Spanish-Norman Horse Breeding Programme – DEFRA Approved 2021-02-24
The Aims of the Spanish-Norman Horse Breeding Programme
Improvement and Development of an Existing Breed via Enhanced Selection Procedures and Genetic Screening To Achieve A Self-Sustaining Breed Population over a 30 year period from 2005 to 2035
INTRODUCTION AND AIMS
The Spanish-Norman Horse is a Pure-breed that replicates the Medieval Norman Warhorse, a breed that was active, athletic, and able to carry the substantial weights of medieval knights with ease whilst galloping, manoeuvring, and jumping on the battlefield. This type of horse is now in great demand within the UK and Europe for its ability to compete successfully in modern equestrian sports whilst comfortably carrying above average weights.
The original USA Spanish-Norman Horse Registry was based on foundation bloodlines obtained by mating PRE Stallions to pedigree Percheron Mares but the reverse mating was banned. However the number of Percheron Mares able to be bred from worldwide is small compared to the numbers of PRE Horses worldwide and over time it has become clear that this 1990’s US regulation is restricting the numbers of Foundation Generation foals that can be produced, and as a result restricting the genetic variability within the Spanish-Norman Horse breed.
This 2021 Revised UK Spanish-Norman Horse Breeding Program will increase the number of Percheron bloodlines that can be accessed by introducing permission to mate tall, substantial, mature PRE Mares (minimum age 5yrs, minimum height 15.3hh) to pedigree Percheron Stallions. The number of Approved for Breeding PRE Mares in the UK currently stands at 862 and the number of Percheron Stallions at stud in the UK is around 10 but a stallion can cover 20 mares a year without difficulty and BAPSH will be actively encouraging the production of Spanish-Norman foal from suitable PRE mares over the next 5 years to broaden the foundation generation stock numerically and genetically..
The goal of this Studbook Breeding Programme is the development of a self-sustaining population of Spanish-Norman Horses with a broad and healthy genetic background based upon 50% PRE and 50% Percheron ancestral foundation stock from varied bloodlines, enabling Spanish-Norman Horses to be bred within the Spanish-Norman Horse breed.
The Spanish-Norman Horse gene-pool will continue to be supported and enhanced after the current Breeding Program period closes in 2035 by the judicious addition of new genetic material from BAPSH approved new Percheron and PRE bloodlines via first cross matings.
All PRE Horses used in the Breeding Program must be registered in the PRE Mother Studbook, ANCCE-LGPRE of Spain. PRE Stallions must be Approved for Breeding. PRE Mares should also be Approved for Breeding; exception may be made to this requirement if the PRE Mare is the correct age, height, substance and quality to enhance the Spanish-Norman Horse BP.
All Percheron Mares and Percheron Stallions must be registered with a recognised Percheron Studbook, these include the British Percheron Horse Society, Société Hippique Percheronne de France, the Percheron Association of America, and the Canadian Percheron Association.
All Spanish-Norman Horses must be registered with BAPSH Ltd.
Above: The beautiful head of Spanish-Norman mare Rancar Ethel.
Owned by Claire Walker. Bred by Amanda Tomlinson.
SNH BREEDING PROGRAMME STRATEGIES AND PROCEDURES 2022
1.General Resources and Tools for Breeders/Owners/Riders
2. Detailed Breeding Strategies For Each Generation
3. Genetic Health and Evaluation
4. Grading/Evaluation Before Breeding
5. Rewards For Success In Sport
6. Pedigrees and Data Records
1. GENERAL RESOURCES AND TOOLS FOR BREEDERS/ OWNERS/ RIDERS
1.a) Advice and guidance for Breeders on the recommended breeding strategies for the Breeding Program and assistance for Breeders to plan multi-generation studfarm breeding programs including selection of sires and dams, thus maintaining the forward drive for the development of the Spanish-Norman Horse toward the goal of a healthy population of athletic, heavy weight riding and sports horses matching the requirements of the Breed Standard.
1.b) Providing Breeders with calculable Inbreeding Coefficients for registered horses and for products of potential/planned matings.
1.c) Online Studbook with Interactive Pedigrees with Progeny Listings, Genetic Test Results, Grading Results, Performance Awards, Competition Results, Photographs, etc via the Equidata system.
