The Merit Award program is based on an accumulation of points earned by registered horses at various shows throughout the year. Awards are presented to the top three point earners throughout the year in halter classes, mare cart and the registered gelding cart. Points for each show are weighted based on the number of horses exhibited. The Sire, Dam and exhibitor with the most points are also recognized each year.

2022 Belgian Merit Program Update

The Belgian Merit Program is now accepting a second regional show per state. The deadline of December 1st has been lifted for the 2022 show season. All applications are due by February 1,2022. Applications will be reviewed and accepted on a first-come, first-serve manner. Please find the application below.

Merit Program Standings

2022 Belgian Merit
Updated 9.19.2022
Points updated on 9.7.22  Changes or edits can be reported to Michelle Keaffaber at [email protected] or 260-563-3205. All shows that have turned in results are in.
 
State Shows:

Georgia National Fair, Idaho, Illinois State Fair, Indiana State Fair (National Belgian Show and National Belgian Futurity), Iowa State Fair, Kansas State Fair,  Keystone International Livestock Expo, Michigan Great Lakes International, Minnesota State Fair, Mississippi Valley Fair (Davenport), Missouri State Fair, New York State Fair, North American International Livestock Expo, Ohio State Fair, South Dakota State Fair, West Virginia, Wisconsin State Fair

Regional Shows:

LaPorte Draft Horse Show (LaPorte, IN), Wilmington Classic (Wilmington, OH), TLA Classic (Topeka, IN)

Open to all registered Belgian draft horses.

    • Weanlings have until September 1st to be registered with their respective breed registries or forfeit weanling points and standings.
  1. There is no entry fee or sign up necessary to participate.
  2. Canadian breeders, owners, and horses will be recognized in the same manner as American breeders, owners, and horses.
  3. It will be the responsibility of the owner or exhibitor to monitor their animal’s points through the show season on the Corporation’s website and address all concerns and questions to the Belgian Alliance immediately.

Participating Shows

  • Each state is allowed one State show and two Regional shows to represent them in the Belgian Merit Program®. In the event that the state does not have a state fair that represents the Belgian draft horse then a show can be chosen by the Belgian Draft Horse Alliance Board of Directors to represent the breed for that state.
  • If there are multiple shows in the state that have well-attended Belgian draft horse shows, these shows may complete a Belgian Merit Program application to be presented to the Belgian Draft Horse Alliance prior to December 1st to be accepted as a regional show into the Belgian Merit Program the following year. The show must meet the following criteria:
    • Must maintain an index level of 3 for 2 years out of 3 years. If you do not achieve this, the Merit show status will be pulled until the show can provide a revised plan and show success at maintaining the requirement.
      • *Barring unforeseen circumstances, it is the discretion of the Belgian Alliance to determine if the two out of three-year guideline would be extended*
    • Show must be open and unrestricted to all registered Belgians.
  • Following are the current recognized State shows:
    • Georgia National Fair, Idaho State Draft Horse Show, Illinois State Fair, Indiana State Fair, Iowa State Fair, Kansas State Fair, Keystone International Livestock Exposition, Michigan Great Lakes International Show, Minnesota State Fair, Missouri State Fair, National Western Stock Show, Nebraska State Fair, New York State Fair, North American International Livestock Exposition, South Dakota State Fair, West Virginia State Fair, Wisconsin State Fair
  • Following are the current recognized Regional shows:
    • Mississippi Valley Fair
    • La Porte County Draft Horse Show
    • Ohio State Fair
    • Wilmington Classic
    • TLA Classic
  • Shows that are supported by the Belgian Alliance will be recognized shows:
    • National Belgian Futurity
    • National Belgian Show
    • North American Belgian Championships

Halter Points Awarded

  1. The first five animals of each class will get the following awarding of raw points:
    • 1st gets 10 points
    • 2nd gets 7 points
    • 3rd gets 5 points
    • 4th gets 3 points
    • 5th gets 2 points
  2. The following twelve halter classes will be recognized:
    • Stallions 4 years old and over
    • Stallions 3 years old
    • Stallions 2 years old
    • Stallions 1 year old
    • Stallions weanling
    • Brood Mares Five and Older
    • Yeld Mares Five and Older
    • Mares 4 years old
    • Mares 3 years old
    • Mares 2 years old
    • Mares 1 year old
    • Mares weanlings
    • Registered Geldings 4 and Over
    • Registered Gelding 3 and Under
  3. The participating shows must have classes to match those of the Belgian Merit Program for points to be awarded. Example: Stallion classes of 3 and over would be accepted but stallion classes of 2 and over would not be accepted. Mare classes of 4 and over would be accepted along with mare classes of 5 and over, but mare classes of 3 and over would not be accepted.
  4. Classes must be registered. Classes allowing non-registered horses will not be counted. Classes can be combined breed classes as long as the show indicates the horses that were Belgians.
  5. The champions will get the following awarding of raw points:
    • Senior champion gets 2 additional points
    • Junior champion gets 2 additional points
    • Reserve senior champion gets 1 additional point
    • Reserve junior champion gets 1 additional point
    • Grand champion animal gets 4 additional points
    • Reserve grand champion animal gets 3 additional points
  6. These overall raw points will then be multiplied by the index of the show to give the animal the total points earned at that show.
  7. Index multipliers are determined by the number of registered animals shown in the halter classes (not the number entered) at that show that year. The index of the show will not be known until the completion of the show.
  8.  The index is determined as follows:
    • Index of 9 if > 200 registered head shown
    • Index of 8 if 176 to 200 registered head shown
    • Index of 7 if 151 to 175 registered head shown
    • Index of 6 if 126 to 150 registered head shown
    • Index of 5 if 101 to 125 registered head shown
    • Index of 4 if 76 to 100 registered head shown
    • Index of 3 if 51 to 75 registered head shown
    • Index of 2 if 26 to 50 registered head shown
    • Index of 1 if 1 to 25 registered head shown

