The viewings for the KWPN selection process for jumping, dressage, and Gelder stallions begin in December. Over a period of several weeks, the stallions are presented daily to the stallion selection committee, which consists of three breeding and sport horse professionals. At the first round viewing, stallions are evaluated for any observable genetic abnormalities or deficiencies. Next, they are judged at the walk and trot on hard ground. This allows the committee to clearly observe any abnormal movement and/or leg stance. Finally, dressage stallions are judged on their free movement, and jumper and Gelder stallions are assessed for their free-jumping talent.
Jumping talent is obviously very important for jumpers undergoing selection. However, because Gelder horses must be versatile, they are evaluated for jumping talent at the first round viewing. Observations of these stallions as they jump provide the stallion selection committee with important information about a stallion’s attitude and the way it uses its body. The stallions are jumped in a chute created by setting up a barrier in the ring. The chute, which is parallel to the long side of the ring, contains three jumps: two verticals and an oxer at the end. The jumps are initially set low but gradually raised. The stallions are brought into the ring individually and calmly directed over the jumps several times by KWPN representatives. This process allows the selection committee to evaluate a stallion’s reflexes, form, carefulness, and scope. In addition, stallions are judged on the canter in the chute. Afterwards, they are evaluated in hand on the walk and trot.
Dressage stallions are evaluated specifically for carriage, stride length, rhythm and regularity, balance in turns, body use in the trot and canter, and the ease with which they perform flying changes when changing direction. In the free movement evaluation, the selection committee also observes the attitude of each dressage stallion. Following evaluation in the chute, the stallion is also judged on his walk and trot in hand. Because the walk is an important basic gait for a dressage stallion, the selection committee places great value on its purity, stride length, and suppleness.