Proud Meadows is honored to have been selected as an authorized stallion testing facility by the Federation Nationale (FN), Germany’s governing body on equine standards. We call the portion of our facility designed for this purpose the International Friesian Testing Center, or IFT Center.

       Since 1997 we have hosted the Stallion Performance Test for the Friesenpferde-Zuchtverband e.V (FPZV), who also assists us in communicating with and adhering to the standards of the FN.

       The IFT Center offers a professional and hospitable environment for similar stallion events. Following is a description of what our facility is set up for.

WHAT DOES THE FPZV STALLION TEST REQUIRE?

       FPZV believes that the prosperity of the Friesian breed requires that stallions be Approved based on their demonstrated performance abilities as much as bloodlines. Thus the stallions are tested to give proof of their performance value.

       The FPZV Stallion Test is fifty days in duration. Each stallion is judged on temperament, manners, and trainability during the first part of this period. At the end the stallions must pass each of four parts of the Performance Test with a minimum score of 5.0 in each and a minimum collective score of 6.5.

The four main parts of the Stallion Performance Test are:
click images for larger view

       The ridden and driven dressage tests are the primary focus during preparatory training for the Stallion Test. During this time the stallions are frequently ridden and driven by their respective trainers. But it is mandatory that "foreign" riders and drivers (accomplished trainers who have never worked with the stallions) also take the stallions through their paces to see how they respond. These foreign riders and drivers are chosen by the IFT Center and approved by the FN and the registry. During the last two weeks of the testing period they arrive to record their independent evaluations of each stallion, These opinions are based on the traditional standards of the disciplines.

       In the final days of the test highly qualified and lettered judges who are selected by the registry arrive at the IFT Center to score each stallion in each test. They grade the horses by standards identical to the dressage and driving competition standards of North America and the Federation Nationale.

       The IFT Center is set up to provide on-site accommodations for the foreign rider and driver, as well as the visiting judges.

THE IFT CENTER HOSPITALITY BONUS

       In the final days of the Performance Test, owners usually come to the Center to witness their stallions in front of the judges. Because the Center knows how important the Approval process is for owners, we strive to create a pleasant environment for the event.

       Our indoor arena has a large viewing area for the dressage test, just outside the clubhouse doors. Our outdoor arena is well-situated for a large audience to see the driving and sled tests. The gently rolling and partially forested cross-country jumping course circles the outdoor arena location so that every jump can be easily viewed.

       We can even provide a meeting room if the registry wants to hold a business meeting during the event.
The IFTC often has a cocktail party in the barn on the final evening. This is a good time for everyone to relax prior to the official Approval ceremony and awards.

     We have even featured, during the awards night dinner, the newly tested stallions in a musical quadrille. This was a great way for all to see the stallions performing side-by-side, and was very well-received. We followed this with an exhibition of our own stallions by our resident trainer and staff, demonstrating high-level Freestyle and a variety of other equestrian performances.

     During the final ceremony, the Champion and Reserve Champion stallions are named by the registry, and the overall scores of each stallion are announced. Each owner is presented with his or her stallion at this time. The awards are followed by a party and dancing.

  JUDGING AND KEURING

     In addition to overseeing the Stallion Test, officials from the FPZV return to North America each Fall to judge foals and mares. This judging tour is held at several locations, including the IFTC, in order to be more convenient for the owners.

     Mares are judged at age three or four for preliminary qualification as Star or Model mare status. Qualifying mares must then pass a riding and driving test identical to the stallion test prior to earning Star or Model status.
Foals are judged so that they can be accepted into the Foal Book. They are awarded Premium 1, 2, or 3 scores that then become part of their official FPZV registration papers.


     Stallions must be Keured (judged) to determine if they have the basic movement and conformation to be eligible for Approval. They also undergo extensive medical screening, including DNA testing. This is often done during the Fall judging tour.

     If a stallion passes this strict initial judging he should then be trained in riding and driving for the Stallion Test prior to arriving for the 50-day Performance Test. In rare cases some stallions are Keured at the same time as the Performance Test, but the owner runs the risk of having a stallion not pass the Keuring, rendering him ineligible for Approval after the test. This is strongly discouraged.

     The International Friesian Testing Center at Proud Meadows is dedicated to upholding the highest standards of the breed and to providing owners and the registry with an exceptional venue for the important task of approving stallions.


Enjoy the following photo essay
of a recent Stallion Test at the IFTC.
(pdf download: 516kb)

Contact FPZV (USA office)

Friesenpferde-Zuchtverband e. V. (in German)

 

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