Harness Stallion Licensing

February 17, 2013

Harness Stallion Licensing


Last weekend the first ever Harness Stallion Licensing took place at Windy Knoll Farm in Sullivan Ohio. The jury consisted of harness stallion committee chairman Henk Rootveld, Lana Sneddon (North American inspector) and René van der Kuil (KWPN harness horse inspector). Eleven stallions were presented.

Stallion selection in North America consists of two rounds. In the first round, which is comparable with the 1st round in Holland, stallions are presented in hand and conformation and movement are evaluated according to the linear scoresheet. This keuring presentation was preceded by a pedigree evaluation. In order to be accepted for harness horse breeding in North America, stallions must next be presented in an IBOP test. This is considered to be the second round. On the basis of the in-hand presentation and the IBOP (minimum score of 75 points) the jury decides whether or not to “License” the stallion. This is not the same as “approved”. A stallion only becomes “approved” after the successful completion of a performance test. At that point the approval is completely comparable to approval in Holland. Foals by “Licensed” stallions can receive Register A papers, not Foalbook papers as in the case of an Approved stallion.

In the first round stallions can get a 1st or 2nd premium. Stallions with a 1st premium can, if turn three during the keuring year, will earn the star predicate. The owners of these star stallions will be advised by the jury whether it makes sense for their stallion to drive the IBOP at a later date (2nd round) with an eye to “Licensing”.

Conformation and Movement Evaluation

A first premium, the star predicate and positive advice was given to the [coming] three-year old Flamewalker, owned by Wyman D. Miller, and the six-year old C E Z Warrior, owned by Parkside Stables and Dutch Meadow Stables. The bay Flamewalker, bred by Jonas & Joanna Graber of Aristocrat Stables, is a son of Whiskei out of the Hackney mare Hillcrofts Showbelle (Raffles x Brooklawn’s Toreador). Flamewalker is an appealing, refined stallion. The neck has good position, but could be a tad longer. The stallion makes front in movement allowing for action and bend (flexion), but the hindleg could a little quicker in coming under the body. Sire Whiskei (Patijn out of Sabrina ster by Manno x Uriant) was “Licensed” five years ago. He comes from the mareline of Sjoerd Cazemier.

The black C E Z Warrior is a son of the not-approved stallion Wouter. The breeder is Edwin Zehr (E.Z.’s Dutch Harness Horses). Warrior is out of Navaline ster by Manno x Cinovo, bred by H. Meijering. Warrior is a very appealing, long-lined stallion that has size. He trots with a lot of self-carriage and a very big, powerful stride. Sire Wouter (Nando out of Namora ster by Farao, bred by A. van Bennekom) was a 2nd Round stallion in Holland, who has done very well with his foals at the inspections of the hybrid studbook ADHHA (American Dutch Harness Horse Association).

Star predicates but no positive advice regarding stallion approval was for the 4-year old Eddison (Ulandro x Teo) bred by Myron Miller and owned by Jerry Lambright, the 5-year old Doran (Vaandrager HBC x Patijn) bred by J. Achter de Molen and owned by Lengacher Stables and Graber Stables, and for the 13-year old Taron (Balmoral x Droomwals) bred by A.E. Haarman and owned by Jonas K Lengacher. Doran and Taron earned a star and 2nd round respectively at the stallion approvals in Holland.

Second premiums went to the 2-year old Gambler (Whiskei x Canadian Goddess (Hackney) bred by Lester Graber and owned by Aquilla King of Hidden meadows Farm), the 3-year old Firmenator FF (Bonanza [Plain’s Liberator] x Gelviro) bred by David and Lorene Beachy and bred by Jonas S. Scmucker of J.S. Green Acres, and the 9-year old Zildo (Manno x Renovo) bred by H.J.C. Visser and owned by Ray and Marlene Yoder of Yoder Hackney Farm. The latter was also presented in the IBOP but was not admitted to the show test.


Three stallions drove the complete IBOP test. Debbie Egan presented the 7-year old Bruiser (Unbelievable [Manno x Fabricius] out of Pauletta B keur by Fabricius x Waterman) bred by Dean Wikel and owned by Vernon D. Raber of Springbrook Farms. The chestnut stallion made quite an impression with his front for which he got a 9. Sadly, with a 5 for the use of the hindleg, the movement components were less convincing. Bruiser finished with a total of 66.5 points, insufficient for the “Licensed” predicate. However, because of his presentation in the first round (conformation and movement in-hand) Bruiser did receive the star predicate.
There was no star predicate for the 10-year old Windfall (Jonker out of Erina keur pref by Waterman x Monarch) bred by Dean Wikel and owned by Ray and Marlene Yoder of Yoder Hackney Farm. With 68 points, the stallion also did not score high enough in the IBOP. Debbie Egan presented Windfall in the dressage test and her husband Ron Egan drove the show test.

Only the 7-year old Barno (Saffraan out of Vannerana ster by Patijn x Indurain) owned by Daniel J. Miller earned a high enough score of 76 points with his driver Clark Vesty. Barno was bred by S. Wobbes and is from the Kerna line, which also produced the approved stallion Atleet. Barno earned the following scores: front 7.5, self-carriage 7, suspension 6 (x2), action of the foreleg 8.5 (x2), use of the hindleg 8.5 (x2), enthusiasm 8.5 and overall picture a 7. In Holland Barno finished third in the championship keuring and was selected for the performance test. As a 3-year old and last year as a 6-year old and both times was pulled out of the test by his then owner after consulting with the stallion committee.
At the end of the day on Saturday, when jury president Henk Rootveld announced all the results, he awarded Barno his “Licensed” status. This now allows offspring of Barno to receive Register A papers [also depending on mare pedigree].

Approved Stallions

Various approved stallions were shown in stallion showcase blocks on both Friday and Saturday. Roelof van ‘t Oever and Klaas Korterik presented Vaandrager HBC and Baanbreker HBC for David and Lorene Beachy and Enos Graber presented his Whiskei. Together they made a fine show of it both days.
The watchlist stallion Ulandro (Manno out of Landra ster by Balmoral x Kroonprins), bred by Gebr. Den Otter and owned by CZ Driving Horses, was also presented in-hand and in-harness. This was done with an eye to the possibility to lift his watchlist status. After the presentation Henk Rootveld made the announcement that Ulandro’s offspring in Holland have again been evaluated and on the basis of the degree of conformation heritability and index he was again accepted for KWPN breeding, regaining his approved status.


The goal of the event was not only stallion selection, but also education. Henk Rootveld made a presentation of the History of the Dutch Harness Horse. Lana Sneddon talked of the KWPN keuring system and the predicates. Shakota Powel from the KWPN-NA office discussed registration possibilities and René van der Kuil spoke and demonstrated the hows and whys of the linear scoresheet.
Harness horse trained Wim Cazemier was asked to give several clinics about preparing horses for a keuring, presenting horses at a keuring and training with the long lines and in-harness.
Attendees were very interested and involved, and asked many questions this past weekend. It was a successful event that was a logical continuation to the increasing demand for harness horses in North America. The KWPN and KWPN-NA will work together to review how to go on from here and see how the harness horse inspections in North America will shape up in the future.