After a year of Covid 19 our common knowledge about virology is pretty much up to speed. We already had 17 million national football coaches in the Netherlands and now we can boast 17 million virologists too. So these days when we chat with each other we talk about virulence, incubation time, the R number and we keep close tabs on the numbers of infected people and IC patients. The ‘real’ virologists’ main focus is on the R number. This number should stay below 1 because, as we have learned by now, that reflects a drop in the number of infected people.
Within our society we often hear people say they have become infected with the Friesian horse bug. Looking for instance, at the visitor numbers of the Stallion Inspection, live as well as via Omrop Fryslân or livestream, we can safely assume that the R number for the Friesian horse bug scores well over 1. That’s a fine fact. The wellbeing of our Studbook and the Friesian horse springs from a good dose of enthusiasm for our horse. In the end however, this is rather more of a means than a goal in itself because what really counts is a rise in the number of Friesian horses. In recent years the R number for Friesian horses equalled exactly 1, which reflects a stable population.
In order to realise growth it’s key to stimulate breeding and breeders. To develop a policy along these lines the ‘Think Tank Breeding’ has conducted a survey among participants from the full spectrum of the Studbook, which resulted in a massive response from the KFPS members. This has led to the development of a marketing plan which is ready to be rolled out. This plan is about the exchange of information, a new Members’ Day, advice for stallion choices, market promotion, cost reduction and lots more.
But presently, the transmittance of this breeding virus is still seriously hampered by the imposed restrictions to fight that other virus. After all, breeding also has a social component whereby people talk about it, for example in the context of breeding evenings, study groups and the breeding chapters.
The KFPS tries to respond in the best possible way to all these new challenges, as is showcased by the success of the inspections on location and the virtual Stallion Inspection. These initiatives will be followed up by several breeding webinars scheduled for this spring. In February a digital KFPS College Tour will get underway which will provide a platform to address the most important subjects on breeding. All of this with that one aim in mind: to make the R number of the breeding virus climb as far above the 1 as possible.