Which stallion for Anne van de Wildervanck?

Anne fan de Wildervanck Ster (Alwin 469 x Tsjalke 397). Foto : Fauve Meidam.

Meint van der Molen and Lucia Klaver bred the 6-year-old Anne fan de Wildervanck Star A (Alwin 469) themselves out of their Star mare Alva av Korumdalen (Tsjalke 397) from pedigree 61. Lucia and Meint got acquainted with Alva’s breeder Anne Holmen from Norway via Friesian horses. ‘When we spent a holiday with Anne in Norway we bought Alva from her. Alva’s dam Tjardie (Fetse 349) was a Studbook mare, but further down the papers there were a few Preferent and Model mares. Tjardie became Preferent when Alva became Star and that also made her granddam Gerda J. Star (Melle 311) Preferent. Alva’s first three offspring have already earned the Star predicate and this year more of her offspring will go to inspections. We hope that Alva will also make it to Preferent this year. Alva gave birth to her eighth foal on the 1st of April: a filly by Bastiaan 510.’

Third Pavo Fryso Cup

Anne fan de Wildervanck competes in dressage under Heleen de Haas. They are getting ready for level Z dressage and the Sport predicate. Last year Anne came 3rd in the final of the PAVO Fryso Cup during the CI. In mid-March of this year Anne completed an IBOP Test with 75 points. As a 3-year-old Anne did not receive a premium at the inspection, ‘too youthful and tense’, Lucia explains. But a year later she became Star with a second premium. ‘Anne has a nice build and is longlined’, Lucia says. ‘We do find though, that her long body sometimes gets a bit in the way in the work. So we are thinking of a compact stallion with a fast and powerful hind leg. According to us she should also have more suppleness. Anne has a pleasant character both in work and in the stable. Occasionally she tends to tense up a bit in unfamiliar surroundings but in the end she always responds well to our aids. We would like to see a little more breeding type and more feathers, especially in the fringe of the mane. Anne’s head too should be a little more expressive.’

More breed expression

Anne has a kinship percentage of 18.4%; a percentage that Meint and Lucia are keen to bring down a little more. Anne is free from the dwarfism- and hydrocephaly genes. Bauke de Boer has, just like the other panel members Murk de Jong and Marije Schreven, closely studied all the available data about the 6-year-old Anne. ‘This mare needs more breed expression and is slightly longish. She also needs to be a bit more light-footed and demonstrate more youthfulness. Her legwork can also be improved, a bit less toeing-out and less sickle-hocked.’ Bauke opts for the new Champion of the Stallion Inspection Herre 524 as his first choice. ‘That is a very breed-typical stallion who oozes youthfulness and is also very agile, with good and correct legwork. Herre comes from pedigree 15, which produces many sport horses.’ With this combination the kinship goes down to 18.2%. With Bauke’s second choice this percentage drops even further: to 17.5% if paired to Ulbe 506. ‘Also a stallion with lots of youthful expression and who passes on noble heads and abundant feathers. He has a compact and strong build as well as correct and dry legwork. With stallions like Anders 451 and Adel 357 in his line, sustainability is also embedded in Ulbe 506.’ Bauke’s third choice is Yme 507 because in his view this stallion ‘has a strong build and shows youthfulness and breed expression. Stance of his legwork is correct and he is quick in the hind leg. Yme 507 comes from pedigree 25 which breeds lots of movement.’

Powerful and fast in the hind leg

Murk de Jong also noticed that the generously-built Anne moves well but is a bit sluggish in the hind leg. ‘She completed a neat IBOP but her score would have been higher if she had moved with more energy. It’s difficult though to determine if this is because of the horse’s own aptitude or because of the controlled way in which the rider presented her. Because we have to assess the horse I base my thoughts on the first assumption.’ Murk agrees with the owner to choose a stallion that breeds compact horses and can improve power and alacrity in the hind leg. Murk points out that selection on exterior- and movement aspects steers Anne towards stallions such as Tjebbe 500, Matthys 504, Menne 496 and Tymen 503. Suitable stallions that can strongly reduce kinship are Ulbe 506 and Wolter 513. Murk comments: ‘Then the choice is no longer a purely rational one but emotion also plays a part. The Studbook refers to an average kinship of roughly between 17.5 and 18%. But considering that by far the largest part of stallions presented at the most recent Stallion Inspection feature above 18, then it’s justified to wonder how this is calculated. There is an overall upwards trend and we breeders probably have to switch to choices we’re not used to. On that note my first choice for this mare would be Wolter 513. He gave an excellent presentation in front of the carriage during his Performance Test and presented an equally good presentation under saddle at the stallion show. What’s more, he brings in the lowest kinship percentage of 17.1 and an inbreeding coefficient of 1.17. Wolter 513’s dam Zandra fân Bartlehiem has the compact build which Anne slightly lacks and is a very durable mare. For me Tjebbe 500 comes in place two, he appears to be a good match for Anne in terms of exterior. This combination produces a kinship of 18.5%. Murk’s third choice is the same as Bauke’s: Ulbe 506.

