A WSI-approved stallion is the dream of many breeders, but before a stallion may begin his breeding career he must undergo a strict selection process. WSI horses must be healthy and strong so that breeders and owners can enjoy them for many years. Finally, they must be people-friendly and have a willing disposition with a clear desire to perform.
Stallion Selection Process
WSI Stallion Selection is a process through which quality stallions are evaluated in three separate viewings:
Stage 1, Stage 2 and Stage 3 A stallion’s athletic traits, conformation, lineage, and health are all carefully considered and evaluated before he may be Approved. And following his approval he must continue to prove himself through ongoing sport performance and progeny assessments before life-time approval may be granted.
Jumper stallions are selected for conformation, health, temperament, and natural jumping talent. As part of jumping talent, a stallion must possess a good canter, technique, reflexes, and scope. Of course, attitude and the will to perform are also important traits for a jumper. WSI’s ultimate goal is to breed Grand Prix jumpers.
Eventing stallions are selected for conformation, health, temperament, overall athletic ability, and aptitude for all three phases that today’s eventing athletes must excel in: dressage, cross-country, and arena jumping. As part of the approval process purpose-bred eventing stallions are assessed on a cross-country course and evaluated on a number of traits specifically required for success in this demanding sport. WSI’s ultimate goal is to breed 5* eventing horses.
Dressage horses are selected for their dressage talent, which encompasses the following traits: a pure, rhythmic and regular walk; and a trot and canter that demonstrate good stride length, suppleness, power, carriage and carrying power. Conformation, health, and temperament also weigh heavily in the selection of quality prospective breeding stallions. WSI’s ultimate goal is to breed Grand Prix dressage horses.
Clinical and Radiographic Exam
Prior to the start of Stage 2 Inspections in the selection process a stallion must meet a number of veterinary requirements. He must be current on vaccinations for influenza and tetanus. The stallion must pass the WSI clinical and radiographic exams, and he must be certified as being free of several venereal diseases. All veterinary exams are conducted upon instructions issued to Troytown – GreyAbbey Equine Hospital by WSI.
The stallion’s parentage is verified by DNA analysis if this has not already been done. A genomic profile is created for stallions whose genetics are closely related to the reference population (composed of KWPN and WSI horses), and a Genomic Breeding Value for Osteochondrosis is calculated using the KWPN’s proprietary DNA-OC Test. KWPN and WSI are the only two studbooks in the world using genomic selection.
DNA of the stallion also is tested to determine if he is a carrier for the mutated gene associated with Fragile Foal Syndrome (WFFS1).
Individual Recognition of Stallions
Upon the stallion selection committee’s recommendation, those stallions that have demonstrated excellence in siring good jumpers, eventers, or dressage horses, or stallions that have demonstrated excellence in sport are granted WSI-recognized status. They do not have to meet WSI requirements for conformation or radiograph results, as they have already proven themselves superior in performance or breeding. Individually recognized stallions are granted the same status as Approved Stallions, which means that their foals are registered in the Foal Book, and mares age two and older may be accepted into the studbook without having to meet additional requirements. Only exceptional stallions that will serve as a valuable out-cross to the Irish Warmblood population are eligible for individual recognition.