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“For the most part inspecions are a positive eperience, a great learning oportunity, and provide very useful information to the registrie, participants and even specators. An inspecion is a snapsho in time, but no neearily a guarantee o future succe.”

If you’re the competitive type, besides inspections,

you can enter your youngster at breed shows such as the prestigious Devon Horse Show held in late May each year where one, two and three year old hunter prospects are shown in hand. Late in September, Dressage at Devon offers another popular breed show where specific breed classes are offered and youngsters compete in hand up against other young dressage prospects. Devon’s breed shows are very popular and the competition is fierce. There are also USDF (U.S. Dressage Federation)

Dressage Sport Horse Breeding (in-hand) competitions held across the country throughout the year, and the USDF has a comprehensive year-end All-Breeds DSHB awards program. The USEA (U.S. Eventing Association) has piloted a new

program as of 2007 for the FEH, or Future Event Horse, and it has quickly become popular and well accepted nationwide in the breeding community. The FEH offers over 20 venues now, and in 2012 they will introduce the first FEH competition at Rolex Kentucky. The FEH program focuses on yearlings, two year olds, and three year olds, and judges inspect the potential these youngsters have to become successful event horses. The horses are presented in hand very similar to a normal breed inspection. Judges are looking for a horse’s correct conformation as a whole

with straight, correct, swinging movement, straight legs and quality feet, all important attributes to withstand the rigors of eventing. FEH competitions can be held at three day events or even along side breed inspections, or it can be its own competition. For any young horse that attends an in hand

competition, it’s a great training experience for him or her to be exposed to the show atmosphere. It’s also a good way to gain experience before bringing the young horse to a breed inspection.

Additional Considerations ✔

Young horses can change a great deal as they mature. Not every youngster will be at their best on inspection day, and your youngster may not do as well as you were hoping. Occasionally there are breeders who may complain that breed inspections are “too political,” but that is a challenge which plagues any event which is judged subjectively. There are also those who complain that some registries put too much emphasis on pedigree, favoring certain lines over others; while others will make the opposite complaint, that some registries don’t put enough emphasis on pedigree and give too much weight to phenotype (outward appearance) without enough regard to genotype (genetics). These points are important to

remember when deciding how much emphasis to place on young horse inspection results. For the most part inspections are a positive experience, a great learning opportunity, and provide very useful information to the registries, participants and even spectators. An inspection is a snapshot in time, but not necessarily a guarantee of future success. Positive inspection results can be encouraging and can signify that one’s breeding program is headed in the right direction. Unfavorable inspection results may simply mean your youngster was in an unflattering growth phase on inspection day, or they may be an indication of something more serious such as a conformation flaw. But

Above: The East Coast 2010 FEH Champion. The two-year-old mare Shutterfly’s Buzz (OLD) by Sir Shutterfly x Hauptstutbuch Galina, owned by Silene White with handler King Garcia. Photo by Emily Daily/USEA

even if a youngster isn’t a star at his or her inspection, it doesn’t mean he or she won’t blossom later! Only time and good training will tell.

Warmbloods Today 53

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