If you have not competed at recognised shows before and
are not familiar with the concept, grading is a daunting subject. Every nation
that holds shows has some form of grading although there are a lot of different
ways this is done. In essence, it is a system to ensure as level as possible a
playing field so all in a class have a chance to win – it is kind of a
If you have no intention of competing, don’t worry about this subject and read no further!
All horses and ponies in Kenya need to be registered with the HAK before they participate in a competition. Then they are given a life long competition number. This helps our hard working Grading Recorders keep results on each horse or pony. Every time a horse competes in any class its results are recorded. All horses and ponies start competing at 0 and are eligible to compete at the lowest levels. Some competitions are “non-grading” which means if you stay at those lower levels the horse never gets any points. If you don’t win or are placed (i.e. unless you do very well at Dressage, with more than 60%, or in Jumping with Double Clear rounds in a grading competitions) you don’t get any points. If you want to go up the ranks you NEED to get points as there are minimum eligibility points in the higher classes, in all the disciplines.
If you have bought or leased a horse or pony with points, which grades it at a level where you are not confident, don’t panic. There are ways to make our system work for you in all disciplines. Hors Concours is the simplest. You enter H.C. and then you can compete in Jumping and Eventing at any level you like below the grade of your horse. In Dressage the “Special” sections of all classes work in much the same way. In jumping there are three non-grading classes offered to both horses (.70, .80, and .90 m) and ponies (.60, .70, .80 m) at each show. All horses and ponies can compete in these and all those who jump a double clear get a first rosette. There are also other possibilities including downgrading which are in the Rule Book in the 900s.
If you have not yet bought an already competing horse or pony, it is worth consulting with one of our experienced members or trainers so that you understand where your intended purchase will be eligible. If you have already bought a competing horse or pony again consult with one of the following and they will help you make correct entries for a show so you don’t run into any bureaucratic problems. Our Committee Members are willing to help you as we encourage our members to compete. So ask at the HAK Office for the numbers and call: Ann Abercromby-Dick, Mary Binks, or Janet Mills or liaise with one of the listed trainers.
The intention is for us all to enjoy competition and have a chance to do well but mostly have fun.