Frequently Asked Questions


We encourage you to register online, but you may also register by completing and mailing in the membership application form.

Possibly, or there could be an address error. Please contact Membership Secretary Suzanne Phelps at [email protected] to confirm your status and address.

It’s not necessary, but you may want to. A senior membership provides reduced fees for pony registrations and transfers and allows you to vote on ACPS leadership. Either Associate or Senior membership qualifies you for awards.

Unfortunately, memberships cannot be transferred. Sellers are strongly encouraged to purchase an introductory one year membership to the purchaser.

Please contact membership secretary Suzanne Phelps at [email protected].


Thanks for asking….the turnaround time for getting a pony registered, with a DNA sample and HWSD tests on record at the lab, takes a while. If you started the process in December for a spring foal, you simply waited too long to get all the processes done. The labs at US Davis are closed over Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, so even though the hair may be sent, it’s not processed. The registration process is not complete until all the required elements are done.


Please make it easy on yourself and the registrar by filling out the registration application soon after the foal is born.

The fee included in the registration program is a huge bargain and if you miss the deadline, the USEF fee goes up dramatically.


The pony must be registered with the ACPS. The owner or rider must be a member. The awards form must accompany the application, with a signature by the show secretary or a copy of the page where the prize or placing was listed- ACPS magazine, USEF, USDF, USEA reports etc. or online reports of the show’s official results. If it is a nationally recognized show you get more points IF the form from the show which says recognized by the USDF etc  is  included. This all must be sent to Karen Laden and postmarked BY December 31 of the report year.

Find awards forms here. There is one for Achievement Awards Competitive, (in hand, Hunter, dressage, etc) and one for NON-competitive (Foxhunting, Pony Club, Therapeutic Riding etc)

This award goes with the pony if he/she is sold- part of his or her resume! The pony can continue to accrue points with the new owner.

NO, each year is separate. Please submit entries before December 31.

You can’t. National awards are tracked and awarded by a national organization, USDF, USEF, USEA, and also recognized by the ACPS. So the pony must be registered with the USDF or the USEF, etc. with a lifetime registration. The USDF requires that you send in a copy of the pony’s papers with the All Breeds application form once. The USEF asks for breeding with sire and dam at the time of registration.

The ACPS Hall of Fame Awards are lifetime awards awarded in the fall at the ACPS Annual Meeting. They include the An Tostal which goes to a Stallion who was an outstanding performer and is 15 or over. The Tooreen Laddie which goes to a stallion who is age 15 or over or deceased and had an outstanding breeding career.  The Broodmare which goes to a mare who is age 15 or over and made an impact on the breed, the Camlin which goes to a mare or gelding who had an outstanding performance career, and the Halfbred Award which goes to a Halfbred with an outstanding performance career.

Any pony can be nominated by the owner, a friend, a fan, or the awards committee or these awards. The documentation requires some work!

Scholarships are available to further the education of ponies and/or riders.

There are Junior Scholarships which you apply for by September 1, application is on the Forms page. An Adult Scholarship is also available, application on the Forms page.

In addition, there is the Deb Busta Adult Eventing Scholarship which requires an application found on the Forms page.

The Fun with Pony Award was added to the ACPS Achievement Program in order to broaden the types of activities that are recognized and valued by the Society.

Members who spend a minimum of 150 hours/year being actively engaged with their pony in a variety of activities including: riding, driving, conditioning, training, groundwork and/or bonding are eligible to apply for this award

First year winners receive an official ACPS certificate of achievement with name of Pony and name of Owner. Additional years of completion qualifies the winner for bronze, silver and gold awards.

Fill out Form FO8. Photos and narrative are required, including the applicant’s estimate of hours spent in one or more of the eligible activities. This is self-reported information.

You do not need to submit your tracking data; this award is based on the honor system. Provide an estimate in the narrative on the application. You may choose any tool you want for tracking: paper calendar, phone app…whatever works for you.

