The Stud-Book

In 1890, the Shetland Pony Stud-Book Society was formed with the objects being "to maintain unimpaired the purity of the breed of Shetland ponies and to promote the breeding of these ponies".

This was the first society for a breed of native ponies to be formed in Britain and today is the second largest after the Welsh Pony and Cob Society. The first stud book was published in 1891 and recorded details of 408 mares, many with foals, and 48 stallions.The success of this is shown by the fact that the Stud-Book is in the same format today.

Mother Stud-Book

In 1992 the Society gained official recognition as the stud-book of origin for the breed of Shetland ponies throughout the world. Any other stud-books that record registered Shetland ponies, regardless of their geographical location, are known as Daughter Stud-Books and these must obtain official recognition from the appropriate Ministry within their own country. There can be many officially recognised Daughter Stud-Books within any one country, but only one Mother Stud-Book which sets the principles of entry and the stud-book layout. Approved Daughter Stud-Books must comply with the rules and principles of the Mother Stud-Book (the stud-book of origin of the breed). All the rules of the Mother Stud-Book must be complied with by the Daughter Stud-Books in order to facilitate free trade without barrier.

The Mother Stud-Book was first formed in 1890 in order to protect the pedigree and lineage of pedigree Shetland ponies wherever they may reside in the world. A pedigree Shetland pony born in the United Kingdom, regardless of wherever it is domiciled in the world, has the legal right for its full pedigree to be recognised without restrictions being placed upon its breeding, showing or otherwise. This equally applies to any pedigree Shetland pony registered with any Daughter Stud-Book that is officially recognised.

All Registrations and Transfers of Ownership are processed by the office in Perth, as are Membership applications and Subscriptions.

It is a legal requirement for every UK equine to hold a passport by the age of six months or 31st December in the year of its birth, whichever is later and the Society issues passports for registered Shetland ponies. Details of all these services are to be found on the General Rules pages and Forms.

Principles for Entry into Stud-Books

All offspring of parents entered in the main body of a Stud-Book that have a pedigree established in accordance with the rules of the Mother Stud-Book and the requirements of Commission Decision 96/78EEC must be registered in the main body of that Stud-Book. The Society will enter into the breeding book, animals of the same breed that are eligible for entry under the Society’s breed criteria, without discrimination on account of their country of origin.

Any inspections or performance tests undertaken must be on a voluntary basis and at the choice of the owner.

The main body of a Stud-Book may be divided into pedigree registers according to the animals age and sex. 

Where a Stud-Book does contain registers in the main body, animals from another Stud-Book shall be entered in the register of the Stud-Book whose criteria it meets.

If an entire/colt has passed Veterinary inspection to the agreed ISPC International Veterinary standards in any ISPC country, it shall be accepted in the Mother Stud-Book and all other daughter Stud-Books as fully licensed without further inspection and must retain full rights and privileges of a breeding animal.

No supplementary register is applicable to the main body of a closed Stud-Book of pure-bred registered Shetland ponies as no grading up system of non pure-bred ponies is permitted.

All animals registered in the main body of a Stud-Book, irrespective of the registers in which they are registered, must have full rights and privileges of a breeding animal and have no restrictions placed upon them.

All breeders of pure-bred registered Shetland ponies and pure-bred registered Shetland ponies themselves must be treated in an non-discriminatory manner in accordance with Commission Decision 92/353EEC and the ponies must be eligible to be used for showing, breeding and licensing purposes.

Introduction to UK Stud-Book

The Mother Stud-Book Society, who is responsible and recognised as the Stud-Book of origin for Shetland ponies, would like to take this opportunity to explain how the Mother Stud-Book is compiled.

The Stud-Book published each year is the complete record of all registrations and transfers of pedigree registered Shetland ponies. There are no supplementary registers.