Frequently Asked Questions

Inspections FAQ

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.