Wednesday September 27, 2023
For National Pony Club updates and information please go to
Rule Changes 2022

There have been some important changes to the Pony Club rule book this year. For full details of the rules for 2022 see the Pony Club Sport Rules books 2022

New whip rules for 2022

Please be aware that the specifications for whips for show jumping and cross-country have changed for all Pony Club competitions – basically you can only use the same whip as for British Show jumping. If you have one that you use for BS, then that is fine –no other type of whip is allowed).


  • Riders may not hit their horse/ pony before the start of the course and may be eliminated for doing so at the Judge’s discretion.
  • A whip, if carried, must be held in the hand by the handle with the handle at the top. The whip must be “padded” and comply with the current British Showjumping rule (BS Members Handbook, full wording is available to view online at

The key points of that rule are as follows:

  • The maximum length of the “Whip” is 70cm and must be no less than 45cm.
  • The “Contact area”, is considered to be 2/5’s (two fifths) of the overall length of the “Whip” and must be covered with a “Pad”.
  • There must be no “binding” within 17 centimetres of the end of the “Pad”.
  • The “Pad” must be smooth, with no protrusion or raised surface, and be made of shock absorbing material throughout its circumference such that it gives a compression factor of at least 6mm.
  • There is to be no wording, advertising or personalisation of any kind on the “Pad”.

Before buying any whip, please check with the retailer that it is BS compliant.

Hat Standards

It is mandatory for all riders at Pony Club events to wear a protective helmet at all times when mounted with a chinstrap fastened and adjusted so as to prevent movement of the hat in the event of a fall. This rule defines the quality of manufacture that is required. The individual Sports also have additional requirements with regard to colour and type: the hat rule is available in each Pony Club Sport Rule book for 2022.

To unify hat standards across The Pony Club, British Eventing and British Riding Clubs, require all hats to be checked and to have an ‘aquamarine’ hat tag attached. Committee members and instructors are able to check hats and attach a tag at events.

January 2023- Change to hat standards

To ensure riders are wearing the most up-to-date riding hats, from the 1st January 2023, the following hat standards will no longer be accepted, due to the age of hats made to these standards:

1. PAS 015 1998

2. SNELL 2001

To manage this change, a new colour of hat tag will be required for all BE, PC and BRC activities from 1st January 2023.

Equine Welfare

At The Pony Club, equine welfare is at the heart of everything we do. We ask all members to review the following two documents to ensure you are adhering to best practice.

Guidelines on whisker trimming

Whisker trimming is strongly discouraged within Pony Club. A number of national and international organisations have banned trimming of whiskers in competition horses on the basis that this reduces the horse’s sensory ability. Trimming of whiskers has been banned by the FEI, the German, Swiss, and French national equestrian federations, British Dressage, British Eventing, and a number of shows and breed societies in the UK. The Pony Club supports the ban and would like to see natural, untrimmed whiskers on all horses and ponies at Pony Club events. Find out more – Whisker Trimming

Guidelines on noseband tightness and height

Fitting of nosebands in accordance with recommendations is encouraged at all Pony Club events, including rallies, competitions, badges, tests and during tack fitting training. Read the guidelines here – Fitting of Nosebands


New stirrup rules 2022

For the avoidance of doubt, at Pony Club events.
• stirrups which connect the boot and the stirrup magnetically are not allowed
• Interlocking boot soles and stirrup treads are not allowed

Stirrups should be of the correct size to suit the rider’s boots. They must have 7mm (¼”) clearance on either side of the boot. 

There are now many types of stirrups marketed as ‘safety stirrups’. All riders must ensure that their stirrups are suitable for the type of footwear they are wearing and the activities in which they are taking part and that the stirrup leathers are in good condition.

There are no prescribed weight limits on metal stirrups, however with the advent of stirrups of other materials, weight limits are seen to be given by manufacturers. Any person buying these stirrups, should take particular notice if weight limits are on the box or attached information leaflets. Neither the feet nor the stirrup leathers or irons, may be attached to the girth, or the feet attached to the stirrup irons.

It is strongly recommended that the design of the stirrup chosen allows the foot to be released easily in the event of a rider fall. Specific rules for individual sports can be found in the respective sports rulebooks.

Particular focus should be on ensuring that the boot and stirrup are the correct size for the rider taking part and used in line with the manufacturer’s guidance.

For Mounted Games Only:
Bostock & Free Jump stirrups are not allowed at Pony Club Mounted Games events.
Stirrups which include Metal/ Metal type treads, including but not limited to those with protruding spikes and/or perforated grip features are NOT Permitted.