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ISA General Rules

General Rules for 2019

Specific Requirements Horses & Other Equines 

From 1st May 2012, any premises (which includes shows, fairs and markets) where horses or other equines are gathered must be registered with the Department of Agriculture. Owners/persons in charge of such gatherings are required to submit a completed application form for registration and to keep records of movements on/off their premises. Records must be retained for at least 3 years as they may be required by the Department for the purposes of tracing disease. It is important therefore that Show organisers should contact their local District Veterinary Office in advance so that consideration can be given to compliance with the requirements.

Any further information on the requirements for moving of horses and equines to shows will be provided on the Department's website

Eligibility of Shows:
Shows wishing to participate in the 2019 Championships and be eligible to hold qualifiers must have collected the Championship Fund (currently 5%) from Horse, Pony, Cattle & Sheep. Class prize money for the year 2018 and forwarded the amount so collected, in full to the Irish Shows sociation within the stipulated period of not more than 30 days from the date of the show. Alternative methods of meeting this obligation are not acceptable.

Any show or competitor in breach of the Rules set out below will be disqualified from participating or competing in these Championships.

These General Rules and those relating to individual championships (where applicable) should be published in the show schedule and catalogue of the participating shows and must be strictly observed.

Qualifying Rounds: (Qualifiers)
Qualifying rounds will take place at shows designated by the Irish Shows Association.

Responsibility of Shows holding Qualifying Rounds:

  1. Selected Shows should hold a separate clasH for each qualifier from which the highest placed animals will qualify.
  2. The Qualifier class should be held as the first (1st) class in the relevant section of the show.
  3. Shows must ensure that the qualifiers are held strictly in accordance with the relevant Rules.
  4. No other sponsor may be involved in qualifying classes.
  5. Shows may charge an entry fee for each qualifying class. The I.S.A. will award a rosette to the successful animal(s) on appearance at the final.
  6. No show hosting a Championship Final may hold a qualifying class for that championship on the day of the final other than by agreement with the Irish Shows Association. However, Shows who hold qualifiers for Horses, Ponies & Cattle may ask exhibitors to enter the exhibit in at least one other class at their show on the day.
  7. Animals qualified for finals are not eligible to enter in any other show class where the final is held, other than a qualifying class for another Championship.
  8. Shows should appoint competent, well-briefed persons to act as stewards, who must ensure that only animals (or other exhibits) which are eligible to compete and whose documentation is in order, are allowed to proceed to the judging ring.
  9. Animal Passports & 'Microchips where applicable' should be read by a Veterinary Surgeon appointed by the show.
  10. On completion of judging, Stewards must inform the successful competitors to visit the Secretary's Office at the show within one hour and complete the necessary arrangements for entry to the final.
  11. The show must appoint a well-briefed officer who will be available at the Secretary's Office to assist exhibitors to complete the entry cards for participation in the final and collect the entry fee.
  12. Show Secretaries must forward completed result cards, together with appropriate fees to the Irish Shows Association within three days following the holding of the show.

NB. Shows must return results card marked "No Competition" for any or all of the events for which no animal (or exhibit) has been selected.

Responsibility of Exhibitors:

  1. Exhibitors accept that the Judges decision is final in all cases. Any abuse of Judges will not be tolerated. Where a dispute or case for complaint arises, the matter should only be dealt with under 6. below.
  2. Winners of Qualifiers are themselves responsible for entering their qualifiers (or exhibits) for the final in accordance with 10 & 11 above, within one hour of qualifying.
  3. Winners of qualifiers will compete in the final.
  4. The Irish Shows Association in conjunction with the sponsor reserve the right to alter or amend the rules of the competition as may be necessary where appropriate.
  5. Shows and competitors must contact the ISA for details of any championships and not the sponsor involved.
  6. Objections must be lodged in writing with the I.S.A. representative at the show and the Show Secretary within half an hour following the completion of judging, together with a fee of €50, or other stated fee, which is refundable in the event of the objection being upheld.
  7. Any exhibitor who makes a false declaration or misrepresents a fact regarding themselves or their exhibit are liable to disqualification and/or forfeiture of any prizes awarded.

Responsibilities of Shows hosting Championship Finals:

A deduction of 5% of the prize money will be collected by the show and forwarded to the I.S.A. within 30 days of the Final.

Championship finals must start not later than 2pm on the day of the show and the advertised time must be adhered to as far as possible. If necessary, other show classes should be either posponed or relocated to allow for this.

Irish Law (EU Directive)

Under Irish Law, all horses moving from one location to another must be accompanied by their passports. It is in your own interest to ensure that this is the case. Failure to do so is an offence under Irish Law and is liable on summary conviction to result in a fine of up to €3,000. All passports must be registered with the name of the current owner.

Embryo Transfer: Where a foal is produced by this method, the dam's passport must bear a declaration dated, stamped, and signed by the stallion owner (or accredited practitioner where AI is involved) stating the date on which the dam was last covered (or inseminated) and the name of the covering stallion.

The owners of Champions and Reserve Champions are invited to submit the animals' passports to the ISA head office where the placing will be endorsed and officially stamped with the seal if the ISA as a permanent record.

It is in the interest of shows hosting championship finals that photographs and results are forwarded to the Irish Farmers Journal immediately following judging.

Note for Information regarding Movement of Bovine to Shows
The Department of Agriculture implemented a number of changes on 4th February 2019 which changed the procedures and criteria applicable when applying for a Certificate of Compliance for the movement of cattle. These also impact on the certificate which is required when moving bovine to a Show.

