This is a planned test (see the pony Club Blue Book that you can get from all the horse shops).
The number of points that you get are based on your accuracy, ponies softness and willingness, ring craft (using the whole arena) and general impressions definitely play a part. So, for any dressage test, unless it is specified, it is worth the effort to plait and trim etc and for the rider to look very smart (hairnets girls) Check the test regulations for the use of spurs and or whip and the whips length.

There are lots of different competitions to enter in for showjumping, and this is a very basic outline. If you want more information, follow your nose from the NZPC site showjumping to the NZ Equestrian website and go to rules.
Faults in Showjumping are:

  • 1st stop/runout – 4 faults
  • 2nd stop – 4 faults
  • 3rd stop – elimination
  • A fall - elimination
  • A rail down – 4 faults
  • Time faults – 1 penalty for each second over optimum time. (If you go at a nice canter and take a good line into fences, and don’t have too many problems you should be fine time-wise)

  • Table 'A' - This is the easiest showjumping event. It starts with a round of jumps which must be jumped cleanly, in the correct order and within the time limit (which is based on a normal canter speed). Riders without penalties including time penalties - go into a jump-off . The jump-off course is usually a shorter and higher course. The steward informs riders what the course is. A jump-off is usually ,against the clock', that is, the fastest clear round is the winner. The time is taken from when the horse's nose goes through the start flags until it goes through the finish flags. If your horse will turn smooth, tight corners and jump on slight angles there is no need to go too fast - this method is preferred as it is safest for the horse and rider. Some of these events will have an instant jumpoff. It will say IJO on the likes of the entry form or check the course plan or ask someone.
  • A1 – As above but the prizes are shared between those on the same points. The judge can ask for another round but again it’s for a clear round within the time.
  • AM3 – Again just aiming for a clear round but if the 1st placing is tied on points then those competitors may be asked to do another round against the clock.
  • AM4 – As above but 2nd round is not against the clock. If placings are still tied then a 3rd round may be asked for and that will be against the clock.
  • AM5 – This also needs a round that is clear and fast. There can be a jumpoff if necessary over a shortened course.
  • A2 – This needs a clear round and a good time to win. So it is a speed competition.
  • Table C – All Table C events are scored in seconds. You again have a max of 3 stops or a fall before elimination. Poles knocked down are scored as 4 seconds per fence. So you win by having a fast time with no faults. There is a maximum time to complete your round. Some Table C events have an instant jump off so please check the course plan to see.
  • IJO - Instant Jump Off.  If you jump a clear round, you may start your jump off as soon as the judge rings the bell.  You will need to know the jump-off before you start your course.


  • Pleasure horse – he doesn’t fit the profile of the ‘Showpony’ but he has nice conformation, is a pleasure to ride, well schooled and versatile. He is ridden in a snaffle bridle and doesn’t need a whip or spurs to keep him moving forward. You are going to present him beautifully, plaiting and cleaning and oiling feet etc, and wear your jacket, tie, helmet and for the girls - the hairnet.No chaps or martingales or breastplates or boots. Most of our Pony Club ponies are Pleasure ponies.
  • Show Pony – he is very fine and very well schooled. He can work nicely in a double bridle when required. He has beautifully straight and sideways movement. He and his rider are turned out to perfection.
  • Saddle Hunter – He is a little bit more solid in type than your show pony. He looks like he can jump (and occasionally can be asked).  Movement is the same as a show pony and so is turnout.
  • Novice – never having won a 1st ribbon in a A &P show, sports day, gymkhana etc. Please be honest. So, if you win a novice pleasure pony event, then next time you go out you will enter the open pleasure pony class. But you will still be eligible for the novice Paced and Mannered or Novice rider if you haven’t won in those classes before.​​​​​​​
  • Open – has won a 1st ribbon as above.

Snaffle bridle, no whips or spurs, a smile and pony club uniform. Safety as above. You must be very disciplined in games so that there is no team disqualification. Self correct any error.

Consists of a dressage test, a showjumping course and a Cross country course.
You need to get your gear checked for every discipline or risk elimination.
You are usually given a time for your dressage but, just be aware that there are now disclaimers that indicate that if there are scatchings ahead of you, your time will be earlier. At most events you will then do your Showjumping. There is usually time to walk the Cross Country after your Showjumping, but work out the schedule and you may find that it is less stressful to walk it after dressage and before SJ and that gives you a chance to walk it twice if you are worried. Cross Country is usually after lunch but again, read your programme.

  • Dressage- The score that you get for your dressage test is your faults. So, if you get a score of 64% on your test, then you will lodge a score of 36 faults on the scoreboard.
    Turn your pony out well for the dressage. It makes a huge difference to your score. Do a nice accurate test and you will do just fine.
  • Showjumping - The same rules apply for showjumping as a discipline.
    The course that you jump is a Table A1. So, just go for a clear round within the optimum time. That pace is a nice relaxed canter and lovely approaches to the fences. There are no rewards for taking risks. Your SJ faults are then added to your dressage/CC faults. You need to wear a Medical Armband for Showjumping. Jumping boots or bandages require taping. Electrical tape will do the trick.
  • Cross Country – Red flag always on your right!!
    You are allowed 4 stops before you are eliminated. If you are eliminated in some cases you will be asked to walk back to the start and in others you will be allowed to complete the course. If you come across someone who started in front of you, you are within your rights to shout ‘horse coming through’ and pass. You cannot pass within ? metres of a fence. If there has been an accident then the jump steward must put the stopwatch on you as you wait to accident to be cleared and then make a note of it. You will not be penalised. The pace you need to be going is a lovely rolling fast canter / gallop. Shorten it up through the fences and let them go on the straights. Great fun! You need your Medical Armband and an approved Back Protector for Cross Country. Tape your boots and or bandages. Also, check the rule book to make sure that your preferred bit is legal.


  • Cat A ponies: pony height 133cm and below, and jumping 60cm with a 10ft stride
  • Cat B ponies:  pony height 133cm-143cm, and jumping 75cm with a 10.5ft stride
  • Cat C ponies: pony height 143cm-148cm, and jumping 85cm with an 11ft  stride
  • Hack jumping – starts at 85cm with a 12ft stride

This is like dressage over jumps. The horse is judged on its regularity ,softness and roundness through the strides and over the fences. The fences are made up of heaps of fillers. The categories are based on pony height (see the showhunter manual that you can find on line under the Equestrian NZ site) but is really about ponies’  length of stride. So, there are some 14.2 ponies that are better in Cat B than Cat C. There are also Equitation classes, which is like a rider over fences but, also deals with your ring craft. Using the whole arena, seeing your stride into fences, rider position and aids. Ideally in showhunter you will ride mostly in 2 point and will stay there the whole round.  Turnout is as you would for a show, clean, trimmed, plaited, feet oiled etc. First impressions are worth valuable points.
No dropped nosebands or flashes. A cavesson is fine.

If you are using a nice snaffle bit then you are fine, anything else then please check the rule book and make sure its legal.