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Inspections 101 If you bred, purchased or would like to purchase a sport horse foal, you may be wondering if you should


bring your youngster to a breed inspecion. By Gigha Steinman


I nspections, some- times called keurings,


are one of the things which make the Warmblood and sport horse breeds unique from nearly all other


breeds. What is the significance of an inspection? How do you go about having a horse inspected? Is there an age limit? Is it mandatory to have your young horse inspected? These all are questions a new breeder or foal owner may be asking when deciding whether or not to attend their first inspection. While most registries conduct inspections across North


America every year, each registry has their own unique inspection rules and requirements. So the first thing any breeder or foal owner should do is become familiar with a specific registry’s rules regarding inspections. With some registries, such as OHBS (Oldenburg Horse Breeders’ Society), ISR/Old-NA (Oldenburg Registry of North American and International Sporthorse Registry) and the AWR (American Warmblood Registry), inspections are mandatory. With other registries, inspections are only mandatory for breeding stock. And yet for others, inspections are entirely optional. Some registries have age limits for horses to be


inspected. Many registries prefer to have foals presented


for inspection the same year they are born, while others have no age limits or age preferences for inspection.


W Inspecion Benefits ✔


hether you have a foal or not, the inspection itself can be fun and a great learning experience. Hanoverian breeder Mary Lou Winn of Home Again Farm (FL) hosted her first American Hanoverian Society inspection in 1998 and will be hosting her tenth one later this year. While she appreciates that inspections are not mandatory for AHS registration, she says she nonetheless finds inspections very useful because of the feedback breeders receive. “It’s good to get a second opinion from a new set of eyes, and it is nice to see other breeders’ babies,” she remarks. The AHS does not score foals, but the judges will discuss the foals using a microphone, and Mary Lou adds that breeders and spectators can learn a lot from the comments on balance, conformation, movement and type. Dana Shah-Bishop’s opinions on inspections echo


Mary Lou’s. Dana hosts American Warmblood Society (AWS) inspections at her farm Blues City Warmbloods (TN) and was the 2009 AWS Inspection Organizer of the Year. She says she really enjoys hosting inspections. “You can meet new people, or you can see some of the same breeders come back with their new babies. It’s fun to see what everyone is breeding,” says Dana. She adds that the AWS inspections are fun and low key but still educational and seem to attract a lot of auditors. Like the AHS, the AWS inspectors also discuss the horses using a microphone, making it easier for auditors to take advantage of


Top of page: Holsteiner filly by Cristo out of the Premium mare U-Katrina. Bred and owned by Branscomb Farms. Photo courtesy Kc Branscomb At left: Hilltop Farm hosts an Oldenburg (GOV) inspection. Handler Michael Bragdell shows Hilltop’s 2007 colt by Royal Prince presented next to his dam SPS Komtess V (Riverman-Carolus). Photo by Bill Alphin


50 September/October 2011


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