Defining Quality in the Friesian Breed- Ster Ratings and More!
By: Triple Crown Insider: Sammi Majors
Have you ever seen a horse’s name and behind the name it said “Elite”, “Ster”, “Sport”, or “++” and not known what it meant? Any type of predicate like that are given based on inspections or how well either they or their offspring have done in sports. Those predicates can mean slightly different things based on the breed. In this blog, I will explain what the various predicates mean for the Friesian breed.
First if you’re not at all familiar with what inspections are, you might be wondering what the purpose is? Horses are separated based on quality, and then given the different predicates based on that. They are judged on their exterior or conformation, movement, racial type, and depending on what they are going for, it can be based on sports aptitude, success in sports, offspring, or success of their offspring in sports. When babies are born and go to their foal inspection, they are entered into the foalbook. Based on the quality of the foal, they can get 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or no premie.
Typically, horses do not go back for another inspection until they are 3 years old or sometimes older. At this time horses are eligible to be entered into the studbook. The first step for 3 year olds is Ster/Star. In order to become Ster, mares and geldings are judged again on their exterior, movement in hand at the walk and trot, and height. In order to be eligible for Ster, the horse must be 156 cm or 15.1 hands. (In Europe, where the majority of the stud books are based at, they measure horses in cm). The same 1st, 2nd, or 3rd Premie ranking happens for ster as with the foals. If a mare or gelding are not of high enough quality to earn ster, they can be eligible for the studbook with no predicate. Studbook horses can receive 1st-no premie For stallions to become Ster, they are eligible to receive this title once they have had their first viewing for the stallion approval process at 2.5 years of age. If a stallion becomes Ster, and is then gelded, he keeps his Ster status.
For mares, the next step is Kroon/Crown. To be awarded a Kroon status, exterior and sport aptitude (dressage or driving) are considered. In order to be eligible for Kroon, mares must have received a 1st premium Ster status in that same year at a regular inspection. They are then allowed to be shown at the Central Mare Show and be considered for a preliminary kroon status. Requirements include, being 3 years old, 158 cm or 15.2 hands, and for permanent Kroon status, they must have received a 77% or higher in either their IBOP or ABFP sports aptitude test for dressage or driving respectively. They must also average a 7 on their walk and trot during their sports test.
The highest ranking for Friesian mares is the Model status, and very few mares of the entire population make this. The approval process for this, is very similar to the Kroon, except model mares must be 7+ years old, 160 cm or 15.3 hands, and they must have had a baby or currently have a baby on their side.
Next we have the Sports predicate which mares, gelding, and stallions are eligible for. This can be attained by competing at nationally recognized dressage or driving shows. In America, horses earn the sports predicate for dressage by obtaining 5 scores of 60% or higher at 3rd level or above. For driving the horse must earn 10 points of at least 3 different FEI R rated judges from the FEI Test #9. Different scores warrant a different number of points, with 60% being the lowest score allowed to earn points.
Preferent for mares is awarded based on their offspring. The mare must have had at least 4 quality foals.
Eligible foals can be
- Ster or Model Mares
- Ster Geldings
- Foalbook Ster Stallions
- Studbook Stallions
- Stallions that have made the second viewing for approval.
Preferent for stallions is based on their lasting and special influence on the Friesian breed of horse. Some of the characteristics needed for this are based on the number of Preferent mares they have produced, approved stallions coming from their breeding line, and other breeding goal characteristics.
Finally, we have the Performance Dam/Prestatiemoeder Predicate. This is awarded to mares that have directly produced 3 offspring to earn their sports predicate.
Stay tuned as I share with you my experience of riding and training in the Netherlands, surrounded by many different breeds including Friesians!