44.Become a Judge

Become an IPS Judge

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

The judge’s 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.

Assessment Date for 24th February 2024  Boley Equestrian Centre, Camolin Co. Wexford.

Before submitting application please ensure you read fully the IPS Judges Assessment information.

*Youngstock & Breeding 

*Flat Ridden excluding M&M and Connemara 

* Working Hunter 

IPS Judges Assessment Information

How to become an Irish Pony Society Panel Judge

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

Applicants for Judges Assessment must have attained their 24th birthday on 1st January of current year and be a current Member of the Society prior to applying for assessment.

The upper age limit for all our IPS Judges is 80 years.

The IPS expects candidates to have relevant experience before applying for assessment, i.e. a good knowledge of conformation, soundness, type and way of going. To be familiar with all the Society’s Rules, to have Riding Experience and an involvement with ponies/horses and to be capable of judging classes of different standards and numbers.


Prior to assessment it is important to have relevant experience that equips you to competently judge a class. There is no specification on how uch experience you should have, however, in general it is a care 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.

Past experiences may include

  • Showing as an IPS member.
  • Riding or experience in other equestrian disciplines.
  • Breeding of equines.
  • Relevant work/life experience.
  • Equestrian qualifications/cerfification.
  • Judging for another panel or Society.

Apply to be Assessed as an IPS Judge

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.

All prospective judges must make an application to the IPS for assessment. Applications and payment can be made online to www.itsplainsailing.com/club/ips

Applications may be submitted throughout the year, however, they MUST be received at least ONE week prior to the scheduled date of assessment.



There will be 3 categories assessed on the day and candidates may be assessed for more than one panel if there are sufficient places.

Weather dependant, candidates will be expected to wear suitable judging attire.

A. Youngstock and Breeding
B. Show Pony, Show Hunter Pony (Plaited ridden)
C. Working Hunter Pony

Candidates will be requested to:

  1. Complete a written questionnaire, multiple choice, for chosen category.
  2. Complete a practical assessment in an independent simulation or showing class specific to category. In Show Pony/Show Hunter Pony category the 50/50 marking system will be used.
  3. In the Working Hunter category, the relevant WH making system will be used. A sample WH marking sheet can be requested from the IPS office. A Course Inspection will be conducted along with independent judging of a working hunter class or simulated class situation.
  4. Complete an interview with a panel of assessors. It is at this stage that the candidate will discuss conformation or any other relevant information they acquired during the practical stage.

When 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.


If anyone requires any further information on the above please do not hesitate to contact ipsjudges@gmail.com