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How to breed your own top quality sport type, leopard spotted, Knabstrupper!

August 20, 2010

Take a look at these foals, all of them are by Ecuador Skødstrup out of various warmblood mares.

CCs Gandalf, Ecuador Skrødstrup /Antique (Hann by Antibes)

Gandalf born in 2007 currently lives in Montana with Andria Manecke.

Then in 2009 we had CCS Theoden by Ecuador Skrødstrup out of Anatasia Bonita (Rosie) an Oldenburg by Rosenthau.

Theoden was the Best in Show at his inspection in 2009, he is currently owned by Maureane Hoffman of Durham NC.

Then in 2010 we get

Effet de Neige by Ecuador out of a SWANA registered mare named BeeBe by Briar.

Effet de Neige

Owner/Breeder: Nicole Davison.

If you can breed a foal of this quality here in the USA, just by leasing or borrowing a good quality warmblood mare and using frozen semen from Ecuador,(or one of the other FS stallions we have available here), why on earth would someone wanting to breed sport type Knabstruppers be doing anything else.
Why use Appaloosa or Draft cross mares, and have all the angst of not having a main stud book foal, when you could so easily be producing superior quality riding horses, with good color and eligible for main stud book. With the current recession there are plenty of good quality warmblood mares available for lease or at very reasonable prices, why continue breeding with undesirable mares

It’s understandable why in the past this was done. At the beginning there was only one stallion, Apollon, who was a leopard spot. Liz Hall who brought him in, did the right thing, she bred him to good quality warmblood mares, but the problem is that he had a lot of solid colored babies. Particularly out of solid colored warmblood mares. So to counteract that people bred him to appaloosa mares to get the color genes.
The KNN (mother registry of the Knabstrupper) heard about this and objected, they did not want Apploosa genes mixed in, so they said no Appaloosa mares were allowed. There was some bad feeling about this, as some folks (including me) had invested in Appaloosa mares in order to start a breeding program. The KNN have since compromised and established an Appendix registry for horses by Knabstrupper stallions out of undesirable mares. Horses with one registered and approved Knabstrupper parent can be inspected and scored, and if they score high enough they can be accepted into this Appendix registry. (But they do have to be inspected and scored first). The offspring of these appendix horses by approved sires can also be registered as Knabstuppers and after 3 generations of approved breeding the progeny can be put into the main stud book.

Now that we understand more about the inheritance of color the high percentage of solid offspring is also understandable. The nose-to-toes leopard color is the product of not one but two (or more) genes, one of which, LP has to be the heterozygote (LP/lp) and other(s) PATN1 and PATN(2-5) can be either homozygote or heterozygote.

The analogy that Sheila Archer uses is the PATN genes are like a white cat in the dark, the LP gene is the flashlight that allows you to see the white cat. If you have a white cat but no flashlight, you can’t see the cat. If you have a flashlight but no cat then you still can’t see the cat, you have to have both present.
Furthermore, the white cat can be large (PATN1) and give you nose-to-toes color, or it can be small (PATN2-5) and give you varying degrees of color from a small patchy blanket to a large blanket looking almost like a full PATN1 leopard. If the horse has the homozygote LP/LP then it is ‘white born’ and you can’t tell what kind of ‘cat’ it has. If it has lp/lp then it is solid colored (no flashlight) and you still can’t tell what kind of cat it has BUT if you breed the solid offpring of two leopards (likely to have inherited PATN since both parents have it) to a Few Spot ( LP/LP) then you will get LP/lp (enough flashlight but not too much) and then the PATN genes can be seen.

Thus we know that Apollon was LP/lp (since he was leopard spotted) and it appears that he carries PATN1/patn1 since 50% of his offspring did not inherit PATN1. This I know because I have a daughter of Apollon from a solid (lp/lp) mare, who is LP/lp but who does not have PATN1, as in, she shows LP characteristics but no spots. Hence Apollon was only going to throw LP 50% of the time and PATN1 50% of the time and the chances of getting LP and PATN1 in the same offspring was 50% of 50% or 25%, which is pretty much what he threw out of solid colored mares.

