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  1. #1

    Default Ethics of registry insider inspections?

    Regular poster using an alter.

    I was hoping to get a discussion going regarding the ethics of having someone employed by a registry, (or someone heavily involved in a registry) as an official judge at foal and studbook inspections? I could honestly argue for either side, but was wondering what others on COTH think?

    I can see that only those close and dear to a registry can truly understand which qualities in horses they want to breed for and improve, and reward high scores, premiums, and "elite" status for. But I also see a huge potential for political sway and favoritism for certain breeders who may be financially vested in a registry, or friendly with the inspector on a personal basis.

    I can honestly say I've seen what I believe to be favoritism in registries before. But I've also seen incredibly honest and partial judging before as well.

    Would using third party inspectors (perhaps USDF DSHB judges) keep registries more honest and partial? Or is this a bad idea?

    Whay say you, COTH?



  2. #2
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    Some comments -

    1 - All the registries in Europe use their own employees as inspectors (although some add a guest judge from another registry to the judging panel for MPTs). I doubt you could get the NA based registries to consider doing it any other way than how the mother registry does it.

    2 - Each registry has its own goals and vision, and it would not be in the registry's best interests to bring in "outsiders" to inspect their breeding stock.

    3 - Most DSHB judges have a connection to a particular registry or registries (i.e., they were breeders themselves). Some of them tend to have a bias toward that registry. And some of them play favorites with certain breeders, esp. if it is a breeder they see a lot at breed shows. IOW, if a breeder always stacks the shows where a certain judge is working, that judge is going to tend to want to "reward" the breeder.

    In short, I doubt there is much to be gained by using 3rd party inspectors.


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  3. #3
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    AT all of the inspections I've been too, including Hannoverian, RPSI, GOV, and Oldenburg ISR, the inspectors were more knowledgeable about structure and movement in a foal than any judge at any show I've ever attended. And their knowledge about bloodlines and what crosses best with what is irreplaceable. Every time I've presented a mare, the inspectors have told me off the top of their head how her parents, grandparents, and great-great grandparents have performed and produced in Europe. No way would I want to trade the information I've gotten from inspectors for a 3rd party inspector, especially a horse show judge. That's the point of using the registries!


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    Politics exist everywhere, in everything. You can make a bigger problem trying to fix something that occurs naturally.


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  5. #5
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    I don't have a problem with someone doing inspections that is heavily involved in the registry. I do think, however, that people involved in the inspection should not have a conflict of interest or should at least be upfront about that before the inspection. As long as there is not a conflict of interest, I'm fine with it.
    Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Goethe



  6. #6
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    If the person is an official judge for the registry I have no issue at all as that is SOP. Now if the person just works for the registry in some capacity and has no background/creds to be a judge, yeah I have a problem.
    "Sometimes you just have to shut up and color."


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  7. #7
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    I can see that only those close and dear to a registry can truly understand which qualities in horses they want to breed for and improve, and reward high scores, premiums, and "elite" status for.
    This. I don't have a problem with it for exactly this reason.

    If I wanted outside feedback I could go to DSHB or FEH, but if I want to hear exactly what my registry is looking for I'd rather hear it straight from the registry's inspector.


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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by altophobia View Post
    Regular poster using an alter.


    I can honestly say I've seen what I believe to be favoritism in registries before. But I've also seen incredibly honest and partial judging before as well.



    Whay say you, COTH?
    I've seen favoritism at an inspection and certainly noticed that the host farm did quite well, and were allowed a great deal of leeway in getting the best showing out of their mares and babies. It certainly makes me think that in the future I would pay someone with breed connections to present the foal for me.


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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crossroads Farm View Post
    AT all of the inspections I've been too, including Hannoverian, RPSI, GOV, and Oldenburg ISR, the inspectors were more knowledgeable about structure and movement in a foal than any judge at any show I've ever attended. And their knowledge about bloodlines and what crosses best with what is irreplaceable. Every time I've presented a mare, the inspectors have told me off the top of their head how her parents, grandparents, and great-great grandparents have performed and produced in Europe. No way would I want to trade the information I've gotten from inspectors for a 3rd party inspector, especially a horse show judge. That's the point of using the registries!
    Just thinking out loud here -- Does anyone think that, perhaps judges with European based registries are trusted more than judges with American based registries? -- Because they have seen generations of what is produced by given bloodlines? Could this be one of the reasons why it seems most of the strictly North American based registries never seem to get the same respect as the European based registries?

