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General Championship Rules for 2023

Eligibility of Shows:

Shows wishing to participate in the 2023 Championships and be eligible to hold qualifiers must have collected the Championship Fund (currently 5%) from Horse, Pony, Cattle & Sheep class prize money for the previous year and forwarded the amount so collected, in full, to the Irish Shows Association within the stipulated period of not more than 30 days from the date of the show. Alternative methods of meeting this obligation are not acceptable.

Any show or competitor in breach of the rules set out below will be disqualified from participating or competing in these Championships.

These General Rules and those relating to individual championships (where applicable) should be published in the show schedule and catalogue of the participating shows and must be strictly observed.

Qualifying Rounds: (Qualifiers)

Qualifying rounds will take place at shows designated by the Irish Shows Association.

Responsibility of Shows holding Qualifying Rounds:

  1. Selected Shows should hold a separate class for each qualifier from which the highest placed animals will qualify.
  2. The Qualifier class should be held as the first (1st) class in the relevant section of the show.
  3. Shows must ensure that the qualifiers are held strictly in accordance with the relevant Rules.
  4. No other sponsor may be involved in qualifying classes.
  5. Shows may charge an entry fee for each qualifying class. The I.S.A. will award a rosette to the successful animal(s) on appearance at the final.
  6. No show hosting a Championship Final may hold a qualifying class for that championship on the day of the final other than by agreement with the Irish Shows Association.  However, Shows who hold qualifiers for Horses, Ponies & Cattle may ask exhibitors to enter the exhibit in at least one other class at their show on the day.
  7. Animals qualified for finals are not eligible to enter in any other show class where the final is held, other than a qualifying class for another Championship.
  8. Shows should appoint competent, well-briefed persons to act as stewards, who must ensure that only animals (or other exhibits) which are eligible to compete and whose documentation is in order, are allowed to proceed to the judging ring.
  9. Animal Passports & Microchips where applicable should be read by a Veterinary Surgeon appointed by the show.
  10. On completion of judging, Stewards must inform the successful competitors to visit the Secretary's Office at the show within one hour and complete the necessary arrangements for entry to the final.
  11. The show must appoint a well-briefed officer who will be available at the Secretary's Office to assist exhibitors to complete the entry cards for participation in the final and collect the entry fee.
  12. Show Secretaries must forward completed result cards, together with appropriate fees to the Irish Shows Association within three days following the holding of the show.
  13. NB. Shows must return results card marked "No Competition" for any or all of the events for which no animal (or exhibit) has been selected.

Responsibility of Exhibitors:

  1. Exhibitors accept that the Judge's decision is final in all cases. Any abuse of Judges will not be tolerated. Where a dispute or case for complaint arises, the matter should only be dealt with under 6 below.
  2. Winners of Qualifiers are themselves responsible for entering their qualifiers (or exhibits) for the final in accordance with 10 & 11 above, within one hour of qualifying.
  3. Winners of qualifiers will compete in the final.
  4. The Irish Shows Association in conjunction with the sponsor reserve the right to alter or amend the rules of the competition as may be necessary where appropriate.
  5. Shows and competitors must contact the ISA for details of any championships and not the sponsor involved.
  6. Objections must be lodged in writing with the I.S.A. representative at the show and the Show Secretary within half an hour following the completion of judging, together with a fee of €50, or other stated fee, which is refundable in the event of the objection being upheld.
  7. Any exhibitor who makes a false declaration or misrepresents a fact regarding themselves or their exhibit are liable to disqualification and/or forfeiture of any prizes awarded.

Responsibilities of Shows hosting Championship Finals:

  1. A deduction of 5% of the prize money will be collected by the show and forwarded to the I.S.A. within 30 days of the Final.
  2. Championship finals must start not later than 2pm on the day of the show and the advertised time must be adhered to as far as possible. If necessary, other show classes should be either postponed or relocated to allow for this.


Irish Law(EU Directive)

Under Irish Law, all horses moving from one location to another must be accompanied by their passports. It is in your own interest to ensure that this is the case. Failure to do so is an offence under Irish Law and is liable on summary conviction to result in a fine of up to €3,000. All passports must be registered with the name of the current owner.

  • Embryo Transfer: Where a foal is produced by this method, the dam's passport must bear a declaration dated, stamped, and signed by the stallion owner (or accredited practitioner where AI is involved) stating the date on which the dam was last covered (or inseminated) and the name of the covering stallion.
  • The owners of Champions and Reserve Champions are invited to submit the animals' passports to the ISA head office where the placing will be endorsed and officially stamped with the seal if the ISA as a permanent record.
  • It is in the interest of shows hosting championship finals that photographs and results are forwarded to the Irish Farmers Journal immediately following judging.


After a number of submissions from affiliated shows on the judging of calves and the need to have them judged by weight rather than by age at Shows. The Irish Show Association Cattle Sub Committee have put forward the following recommendation on use of live weight for calf classes eg Calves under 12 months not to exceed 460kg; Autumn born calves and calves under 6 months should not exceed 320kg.

Another suggestion is to use no more than 1.7kg live weight gain per day from the birth date to the show date.  This proposal would also be suitable for interbreed pedigree calf championships.