E p i c e n t r e
Some observations on Questions put by the Committee to Stallion Owners 02/01/01
- Q. Is the complete abolition of premiums a good idea?
- No. The system is a simple method of getting some funds to actual breeders of ponies. Some of this money has come from funds outside that raised by EPS, but should the money come from EPS raised funds there is a good case within the terms of the Society to use such money for this purpose.
It is regrettable that the original idea that premiums were paid to stallions to limit the stud fees is no longer practical.
The non-awarding of premiums, when they might be available, is a fairly dull instrument for EPS to express concern about the minimum standard of stallions.
Q. What incentive would encourage you to bring your stallion to a StallionParade?
- None. To take a stallion running with a stable herd at the peak of breeding time is fraught with dangers. Dangers not only to the stallion himself but to the herd's stability and resulting conception rate.
There are good private commercial reasons for attending the Stallion Parade by Stallions used in-hand and for herds wishing to show their flag.
Q. Have you any ideas to encourage the use of less popular Stallions?
Q. Would you be in favour of abolishing premiums after say 25 offspring?
- Yes. Firstly the limitation of awarding to stallions with less than a certain number of progeny. (see answer below.)
Secondly by permitting the production of a commercial, all singing, all dancing, Stud Directory with photographs etc.. This should be on the enterprise of and totally financed by members wishing to participate and be clearly not an official EPS production. (Problems as to how the participating members would know to whom to send it could, no doubt be ironed out.) An entirely factual list of Studs and Stallions, with all and only the information that can come from the EPS Stud Book about them, should be a regular official EPS publication.
(Photographs are an excellent selling gambit but even if taken against a standard grid are useless for critical comparisons)
There is always the possibility that the less popular stallions are less desirable.
Q. The Society has a responsibility to provide unbiased advice on breed genetics to enable members to make informed choices, have you any comments?
- Yes. This a small way for the Committee to indicate that the breed society is there to give guidance to all members about the long term trends and future of the breed. It would now appear that the damage to the effective population number by the mass use of individual stallions is recognised. (This is quantified in the work published by Sneha Maroo.Edinburgh 1999.)
Twenty five is probably too high a number. Only 2 Stallions born in/after1990 (Except Tarquin (1990) with 52 progeny and Ice Cream (1992) with330) have 25 or more progeny. Nine Stallions born in/after 1990 have 20 or more. Another eight have 10 - 19. Thirty three have 1 -9. The simple figures are clearly weighted against stallions running in bigger herds.
- All members of the Society are of equal importance and thus one members interests must not be put before those of another. Advice from any society for a society member or member of the public to take particular action, such as selecting particular animals can never be evenhanded. Seekers of advice should be referred to a list of EPS breeders, Judges, Inspectors or a number of members who can, if they are then asked, give their own personal opinion, on which the enquirer may act, should they so wish.
The EPS in not professionally qualified to give advice on breed genetics.
Any breed society should publish as much factual information about the breeding, registration and progeny of all animals so that as informed decisions as possible can be made by breeders. Sharing such information is certainly one of the purposes of a breed society. It is, and must remain, the privilege of any member to disregard such information without prejudice to their membership, provided they do not act counter to society rules.
Somewhere it should be made plain that mares accepted to run out "on the hill" are at danger of being damaged by the stallion. Sex is a serious business and is fundamentally not kind. Mares "on the hill" may not be able to be brought away at the drop of a hat.