I think you only need to worry about a pony card if your pony is borderline, like if it's right at the 14.2 line and may be questionable. That way if you put shoes on and it measures over slightly, then it doesn't matter because you have a card. If it's going to finish out at 13.2 or so it won't matter.
Huh! I've never heard it described as being "carded" before! I've only ever been asked whether I had a certificate if I had entered a pony division class.
4-H requires all enrolled ponies, no matter how small, to have a Pony Height Certificate. We always had ours done through the county extension office, which, here in PA anyway, goes through Penn State something-or-the-other. A 4-H leader always did the actual measuring. I've kept up on it since my guy is so close to the mark, and looks bigger than he actually is to boot.
If you're looking to have it done, might I suggest doing a little prep work. The measurement will likely be done with a pony-eating, probably aluminum measuring stick that even the most placid pony thinks poses a mortal threat. The measuring will go a good bit smoother (and the measure-er will probably be impressed) if the pony has been somewhat prepared to accept the stick. :wink:
The person doing the measuring has to be a show steward. Or that was the way it was, back in the day. You know, when George Morris and I were both young and it was the AHSA not the USEF.
Ponies could either have a permanent card or a temporary card, temporary being for ponies under 5 years of age that could concievabley grow into the next height designation. Ponies who had cards that were "grandfathered" after the late 80's measurement scandal were said to have a "gold card."
When buying a show pony at a certain level that either has temporary or no card; it is not unusual to make getting the permanent card a condition of sale.
You can show in unrated divisions, even at rated shows, without having the pony measured - usually they'll take your word for it, though it is subject to challenge by other competitors.
Rated pony divisions or rated pony eq; you need a card.
CORRECTION: Just checked the USEF rule book; pony must be measured by a steward with a vet in attendance; both must sign the card. Sadly, this is probably a protection against cheating and because drugged ponies measure differently.
I think it was 1987. Essentially "phony ponies" and cheating on measurement cards had gotten *way* out of hand. This was at a time when there was a newly heightened emphasis on related distances and counting strides and getting distances, so size was big issue. It was also a time of lots of new big money and competitiveness is the show world - first 1 million dollar show jumper, first adverstised $40 K small pony were all around the same time. After the rumbles of cheating got too loud to ignore, the AHSA went in on the first day of the Washington International and remeasured all the ponies, and over a third of them were disqualified or forced to compete in a different division.
It was a train wreck - it was the second show of indoors, and suddenly you're showing a medium, not a large. Or showing a children's hunter or a small junior, instead of a large.
After some initial sympathy, there was a huge backlash - the trainers knew exactly what they were doing, as did the stewards, and in most cases, the parents.
In the wake of this scandal, there were lots of new measurement rules enacted: like a pony had to actually been shown and jog sound at the show where he received his card (ending the practice of cutting their feet short, taking them to a show just to get a card, then waiting until their feet had grown back out to show them.)
^^^ as far as i know they have to be at a show to be carded. at least when ive had a pony get measured its at a show with a steward & the vet watching. they also have to get it done 2 times to have a permanent card