Throughout the world the breeding of the Purebred Spanish Horse (PRE) is controlled and regulated by laws approved and passed by the Government of Spain. Since January 2007 the authority to implement these laws, and to request amendments of these laws, has resided in the Spanish National Breeders organisation, the ANCCE, by the decision of the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture.
Thus the ANCCE is the officially recognized association to handle the PRE Stud Book (ANCCE-LGPRE) and to develop the PRE Breeding Program (a requirement of EU Equine Law). All those horses registered in the PRE Stud Book, handled by ANCCE, are considered to be Purebred Spanish Horses.
The ANCCE-LGPRE is the body that issues the Equine Identification Documents (EID)(Passports) for all the PRE Horses in the world. In this regard, ANCCE has a sophisticated INTERNET-based communication and information tool that maintains all administrative staff in direct contact, both within Spain and abroad. The main offices of the ANCCE-LGPRE (Stud Book) are located in the city of Seville (Spain). Likewise, the said Stud Book office counts on the collaboration of veterinarians who represent the ANCCE-LGPRE in Spain (National Representatives) and Collaborating International Associations (International Representatives) such as BAPSH Ltd in the UK & Eire.
Since ANCCE took over the management of the PRE Stud Book in 2007 the indexes for quality, efficiency and dependability have increased. This has, in turn, earned the organization international recognition and it is currently considered as a role model for other equine breeds, especially in Europe.
ANCCE RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR THE PUREBRED SPANISH HORSE STUD BOOK
For the effects of these rules and regulations, the Purebred Spanish Horse (hereinafter PRE) is described as (the breed) registered in the Stud Book for this breed (hereinafter PRE Stud Book).
2. Division of the Stud Book
In keeping with the specific regulations for the PRE, as published in the BOE (Official State Gazette) number 127, dated the 28th of May, 2012, the Stud Book for the Purebred Spanish Horse is made up of a Main Section, which includes the following registers:
2.1 Births Register: for those horses, born to/of breeding stock that is registered in the Permanent Register, in those cases in which the covering (breeding), artificial insemination or embryo implantation has been duly declared by the breeder or veterinarian responsible for said task, and the birth of which has been declared following the procedure established by ANCCE for this purpose. Moreover, said horses must be identified as established by law at any given time; said horse must be compatible with the parents proposed by means of DNA testing and meet all the requirements established by ANCCE in keeping with Royal Decree 2129/2008, dated the 26th of December.
2.2 Permanent Register: for those horses included in the Birth Register and that are three (3) years of age, that meet the PRE breed standard and that prove that they have surpassed the specific assessment test to earn the category of “Approved Breeding Stock” (APTO). Any horse that fails to pass said assessment shall remain registered in the Birth Register.
Within this Permanent Register, the following Registers for Breeding Stock with outstanding qualities from the genetic point of view are also included:
a) Register of Young Recommended Breeding Stock (JRR): those horses in the Permanent Register between 4 and 6 years of age, that have undergone a genetic assessment using the data generated when participating in the Performance Tests established in the Breeding Program, have achieved a genetic index that exceeds the established level for the relevant character or aptitude and have passed the conformation, functional, breeding and health requirements established in the Breeding Program, may be included in this register.
b) Register of Qualified Breeding Stock (CALIFICADO): those horses in the Permanent Register that have undergone a genetic assessment using the data generated when participating in the Performance Tests established in the Breeding Program, have achieved a genetic index that exceeds the average for the population and that have passed a test organized by the Breeder Association in which their conformation and/or functional, biomechanical and locomotion qualities, their internal, reproductive and health aptitudes have been assessed, may be included in this register.
c) Register of Improver Breeding Stock (MRR): those horses in the Permanent Register that are aged 7 or over, have achieved a genetic index that exceeds the average for the population for the relevant characteristic or aptitude, with a minimum reliability and requirements according to the Breeding Program, may be included in this register.
d) Register of Elite Breeding Stock (ELITE): those horses in the Permanent Register that are aged 7 or over, have achieved the category of Improver Breeding Stock for the two categories (aptitude for Conformation and Dressage) established in the Breeding Program, may be included in this register.
Moreover, there is an Additional Section with a Register of Merits for those horses in the Permanent Register that stand out due to their own merits in competitions and that have demonstrated outstanding exceptional qualities.
The genetic information of the horses assessed shall be included in the PRE Stud Book and the category achieved shall be noted in their Equine Identification Document (EID) by means of a distinctive mark (stamp).
3. Identification of the horses
All the horses registered in the PRE Stud Book must be identified individually, according to the current regulations regarding the identification of equines; horses shall be assigned a unique identification code (UELN) to be used for registration in the PRE Stud Book and that must appear on all the zootechnical documentation referring to said horse.
In addition to guaranteeing the reliability of the genealogy of the horses registered in the PRE Stud Book, a parentage test shall be performed, using DNA testing, on all horses prior to their registration in the Births Register of the PRE Stud Book.
4. Purebred Spanish Horse breed characteristics. THE PRE BREED STANDARD
4.1 General Characteristics: medium size, regular lines and with sub-convex profile. Proportional conformation (proportionality index; height at the withers*100/ shoulder-isquial length (Distance of straight segment being from the union of the scapular-humerus joint to the point of buttock (isquial tuberosity) between 90 and 110), notable general harmony and very beautiful, with appreciable sexual dimorphism. The height at the withers should be between 1.54 and 1.72 meters for males and 1.52 and 1.70 meters for females. Their paces must be brilliant, agile, energetic, cadenced and elastic, with appreciable elevation and extension, notable ease for collection and turns on the haunches. Their temperament must be spirited, noble, docile and well balanced, with a great capacity for learning.
