2020 ACE Breeding Inspection and Assessment Tour
We are very happy to confirm that Gerd Kuest will be back for the 2020 ACE Breeding Inspection and Assessment Tour.
Gerd Kuest has now been coming to Australia for thirteen years, as the assessor of an annual inspection tour for the Australian Continental Equestrian Group Inc. Impressing all who meet him with his tremendous knowledge of horse sport, and warmblood breeding, in particular, we thought some of you may be interested to learn a little more about this internationally respected breeder, owner and judge.
Gerd, the third generation of horse breeders in his family, was already breeding in the late 1970s whilst studying to become a lawyer at the University in Münster. At that early stage of his 45-year breeding career, he already bred the Hanoverian stallion Fidelio (by Furioso II) in 1978, which in turn sired the famous stallion Florestan. Gerd’s grandfather delivered more than 60 licensed stallions for Hannover and was president of a regional department of the Hanoverian Breeding Association. Although from solid Hannoverian roots, in 1987 Gerd founded his own Holsteiner breeding line, “Stamm 8888”. Gerd has to date produced 19 licensed stallions, and ten of these have been from “Holsteiner Stamm 8888”.
This small but high performing breeding line, in addition to producing 10 licensed stallions in the last 20 years, has produced Olympic horses in show jumping and eventing, a CHIO Aachen winner, and Young Horse World Championships finalists in showjumping and dressage. Most years there is more than one horse qualified for the German Bundeschampionat from this line. For example in 2013 a licensed Stallion, in 2014 a licensed Stallion, and in 2015 there were three, being a licensed stallion in the dressage, a licensed stallion in the Young Horse Class and a gelding for the showjumping. Horses bred by Gerd are successfully competing in Europe, USA, and Australia, winning up to Grand Prix and World Cup Qualifiers in showjumping.
In August 2015 Gerd’s young stallion ‘Sir Olli’ (Sir Donnerhall x Florestan) starred when representing Germany at the FEI World Championship for Young Dressage Horses in Verden, scoring an amazing 8.98 for 5th in the first round, and 8.58 for 7th in the final.
Gerd’s extensive career in the horse world has included the coaching of riders. He trained his daughter to win a European Championship in eventing and has trained junior German teams to win gold, silver and bronze medals at World Championships. He has also spent many years as a judge and classifier.
He judges eventing and Young Horse classes, including at the German National Championships and the German Bundeschampionat. He is an International 4* Eventing Judge and has judged many international Championships and the World Cup. He is an official German breeding judge and has judged mare and foal shows extensively in Germany and Denmark, including qualifying foal shows for the German Foal Championship.
He spent 13 years in an official capacity for the Schleswig-Holstein State government breeding department, assessing the young Holsteiner mares at the annual Young Mare Test (under saddle and Freejumping). Gerd assessed more than 5000 mares during this time. He also served 10 years as a member of the Stallion-Licensing Team (classifier) for German Sporthorses (ZfDP) and served on the Licensing Team for the Holsteiner Breeding Association.
Gerd has himself ridden successfully up to advanced levels in Showjumping and Dressage, including winning medals at Student Rider Championships and competing at the German Bundeschampionat. Gerd rode in 14 auctions of the Oldenburger Verband in Vechta, as well as auctions for the Westfalian Breeding Association in Münster.
All in all ‘Herr Kuest’ has a depth of experience with breeding, riding, coaching, and training, and a level of expertise, rarely seen in Australia, and the members of Australian Continental Equestrian Group Inc. are very grateful to receive his frank and fearless assessment of their stock on his annual visits down-under.
2020 ACE Breeding Inspection and Assessment Tour ~ 19 January 2020 – 21st February 2020
First part of the Tour:
The 2020 Tour will begin in Western Australia 19th January – 26th January
South Australia. 27th January – 31st January 2020
Victoria includes 1 day in Tasmania 1st February – 7th February 2020
New South Wales. 8th February – 14th February 2020
Queensland: 15th February – 21st February 2020
Full Tour dates and venues are yet to be established and please return to this page regularly for updates.
2020 ACE Breeding Inspection and Assessment Tour Information
Read the EA Stallion Safe Practices Guidelines prior to submitting your booking with a stallion.
Read, and understand the 2020 ACE Hendra Risk Declaration if you live in Queensland, Northern NSW or NT.
Read, and agree to the 2020 ACE Horse Health Declaration.
Download and become familiar with the AON – Waiver prior to submitting your booking.
What is ACE Assessment?
ACE Assessment is an opportunity to receive feedback, an instrument of quality control against the breeding goal and a chance to benchmark against other breeders/owners nationally as well as internationally.
