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March 6, 2018 | By KFPS


Meeting the sport requirement makes a stallion eligible for assessment for potential selection for the Short Test. For the assessment of sport stallions by and large the same criteria are used as for the young stallions for the Central Examination. The difference is found in the following:
1) The three viewings for the CE are necessary to come to a sound evaluation of the (unburdened) movement as an ‘indicator’ of movement under saddle or in-harness. Sport stallions can be directly evaluated in the discipline in which they compete.
2) The 70 days of the CE are needed to outline the aptitude of the young stallions. Sport stallions can be evaluated in the discipline in which they have been trained and have competed.

Three aspects are key ingredients in what defines a good sport horse: basic qualities, learning capacity and character. Basic qualities are present at birth, such as functional conformation, movement technique, natural balance, self-carriage and suppleness. These characteristics are hardly influenced by external factors and therefore largely hereditary (high h2).
Learning capacity is the degree in which the horse has the ability to develop and build on his basic talents. In this process the differences mainly hinge on external factors such as the trainer, training and the ‘click’ between trainer and horse. The degree of heredity is much lower.
The degree of heredity of character is still very much grey territory. In a bid to get a better knowledge of this in terms of breeding perspective, the KFPS has been collecting data since 2012.
The selection of young stallions centres around the assessment of basic qualities. Along with this we make an evaluation of character. The advantage is that the basic qualities involve characteristics with a high heritability index. The disadvantage is that we don’t find out much about ‘learning capacity’.
Sport stallions are assessed on the outcome of basic qualities, learning capacity and character. The downside is that this assessment is partly based on criteria with a much lower degree of heredity. This aspect is reinforced because (driving) dressage to a certain extent focuses on the degree of perfection in the performance of exercises, which is an aspect that doesn’t have a high degree of heredity. This fact underpins the conclusion that the stallions approved by way of the Short Test so far have not shown to have a ground-breaking influence on the sport aptitude of their offspring.
It is up to the Stallion Inspection Jury to try, as much as possible, to unravel these three aspects in the assessments. This is why the stallions are assessed both in a test and in a presentation on basic gaits. For after all, many aspects are trainable whereas other features will basically stay the same such as movement technique, suppleness and regularity. An additional aspect is that earlier assessments at a younger age can also play a role in the final evaluation.


As posted on the March KFPS Newsletter