IRELAND-THE NETHERLANDS (by Jean Llewellyn) The Warmblood Studbook of Ireland and KWPN have announced a partnership which was celebrated with a reception held on September 12 to which all sport horse breeders, riders, producers and owners were invited. Attending on behalf of WSI Ireland, the studbook’s founder and breeding director, Thomas Reed, alongside Johan Knapp (director) and Arnold Kootstra of KWPN, as well as His Excellency P.W.A. Schellekens, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Breeding News recently spoke with Tom Reed to learn why he decided to take the WSI studbook in this direction.

Q Why did you decide to partner WSI with KWPN?

When the Warmblood Stud-book of Ireland received its license from the Irish Minister of Agriculture in 2009, our plan was to focus on the top 200 mares in the country. However in January of this year we decided that if we are to make a major impact on breeding in Ireland the population of Irish Warmbloods needs to grow substantially. The KWPN is the best partner for us to achieve that growth because we had originally benchmarked our rules, policies, and breeding strategy against the KWPN. While studbook rankings fluctuate the quality, discipline, technical expertise, membership ser vices, and success of the KWPN is unsurpassed. The KWPN is the ideal partner for WSI.

Q What are the goals of the new partnership from both an Irish and a Dutch per- spective?

The goal of the partnership from the perspective of WSI is to grow while maintaining our commitment to excel- lence, and to offer better ser vices to breeders in the areas of education, technical resources such as databases and genetic indices, membership ser vices, marketing, and sales. WSI maintains its original goal: to have the highest strike-rate among all studbooks in producing international

showjumpers. We believe our partnership with the KWPN will help us achieve that goal rapidly. And the Irish breeders and riders can help the Dutch learn more about eventing horses.

Q What format will you be using for the up-coming mare and young-horse inspections? (i.e. The existing KWPN criteria, or a hybrid format for Irish breeders?)

WSI will continue to use its existing format and criteria with a few new features such as linear scoring. We have approved over 170 mares and stallions since 2009, and of those in sport many have gone on to win young horse championships and reser ve championships in the Dublin, Millstreet, Cavan, and National showjumping championships. The difference now is that KWPN inspectors will be joining the WSI Mare Committee and they will help us to work with breeders on the grassroots level to translate the inspec- tion results into improvements in each participating breeder’s program...

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