Become an IPS Judge

Prospective Irish Pony Society Judges come from a wide range of experiences, from stewarding and/or judging at local shows to already being experienced judges with other societies.

The judges’ assessment process is intended to be non-discriminatory, fair and consistent to all candidates.  However, circumstances may sometimes mean that an assessment day runs in a slightly different way from the description below.

Judges Assessment Day

The Irish Pony Society holds an assessment day for prospective judges annually.  Dates for the next Judges Assessment Day can be found under Judges News when available.

Candidates who are interested in being assessed for entry to the Panel of Judges must have attained their 24th birthday on 1st January of the assessment year.  To make an application for assessment, contact the IPS Office (045-854513).

How to become an Irish Pony Society Panel Judge

The following is intended as a general guide for prospective panel judges and is by no means meant to be definitive or exhaustive.

Prior to applying for assessment, it is expected that the candidate would have relevant experience, for example, good knowledge of conformation, movement, type and way of going.  Candidates should have a good knowledge of the Rules and Guidelines of the Society, involvement with ponies and/or riding experience.

How do I become an IPS Panel Judge?


Prior to assessment it is important to have relevant experience that equips you to competently judge a class.  Past experiences, may include

o Showing as an IPS member;

o Riding or experience in other equestrian disciplines;

o Breeding of equines;

o Relevant work/life experiences;

o Equestrian qualifications/certification;

o Judging for another panel or society.

There is no specification of how much experience you should have, however, in general it is a case of the more, the better.

It is advisable for prospective IPS Judges to steward in IPS classes to enhance experience and gain knowledge prior to assessment.


All prospective judges must make an application to the IPS office for assessment.

Download the Application Form for IPS Judges Assessment or request one from the IPS office, complete the form and return to the address below:

Irish Pony Society
c/o Horse Sport Ireland
1st Floor, Beech House
Millennium Park
Co Kildare  W91 TRR3

Payment can be made online on

Applications may be submitted throughout the year, however, they MUST be received at least TWO WEEK’s prior to the scheduled date of the assessment.


Preparation for assessment is advisable, generally it is not enough to turn up on the assessment day and hope for the best.

Even candidates who hold a lot of experience of judging and or showing ponies or horses should prepare by

o Having good knowledge and understanding of the IPS Rule Book;

o Understanding the expectations of an IPS Panel Judge;

o Being competent and confident to judge a class on the assessment day.


The assessment of candidates will be conducted by a panel of assessors appointed by the Judges Chairman from the IPS Senior Judges Panel.

Candidates may be assessed on the day for more than one panel if there are sufficient places.

The assessment for each category will almost always include;

o Independent judging of a simulation showing class specific to category;

o Written assessment;

o Interview;

o Course Inspection (for Working Hunter Pony Category only).

Where candidates are deemed by the assessors to have completed a successful assessment they are then required to complete a minimum of 3 probationary judge appointments alongside a Senior Panel IPS Judge (the required number of probationary judge appointments will be based on the recommendations of the assessors), a written report of performance will be completed by the Senior Judge on the day and must be returned to the IPS office.


It is on completion of the assessment day and successful completion of the recommended probationary days that the candidate will be proposed before the IPS Council for appointment to the IPS Judges Panel.