The New Zealand Warmblood Horse Association (NZWA) has a classification process in place to inspect colts and stallions. 
On passing inspection a certificate is issued to enable the stallion or colt to become a licensed stallion.  

Furthering classification and licensing, stallions that achieve significant success, either individually or via their progeny, they can be elevated within the stud book to Principal or Elite status.

For the full regulations scroll down or browse the FAQS below:



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We have completed the 2016 Classification Tour with German Assessor Gerd Kust. Stallions require the inspection panel have at least one foreign assessor. We are already making plans for the next Classification Tour.  If you have a stallion you would like to nominate please Regsiter your interest now.



Only registered progeny of approved and licensed stallions can be considered for inclusion in the NZWA stud book.  It is proposed that future breeding stallions which are put up for selection are fairly inspected to ensure the highest quality horses are passed and certified for breeding.

From time to time stallions and colts purchased overseas and classified by their respective breed societies which are recognised warmblood breed organisation will be given a license to breed, pending the approval of the NZWA Committee.

Before a colt/stallion selection inspection the colt should be trained in presentation at the in-hand and halt at the walk and trot. He should be accustomed to standing still while people move around him, pick up his feet, look at his teeth etc. They should also be familiarised with the free movement phases and should be sufficiency fit to complete this part of the classification.

Colts should be presented in the best body condition possible, neither fat nor thin, with healthy coats and well cared for hooves. Tidy pulled and plaited tails and plaited manes are customary and enhance the general impression.

Handlers should be familiar with the colt selection rules and procedural requirements. While the style of dress chosen by handlers is optional it is recommended that it be smart, neat and functional. Clothing should allow adequate freedom of movement and footwear should be sturdy and suitable for running.



The NZWA reserves the right to reject any colt either before, during or after any part of a selection process at his/her discretion if any of the requirements outlined are not met or upon recommendation of the NZWA Committee, Classification Panel or Veterinary Surgeon. This result will be final.

All owners or lessees of colts must be financial members of the NZWA and the horses must be registered with the NZWA.

Applications in writing must be made to the Registrar of the NZWA on the form supplied not later than one month prior to the scheduled selection day. The fee for the selection procedure is as determined by the NZWA Committee from time to time (currently $600 application and membership fee $40) and payable to the NZWA. The full fee is to be paid in advance and is not refundable.

Pedigree horses must have a minimum of four generations of proven breeding which is acceptable to the NZWA.
Warmblood colts must be sired by approved or licensed warmblood stallions out of classified warmblood stud stock or classified mares. Derivative register colts are not eligible for inclusion in the stud book.

6. AGE
Colts must be aged three years and over.
Special consideration will be given to the inclusion of colts outside the specified age range upon written requestor the NZWA Committee. The outcome of such request shall be determined at the absolute discretion of the NZWA Committee and no further correspondence will be entered into after a decision has been made.
Colts granted permission to participate may be presented twice, i.e. at two separate classification days.
Age is as calculated from 1 August, not from the actual date of birth.

The Warmblood WV brand and/ numerical brands are to be applied prior to classification.  Alternatively, the horse may be microchipped.

The colt or stallion must be examined by a qualified Veterinary Surgeon in accordance with the standard examination procedures in conjunction with the NZWA specifications during the week prior to or immediately after the colt classification date. A Veterinary Surgeon may be engaged by the NZWA for veterinary testing on the day of colt selection and, if so, must examine all colts presented on that day.

The NZWA colt selection veterinary examination requirements must be provided by a chosen Veterinary Surgeon for this purpose. Examination is conducted at the owner’s/lessee’s expense. All requirements must be met.
Colts which are not passed as free of defects and unsoundness will not be considered further.

The owners/lessees warrant that colts are presented for assessment free of prohibited substances including but not limited to anabolic steroids, pain killers, stimulants and tranquillisers. Random drug testing may be conducted at the classification.
The NZWA reserves the right to have blood and/or urine samples taken for testing of foreign substances from any colt or stallion whose drug-free status may reasonable be considered to be in doubt at any time during the selection process at the owner’s expense.

Colts should be presented at the selection venue in good time to have their brands and markings checked against the original registration papers which must be produced by the owner or lessee for this purpose.

Applicants will be notified of a date, location and time of a classification by the Registrar. Failure to present a nominated colt or stallion or to complete the test on the appointed day must be covered by a written explanation or veterinary certificate (where applicable).
The NZWA Committee has the right to decide whether the colt or stallion may be re-presented at a later date.

Colts and stallions will be assessed by a panel of accredited classifiers appointed by the NZWA Committee. These will either be two New Zealand assessors OR at least one overseas assessor.

Colts should be led in a simple bridle with one bit and optional nose band. No other means of assistance, restraint or control will be allowed except for during the individual led movements and free movements when a second person and a whip are permissible. Boots and bandages are permitted in the free jumping phase of the selection process.

Individual appearances for assessment purposes will be made in random order with that order advised in good time prior to presentation.

