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WBFSH General Assembly: A good year for internal review

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By Celia Clarke

With COVID-19 dictating that yet another meeting be held via Zoom, the 2021 WBFSH General Assembly was a rather subdued affair. Indeed, the only major newsworthy item was the shock defeat – and therefore removal from the board – of long-time Vice-President Chris Gould.

He was replaced by Renai Hart of New Zealand, who is perhaps best known to the wider world as one of the co-owners of Charlotte Dujardin’s new dressage star Gio. With Chris Gould currently heading up the much-awaited State of the Industry (SOI) report, this major project has now landed in the hands of Renai and her executive team member, well-known British Hanoverian breeder Katy Holder-Vale.
However, some feel that this shift in the influence of the English-speaking caucus from Canada to New Zealand and the UK now leaves the expansive and lucrative North American market without an effective voice on the WBFSH Board. Perhaps now that the restructuring of the departments has finally been completed, the time has come for a review of the geographical structure of Board membership to ensure that such inequalities are avoided in the future.
With little to report on activities – apart from the FEI WBFSH International Young Horse Championships, which have already been widely covered in earlier issues of World Breeding News, much of Jan Petersen’s annual report as President – and the two linking updates (by Eva-Maria Broomer on the WBFSH re-brand) and Chris Gould on the SOI report) -- was taken up with an explanation of the new departmental structure which can be found on https://www.wbfsh.com/downloads/2022_WBFSH_Department_Roles_(organogram).pdf. Taken together these do show that the WBFSH is taking major steps to raise its profile across the wider breeding and competitive world, not least in emphasizing the growing importance of the need to embed a Social Licence to Operate into the activities of the sport horse breeding world. Naturally, we will be following any developments on this issue with great interest.
On a more mundane scale – but still a vitally important one of course – the WBFSH appears to be in good financial shape, despite all that COVID-19 has thrown at it, and all its departments (particularly those that are scientifically based) seem to be functioning well now that the restructuring is over.
Sadly, the regular WHIRDEC meetings have been rather in abeyance over the past 18 months, but again these will hopefully become more active again as both face-to-face and multi-platform meetings become more viable.
As far as the breeding and studbook ranking awards were concerned, once again these could not happen in person but for the record they are as follows:

Breeder rankings

Dressage: Silke Druckenmuller for TSF Dalera BB (Trak)
Jumping: W Vanderlinden van Turtelboom-Ruys for H&M Indiana (BWP)
Eventing: Ocke Riewarts for London 52 (Holst)
Complete rankings: https://www.wbfsh.com/breeder-rankings

Studbook rankings

Dressage
1 KWPN (14,430 pts)
2 Hann (13,228 pts
3 Old (12,510 pts)
Jumping
1 BWP (7,387 pts)
2 SF (6,664 pts)
3 Holst (6,390 pts)
Eventing
1 SF (1,494 pts)
2 Holst (1,477 pts)
3 ISH (1,343 pts)
Complete rankings: https://www.wbfsh.com/studbook-rankings

The studbook and breeder rankings together are now showing an encouraging spread of origins with eight studbooks featured in the final lists across at least fve countries, so yet further proof that the WBFSH projects are spreading news of the organisation ever wider.
With up-dating reports from Kathrin Stock on the EAAP Horse Commission, Inge Madsen on the International Young Breeders (IYB), Gaspard Dufour on the FEI -WBFSH Data Exchange Project, and Xavier Libbrecht as the WBFSH sponsoring agent, the meeting ended with a renewed invitation from the Southern German Studbooks of the German Sport Horse (GSP) that October 2022 will hopefully see us all finally meet up in person in Dresden at the first face-to-face General Assembly since 2019. We certainly hope so.