Concours d’Elegance of Great Britain

Elegance & History combined

GB Concours – First, second and third placed horses/ponies qualify for the Champion of Britain Title classes to be held at Arena UK, Grantham on Sunday 4th September 2022. 

Each qualified horse/pony will receive a qualification card in the ring which will enable the owner to enter the Championship Show, provided the owner and rider/handler are, or become registered with the Concours d’Elegance Society within 21 days of the qualifying show.

See for more information.

For up to date information telephone the secretary on 07960 107 111

Qualification cards may be signed by either Judge, steward or show secretary.

Competitor’s Guidelines

These guidelines are for both Judges and Competitors to ensure we are all working towards the same standards to create a fairer way of judging and competing

  1. Hats to BRC current standards must always be worn when mounted by ALL junior riders (under 18 years), with the chinstrap secured. Top hats, bowlers and costume hats may be worn by adult riders, and a disclaimer must be signed if you choose not to wear a safety hat. The Society shall accept no responsibility for riders choosing NOT to wear an approved hard hat. Please refer to the shows own rules which may require ALL riders to wear safety headwear and overrule the rules of The Society. Hat bands create a more elegant look if made to match the costume however, some people are very creative with over-hats but they can look out of proportion with some costumes.
  2. Ridden Novice Classes are performed in walk only – no trotting at all in these classes.
    In hand classes – walk and a short trot from front to back of group.
    All ridden classes (excluding the novice class) are walk and trot in the ‘go round’. The class will be judged with competitors at walk and trot with consideration to ability, on both reins. Canter may be shown in the individual show, but it is entirely at the rider’s discretion. Ladies can execute their show in sitting trot to create a more elegant picture, however the comfort of the horse and rider should be the first consideration.
  3. Plumes are not permitted on horse’s heads as these were traditionally used for funeral and circus work only.
  4. The aim is to give a correct presentation for the chosen historical period. Concours d’Elegance is a costume competition, not fancy dress or ‘cosplay’. The picture created should represent history perhaps depicting a film, painting or period drama. Any historic/traditional period may be portrayed up to the 1950’s. Costume, tack, rider and horse/pony will be taken into consideration.
  5. Participants enter individually, if an unmounted leader is required, he/she may wear correct costume for the period and their role.
  6. Inspection of the costume and horse tack will take place when the class is lined up. Details such a silhouette, fabric (colour, trimmings, weight and materials) appropriate style and drape will be examined. Period make-up may be included to help create the ‘look’. Appropriate accessories may include jewellery, hairstyle and headwear, bag, belt, footwear, etc. Veils are acceptable as the overall look is often designed to create to look of a rider riding side saddle. No jodhpurs or boots should be visible unless they form part of the costume.
  7. Horse Tack: Bits and saddles MUST be safe and fit the horse. Any suitable tack is acceptable, and you may wish to use themed tack to enhance your costume. Decorated and embellished browbands are acceptable for any type of horse/pony. The welfare of the horse and safety of the rider is always paramount.
  8. Competitors are encouraged to submit a brief resume about their costume, for the commentator and/or judge.
  9. Costumes should be tasteful, traditional and have the wow factor. No flesh should be on show ie no bare arms or cleavage. Concours is meant to replicate wearing your ‘Sunday Best’. It is not a competition sparkle and bling.
  10. In hand classes: Competitors should enter the arena on the left rein to enable the judge to get a clear view of your costume and not obscured by the horse or pony.
  11. The Judge’s decision is final. All classes are judged on the overall picture of elegance with a strong historical influence.
  12. Please remember that the possession of a sense of humour, fair play and good sportsmanship are mandatory for all involved at these shows. Please try and remember that a smile and a good word demonstrates the height of humility and good manners, which are always in fashion


The Concours d’Elegance Society of GB has a recommended Judge’s List, however, shows may use any judge who they deem suitable in order to simplify organisation keep costs realistic.  Championship shows should be judged by a judge from the Recommended Judge’s List.

A judge shall not attend a show as an exhibitor, or any other activity connected with the show on the day or previous day to the show at which he or she is officiating where their part or activity may cause to have contact with a breeder, owner exhibitor or horse entered in the following day’s classes.

