D-OC: The Vision of Abel Slippens - Part 1
Abel Slippens, former director of the Sligro Food Group, explains: “Since day one, I request a D-OC predicate for all my horses. I participate in all the examinations, ability tests, inspections, etcetera; only then I believe I have the right to speak out and make comments.”
Abel continues: “My experience is that everything that can be measured and for which predicates or certificates can be given, counts in the sales business. There are always people who want to know everything, also in the amateur market. It’s more difficult to evaluate a back than to check the D-OC on paper.”
Abel himself is an avid breeder and welcomes about six foals every year. His vision is clear: to develop healthy and predicate-rich lines with the highest attainable predicates. His approach is also clear: “I request the D-OC predicate for all my foals, also for the colts. They always go elsewhere to be raised. If a stallion scores 95 or lower, it’s no use keeping him for the stallion selection. No matter what, such a colt won’t be raised under my supervision but will be sold before then.”
The goal of use vs. D-OC
Abel also does not keep mares which score low, as he explains: “The mares that I keep are always used for breeding. What good is it for me to keep a mare whose chance of passing on OC is greater, when I could keep a mare with a genomic breeding value of 100 or more? The result of her genomic breeding value study on OC, however, doesn’t detract from her sport potential. It’s not that I only sell the lesser mares. Before there was the D-OC, I had the PROK done on all my mares, which I still do despite the option of the D-OC. I want the healthiest horses possible. “The PROK- and/or radiograph study says something about the health of the horse itself. The result of the genomic breeding value study for OC indicates the chance of passing it on; in other words, it says something about the mare when I use her for breeding. I sometimes notice that people confuse D-OC with PROK. If the user’s goal is sports, you shouldn’t focus solely on D-OC because the important thing is that the horse itself is healthy. The major advantage of the D-OC study is that you can already request it for your foals. Based on the genomic breeding value study, I determine which horses stay. The PROK can be done at a much later age.”
The vision of Abel Slippens will continue next week!