the owner, but not the under saddle phase.
    • Qualified Grand Prix level show jumping stallions and Advanced level eventing stallions will have the free jumping phase optional for the owner but not the under saddle phase .

Q: Is there a performance test after approval?

A: No, the outstanding performance that qualified the Thoroughbred or Arabian stallion for inspection is considered the performance test.

Q: Does the 100-Day Stallion Test count as outstanding performance?

A: No, the stallion should be competing at Preliminary or above if eventing is the discipline being used.

Q: If my stallion doesn't meet the performance requirement, can he get accepted now anyway and do a performance test later?

A: No, the program is based on performance so that the ATA can ensure that outside blood is from proven athletes that have been proven to be trainable, rideable, and athletic.

Q: If my stallion is approved, can his purebred Thoroughbred or Arabian offspring be registered as Trakehners?

A: No, only offspring produced from Official Studbook Trakehner mares without a Thoroughbred or Arabian parent will be eligible for Official Registry Book registration.

Q: Why is his breeding license restricted to Trakehner mares without a Thoroughbred or Arabian parent?

A: Horses must be 50% Trakehner blood to be eligible for registration because the ATA is based on bloodlines rather than sport horse type.

Q: What if my stallion is short?

A: The recommended minimum size for a stallion is 15.3 hands.

Q: If approved, is he eligible for ATA awards or the Exceptional Stallion Recognition Program?

A: No, ATA awards and recognition programs are for Trakehner horses only.

Q: What is the committee looking for?

A: The ATA is looking for Thoroughbred and Arabian sires that have outstanding performance to improve the Trakehner breed as outcross sires to produce breeding stock and sport horses. We recommend that you purchase Dr. Robert Baird's booklet, Conformation and the Sport Horse Breeder. Dr. Robert Baird is a former chairman of the ATA Inspection Committee and Chef d'Equipe of the Canadian Olympic Team. His booklet explains in detail what the Inspectors are looking for in breeding stock. The booklet is available through the ATA central office for $7.50 plus $1.00 shipping and handling.

Q: What do the scores mean?

A: The scoring system is the Olympic scoring system. The scores are shorthand for words. Pilot program Minimum acceptance score for Thoroughbred and Arabian stallions is 60 points from a possible 80. The numerical scores describe the following words.

10 - Excellent
9 - Very Good
8 - Good
7 - Fairly Good
6 - Satisfactory
5 - Marginal
4 - Insufficient
3- Fairly Poor
2 - Poor
1- Very Poor
0 - Not Scored

Q: If he gets turned down can I re-present him later?

A: Yes. You must wait a minimum of one year from the time he was originally inspected and pay a fee of $1,000. The second decision is final.

Q: Does ATA drug test? What substances are forbidden?

A: Yes, the ATA conducts random drug tests at inspections. All substances forbidden by USEF and/or CEF are also prohibited by ATA. Please check their websites for a list.

Q: How high are the free jumps?

A : The final element is gradually raised to 3.75 feet. The first two elements are fixed to set up the final jump. More information on free jump chute layout is available on the Library/FAQ's page

Q: If my stallion jumps well at the lowest level does the committee still have to see him jump the highest jumps?

A: Usually the Committee wants to see the stallions jump at all three heights listed in the free jumping protocol.

Q: If my stallion free jumps on his own at home, do I still have to lead him into the jumping chute and use the catch pen at the inspection?

A: Yes, all stallions must be presented in the same manner. See Free Jumping Protocol

Q: What is involved in the riding phase?

A : The stallion is presented in dressage tack and is directed to perform the walk, trot, canter in both directions and execute 20-meter circles to demonstrate willingness and rideability.

Q: Will my stallion be in the ring alone or with other stallions?

A: All stallions of a particular age group will be in the ring together to demonstrate tractability under saddle in a setting similar to competition atmospheres.

Q: What if one of the other young stallions blows up and causes my stallion to misbehave during the under saddle phase?

A: The Under Saddle Phase will continue when the stallions have been brought back under control.

Q: Do I need to be a member of the ATA to present my stallion?

A: No, but if the stallion is approved you must maintain an active membership to keep the stallion in good standing.

Q: Can I send a video instead of or in addition to presenting the horse?

A: No.

Q: If my stallion is lame do you want to see a videotape taken when he was sound? Do you want to see a videotape of his offspring?

A: The Committee must judge what they see in person on the day of inspection. Videotapes are not helpful in this process. You may wish to bring several of the stallion's offspring in person to aid the Committee in determining the stallion's suitability for acceptance.