ACE Group Inc. has successfully offered Assessment by an independent expert from overseas for ACE registered and unregistered Performance Horses for over ten years providing the Australian Equestrian industry with valuable feedback regarding their breeding decisions.
When looking at the meaning of the word Assessment there are numerous synonyms: Evaluation, Estimation, Measurement, Judgment, Review, Consideration and Opinion.
All of these words with their particular meaning play an important role during the assessment. However, the assessment also implies that there is a state of perfection, a dream to achieve an overall breeding goal, which has been outlined below.
Without this goal – assessment and all of its functionalities will fade.
Estimation – Breeding or not breeding – keep him colt or geld him – keep or sell
Neither the assessor nor ACE Group Inc. will be able to answer these questions fully, but with the assessment, you will get a snapshot of where your horse is at that particular point in time. It may give you a tool to make a decision.
Measurement – depending on what type of Performance Horse you would like to breed, there are clear rules to e.g. heights.
Do you intend to breed a pony, small performance horse or Warmblood? Especially important for the assessment of older horses – mares that are considered to enter the breeding program as well as stallions.
Judgement – nobody likes to be judged – but to improve we need to be aware of possible faults and open to constructive criticism.
The ACE Group Inc. expert has seen thousands of horses in his career as a judge and will give you an honest impression of where you are according to the breeding goal and its implication.
Marks = words:
9 very good
7 fairly good
3 quite poor
1 very poor
0 not evaluated
Review – you might have set your own goal within the overall breeding goal.
The assessment gives you an outstanding opportunity to review this goal by receiving your own assessments but also be able to compare and review the assessments around you. E.g. the foal next door always seems to score 0.5% higher … why … the answers may be visible in your assessment sheet.
Consideration – keep in mind, the assessment is a snapshot of one day a few minutes out of your horse’s life.
A foal might have had a growth spurt the week before and turning from an extraordinary confirmation to a rather average confirmation. Or your 2.5-year-old stallion is so excited about the environment around him, that he just would not walk at the time of assessment.
However, the assessment has to represent those minutes and can only estimate, measure and judge what the horse is presenting then and there.
If in doubt, please never hesitate to re-present your horse at a later date.
Opinion – how does that horse perform against the breeding goal out of the expert’s perspective?
There is no right or wrong – there may be praise and happy faces but there may also be some constructive criticism to what you may improve to enable you to achieve your dream.
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Breeding to achieve your Dreams
This breeding goal is to breed an outstanding Performance Horse – the Warmblood Horse has been selected according to similar criteria for generations over generations. It is however suitable not only for breeders that aim for the Olympic Rings breeding outstanding Australian Warmbloods, but also for the breeder that would like to breed a more pleasure orientated performance horse as it creates a horse, that is well conformed of flawless character, rideable and willing to perform at it’s best capabilities.
ACE Group Inc. aims to breed a refined and correct Performance Horse that will excel in a performance orientated equestrian discipline such as Dressage, Show Jumping, Eventing, the Show Ring and Carriage Driving to name a few.
The horse needs to be in proportion, well framed, its movement’s elastic, cadence and ground covering.
Type: Desired is an elegant, generously lined and harmonious riding and performance horse with the ability to excel in all areas of the equestrian sport. Among others, the horse should have an expressive face with large eyes, a well-formed neck and saddle position, appropriately muscled and correct conformation. The Breeding stallions and broodmares should correspondingly have an apparent masculine and feminine expression. A coarse, inelegant, inharmonious appearance and for breeding animals, a lack of sexual expression is undesired.
Conformation: Desired is an overall harmonious conformation which enables the horse to efficiently excel in all areas of the equestrian sport throughout the horse’s lifetime. The conformation of the front and hind legs should be correct in position and angle. Their size and proportion should match the overall conformation of the horse. Joints and tendons should be clearly defined. Please see below an outline (desired / undesired) of the individual parts of the horse’s body:
|Head / Face||Noble, elegant, expressive, well-defined, fine||A coarse head/face with no expression and Roman nose|
|Eye||Large, lively and friendly||Small, covered, dull|
|Throat latch||Wide and open||Thick and narrow|
|Neck||Fine, medium-long, well set and attached at the whither, tapered towards the head||Short, too long, ditch in the neck, straight/thin neck, heavy/bull neck, ewe neck, swan-neck|
|Saddle Position||Long, well formed and pronounced wither with a large, sloping shoulder and long forearm||Short, flat whiters, small and straight shoulder and a short forearm|
|Frame (top line)||Rectangular format, harmony between the forehand, middle hand and hindquarters. Long slightly sloping croup||Square format, soft or stiff back, open and long flanks, short or horizontal croup|
|Front legs||Well muscled, correctly positioned with large, well-defined joints and elastic medium long pasterns, well formed hooves||Poorly muscled, thin front legs with small, flat joints, buck-kneed, calf-kneed, tied in below the knee, flat heels or too narrow hooves, short, upright pasterns, pigeon-toed, splay footed.|
|Hind legs||Well muscled and positioned with wide, well-defined, lean and correctly aligned hocks, elastic pastern and well formed hooves||Too angled or too straight hind legs, narrow or short hocks with incorrect alignments, short pasterns, cow-hocked, bow legged.|
Movements including Jumping
Basic Gaits: All movements should be elastic and straight forward, developed from an energetic hindquarter and transmitted through a supple, swinging back to the forehand which freely reaches forward from the shoulder.
