KWPN Breeding Goals

Posted on by Sheri Tozer-Robb

Breeding

The KWPN is one of the largest Warmblood studbooks in the world. In 2008, the KWPN has been ranked first in the world for jumping and second for dressage again on the WBFSH ranking list.

History

Registered Warmblood breeding in the Nederlands is over a century old. King Willem II recognized the first Dutch studbook organization in 1887 and so laid the basis for regulated Warmblood breeding. During the 19th century several regional and local studbook organizations bred horses specifically for farming. For working the clay soil of the north (Groningen) and heavier horses were needed than on the sandy soil of the middle Netherlands (Gelderland) where a more noble and spirited horse was popular; a horse with faster action and good stamina. Both types were regularly crossed and in 1969 these two organizations were combined into the national studbook organization WPN (Warmblood PaardenStamboek Nederland), which received the royal designation (Koninklijk) from Queen Beatrix in 1988. The KWPN (Royal Dutch Warmblood Studbook of the Netherlands) currently has more than 28,000 members.

Specialized Breeding Directions

For decades KWPN horses have been split into three distinct breeding directions: the Riding type (RP), the Gelders type (GP) and the Harness type (TP). In the breeding program of Riding horses, the KWPN decided to further split this breeding direction in two types: Dressage and Jumping. A breeding goal has been formulated for each breeding direction. As of January 1, 2006, Riding type foals will be registered as a Dressage of Jumper type. The birth declaration will contain a box to mark the desired breeding direction. As an adult, the breeding direction of a horse may be changed upon request of the owner or the advice of the KWPN keuring jury, if the horse would clearly fit better in the other breeding direction. This is possible during the studbook inspection or after succesfull completion of an Ibop-test.

General Breeding Goal

The general KWPN Breeding Goal is to produce a performance horse that: Can perform at Grand Prix level; Has a constitution that enables long usefulness; Has a character that supports the will to perform as well as being agreeable and good natured towards people; Has functional conformation and a correct movement mechanism that will enable good performance; Has an attractive exterior that is related to refinement, nobility and quality.

Breeding Goal for Dressage Horses

The breeding goal is to produce a dressage horse that can perform at Grand Prix level and also possesses a healthy constitution, functional conformation, correct movement mechanism, a correct base, and a preferably attractive exterior. To reach this goal, the dressage horse should be long lined and have a correct model with balanced proportions. The horse should move correctly, be light footed, be balanced and supple with carrying power, impulsion, and good selfcarriage. The dressage horse should be easy to handle, easy to ride and intelligent, with a willing and hard-working character.

Breeding Goal for jumper Horses

The breeding goal is to produce a jumper that can perform at Grand,Prix level and also possesses a healthy constitution, functional conformation, correct movement mechanism, a correct base and, a preferably attractive exterior. To reach this goal the jumper should be long lined and have a correct model with balanced proportions, The horse should move correctly, be balanced and supple with self carriage and impulsion, The horse should be easy to handle, easy to ride, intelligent, with a willing and hardworking character, The jumper had courage, jumps with quick reflexes, is careful, has good technique and has a great deal of scope.

Breeding Goal for Gelder Horses

The breeding goal is to produce a Gelder horse that can be used for multi-purposes. The Gelder horse distinguishes itself both in harness and under saddle with its happy appearance, reliable and willing character, healthy constitution, functional conformation, correct movement mechanism and correct base with a preferably attractive exterior. To reach this goal, the Gelder horse should be suitable for use under saddle and in harness with an elegant build with substance, self carriage, sufficiently developed legs and big gaits with light knee action in the foreleg and with power and carrying ability from behind.

Breeding goal for Harness Horses

The breeding goal is to produce a harness horse that can perform in the highest levels of Harness sport and also possesses a healthy constitution, functional conformation, a correct movement mechanism and a correct base with a preferably attractive exterior. To reach this goal the harness horse should have good suspension in the trot with a foreleg that moves out well with high knee action and a hind leg that steps under powerfully, as well as proud self carriage with a long vertical neck.