FO8 can be submitted any time that the owner/pony have achieved the 150/year minimum hours of activity to:

Jen Garutti
[email protected]

Must be received before December 31.

Accordion Content

ACPS learned that those members who applied for this award appreciated being able to qualify for recognition, especially when going to organized, formal competitions were not feasible for them.

2020 Pilot Fun with Pony Achievement Award winners represented a mix of young, adult and senior Members; ponies ranged from age 8 mos. to 28 years!

The stories and photos submitted and shared provided a good mechanism to get to know each other in the Region.


The best way: attend an annual meeting. You can learn about the work of each of the committees. New ideas and volunteers are always welcome. Match your interests with the volunteer opportunities.

Contact the regional governor or region chair for your region. She (or he) can introduce you to possibilities. Find the list of Regional officers here.

Investigate how to run for a position on the Board of Governors, and the responsibilities that go along with it. To learn more and to volunteer your time and talents, contact the chair or a member of the Nominating committee.

The Connemara Pony is the native pony of Ireland where it has existed for centuries. The Connemara Pony Society of Ireland is the “home” society and maintains its Stud Books for the breed registry in Ireland. The American Connemara Pony Society is a “daughter” society to the Irish organization.

The International Committee of Connemara Pony Societies, formed in 1988, was developed to encourage continued positive development of this ancient breed without losing sight of its remarkable, hardy, native characteristics and to function to benefit the breed world-wide. The ACPS is a recognized member of the ICCPS and as such follows the regulations developed by the ICCPS for approved membership.

Transfer of Ownership

No. Please do not. Fill in the blanks on the reverse side of the certificate and send the certificate to the ACPS office with the transfer fee.

$25 within 30 days of the sale or $35 after 30 days. Double for non-ACPS members.

No, the new owner gets the lifelong record of the pony’s ownership through life. One certificate per Connemara for life. And no, the new owner’s name is often NOT on the front side of the certificate. Please look at the reverse side.

The fee for a duplicate certificate is $50. The fee is sent with a letter of explanation of how the papers were mislaid/destroyed/lost.

The ACPS suggests a seller should pay for the new owner’s Associate membership as a token of “welcome” to the Society. It’s fine to include that membership payment in one check with the transfer fee.

No, not for ownership transfers.

No, the original certificate signed by the seller is required, and must be sent to the ACPS office.

Send the papers with the fee to:

PO Box 100
Middlebrook, VA 24459

It is not necessary to use certified mail. Since each pony gets one LIFETIME certificate, it’s best to send it in a large envelope instead of folding it into a business-sized envelope.

You can read through the Registration information and if you still can’t find an answer, email us at [email protected]

You can go to the Registration section on the website.

Read the registration requirements.

Use the Form called  “Import transfer into the studbook” or “Import halfbred transfer into the studbook.”

As a Breed Registry, the ACPS discourages name changes.

But, we also realize that not all names are lovable. Yes, you can change the registered name. The name change procedure costs $100, payable to ACPS.

Procedure – Send the certificate back to the ACPS with the new name written on the name line.

IF the Connemara has a registered farm name – a prefix that denotes who the breeder was, like Happy Acres or Blue Dog, or initials like BDF, then you must keep that as part of the name.

The Farm Prefix can only be dropped or changed with permission of the breeder.

You will receive the registration paper back with the change acknowledged. We do not change the prefix unless the owner of the prefix, the breeder, agrees to the change in writing. So you would have to contact the breeder to get that permission.

If your pony received a lifetime USEF registration and number as a foal, that original name and number will not change.


Complete the Inspection Nomination Form and send it along with photographs and fees to the address on the form. Indicate your preferred inspection site. Scheduled Inspection sites and dates are listed on the ACPS website and in the American Connemara magazine.

No, at this time, the ACPS only inspects only purebred Connemara Ponies

Yes. As and educational service, geldings, although not part of a breeding program, are inspected to help their owners understand the Connemara pony Breed Standard, with respect to type, conformation and movement.

