ECAHO - Who are we?

ECAHO - European Conference of Arab Horse Organizations

For those involved with Arabian horse shows the abbreviation ECAHO is ever present. But what exactly is ECAHO?
We are organization established already in 1983 as reaction on the dubious show practices which became evident in European international shows. 10 European breeding societies decided to set up rules to prevent “beating and cheating”. Since the first year of its existence, ECAHO has been concentrated on three major topics: the Rule Book (“Blue Book”), the Show pyramid and the Disciplinary matters. The organization was registered in Switzerland as a “Verein”. Thus, ECAHO was born. And it keeps growing!

Rules to prevent “beating and cheating”

The most important achievement of ECAHO is certainly the establishment of a horse show rulebook – called simply Blue Book. It contains several chapters from which the “Rules for Conduct of Shows (RCS)” is the most essential because it is created to prevent beating and cheating. Nowadays, the show rules of ECAHO are accepted in almost 40 countries in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.
Beating means the ill-treatment of horses in order to make them “show”. Results can – and often are – achieved by excessive whipping, instruments such as rack, hobbles and weights, prolonged tying up, and the misuse of drugs.
Cheating covers the conduct of judges and officials and the presentation of horses. ECAHO forbids alteration of basic colour, hoof paints, coat dyes, cosmetic operations, skin grafts or tail and mane hair extensions are forbidden. ECAHO has zero tolerance for any doping offence. To make sure the rules are kept, the Disciplinary committee members are present at each show, keeping eye on both people and horses.

Judges and other Officials

ECAHO ensures education of its Officials on regular basis by organizing courses and workshops. Nowadays we register almost 100 Judges ,over 70 Disciplinary Committee members and 40 Ringmasters.


Next to the well-developed system of rules for halter shows (“Blue Book”), ECAHO developed the rules for sport events – so called Green Book. This “manual” sets the rules for affiliated sport events. ECAHO has own rules for Pleasure classes (Classic Pleasure, Western Pleasure, Pleasure Driving, Ladies Side Saddle, Traditional Arabian Riding, Hunter Pleasure etc.). For FEI and western disciplines, the rules of National federations are followed.and 12 approved Judge of Pleasure Classes (Sport). ECAHO ensures education for Pleasure and Trail Judges, now we have over 12 of them approved for ECAHO Sport events.

Main tasks

40-year history of ECAHO clearly shows that its Members are willing to maintain the original principles – no beating, no cheating. And such as in the past, ECAHO is still continuing with its original goals – fair play at the shows, welfare of the horses, education to ECAHO officials, and supporting of the Arabian horse scene.

More than 40 years together for the fair competition and humane treatment of our beloved Arabian horses...