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The Continental Studbook and its Color Requirements

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  • The Continental Studbook and its Color Requirements

    I was just perusing the Continental Studbook's Official Breeding rules and took interest in this:


    (e) She must be one of the ACCEPTABLE colors of bay, black, brown, chestnut or gray.
    (f) Body markings or patterns are acceptable when composed of solid colors originating from
    warmblood sources (e.g., Furioso or Samber). Please note that the American Paint Horse is a
    non-eligible bloodline.

    Why does this Studbook that "solves many of the significant problems faced by domestic breeders today, and is the right Studbook for North American breeders at the right economic time", that is a "mare-centric Studbook, that recognizes and promotes outstanding quality, lineage and producing ability from many origins", exclude colored horses of known bloodlines and breeding, that are found in nearly all recognized WBFSH Warmblood registries and in Jockey Club Thoroughbreds which are duly and gratefully the sole gene base for this new registry? Glitter Please, Guaranteed Gold, Zillionaire, Alino Queen, Bernstein, Byalee Briar, not to mention Aurum's lovely animals, all would surely qualify on every other requirement, but would they not be found eligible based solely on color? Dun To A, because he is a Buckskin? Byalee Briar because he is a Palomino? Mascarpone because he was Cremello? I thought that was one of the things they were trying to avoid, the "old" and "outdated" breeding traditions of localized registries that too narrowly restrict the needs of American breeders for modern, able sport horses, with strong branding, apt marketing and sport applicability?

    If this studbook was intended to address the needs and unique environment that is the "American Breeding Enterprise" with our modern and relevant understanding of color and its genetic makeup, as well as the valuable genetic material that is found in these horses, AND their performance histories then would it not behoove the registry to focus on their laudable performance and pedigree requirements and ambitions and not attempt to achieve credibility based on a perceived stereotyping, related to simple paint jobs?

    You really had me right up until then. A talented horse is a talented horse regardless of color, and any horse benefits without the bureaucracy of old stereotypes to "color" a breeder's judgment, pun intended
    Last edited by ZenHorse; Aug. 27, 2009, 06:31 PM. Reason: sic

  • #2
    That "no dilute" clause is a very strange, petty, and archaic sounding rule.

    I certainly won't let my "icky" APHA mare Bella know how undesireable her pedigree and color is either. (She's a silver dilute.) I'm sure she'd be heartbroken.


    I'm very familiar with Paint breed discrimination - that's quite typical and expected - but for some reason it strikes me as funny that they specifically stated NO PAINTS considering the fact that there are so many other "icky" American breeds that exhibit color patterns. Quarter Horses, American Pintos, Appaloosas, Saddlebreds etc. I think the person that wrote that rule must have had a bad experience with a Paint horse at some point. (Perhaps they had nightmares about Mr. Ed too?)

    It's reminiscent to me of some of the signs that were posted at public venues back in the days of segregation.
    Last edited by SilverSpringFarm; Aug. 27, 2009, 09:19 AM.
    Breeder of rare, high quality Silver Dapple Paints and Quarter Horses.


    • #3
      Also ignores the fact that some Paints are actually all (or mostly) Thoroughbred!
      www.MysticOakRanch.com Friesian/Warmblood Crosses, the Ultimate Sporthorse
      Director, WTF Registry


      • #4
        I dunno - The AHHA also does not allow dilutes or any pinto coloring even though they allow TBs and there are plenty of dilute and pinto TBs.
        The rebel in the grey shirt


        • Original Poster

          No, really...

          I understand limiting the the breeding population in terms of breed, especially when your intent and breeding goals are to provide a registry specifically for Warmblood and Thoroughbred sport horses of the utmost quality. This doesn't acknowledge the valid contributions of other non warmblood or thoroughbred blood I know, but when the ideal is to produce high quality sport horses out of WSHBF and JC bloodlines, not including unknowns or horses of other domestic breeds is understandable. Just as the APHA would not allow descendants from Samber to register in their books because of their own breeding goals to maintain an American Paint Horse based on the bloodstock sourced in the American west, Warmblood registries and the Jockey club have the prerogative to register from specific pools of pedigreed genetic material. That being said, there are certain APHA that are all thoroughbred, verifiable and pedigreed, and these should qualify through their DNA verification, as per CS guidelines.

