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The ELITE Predicate

New predicates always need some getting used to. It takes time for a new predicate to land before it starts to develop a sort of connotation as to its value. What is its value in real terms? It feels a bit like when a company goes public on the stock exchange and everyone is curious what the opening rate will be’, is how KFPS Director Ids Hellinga opens his column in the November issue of Phryso.
‘That’s probably the best way to interpret the discussion fuelled at the Central Inspection when two Crown-Sport-Elite mares were not promoted to Model. Allegedly the Studbook doesn’t give enough attention to the sport. In itself something of an odd reflex, considering that the Sport-Elite predicate was introduced less than four months ago for the specific reason of recognising absolute top horses in the sport.
Predicates are excellent tools to give direction to the mare selection. For years the system of predicates has followed a single-track course, from Star to Crown to Model. With the advance of sport in the breeding goal an extra dimension has been added: from Sport to Sport-Elite. It’s evident that these two tracks cannot and mustn’t be seen as completely separate tracks but at the same time we have to realise there are also distinct differences. The Model predicate implies the absolute top mainly in terms of exterior and Sport-Elite defines the absolute top in the sport. We should make sure these two issues don’t get mixed up. But as said before, the Sport-Elite predicate needs time to get embedded. Even more so because the Model predicate has been (still is or was?) the highest achievable standard since 1901. Ultimately the value will depend on the number of horses that acquire the predicate because the more select the number of horses the greater its value. The general expectation for the near future is that fewer mares will acquire the Sport-Elite predicate than the Model declaration.
The extent of the appreciation of the sport by the KFPS is not primarily generated by the Studbook but rather by the sport itself. In this context the WBFSH response to our application for membership was quite apt: ‘Interesting ambitions, but why don’t we see you at international events?’ True enough, we’re still too much caught up in a culture of collecting ‘elite points’ at (semi) internal competitions for Friesian horses. It’s about time our Elite starts mingling with the true elite.’

As posted in the November 2017 KFPS Newsletter