Cart Points Awarded

  1. The first five animals of each class will get the following awarding of raw points:
    • 1st gets 10 points
    • 2nd gets 7 points
    • 3rd gets 5 points
    • 4th gets 3 points
    • 5th gets 2 points
  2. The following two cart classes will be recognized:
    • Registered Gelding Cart
    • Registered Mare Cart
      1. Either class can be driven by a man or woman
        1. No woman to drive or men to drive cart classes will be recognized.
  3. Classes can be combined breed classes as long as the show indicates the horses that were Belgians.
  4. These overall raw points will then be multiplied by the index of the show to give the animal the total points earned at that show.
  5. Index multipliers are determined by the number of registered animals shown in the cart classes (not the number entered) at that show that year. The index of the show will not be known until the completion of the show.
  6. The index is determined as follows:
    • Index of 7 if 31 to 35 registered head shown
    • Index of 6 if 26 to 30 registered head shown
    • Index of 5 if 21 to 25 registered head shown
    • Index of 4 if 16 to 20 registered head shown
    • Index of 3 if 11 to 15 registered head shown
    • Index of 2 if 6 to 10 registered head shown
    • Index of 1 if 1 to 5 registered head shown

Versatility Points awarded

  • To qualify for the versatility points, the horse must compete in both its respected registered halter class and registered cart class at any approved Belgian Merit Show.
  • Points will be tabulated by adding the total amount of halter points and cart points awarded at the Belgian Merit Show.
    • For Example: a horse received 30 points for halter (index multiplier included) and 15 points for cart class (index multiplier included). The total amount of versatility points awarded is 45 points.
    • Champion points will be included in the overall raw score for the halter portion.
  • If a horse does not place top 5 in either halter or cart, but participated in both classes. The horse still qualifies for the versatility program.
    • For Example: If a horse places top 5 in the halter portion but does not place top 5 in the cart portion- the horse’s halter points will still go towards the versatility points.

Show Season

  1. The show season will run from January 1st to November 25th of each year.
  2. As soon as the points are received by the Belgian Draft Horse Alliance and tallied, they will be posted on the Corporation’s website for viewing. No additions or changes will be accepted after the Friday following NAILE.
  3. It is the responsibility of the owner or exhibitor to proof their animal’s points as they go through the show season and address any concerns or questions to the Alliance immediately. Results furnished with “entry” rather than the name of the animal will not be listed.
  4. Exhibitors will be responsible for reporting the horses used in the Registered Mare and Gelding Cart classes if the information is not received from the show staff. All names must be reported by the Monday following NAILE. The committee will not track down the exhibitors to get the information.

Recognition

  1. The recognition of the top three individuals of each class will be done at the annual meeting of the Belgian Draft Horse Corporation.
  2. The owner of the animal will receive an award for gold, silver, or bronze.
    • If the animal has been transferred during the show season the owner who accumulated the most points will receive the award.
  3. The breeder of the animal will be recognized with a gold, silver, or bronze plaque.
  4. The gold, silver, and bronze winners for each class will be featured in the Belgian publications.
  5. In the event of a tie, it will be broken by adding the total points earned at shows where the two animals were shown against each other and the animal with the most points will be declared the winner of the tie. If the tie cannot be broken by this method both animals will be recognized as a true tie and awarded in a similar manner.

Recording of Points

  1. The points for the current year will be recorded and tallied on the Corporation website for viewing and inspection.
  2. At the conclusion of the year the points for each and every animal will be transferred to the animal’s registration records.
  3. All points earned in an animal’s lifetime will be stored on their registration record.

J.D. Conner, Jr. Sire and Dam Awards, Premier Exhibitor

  1. Sire and Dam Awards: Awarded annually to the sire and dam with the high point offspring from the current year.
  2. Premier Exhibitor Award: Awarded annually to the exhibitor with high point in all Merit categories. The exhibitor will be considered the owner of the horse.
  3. In the event of a tie, both animals or exhibitors will be recognized as a true tie and awarded in a similar manner.