4.2 Morphological characteristics
a) Head: In proportion, of average length, lean, with a sub-convex frontal profile. Ears – medium sized, very mobile, well inserted and parallel. Forehead – slightly wide and discretely convex. Eyes – lively, expressive and triangular, with non-protruding orbital arches. Face – relatively long and moderately narrow (more in females), sub-convex and free of flesh. Nose tapered into a soft curve projected from the face. Nostrils – wide and non-protruding. Cheeks – broad and lean, with long discreetly arched edges.
b) Neck: Of average size and length, slightly arched and muscled (less in females). Well inserted at the head and trunk. Mane – abundant and silky.
c) Trunk: Proportioned and robust. Withers – discretely broad and prominent, in a smooth extension following the spinal column. Back – consistent, muscled and almost flat. Loin – short, broad, muscled and somewhat arched, well joined with the back and at the croup. Croup of average length and width, rounded and slightly sloped. Tail inserted low and well between the buttocks, with abundant, long and often wavy hair. Breast – broad and deep. Ribs – arched, long and deep. Flanks extended and belly correct.
d) Forelegs or forehand: Shoulder – long, muscled and oblique. Arm (humerus) – strong and sloped. Forearm – strong and of medium length. Knee – well developed and lean. Cannon of proportionate length; tendon well marked and ample. Fetlock – lean and prominent, with little hair. Pasterns with good conformation, slope and direction and of a proportionate length. Hoof – compact, well balanced and well developed.
e) Hind legs / hindquarters: Thigh – muscled and lightly arched; buttocks – muscled and gaskin – long. Hock – strong, ample and clean. The body areas located below the tarsus joints should have identical characteristics to those indicated for the forelegs.
4.3 Phaneroptic features: Coat – fine and short. Coat color – grays and bays are dominant, others are acceptable.
4.4 Behavioral characteristics and temperament: They are rustic, sober, well-balanced and tough animals. Energetic, noble and docile. They learn well and adapt easily to a variety of tasks and situations.
4.5 Functional characteristics: They have brilliant, agile, energetic, cadenced and elastic paces, with appreciable elevation and extension, notable ease for collection and turns on the haunches.
4.6 Aptitudes: They have great aptitudes when performing a variety of tasks, responding easily to the rider’s aids and have a good mouth; therefore, they are obedient, with easy understanding between horse and rider and are extraordinarily comfortable. Their main use is riding, with natural ability for “dressage” (Alta Escuela (Spanish High School), Dressage and Doma Vaquera), rejoneo (mounted bull-fighting), acoso y derribo (testing young fighting bulls), carriage driving, working with livestock and farm chores as well as other equestrian disciplines.
4.7 Disqualifying defects: the presence of fallen crest, ewe or inverted neck, cryptorchidism and non-accidental monorchidism. Other disqualifying defects include: a height of less than 1.54 m for males and 1.52 m for females, a proportionality index of less than 90 or more than 110, concave or ultra-convex frontal profiles and the presence of serious defects in general, which differ from the breed prototype, detected during the assessment process.
4.8 Penalizing defects: those stated for the head and neck, when these fail to reach the degree for disqualification, a lack of harmony and disproportion between body areas and dimensions, hollow/sunken back, height at the withers of more than 170 m for females and 172 m for males, being higher at the point of the croup than at the withers, presence of melanomas in the perineum, inadequate limb alignment and movement with poor elevation, irregular, poor extension and, especially, dishing.
5.Procedure for Registration in the Permanent Register – BASIC GRADING (Valoracion/Evaluation)
The breeder association, as the body handling the PRE Stud Book, is responsible for establishing the procedure/s to register Purebred Spanish Horses in the Permanent Register, as well as determining the organizations and activities, requirements and personnel authorized for the assessments to be applied in this procedure, always according to the corresponding legislation.
5.1 Authorized personnel
The personnel authorized by the Breeder Association shall have the task, among others, of assessing the morphological and phaneroptic features that the horses in the Births Register must have to achieve the category of “Approved as Breeding Stock” and thus be registered in the Permanent Register.
The Breeder Association shall publicize the procedures and establish suitable protocols so that this and later actions for qualification, facilitate the genetic assessment of the animals to advance. In addition, it shall have the necessary means to train the authorized personnel and the means and mechanisms to inform and train breeders. The Breeder Association shall guarantee the correct application of the rules and regulations by the authorized personnel and shall periodically assess and inform about the achievement of said objectives.
The assessment for basic approval as breeding stock shall be requested by the owner of the horse and shall take place using a system of elimination, based on the disqualifying defects or on the sum of the penalizing defects of the horse, both regarding the breed and the species defined in the established protocol.
To carry out the assessment, forms that have been specifically designed by the Breeder Association shall be used; these forms shall include all the necessary information regarding a series of objective zoometric measurements and other data of interest, which shall be integrated into the PRE Breeding Program.
Those horses that pass the assessment for basic approval as Breeding Stock will achieve the category of “Approved as Breeding Stock”. Any horse that fails to pass this assessment shall remain listed in the Births Register. The category achieved (Approved or Not Approved) must appear in the Equine Identification Document (EID) of the horse and in the official database of the PRE Stud Book.
Artificial breeding methods: insemination and ova and embryo transplants, are authorized for the horses registered in the Permanent Register. In the case of embryo transfer, both the donor and receptor mares must be registered in the Permanent Register of the PRE Stud Book.
The methods mentioned in the above paragraph must comply with the criteria established by the breeder association, always within the framework of the current zootechnical-health legislation, bearing in mind the guidelines highlighted in the Breeding Program of the breed, so as to ensure that the genetic variability of the population is maintained.