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Three generations: A comparative study


Analysis by Judy Wardrope: Continuing our conformational series that has previously compared stallions and mares exclusively bred for either showjumping, dressage or eventing, this month’s article features a three-generation analysis of one ‘sample’ sire line, i.e. without identifying individual horses, and reviewing the strengths and weaknesses, deficiencies and qualities, based on specific structural criteria.

It is quite rare that one has the opportunity to ex- amine three generations of competitive horses. So let’s see what theses horses have in common and where they may vary using a few points of functional conformation for comparison:
• LS: lumbosacral gap located just in front of the high point of the croup and where the articulation of the vertebra changes;
• Rear triangle: point of hip to point of buttock, point of buttock to stifle protrusion and stifle protrusion to point of hip;
• Stifle placement: the visible protrusion (not the actual patella);
• Pillar of support: a line ex- tended up and down through the naturally occur- ring groove in the forearm; • Humerus: length and angle from elbow to point of shoulder;
• Base of neck

If you are so inclined, look at the photos before reading the text and see if you can tell which were the best athletes and in which sports they excelled.


• LS: Despite his advanced age, a line drawn from the point of one hip to the point of the opposing hip would
which is a jumper trait, and longest on the remaining side, giving him the ability to jump from an open stride; • Stifle protrusion: just below sheath level, but not as low as top Grand Prix and puissance horses or international-level eventers;

• Pillar of support: Emerges well in front of withers for lightness of the forehand and into the rear quarter of the hoof for soundness and longevity

• Humerus: Relatively short and steeply angled, which increases lightness of the forehand and aids in quickness of the front legs over a jump

• Base of neck: Well above the point of shoulder, adding even more lightness to the forehand


• Overall: Built to be quick with the forelegs, to have consistent scope around the four-foot (1m25) level, to be sound and to be light on the forehand despite initial impressions...