A judge shall not visit the horses’ stable area nor speak with owners, trainers, exhibitors or owners’ representatives nor inspect or discuss any horse entered in the show before judging is completed in full, including any championship.

Judges may be asked to give fair and reasonable commentary on placings and decision after each class.

Handlers must not converse with the Judge except to briefly respond to questions

A horse may never be shown before a judge that has been owned or trained by the said judge, or by his or her family or employer.  No horse owned by family members of the judge may be shown, and family members of the judge are ineligible to be exhibitors at the show.  For the purpose of this rule ‘training’ shall be deemed to include any form of continuous, repeated or regular activity designed to bring the horse to a desired condition.


Any reputable person may act in the capacity of Ring Steward

The Ring Stewards must help the class run efficiently.

The Steward must carefully refrain from discussing the horses or the exhibitors with the judge, nor advising of information regarding. 3

It is mandatory that the show managers, ring stewards and any paid employees of that show and their immediate family or entities refrain from showing or having horses show that are registered in the above’s names, where they are officiating or employed, other than with the express authority of the Show Management

If, in the opinion of the Judge, a horse is lame or otherwise abnormal, he/she may give the exhibitor at the earliest opportunity the option of withdrawing the horse from the class or being placed at the bottom of the line.  If this option is not accepted a Veterinary Surgeon may be called but, if not immediately available, then the Judge’s decision is final.  If the Judge feels that the horse’s welfare is being compromised the Judge has a right to ask the exhibitor to leave the ring.


If an owner or exhibitor acts in an inappropriate or un-sportsmanlike manner at an Affiliated Show, such person may be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the Society’s Articles of Association.
Any other objection or complaint relating to Shows should be made in accordance with the procedure set out in that Show’s Rules.
All exhibitors and riders/handlers are strongly advised to carry their own accident and third party liability insurance cover.
The Society, its officials and judges, accept no liability in respect of any horse or its owner, exhibitor, or any other person responsible for it, howsoever arising at a show or other event organized by the Society.
a)  Exhibitors should arrive in the collecting ring in good time for their class.
b)  Exhibitors should listen to instructions provided by the Ring Steward or Judge and watch other exhibitors in front of them.  When asked to walk/trot a horse out in hand, they should ensure that the horse travels alongside them, not behind. When turning, the horse should always be turned away from and not towards the exhibitor.
c)  Exhibitors should at all times be polite to Stewards and Judges, but must never speak to the Judge using his/her name.
d)  At no time should the exhibitor try to influence the Steward or Judge by offering information about their exhibit.
e)  In Ridden Classes, exhibitors are not usually allowed to enter the ring after the horses have commenced trotting as a class, unless they have the Judge’s permission, which will only be given in exceptional circumstances.
f)   Once a Judge has commenced judging a class, a horse should not leave the ring without the permission of the Judge.
g)  During In-Hand Classes, the handler who enters the ring with the horse should remain throughout the class. Exhibitors are not usually allowed to enter the ring after the horses have commenced trotting up unless they have the Judge’s permission.
h)  Only in exceptional circumstances, and with the permission of the Judge, may a person other than the handler/rider who entered the ring with the horse be permitted to trot the horse up.
i)    In Ridden Classes, exhibitors must have due regard to the size of ring and number of entries forward.  They must ensure that health and safety is observed at all times, and maintain a sensible distance between horses.
j)    In Ridden Classes, Judges will view unfavourably: –
i)   exhibitors who purposefully place their horse between the Judge and another exhibitor at any pace, so as to obscure the Judge’s view of that horse.

ii)  exhibitors who continually circle in front of the Judge to keep their horse in the Judge’s eye.
Riders should make themselves aware of the Show’s rules regarding the type of headwear that must be worn. A rider whose hat comes off or strap comes undone whilst competing must replace it or fasten it before continuing, failing to do so may lead to disqualification.
Exhibitors should at all times have regard for others, particularly if they have a badly behaved animal.  If the animal becomes so unruly that the Judge asks for it to be removed, the exhibitor must accept the decision with good grace.