2. DETAILED BREEDING STRATEGIES FOR EACH GENERATION:- The Spanish-Norman Horse must remain within the range of 50% PRE to 75% PRE blood but the preferred and most typical representatives of the Spanish-Norman Horse are those with the 50/50 balance of original foundation bloodlines. Breeders should calculate the PRE blood % of each planned foal before covering takes place, and they are encouraged to contact BAPSH Ltd for assistance if required.
The Generational Mating Strategies to be followed by breeders to ensure the steady development of the Breeding Programme are as follows:-
Foundation Generation (FG1) Spanish-Norman Horses are produced in two ways:-
1. Breed an Approved for Breeding PRE Stallion to a registered pedigree Percheron mare, resulting in horses with 50/50 bloodline combination.
2. Breed a registered Percheron Stallion to a large, substantially built Approved for Breeding (Apto) PRE Mare (minimum age 5yrs, minimum height 15.3hh).
In certain circumstances un-approved (Non-Apto) PRE Mares of the right type (visual inspection by BAPSH Director required) may be granted permission by BAPSH Ltd to contribute foals to the Spanish-Norman BP for FG1 and G2 matings. The Mare Owner must contact the Studbook BEFORE mating the Mare, to discuss the merits of the Mare proposed and the reason/s why she cannot or has not been Approved for Breeding. The decision whether to grant entry for a Non-Apto PRE Mare into the SNH BP will be made within 10 working days of the initial discussion with the mare Owner.
Second Generation (G2) Spanish-Norman Horses MUST carry a minimum of 50% PRE blood (Apto PRE only).
There are 3 acceptable breeding strategies:-
1. Breed two FG1 Spanish-Norman Horses together; the SNH Stallion must be Approved for Breeding. This is the ideal combination of parents giving foals with 50% PRE blood.
2. Breed a FG1 Spanish-Norman Mare to a PRE Stallion giving a foal with 75% PRE blood.
3. Breed a FG1 Approved For Breeding Spanish-Norman Stallion to a PRE Mare (see FG1 information) resulting in a foal with 75% PRE blood.
Third Generation (G3) Spanish-Norman Horses MUST carry a minimum of 50% PRE blood (Apto PRE only).
There are 2 acceptable breeding strategies leading from the 3 strategies for Second Generation (G2) horses.
1. Breed two 50/50 G2 (or G2 x FG1) Spanish-Norman Horses together; the SNH Stallion must be Approved for Breeding. This is the ideal combination of parents giving foals with50% PRE blood.
2. Breed 75%PRE blood Spanish-Norman Horse to a 50/50 Spanish-Norman Horse resulting in a foal with 62.5%PRE blood
Fourth Generation (G4 Spanish-Norman Horses MUST carry a minimum of 50% PRE blood (Apto PRE only).
There are 2 acceptable breeding strategies for producing 4th generation horses:-
1. Breed two 50/50 Spanish-Norman Horses together; the SNH Stallion must be Approved for Breeding.
G3 x G3 is recommended but G3 x G2, or G3 x FG1 are also accepted.
This is the ideal combination of parents giving foals with 50% PRE blood.
2. Breed 62.5% PRE blood G3 Spanish-Norman Horse to a 50/50 Spanish-Norman Horse resulting in a foal with 56.25% PRE blood
Fifth Generation (G5) Spanish-Norman Horses MUST carry a minimum of 50% PRE blood (Apto PRE only).
There are 3 acceptable breeding strategies for this generation:-
1. Breed two 50/50 Spanish-Norman Horses together; the Stallion must be Approved for Breeding.
G4 x G4 is recommended but G4 x G3, G4 x G2, or G4 x FG1 are also accepted.
This is the ideal combination of parents giving foals with 50% PRE blood.
2. Breed 56.25% PRE blood G4 Spanish-Norman Horse to a 62.50% G3 Spanish-Norman Horse resulting in a foal with 59.37% PRE blood.
3. Breed 56.25% PRE blood G4Spanish-Norman Horse to a 50/50 Spanish-Norman Horse resulting in a foal with 53.125% PRE blood.
