breeding technology. Te early use of embryo transfer (ET) in Belgium, especially by Joris De Brabander, al- lowed the very best performance mare lines to be com- bined with the carefully selected BWP stallions and top performance stallions from other registries. Breeding young mares before they reached sport, either via ET or to carry naturally, has been a solid breeding philosophy followed by all the top breeders. Rarely are performance mares bred while in sport so ET is performed mostly on the young mares. In addition, thanks to the expan- sion of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), older retired performance mares who may not have success with ET are now being successfully utilized in breeding, as well as mares remaining in sport. Another benefit with ICSI is that mares can remain on medications such as Regumate through this procedure. Te best bloodlines from all over the world were

filtered into the BWP system over the past two de- cades through the careful selection of stallions. Tese stallions possessed several important qualities: strong- performing dam lines, scope, good attitudes and overall strong health, especially in their leg conformation, iden- tified with thorough vetting practices. While free jumping is utilized as a valuable tool for

potential performance (BWP was the first registry to use free jumping in the selection of stallions), it is not an indicator of a stallion’s aptitude for and attitude in sport. Tat is why the BWP has an under-saddle phase as part of their stallion selection to gauge a stallion’s willingness to work. Attitude is very important and can be bred into a horse. Foundation stallions, such as Darco, have been used to improve attitude in sport for

several decades. He has consistently produced horses with good minds and willingness for both professionals and amateurs. He is still utilized in breeding today. Today BWP breeders, both large and small, are well

respected as the foundation of the sport and there is more and more collaboration between breeders and riders. Te rapid expansion of auctions in Belgium are also helping to support the small breeders and allowing the progeny of top dam lines to reach the open market, therefore expanding the quality of the BWP-bred horse around the world. Here in North America, BWP breeders are utiliz-

ing the same successful dam lines produced in Belgium either via purchase from European breeding auctions or by utilizing a BWP mare originally purchased for sport. Many of the foals born here in the U.S. are con- ceived via ET and and there is a growing number via ICSI, which was developed here in the U.S. Stallions who were at the top of their game in sport and breeding but had become infertile are now back in our breeding system because of ICSI. Tey include: Heartbreaker, Cumano, Chacco Blue, Darco and Nabab de Reve. Te quality breeding programs in North America are suc- cessfully aligning with the breeding programs in Bel- gium and are now producing top-quality young horses who are carrying on the success of the BWP-bred horses worldwide.

History of the BWP/NAD Te Belgian Warmblood Association North American

District was established in 1987 as a non-profit organi- zation. It was formed by a group of breeders and own- ers dedicated to the recognition, promotion, breeding and preservation of the Belgian Warmblood in North America. BWP/NAD is a fully recognized district of Belgium and serves as the sole administrating office for promotion and breeding practices in North America. In 1988, the North American District hosted the

BWP/NAD Elite stallion “Bull Run’s Faustino/Faustino de Tili” (Berlin x Darco) was #17 in the 2017 WBFSH standings with Kristen Vanderveen (USA).

40 September/October 2018

first official keuring tour for the inspection of breed- ing stock in the United States by Belgian judges. Since then, the annual event has grown to encompass more than two dozen keuring inspection sites throughout the continental U.S. and Canada each year. Tese keur- ings serve to guarantee the continued quality and suc- cess of BWP horses bred in North America. Trough dedication, hard work and strong breeding practices, BWP/NAD has grown to be one of the strongest and most respected sport horse breed registries in North America.

Belgian Warmblood Association Sportfot

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