The phases of the walk should be ground covering, relaxed and regular with strides being even and foot falls correct in sequence (walk = 4 beat).
The phases of the trot (trot = 2 beat) and canter (canter = 3 beat) should be elastic with a clearly visible movement of suspension (cadence), sustained impulsion, light-footed and load-bearing with natural elevation and balance.
Undesired are short, flat and inelastic movements with a rigid back and tight shoulders. Also undesired are irregular movements, swaying, rocking, as well as turning or twisting movements that result from being narrow at the hock, pigeon-toed, wide at the knee or splayed footed.
Jumping: Scopey, talented and cautious jumping that shows composure and intelligence is desired.
During the course of jumping (free jumping / under saddle), there should be clear collection, a fast push-off at take-off, pronounced, fast tucking up of legs (forearm should be held as horizontal as possible), an arched back with clearly protruding withers and a downward bending neck with opening hindquarters (bascule).
During all phases, the flow of movement and the rhythm of the canter should be maintained.
Especially undesired is jumping with a lack auf caution and ability, hanging legs, the nose high over the jump n conjunction with a hollow back in which the flow of movement and the rhythm of the canter are lost as well as uncontrolled and indecisive jumping.
Internal Values: Ability to perform, character, temperament, and health.
Desired is a versatile, talented and rideable performance horse, excelling in the any equestrian discipline. The horse should be uncomplicated and easy to handle, yet eager to please and perform, have strong nerves, be reliable and have a good character as well as a calm and well balanced temperament.
Particularly undesirable are horses that are difficult to handle, nervous and or rebellious.
Robust health, the ability to withstand physical and mental stress, natural fertility and freedom from genetic defects are also desired characteristics.
• To provide feedback for you on your horse from our expert assessor
• To provide quality control against the ACE Group Inc. and your own breeding goals
• To establish a benchmark within a national and international market
• To provide owners with an estimate breeding value or sale value
• To provide owners with an indication of where their horse may shine, what discipline they should be steering their horse towards (Dressage, Showjumping, Eventing etc)
• Judging of all aspects: conformation, movement, temperament and jumping: if applicable an estimation of qualities as a ridden horse
Horse handlers to be dressed neatly with suitable footwear.
Riders are required to wear neat riding clothes, safety footwear & a safety approved helmet at all times.
Horses to be presented in a neat and tidy manner. Manes to be pulled or trimmed short, plaits are not essential.
Unbroken horses and mares can be presented in a halter (ensure that halter and lead are in good condition, for safety and presentation).
Geldings and riding horses can be presented in bridles or halters. Stallions must be presented in a bridle. Feet can be oiled, but not blackened. No boots or bandages for Conformation & Movement assessments. Boots/Bandages can be used for Ridden and Jumping assessment.
Confirmation & Movement
Before judging begins, you will be asked to stand the horse for a recording of the markings if applicable.
You will then be asked to stand the horse for assessment of Conformation. Preferably an even surface approximately 5m from the Assessor. The Assessor will move around your horse whilst making his assessment.
You will then be asked to walk away from the Assessor in a straight line, continue walking until you are asked to return – ensuring that you walk straight towards the assessor on your return, before continuing to walk on the triangle.
To judge the horse’s in-hand movement, you will be asked to trot the horse on the triangle. Trotting the horse away from the assessor on a clockwise triangle.
(Approx 20m across the back length of the triangle.)
Please note foals and yearlings will be shown in liberty only.
Afterward, you will be asked to turn the horse free to assess it’s free movement.
You will be given time to warm your horse up and be advised before the assessment begins.
The assessor will give you instructions regarding what movements he wishes to see from your horse. The horse is expected to perform at a level relevant to its age and experience.
This can be done in a free jumping lane or under saddle.
Free jumping; preferably have the lane set up as a Cross Rail, one stride to a vertical and one or two strides to an Oxer – depending on area and equipment available.
When ridden, we expect to see the horse over both a vertical and an Oxer.
DNA testing will be done after the presentation.
If you have further queries about these requirements, please contact our office.
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