3. GENETIC HEALTH AND EVALUATION:- Guard, monitor, and improve the Genetic health of the Breed by using modern DNA tests for inheritable Genetic diseases, in particular PSSM1
a.i) Prevent Genetic diseases from entering the Studbook through testing parent stock prior to breeding
a.ii) The BAPSH Studbook financing the PSSM1 testing of quality Percheron Stallions on behalf of their owners, in order to encourage the use of these Percheron Stallions as SNH FG1 sires
b) Testing foals from untested bloodlines during registration and advising owners to remove affected horses from the breeding population; BAPSH registration into the SNH Appendix.
c) By monitoring genetic research into equine diseases and equine inheritable traits, and applying this research where appropriate to the betterment of the Spanish-Norman Horse.
Percherons and PSSM1
One of the foundation breeds for the Spanish-Norman Horse is documented to have a high incidence of the inheritable genetic defect Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy 1 (PSSM1), with the major American Research paper placing the incidence at 62% of the 149 Percherons tested in the research project (Reference: Baird et al Vet Rec. 2010 Nov 13;167(20):781-4. McCue et al J Vet Intern Med. 2008 Sep-Oct;22(5):1228-33).
The high incidence of PSSM1 in the Percheron and the breed’s relatively low numbers worldwide makes it essential to implement a strategy designed to maximise the genetic resources to maintain diversity whilst preventing the entrance of PSSM1 into the Spanish-Norman Horse Main Studbook.
All Percherons used for the Spanish-Norman Breeding Programme must be tested for PSSM1 if they do not already have a Clear/Negative Certificate.
From January 2021, for a Two Year period, BAPSH Ltd undertake to pay for the Animal Genetics-UK PSSM1 Test for any new Percheron Stallions or Mares entering the SNH Breeding Program providing the Owners are in agreement. All DNA Samples must be received in the official BAPSH Ltd envelopes accompanied by a copy of the Percheron’s passport and pedigree; a copy of the Genetic Result Certificate will be sent to the Percheron Owner.
Homozygous Percherons:- Percherons who are homozygous for PSSM1 CANNOT be accepted into the SNH Breeding Program.
Heterozygous Percherons:- Breeders should make every effort to select Percheron Mares and Stallions which do NOT have PSSM1 for breeding the 1st cross Foundation Generation of Spanish-Norman Horses. However some important Percheron bloodlines required to improve the genetic diversity in the Spanish-Norman Horse may test heterozygous for PSSM1. If a Spanish-Norman Horse breeder can make a convincing case to the BAPSH Ltd Directors for the genetic importance of a Percheron which is heterozygous for PSSM1 to contribute to the SNH BP, the breeder may be granted permission to breed a limited number Spanish-Norman foals as there is a 50% chance of the PSSM1 gene NOT being passed to each foal.
PSSM1 heterozygous Percheron Mares may have a total of Two Foals for the SNH Breeding Program sired by the same or different PRE Stallions.
PSSM1 heterozygous Percheron Stallions may have a total of Four Foals for the SNH Breeding Program out of the same or different PRE Mares.
A PSSM1 Positive SNH foal will be registered in the Appendix Studbook and if male it must be castrated. A PSSM1 Negative SNH foal will be registered in the Main Studbook.
Spanish-Norman Horses and PSSM1
Spanish-Norman Horses born before the PSSM1 test became available must also to be tested for PSSM1 before breeding. Any Spanish-Norman stallions and colts with PSSM1 cannot be bred from and must be gelded.
Spanish-Norman Mares discovered to have a single copy of PSSM1 have a 50/50 chance of passing on their healthy gene and 50/50 chance of passing on their PSSM1 gene. Due to the small numbers of pedigree Spanish-Norman mares, heterozygous PSSM1 positive mares are permitted to breed a maximum of two Spanish-Norman foals in the hope that at least one foal will NOT receive the PSSM1 gene and enable the mare’s good genetic material to be passed on without the deleterious PSSM1 gene. A PSSM1 Positive foal will be registered in the Appendix Studbook and if male must be castrated, a PSSM1 Negative foal will be registered in the Main Studbook.
If there is no Negative PSSM1 Certificate for the Percheron bloodline sire/dam of a Spanish-Norman Foal and it is not possible to get the horse tested, the Foal from the untested lineage must themselves be tested for PSSM1 and registered according to the results.
