Veterinarian and breeder Hans van der Louw shares his views on the subject. “For riding horses, we should drop the tests for the PROK and fully focus on the D-OC exam,” asserts Hans.

For Van der Louw, it’s clear in which direction the D-OC policy should go in the future. “We need to leave the PROK behind for the riding direction (jumping- and dressage): we already do this for the stallions, but we should do this for the mares in this breeding direction also. But we should also focus exclusively on genome selection with mares and not just for OC. We should also look at other traits such as sport talent, height, rideability and potentially many other characteristics. In the ideal situation, we test foals shortly after birth by means of a hair study. Then you immediately know what the situation is, and you can immediately make a plan for the future of that foal, which can also save costs. Of course, it's still important for the breeder to know the radiographic status of his horse, but he can discuss that with his vet and then make further decisions for the future of that specific horse. But as a studbook, we help the population move forward much faster with structural genome research.”

“A studbook should mainly focus on the population; and with the help of genome selection, breeding will make faster progress.”

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The KWPN (Studbook of the Royal Dutch Sport Horse) is a Netherlands-based organization specializing in the breeding of jumpers, dressage horses, harness horses, and Gelder horses.

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