By Christopher Hector
Graphics: Gemma Alexander
The KWPN showjumping stallion commission this year was headed up by Cor Loeffen, a long time assessor at the Dutch stallion selections. He started our little English language conference by outlining the overall picture the commission was looking for....
“Today we had the same criteria we have had all the time: rectangular is very important. In the KWPN Studbook, we need scope, and for scope it is important that the horse is rectangular. Normally the smallest height for our horses is 164cms, and when the horse is small, it is even more important that he is rectangular. Mostly if the horse is smaller than 164 we put him out. We look at the correctness of the front legs and the hind legs, that is important, but when the correctness in the fundament – the limbs – is not optimal, but he jumps good, and the pedigree is good, we can take him.
“When they jump, we are happy when the horses jump in a natural way, that they are not 'prepared' at home. Some horses jump in a spectacular way and we can let them go to the performance test, but they are not awarded the premium.”
Q But one of the horses that did receive a premium looked very prepared – Heathrow...
That one was a little prepared, number 146, but acceptable. We had also the Comme il Faut x Contoki, number 47, that was far too much. He can go to the performance test, but for the premium stallion, we don’t accept that.
Q No 47, Mattias – TOO prepared?
Today we have progeny from young Dutch stallions, Heathrow, Inaico, Impressive, we are happy we can have offspring from these young stallions and they do very good free jumping. Mostly with the Dutch breeders, they go to an older stallion, and not a young stallion, but now we have younger stallions and also from a good mare line, it is important that the young stallions get good mares.
Q It's very hard to get the jumping breeders to use younger stallions, they want the famous ones?
They want to breed for an auction, and when you look at the price of a foal from a young stallion and the price of the foal of an older one, the difference is €4,000. The foals from a well-known stallion bring €4,000 more than from a young one. So the breeders take an older stallion.
Young stallions vs older in the sire lineup?
Jumping breeders seem to fairly evenly spread their attention between established sires, current champions, and younger, upcoming sires, with current sires born 2001 to 2010 being slightly more popular that the others at 39% of the lineup. Interestingly, upcoming sires were more represented than established sires, which appears to be a relatively new phenomenon amongst jumping breeders despite being much more common in the dressage world. Of the 39 stallions selected to progress, 10 (25.6%) were by established sires born pre-2000, 16 (41.0%) by stallions born 2001 to 2010, and 13 (33.3%) by upcoming sires born 2011 or later... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber
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