    Also, if the opinions of recognized USDF judges are worth less than those of the registry insider judges, then why do we bother with DSHB shows?



  10. #10
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    I would NOT want DSHB judges as inspectors. It's bad enough at the shows where the range of scores is huge. Many of these DSHB judges never see the high number of foals/mares/stallions that the breed registry inspectors see and that makes a huge difference to me. In fact we just don't bother with the Breed Shows except for Materiale classes.
    Summit Sporthorses Ltd. Inc.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ise@ssl View Post
    I would NOT want DSHB judges as inspectors. It's bad enough at the shows where the range of scores is huge. Many of these DSHB judges never see the high number of foals/mares/stallions that the breed registry inspectors see and that makes a huge difference to me. In fact we just don't bother with the Breed Shows except for Materiale classes.
    I'm not arguing one way or another. But I have heard of certain judges within a registry being "tougher" than others. Meaning you'll likely get a lower score from "Jessica" than you would if it had been "Jack" inspecting at your particular location that year. I'm sure that DSHB judges have a "range" among themselves as well.

    And quoting DownYonder:

    3 - Most DSHB judges have a connection to a particular registry or registries (i.e., they were breeders themselves). Some of them tend to have a bias toward that registry. And some of them play favorites with certain breeders, esp. if it is a breeder they see a lot at breed shows. IOW, if a breeder always stacks the shows where a certain judge is working, that judge is going to tend to want to "reward" the breeder.


    This statement would lean toward the opinion that many DSHB judges HAVE, indeed seen many, many mares and foals having been breeders themselves.

    Regarding the above quote, I'm not sure how one could be assured that registry insiders would not be prone to the very same biases as is assumed the DSHB judges may have though -- playing favorites with certain breeders.



  12. #12
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    I think the reality is we are involved in a sport that is so small there will always be overlap of people with some "connections" in some way or another that politics would be impossible to prevent. I do believe that there is small favoritism to more well known breeders, more well known pedigrees, farms that host inspections, etc. However, I don't think that it is so overt that there is not general fairness. A small breeder that presents a fantastic foal will get a fair assessment and proper accolades. A larger well known breeder might get a little more leeway for an average foal.

    I am by no means well versed like some other breeders that frequent this forum, but I have spent a fair amount of time both here and abroad at Hanoverian inspections, breed/ mare shows, stallion presentations, etc and feel that the inspectors want to be positive, want to be encouraging to ALL the breeders, want to be fair and want to be recognized for being fair.

    Of course there will always be folks upset who feel that they were short changed and not given a fair shake. I was at a mare show in Germany last summer where a man presented a really nice mare that was given a 1-a prize but did not place in the top three of the final walk ring. The man went NUTS! I couldn't understand everything he was saying (or more appropriately yelling) as my German is poor, but he took the 1-a plaque and threw it at the inspectors along with some paperwork during his screaming rant. We all sat there stunned!! If we were in the US i would have been worried about him coming back on shooting spree The inspectors just tried to explain their position calmly and after the man left the show just continued.
    Read about my time at the Hannoveraner Verband Breeders Courses:
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by altophobia View Post
    Also, if the opinions of recognized USDF judges are worth less than those of the registry insider judges, then why do we bother with DSHB shows?
    I don't know about DSHB shows, but the judging at many hunter breeding shows is...laughable, and often political. I often see good toplines and pretty heads rewarded over actual athleticism and correct legs. Not always, mind you- there are certainly good judges too. But many of the hunter breeding judges don't have anywhere near the experience and knowledge in a youngsters conformation, movement, and bloodlines that the registries do. That being said, we show young horses for different reasons than we take them to inspections for. They need the show ring and environment exposure, it helps to market them and your breeding program, it gives them a work ethic that serves them well as performance horses down the road, it gives owners something to do with their youngsters until they can actually be ridden, it's a way to give a horse that can't be ridden yet some credentials, the list goes on. Bottom line- showing and registry inspections are both valuable to a young horse's upbringing. One shouldn't replace the other.


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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crossroads Farm View Post
    But many of the hunter breeding judges don't have anywhere near the experience and knowledge in a youngsters conformation, movement, and bloodlines that the registries do.
    Which leads to the question.... What are the credentials of the various registry judges? Do the registries have training programs of some kind? I'm sure each of the registries has different requirements, but does anyone know, for example, what the credentials of the judges are for say, the KWPN, GOV, and the Hanoverian Verband, and Trakehner Verband? Do the American branches of the European registries use the same judges as the mother registries? What about some of the smaller, American based registries? What are their credentials? I believe the DSHB judges do have to go through training and qualify. No idea about Hunter Breeding.