Testing Procedure – Hair samples (40+ Hairs with Roots attached) are extracted by a Veterinarian and placed in the clean paper envelope provided by BAPSH Ltd which clearly identifies the horse by Name, DOB, parentage, and either Covering Certificate Number or Passport UELN. The Vet must sign and date the envelope across the seal and Overstamp with the Vet Practice Stamp. The Owner sends the BAPSH Hair Sample envelope within another envelope containing the registration or grading application documents.
The DNA sample is processed by Animal Genetics UK and the results certificate returned to BAPSH Ltd for database entry, scanning and copying for BAPSH records, and then forwarded to the owner of the horse.
The DNA sample is kept on file by Animal Genetics UK and can be used again at a later date for further genetic tests if research advances indicate that this will benefit the Breeding Programme.
4. GRADING/EVALUATION BEFORE BREEDING:- Grading to determine quality and suitability for Breeding has been introduced with the new Spanish-Norman Horse Breeding Programme. The Grading system increases knowledge about the breed and improves selection criteria.
Stallions Must Pass Both Stages of the Grading to become Approved For Breeding.
Stage 1 is a detailed Veterinary Reproductive Examination for Stallions. This must be passed by the Stallion before being presented for the Stage 2 Evaluation at a central Venue.
Stage 2 contains:-
a) Detailed biometrics – 27 measurements
b) Linear morphological conformation and type assessment
c) Movement assessment at walk , trot and canter, in-hand and loose
d) Performance over jumps
e) Temperament assessment
Currently SNH Mares have the option to be presented for Grading-Stage 2 Evaluation to enhance their status but this is not a compulsory requirement before breeding.
This optional status will be reviewed every 5 years, and when the numbers of regularly breeding SNH Mares have reached a level where increased selection via Grading is advantageous rather than restrictive the BAPSH will introduce compulsory Grading for SNH Mares.
Above Left & Right: SILVANA – 4yr old Spanish-Norman mare showing her active free Trot with good suspension and joint flexion. By Macedonio-MAC (PRE) ex Sulands Quicksilver (Percheron). Bred by Martin Lacey. Owner Olivia Cook
5. REWARDS FOR SUCCESS IN SPORT:- Performance Awards for Spanish-Norman Horses to incentivise breeders and owners to assess their horses against the wider equine population and promote the breed on the public stage.
The continuing development and improvement of the breed is also supported by recognition of the success of Spanish-Norman Horses in a variety of equine arenas which are not limited to the professional sports. Mares, Stallions and Geldings can gain Performance Awards via the main equestrian sporting disciplines and also via alternative disciplines such as Working Equitation, Le Trec, and Horse Agility. Performance Awards are entered into the Equine Identity Document Non- Statutory pages, and onto the online equine-data system for the individual equine and for the Sire and Dam. Breeders are encouraged to use this data to assist their selection of the best Spanish-Norman Horses to use in their own studfarm breeding plan.
Above: Silversons Samara – 3yr old mare competing in the Show Jumping section of the 2009 BEF Futurity at Arena UK. Sired by Damasco VII ex Obole du Bocage. Bred by Claire Lilliman.
6. PEDIGREES AND DATA RECORDS:- Maintenance of Accurate Pedigree and Data Records is an essential component of the Breeding Program and is done in the following ways:-
Checking PRE sires/dams: –
The identity and pedigree of PRE horses contributing to the Spanish-Norman Horse Breeding Book are checked and confirmed several times in their lives;
1.PRE foals are microchipped, DNA typed and parentage verified prior to registration in the PRE Breeding Book.
2.PRE horses presented for Breeding Approval (Grading) have their identity and parentage checked and confirmed by an ANCCE-LGPRE Delegate Veterinarian.
3.PRE horses imported into the UK have their microchips checked and markings recorded by a UK Vet within 30 days of arrival in the UK as part of the UK registration procedure.
The identity of a PRE sire/dam can be checked at any time via Microchip and/or DNA and the pedigree confirmed.
