Since the beginning of this year, the German guidelines for animal welfare were introduced. One of these guidelines states that a horse should be at least 30 months old before it can start its education, which of course also affects the German stallion shows. An FN working group, in collaboration with among others veterinarian, has presented various proposals for a new approval system.
The following four scenarios are:
An autumn in hand approval of 2,5 year old stallions – free movement and free jumping in November at the earliest, and stallion born after the month of June are excluded from particpation
A spring approval for three-year-olds in hand – free movement and free jumping
A spring approval of three-year-olds under saddle, in April at the earliest
An autumn approval for stallion at the average age of 3,5 years old, under saddle
This means the pre-selections, normally held in October, will no longer be able to go ahead. FN Director Klaus Miesner said; “There should be strict monitoring to avoid overloading the young stallions. The autumn approval for 2,5-year-olds and the spring approval for stallions who have just turned three year old, will only be allowed to be held in November and April respectively. The new rules also affect the pre-selections, which will have to be moved to later in the year and will exclude any stallions born after 30 June.”
The Hanoverian studbook is the first to have presented its new format. Regarding the welfare of the 2,5-year-old stallions, the Board choses to postpone its approvals, and the various disciplines will host their own approvals.
The pre-viewings for dressage stallions will move to the beginning of October, and for the jumping stallions to the end of October. That is one month or two months later respectively for the jumping stallions than before.
The studbook also thinks the time has now come to introduce a new format for its stallion show, and is developing guidelines for the preparation of the stallions. The planned dates for the Hanoverian stallions shows are 4-6 November for dressage and 2-4 December for jumping.
The Mecklenburger Pferdezuchtverband has since also altered its approval dates in accordance with the new government guidelines. The approval will be moved to December, allowing late colts to still be able to enter the main approval. Lunging is also being discontinued to prevent overloading the young stallions.