Omer 493

It’s not customary for the Director of the Studbook to use this platform for venting personal opinions on individual stallions. I once made an exception for Fabe 348 and now I’m doing it again for Omer 493. Not particularly because, just like Fabe, he is a low kinship stallion, although that does play a role in this account. The reason is that Omer 493 is a wonderful illustration of how breeding can work, but at the same time of how difficult the Stallion Inspection Jury’s task can be. Because of Omer’s extremely low kinship the Jury was looking forward to the stallion with more than their usual interest in the run-up to the First Viewing of six years ago. If the on-duty Jury members of that day had all been ‘sticklers’ then the stallion probably would not have survived the First Viewing. And that would have been justifiable because after all, a mare with such narrow feet would not have been given the Star predicate either. The stallion stayed on. The stallion’s pedigree was scrutinised. This revealed that not only did sire Gjalt 426 pass on ‘normal’ feet but also in the dam’s lineage not a single horse could be found with small/narrow feet. Omer was registered and this year his first 3-year-old offspring will be inspected. Even though shape of the feet is perhaps not the most important exterior characteristic, the shape of his offspring’s feet will most likely receive more than average attention. Meanwhile, 38 offspring have undergone linear scoring and the average shape of the feet is 27.5, well over the ‘25’ used as the average for the population. An important lesson, which once again underpins that in breeding a horse not always passes on his/her own looks. Horsemen/women, including Jury members, often rely on their eye whereas in many cases the pedigree is the decisive factor. Observations sometimes can be a matter of the proverbial ‘deceptive appearances’, whereas pedigrees never lie. Still happy that back then the Jury dared to stick out their necks. The same is true for the breeder who deliberately chose this combination. A moment to memorise, because this week the fifth Omer was declared (preliminary) Crown!

Ids Hellinga