GRADING STANDARD for DRESSAGE and JUMPER HORSES

DRESSAGE HORSE JUMPER HORSE
CONFORMATION
  • Stands in rectangular model
  • Is long lined with a proportional build
  • Has an uphill build
  • Has long legs
  • Has a light head/neck connection
  • Has a long neck that is raised and arched with muscling in the topline
  • Has a strongly built and strongly muscled back/loin formation
  • Has a correct and hard foundation
  • Is attractive
  • Stands in rectangular model
  • Is long lined with a proportional build
  • Has an horizontal build
  • Has a long neck that is slightly raised and arched with muscling in the topline
  • Has a strongly built and strongly muscled back/loin formation
  • Has a correct and hard foundation
  • Is attractive
MOVEMENT
  • The walk is a pure ‘four time’ gait that is active and has suppleness and impulsion
  • The trot is a pure ‘two time’ gait that is active and has suppleness and impulsion, balance and self-carriage
  • The canter is a pure ‘three time’ gait that is active, light with suppleness, impulsion, balance and self-carriage
  • Can lengthen and shorten easily in movement, without losing rhythm, tact, balance or self carriage -Rises in the front
  • Has good posture
  • Is light footed
  • Shows flexion in the joints, engagement of the hindquarters, freedom from the shoulder with a slight lift of the knee
  • The walk is a regular ‘four beat’ gait that is active and has suppleness and impulsion
  • The trot is a regular ‘two beat’ gait that is active and has suppleness and impulsion, balance and self-carriage
  • The canter is a pure ‘three beat’ gait that is active, light with suppleness, impulsion, balance and self-carriage
  • Can lengthen and shorten easily in the canter, wit hout losing rhythm, tact, balance or self carriage
  • The canter is light and balanced without making much front -Remains more horizontal in the body
JUMPING
  • Is able to collect strongly during the last canter stride before the jump and is able to place the hindleg far forward under the body in order to get a powerful takeoff
  • Leaves the ground quickly with power
  • Jumps with an upward wither with the highest point over the middle of the jump
  • Brings the underarm above the horizontal and folds the cannon under the underarm
  • Bascule: brings the neck down during the jump causing the rump to follow the direction of the neck; opens the hindquarter
  • Athletic ability: is supple and can develop forward motion over the jump, lands lightly and canters off easily, is careful, is efficient and has much scope
CHARACTER
  • Has a willing, hardworking and honest character
  • Is intelligent
  • Has the will to perform
  • Is easy to handle
  • Reacts quickly to the aids
  • Has courage
  • Has a willing, hardworking and honest character
  • Is intelligent, looks at and evaluates the jump
  • Has the will to perform
  • Is easy to handle
  • Reacts quickly to the aids

Stallion Selection

Stallion Inspections

KWPN breeders can make the choice for their mares from a select group of stallions on offer, which are selected on very strict performance tests via the internationally famous KWPN Stallion selections. The selection process not only looks at conformation and pedigree but above all very closely at their ability as a showjumper or a dressage horse in the riding horse category, the quality in harness for the harness horses and a combination of ability for jumping, dressage and in harness for the Gelder horses. In addition, all KWPN horses have to fulfil the highest possible criteria concerning their character, semen quality and health. The first inspection of the riding horse stallions takes place each autumn in Ermelo The first inspection of the harness and Gelder horses takes place elsewhere. From all these groups of stallions the highlight is an invitation to the KWPN Stallion Selections in Den Bosch.

Performance Test

Before the three-year-old stallions earn their stud approval they must undergo a performance test which will evaluate their ability as a showjumper or as a dressage horse. This investigation takes place at the Federation Centre in Ermelo. The owners of the stallions are free to choose between enrolment in the spring performance test (70 days) or the autumn performance test (50 days). The duration of the performance test for the harness horses is 50 days. Four-year-old stallions must undergo a fifty-day performance test. For five, six and seven year old stallions the duration of the performance test is 21 days. Stallions that are eight years or older and have Grand Prix results, only have to do a five day performance test to be judged on stable behaviour.

After the evaluation of the last performance test, where all participant had their say some improvements have been made in the stallion performance test. These improvements are implemented this year. The specialized members of the stallion selection committee are more involved with the training of the stallions than before. One day per week there is a member of the dressage committee present and the other week a member of the jumping committee. If necessary, they give individual instruction to the riders. They write down their acquired impressions and take this information to the final assessment.

The so called assessment days are discharged, to create more peace in the training program of the stallions. To transfer the assessment of special exam and assessment days to assessments during their daily routine, the exam anxiety will be reduced. The test riders will ride more often, so the differences between training and testing are less evident for the stallions. The goal is to we work slower to a high point and not to have any commitment to testing weekly. Testriders cooperate also to the basic training. The acquired experiences will be used for the assessment.

At the beginning and halfway the performance test, the stallion selection committee has twice a personal meeting with every stallion owner about the experiences, the procedure and the vision on the stallion. There will be show days, approximately halfway and at the end of the testing period. This is no assessment day. The capability of each stallion will be demonstrated under supervision of the stallion selection committee.

