Yearbook of Hanoverian stallions

by Angela Smith B.V.Sc.

The Hannoveranner Jahrbuch Hengst or, in English, the Yearbook of Hanoverian stallions, was first brought out in1999 as an indispensable tool to help breeders in finding the best stallions for their mares. It has been published annually since then.
When first published it was a completely new concept in the German breeding industry. The idea of the book was conceived by members of the Hanoverian Verband, as a means of summarizing all the information available on each stallion’s own performance and that of his offspring, in a clear form.

Why do you need this book?
In the world of artificial breeding there is a need for objective information about individual stallions, especially if you live on the other side of the world as New Zealand breeders do, and when the only information is a video or Dvd.

How are the listed stallions selected?
In order to gain inclusion in the yearbook the stallion must have produced enough offspring to evaluate breeding values from the results in studbook inspection and the mare performance test (i.e. at least ten offspring that have successfully completed the mare performance test or been pre-selected for a Verden auction) and he must have stood at stud in the last four years. Collated data from offspring in competition is also listed.

Evaluation of daughters in studbook inspections and mare performance tests gives the verband precious information on the evaluation of the sires and information in the estimation of breeding values.

How can this book help you?
The yearbook provides valuable information on the suitability for the various disciplines of dressage and jumping the sires pass on to their offspring. However, the disposition for either jumping or dressage is only one part of the equation; passing on good type is at least as important, in particular when marketing the foals for sale. Also to be considered is attention to definition and the conformation of the limbs, This information is collated from the studbook inspections of daughters.
All available information from the verband computers is edited and the positive and weak traits of inheritance of each stallion are disclosed. Each year new stallions are added as information becomes available.

The yearbook includes tables that list the highest rating stallions according to their value for dressage, jumping and conformation. This is priceless information for breeders outside of Europe, who cannot visit studs and mare shows in person to see the quality or otherwise of a stallion’s progeny.

But breeders should take care not to breed by figures alone. The aim is to enhance the positive characteristics of your mare and try to improve the weaker points so you make progress in your breeding programme. You need to define your aim for a particular mare. What do you want to achieve with a mating? Ask yourself “What are her weaknesses I need to improve? Which features do I want to consolidate? Do I choose a refining stallion? Which combinations of bloodlines have proved to work? Which combinations have been positive? Should I repeat the breeding?”
All these questions a breeder should ask before selecting a stallion.

The breeders “eye’’, experience, intuition and some luck also come in to the equation of breeding.

Editor’s note: although the yearbook is published in the German language, there is an explanatory insert in English, which makes it easy to follow. The yearbook can be ordered online by visiting
http://www.hannoveraner-shop.de/