Wytske Schuth : ‘Breeding for the sport’

She is a rider, breeds with her horses, is an instructor and an active Jury member. If you say horse you say Wytske Schuth. Last November she arrived to reinforce the KFPS as Manager Inspections and Education. ‘I’m hoping to play a part in winning over an even wider public to become interested in the Friesian horse within the next five to ten years.

Wytske was a Law student, but after graduating she discovered that her main source of happiness was horses, so she made her passion her work. For her the most wonderful aspect of keeping horses is the breeding part. ‘Judging and the sport are both great too, but breeding takes the biscuit.’ Coming up with a nice match between stallion and mare, hours of research and weighing up the pros and cons, that’s how she sums up the charm of breeding. ‘And then waiting to see how that turns out, does the foal live up to your expectations? Then watching the foal grow up into a yearling, a 2- and 3-year-old, then the first time in the saddle hoping to feel what you had in mind.’

Rigorous in breeding

This year she has three fillies from her KWPN mares. ‘I stick to a very rigorous breeding policy with my mares. Only a mare whose exact spitting image I would like to have in my yard makes the mark for breeding. She rides the mares to the Sport predicate and preferably even Light Tour and then takes the decision whether to breed with her or sell. ‘I breed for the sport.’ And inspections are part of that. ‘Inspections reveal something about a horse’s health and hardiness. A
characteristic like sustainability has the judges’ explicit attention at inspections, that also makes the horses more suited to the sport.’ All her mares can boast predicate-rich lineages. ‘As far back as five to eight generations they have Star, Preferent or Performance behind their names. It is an indication of what I think is important.’ Then after a moment of silence: ‘What you want is a healthy horse that is able and willing to do the job.’

Well-behaved horse with ‘go’

The first six months in her new function -3½ days a week which leaves enough time for the horses- she describes as ‘Very enjoyable. I can pursue my passion in a job with people who share that passion with me.’ So far no major changes have been installed under Wytske’s management. ‘At the most some little things in structure and protocols. Before you start changing things you need to burrow deep into an organisation’, she explains tactfully. ‘I have a feel for the Studbook and Friesian horses and believe I can help make the necessary steps to take the Friesian breed forwards’, is her initial conclusion after the first few months. ‘The Friesian horse is a beautiful and gentle horse that needs a bit more ‘go’, but not at the cost of its good character, because we want to be able to do fun things with them. I’m hoping to play a part in winning over an even wider public to become interested in the Friesian horse within the next five to ten years.’ The immensely popular Stallion Inspection has inspired her. ‘Even before this function I was a frequent visitor of the Stallion Inspection’, she adds. ‘There is no other equine event where I have seen similar enthusiasm and passion as at the Stallion Inspection. As far as I’m concerned we should increase the focus on sport, that would lead to even larger numbers of spectators.’

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