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RE: [RC] [RC] Breed standard - Whiteaker, Steve

I have never been to a horse breed inspection, but I have been to a cat breed inspection. Unless horse breed inspectors are somehow much less human than cat breed inspectors, then personal taste DOES enter into these decisions. The only way that personal taste would not enter into the decision would be to use purely objective criteria. Criteria like, "Must be able to run a 1/4 mile in x seconds." Or, "Must be able to jump x jumps spaced y feet apart in z seconds." If the breed inspection uses any qualitative or subjective judgments, then it will be subject to personal taste.

From: Shelley Kerr [mailto:skerr@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]
Sent: Tuesday, March 18, 2003 10:26 AM
To: Ride Camp

I don't know if you have ever been to an inspection, but I have so that is why I am saying something.  Inspectors have specific guidelines to follow and it has nothing to do with taste.  It has to do with correct conformation and movement of the horse.  I have seen some absolutely gorgeous horses and some that aren't so great.  The horses are certified by different levels and in order to become breeding stock, there are performance criterias they must meet, even after inspection.  Inspection does not place any stallion or mare in breeding status.  All the other criteria must be met before being placed in breeding status.  It's not an easy process and the horses must also prove themselves in performance.  Just because a horse is inspected and becomes certified, doesn't mean that a horse is eligible to be in the breeding books.  Inspections are an excellent way to get consistent and better sport and performance horses by mixing the best with the best.  The problem I have with standard registries is once you have that piece of paper you can breed the horse and the horse doesn't have to support it's breeding by performance.  Just because a horse has a certain bloodline doesn't mean it will be good in the ring or the trail or whatever you want to do with the horse. 
Anyways, just had to put my two cents in about inspections.  They are good, but that doesn't mean established registries need to do them.  There will always be backyard breeders and no one is going to be able to change that. 
The problems that I have with breed inspections are;
It is a taste inspection, the taste of the inspector.  Look how diverse our own tastes are.
In some breeds, this becomes a way of keeping the control of the dollars for breeding in the hands of a very few.
More importantly, When breeding 2 horses, frequently you do not see their characteristics in the foal, but rather the recessive genes form past ancestors come through.  Example, I bred a POA to a bay, I got the most beautiful chestnut.  So, we all know that this occurs with color, but it occurs with other characteristics also.  Sometimes you will see a carbon copy of one of the grandparents, or great grandparents.
As some have said, "Breeding for the perfect dog has served to the detriment of many dog breeds."  People who want a hunting dog do not buy from a show home, but rather from the hunting circle where those characteristics still remain strong. If you want a dog to herd, you do not get it out of the show ring.
Keep the larger gene pool, it is a big advantage.

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