Rules and Notices

Share this page

Rules and Notices

  • The Pony Club Equine Influenza VACCINATION RULE 2024
    To protect the health of all horses and ponies and the biosecurity of the venue, the following
    rules will apply to all Pony Club activities. Members competing with other organisations,
    such as FEI, BHA and HPA, or at certain venues, for example racecourses, will need to
    comply with their vaccination requirements.
    1. Passports
    A valid passport (registered on the Central Equine Database) and vaccination record:
    • must accompany the horse / pony to all activities
    • must be available for inspection by the event officials
    • must be produced on request at any other time during the activity
    2. Equine Influenza Vaccination Schedule:
    No horse / pony may attend an activity, compete or be present as a companion unless it has
    a Record of Vaccination against equine influenza completed by the veterinary surgeon who
    gave the vaccination, signed and stamped line by line, which complies with the Minimum
    Vaccination Requirements set out in the Equine Influenza Vaccination Schedule below.
    All horses and ponies receiving a new primary course of vaccinations from 1 January 2024
    must be vaccinated according to this schedule:
    • initial primary course of two vaccinations (V1 and V2) must be given: the second
    vaccination (V2) must be administered within 21-60 days of the first initial vaccination
    • Horses may attend activities 7 full days after receiving the second vaccination of the
    primary course (V2).
    • A first booster vaccination (V3) must be administered within 120 – 180 days of the
    administration of the second vaccination of the primary course.
    • Thereafter booster vaccinations must be administered at a maximum of 12 months
    Horses and ponies must not attend activities within 7 days of receiving any vaccination. For
    clarity: no horse or pony may compete on the same day as a relevant injection is given or on
    any of the 6 days following such an injection.
    NB: This is the minimally appropriate booster schedule; it is highly recommended that
    horses and ponies competing regularly and travelling around the UK and abroad follow an
    optimal schedule and receive a booster within 6 months +21 days prior to arrival at the
    event or activity, in line with the FEI protocol.
    Any horse which is found to have breached the requirements above in relation to V1 (initial
    vaccination); V2 (second vaccination) and V3 (first booster), or exceeded 12 months between
    subsequent boosters, must restart and receive a minimum of V1 & V2 and had a 7 day postvaccine stand-down before being allowed entry to any Pony Club activity.
    The Pony Club Safety & Welfare
    November 2023
    Historic Vaccinations
    o Horses that received the primary course prior to 1 January 2024 are permitted to
    have an interval of up to 92 days between the first (V1) and second (V2) vaccination
    of the primary course and for the first booster (V3) an interval of up to 7 months
    following the date of the administration of vaccination V2.
    o For the period 1st October 2022 to 31st December 2022, lower risk equines may
    have, with veterinary advice and approval, extended the annual booster period to
    15 months if there was a genuine veterinary shortage of vaccine. The subsequent
    booster should have been made within 9 months, resulting in 2 booster vaccinations
    in 2 years and making the 2023 vaccine booster date no more than 24 months from
    the 2021 due date. Vaccination records which have this extension clearly approved
    and annotated by the vet will be accepted at Pony Club and BHS Riding Club
    events, but other venues and competitive bodies may insist on a 12month interval
    and hence if a booster is missed a restart may be necessary.
    BHA (British Horseracing Authority) / Racecourse Requirements
    1. All equines visiting a racecourse on race day must conform with the current BHA
    vaccination rules, regardless of where they will be sited.
    2. All equines visiting a racecourse in the 8 days before a race meeting must conform
    with the current BHA vaccination rule, regardless of where they will be sited.
    3. All equines visiting a racecourse and staying in the stable yard outside of a race day
    or the preceding 8 days, must conform with the current BHA vaccination rule or the current
    FEI vaccination rule.
    Advice from BHA (November 2023)
    In order to be compliant with the BHA guidelines, BHA require:
    • Racehorses that had a compliant record (using old intervals and 12 month boosters)
    to have had a booster vaccination within 6 months of 15.01.2023, otherwise a restart
    (using new intervals) is required
    • 6 monthly booster vaccinations have been compulsory from 15.01.2023
    • all primary courses started in 2022 or after must have followed the new vaccination
    intervals (V1-V2 21-60d; V2-V3 120-180d, plus 6 month boosters)
    • For clarity, the BHA does not recognise the vaccination amnesty that was granted at
    the end of 2022 allowing ponies to have 2 vaccinations within 24 month period (ie
    one after 15 months followed by a 9 month booster).
    Booster Summary:
    BHA rule requires booster vaccinations every 6 months; the FEI rule requires booster



