New Assessment Record Sheet for Basic Approval as Breeding Stock and Genetic Assessment for Morphology

As we have already reported, the Official Gazette (of Spain) nº147 dated the 28th of May, 2012 includes the new Rules and Regulations for the PRE Stud Book and Breeding Program, which went into effect upon publication.

The idea of the Breeding Program is not to guide the breed along a specific route, as that is the free will of breeders, but to generate a tool that allows improvements in the quality of the horses on their stud farms without any interference with the direction in which each breeder wants to go, in accordance with the PRE breed pattern.

These Rules and Regulations establish that the performance test for morphology for a subsequent genetic assessment shall be carried out during the Assessment for Basic Approval as Breeding Stock.  Thus, it will take advantage of this visit to the stud farm to extend the Breeding Program, without additional costs for breeders.  In an effort to attain these two objectives—assessment and performance testing—the record sheet has been designed in conjunction with the technicians at the MERAGEM Research group.

This new record sheet will facilitate the collection of specific data about the horses (using zoometrical measurements and Lineal Morphological Scores), which shall allow the Genetic Assessment of the horses seeking to become PRE Breeding Stock to be carried out.  Until now, this data collection was limited to TQBs and at certain Conformation competitions.

 The application of this record sheet offers a number of advantages.  These include, but are not limited to:

  1. a) The breeder becomes an active and direct participant in the Breeding Program, with the possible advantages that may be derived from this activity.
  2. b) All horses presented for Assessment for Basic Approval as Breeding Stock shall be genetically assessed, thus facilitating the participation of horses in the Breeding Program, and avoiding travel time.
  3. c) The number of genetically assessed horses within the breed will increase, thus providing more information about what those horses can transmit genetically (reliability of the genetic values obtained will increase greatly) while at the same time, collect information for the Breeding Stock Catalogs that are published periodically.
  4. d) After their genetic assessment, it will then be possible for horses to achieve the category of Young Recommended Breeding Stock (between 4 and 6 years of age), and starting with 6 year-olds, Improver and Elite Breeding Stock for their Aptitude for conformational traits and Dressage.
  5. e) Those horses that achieve any of these genetic categories will be listed in the Breeding Stock Catalog, a tool available to breeders to improve the quality of the horses at their stud farms. The fact that this tool is available does not mean that anyone is obliged to use it.  

This record sheet and its application have been an additional element that has earned the PRE Breeding Program international recognition at the annual meeting of the European Animal Production Association.   Developed in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture under the supervision of the MERAGEM Research group, the PRE Breeding Program is considered by technicians in animal production, genetics and zootechnics to be among another 67 projects worthy of a special mention. 

This record sheet shall be applied, experimentally, this year, since major changes have been introduced.  By completing this new record sheet, an extremely important amount of information for the Breeding Program will be collected.   However, everything is eligible for improvement and ANCCE is open to any contribution and/or suggestion that you may wish to send us, with the aim that the results obtained are most beneficial for breeders.

For this, a SUGGESTION MAILBOX has been created, where all proposals received are collected.  Anyone wishing to make a suggestion may send it by ordinary mail to the Stud Book office, at the Attention of Mª Ángeles Rubio, by email (mangeles@ancce.com) or by fax (+34 954 953 989).

 In addition to the PRE Breeding Program, the PRE Rules and Regulations establish a series of modifications for the Assessment for Basic Approval as Breeding Stock.  We would like to stress those that lead to the horse being considered NOT APPROVED:

  1. A height of less than 1.54 m. in males and 1.52 m. in females.
  2.  A Proportionality Index of (height at the withers*100 / scapular-isquial length) less than 90 or greater than 110.
  3. The accumulation of serious and/or very serious defects inherent to the species and breed. These disqualifying defects, which were already contemplated in the previous rules and regulations, have been objectively established, thus eliminating the possibility of free interpretation.

The idea is to eliminate the subjectivity that has existed to date, thus making all possible aspects measurable, with no other pretensions.  Breeders are always free to breed according to their own criteria, but always in accordance with what is established in the PRE breed pattern.  

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