Purebred Connemara ponies may be inspected at two-years-old, and over.  Owners/breeders are encouraged to have their older ponies inspected, as well.  Often, these older ponies may contain bloodlines that are becoming more difficult to find in younger ponies. 

It is recommended that a pony be at least 3 years-old at the time of its inspection.  The Connemara pony breed matures late and younger ponies may not be as balanced and mature as older ponies. Inpsection timing varies from pony to pony, so when considering the age to have your pony inspected, it is best to study, compare, consult or ask other knowledgeable Connemara pony breeders for their input.  ACPS Inspectors welcome your questions too.

The ACPS maintains a List of Inspected and Approved Connemara Ponies. Simply read through the alphabetical list to see if a pony’s name appears on the list.

An owner may contact the Chair of the Inspection Committee to determine if their pony has already been inspected.

If you received the Permanent Registration Papers for your pony from the seller or Registrar, look on them.  There is a gold seal affixed to them indicating the pony’s inspection.

The ACPS Inspection program is a voluntary program, and any pony may be re-presented for Inspection.  If the pony was immature at the time of its initial inspection, it is to the pony’s advantage to be re-presented, when older.  Some breed characteristics improve with maturation.  However, conformation and correctness variances, do not correct themselves with time.

Yes, all purebred Connemara ponies born in the U.S. can be inspected and registered, by the ACPS.

Yes. The pony can be inspected and if the injury or lameness is permanent, allowances are made, and the remarks provided by the Inspectors will indicate the situation on the day of inspection. For the Inspectors’ consideration, ask your veterinarian to substantiate, in writing, any claims of previous permanent injury or lameness. This information can be noted on the Veterinary Report Form, which is brought with the pony, on the day of inspection.

The ACPS has an Inspector Candidate Application (IC) to be completed and submitted with the required references to the Chair of the Inspection Committee. 

Once notified of his/her acceptance as an IC, the candidate must satisfactorily complete outlined procedures, including attending recommended clinics, reading, traveling to visit breeders – even abroad – and taking every opportunity to broaden his/her knowledge of the Connemara pony breed. During this time, the candidate begins participating in the actual Inspection process, as an observer,  and may be assigned a mentor to assist the IC with suggestions for getting acquainted with educational texts and papers useful in learning how to evaluate the Connemara pony according to the internationally-accepted Breed Standard, as well as to provide information on the background of the Inspection process itself.

Each IC undergoes evaluation performed by the Inspectors during all phases of the learning process.

The steps needed to become an Inspector are further outlined in the Inspection Committee Policies & Procedures: Certification.

Interested onlookers are welcome to audit or attend an Inspection.  However, for any given pony, only certified Inspector remarks and comments are recorded on the Inspection Report Form and they remain confidential.  In the interest of providing an educational opportunity to those attending an Inspection, the pony owner may opt to share, or not share, Inspector comments and remarks with the audience.  If requested, the Inspection team may provide additional insight into the Inspection process.

All purebred Connemara ponies foaled in the U.S. are eligible for ACPS registration upon verification of birth date and when parentage information is provided and recorded with the ACPS Registrar.

If an owner wishes to have a pony inspected, there is an additional process that takes place.

The pony must be “nominated” for Inspection by its owner, applicable forms must be completed and submitted, with required photos and fees provided and sent to the ACPS address, provided on the form. Based on availability of an Inspection team and the selection of suitable sites, a pony’s Inspection is then scheduled.

“APPROVED” ponies have their names represented on an ACPS List of Inspected & Approved Connemara Ponies. This is an “additional” listing beyond the List of ACPS Registered Ponies (ACPS Studbook).  This step keeps our ACPS List of Inspected and Approved Connemara Ponies in compliance with the rules of the ICCPS, the International Committee of Connemara Pony Societies, known as the ICCPS.  