General wording in all rulebooks:

Use of the whip: At all times, the whip must only be used

▶ For a good reason, as an aid to encourage the horse forward.

▶ At an appropriate time, namely when the horse is reluctant to go forward under normal aids of seat and legs.

▶ In the right place, namely down the shoulder or behind the leg but never overarm.

▶ No more than twice for any one incident.

Excessive use of the whip anywhere on the showground will result in disqualification:

▶ Use of the whip to vent a competitor’s anger is always excessive.

▶ Use of a whip which causes injury eg. Broken skin or a weal, is always excessive.

▶ Use after elimination or retirement is always excessive.

▶ Use on a horse’s head, neck etc. is always excessive.

▶ Using the whip from the ground after a rider fall or dismount is always excessive.

▶ If the rider’s arm comes above the shoulder when using the whip, this is always excessive


  1. WHIPS
  2. a) May be carried during the test. This includes Area Competitions and the Championships.
  3. b) May be of any length.
  4. c) May not be picked up if dropped during a test.
  5. d) May be carried in either hand but must be in the rein hand when saluting.
  6. e) If misused, in the opinion of the Judge, the rider will be eliminated. (See also Rule 10).
  7. f) Whips are not allowed in the Dressage phase of an Eventing competition at PC100 and PC110
  8. Showjumping:
    1. Whips: 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.


    1. Whips – A whip, if carried, must be held in the hand by the handle with the handle at the top. The whip must be “padded”. 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”


Whips: No rider may carry, use or permit to be used a whip greater than 75cm.

. Dressage only ▶ Whips – A whip of any length may be carried at PC70, PC80, PC90, but no whips are allowed at PC100, PC100+ and PC110.

 Mounted Games:
Whips and spurs are not allowed

h) Whips – Restricted to 48 inches in length, including the tag. Broken whips are not allowed.


  1. n) Whips – must not be longer than 1.1m (44”) including a flap not less than 50mm (2”) long and 25mm (1”) wide at the end.

Pony Racing:

NB: please note that whips and spurs are not permitted in Pony Racing.

Refund Policy

Please take note of entry close dates. Late entries can not be guaranteed a place and can not be guaranteed until full payment has been received.

Entry cheques will be banked following close of entries. A full refund will be given for withdrawals before the closing date.

If an event is cancelled then full refunds will be given but if an event goes ahead then the entries will only be refunded as detailed above.

