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Notts Derby Horse Show

Something For Everyone... For All Ages & Abilities

Frequently Asked Questions about Our Show - Which May Differ from others 

Class Definitions & Useful Information

Ridden Showing

Judged on Conformation, Type, Way of going and Overall Presentation

Style & Appearance

Very similar to ridden showing but less emphasis of conformation and type, more on way of going and overall presentation

A Ridden Showing Piece

In Ridden Classes, Some Judges may set a show piece. This will not be pre announced and is at the Judges discretion. If a Normal freestyle showpiece is requested keep it short and simple. A Judge has a limited time to assess you - They need to see a walk away, a trot on both reins, and a canter & extension in suitable aged class, plus a clean halt. In hack classes extra moves can be added, but sometimes adding non required movements and they can going wrong can mess up a showpiece - save rein back, flying changes and & serpentines for Equitation Style classes.

Turnout for Type of Horse or Pony

Hunter Ponies/ Hunters –

Tweed Jackets, Cream, beige Jodhpurs, Long Boots/Gaiters, Tie, Short Boots for under 16s, Plain Tack, Snaffle/Pelham/Double Bridles, Plain Caverson Noseband, Plaited Mane, Pulled or Plaited Tail, Trimmed Up

Mountain +Moorlands

Turnout for Riders as per hunters, also for tack, but shown natural and only trimmed as per the breed standards allow, Please refer to Breed Society Handbook or NPS Handbook for more Details

Show Cobs

Turnout as for hunters but shown with trimmed legs and hogged manes

Traditional Cobs

Turnout for rider/tack as per hunters, but shown in full hair as per M+M

Show Ponies / Hacks & Pure Bred & Part Bred Arabians also

Tack as per hunters - more delicate/finer bridle with addition of a coloured brow band & buttonhole - navy jacket for under 16s, black may be worn over 16s, always with a Tie

Riding Horses/Ex Racehorses

Tack as per show ponies/hacks unless ex racehorse more of a chunkier hunter type - then refer to hunter turnout - tweed or navy Jackets.

Coloured/Spotted Horses or Ponies

Refer to the type, so if chunkier or traditional go for the tack and Attire of a hunter, same if a native coloured. If a finer type - refer to the show pony/hack category

Rare/Foreign/ Unusual Types

Refer to breed manuals, Spanish/American/Continental Draught Types may be shown in traditional attire.

In Hand Class Turnout

Refer to turnout of types section although in hand bridles may be used, also handler attire, trousers, suitable footwear and waistcoats may be worn

Young Handler

Must be a Mare/Gelding, over 4 years (unless a breed specific shows) Hard hats & Gloves and Suitable Footwear to be worn

In Hand Show Piece

You will be walked around clockwise, always present your pony or horse. You will then do a simple trot around the ring individually, don't forget to add a halt and a thank you to the judge. You will be lined up either randomly or in a preliminary order and assessed individually - present your equine standing level and attentive while the judge assesses. You will be asked to walk away, do a nice balanced turn and trot straight back towards your judge. It is vital you do this so the judge can see the movement of your horse, you will then return to the line and do a final walk before final placing and line up.

Equitation and Ridability

These are not judged on the horse or ponies conformation & turnout but soley on the riding ability for age and experience. The judge may request a serpentine or rein back. Attention will be paid to the riders hands/feet/position.

Fun Classes

These are just that and judged at a walk, ideal for all ages individual shows is not required, Must have Correct Hat & Footwear, Although other show attire is not required.

Concours D Elegance

A walk / Trot class with the sole criteria being the elegance and finish of the costume, Stocks may be worn in Concours classes.

