Questions and Answers regional meeting

In the online regional meeting of 18 November last it was agreed that questions which were not (or insufficiently) dealt with would be published on this site.
The questions are listed by subject.

Approval Boet 516

Second examination Roaring

Various questions were asked about the second examination of roaring that was carried out at the Faculty in Utrecht. All participating stallions in the CE are scoped in the first days of the test. Because the picture for Boet 516 was a little anomalous it was decided to send the stallion to Utrecht for a second examination and ask the KWPN Committee to look into this. In first instance because the picture of roaring can vary between separate measuring moments and in second instance because we wanted the highest authority in this field to look at it. In the chat it is implied that the stallion would not be allowed to leave the test for this reason, conform Article 19 of the conditions CE. However, the text states: ‘If the stallion has been removed, other than at the request of the KFPS, from the examination centre by you or on behalf of you, the stallion is not allowed to continue the test at a later date. Among other things, that means that the stallion cannot be presented at inspections or shows for the duration of the test.’ In itself it is not necessarily a problem if a stallion is absent for a few training days in the first week. There are also stallions that commence the CE on the day of the second delivery (2 weeks after the first delivery). It has been verified that a picture for roaring cannot be influenced by external factors (the picture of the second examination was the same as the first).

Evaluation second roaring examination

On the basis of the second examination Professor Sloet gave an explanation to the Stallion Inspection Jury about roaring in general, the picture for Boet 516 and the consequences in relation to breeding. As Head of Jury Draaijer pointed out at the online meeting, this explanation played an important part in the decision-making, for which, of course, the Jury carries responsibility. According to the classification which was developed by Professor Sloet (and which from the start of the last CE is also used by the KFPS) the stallion falls in the category not acceptable. Apparently Professor Sloet wanted to add a little nuance to the findings in the reports by changing this to ‘just not’. As was explained in the articles in Phryso, with roaring it is not a matter of black-and-white. The KFPS does not consider this an Article 15 examination (Stallion Inspection Regulations, which states the Jury’s possibilities for requesting an examination from external parties), as is the question. Nor is this relevant, because the advice from the Faculty has been leading. The explanation/advice by Professor Sloet was clear so there was no reason to send the report back, as is the question.

Regulations Roaring

If the Member Council considers roaring undesirable, shouldn’t they have amended the Regulations sooner? It is true that the Member Council defines the selection policy conform the Statutes. But initiatives regarding the amendment of regulations primarily come from the Breeding Council, via the Board and then land on the agenda of the Member Council.

Compensation

We were asked if health aspects can be compensated with other selection characteristics (such as exterior and sport aptitude). Stallion selection means constant weighing of strong characteristics against weaker characteristics. No stallion exists who completely complies with the breeding goal. If a stallion can satisfactorily compensate his weaker characteristics with strong characteristics he is eligible for approval. This also applies to health aspects, as long as this stays within regulations. For example a category D for knee osteochondritis (OCD) cannot be compensated for. With a category C (flattening) this is possible. The same applies to secondary findings in X-ray testing. In the new Regulations concerning roaring, the category ‘not acceptable’ is not open to compensation and a stallion in the category ‘just acceptable’ needs to have something extra in terms of the other characteristics.

Director’s role in the stallion selection

The Studbook office under the leadership of the Director supports the Jury in the selection trajectory right from the First Viewing to the Central Examination, provides the Jury with relevant details and data and monitors the process. There is no role for the Director in connection with decision-making. The Jury has autonomy in making choices and gives the Board binding advice regarding the registration of stallions. If they wish to do so the Jury can seek the advice from the Director. The KFPS finds it important to keep development/phrasing of breeding- and selection policy and the implementation thereof separate.

Year Plan

Position foreign members

The Year Plan (see meeting attachment autumn 2020) states that the position of foreign members needs to be reviewed. The question asked is: what exactly are the legal problems in this respect? The main issue is that foreign members actually have a double membership, which can potentially lead to legal problems when KFPS Regulations and those of a foreign daughter association do not fully correspond, for example due to legislation.

