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What is an Australian Sports Pony 

There are three (3) gradings that apply for an assessment, dependent on the scores achieved. All ponies and horses must achieve a total minimum score of 70%.

Elite – assessment score of 80% or above 


Premium  -  assessment score of 78% to under 80% 


First Premium  - assessment score of 70% to under 78% 


Elite *, Premium *,  First Premium *, grading status is granted to ponies that complete ALL four (4) phases of the assessment ie: in hand, at  liberty, under saddle and jumping (free or ridden)


Eligibility for Registration :


Assessed Ponies 


  • Pedigree may be known or unknown. Acceptable proof of pedigree is required.

  • Maximum height is 148 cms without shoes or 149 cms with shoes

  • DNA profile is required for all stallions aged 3 years or over. (DNA Kits are available from the ASPR Federal Office upon application)

  • Ponies aged 3 yrs or over must be either microchipped or branded with a recognised brand.

  • Ponies presented will receive an assessment comprising compulsory two phases – conformation and free movement, with ridden and jumping phases optional. 

  • Ponies previously assessed for conformation and free movement may apply for a ridden and/or jumping only assessment.

    • Ponies applying for ridden and/or jumping only assessment must be aged 3 years of age or over.​ NB : 3 yo ponies may only be free jumped.

    • The ridden and/or jumping score may be added to the existing conformation and free movement scores and, if applicable, the pony may be upgraded.  The owner at all times may reject the ridden or jumping score without affecting a prior awarded conformation and free movement grading, and may opt to re-present the pony at a later date.

  • Ponies who have completed an assessment with a recognised and approved stud book must apply to the ASPR to have that score approved for the calculation of Premium grading.

    • If a ridden and/or jumping only assessment is required, application must be made to the ASPR.​

  • Any pony that grows over the maximum height will be transferred (upon application) to either the Small Horse Register or the Over Height Register.

Non-Assessed Ponies


  • No assessment required

  • Known or unknown pedigree is accepted. Acceptable proof of breeding must be supplied for known pedigree.

  • Maximum height is 148 cms without shoes or 149 cms with shoes

  • Non Assessed ponies may be registered from birth.

  • DNA profile is required for all stallions aged 3 years or over. (DNA Kits are available from the ASPR Federal Office upon application)

  • Ponies aged 3 yrs or over must be either microchipped or branded with a recognised brand.

  • Registered non assessed ponies are eligible for assessment at any time.

  • Ponies registered in the non-assessed section of the stud book that grow over 148 cms will be transferred to either the Small Horse Register or the Over Height Register.

All assessed and non-assessed ponies are eligible to participate in the very popular ASPR Annual High Point and Roll of Merit Awards.

For more information on the Small Horse and Over Height Registers, click here . . .

All Ponies, Small Horses and Over Height Register horses receive a comprehensive Equine Identification Document.

Australian Sports Pony Registry

Measurement Conversion Chart

(hh to cms)


The height maximum of 148 cms is used instead of hh as this is the accepted standard measurement for FEI and international pony registration.


Conversion of hh to inches to cms is approximate only.


148 cms converts to 14.2 1/4hh. Any pony that has measured close to or on 14.2hh is highly recommended to attain an official height measurement certificate prior to submitting registration applications and before attending the assessment tour. ASPR assessors do NOT have access to accurate measuring facilities at most venues.


Measurement of pony is 'without shoes' as per EA National Measuring Rules. 



11.0 1/2


11.1 1/2


11.2 1/2


11.3 1/2


12.0 1/2


12.1 1/2


12.2 1/2


12.3 1/2


13.0 1/2


13.1 1/2


13.2 1/2


13.3 1/2


14.0 1/2


14.1 1/2


14.2 1/4
































The Australian Sports Pony is bred for its ability to perform in any athletic discipline at the highest level, primarily dressage, showjumping and eventing - which are often referred to as Olympic equestrian disciplines.


As a guide to what attributes and type are sought within an Australian Sports Pony, we can look to the American and British Sports Pony registering bodies who have used the German Riding Pony (Deutches Reitpony) as a model for their breed standard.


The German Riding Pony was originally developed through the crossing of native Mountain and Moorland ponies from the British Isles renowned for their calm, cool temperament and smaller size (eg: the Welsh B and New Forest) with horses of "hot blood" breeding (eg: Arabian and Thoroughbred), producing a noble pony of substance, character and good temperament with dynamic, spacious and elastic movement similar to a small warmblood. The quality of these ponies was developed through selective breeding and performance testing over many generations.


When we talk about cultivating an Australian Sports Pony worthy of international status, we have to remember that many of the bloodlines used to create the German Riding Pony, are already in Australia. 


Many ponies today, of both known and unknown parentage, have already been crossed with one or more of the breeds and bloodlines as mentioned above, to create a pony of substance with a large stride and bold character, and these ponies are already performing well in this country. Often we don't see them for the simple reason most won't be found in the pony hack ring. They won't have the highly refined bone of the ponies often seen doing well in open pony classes under saddle. You may find them in the hunter classes or out on the trail, or working stock, or being ridden at pony club. You may also find them in the dressage ring. They are a versatile pony.


The large majority of these ponies, however, have yet to be given the necessary opportunities and encouragement to prove themselves in the disciplines of dressage, showjumping or eventing. We hope to attract such ponies and their riders to learn about and experience these sports through the sharing of knowledge among members of the ASPR, participation in our Roll of Merit and Annual High Point Awards and in our ASPR competitions.


While our aim is to encourage more ponies to the Olympic disciplines, and to cultivate an Australian Sports Pony and breed on from it, we appreciate the quality and variety of the bloodlines already available to us 'in our own garden'. This is in no small part due to Australia having the second largest equine population in the world.


When it comes to sports ponies, particularly in dressage, it is now accepted globally that an equine 148 cms and under is considered a pony. The ASPR definition of a pony is also any equine 148 cms and under. 


For the vast number and variety of ponies in Australia, there are an equal number of people who choose to ride them. The ASPR believes the preferred size of a pony is a matter of personal choice made by the rider. 


While we realise that Australia has the ability to produce a top quality Sports Pony capable of competing at an international level, we also appreciate the need to produce top quality riders. We have a firm belief that the way to ensure that this occurs is to educate our child riders from a very early age in classical technique, similar to how child riders are trained in Europe. 

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