November is the month of final decisions in the selection for young stallions. Which new stallions will be admitted to the elite group of approved KFPS stallions? Selection methods for stallions are a continuous process of fine-tuning. Recently it was decided, by way of a pilot, to cancel the Second Viewing during the upcoming Stallion Inspection. This implies that the second assessment in the cage will be dropped, meaning that all stallions referred to the Second Viewing will be presented in-hand. Experience has shown that the assessment of sport aptitude on the basis of in-hand movement or free in the cage is the most ‘vulnerable’ part in the selection process. This is the phase where stallions are most likely to be rejected, for the wrong reasons. Weightbearing or non-weightbearing movement, it makes all the difference. The aim of the pilot is 1) to lessen the emphasis on in-hand movement and free movement in the cage; 2) to refer significantly more stallions to the Performance Test; 3) to use the instruction days between Stallion Inspection and the Central Examination for a first (real) selection in terms of sport aptitude. Maybe we should call this the ‘new’ Third Viewing.
The set-up and particularly the duration of the CE have also been under review. The KWPN performance tests were, again, shortened this year. The question remains however, whether or not we should lump the two breeding programmes together for comparison purposes. A big difference is that the majority of young stallions is hardly used within the KWPN. When young stallions aren´t used much and hence generate little income, it figures that performance testing is an expensive affair. On the other hand, the side effect could be that breeders will be even less inclined to take the selection of young stallions seriously and will even more resort to older stallions. We should ask ourselves whether or not that would be a positive development for breeding. At any rate, young stallions are extensively used within our KFPS and that means that the approval of young stallions must be a thorough process. What´s more, the current review has shown that the difference in quality of schooling between stallions has decreased over the years, but still remains considerable. Some stallions need the time they get at the CE to grow into their own and allow their aptitude to come to the surface.