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  1. #1
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    Jun. 11, 2007
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    Default Are We Licensing the Wrong Stallions? The Debate in Germany

    Hi All,
    I attended the debate and discussion held last week at the Oldenburg Horse Center in Vechta, Germany, and it was very interesting. The subject of the debate was the subject question posed by the Breeding Director of the Oldenburg Verband, Dr. Wolfgang Schulze-Schleppinghoff as he presented his new system for licensing sport horse stallions.

    There were approximately 300 people in attendance including a discussion panel made up of the following: the Breeding Director of the Holsteiner Verband, Dr. Thomas Nissan; the Breeding Director of the Trakehner Verband, Lars Gehrmann; the Breeding Director of the Hanoverian Verband, Dr. Ludwig Christmann; and the Manager of PST Paul Schockemoehle Marketing, Klaus Roeser. The Auction Director of the Oldenburg Verband, Uwe Heckmann, moderated the evening.

    The summary of the discussion is now up on the OHBS website: http://www.oldenburghorse.com/Oldenburg-News.html, and an extensive article on the evening will appear in an upcoming issue of "The Oldenburg Horse and Weser-Ems Ponies" sent out to OHBS members.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 5, 2000
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    Default

    Very cool, Stephanie! Thanks so much! I'm off to read about it....



  3. #3
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    Sep. 17, 2007
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    Cloverdale, Ca.
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    Thank you Stephanie, That is very interesting.
    Chris Misita
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  4. #4
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    Dec. 2, 2008
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    Ont, Can
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    Very exciting; open transparent discussion to promote continual breed advancement and support the wellbeing of our future stallions sounds pretty good to me! Looking forward to the complete article.



  5. #5
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    Apr. 23, 1999
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    Rosehill, TX
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    article read less like 'licensing wrong stallions' than 'licensing stallions wrong'
    Nothing says "I love you" like a tractor. (Clydejumper)

    The reports states, “Elizabeth reported that she accidently put down this pony, ........, at the show.”



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 27, 2006
    Location
    Bethel PA
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    i have a view on the proposal described in the article around german verband stallions approvals. the premise of one aspect of the proposal is the strain and intensity put upon the young animals in order to be prepared for approval in the november of their second year, and then breeding early in their third year (before fully three years old). i agree there is a strain here, but one that can be mitigated in conjunction with early approval, but only where there is a developed and sensitive degree of horsemanship present. the article describes the pressure put on the young stallions who are not allowed full turnout through their second summer while they are being prepared for their attempt at approval.

    i have recently gone through such a process with our young stallion (3yo this year). i noted the burden it put on him.... he didn't misbehave nor lose weight or have any 'issues'.... he just didn't look happy. he lived that isolated life of the young stallion in early training and who is breeding a few mares. he had top care in the barn and individual daily turnout. ultimately i decided to take a chance and turn him out with a quiet gelding. now, i realise this is not revolutionary, but it speaks to both the situation referred to in the above linked article, as well as perhaps a benefit that we in the USA are not under the gun quite so much to approve 2 and 3yo's as they are in germany.

    after an 'adjustment period' of the first day, the difference in canterbury was quite pronounced. he was much more relaxed when being handled by the staff; he behaved very well at breeding time, and, most especially, his ridden work could not have been more to please the rider (me).

    and so, having got through his first year of mares, and responded so well under saddle, i took him to his first show this past weekend. the plan was to lunge him a little when we got there, but a flat tire saw to it there wasn't time for that. so i jumped right on him at the trailer and headed to the collecting ring. apart from a little passage and the odd nicker at the prettier girls, he was all business, and found his way around some little hunter-land jumps (yes, over-jumping enthusiastically!) and came home. then this week has been his first trail rides off the farm (i like that in the youngster's programs) both riding with mares as well as alongside fields full of mares. again, not an issue... just a perfect gentleman looking to please.

    i share all that to try to relate to the proposal being offered, and the point that there is an awful lot of pressure on a 2yo stallion who is being asked to both get ready for approvals and breeding, as well as starting his work under saddle. males are fickle things (i'm allowed to say that ) and it isn't hard to fall the wrong side of the narrow path with a stallion. too soft and you have a dangerous lack of discipline; too firm and you can sour their willingness to work with you.

