Breeder Op de Hoek: ‘Which stallion to choose for my low-kinship mare Heike?’

De hoogdrachtige Heike Y (Fabe 348) verwacht begin augustus een veulen. (Foto: Johanna Faber)

July 18, 2021
The heavily-in-foal Heike Y (Fabe 348) is expecting her foal in early August. (Photo: Johanna Faber)

Heike Y. Star is a mare with an unusual lineage and that makes her interesting for breeding. The 11-year-old Heike is a Fabe 348 daughter out of the Star Preferent Yfke Dymphie (Karst 362), which means she has a kinship percentage of just 15.8. Owner Jacob op de Hoek asks the Phryso breeding advisory panel, which consists of the experienced breeders Jelly Veltman, Willem Lokhorst and Obe Mous, for advice.

Low kinship

Heike is in foal by Waander 512, the foal is due in early August. Willem reckons Waander 512 was not a bad choice: ‘This is a stallion with a classy build and noble head, which is what this mare needs. After having looked at the photos and checked the information about dam line and inspection results, I come to the conclusion that this mare needs a bit more elegance, a slightly longer foreleg, more breeding type and a finer head. Obviously, in terms of bloodlines nearly every stallion fits because this mare’s inbreeding and kinship are very low.’ Jelly too comes to the conclusion that nearly every stallion is a good match for the 1.62m Heike, also because the mare is free of the dwarfism and hydrocephaly genes: ‘Even with high-kinship stallions the kinship percentage remains below average. The only thing the owner seeks to improve is more class. That is of course a bit of a difficult concept. It is more about the overall picture, the horse’s presence and appearance. For that you need the Tsjerk 328- and Jochem 259 blood.’ Obe Mous thinks it’s better for Op de Hoek to skip a year because the mare is having such a late foal: ‘And then make an early start with the inseminations next year.’

Bloodlines

Jelly too considers Waander 512 an excellent choice: ‘That is a stallion who radiates elegance, breeding type and lightness. If this turns out to be an attractive foal then why not use Waander 512 again. Personally, I would also consider Waander 512’s sire Loadewyk 431. With both stallions the foal will have a low-kinship percentage of 16.6, but by using Loadewyk 431 the foal will also be free of the influential Beart 411. What’s more, this is a very racial and well-built stallion and right now he is still available.’

Deliberations

Jelly agrees with Willem Lokhorst: ‘Letting go of the unusual bloodline and purely focusing on Heike Y’s photos, then the way forward would be to improve the mare in terms of frame, rectangular model, more length in the foreleg, breeding type and class.’ With that approach Jelly and Willem arrive at the same stallions: Epke 474 and Jehannes 484. ‘Epke 474 is a stallion with lots of breed expression and a long foreleg. His offspring have beautiful heads. This stallion can quickly improve model and breeding type and has correct conformation,’ Willem states. Jelly adds: ‘Unfortunately this match does not consolidate Heike Y’s unusual bloodline because Epke 474 is a Beart son. In my opinion Jehannes 484 or his son Auwert 514 are also a good match to improve conformation and breeding type. That would be a different approach than focusing on the low-kinship aspect, but that is what makes breeding so many-sided.’

Reaction

In his reaction Jacob op de Hoek says: ’This makes very interesting reading. I reckon Loadewyk 431 is definitely worth considering, and as Jelly points out: now he’s still around. We’ll wait and see what the Waander 512 foal will be like. First thing now is hoping for a healthy foal.’

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