So what we needed was LP/LP PATN1/PATN1 stallions around to breed those Apollon daughters to, to get spotted foals. At first there weren’t any, so people used mares with LP/PATN in them to maximize the chances. But that has changed now, there are now 5 few spot/white born stallions available in the USA and shortly there will be a 6th, so the need for using mares of Appaloosa parentage in order to get the LP /PATN genes is no longer a valid argument. Of these 5 few spot stallions, at least 2 of which appear to have PATN1/PATN1 ( high number of full leopard foals out of solid mares). By using one of these several FS stallions we now have available on good quality warmblood mares we can get the spotting pattern as well as good movement and conformation.
Once you have that cross, any daughters can be bred back to a leopard spotted stallion, of which there are now several, and thus we can keep the quality without losing the white color.
For the record the FS (LP/LP) stallions we have available here are:

Ecuador Skrødstrup (may well be PATN1 homozygous as well).
Ravaldi (may also be PATN1 as well PATN2-5)
Pegasus (unclear about his PATN status at this point but he is certainly heterozygous for it).
Halifax Middelsom (no foals yet so to early to tell).
Hussar of Independance (also unclear with regard to PATN)

Xhogun Middelsom (is for sure heterozygous for PATN1 but only 1 foal here so far), but very limited semen availability.

Yours
Melyni

A really good clinic!

August 15, 2010

We took Xavoy and Cita to the VADA-CH Chapter Grant clinic with Jeanne MacDonald. And we had an excellent clinic.
They say that if you get to take one good useful piece of information away from a clinic then you had your moneys worth, well by that token we got way more than our moneys worth.

The clinic was held at Ashanti Farm, and it was very graciously hosted by Gaby and Manfred Netteck, and Bruno and Barbara Greber. Ably administrated (organized) by our long suffering President Gardy Bloemers.

Jeanne was as always full of helpful info and with her judges eye can really help you improve your performance.
X and I worked on quality of gaits (mostly roundness, always a sore point with X), and we also worked on our half-passes.
Jeanne was able to show me how I am causing X to be tight in his left side because I don’t allow enough with my left hand and I lock my left should back. I also am still leaning too far forward.
She really helped us sort out those right walk pirouettes, and also our straightness to the right, all by getting me to allow more with that left hand.
We also worked on the extended walk, and she got X doing his full foot length over step that he needs to do. We finished with some work on the flying changes, which do need to get more jump, or maybe ts the canter that needs more jump so that we get clean changes.

Cita and April worked on getting Cita to use her hind end better and to engage more, as Jeanne puts it, “Sit more, stop less” in the down transitions.
Jeanne helped April sort out her timing better for the changes, and Cita obliged by actually doing several clean ones.

They also worked on the roundness, bend and engagement in the lateral work.

Day two,
X was in a far better frame of mind on day 2. He had less opinion to express about the work and seemed far more accepting of what was being asked. He did some nice work towards collection in the canter along with straightness exercises.

Jeanne showed us a way to practice the piaffe, working to progressively shorten the trot steps and then to allow them to be long again and X really seemed to like this way. He got light and round and through the back, and I actually felt him ‘sit’ for a few of the half-steps that we were doing. I think a lot of was the amount of sugar cubes he got to eat during the practices, Jeanne is definitely a believer in the bribery method. X was all for the sugar method!
Then since he was so soft and though we tried some 1 tempi’s, doing the flip-flops or in and outs, as in change, change with no strides in between. As always his left rein was easier, he has less trouble going left,right, left than he has going right, left, right!.
But with help from Jeanne on the timing and on my position, we got it going both ways and that was all for that day.
So out of that clinic I got help with straightness, walk pirouettes, tempi changes and paiffe, I’d say that that was good value for money!

Cita on the second day was also softer, and more through. She does not have Xs problem of getting tight over the back, but she can get anxious and then she tightens up a bit. They worked on the engagement again, and on the balance in the lateral work. I missed a good bit of Cita’s lesson washing X off. But in all both horse and rider seemed very happy.

Jeanne is a excellent clinician, she throws a lot of ‘stuff’ (theory, instructions thoughts etc) at you and it can be hard to assimilate it all at the time, but her exercises work and we came away feeling very confident that we had achieved something.
Cita was always the star, being so beautiful and so compliant, she got lots and lots of compliments. X has his admireers but it’s always Cita who everyone dotes on!

A fun and valuable experience, again many thanks to Gaby, Manfred, Gardy, Bruno, Barbera and Jeanne.
MW

 
 
     
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