Palomino Classification

Palominos 2 years of age and over require classification.

All palominos 2 years of age & over are required to be classified for COLOUR in addition to CONFORMATION. They are classified on a point system for colour, and because they lose points for dark spots, dark hairs or smutting, it is necessary for you to present your horse washed and clean with mane and tail combed. It is not the classifiers' job to sort out whether dark patches and dark hairs are really that, or whether they are just dirt.

A horse which fails it’s first classification may be represented twice more for classification under different classifiers. (ie if it fails it’s second classification, it may be represented a third and final time). A horse which fails 3 classifications may not be represented in another state; it may only be presented 3 times ALL UP, not 3 times per state. The only exceptions are stallions which fail colour classification - these horses may be gelded after failing 3 times for stallion registration and be re presented as geldings.

It is also important for owners to understand that just because a palomino may not meet all the Colour Standard of Excellence requirements, it does not necessarily follow that their horse or pony is automatically ineligible for registration.  If you are at all unsure about whether or not your palomino will pass classification please send  some photos to the registrar and ask.

The responsibility for application for classification, submission of all correct documentation and information and payment of fees' rests solely with the owner of the horse.

What the owner must do:

  • Have all paperwork correctly filled out and sent to the National Office accompanied by the appropriate fees.
  • Brand the horse OR ensure that all paperwork proving it is already registered elsewhere without a brand has been lodged with the National Office.
  • Wash the horse - it must be clean
  • Trim the hooves - to ensure it stands correctly.
  • The horse does not have to be in show condition but make sure it is looking its best.

What the horse must have:

  • A mane 1 cm long or longer.
  • No plaits in mane or tail.
  • No dyeing, bleaching or colouring of mane, tail or body (including make-up on body)
  • Its own tail - false tails are not allowed
  • Colts and stallions must have both testicles descended.
  • Eyes must both be black, brown or hazel.
  • Must be 2 years of age and over.

Not allowed

  • Dirty
  • Blue eyes or wall eyes.
  • Dorsal strip on palominos - dark line along backbone.
  • White markings except where permitted on legs and head.
  • False tails, false plaits, hair extenders.
  • Dyed manes and tails
  • Dyed or artificially enhanced coat

Methods of classification:

There is some misconception that immediately a horse is officially 2 years old it must be classified (palominos) / adult upgraded - this is not so: classification / adult upgrading is necessary if you wish to show the horse but horses should only be presented when they are ready.

For the convenience of owners, we offer the following methods of classification.


Video requirements:

  • to be taken in the daytime, preferably on a sunny day
  • must show full views of both sides, front, rear and underneath; these views to be taken from a distance of no more than 2 metres
  • must be close enough to see smut, roan and spots as well as brands
  • mane and tail must be fanned out so that quality, colour and discolouration can be assessed
  • must show horse walking and trotting towards and away from the camera and trotting side on
  • side on close up of each eye
  • side on view of teeth

Photo: (sample photographs of what is required to be shown can be viewed here).

Photo requirements:

  • Must be coloured.
  • Must detail brands, scars, markings, UNDER BELLY including between front and back legs, mane and tail.
  • Mane and tail must be fanned out so that quality, colour and discolouration can be assessed.
  • Must include full side shots of both sides, full views of front and back of horse, close ups of each eye taken from the side, side on view of teeth, under tail (mares), testicles (stallions)

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