Blind inspections

Not part of the Year Plan. This question was answered during the meeting. Additional question: what are the disadvantages? The chief reason for the current procedure is that the Inspection is also responsible for the assessment of Progeny Testing of stallions. The picture of offspring at inspections plays a key role here.

Why is there no role for the Breeding Council when determining breeding values for sport?

The indication ‘FR=BC’ was missing in the Year Plan. As a general rule, determining breeding values is a topic the Breeding Council is typically involved in. This also applies to the development of the Total Index and the weighing of separate characteristics for this purpose. Calculation of breeding values is not done by the KFPS itself. This is done by CRV in Arnhem.

Breeding values for sport: What is the added value for breeders whose horses do not compete in the sport?

The increasing use of the Friesian horses in the sport is one of the spearpoints in the Long Term Policy for the preservation and advance of the Friesian breed. The market tells us that the value of utility horses goes up in comparison to horses with (only) inspection predicates. Breeding is increasingly shifting in this direction. With breeding values for sport, but also the Stallion Competition which is mentioned in the Year Plan, the aim is to provide breeders with ever more and better information about which stallions produce good utility horses.

What is the vision regarding selection on life span?

The person asking the question rightly points out that information regarding life span (e.g. about stallion offspring) won’t be available until very late and by then is probably no longer relevant. The idea is to use indicators/predictors, so that the information becomes available sooner. Potential indicators could be:
1) linear exterior characteristics which are often recorded at age three (do 3-year-olds with a weak topline grow less old than horses with correct toplines?) 2) survival rate: it appears to be a good indicator for life span if, for instance, a large part of a stallion’s offspring are still alive eight years after birth. The research focuses on these two ‘predictors’.

Appointments

Is there too much emphasis on dressage concerning candidates for the Performance Jury?

Firstly, with these nominations we aim to achieve more influx and mobility within the Jury bodies. Secondly, the composition of the Jury is a good reflection of how the disciplines compare in terms of competition participation of the Friesian horse. The same applies to the number of tests that are judged per discipline. Thirdly, and this is probably the most important, it is the Jury’s task to assess aptitude. The discipline in which the Jury member in question judges tests in competition sports is of less importance. The key criterion for the appointment of Performance Jury members is the experience these people have with schooling young horses.

Stallion Inspection Regulations

Is lunging an option for the Second Viewing, as is done by the KWPN?

The Breeding Council and the Stallion Inspection Jury have investigated this option (even before this was introduced by the KWPN). For this purpose they have visited several stallion inspections in foreign countries. As stated in the Long Term Strategy, the KFPS has chosen to select more directly in line with the breeding goal itself and to put less emphasis on ‘predictors’ such as in-hand movement and free movement in the cage for the selection. Movement on the lunge is in fact also a predictor. This all has led to cancellation of the Second Viewing and to the referral of a (much) larger number of stallions to the Presentation Days. This way more stallions are screened for the breeding goal characteristic aptitude for ridden- and in-harness work. This was introduced last year in the shape of a pilot. This has been extensively evaluated in the various bodies and has resulted in the decision to continue in this way.
The downside is the cost-increasing effect, as pointed out by a questioner. Information from stallion keepers states that the expenses for this training are minimally compensated for by increased value of the relevant stallion as a result of this training. The idea is also that owners/trainers have to make a personal assessment about their stallion’s prospects for taking part in the Presentation Days. Last year several stallions were already withdrawn before the start of the Presentation Days.

Age of stallions at Presentation Days.

The person asking the question wonders if the stallions (the majority being three years old) aren’t too young when taking part in the Presentation Days. Throughout the years this has been a much-debated subject within the KFPS . Earlier, the 3-year-old stallions had to appear at the CE two weeks following their referral during the Stallion Inspection (so in early February). Later, this moment was rescheduled to September. As stated in the Year Plan, this year we conducted research into the training load of the CE stallions on the basis of heart rate- and lactate measurements. These measurements were carried out during the Presentation Days and during the CE. The findings of this research will provide insight into whether or not the trajectory is too taxing for young horses and about how the training programme of the CE can be optimised. Anyway, both owners and Jury members have the option to postpone the Presentation Days and the CE for individual stallions.

