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Help Understanding WB Predicates--Ster, etc.

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  • Help Understanding WB Predicates--Ster, etc.

    I've read brief descriptions of the various predicates on the KWPN website, but am interested to learn more since I'm looking at a Ster mare, who has also earned IBOP and PROK designations.

    My elementary understanding is only that ster mares are judged to have better than average conformation. The IBOP predicate is given when a mare scores high enough in a test of jumping or dressage. PROK, on the other hand, is more or less a certificate of health involving radiographs. Can anyone help me with more detail, particularly in knowing whether these predicates are as predictive of quality as they appear? Put another way, is the earning of these predicates a pretty big deal or not?

  • #2
    Yes, it's a big deal. In addition to the individual mare's accolades, breeding horses with predicates earns points for the breeder toward their merit status.


    • #3
      I see it as a mark of quality. You are basically getting another independent assessment (beyond that of your coach or trainer) supporting the probability that your horse will do what you want it to do. Genetically and functionally, all the pieces support the horse developing in that career.

      Improper training (not enough or too much), can all ruin this quickly. It’s a good thing my horses don’t have career aspirations or I would have been fired as their human a long time ago!


      • #4
        The Ster and Keur predicates are given based on conformation and movement. The horse must be above average in both. The Ster predicate is for horses whose quality puts them in the top 30% of horses evaluated by the jury. The Keur predicate is for horses judged to be in the top 10% of the studbook for conformation and movement.

        One of the things that I learned when I first went to the Netherlands to shop for a young horse is that breeders look at a horse's pedigree and count the number of horses in the pedigree that obtained predicates. A good horse is going to have a high number of predecessors in the pedigree that have predicates. I don't know if it's impossible but I was told that a colt would not be a stallion candidate out of a mare with no predicate, no matter how good the individual looked.

        As a breeder, I have made sure that my horses are inspected and that they are given the opportunity to earn their predicates. It's the best guarantee of quality that I can offer a purchaser.

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        • Original Poster

          Thank you for these clarifications. It was my understanding, based on comments on this forum, that in Europe ster mares were generally kept back for breeding, and yet here she is--after having one foal. I am looking at the horse in front of me, and trying her as my personal mount, not as a broodmare, but I'm feeling pretty lucky. I never expected that a mare of this quality would be available.


          • #6
            The saying is, "breed the best and ride the rest." When my mare earned the Keur predicate, I knew that I should direct her toward a breeding career. She has consistently produced Premium offspring who are now earning predicates. She has for this reason now earned the Preferent predicate, a more rare honor. In the Netherlands, this predicate is highly valued, in North America, less so but breeding stock tend to be less valued here over all.
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