Trakehners Australia Inc Tour Tips 2017

CLASSIFIER -  Matthias Werner

Matthias commenced his career as a breeding judge in 2002 and since 2006 he has been an official judge in the stud book commission of Trakehner Verband, classifying beside Lars Gehrman, the Verband Breeding Director.

He has also judged with many senior classifiers from various German breeding associations including inspection and registration of foals and mares from the Hannoverian, Rheinland and Holsteiner Verbands.  He is one of the first official registered judges with an FN Certificate.

​Matthias and his family have been involved with breeding for three generations, breeding Connemaras, Sport Ponies, Sport Horses and in particular Trakehners.

If you are considering booking your Horse in for Grading/Classification/Assessment at an  2017 National Open Tour, the following guidelines may help you to understand what is expected and what the assessors are looking for.

The Assessor is more than willing to talk to horse owners following each assessment and explain the reasons behind their scoring and comments, always remembering that your horses are being assessed in line with an international standard for sports horses.

In the conformation inspection, the assessors don’t want to see the Horse stood up as in a show ring line-up – the pony should be relaxed, happy in his surroundings and standing still so that his conformation can be scored. The horse should be presented clean and tidy; plaiting is optional.

Assessors want to see a horse with a good relaxed free walk with over-tracking and swing. Horse owners should ensure that their horse is educated to walk in hand with a relatively long rein and most importantly, forward and in a straight line.

When the horse is assessed at liberty, he will be scored on his trot and canter. It is recommended that your horse is experienced and comfortable in attending new venues and is easy to catch. The at liberty section provides the assessors with the best view of a relaxed and swinging movement so it is advantageous to put in some practice at  liberty prior to the assessment day. Ensure the horse is used to being loose in an arena or small paddock with a number of people moving around him to encourage trot and canter. It is important that the horse does not trot and canter with his tail in the air as this restricts soft swinging movement.

Foals presented for Preliminary assessment are not led in hand. The foal is assessed while running loose beside the dam.

In the ridden assessment, it is recommended that the horse be educated to at least a Novice level of education. Older and more experienced horse are expected to have a higher level of education. The assessors want to see good, even forward movement in the trot and canter with a horse that looks both trainable and rideable.

The horse must show good swing through the back and looseness in the movement. No higher level movements (eg: lateral etc) are asked for  -  if the horse cannot show the required swing and looseness in his trot and canter, then he will certainly not do it in any lengthened work.  A good medium walk and a free walk on a long rein is extremely important and is marked accordingly. The assessors want to see a horse that CAN walk with good over track and lowering of the head and neck, and with a relaxed demeanor. The actual workout is carried out in a rectangular pattern with changes of rein, as in a dressage arena.


If you choose to have your horse assessed free jumping, the assessment is carried out in a lane with two to three jumps. If you don’t normally jump your horse you will need to put in a good amount of practice in the weeks leading up to the assessment date. The horse must be completely familiar with free jumping and a handler running the jump and catching the horse at the end.  The horse is stopped after each circuit in order to raise the jumps – they do not start at the highest level. It is expected that most horses can free jump up to approximately 1 metre. In free jumping the assessors want to see the horse’s willingness to jump plus his scope and bascule.

If you normally jump your horse under saddle but are not confident in riding him over a 1 metre high oxer or similar obstacle, then it is recommended that you free jump the horse instead. There is no penalty for doing this as there are many horses that can jump far higher than their riders are sometimes willing to take them!

Copyright © 2016   

He is still breeding his own horses and in 2014 received his Master Craftsman Diploma for Breeding.  Since 2015 he is the appointed Instructor at the Hynex Sporthorses Jumping Barn, where he trains and teaches young students.  

Matthias built up the mare performance test in his state since 2006 and received the honour of an invitation to judge the breed classes at the 2015 UK Horse of the Year Show.

The confidence the Verband has placed in him, together which his vast experience, makes him the perfect choice for Trakehners Australia to head up the 2017 National Tour.

"Horses are the spirit of my life"  -  Matthias Werner

Jumping Assessments Ridden Assessments Classification/Assessment Guide Booking Guide How do I Present For the Classifier Entries Close the 18th of January 2017