Voluntary Vetting

It is not obligatory for owners to have male ponies examined but the SPSBS Council recommends that a Voluntary Veterinary Examination is undertaken, before any colt/stallion is used as a breeding animal. The examination must be undertaken by a qualified veterinary surgeon from the approved list, at any time of year and at a location convenient for the colt owner.  If there is no veterinary surgeon on the list in your area, please contact the office.  The list can be viewed here.


All colts born from 2017 onwards must be at least three years old and able to be fully parentage tested.  If the sire or dam is not available for testing then the colt will not be eligible for licensing. 

The Veterinary Surgeon will micro-chip the colt/stallion if the pony is not already chipped. The Vet will then take a hair sample for DNA testing from the colt/stallion and post it directly to the Animal Health Trust. The Veterinary examination is voluntary. Colts failing the Veterinary examination may be re-presented as often as the owner wishes. The veterinary examination will be undertaken according to the International Veterinary Standard.

All colts/stallions passing the Veterinary examination must not exceed 42" at 4 years or over.

All colts/stallions brought forward for the Voluntary Veterinary examination, will be asked for DNA hair samples from both parents and themselves. Colts/stallions born before 2017 that are able to comply with the parentage verification will have one of the following denotations:

SPC - Sire Parentage checked
DPC - Dam Parentage checked
SDPC - Sire and Dam Parentage checked


The applicable DNA denotation will be shown in both the colts/stallions passport and relevant stud-book entry.

The ideal situation would be for full parentage testing of colts/stallions used for breeding pedigree Shetland ponies.

If, for any reason, including the following: one or both parents are dead or untraceable or the owners of the parents of the colts/stallions refuse to give a hair sample for DNA testing, this WILL NOT EXCLUDE pedigree registered colts/stallions born before 2017 undergoing a Voluntary Veterinary examination or being used for breeding and all pure-bred progeny that meets the entry criteria for the Mother studbook will be registered from these colts/stallions.

The owner should apply to the office on the relevant form and return this with the current fee to cover DNA typing of the colt/stallion and micro-chipping if necessary.

Please note that the fee payable to the Society does not include the veterinary surgeon's fees, which must be paid in full by the owner of the colt/stallion directly to the veterinary surgeon.

The office will send the relevant paperwork, DNA kit and microchip, if applicable, to the nominated vet two working days after receipt.  The vet will undertake the examination and then return the paperwork directly to the office. The owner will pay the vet's fees in all cases directly to the vet.

It is the responsibility of the colt/stallion owner to arrange the DNA testing of the colt/stallion's parents if they have not already been tested, if hair samples are available for DNA testing.

DNA Typing

To DNA test a pony, the relevant fee is submitted to the office along with the sample, which will be sent to the lab.

A hair sample has to be taken, preferably from the mane, ensuring that the roots or follicles are still on the hairs. You may take the sample yourself, it is not necessary to use a vet, (unless a Voluntary Veterinary examination is being undertaken).

If you are asked to provide a repeat sample, this does not mean that a further payment must be made but it does mean that the results are likely to be delayed.

Once the test has been completed, the lab will provide a number that will be recorded on the pony's record in the Office.

Ponies need only be tested once in their lifetime unless problems occur which require a further test to be carried out.

The Society reserves the right to use or pass on information regarding blood or DNA samples where appropriate. This applies equally to samples taken privately or at a Stallions Voluntary Vetting Examination, Society Sale etc.