  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by altophobia View Post
    And quoting DownYonder:

    And quoting DownYonder:

    3 - Most DSHB judges have a connection to a particular registry or registries (i.e., they were breeders themselves). Some of them tend to have a bias toward that registry. And some of them play favorites with certain breeders, esp. if it is a breeder they see a lot at breed shows. IOW, if a breeder always stacks the shows where a certain judge is working, that judge is going to tend to want to "reward" the breeder.


    This statement would lean toward the opinion that many DSHB judges HAVE, indeed seen many, many mares and foals having been breeders themselves.

    Regarding the above quote, I'm not sure how one could be assured that registry insiders would not be prone to the very same biases as is assumed the DSHB judges may have though -- playing favorites with certain breeders.
    There is no comparison between the number of mares/foals a breeder sees, versus the number a registry inspector sees. Breeders see their own - probably no more than a handful a year - and maybe those of other breeders at inspections, shows, etc. In a given year, a breeder might be around anywhere from 2-3 mares/foals to a few dozen.

    Registry inspectors, on the other hand, typically see MANY more in a given year - some even see numbers approaching or exceeding 100. This is especially true for inspectors for the larger registries.


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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by altophobia View Post
    Which leads to the question.... What are the credentials of the various registry judges? Do the registries have training programs of some kind? I'm sure each of the registries has different requirements, but does anyone know, for example, what the credentials of the judges are for say, the KWPN, GOV, and the Hanoverian Verband, and Trakehner Verband? Do the American branches of the European registries use the same judges as the mother registries? What about some of the smaller, American based registries? What are their credentials? I believe the DSHB judges do have to go through training and qualify. No idea about Hunter Breeding.
    I am not sure what the DSHB "training" consists of, but an acquaintance went through it and basically rolled his eyes when I asked him about it. He felt they hadn't taught him anything he didn't already know (except "the rules"), and when judging, he would rely instead on his long-standing experience as a breeder, inspector, rider and trainer of UL horses in several disciplines.

    As for inspector credentials, I am not sure about other registries, but OHBS/GOV inspectors are approved by the Verband Breeding Director. They tend to either be long-standing breeders with a proven track record for producing premium foals, premium mares, licensed stallions, and successful sport horses, or they are direct employees of the Verband office in Germany, and apprentice for several years at mare/foal inspections before being named as an official inspector. In general, they must demonstrate they have the knowledge and "eye" necessary for the job. And will also add that most of the OHBS/GOV inspectors typically DO see literally hundreds of mares & foals every year. I doubt there are any DSHB judges who can come close to matching that.



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    The KWPN-NA has a training program for judges and that includes a trip to the Netherlands where you get some more training and exposure. It takes a couple of years before you can call yourself a "real" judge and participate in the inspections here. So yes, our judges are much better trained than your average breed show judge, and don't even get me started on hunter "judging"....
    Siegi Belz
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  18. #18
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    Several years ago when the World Breeding Federation for Sporthorses held their General Assembly the same week as Devon at a nearby hotel it was interesting to hear their comments about the Sporthorse Breed Show at DAD. Now remember these are people from many different countries. The did feel the Mare and Stallion classes made sense, as did the Materiale and under saddle classes. They all said they did NOT understand why we have classes for foals/yearlings, 2 or 3 yo's in hand. They said it didn't make any sense as they were still growing. We stopped taking youngsters to DSHBshows several years ago. We found it was costly, judging varied way too much, stressful on the youngsters and there were NEVER any people there looking to buy. So we will do the Materiale classes occasionally but save our money and spend it on training the young horses under saddle as that is what people are buying.
    Summit Sporthorses Ltd. Inc.
    "Breeding Competition Partners & Lifelong Friends"


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    Quote Originally Posted by ise@ssl View Post
    They all said they did NOT understand why we have classes for foals/yearlings, 2 or 3 yo's in hand. They said it didn't make any sense as they were still growing.
    But don't most registries choose stallions for licensing and approval when they're long 2 year olds? And mares for studbook as 3 year olds? Personally, I think judging mares at 3 is fine. I do think some are choosing stallions prematurely though.
    www.sauconycreeksporthorses.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by whitney159 View Post
    I've seen favoritism at an inspection and certainly noticed that the host farm did quite well, and were allowed a great deal of leeway in getting the best showing out of their mares and babies. It certainly makes me think that in the future I would pay someone with breed connections to present the foal for me.
    This...



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