The format of the German Stallion Performance Testings have undergone quite a few changes since 2016, but in 2017 the new Stallion Suitability Test seems to be radically changing the entire testing system.
In 2014 the German breeding department of the German equestrian federation announced the development of a new format for the Stallion Performance Testing (HLP) system in Germany. This went into effect in 2016. The major changes, amongst others, were made to the duration of the testing (shortened from 70 to 50 days and from 30 to 14 days) and a more clear division in the disciplines of the stallions (jumpers were grouped together at one testing station and dressage stallions at another). Stallions who have not been performance tested can no longer stand at stud.
For 2017 the German breeding department also offered the opportunity for stallion owners to chose a 14-day Suitability Test instead of the 2016 instated format of the traditional performance testing. This new option has dramatically changed the landscape of performance testing in Germany as all owners are radically choosing the new format.
The Suitability tests for 3-year olds takes 14-days and riders from the performance testing station will assess the 3-year old colts under saddle on their capabilities and suitability as a future sport horse. In principle, young colts are not allowed to cover any mares before they have completed the suitability test.
As of 1 February 2017, the 14-day suitability test will start. The scheduled traditional performance testings had to be cancelled because there were not enough entries. All German stallion owners chose the suitability test instead. So many horses have been entered for the first four suitability tests, that new dates had to be programmed.
A further change to the system instated in 2016 was that approved stallions aged 4 and 5 will have to do a mandatory 3-day "sport test" in their chosen discipline (dressage, show jumping, eventing). These 3-day sport tests begin on 7 - 9 february (Munster), 14 - 16 February (Munster), 2 - 4 March (Verden) and 10 - 12 March (Munich).
So for 2017 colts who wish to get total approval to breed have to complete the suitability test as a 3-year old and do the sport test as a 4- and 5-year old. The duble sport test can be dropped if the stallion gets qualified to compete at the Bundeschampionate (proving himself in sport).
Photo © Kiki Beelitz
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