The Fell Pony Society
Probationer Judges Scheme

We are always looking for committed people who wish to join the Probationer Judges scheme. If you are interested, you should try to get as much experience as possible with Fell Ponies, visiting them in their native habitat, perhaps stewarding at events and attending shows to observe Fell Showing Classes. You must have been a full senior member of the FPS for a minimum of 3 consecutive years.

There are a limited number of vacancies each year and an assessment day is held in the autumn with a panel of Judges to see if you are suitable to become a probationer. Please note that this is an assessment, NOT an instruction day. If you are interested, details can be obtained from the Judges Committee Secretary:

Mrs Jenny Grealish, Shotley Hall, Shotley Bridge, Consett DH8 9TE. Telephone: 07557 30998. E-mail:

Guidelines for Probationer Judges

Probationer judges are requested to study the judging guidelines, as many points, especially concerning conduct in the ring, will apply even at this early stage of their judging career.

Probationer judges are reminded that they are being assessed not only on their knowledge of ponies, but also on their suitability as an officer of the Society, and their behaviour in the showring, both competing and training, will be taken into account.

Probationers should ensure that the senior judge to whom they have been allocated is given a probationer judges report form and a stamped envelope addressed to the Probationer Judges Scheme secretary.

RULES (amended September 2022)

1    The purpose of the Scheme is to ensure that probationers have satisfactory knowledge of breed type, correct conformation and movement of the pony.

2    It will be able to accommodate a number of probationers at one time, subject to the application procedure being complete. The best will be selected to go forward to the scheme in the following year.

3    Applicants wishing to take part must be fully paid up senior members of the Fell Pony Society for the last three years.

4    Applicants should provide the names of 2 referees who are either FPS judges or senior Fell pony breeders.

5    Probationers who wish to take part will be chosen by a committee of judges at an assessment day.

6    Any prospective probationer judge must visit the Fell pony in its native environment prior to applying to join the scheme. Applicants must obtain an “Event Attendance Card” from the Judges Secretary and submit this with their application and bring an updated copy to their assessment.

7    The number of shows the probationer attends will be at the assessors’ discretion. A probationer to attend a maximum of 6 shows in one year/season.
8    The probationer will train under different judges, all of whom will be on the FPS Judges Panel, but not with a judge who was a referee for the probationer. These shows will usually be in the North of England but probationers must be prepared to travel and to attend shows on week days as well as weekends.

9    Each probationer must attend an assessment day. If a probationer has exceptionally good reports and a satisfactory assessment, the length of their probation may be reduced.

10    A probationer will take no part in the judging whatsoever and any remarks made by their judges about the exhibits are strictly confidential.  The probationer should take instructions from the judge and should ask the judge’s permission before touching the ponies. 

11    It is important that neither exhibitors nor spectators gain the impression that the probationer is influencing judging decisions.

12    Judges’ reports from throughout the season will be considered at a re-assessment on completion of the allocated shows Recommendations will be made to Council on progress and whether or not a probationer is to continue training or appointed to the FPS Panel of Judges.

13    Probationers will pay their own travelling expenses.

14    Probationers should be suitably dressed while in the ring and a ‘Probationer Judge’ badge worn.

15    Newly appointed judges will be marked with an asterisk * on the Judges List until they have judged up to 6 shows. Council will review these judges and remove the asterisk when they feel it’s appropriate. It may be on some occasions that a judge will be added to the Panel of Judges without an asterisk from the onset.

16    Until the asterisk has been removed, the new judge must not accept any invitation to judge classes on the Society’s behalf at the following shows: Fell Pony Breed Show, Fell Pony Stallion Show, Fell Pony Southern Breed Show & Great Yorkshire Show.

Applicants to join the scheme should contact the Judges’ Secretary: Mrs Jenny Grealish, Contact: Mobile - 07557 309987, email: Address: C/O Linnel Wood, Hexham. NE46 1UB.

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9 Nov 2022 

This document may be reproduced in its entirety but may not be edited - all references to this document in publications must go to the Fell Pony Society, UK.