Selection criteria: a functional and correct conformation
This week’s subject: A functional and correct conformation
At the first-round viewing, prior to the free-movement/ free-jumping evaluation. Functional and correct conformation plays a co-determining role at every point in the selection process.
A good constitution, that is, a healthy physical state, is very important for a sport horse. For the same reason, we also strive to the greatest extent possible to match a horse’s conformation (in other words, the way it is built with the purpose for which the stallion is bred. The better the body is aligned with the purpose, the easier a stallion can perform the work that will be asked of him. And equally important, he can perform with less risk of injury and more enjoyment in his work. For these reasons, the committees will closely look for abnormal leg conformation and hoof shape, as these faults may have an negative effect on the horse’s resilience and durability. Although a stallion may be very interesting for breeding, he will be dismissed in the first-round viewing if his conformation is deemed undesirable.
After all, conformation does not change, so a stallion with undesirable conformation will not be licensed. However, a stallion may be approved with a remark about his movement, for which the criteria are in principle the same as in the mare selection. In exceptional cases, a stallion may be approved, despite remarks, if he is very interesting for breeding or possesses remarkable natural talent for dressage or show jumping. Approving such a stallion has its risks, so the stallion selection committee only takes such action if they believe that the stallion can help advance breeding. Their remarks are published upon approving such a stallion. He may be an option for breeders with a correct mare who want to try the stallion to find out if he passes on his good traits. If, at the offspring inspection, it is deemed that the stallion passes on his incorrect traits in the extreme, which obviously can have consequences, he may lose his breeding license.
Next week, this article will be continued. We will take a closer look into free-movement and free-jumping