Home In previous issues Something old, something new!

Something old, something new!

Belgian Warmblood ‘ambassador’ Darco (Lugano van la Roche) ridden by Ludo Philippaerts (BEL) Photo: PL

By Christopher Hector: There is something very old about breeding rankings, but also something VERY NEW – so this article tries to make sense of the new breeding values. About this time each year, the breeding world is awash with rankings and breed values, trouble is, they tend to be very similar to the previous year's editions. Not this time, this time the German FN comes up with a radical revision of their breeding values: there are now two sets of breeding values.

One - the Jungferdeprüfungen list - is based on the results of young horse classes, which includes the stallion's own performances and the performances of his off-spring in mare performance tests, stallion performance tests, and young-horse classes, which is much like the previous values, although previously, they also included competition results. Then there is a whole new set of rankings – the Turniersport Rankings – which are based solely on open competition results.

‘Wow’! I guess I have been pointing out for over a decade that the breeding values were so influenced by young-horse classes, and by the stallion's own performance test, that all sorts of young horse 'stars' shot to the top of the lists (only to disappear just as rapidly) while real stallions who were producing top level performers, didn't even make the rankings.

Last year, for the second year in a row, Stakkato Gold (Stakkato x Werther) headed the FN jumping breeding values, while Lis- saro (Lissabon x Matcho aa) was the dressage stallion with the highest breeding value – that is before he was sent off to be an honest competition horse with a young rider. This year, the stallion at the top of the young-horse breeding val- ues is still Stakkato Gold, but on the open competition table he ranks eighth, with a value of 159 – behind Heartbreaker (182, Nim- merdor x Silvano), Diamant de Sémilly (180, Le Tot de Sémilly x Elf III), Kannan (173, Voltaire x Nimmer- dor), Galoubet A (169, Almé x Nystag), Cardento (165, Capitol x Lord), Quick Star (162, Galoubet A x Nithard) and Toulon (162, Heatbreaker x Jokinal de Bornival)...