Working Hunter

This class combines x2 phases, Jumping a course of rustic fences followed by a show piece, similar to that of a ridden show. Marks are awarded for various elements

- Jumping phase max marks 50 with deductions for faults 10 for knockdown / 15 1st refusal/ 20 2nd refusal/ elimination 3rd refusal

- A mark from 20 for style & manners from jumping, you may end up on a minus score and a clear round may not always beat a better ridden round with a fault. After all having jumped the ones with the highest marks from 70 from phase 1 will return for phase 2

On Occasion, if a busy show a judge may request a show piece after the jumping phase to enable smooth running

Phase 2

15 marks max for manners & way of going

15 for conformation, type and freedom of movement, both scores are then added for final placings

Tack for working hunter classes is similar to that of standard hunter or M+M class, although martingales/breastplates and gag type bits are also allowed and boots of a plain colour for phase 1 jumping to be removed for phase 2, No Change of tack other than boot removal between phases.

Showing must haves

A Strapped current BS standard safety hat - unless 18 years + in which case a beagler, bowler, top hat maybe worn upon

signature of a disclaimer form for FLAT Classes.

-Gloves of a suitable colour

-Cane/ Whip of a suitable length

-Hair to be netted/Bunned/Plaited as required

-Minimal makeup or enhancement to animals. Ensure M+Ms retain breed standards

-Showing is always a tie, stocks are for actual hunting/ dressage only

-Less is more, Plain tack for showing, discreet numnah if needed, brow tack is preferable but not essential and a well fitting saddle

- Martingales + other nosebands are not for use in flat classes, may be used in working hunter and other bitting and martingales

Common Phrases You May Hear


Certain classes are on certain dates are affiliated to a society, this could be a breed society or association. Where a class is affiliated, the rules & regulation for this society overrule NDHS rules.


This means you may qualify for other events and finals. You will need to collect cards / print cards, read them, sign them and check the criteria with the society or group to ensure eligible rules/ heights etc may vary from NDHS rules etc.

Stripping & Ride Judge

This does not happen at the majority of NDHS events. We will advise if this will be requested if we are affiliated to a society or organisation. Ride judges at other shows will ride your horse instead of you providing a ridden show,, also in these classes you are “stripped” ie the saddle removed and the horse/pony trotted up in hand and re tacked up. You will require a groom if this happens


This is a separate class for which you qualify for by being 1st or 2nd in various classes, You wear your Rosettes.

Supreme Championship

Various section champion & reserves qualify for these, Note please come in without any sashes or Rosettes Previously won.

Subscriber Championship

This is a special championship for all Subscribers in 2021


A Fee Paid for a NDHS points Book- you attain points in various classes, see card for details. Basically a membership with minimal commitment from the competitor, points are awarded for end of season presentation - see card for minimum attendance details – You are responsible for having your Book checked and stamped and handing it in per show,Incudes discounted entries - Minimum four shows as a combination to be eligible for end of year awards

Why are there lots of Rules & Regulations ? They are actually there to help you and guide you, also to ensure you have the best and safest day possible so please take the time to read them, they will answer lots of your queries, Also by entering the showground you are deemed to have read and abide by them.

Why do I need Horse Insurance ? Would you drive a car without insurance ? We have show insurance but part of this policy is to ensure competitors have their own cover. Let me make it clear this is NOT vets cover, nor does it have to be extensive or excessive, it can be a simple British Horse Society Gold or Harry Hall One Club Membership from as little as £6.00 a month, and normally comes as standard on most other policies, This is for your benefit in case your horse or pony causes accident or injury to a third party.

Why do I need to enter a class to come on the showground ? can I not just come and ride around for free and Jump the practise jump ? No you cannot I am our afraid, all our competitors pay their first aid fee and class fees which run the show, we pay to hire the ground, for our insurance and by entering you have agreed to our T & C, so to be on the ground with a horse you need to enter a class to be covered under this, You must also be booked into Working Hunter to use the practise jumpthe jump is their for the benefit of competing competitors for warming up, not for a free schooling session.

Can I take and publish online copyrighted photographers pictures from the show without purchasing them ? We take this matter very seriously, no you may not use images printed with copyright on them at any time from our shows, but if you purchase the image you may publish uncopyrighted editions, plus our photographers do sell very reasonable images to be used on facebook, we will report any images we find not abiding by this, and reserve the right to reject entries from persistant proof thiefs.