The following sets out the criteria applicable:

  • The movement of cattle to and from an Agriculture Show within the State must be recorded on the Animal Identification and Movement System (AIM).
  • In line with these changes a specific certificate of Compliance for the “Movement of Bovine from a Single Holding to a Show” must now be requested prior to the movement of animals concerned.
  • with issue of the certificate being subject to normal criteria applicable. This form will be available on the Departments Website and will also be included with the Show Circular when issued.NBAS31K account or (ii) where the keeper is not on line the certificate can be generated by the local Regional Veterinary Office following receipt of a agfoodThese certificates can be created by (i) applying online using their
  • When applying for this certificate the destination herd / or Show number is not required. The certificate generated will include an “S” symbol.
  • The Certificate of Compliance for a Show will continue to be valid for a period of up to 30 days. As is currently the case these can be used for the movement of animals to a number of shows during the validity period of the certificate.
  • Please also note—Calves which are less than 10 days cannot be moved to a Show.
  • As is currently the case the Movement Notification Section of the Certificate should be Completed by the Keeper and the Show Secretary who must clearly indicate the Show Number. The Show movement should be recorded on the passport. Ultimate responsibility for fulfilling these requirements lies with the Show Secretary. If the animals move to a herd other than the source herd, the new destination herd must complete and sign the certificate also.
  • Completed forms should be sent by the Show Secretary to the local RVO within 7 days of the Show.

Animal Identification and Movement (AIM) Division
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Certificate of Compliance Requirements
On the day of the Show, the Certificate of Compliance should be presented to the Show Secretary.
The keeper and the Show Secretary will then sign the Movement.
Notification section of the Certificate which will then Must be sent to the local RVO for recording onto the AIM system.

**** Irish Shows Association Notice ****
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Certificate of Compliance Requirements
On the day of the Show, the Certificate of Compliance should be presented to the Show Secretary.
The keeper and the Show Secretary will then sign the Movement.
Notification section of the Certificate which will then Must be sent to the local RVO for recording onto the AIM system.


After a number of submissions from affiliated shows on the judging of calves and the need to have them judged by weight rather than by age at Shows. The Irish Show Association Cattle Sub Committee have put forward the following recommendation on use of live weight for calf classes eg Calves under 12 months not to exceed 460kg; Autumn born claves and calves under 6 months should not exceed 320kg.

Another suggestion is to use no more than 1.7kg live weight gain per day from the birth date to the show date. This proposal would also be suitable for interbreed pedigree calf championships.

Specific Requirements - Sheep

All sheep must be identified individually with appropriate ear tags issued in accordance with the requirements of the National Sheep Identification System (NSIS).

Movement Documentation
All consignments of sheep being moved must be accompanied by a completed dispatch document. Individual details of each sheep in the consignment must be recorded on the document. Sheep from non-restricted flocks only can be moved to shows. In the case of flocks restricted following diagnosis of scrapie, sheep pos-sessing the ARR/ARR genotype only may be exhibited. The movement of these ARR/ARR genotype sheep must be accompanied by the relevant movement permit (SCR/10), which can be obtained from the local District Veterinary Office in the county where the flock is located.

AIM Notification
The movement of sheep to and from an Agricultural Show within the State must be recorded on AIM. This is done using a copy of the owner's sheep dispatch document as follows:
1.The owner/keeper presents the signed and completed dispatch document to the show secretary who checks it to ensure that it is completed in full.
2.The show secretary fills in the MART section of the dispatch document with (i) the show number, (ii) the date of the move back to the source holding (iii) stamps it with the show stamp and (iv) signs the dispatch document.
3.The show secretary then forwards the completed pink section of the dispatch document to the local DVO within 7 days of the show movement.
4.The show secretary keeps a white copy for his/her records.
5.The source/destination keeper keeps the bottom yellow copy to enter it into their flock register.
Ultimate responsibility for fulfilling this requirement lies with the Show Secretary.
Flock Register
All movements of sheep to and from shows must be recorded in the keeper’s flock register.
Exports to Northern Ireland
All sheep must be accompanied by a TRACES intra-community trade certificate for ovine animals. A TRACES message, corresponding with the TRACES certificate, will be sent for each animal or consignment being dispatched to the show (this will be performed by Department officials of the DVO). Exhibitors are advised to contact the show society in Northern Ireland well in advance of any show to determine the suitability of the show for return of animals (e.g. premises and sheep status), and whether the authorities will have officials and veterinary staff present to supervise and process documentation for animals returning to origin.

Attendance of sheep from scrapie monitored flocks at shows and sales in 2018

Shows between 1st May and 30th September
Sheep from scrapie monitored flocks will be permitted to attend agricultural shows taking place between May 1st and September 30th without restriction or separation from other categories of sheep.

Shows outside that period
For shows taking place before May 1st or after September 30th, sheep from scrapie monitored or probationary flocks must be separated from other sheep as follows:

There must be complete separation of monitored/probationary sheep from other categories of sheep at the show. Ideally, this would mean a seperate entrance and exit for each group, seperate loading and unloading areas, seperate penning areas for each of the two groups.
In locations where all of the above may not be possible, the minimum requirement would be the seperate loading and unloading and also of penning areas. The two areas should be seperated by a sheep-free alleyway, at least 12 feet wide. If only one showring is available, the sheep from the scrapie-monitored flocks must be shown first.