This is article discusses the final results of the keuring, and what to do with those results. The article is rather short. Why? There is no precise answer. Some people feel the results help the owner determine a market value for the horse. Some people have a stallion they are hoping to advance to consideration as a breeding stallion. Others simply want to see if their horse can be rated as a ster or better. The objectives depend on the owner and the owner’s goals.
When I take a horse to a keuring, I am primarily interested in the findings on the linear scoring form. Don’t get me wrong, of course I would love a high overall rating, and I try to make sure a horse is as prepared as possible so that horse can score as well as he or she is able. But the final rating is what it is, and when the day is over, I want to be able to learn from the results and try to do the right thing for my horse.
If the horse is a performance horse, the linear scoring form can help you better understand your horse’s strengths and weaknesses, and adjust the training routine if you wish. If you are a breeder of Friesian horses, as I am, the linear scoring form is invaluable for a breeding mare because it helps you match your mare with a stallion who can improve upon her and therefore hopefully produce a foal better than his/her mom. The video below describes this in a little more detail.
In the meantime, here are the answers to a few questions I am often asked. I will try my best to answer them, but feel free try ask other sources as well. The rules change often and I might have some things wrong here:
- I would like to bring my horse back and try for a better score. Can I do that? Yes, you can take your horse back as many times as you wish. Each time you present your horse at a keuring, the score (“predicate”) received, as well as the date the predicate was achieved, will be recorded on the horse’s papers.
- How many times can I bring my horse back? As many times as you wish. I saw one mare return after trying 3 times to make ster. On her fourth time, at age 16, she made it.
- If I bring my horse back and she/he makes a lower score, do I “lose” my higher score? No scores are lost. All scores are recorded on the horse’s papers.
- Aren’t the judges harsher on a horse that initially did not make ster, but is brought back in a future year for ster? In my personal opinion, the judges are tougher, but not because the horse is coming back to try again. I think the judges are tougher on more mature horses because they expect more. So, I think they expect more from a 4 year old than from a 3 year old. Therefore, to achieve ster if your horse did not make it a previous year, your horse will have to not only perform better, but perform *much* better.
- Do the judges prefer offspring from stallions who are still breeding over offspring from stallions who were disapproved on offspring? I have not seen evidence of that in judging, nor have I heard judges speak less of offspring from disapproved stallions. When I have been in the Netherlands, my personal observation is that all approved stallions – whether that are still breeding or not – are highly respected.
- Are geldings judged in the same way as mares? Yes, as far as I can tell, there is no difference.
- Are stallions judged in the same way as mares? The judging at the basic level is the same. The predicates however, are not. Mares and geldings can achieve one of the following: 1st premium, 2nd premium, 3rd premium, studbook with no premium, or “stay in foal book, but do not go into studbook”. Stallion, however, may achieve only “ster” or “stay in foalbook”. There are no premiums. I think a ster stallion is about the equivalent as a 1st premium ster.
Jeannine Everhart, the author, is citing information from the KFPS text “An Introduction to Judging the Friesian Horse”, available for purchase from the KFPS. She has been attending inspections with her horses since 1998 and attended a week long intensive judging clinic/class in the Netherlands during the summer of 2009. Jeannine and her family run Tanbark Acres, a small Friesian breeding operation.