How can I save money on entry fees ? If you enter by midnight Wednesday before a show you can take advantage of discounted offers, this can be by paypal, by credit or debit card payment or by post.

How do I work out the Age of My Jockey ? How Old They ACTUALLY were on 1st January In the Current Year is the Age for NDHS Classes - Regardless of if they have another Birthday DURING that year.

How Do I work out the Age of my Horse ? Now horses differ, they ALL attain a year as of 1st January in the current year,there are no half years or months in horse classes, if you are unfortunate to have a late foal - as soon as the first of January comes it becomes 1 year old ( in reality it could be 3 - 6 months but its STILL a yearling) This year to help you

Animals Born in 2022 ARE Foals

Animals Born in in 2021 ARE Yearlings

Animals Born in 2020 ARE 2 Year Olds


Animals Born in 2018 ARE 4 Year Olds - AND MAY BE RIDDEN AT THE VENUE

My Child is 9 but is off the lead rein in classes, what age group does she go in for Points Card Scheme ? ALL under 12 yrs NOT on the lead rein are in 12 and under, Any Child that's 9 &Under and ON the lead rein can use the tiny Tots age group

How Old is It For Lead Rein ? 9 years Except where stated on the class as some classes have a Tiny Tots section for under 5 years, but most lead rein is 9

How Old is it for First Ridden ? 12 Years and Under Except where stated on the class such as First Time First Ridden which are 10 and under but most are 12.

Do Dog Classes count towards points awards ? No

How Many Classes can I Enter ? You can enter as many as you want for what your combination fits the criteria of the class wording

Whats a Combination ? Its a Rider/ Handler and a Horse/ Pony - So Say Sammy Bloggs and Fluffy - That is a combination, If Sammy Bloggs has another Pony Sparky, Then Sammy Bloggs and Sparky are ANOTHER Combination, also if Sammys Sister Lucy Bloggs does a Class with Fluffy - That's ANOTHER combination, so the 5 Class offer is 5 Classes of the SAME combination

How can I Save Money on My Entry Fees ? Simply Pre Enter Before the Wednesday before the show and Save ££££ compared to on the day entries

Do I Pay First Aid Once or per class ? NO first aid is now Included in Fees unless specifically stated at one off events 

Will My Classes Clash ? Now this is the million dollar question and I would be very Rich if I had the answer, Sadly I do not control the weather, Also allow entries on the day and am not telepathic, so I have NO idea - What I do know is in all Unaffiliated Classes we do allow you to ring hop if needed and we also have friendly and helpful judges and stewards, Now we cant wait all day for people, and WILL NOT wait for people who cannot THEMSELVES be ready for the timetabled times, BUT if you are caught in 2 classes together - Please speak to or get a helper to speak to the ring stewards and keep them informed and we will do our best.

How Many Is in Class xxxxx ? PLEASE do NOT come and ask us this question, the booking in tent is very busy and we all work VERY hard to get the sheets out on time but with on the day entries being taken this WILL vary - All competitors at Notts Derby are entitled to a special rosette if out of the placings, so just come along and enjoy yourself and do your best without worrying how many are in a class, These will be shown on the notice board after a set time.

Can I Be Rude to Judges. Stewards or Helpers ? ON YOUR OWN HEAD BE IT, ABSOLUTLEY NOT ZERO TOLERANCE !!!!! Every Judge thinks Differently, Every Steward and Helper Comes because they want to and enjoy it. We Try our best, and rotate judges so the next shows have different ones at each show, RUDENESS OF ANY KIND WILL SEE YOU BANNED FROM NOTTS DERBY AND ALL ASSOCIATED EVENTS, so just enjoy your day and spare a little thought to the hard work that goes into bringing you these shows - because its not something we HAVE to do, we do it for your enjoyment