To conform to the breeding policies, approved and recognised stallions are regularly subjected to an assessment of their progeny. These evaluations take place for: First crop of foals, three year olds, seven year olds, eleven year olds.

Mare selection

The way a keuring works

01 Informing the secretary
The owner must enter the mare for the inspections in their reg ion stating the inspection location by filling in the application form. The owner will receive notification from the regional office before the inspection date about the commencement of the inspections. The catalogue number is usually written on the address sticker of the envelope. Some secretaries will also forward the numbers in the envelope. You must ensure that you are present on the inspection terrain in plenty of time. You must report to the secretary for your bridle numbers and cover any outstanding costs which have not been transferred via the banking system. It is your responsibility to check the schedule and know when and where you are expected with your mare.
02 Arrival
Ensure that you are on the inspection premises at least one hour prior commencement of the class. Report to secretary on arrival. You then have enough time to familiarize yourself with the location but above all, the mare can also acclimatize and you have sufficient time to prepare for the inspection itself. The mare can have broken out in a sweat during transportation or be more highly strung than you had expected. Walk and trot with your mare before you report to clarify identification and height, to loosen her up a little.
03 Bridal numbers
The bridle numbers must be attached to both sides of the bridle so that both the judges and the public can see the numbers clearly. The use of chain leading reins is discouraged. A cotton rope or leading rein is ideal for the showing of your mare. A chain works too severely on the mouth.
04 Measuring and identification control
Identification control, in correspondence with the foal registration paper, is the job of the sketcher. Any changes will be recorded on the score sheet and then transferred to the new studbook paper. In many cases the sketcher is also the measurer. The height is the first criteria the mare must fulfil. For acceptation into the studbook the mare must be a minimum height of 1.58m and for the ster predicate the mare must be a minimum height of 1.60m.

The way a keuring works

05 Presentation
After measuring and identification control, on the instruction of the ringmaster, the mare can then be presented to the jury. You must present your mare as favourably as possible. The jury team scores the conformation on a linear score sheet. The jury consists of three or four people and is supported by a writer.
06 Walking
On the direction of the jury the mare must be walked up and back over a hard surface. The jury must be able to clearly judge the correctness of the bones and the legs. Alongside the handler an assistant is also permitted and they must walk on the same side of the horse. Excessive use of the rattle or whip is not permitted. 20-30 meters in walk is sufficient.
07 Trotting
After showing the walk, the mare must trot over a distance of a minimum of thirty metres. Just as in walk this is up and back. The mare must be freely presented and in an easy tempo. The jury will then judge the correctness of the movements.
08 Presentation from the other side
The mare must be re-presented after she has trotted but this time from the other side. The jury can then judge the conformation of the mare without having to walk around the horse. It frequently makes the horse uneasy when many people are moving around the horse.
09 Presentation from the other side
After the assessment on a hard surface, the horse can then be prepared for free movements and loose jumping. It is then permissible to use tendon protectors on the forelegs. The use of overreach boots and bandages is not permitted.

The way a keuring works

10 Walking around before the jumping/free movement;
It is advisable to walk the mare around once as she enters the indoor manege. She will then get used to the surroundings and know the ring. During this walk around, free movements and loose jumping, only the handler of the horse is permitted. In the ring there are assistants available who are trained to guide the horses around the ring.
11 Canter
When the jury requests the horse to be let loose this should be done on the right hand. When the horse has trotted and cantered several rounds the mare must then show herself on the left hand and when the movements have been judged she may then progress onto the loose jumping.
12 Free Jumping
The horses should be well prepared for this. The first obstacle is placed six metres from the short side with a trotting pole in front. The second obstacle follows at a distance of approx. 6.60m. and the oxer is placed next at a distance of approx 7.10m – 7.65m. After the assessment of the free movement and loose jumping the jury will ask you to catch the horse and walk down the long side.
13 Walking around in the group
After all the mares have been individually judged the group will be asked to return to be walked around on the hand. During this walk around the jury awards the definite scores.
14 Reporting the results
The jury will make the results known to the owners and the public over the megaphone/loudspeaker. The scores will be broadcasted and the Chairman of the jury will give an account of the conformation, the movements presented and the loose jumping. It will be known directly whether or not the mare has been awarded the ster predicate. At the finish, an owner is able to go to the Chairman of the jury for a more extensive explanation of the judgement.
15 Administration secretary
After the results are made public the owner must report to the secretary. Before the score sheet is handed over all the administration must be complete, ego Filling in the authorization for the costs of the studbook paper. The mares that have been awarded the ster predicate can apply for the ‘provisional keur’ predicate at the secretary’s office.
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