By Christopher Hector
In this special analysis of the breeding of dressage horses that competed during the recent Aachen CHIO, Christopher Hector unveils the bizarre appearance of WFFS in some of the most successful sires! Is this genetic mutation coincidental?
WFFS (Warmblood Fragile Foal Syndromew) = dressage ability? Well it might look that way when you consider the 36 horses who made it to one of the world’s prestige classes, the 2023 Aachen Grand Prix Special.
In the line up we find four horses by stallions who are WFFS positive. The four horses in the Special by these sires were: Habibi DVB (Don Schufro), FRH Davinia la Douce (Don Frederico), Jovian (Apache), and Imhotep(Everdale). Indeed, there in the Special line up, was the very stallion that started the WFFS hysteria, Everdale (Lord Leatherdale x Negro).
Everdale was the first European-based stallion whose owner Gert-Jan Olst confirmed that he tested positive for WFFS after a WFFS foal was born in Mary Nutall’s American breeding barn in March 2018.
This result bears out research conducted by United Information Systems Animal Husbandry in Verden, a leading information service provider for animal husbandry and breeding, which showed that stallions who are WFFS positive are distinguished by their good rideability and movement.
In the interests of sanity...
In the interests of sanity, I need to point out that no one is actually suggesting that having the WFFS-positive gene improves performance, rather, because some of the more influential dressage stallions – think Donnerhall – were WFFS carriers, then there is a high probability that good dressage horses, from those lines, will carry the gene... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber
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