Over the past few years, Equestrian Canada has made changes to their pony measurement rules. If you are new to the sport, have been away from the competition ring for a while, or now own a pony that you plan to compete in 2019 in Canada, it is important that you are up-to-date with both EC rules and/or USEF rules if you are planning on showing your pony at a USEF-rated show in the States.
In both EC and USEF hunter/jumper competitions, ponies must not exceed 14.2 hands unless otherwise specified in discipline/breed sport rules.
Large ponies exceed 13.2 hands but do not exceed 14.2 hands
Medium ponies exceed 12.2 hands but do not exceed 13.2 hands
Small ponies do not exceed 12.2 hands
Official measurements must be taken at the actual sanctioned competition in which the pony is competing. Ponies may be measured barefoot or shod. If shod, the depth of the shoe will be subtracted from the height. Height is taken at the highest point of the withers with an approved measuring stick. Permanent measurement cards are issued for ponies eight years old or over and those under eight are issued a temporary measurement form.
The official measurement that is taken at the competition varies a bit between EC and USEF:
EC competitions: ponies must be measured/witnessed by any two of the following competition officials: vet, steward, technical delegate or judge, with an accurate measurement device on a level surface (not dirt or gravel). If no acceptable surface is available, ponies may be measured to compete in that competition only and no official measurement form will be given. All ponies with a temporary measurement card from 2018 will be flagged to be re-measured. Ponies not uploaded into the EC database with their official measurement card within 10 days of competition will not be allowed to compete in future until:
a) the measurement is uploaded, or
b) the pony is re-measured at the competition in which it is competing and the steward submits a new official measurement card to EC.
Note that all ponies entered in a national final (e.g. The Royal Horse Show) will be measured at that competition if they do not have a valid current measurement card. No measurement card dated earlier than 2009 will be accepted.
USEF Competitions: ponies must be measured by a steward and the official competition veterinarian. The latter must also confirm the pony’s age and that it was jogged and is serviceably sound, after which the steward’s measurement is final and both officials will sign the measurement form. If the animal measures over ¼” of the acceptable height, it will move to the next height category. Once the pony has been measured, the measurement is effective whether or not the pony or horse actually competes; the animal is also subject to drug testing even if it does not set foot in the ring.