Peter Geerink riding Heartbreakers

Christopher Hector analyses the latest breeding values from the German FN which have once again been enlivened, as they were last year, by the division of the FN breeding values into two sections – one for the sires of young-horse stars, and one for the sires of competitors in open competition. And, as we will see, once again, it makes for four almost entirely unrelated leader boards.

The dressage sires

Back in 2006, the Dutch beat the Germans to recognizing two distinct breeding streams – dressage and jumping – within the KWPN studbook book. It would now seem that the Germans have leap-frogged their neighbours, and are also recognizing two streams within their dressage pop lation, and why not? The young-horse market is a lucrative one, and is easier to breed for than trying to breed Grand Prix horses for the 'big sport'. There will always be a market for pretty horses to be ridden walk-trot-canter by pretty girls, and they are up-and-running as three and four-year-olds, without all those years of tedious training it takes to go Grand Prix.

Across the border, the Dutch seem to still trying to combine the two goals: Young-horse success with Grand Prix potential. At the 2017 World Championships at Ermelo, I talked with Arie Hamoen, who was chair of the KWPN stallion committee from 2003 to 2012, and I put the question to him: Do you think that it is almost as if we are breeding two streams of horses, you breed to a Grand Prix stallion like De Niro or Gribaldi, and you get a good chance of a Grand Prix horse, or you breed to a horse that has never done anything but young-horse classes, and you get a young-horse class result?..

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