Showing a Horse with Injury

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Well-Known Member
Aug 17, 2003
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I have a young colt that we feel is national caliber. However he lost an eye due to an injury, and of course it's noticeable. I am wondering if there are any rules with AMHA or AMHR that would prevent him from being shown at the national level with only one eye? If there isn't a specific rule, I am wondering if anyone thinks it is even worth the time and effort? I am just wondering if you think the judges would always hold it against him and place him lower because he only has one eye. Just seeking everyone's opinion on this, and wondering if there are any specific rules. Thanks in advance.
I would not show a horse that lost an eye, personally. I have shown horses with scars (two with leg scars, one with a hoof that was damaged and somewhat weird looking) but a missing eye is highly not recommended. Even a horse with a noticeable "spot" in the eye could be grounds for dismissal. The AMHR rulebook states disqualification for "blindness" so I would assume that a missing eye would suggest blindness! I think you could maybe hide it in a driving class, but definitely not halter. And a judge will place a horse above yours regardless most likely.

I would probably get the advice of some Stewards.

I would not hesitate to show this horse in Hunter, Jumper, Showmanship, Obstacle Driving, In Hand Obstacle and Driving.

There is plenty he can do however I personally would not opt to show him in Halter.

I would have to check the rulebooks to see if it is allowed in the performance classes but if not I am sure you can take him in open shows.
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On Page 250 of the AMHR rulebook states loss of sight in either eye is unsoundness and unacceptable. I have never seen a horse or pony with loss of vision shown in an registry approved class. But I only have our area and Congress for the past couple of years to speak of.

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