Grading Procedures


At present the AES has over 350 Approved , 400 Licensed and over 150 Registred stallions standing at stud in Britain , Europe and the U.S.A. The vast majority of the Approved stallions are either grade A show jumping, Advanced level Dressage or Eventing and almost half are, or have been, competing at top International levels, including our six Olympic stallions (2004): a record of which any European Studbook could be proud!

To become a graded stallion with the AES the stallion must undergo a stringent 5 stage vetting first of all and show a great deal of talent for either dressage or showjumping at the initial stallion grading show, after which they will have to prove themselves in the sport during competitions. The selection is continuous and tough: stallions can be down graded as well as being up graded.

All these stallions are issued with certificates to prove their current status assuring breeders of using highly graded, sound, bona fide stallions with very good performance records.


Stallion shows are generally held in April and November each year. We hold these typically in the USA , Holland, France, Ireland and England.

We expanded our activities to the USA in 2016 and the first grading on US soil was held on February 21, 2017 at the world renowned Palm Beach International grounds in Wellington , Florida . 

Dates are posted on this website and on our social media over 1 month prior to the event. Schedules can be downloaded from or ordered from the AES USA..

Since the corona virus pandemic , we also organize private stallion gradings at the farms of our USA breeders as well as "remote" (e.g. via video and/or Zoom) gradings for the convenience of our breeders.

Upon completion of the entry form your stallion must undergo a 5-stage vetting. A copy of this must be forwarded with your entry form. A good quality copy of his pedigree should also be forwarded and any competition results should be included together with a copy of his passport indicating travel to International competitions etc.

Your entry should be forwarded in good time to ensure a place, entries are strictly limited due to time - we endeavour to ensure that each competitor has good time to display their stallion for scrutineering in front of the judges. Cost of entering is US$ 425 .

On the day of the show you should bring your passport with the original 5-stage vetting to the secretary and collect your number and order of the day. Please note that despite our best efforts we are unable to put exact times on classes finishing and starting and also when results are to be published. You should expect to be at the show for the duration .

Please be patient, we have a large number of stallions to judge, the order printed may not necessarily be the order judged. The classes are as follows:

Approx 9am Trot up for 3 to 7 year or older stallions, in hand.
Approx 1:30 p.m. Jumping under saddle starting with 4 year old stallions.
Followed by Dressage stallions to perform a short dressage test.

You should arrive in good time for your trot up.

4 Year old stallions jump a short course approximately 0.9 m rising with each age group.

Dressage stallions should perform a short dressage test showing the level of schooling/competition.

Results will be announced after the ridden classes for older stallions. We do not produce reports on the performance of stallions at grading shows.

The AES maintains its grading standards to an exceptionally high level - you should discuss any questions or queries directly with the judges at the show as feedback is minimal after the event.

You will also be asked to supply the necessary X-Rays before the grading..

At the end of your class you should return your number to the secretary and collect your passport. If your stallion has been accepted by the jury after grading , you will receive an invoice for the initial stallion registration and DNA tests. Upon payment of this you will receive a welcoming letter, grading certificate, covering certificates and a grading sticker for your passport. 

A registration contribution of US$ 1,295 is due only the first year for the initial registration of an stallion approved for breeding.

Annual stallion contributions are required by every registered stallion and this is US$ 300 payable at the beginning of each year. Upon payment each year you will receive a grading certificate and covering certificates. If your stallion has been sold or gelded it is important for you to contact us with this information.


Stallions are graded at 4 different levels depending on age, ability, competition level, offspring production and offspring competition levels. Entry into a grading show does not automatically ensure that a stallion is graded even at a basic level.

Registered This is the basic level of grading and normally young stallions attending their first grading would enter at this level if graded. Registered Grade stallions can cover up to 10 of their owner's mares per annum.
Licensed At this level your stallion should be competing in age classes and can cover up to 30 mares per annum.
Approved This is the maximum level of grading and usually applies to stallions competing or that have competed at an International level. Also with proven offspring. Approved Grade stallions can cover an unlimited number of mares.
Approved Elite Stallions are given Elite status subject to the judges' discretion and based on proven competition and offspring success at the highest level.

Private gradings can be arranged, please call for more information.


This is a new fixture since 2005 and is organised in the UK and supported by the AES along with valued sponsorship from our member breeders, owners and competitors. The first show held in 2005 in Europe was an important success spanning 3 days. The event comprises classes for 4, 5, 6 and 7 year old horses which are split into British Bred and Non-British Bred. Prize money for each class exceeded £1,500 and we hope that each year the event will grow into a permanent and major competition highlighting breeding at its best.We anticipate to organize a similar activity in the U.S.A. in the future.