The KWPN of North America is excited to recognize their top breeders with more than $7,500 in cash and prizes, sponsored by Rabobank, through two new awards programs.
The Keuring Championship Awards reward foals and mature horses (3-5 years old) with cash for champion and reserve champion in each of the five breeding directions-jumper, dressage, hunter, gelders and harness. The Breeder's Achievement Award program will recognize North American breeders of quality KWPN registered horses that achieve Premium awards as foals, as well predicates for mature horses.
The intent of this program is to create higher standards for American-bred sport horses, as well as reward breeders for their dedication to producing top breeding stock. Breeders receive various prizes at three levels-silver, gold and platinum. Both programs were made possible by generous support from Rabobank, the international financial services leader providing commercial, retail and agricultural finance solutions in more than 40 countries around the world.
Willy Arts, the KWPN-NA Chairman, explains, "The KWPN-NA and Rabobank both know how important it is to support and recognize breeders in North America. We have partnered together to bring these wonderful programs to our members."
The Keuring Championship Awards winners will be named following the 2010 KWPN-NA keurings. The foal championships are open to foals in all five breeding directions that score a minimum of 75 points at their keurings. The mature horse championships are open to stallions, mares and geldings, 3 to 5 years of age, in all five breeding directions that receive a minimum score of 75 points. The highest and second-highest scoring foals and mature horses in each breeding direction in North America will receive $500 for champion and $250 for reserve champion, respectively.
KWPN-NA board member Dan Ruediger explains, "There is likely no other way to give back to a successful breeder or owner so directly as cash to help to offset breeding, veterinary, showing and keuring expenses that are incurred each and every year."
In addition to the Keuring Championships Awards, the Breeder's Award Achievement Awards will also recognize breeders' successes. These awards will be given at three levels--Silver, Gold and Platinum-- and will be determined by total points accumulated by each breeder, by all the horses they present over time. Recognition will be given at the local regional level, as well as nationally at the KWPN-NA annual meeting.
Young horses can earn points for being awarded First Premium status, or Ranked Top Five in the year-end rankings. Mature horses can earn points with a Star Predicate, IBOP (riding performance) Predicate, Keur Predicate (for mares only), Elite Predicate, Sport Predicate, Crown Predicate, Preferent Predicate, Prestatie Predicate, and Approval for a stallion.
"The Breeder's Achievement Awards recognize breeders for their long-term success with multiple horses," Arts states. Various prizes, including plaques, will be given.
To participate in the new awards programs, breeders must take their horses through the KWPN-NA keuring process. These inspections help breeders identify positive traits in their horses and are a wonderful educational opportunity for breeders, owners and riders.
"A keuring is not a horseshow," explains Deborah Harrison, D.V.M, a KWPN judge and a leading breeder of dressage horses. "It is a breed inspection. We are comparing the horses to the breed standard and the breeding direction, and we evaluate what we see in front of us on that particular day. Owners must realize that horses can change, especially the younger horses, and can change from week to week."
"A keuring is a 'user-friendly' place to meet like-minded breeders and supporters of KWPN sport horses and an amazing opportunity for education," says Faith Fessenden, a longtime breeder who has also been a KWPN judge for six years. "Seeing the new foal crops, how the prior entrants are developing and how the youngsters fare when graduating to their 'jobs' under saddle, provides all of us-breeders and jury alike-with reinforcement and examples of a job well done."
Lana Sneddon, a KWPN-NA judge since 2002, agrees with Fessenden about the joy of seeing the young horses and meeting great friends through the KWPN-NA. "Seeing all of the horses is a highlight, but getting to meet all of the breeders and hear their views on breeding and personal stories is really great," the LaGrange, IN resident says.
For Sneddon, the new breeder's awards are an important opportunity. She emphasizes, "Breeding is very expensive and these awards give breeders the extra incentive to take their horses through the keurings. Since breeders are the root of the entire industry, anytime there is an opportunity to recognize breeders and put them in the spotlight, it's a good day! Many thanks to all the people that worked so hard to put this program together, and then to Rabobank for making it all possible."