4.PRE Stallions used in the SNH BP must have BAPSH Ltd Covering Certificates issued specifically to the Stallion with Name and UELN pre-printed (Available in Books of 10 from BAPSH Ltd). Within ONE Month of the last date of Covering or at the latest by 1st December of the Covering, the PRE Stallion Owner provides the Mare Owner with a detailed Covering Certificate containing both Stallion and Mare data, and a COPY of the Covering Certificate is immediately emailed to the BAPSH Ltd Studbook and receipt confirmed.
Checking the Percheron Mares and Stallions contributing to the Spanish-Norman Horse BP:-
1a. Before Covering, the PRE Stallion Owner must be shown the Percheron Mare’s Passport or Registration Certificate and be provided with a copy of the pages with the Mare’s Studbook information. The Stallion Owner should also check as far as possible that the Percheron Mare is registered to the person purporting to be the owner.
1b. Before sending a PRE Mare for Covering or Booking the Semen shipment for AI, the PRE Mare Owner must be shown the Percheron Stallion’s Passport or Registration Certificate and be provided with a copy of the pages with the Stallion’s Studbook information. The Mare Owner should also check as far as possible that the Percheron Stallion is registered to the person purporting to be the owner.
2a.Within ONE Month of the last date of Covering, the PRE Stallion Owner provides the Mare Owner with a detailed Covering Certificate containing both Stallion and Mare data, and a COPY of the Covering Certificate is immediately emailed to the BAPSH Ltd Studbook by 1st December and receipt confirmed.
2b.UK Percheron Stallion owner’s must supply a written confirmation of Covering to the Mare Owner to submit to BAPSH Ltd or email the Covering confirmation direct to the BAPSH Registry Office by 1st December of the year of covering. NOTE the Percheron Horse Studbook in the UK no longer issue Covering Certificates. Overseas Percheron Stallion Owners must supply either a Covering Certificate from the Percheron Studbook of Registration or a Stallion specific Covering Letter issued by the Studfarm Owner.
3. At the time of foal registration, Breeders of Spanish-Norman Horse FG1 foals must provide a clear copy of the Equine Passport with an extended (4 or 5 generation) certified pedigree for the Percheron dam or sire and a copy of the Percheron’s DNA Type Certificate, and PSSM1 Certificate.
4.BAPSH will contact the appropriate Percheron Studbook if more information is required concerning the extended pedigree, correct ownership, or the correct identity of a Percheron mare or stallion used to breed FG1 foals.
Checking Spanish-Norman Horse (SNH) identity and pedigree prior to registration:-
1.The Registration Identification for a SNH foal must be done whilst the foal is at foot with its dam and before 5 months old. The Equine Vet performing the Foal Identification must Sign the document to certify that the foal is at foot with its dam.
2.A DNA type and parentage test for the foal to establish its correct parentage/pedigree will be required if,
a) The Covering Certificate was not issued the previous year within 1 month of the last covering,
b) If there is any doubt about the veracity of the Covering Certificate or Covering Letter
c) If there is any doubt about the relationship of the foal to the mare, ie is the mare actually the mother.
d) If the Vet Registration Identification is made after the foal is 5 months old or the foal has already been weaned.
3.Adult horses, whether imported or UK born, can be registered into the SNH Breeding Book providing they are re-identified by an Equine Vet onto the appropriate BAPSH registration application form, and proof is supplied that the horse meets the entry requirements.
Spanish-Norman Horse Breeding Book – Identity and Pedigree Records :-
1. Each registered horse has its own physical paperwork document file at the BAPSH office.
2. Each horse has electronic data records for identity, passport, pedigree, DNA status, on the BAPSH Breeding Book computer database in the BAPSH office.
3. All Spanish-Norman Horse records are also held separately online with Equiventus Ltd to ensure data-backup.
4. Equiventus Ltd provides a searchable online system featuring 5 generation pedigree, progeny record, performance and genetic results/records for each horse.
BAPSH Ltd provides online and computer records, extensive paperwork files for all registered equines, cameras for recording equines, microchip scanners, equine measuring equipment, and dedicated staff.
Equiventus Ltd provides an online Breeding Book linked to the CED, online searchable pedigrees and other data, and Passports.
Animal Genetics UK provides current identification services for DNA Typing, Parentage Testing, DNA Coat Colour Genetics and Genetic Disease Testing.