Dutch dilemma for British breeders

  • New agreement will see British-bred horses eligible for registration with Holland’s national studbook

    Holland’s national studbook, the KWPN, has agreed to England becoming part of the sporthorse breeding nation’s regional organisation.

    The decision, prompted by representations from breeders, including the Solland Stud, will enable English-bred horses to be entered in the main KWPN studbook if they are approved at gradings organised in this country.

    Colts may be invited to enter the Dutch national stallion show at s-Hertogenbosch and, if successful, go forward for performance testing and possible approval as Dutch Warmblood stallions. At present just 20 stallions are approved each year.

    Ko Goedegebure, director of the KWPN, explained: “This will give our British members the opportunity to use our selection procedures, which ensure that only the best animals are used for breeding.”

    James McIlwraith of the Solland Stud commented: “We want to have our stock graded by the KWPN and entered in its studbook. Our dream is to breed a colt which would be approved by the KWPN as a stallion, and this decision gives us a foot on the ladder.”

    However, the move has not been welcomed in all quarters of the British sport horse breeding world.

    Auctioneer Richard Botterill, whose company Brightwells organises the Best British Foal Show, said: “While British-born foals registered under this scheme would be eligible for our show, the emphasis on their Dutch heritage rather detracts from the industry’s aims to promote British breeding.”

    The British Equestrian Federation has also confirmed that horses with KWPN papers will not be eligible for the Young Horse Evaluation Series unless they are also registered with a DEFRA-recognised British breed society.

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