“Inspected and Approved”, American-bred Connemara Ponies, are recognized by all other ICCPS member countries.

Providing an Inspection Program and maintaining a record of inspected and approved ponies is one of the requirements of ICCPS membership.

The Inspection process ensures that the Breed Standard is being maintained.

It is recommended, in ACPS guidelines, that the owner/breeder of a pony record the pony’s height at age of two on the TFC (Temporary Foal Certificate) before the TFC is submitted to the Registrar for the permanent registration papers. 

However, this step is often overlooked. Later, when a registered pony is presented for Inspection and Approval, the handler/owner/breeder is required to bring to inspection the Veterinary Report Form, on which the attending veterinarian recorded the pony’s height. 

The Inspectors evaluate the pony “on the day”, looking at many individual attributes of the pony presented.   Overall balance, substance, movement, bone, and breed characteristics are observed. Following a private discussion among the Inspectors, the “team” will arrive at a consensus, recording the results on a permanent Inspection Report Form given to the owner.  A copy of this document is placed in the ACPS file compiled for every Inspected and Approved pony.

If the pony’s height is on the upper end of the suggested height, the Inspectors consider the overall “picture” of any given pony and provide helpful information for the pony owner on the individual’s Inspection Form. The same would be done for a pony whose height is toward the lower end of the ACPS Breed Standard.

It does not. However, this test is required for registration and because the ACPS IS a Breed Society, it is important for us to be aware of the bloodlines where this syndrome is carried and exhibited.  The fact that the test has been performed is noted on the Veterinary Report Form and verified by the Registrar.

Once a pony is nominated for Inspection, the paperwork remains on file.

If the pony is sold prior to its ACPS Inspection, the paperwork with the nomination, is transferred to the new owner, and that person can arrange for an Inspection.

If for some reason, the pony is unable to be presented at its scheduled Inspection, the paperwork stays on file and the pony will be inspected at the next convenient Inspection site.

Refunds are not issued. (See below for the one exception).

If a pony is no longer living at the time of a scheduled inspection, the file becomes inactive, and a refund is issued. OR, the funds paid can be transferred to a new pony nomination, once the proper forms have been submitted.

Yes. It is recommended you have a second helper to assist with the foal. 

Once your pony is nominated for Inspection and the site has been confirmed, you will receive additional information, including an estimated time for your inspection, and it is suggested you read Presentation of Ponies for information on the basic turnout for you and your pony (halter or bridle for the pony, comfortable clothing for yourself and safe footwear, etc.).

During the Inspection process, the Inspectors will ask you to present your pony. They will direct you to walk and then trot to and from a given point, in order for them to observe the movement.  It will be necessary for the pony to stand in place for observation.  In the case of a stallion Inspection, the stallion will be asked to be turned loose, “at liberty”,  in a secure area in order for the Inspectors to observe his freedom of movement and correctness of gaits.

It is recommended that you practice simple presentation techniques before an Inspection, in order to know that your pony will stand quietly and that you are comfortable walking and trotting your pony, in hand, in a relaxed, but “in control’, manner.

Once your nominations have been confirmed, you will be assigned approximate times for the Inspection of each pony.

With more than one pony nominated, the Inspection times will be spaced out in order to allow you to prepare for both Inspections.

If you have a preference in the order for your ponies to be inspected, please indicate that preference when you submit the nominations.

No. A pony’s ACPS Inspection is forever linked with the pony, and it is not necessary to have a pony re-Inspected, upon transfer of ownership.

Yes. The ACPS Inspection Program has two levels of recognition within the Inspection Process.

First, is the initial inspection for its “Approval”. 

If breeding mares and/or stallions, meet the following criteria; they may be re-Inspected for Premium Status.  The criteria are:

  • Mares must be at least eight-years-old and must have produced a purebred foal. Upon Premium Inspection, the pony must receive marks of Excellent or Very Good in ALL categories listed on the Inspection Report Form: type, temperament, conformation, and movement.
  • Stallions must be eight-years-old and must have sired at least one purebred foal. He must receive marks of Excellent or Very Good in ALL categories listed on the Inspection Report Form: type, temperament, conformation, and movement.