    change within the german horse culture comes very slowly, and so i feel the variables that exist for stallions here compared to there stand the USA stallions and their owners in good stead. in certain ways we are already able to offer some of the benefits which the proposal is trying to bring about over there, not least because many of our studbooks are happy to look at much older stallions in considering them for approval for breeding.

    nick
    www.hiddenpearlfarm.com



  7. #7
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    Sep. 20, 2002
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    Hannover, Germany
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    I have not yet read what was the conclusion of the discussion, but this is what I thought when I first read about those ideas:
    the stallions will be treated the very same way as the intention to license them under saddle at age three is the same sort of pressure (if not more) than licensing them at age 2,5 and have the stallion shows already in early spring. I think the idea of such is not getting us anywhere - because the expectations of the stallions is them same. they need to do well under saddle in spring of their 3yo life ! I would even go as far as throwing into the discussion that even more stallions in that scenario are under pressure at a young age. Today they are working them in summer when they are 2yo. Than there is the preselection and licensing in ocotber. As soon as preselection is over and they are not selected, I would guess they are lightly started under saddle as they are already in work and after very few weeks under saddle they get a break, are castrated and started again in spring 3yo. new scenario. All the one that go to preselection and licensing need to be under saddle at 3yo. So there are all the 700 stallions that are today entered in preselection for the H Verband will be started under saddle and in work. After they are turned down in spring 3yo I would say the break they get is very short and than again under saddle as they need to be sold as 3yos....

    I believe: only if they put something like a maximum of x mares over all registries at the age of 3 and another limit at the age of 4. Licensing at age of three - yes, but only in hand and no test at age of 3 ! and test at age 4 will help us. But this will not go too well with the commercial aspect.
    I am not responsible for spelling misstacks - just my PC
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  8. #8
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    Oct. 21, 2003
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    8,701

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    Quote Originally Posted by alexandra View Post
    I have not yet read what was the conclusion of the discussion, but this is what I thought when I first read about those ideas:
    the stallions will be treated the very same way as the intention to license them under saddle at age three is the same sort of pressure (if not more) than licensing them at age 2,5 and have the stallion shows already in early spring. I think the idea of such is not getting us anywhere - because the expectations of the stallions is them same. they need to do well under saddle in spring of their 3yo life ! I would even go as far as throwing into the discussion that even more stallions in that scenario are under pressure at a young age. Today they are working them in summer when they are 2yo. Than there is the preselection and licensing in ocotber. As soon as preselection is over and they are not selected, I would guess they are lightly started under saddle as they are already in work and after very few weeks under saddle they get a break, are castrated and started again in spring 3yo. new scenario. All the one that go to preselection and licensing need to be under saddle at 3yo. So there are all the 700 stallions that are today entered in preselection for the H Verband will be started under saddle and in work. After they are turned down in spring 3yo I would say the break they get is very short and than again under saddle as they need to be sold as 3yos....

    I believe: only if they put something like a maximum of x mares over all registries at the age of 3 and another limit at the age of 4. Licensing at age of three - yes, but only in hand and no test at age of 3 ! and test at age 4 will help us. But this will not go too well with the commercial aspect.
    And so many people wonder why we see a huge number of horses with neck, back and neurological problems. The same thing is happening with all the riding horses, too much too soon.

    I agree, it all needs to be pushed out a year, not a couple months.



  9. #9
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    Jan. 2, 2006
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    Thanks for the link - I've been following discussion on a German BB, but google translation isn't exactly crystal clear, so this has helped me a great deal



  10. #10
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    Jul. 27, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexandra View Post

    I believe: only if they put something like a maximum of x mares over all registries at the age of 3 and another limit at the age of 4. Licensing at age of three - yes, but only in hand and no test at age of 3 ! and test at age 4 will help us. But this will not go too well with the commercial aspect.
    That was my first thought too.
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  11. #11
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    Oct. 22, 2008
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    Excuse my simplistic view that doesn't take into consideration the economical side of the equation.
    I address the Jumpers (again I don't know about dressage or eventing)
    More than 90% of the top stallions today are top performers, I don't think that this can be questioned.
    Then why not take the time to prepare the young stallions candidates for the sport and decide to only approve them at age 6 or even later? When they are at least performing under saddle, on a real course, in the arena.
    The number of stallions approved at 3y/o and being worthless in the breeding shed are the very large majority, they have hundreds of sons and daughters with no value for breeding and no value for sport.
    The system as it is in all SB's today are designed to please the breeders by putting them under the sun-lights, patting them and allowing them extra income (for the one's with approved stallions)
    But traditions are difficult to change and I'm sure that we will continue to see the disconnect between breeding for breeding and breeding for the best sport horses.
    The best producers are always recognized, it's not the problem, the problem is those inferior animals that are allowed to breed hundreds of mares before everybody discover that they are detrimental to the breed.
    Am I forgetting something important? Please comment.
    "If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster, And treat those two imposters just the same"
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun. 11, 2007
    Posts
    306

