There are five breeding classifications of stallions in Sweden. The breeding classifications indicate the stallion’s estimated breeding value based on performance (B and AB) and the merits of its offspring A, and Elite and C). An evaluation of the merits of offspring can take place at the age of 10 (six years after the stallion’s 4-year-old stallion testing). In North America, we also have the additional classification of CRB, based on a stallion’s performance.
A stallion that has completed his inspection presentation and approved to breed in North America. CRB stallions have two years to complete their performance requirements. Three-year-old stallions must be re-presented as a 4- or 5-year-old.
A stallion that is currently under examination who has good results from the performance test, but has not yet completed the individual testing.
A stallion that has completed and passed the performance test in Sweden, or is approved based on his own performance, is normally approved for breeding for a 6 year period.
A minimum of 15 offspring is required to provide an adequate basis for offspring evaluation. Result reliability improves with the minimum of 25 offspring. The relevant breeding classifications are described below. Described below are the relevant breeding classifications:
Elite Stallions are those who have passed down excellent performance qualities to their offspring, and have proven valuable in breeding and in sport. Several of the offspring have achieved satisfactory results at the FEI or Grand Prix level in at least one discipline.
Stallions that pass down good performance qualities to their offspring receive breeding classification A. For the quality evaluation, the BLUP index must exceed 130 in one discipline or 120 in total index. For stallions 15 years and older special attention is paid to the offspring's competition results. The offspring shall be better than average and have placed in the finals in competitions for their particular age group or at the FEI or Grand Prix level in order to receive credit.
The V classification is given to stallions that have not proven to pass on its genetic traits in a positive fashion, and whose competition results are not sufficient to keep an AB licensure. This classification may be given to stallions that are under investigation due to low fertility or possible serious defects passed on to offspring. V class is given to stallions that do not meet the BLUP index requirements, that the index is based on less than 25 offspring, or if its offspring's competition results are not adequate for their respective age group, the stallion is awarded a V. A V classified stallion is not granted a breeding license.
Stallions that have demonstrated low fertility, passed down serious defects to their offspring, or have weak offspring are removed from breeding. A few good offspring do not outweigh an overall poor performance. The number of offspring in quality evaluations and competitions may be less than 25 since few offspring might be due to weak heritability. A stallion with a C classification is NOT granted a breeding license.
Kass is given to stallions that have passed on genetic defects or exterior weaknesses that are of importance from an animal welfare standpoint. Such a stallion may not be used for breeding.
Offspring evaluations are based primarily on the BLUP indexes generated during quality evaluations and talent hunts in accordance with methods presented by Gerber et al (1997) and Arnason (1998). Competition performance results are also part of the equation, and result in a BLUP Index calculated according to Philipsson (2001). As a preliminary basis, results from the talent hunts of 2.5 and 3-year olds are used. If possible, the BLUP indexes should contain information from all of the tests mentioned above. Indexes are generated for exterior qualities as well as gaits/dressage qualities and jumping qualities. The indexes should also include health statistics through quality evaluations, talent hunts, and medical records. The results from offspring that have been exported should be taken into account.
A minimum of 25 offspring that have participated in quality evaluations, talent hunts or competed in shows is the basis for upgrading a breeding value.
A stallion with an inadequate number of offspring that have been tested or competed can acquire a renewal of its license through its own merits of competition. A breeding license is granted on an annual basis. A stallion that does not fulfill the requirements mentioned above can be subject to a downgrading of classification as well as suspension of its breeding license while awaiting a more definitive evaluation of its offspring.
Offspring evaluation is updated annually.
All the breeding classifications except Elite are subject to change at the yearly offspring evaluation.
In order for offspring to be eligible for registration, stallion owners are obligated to report to the SWB Association (on or before Sep 30) all mares bred during the year, as well as the breeding results from the prior year. The licensing committee analyzes the results and makes a final decision. Stallions may be removed temporarily or permanently from breeding due to lowered fertility in accordance with the Swedish Horse Board's list of defects.