Home Health and vet Breeding for eventing confomation

Breeding for eventing confomation


Analysis by Judy Wardrope: This is the third article in the three-part series about using the points of functional conformation to supplement our breeding decisions. We previously looked at jumpers and dressage horses, and now it is time to look at eventers. Because there are typically two types of eventers – those that are better at dressage but can cope with the other two elements and those that can cope with dressage but excel over cross-country and stadium fences – we are likely, therefore, to find some similarities with one of the other two Olympic disciplines.

Eventing is also a discipline where we find a wider vari- ety of bloodlines as well as a higher degree of Thor- oughbred blood. In order to minimize differences in type for our analyses, all the horses have high degrees of Thoroughbred heritage.

Mare #1

Mare 1
Mare 1

This mare shows an LS that is less than ideal. The gap just in front of her high point of croup is rear ward of a line drawn from the point of one hip to the point of the other hip. This weakens her through the loins or in her transmission.

Although difficult to measure in a photo, her LS is just within the athletic limit of about 1.5 inches or four millimetres. Because she is less able to compensate, all other factors would have to be favorable for her to excel, but consistency could still suffer.

Her rear triangle shows a slightly shorter ilium (leaning more towards dressage) and the longest side from point of hip to stifle protrusion for ability to jump from an open stride. In addition, her stifle protrusion is well below sheath level (if she were male) for length of stride and scope over fences. Her scores bear these points out as she places well in dressage and usually does well in the other two phases if she is not experiencing back pain. Her pillar of support (as extended through the groove of the forearm) emerges well in front of her withers to add lightness and just into the rear quarter of the hoof for a measure of soundness. If it emerged further in front of the withers, it would add more lightness, and if further into the rear quarter of the hoof would increase soundness.

The humerus shows good rise from elbow to point of shoulder for lightness of the forehand and speed in lift- ing the forelegs over jumps. In addition, her base is neck is well above the point of shoulder for more lightness of forehand. In looking for a stallion for her, we would definitely want one that could improve her LS...