All reasonable requests made by the classification panel at any time and during any phase of the selection process must be complied with.

Either the owner, lessee or handler or the classification panel may stop the classification procedure at any stage in the event of unnecessary risk of danger to the health and safety of horse or human.

Warmblood colts or stallions must gain a minimum average score of 70% as per the classifier score sheets with no mark less than six.
Top class stallions that achieve particularly high scores will be awarded an Excellence or Merit rating.  (Excellence 80% + and Merit 78-79.9%.)
These are superlative examples of the breed.

Results will be available as soon as practical after the conclusion of the classification and the final score will be communicated to the owner/lessee/handler as soon as possible. The NZWA reserves the right to announce the results and to make all results and scores public. Participation in the classification process implies the permission of owners/lessees for the results of their colt/stallion to be released.

All score sheets are the property of the NZWA. No unauthorised persons including owners/lessees/handlers may have access to the actual score sheets nor to the marks awarded or comments made by the classifier. These remain confidential. A copy of the results will be mailed to the owner/lessee with the original classification results held by the Association.

After 1 August 2003 all new stallions registered with the Association must be DNA-typed, prior to being used for breeding. An official copy of the DNA type shall be filed with the Association, by the owner, or by an approved laboratory. This rule will also apply to previously registered stallions.
No certificates will be issued or progeny registered until all fees are paid and the DNA typing requirements are fulfilled.

Only progeny conceived after a colt/stallion has passed classification are eligible for Full Warmblood registration.
Progeny can be registered pre Classification as Derivative Warmbloods only. Retrospective registrations will be considered on a case by case basis with proof of breeding and licensing.

The progeny of failed stallion will still be eligible for registration in the Derivitave Warmblood Register, if they meet the specified criteria. They will also be eligible for classification and elevation into the Stud Book but to pass must attain at least an 8 in all criteria and no less than a seven in any one criteria.

Failed colts/stallions may be re-presented for a second classification at the next available stallion/colt classification but within 36 months of the first classification. If the colt/stallion fails for a second time any further representation for classification will be approved only on a case-by-case basis by the NZWA Committee.

The NZWA and individuals constituting the Association accept no responsibility in respect of any claim for damages and consequence for personal injury or property damage whatsoever included but not limited to any injury, loss or damage to any horse handler, owner, lessee, groom or spectator.

Every competitor and/or exhibitor must comply with the appropriate legislation in the Health and Safety in Employment Act I 992. Each competitor and/or exhibitor must supervise and control their animals at all times and shall be liable for any hazard created, accident illness or damage caused by the action of themselves at the venue of the event



All colts and stallions will be paraded in hand at the walk at the commencement for the selection presentation.
A preliminary evaluation of their walk type and general impression will be made after which the horses will leave the designated arena area together and will be required to re-enter on the specified order for individual inspection.


24. 1 Static Assessment
The first phase of the individual assessment requires the presentation of the horse in an area specified by the classification panel for evaluation of type and conformation. The handler should place the horse at a distance of 4-5 metres from the classifiers and present him so that all four legs can be seen from both sides. The classifiers will move around the horse as necessary.

24.2 Movement in Hand
The first movement phase involves the horse being led first at the walk and then at the trot in a large triangle A-B-C-A. No side of the triangle shall measure less than 40 metres or more than 60 metres in length. At the discretion of the selection panel this exercise may be repeated and modified. The horse should be allowed to walk as freely as possible. To this end the handler should be someone who can move well enough themselves to show the horse to maximum advantage.

24.3 Canter
The horse shall be shown in canter. This may be under saddle, on the lunge or in a free canter if conditions allow.

24.4 Free Jumping
The colt shall be shown in Free jumping in a lane set up along overseas stallion testing guidelines There will be 3 jumping efforts, the first being a small upright approx 50cm. followed by an upright of approx 90cm after 2 stride (6.90m) and two strides (7.2m) to an oxer which will vary in height upwards to test technique and scope. The final oxer has no limits in height but will start at around 1.l0m high and 1m wide.


All horses may be paraded again or as requested by the classifiers.


The classification scoring is rated as follows:
- Conformation: 20%
- Led movement type and general impression: 60%
- Free jumping 20% TOTAL 100%

This is done on the basis of 1 to 10 as follows: 10 Excellent
9 Very good
8 Good
7 Fairly good
6 Satisfactory
5 Sufficient
4 Insufficient
3 Fairly bad
2 Bad
1 Very bad

Top class stallions that achieve particularly high scores will be awarded an Excellence or Merit rating.  (Excellence 80% + and Merit 78-79.9%.)
These are superlative examples of the breed.

Specifically the classifiers will be looking for the following traits:

1. Walk

The walk must be ground covering, relaxed and regular with strides being even and foot falls correct in sequence, not lateral or pacing. Freedom of shoulders and haunches and a supple back must be evident.

2. Trot

Cadence (suspension of movement), elasticity, hind leg action, rhythm, front shoulder

3. Canter

Three-beat regular showing cadence and balance with suppleness in the rear quarters.