          And I understand that some outstanding registries have color rules in place such as the AHHA, but their intent is to specialize and focus their breeding population on horses sourced from a specific region in Germany with minimally approved outside influence, with a very specified breeding and competition goal at which they are highly successful. This however is exactly why the CS has their supposed goals, which by attempting to source their breeding stock from all of the approved WSHBF and TB registries, and address the needs of the American breeder who are spread over a vast geographical area are interested in sourcing their breeding stock on the best blood available to suit their purposes, regardless of region.

          My beef is that WITHIN these very same bloodlines and breeds, other colors exist. And quite apparently are valued and appreciated by the breeding population. Just look at the advent and preponderance of the american colored sport horse market, let alone the rest of the world. They are wanted, and don't deserve to have yet one more impediment to their further upward growth in quality and ability through denying access to the best blood out there, and a valid registry to promote, market and register them.

          The Dutch have roan seen through the lines of the approved stallion El Rosso. Sabino in the Oldenburg filly O' Wie Weiß, that just went through the Vechta elite sale (FlorencioXRelevantXCordeur), as well as the many contributions by Puchilingui and get. And Bernstein 761, the Swedish stallion, who remains in third on the ASVH BLUP index in terms of performance and production of top Warmblood athletes. He was the #2 ranked Swedish stallion overall behind his brother Amiral (who is allowed with CS) in 2003, and defined a generation of Swedish Horses, and yes he has done it all with a Buckskin coat. All of these horses and many many more, are approved and recognized through their respective registries, registries that are part and parcel for the basis of the Continental Studbook.

          Get real CS, sport horses bred specifically from your bloodlines and breeds come in these colors. And their color has no bearing on their ability to address your performance or even physical requirements, let alone your pedigree statutes.
          Last edited by ZenHorse; Aug. 27, 2009, 12:54 PM. Reason: sic


          • Original Poster


            Some of the people involved with the set up of the registry are former AHHA members. That would at least point to the source of the bias.

            But allowing Pintos but not Palominos? I would have thought that creams had the advantage for at least being "solid"


            • #7
              At minimum they should accept all Warmblood APPROVED stallions and mares of the WB books. Some of the above stallions are not approved for WB breeding, like Treliver Decanter who is approved as Sporthorse only due to a dam that has non documented or pony parentage or Byalee Briar who is not approved at all. Just being a dilute or colored stallion does not make a horse a good or quality horse. Also among the TBs they need to have WB approval to be accepted and a performance test or a certain GAG in racing.
              Exceptional colored German WBs, TBs and Arabians


              • Original Poster

                Duly noted and agreed Aurum.

                Although, by their own breeding guidelines, as long as the stallion fits the prerequisites physical characteristics, he need not be approved with a warmblood registry to be accepted, just to show a verifiable proficiency in sport or the ability to pass on the traits to do so. Byalee more than meets these criteria, especially since he would have had the opportunity to be approved if not for his geographical location and his owner's personal choices regarding his registration.

                That is why a GAG in racing, or even a basic race record is not accepted. But traceable sport pedigree and sport records in relation to the 4 specified disciplines are so important to them. I completely understand this as a means for attempting to establish a credible studbook that will be able to not only address the needs of its members but hold its own against the more established books. My difficulty lies with their ignorance in their understanding of color, color sources as well as their misunderstanding of Jockey Club attitudes towards color and registration.

                One of the founders mentioned in his replies to some questions regarding this topic in the original thread ( the thread that mysteriously died), this limitation on color is not based upon a given horses inability to compete in sport, but that the individuals who created the registry think that if the horse is colored, that it is more than likely an indication of unverifiable blood from unacceptable pedigrees and therefore unable to be registered, and that the requirement is necessary to screen out potentially unwanted animals. He also noted that this was done in the understanding that color exists in such a "negligent and miniscule" part of the sport horse population that it was unreasonable to make such a concession, because it MUST mean that there is a 9 in 10 likelihood presence of undocumented parentage. In addition that seeing as how the Jockey Club only "recognizes" (as if they cared about and screened for color ) black, bay, grey, chestnut, brown, white and palomino, and with palomino making up such a minority of the total JC registrations each year that it was reasonable to assume that it was unnecessary to pay it any further mind.

