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Stallion Licensing and Approval
Registered Hanoverian stallions approved for breeding by the AHS or HV may be included in the Stallion Book upon application and payment of fees and proof of approval. The AHS grants approval for breeding to HV approved non-Hanoverian stallions on a case-by-case basis. Eligible foals sired by HV approved Hanoverian stallions standing outside of North America may be registered with the American Hanoverian Society.
One of several requirements for AHS breeding approval is that a stallion’s sire and the sires of the five female ancestors in the direct dam’s line of the stallion must belong to the AHS’s own breeding population or to a recognized breeding population approved by the AHS (six generations altogether). The dam must be entered in the AHS or HV Main Studbook or belong to a recognized breeding population. Her dam (the second dam) must also be in the Main Studbook or belong to a recognized breeding population, or if she is a Thoroughbred, Arabian or Anglo-Arabian mare that is not in the Main Studbook she must have scored an overall seven (7.0) and be in the AHS Studbook. The third dam (the great-granddam) on the dam’s side must at least be in the AHS Studbook or belong to a recognized breeding population. Under certain circumstances the rules placed into effect in 2008 will permit an AHS-registered Main Studbook F1 Hanoverian mare (i.e. a mare with a Hanoverian sire and Thoroughbred dam) to be a stallion mother. The conditions are that the F1 mare herself must have scored at least an overall seven (7.0) or better on inspection, and her Main Studbook or Studbook Thoroughbred dam must have accomplished the same qualifying overall score in addition to the necessary subscore of 7 or better for impulsion and elasticity (the trot). Additionally, as of 2008, AHS Main Studbook Thoroughbred, Arabian and Anglo-Arabian mares are now eligible to produce stallion candidates as they are in Germany. It is recommended that the dam have taken the Mare Performance Test.
At a minimum of three years of age, the stallion undergoes a veterinary inspection, including a protocol adopted in 2004 requiring a detailed radiograph examination consistent with the practice of the HV in Germany, and is evaluated in free jumping, conformation, gaits, presence, and masculinity. In 2011 there were four stallion inspection sites – in California, Maryland, Oklahoma, and British Columbia. The inspection commission consists of representatives of the Verband and members of the AHS Mare and Stallion Committee. To pass the inspection, a Hanoverian-registered stallion must receive an overall score of seven (7.0) with no subscore lower than five (5). Three- or four-year-old stallions that pass inspection are considered “provisionally licensed” and are limited to the registration of a maximum of 20 AHS foals per year. It is important to note that non-Hanoverian stallions, with the exception of Thoroughbreds, presented to the HV in Germany and to the AHS in this country must score 7.5 with no subscore lower than five (5) on their stallion licensing to gain Hanoverian approval. For the specific score requirements for Thoroughbred stallions, refer to the December 2007 edition of “AHS Corporate Bylaws and Rules of Registration.”
Within two years of licensing, the stallion must successfully complete a Stallion Performance Test at an AHS-approved test facility, where stallions are evaluated in dressage, show jumping and cross country. On the final weekend of the performance test, guest riders also evaluate the stallions. Until the Stallion Performance Test is completed, the temporary breeding approval is limited to two years during which the stallion is restricted to the registration of a maximum of 20 AHS foals per year.
The stallion owner is required to provide the Central Office with an original Stallion Service Certificate when individual breeding contract obligations have been met by the mare owner (the stud fee has been paid). The stallion owner is also required to submit to the AHS, on or before November 30 of each year, a Stallion Service report on a form provided by the AHS. The stallion owner must list all the mares serviced by the stallion during the previous year. Failure to submit this report may lead to inactivation of the stallion.
A stallion owner must activate the stallion by the payment of annual breeding dues by October 1 prior to the year for which he is being activated. The Central Office will send an invoice. These dues and the owner’s annual membership dues must be paid to retain the stallion’s studbook status and to register his foals. Payment of dues also entitles the stallion to be included in the society’s annually published Stallion Directory. A current Fee Schedule may be found on this web site.
German Licensing and Approval
In Germany at two years of age, stallion candidates are presented to a commission of the Verband, and undergo a rigorous selection process. The stallions that pass this initial inspection are then presented at the main stallion licensing when they are two-and-a-half years old. This evaluation includes a veterinary exam, free jumping evaluation and assessment of gaits. The stallions in Germany become licensed in three fundamentally different ways:
Performance Test Scoring
In Germany and North America, the performance test concludes with three days of scoring during which the stallions are evaluated in dressage, show jumping and cross country. All three gaits are evaluated and scored as well. This three-day test is the final portion of the term at the testing center where the stallions have undergone training and evaluation by a team of trainers and riders. The test result is calculated using a mathematical formula that standardizes the average result of each group of stallions to 100 points. The training scores have an influence of 50 percent on the final result. The other 50 percent of the score is given during the final three-day test by guest judges and test riders.
For entry into the stallion books of both the HV and the AHS, a Hanoverian or Thoroughbred stallion must complete the German licensing and approval criteria listed or achieve an overall index of at least 90 points in an AHS/HV approved Stallion Performance Test or attain the competitive sports results specified in the section titled Test Alternatives. To be fully licensed to breed, stallions from other non-Hanoverian approved populations must achieve an overall performance test score of at least 120 points or attain results in competition as specified in the AHS Rules of Registration.
The two subscores of rideability and jumping listed in the AHS Stallion Directory are composite scores of many subgroup scores. The score of 90 or above can be used asan indicator of performance, but of course it doesn’t guarantee the stallion will be a successful producer of performance horses. To quote bloodlines expert Peter Birdsall, DVM, from a lecture he presented at the AHS annual meeting in 1989, “Because the horse doesn’t top his year as a tested horse doesn’t mean he won’t do well as a sire of performance horses.” He cited several examples of this based on his research. Some of the sires that have the best records over the years for producing winning offspring were stallions that finished in the mid-levels of their test classes.
In North America, there is also an alternative to the Stallion Performance Test. The stallion must accumulate the following show record:
Stallions that achieve these performance results may be accepted into the Stallion Book – provided they have also passed AHS inspection.
Maintaining Approved Status
Once the performance test is passed, a stallion’s eligibility to produce AHS-registrable foals is verified yearly based on an assessment of his foals and the annual payment of fees and dues. The Central Office must receive correctly completed Stallion Certificates of Service and the annual Stallion Service Report by the specified deadline. Foals sired by stallions whose owners fail to comply with these requirements are ineligible for registration. It is the mare owner’s responsibility to verify a stallion’s status. The Central Office should be contacted if there is any question regarding a stallion’s status.