Aptitude Test: description of sport aptitude and valuable for breeding


April 1, 2021

‘The aptitude to perform in the sport.’ This passage from the breeding goal of the Friesian horse was the focal point at the tenth KFPS College Tour on Thursday evening the 1st of April. Wytske Schuth, KFPS Manager Inspections and Education: ‘How can a horse’s aptitude for the sport be tested?’

Information for owners and breeding values

The aptitude tests ABFP and IBOP provide a good insight into sport aptitude, Schuth declared. ‘For foal inspections and Studbook acceptance the horses are shown in-hand, so during non-weightbearing movement. But that leaves a blank with regard to weightbearing movement, so when under saddle and in front of the carriage. The aptitude tests are good indicators of their talent for the sport.’ That makes the information from the aptitude tests of value for the horse’s owner. In order to get a good, unbiased understanding of a horse’s aptitude, to upgrade a preliminary predicate (Star, Crown and Model) to permanent status and to be able to make better stallion choices. And the information from the aptitude tests also carries weight for progeny testing and therefore, breeding value estimates. ‘Stallions whose offspring do well in aptitude tests also have a larger percentage of offspring with the Sport predicate.’

Aptitude tests versus sport performances

Another source of information regarding sport aptitude are the performances of Sport and Sport Elite horses, Schuth pointed out: ‘Those horses are however, already a bit older when they achieve this performance. By then the rider factor has a stronger influence and durability and character also play a role. The aptitude tests provide objective information at a younger age, which is an advantage for breeding. The longer the horse is under training the more significant the effect of the rider will be. Moreover, the ABFP Test also scores eighteen personality characteristics.’ The focus in the aptitude tests lies on a horse’s natural talent, Schuth emphasised. ‘It’s not so much of an issue when the horse swerves a little off the straight line or shows a small hitch in the contact during the IBOP. The test is not judged like an ordinary test but is simply a uniform way of showing the horse to the Jury.’


What to choose as an owner: an ABFP or an IBOP? ‘That depends on the horse and yourself’, Schuth said, who went on to explain the differences between these tests. ‘For an IBOP you can choose the rider yourself and can train the horse at your own pace.’ A good rider will be able to upgrade the horse, but ‘horses pass on their own characteristics, not their rider’s.’ Training for an IBOP easily takes three months. The ABFP lasts seven weeks, that includes the two-week optional preparation period and the costs amount to € 2,015.-, stabling included. ‘The results will show in the breeding values and that makes the information also accessible for breeders.’

KFPS College Tour 2021 IBOP & ABFP

click here for the handout of the presentation