                As if warmbloods and thoroughbreds are genetically hard wired to only come in 5 colors and that palomino or buckskin may only be traced back to the presence of wild, stock or native blood tainting the family tree. As if the hot blood founding-fathers of the Thoroughbred breed couldn't carry the traits of gold and splash in their genes, let alone the valuable "native" horse populations responsible for the development of the Thoroughbred bred and the trotting/carriage/farm horses used to create the warmbloods we know and love today. All of which is historically documented.

                He conceedingly noted that if all other requirements are met and DNA can be fully verified as well as the horse's extended pedigree, then the individual horse may be granted an exemption, but only if they exhibit an exemplary record, unlike the seemingly lower requirements for "normal" colored horses and that the exemption will only apply to the given horse.

                Why make color an issue at all, especially when based on ignorance, preconceived ideas or established bias.

                As a performance based registry, make it about the best of the best, only.
                Last edited by ZenHorse; Aug. 27, 2009, 09:43 PM. Reason: sic


                • #9
                  Color Explained

                  The best place for an explanation of the color rule is the source, so we will take the opportunity to explain. First, please note that the bold emphasis on ACCEPTABLE was added by the original poster. It is not part of our rules. Also, it should be noted that piebold and skewbold patterning from Samber are eligible.

                  The Continental Studbook is designed specifically to be a domestic Warmblood and Thoroughbred registry composed from and compatible with the predominant WBFSH ranked breeds. It is designed in a way to develop the identity of the Continental Warmblood and the Continental Thoroughbred as horses that are bred with goals of national and international competition in dressage, eventing, show jumping and show hunters. The Continental Warmblood is defined as a horse of European Warmblood descent mixed with any amount of Thoroughbred.

                  Eligible bloodlines are defined to exactly match the WBFSH membership plus include TBs, and of course the CS did not define the registries of WBFSH. The APHA is not a WBFSH member; therefore, American Paint horses are not eligible.

                  The original intent of the color rule was to help identify the non-WBFSH bloodlines since some non-eligible colors are common or intentional for breeds such as the paint horse. Later it was pointed out that there are indeed color warmbloods. We did not ignore the issue. We have studied the issue more, and it was found that the color rule is still beneficial to the goal of creating an identity compatible with the Olympic sports and with the WBFSH (which is focused exclusively on the Olympic sports).

                  Let me explain an analysis:

                  In 2008, there were 4284 horses ranked by the WBFSH in the 3 sports of dressage, eventing and jumping. Of these, only 15 horses were listed as being any color other than bay, black, brown, chestnut, gray, piebold (Samber) or skewbold (Samber). Of these 15, there are 7 gray horses which are incorrectly listed as 4 roans, 2 strawberries and 1 Latvian registered Holsteiner appaloosa by Carano (no such thing). We have pictures to document these as grays.

                  So there are only 8 horses out of 4284 ranked by the WBFSH that fall outside of the color rule. This is just 0.19%, which signals that the color rule is justified (or even necessary) to develop the identity of the Continental Warmblood as a horse recognized by domestic and European spectators, registries, trainers, owners, riders and buyers to be bred for dressage, eventing and jumping.

                  We could stop the analysis at this point, but it can be reduced even further. Of the 8 horses, 6 are unknown pedigrees from Great Britain (4), Ireland (1) and Argentina (1). These are ineligible due to unknown pedigree. So if the entire WBFSH ranked horse population of 2008 applied for approval with the Continental Studbook, only 2 out of 4284 even have the possibility to be rejected specifically for their color. One of these appears to be a Belarus gelding.

                  So at the end of all this, there are a couple of simple concepts. (1) The Continental Studbook must be careful to guide the identity of the Continental Warmblood as a horse found from amateur levels to the highest levels of sport. (2) As a new registry, we must be more careful with the identity than others that are established.

                  We recognize the importance of color pursuits to some breeders, but unfortunately at this time color pursuits do not fit into the Continental Studbook design. We request that everyone understand that the Continental Studbook was not designed to register every single horse in North America, and that we are never pleased to turn away people. Fortunately, there are registries available for breeders of all horses, and our sports do not exclude horses based on registration.

