Reliable data

I get to write my first column during the gorgeous Easter weekend, at the same time the sunny kick-off for the inspection season in the Netherlands, with fine results and many lovely messages of foals frolicking in the field. Pure enjoyment! In addition to perusing all financial figures, I also worked on and discussed all sorts of issues about breeding with the Breeding Council over the past few months. How can we still further stimulate breeding? And how should we address the various aspects of the breeding goal with health in place one? Last year we achieved a fine growth of up to 5000 stud services and we intend to keep it that way. Numbers are important to guarantee sufficient variety in the population. In recent years the increase of inbreeding has neatly stayed well under 1%, which keeps the chances of new hereditary disorders at a minimum. That is positive, but there are still matters where there’s room for improvement.

There are a few motions on the table for the upcoming regional meetings, but also a few discussion points we definitely want to talk about. For changes in policy we need widespread consensus. Reliable data with correct analyses form the basis for sound reasoning. This is important because in breeding matters it’s often emotions, great as they may be, that play a major role in triggering actions that are merely based on incidents. It’s quite understandable that decisions of individuals are influenced by personal experiences. So it’s up to us, the Studbook, to stay focused on the general interest and include all members in the decision-making processes. Based on data, lots of data, which I enjoy studying.

In the seventeen years that I have been employed by the KFPS we keep asking to send in as much data as possible. Unfortunately, this request is still very much needed with regard to health characteristics. It’s just too often that I hear stories on the grapevine which never reach the KFPS. Whatever the reason may be, it is such a waste and so I appeal again to all of you to please come forward and tell us about it. Confidentiality is guaranteed and we will try to help you to the best of our abilities when and where we can. With correct and complete data we can achieve a lot more progress together and above all, continue to pave the way for a healthy Friesian horse.

Nynke Bakker

Manager Studbook Affairs and Finances KFPS

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