Hat Rule 2024

Members must always wear a protective hat when mounted. Only hats to the following specifications are
acceptable at any Pony Club activity. The Pony Club is consistent with fellow British Equestrian (BEF)
Member bodies in its Standards for Riding Hats. Individual sports may have additional requirements with
regard to colour and type. It is strongly recommended that secondhand hats are not purchased.
The hat standards accepted as of 1st January 2024 are detailed in the table below:
Hat Standard Safety Mark
Snell E2016 & 2021 with the official Snell label and number
PAS 015: 2011 with BSI Kitemark or Inspec IC Mark
(BS) EN 1384:2023 with BSI Kitemark or Inspec IC Mark
VG1 with BSI Kitemark or Inspec IC Mark
ASTM-F1163 2015 & 2023 with the SEI mark
AS/NZS 3838, 2006 with SAI Global Mark
Note: Some hats are dual-badged with different standards. If a hat contains at least one compliant hat standard
it is deemed suitable to competition, even if it is additionally labelled with an older standard.
• For cross-country riding (at all levels) including Eventing, Arena Eventing, Tetrathlon and Hunter Trials,
together with Pony Racing (whether it be tests, rallies, competition or training) and Mounted Games
competitions, a jockey skull cap must be worn with no fixed peak, peak type extensions or noticeable
protuberances above the eyes or to the front, and should have an even round or elliptical shape with a
smooth or slightly abrasive surface, having no peak or peak type extensions. Noticeable protuberances
above the eyes or to the front not greater than 5mm, smooth and rounded in nature are permitted. A
removable hat cover with a light flexible peak may be used if required.
• No recording device is permitted (e.g. hat cameras) as they may have a negative effect on the performance
of the hat in the event of a fall.
• The fit of the hat and the adjustment of the harness are as crucial as the quality. Members are advised to try
several makes to find the best fit. The hat should not move on the head when the head is tipped forward.
The Pony Club recommends you visit a qualified BETA (British Equestrian Trade Association) fitter.
The Pony Club, Safety & Welfare
November 2023
• Hats must be replaced after a severe impact as subsequent protection will be significantly reduced. Hats
deteriorate with age and should be replaced after three to five years depending upon the amount of use.
• Hats must be worn at all times (including at prize-giving) when mounted with a chinstrap fastened and
adjusted so as to prevent movement of the hat in the event of a fall.
• For Show Jumping: hat covers, if applicable, shall be dark blue, black or brown only. Branch/Centre team
colours are permitted for team competitions.
• For Dressage: hats and hat covers must be predominately black, navy blue or a conservative dark colour
that matches the rider’s jacket for Area competitions or above. The Pony Club Hat silk is also acceptable.
• For Mounted Games: hat covers, if applicable, shall be dark blue, black or brown only.
• The Official Steward / Organiser may, at their discretion, eliminate a competitor riding in the area of the
competition without a hat or with the chinstrap unfastened or with a hat that does not comply with these
Hat Checks and Tagging
The Pony Club and its Branches and Centres will appoint Officials, who are familiar with The Pony Club hat
rule, to carry out hat checks and tag each hat that complies with the requirements set out in the hat rule with an
Pony Club hat tag. Hats fitted with a Pony Club, British Eventing (BE) or British Riding Club (BRC) hat tag will
not need to be checked on subsequent occasions. However, the Pony Club reserves the right to randomly spot
check any hat regardless of whether it is already tagged.
Tagging is an external verification of the internal label and indicates that a hat meets the accepted
standards. The tag does NOT imply any check of the fit and condition of the hat has been undertaken.
It is considered to be the responsibility of the Member’s parent(s) / guardian(s) to ensure that their hat complies
with the required standards and is tagged before they go to any Pony Club event. Also, they are responsible for
ensuring that the manufacturer’s guidelines with regard to fit and replacement are followed.
For further information on hat standards, testing and fitting, please refer to the British Equestrian Trade
Association (BETA) website: British Equestrian Trade Association – Safety and your head (

Body Protectors Rule 2024

A body protector is compulsory for all Pony Club Cross Country riding (including Arena Eventing)
and Pony Racing activities whether it be training or competition. A body protector for these
activities must meet BETA 2018 Level 3 Standard (blue and black label).

For general use, the responsibility for choosing body protectors and the decision as to their use must
rest with Members and their parents. It is recommended that a rider’s body protector should not be
more than 2% of their body weight. When worn, body protectors must fit correctly, be comfortable
and must not restrict movement. BETA recommends body protectors are replaced at least every
three to five years, after which the impact absorption properties of the foam may have
started to decline.

Cross Country Dress

Back Protectors, Long Sleeves & Riding Hats suitable for Cross Country (No fixed peaks) must be worn for all Cross Country. Long hair must be tied up neatly.

Safety Notice

We have noticed that members have been tying ponies/horses to horse boxes and trailers and leaving them unattended.

This is not an acceptable practice and we would ask all members to refrain from doing this.

Polite Notice

We would ask all members to ensure that they clear up any pony/horse droppings that may occur when attending rallies and events at all our different venues.