                  Continental Studbook


                  • #10
                    Excuse me but the Hanoverians had their own stud with Herrenhausen and bred Cremellos there. Once the taste changed they stopped doing so but in some few Warmbloods you still find the Hanoverian diluted lines. The TBs do have diluted lines and we did have diluted TBs in Europe, not only in USA so a jumped the fence QH does not fit for us here! There is also ICO a Dutch line Pinto that is a WB and there are Tobianos and Sabinos from the Trakehner bloodlines, those cannot be denied either. There are frame Overo TBs and since Oldenburg and Trakehners are accepting my dilute and colored TBs once done their performance tests, how can a Continental Studbook deny this, those are two of the wellknown breed associations. And its funny how Hanover and Holstein deny the Pinto coloring as they have plenty of Sabino Pintos into their breed and the Holsteins had dilute horses and Hanoverian even had the above stud farm to breed double dilutes. If the taste changes and the heads of the associations are close minded, that does not mean these colors do not exist in WB breeding!
                    Exceptional colored German WBs, TBs and Arabians


                    • #11
                      No where does the Studbook say that these colors do not exist. We have also never used the words "negligent and miniscule", unwanted, exemplary or many other phrases that are being written in a way to imply that those are Studbook positions.

                      The data says that the other colors exist only in very small percentages in the ranked sport results. The data is very clear and overwhelming.

                      What has been said is that in order to establish a footing and identity in the international scheme of sport, the Studbook must closely correlate to the ranked WBFSH sport population.

                      Both positions are correct. The issue is that they are different.


                      • #12
                        No where does the Studbook say that these colors do not exist. We have also never used the words "negligent and miniscule", unwanted, exemplary or many other phrases that are being written in a way to imply that those are Studbook positions.

                        The data says that the other colors exist only in very small percentages in the ranked sport results. The data is very clear and overwhelming.

                        What has been said is that in order to establish a footing and identity in the international scheme of sport, the Studbook must closely correlate to the ranked WBFSH sport population.

                        Both positions are correct. The issue is that they are different.


                        • Original Poster

                          If the numbers are so negligible, and the potential impact on your breeding goals so miniscule, then why go to the trouble of excluding them in the first place?

                          Why not give them the opportunity to prove that the very same performance requirements can be applied to all sport horses of warmblood and thoroughbred decent. If Oldenburg, Trakehner, Danish, Swedish and KWPN, all part of that ranked WBFSH "international" sport population that you mention (although I thought this registry was about US), can see the advantage of accepting these animals and breeding them based on their ability to perform, and contribute to their breeding populations, shouldn't the CS do the same? Why should those purported few-if-any sport horse breeders attempting to produce the best offspring they can, that just happen to have color in their pedigreed animals and find it a perk for breeding, (just like the new rage for black warmbloods) be excluded from the same benefits and innovative structure that other sport breeders would seek out your studbook for? And it absolutely doesn't mean that you are willing to accept EVERY HORSE IN NORTH AMERICA, as if that was even intimated, or even that you should!! I 1000% agree, no QH, APHA, ApHC, ASHA, AMHA, NASDA etc... But if a horse fulfills all your OTHER intrinsic and measurable requirements including pedigree, (all of which I find laudable, well thought and ACTUALLY important), consistently produces sport offspring and competes highly themselves, why should they be eliminated from your population based on the color of their hair!

                          "What has been said is that in order to establish a footing and identity in the international scheme of sport, the Studbook must closely correlate to the ranked WBFSH sport population." If you are looking at WBFSH ranked sport population specify bloodlines, not registries. The WBFSH references both, and the nature of the analysis for the data from both can be differently applicable.

                          Seems like the new kid on the block going to the Nth degree to be like the others so that everybody else will like them and think that they deserve to be there. Allow our horses ability and bloodlines to speak for themselves. The proof is in the pudding, not the sprinkles on top.


                          • #14
                            What's the point!? There are many studbooks that will accept your horse, no matter what colour or because of his colour. This is just their rule. Accept it or not.

                            The Hannoverian studbook does not accept tobiano and nobody is complaining about them.