Owners of three-year-old riding stallions may choose one of three testing periods: spring, fall, or the following spring. The 70-day spring performance test immediately follows the KWPN Stallion Selection. The 50-day fall test and the following 50-day spring test are each preceded by one evaluation of the stallions under their own riders. The performance test begins approximately three weeks after the this first evaluation. At this evaluation, the stallion selection committee has the right to excuse any stallion from further participation. In such case, a stallion may not take part in the 50-day test that follows.
The performance test is used to carefully assess and record the natural talent of KWPN stallions. During this period, stallions are cared for under standardized conditions and trained by KWPN representatives. These include competent equestrian ground staff and professional riders or drivers, supervised by a training manager who maintains close communication with the stallion selection committee. Upon arrival and departure, stallions are thoroughly examined by veterinarians. Veterinarians also attend stallions on other occasions, as needed.
For Gelder stallions applies; they can be offered after being appointed as a three-year old and immediately start the spring test of 35 days, the following autumn test of 28 days or the following year in spring for 28 days. The owner may choose to have the stallion tested during the test as a riding horse or as an in-harness horse. After successfully completing the performance test, a one-day test will follow twice in the discipline in which the stallion has not undergone a test.
Harness Horse stallions
The performance test for harness and stallions takes place in the spring.
The 50-day test for harness horse stallions includes a varied program of in-harness work (indoors and outdoors) and lunging. In addition, stallions work in the horse exerciser and receive turn-out time. In all aspects of the program, the horses are given special consideration for their young age.
The performance test program includes daily under-saddle work, both indoors and outdoors. In addition, stallions regularly work in the horse exerciser and are turned out in safe paddocks. In all aspects of care and training, the horses are given special consideration for their young age. The primary goal of training is optimum preparation of all stallions so that the selection committee can obtain a good assessment of their natural talent by the end of the performance test.
The selection committee evaluates stallions in the performance test at regular intervals. They may be presented by their usual training rider or guest riders, who are professionals with ample experience training young horses to become world-class competitors. After working a stallion, the rider gives the committee oral and written reports on the horse’s potential.
At any point in the performance test, the committee has the right to excuse a stallion from further participation or refer him to a subsequent following test. This right may be exercised if a horse is deemed too immature or if an injury is evident.
The performance test also includes evaluations of stable and training behavior. An extensive training report is published upon conclusion of the test. Stallions that pass the performance test are granted KWPN approval.
Many older stallions participate in the performance test. In principle, they are registered for spring testing for a minimum of 21 days. In exceptional cases, the stallion selection committee may reduce testing to five days if a stallion has demonstrated excellence in sport or if he is an outstanding sire of performance horses. The committee has the right to alter the testing period at any time in exceptional cases.