KFPS College Tour: Breeding more successful with breeding values

For breeding purposes, breeding values provide better insight into the qualities of mares and stallions than predicates. ‘That makes it easier to assess what is genetically passed on‘, as stated by KFPS Director Ids Hellinga during the first KFPS College Tour on Tuesday the 9th of February. ‘With the advent of breeding values the use of predicates has disappeared for virtually all animal species’, he observed. ‘But that’s not something we would want, these two can easily coexist.’

Breeding values a tool for breeding

A few hundred people followed the KFPS College Tour in front of their screens on Tuesday evening at 20.00hrs. Ids Hellinga provided information about the ins and outs of how breeding values are computed and why they are a useful tool for breeding. ‘A tool’, he emphasised. ‘But keep focusing on the horse itself and not just on the scores.’ The lists he showed in his power point presentation revealed that you cannot always ‘trust what you see’. Although a higher predicate also yields more 3-year-old Star mares, breeding with breeding values of 107 and higher remains the most successful. ‘We are actually making quite a lot of progress, especially with the movement characteristics.’

Expanding total index

In order to expand the breeding values with a ranking, a total index was developed in 2019 which includes exterior and movement as well as kinship. ‘In the future we are planning to add breeding values for character, results from competition sports and sustainability. Those are all characteristics that we value in our breeding goal.’
Breeding values can assist individual breeders in the choices they make for breeding. ‘First and foremost opt for a correct pairing: choose three characteristics you seek to improve in your mare and look for a stallion that is likely to enhance those. When you find a few stallions you can also use the one with the lowest kinship. It all starts with a healthy horse and a lower kinship always helps.’

Click here to watch the power point again

Click here for the calendar of the KFPS College Tour

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