There is a $100 fee to nominate a pony for Premium Inspection, and the same Inspection Nomination Form (LINK) is used for Premium Inspection Nominations, by checking the box on the form, indicating that the pony is to be considered for Premium Inspection.

If a pony achieves Premium Status, its name will be listed in the Premium Mare/Stallion section of the List of Inspected and Approved Connemara Ponies AND a will receive a second Gold Seal, affixed to the ACPS Permanent Registration Papers for the pony, indicating the Premium Status.

The paperwork you received at the time of sale may indicate Inspection by the Connemara Pony Society in the country of origin.  Each Society sets the criteria for their own inspection program.

No. Being a member of the ICCPS, the ACPS recognizes the Inspection programs of all ICCPS countries and there is no need to have an already inspected pony re-inspected by the ACPS.

Hoof Wall Separation Disease (HWSD)

Hoof Wall Separation Disease (HWSD) is a genetic defect characterized by a hoof wall that easily breaks and cracks, and a normal appearing coronary band. The breaks and cracks begin to occur in young ponies. In severe cases the pony bears weight entirely on the sole of the foot which can lead to severe lameness.

It is a genetic condition that is recessive. The disease will not be expressed unless both HWSD alleles are present on the specific gene. It is present from birth and cannot be cured. It can be managed although management is notoriously difficult.  

Our job as a breed society is to protect the Connemara Pony. As we have a halfbred registry, we must know what the Hoof Wall status of any mare or stallion halfbred to protect the possible progeny. Now we have added Connemara Sport Horses as a registry as well. While any progeny from this registry are not registerable unless bred to a purebred or halfbred Connemara, it continues to be our ethical responsibility to know the Hoof Wall status of our CSH. We would be negligible if the horrible affliction of Hoof Wall disease were to spread to a new population of sport horses or ponies.

Testing for hoof wall separation disease is important in assisting clinicians, owners, and breeders in identifying affected and carrier horses. Breeders can use results from the test as a tool for selection of mating pairs to avoid producing affected horses.

For our ACPS registry, and now our Halfbred and Connemara Sport Horse registry (as of 2021) Hoof Wall status is required for registration. If the Hoof Wall status of both parents is N/N, the foal will also be N/N and no test is required. Otherwise a DNA test is required for registration.

UC Davis has a DNA test to determine the Hoof Wall status.

We have a Hoof Wall status list of the Connemaras and Halfbreds already tested.

If you want to breed a Connemara or Connemara Halfbred or Connemara Sport Horse and you do not know their Hoof Wall status you must find out before you breed. You can contact the breeder or check with Marynell Eyles about a DNA test. If one has not been done, Marynell will send you a form to send in to UC Davis for $40.00 to get the test.

N/N means no copy of the Hoof Wall allele to pass on to offspring.

N/HWSD means the individual has one normal allele and one HWSD allele to pass on. Statistically, the N will passed on to 50% of the offspring and the HWSD will be passed on 50% of the time.

HWSD/HWSD means the individual is affected and shows the diseased state. This individual will always pass on a HWSD allele to its offspring.

Mating N/N to N/N is always safe, no offspring will be carriers or affected.

Mating N/N to N/HWSD is also always safe. No offspring will be affected. However, 50% of the offspring will be carriers N/HWSD.

Allowing a mating of HWSD/HWSD to N/N will not produce any affected offspring but all offspring will be carriers N/HWSD.

It would not be safe to allow a mating of N/HWSD to N/HWSD as approximately 25% will be born affected HWSD/HWSD.

This means that you must know the Hoof Wall status of any mare or stallion with any Connemara in their pedigree prior to breeding to be sure that the mating will be safe.