Embedding the walk

After watching the photos, video footage and Anne’s IBOP, Marije Schreven concludes that Anne is a good-looking, big-framed and longlined mare with an upward build. Marije is positive about the foreleg in movement. Personally, Marije would like to see the walk a bit stronger embedded. In her opinion Fonger 478 would be a suitable mate for Anne. ‘With Fonger 478 the kinship drops to 17.8%. Fonger 478 is a stallion with more than satisfactory breed expression, a slightly compact build and more than satisfactory feathers. He has a harmonious build and correct lines. Fonger 478’s legwork shows lots of quality. He also has three fine basic gaits with a particularly good walk that catches the eye.’ Marije has also included the Progeny Test for her findings. ‘This shows that the offspring need more length and this is something Anne can compensate for with her length. The offspring have correct legwork of more than satisfactory quality. They demonstrate strikingly good use of the hind leg. In walk and trot the offspring show lots of scope. The offspring are also pleasant, calm and relaxed horses in the yard and in use they are hard-working, reliable and respond well to training. Fonger 478 has many qualities that could upgrade Anne’s weaker points.’

Meint and Lucia react as follows: ‘In our search to find a stallion for Anne we zoomed in on Fonger 478 and Yme 507. Based on all the available information that we could find these stallions appear to be able to improve Anne’s weaker aspects. Marije’s explanation reflects why our search also pointed at Fonger 478. We happen to have a mare that stems from the same line as Fonger 478. The granddam of this mare is Ielze, a full sister to Elbricht, 3rd dam of Fonger 478. She too was a hard-working, durable and fertile mare. She lived to be 24 and has brought fifteen foals.’

Full, thick manes

Marije places the stallion Foeke 520 in place two. Opting for Foeke 520 means kinship will be 18.2% and inbreeding 2.83. This is why Marije places Foeke 520 behind Fonger 478. ‘Foeke 520 is a breed-typical stallion with a very expressive head. He has a full shock of thick manes. Foeke 520 is a stallion who needs more length of body and therefore would be a good match for Anne. Out of these three stallions Foeke 520 has the highest breeding value for suppleness, which is 111. Foeke 520’s walk is roomy, powerful and shows rhythm and suppleness. All in all a stallion who in my opinion would combine well with Anne.’ Meint and Lucia themselves hadn’t thought of Foeke 520. ‘After Marije’s advice we took a closer look at Foeke 520 and we agree with Marije that he might be a good choice. We’d rather not use a stallion with Beart 411 x Norbert 444 in his lineage. These are usually very good horses but that is exactly why these stallions are used so much. Tjebbe 500 takes the kinship percentage up and we are not keen on that.’

For stallion number three Marije’s eye fell on Martzen 521. With Martzen 521 too kinship goes down to 17.8% and inbreeding will be 1.61. According to Marije stallion Martzen 521 has great breed expression, a noble head and generous feathers. ‘Again, Martzen 521 is also a somewhat compact stallion with an elegant outline. That fits Anne well. Martzen 521 is high-legged, has a strong back and a strong loin section. In movement he shows a diligent and active walk with satisfactory scope and extensions. Because Fonger 478 and Foeke 520 have a more powerful hind leg in trot I put Martzen 521 in third place.’

Studying dam lines

In this last edition of Breeders Advice for this season, Panel member Bauke de Boer has  a suggestion for the breeders. ‘Do study the stallion’s dam line too. Is durability embedded in the line and do they live long lives? Are they fertile? There’s more to it than just breeding values and breeding based on papers. In my opinion the one-sided focus on breeding values is not good for our breeding programme where kinship will keep going up. What really counts however, is that breeders know the bloodlines; what are the genes behind the stallion in question or the mare. In this context I want to mention two-fold stallion dam Zandra fân Bartlehiem (Karst 362). Zandra has poor breeding values but remained fertile into old age and is also very durable with good movement. If people only focus on breeding values they miss out on this information from the field.’ Meint and Lucia thank the panel for their clear advice. ‘For this year we have made our final decision and opt for Fonger 478, because we expect him to bring the kinship percentage further down. We will embrace the advice from the panel for future years. By then there will be more data available about the offspring of for example Herre 425 and Wolter 513.’

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