Preferent status

Cannot the same system of determining Preferent status for stallions also be used for mares?

This suggestion will be passed on to the Breeding Council.

Looking back on inspection season

Re-inspections

The total in the presented diagram is incorrect, as was rightly pointed out. The total should be 63 instead of 73.

Correction re-inspection result

One question is about a mare whose re-inspection result was altered. At the location inspection this mare received a 1st premium in the first inspection. In the second inspection on the same day for (Preliminary) Crown the mare in question was not declared (Preliminary) Crown. At the re-inspection this same mare was given a 3rd premium. Afterwards it was determined that this was not the right procedure. In actual fact the horse was inspected twice at the location inspection. As a consequence of this year’s Covid situation the second assessment replaces the Central Inspection. When a horse is not declared (Preliminary) Crown at the CI and requests a re-inspection, such a re-inspection cannot lead to the loss of the Star predicate and the 1st premium which were awarded at a Studbook inspection or breeding day in that same year. For three mares this procedure has led to the correction of their re-inspection results. By the way, in the chat this question had already been answered correctly by another member.

Any other business

How do we deal with Torticollus?

Sometimes new-born foals are born with Torticollus, a deformity of the neck. This is not a genetic disorder of the foal. It is caused by an incorrect position of the foal in the womb. Torticollus can lead to a difficult birth which requires a Caesarean section. This subject will be passed on to the editorial team of the Phryso. It is then up to the editorial team if they decide to publish an article on this topic. As this is not a genetically defined disorder it is not a subject for e.g. the Breeding Council.

Re-inspection open to all 4-year-old stallions

This suggestion will be passed on to the Breeding Council. It would tie in with the policy to select more directly on the breeding goal.

IBOP option for 3-year-olds from October onwards

This subject can be discussed together with the findings from the research into training load of CE stallions that was carried out this year.

Voting about (continuing with present) Stallion Inspection Committee

The Statutes dictate that no voting (or sounding out views) regarding appointments takes place in the regional meetings. This is done in the Meeting of the Member Council.

Shouldn’t the Member Council refrain from passing quality judgments?

Generally speaking, in the wake of the present problems which the approval of Boet 516 has caused in our Society, it may be a good idea to review the aspect of governance within the Society: who is accountable for what, who sits on which seat, etc.

Adjusting time in office Board members

The question is if time in office for Board members could be changed, so that Mr Bazuijnen can keep his seat on the Board for a longer period. In principle, the Member Council could consider dispensation. This question will be passed on to the (Confidential Committee of the) Member Council.

Vision document

Question: Do we have a vision document with SMART objectives? This is the KFPS Strategy 2019-2024 that was ratified by the Member Council last year. This can be found on the KFPS website.

Procedure ‘Triangle’ with regard to stallion selection

It is said that the Board takes part in the Triangle consultations regarding the stallion selection. If so, how is it possible that only the Jury is held accountable for the approval of Boet 516? The Triangle meetings were introduced last summer and so were not yet operational at the time of the CE 2019.

How will the future Board liaise with Stichting Faderpaard?

The Statutes of the Stichting state that one member of the KFPS Board or somebody on behalf of the KFPS Board holds a seat on the Board of the Stichting. At this time it is difficult to say how the future Board will deal with this.

Would it be better for outcrossing to reduce the stud limitation for young stallions from 180 services to 120 services, considering that fewer stud services are carried out now compared to fifteen years ago?

Rule of thumb is, that contributions of individual stallions should not exceed 5%. Even with the current number of stud services we comply with this rule in relation to a stud limit of 180 services per year. Moreover, the development of increase in inbreeding per generation has been stable in recent years and stays well under the critical 1% norm. So presently there is no need for further tightening of stud limitations.