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    There were many interesting ideas put forward during the discussions. One of them was to move the current type of main licensing where the stallions are presented at liberty and in-hand to April, and then require them to do their 30 day test in the fall in order to be licensed for breeding as a 4 year old. It was also suggested that another one day test after the 30 day test could be done to review all of the information and formalize the licensing.

    However, the one thing everyone agreed upon that evening is that the pressures of the market have grown unbelievably over the past couple of decades, so there is no doubt that this plays a role. It was also suggested that letting the stallions breed as 3 year olds is helpful for breeders to have an idea of what the foals are like when considering breeding to them as 4 year olds. Dr. Schleppinghoff essentially agreed with this saying that breeding them as 3 year olds in general is not a bad thing, but he would like to see it happen in later in the spring and in doses rather than in a flood of breeding which can sometimes happen.

    It was a very interesting evening, and I feel like I could write a book about it!



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun. 11, 2007
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    306

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    Quote Originally Posted by alexandra View Post
    I have not yet read what was the conclusion of the discussion, but this is what I thought when I first read about those ideas:
    the stallions will be treated the very same way as the intention to license them under saddle at age three is the same sort of pressure (if not more) than licensing them at age 2,5 and have the stallion shows already in early spring. I think the idea of such is not getting us anywhere - because the expectations of the stallions is them same. they need to do well under saddle in spring of their 3yo life ! I would even go as far as throwing into the discussion that even more stallions in that scenario are under pressure at a young age. Today they are working them in summer when they are 2yo. Than there is the preselection and licensing in ocotber. As soon as preselection is over and they are not selected, I would guess they are lightly started under saddle as they are already in work and after very few weeks under saddle they get a break, are castrated and started again in spring 3yo. new scenario. All the one that go to preselection and licensing need to be under saddle at 3yo. So there are all the 700 stallions that are today entered in preselection for the H Verband will be started under saddle and in work. After they are turned down in spring 3yo I would say the break they get is very short and than again under saddle as they need to be sold as 3yos....

    I believe: only if they put something like a maximum of x mares over all registries at the age of 3 and another limit at the age of 4. Licensing at age of three - yes, but only in hand and no test at age of 3 ! and test at age 4 will help us. But this will not go too well with the commercial aspect.
    Hi Alexandra, was that you at the discussion who spoke? There was a woman who introduced herself as Alexandra...but I missed the last name. Your comments about the pressures of presenting the stallions under saddle are included in the report, and I'll elaborate on this discussion more in the full article. I agree that a quota might be a good idea, but I wonder how it could be enforced without a huge bureaucracy and problems being created.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug. 28, 2006
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    10,989

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    Quote Originally Posted by andy.smaga View Post
    Excuse my simplistic view that doesn't take into consideration the economical side of the equation.
    I address the Jumpers (again I don't know about dressage or eventing)
    More than 90% of the top stallions today are top performers, I don't think that this can be questioned.
    Then why not take the time to prepare the young stallions candidates for the sport and decide to only approve them at age 6 or even later? When they are at least performing under saddle, on a real course, in the arena.
    The number of stallions approved at 3y/o and being worthless in the breeding shed are the very large majority, they have hundreds of sons and daughters with no value for breeding and no value for sport.
    The system as it is in all SB's today are designed to please the breeders by putting them under the sun-lights, patting them and allowing them extra income (for the one's with approved stallions)
    But traditions are difficult to change and I'm sure that we will continue to see the disconnect between breeding for breeding and breeding for the best sport horses.
    The best producers are always recognized, it's not the problem, the problem is those inferior animals that are allowed to breed hundreds of mares before everybody discover that they are detrimental to the breed.
    Am I forgetting something important? Please comment.
    I agree andy sadly I think economics often trumps common sense and good horsemanship. Hannover has chosen the fast track.



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