All Hanoverian horses bred in New Zealand and registered with the NZ Hanoverian Society have been sired by horses that have gained their licensing and performance testing approval.

In Germany, a selection process is in place to ensure that only those colts that meet the desired standards of breed type, conformation, movement, temperament and performance will gain entry into the breeding studbook.

This rigorous selection and licensing, which all young potential breeding stock must undergo before they can be included in the breeding studbook, is the cornerstone of the modern Hanoverians’ success.

In the case of stallions, the selection is very demanding and the rules prohibit any stallion standing at stud until he has been fully licensed and performance tested. Only the progeny of these stallions, out of “main studbook” mares, can be considered for inclusion in the Stallion Studbook.

Licensing inspection is done in Germany when the selected colts are 2 ½ years of age, but can be done for an older horse under special circumstances, or in New Zealand by an inspection commission that includes a representative of the Verband.

Performance testing is done in Germany when the licensed stallions are aged at least 3 ½ years, but an older stallion may achieve performance approval through his own success in FEI level competition. There are strict rules around the level of performance required. (more)

For a prospective stallion, the first step on the selection ladder is his pedigree. To qualify, a colt must have at least six generations of approved ancestors. The dam and the dam’s dam must be main Studbook mares. It is also mandatory that the dam has passed the ridden performance test, if she was born in 1990 or later.

• Desirable stallions from non-Hanoverian breed populations recognized by the VHW, which have gained breeding approval and entry into the Stallion Book of that population, may also be accepted by the Verband, on an individual basis, for Hanoverian breeding over approved Hanoverian mares. Such stallions must have scored at least 120.0 points in their Performance test. Well-known examples of this are the Oldenburg stallion, Donnerhall, and the Westphalian, Rubinstein. In New Zealand, the Westphalian stallion Landro-L and the KWPN stallion, Prestige VDL come into this category.

Thoroughbred stallions may also be accepted into the NZ Hanoverian Stallion Book. In the case of a Thoroughbred stallion, he must have at least four generations of pedigree recognized by the New Zealand Racing Conference and fulfill certain performance criteria. He must also undergo and pass a licensing inspection.