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Modern show jumping changes the judging

The jumping sport and course building have developed over recent years, and so the demands of the modern jumping horse have changed. This has resulted in a reassessment of the judging of the horse's technique in the studbook of Danish Warmblood, when the breeding seeks the future jumping talents

2 - Hesselhøj Captain Morgan by Casallco/Crelido, breeder Anders Uve Sjøbeck Hoeck.
d. 08-03-2020 - 12:35

At the Danish Warmblood pre-selection in December 17 3-year old stallions got selected for the stallion licensing in Herning. The young stallions are presented in loose jumping twice during the licensing, Wednesday and Friday and they are shown loose in canter for the judges to assess their suppleness and self-carriage in the turns. The stallions have also been assessed in lunge work, and on Sunday morning it is decided how many stallions will be approved for testing. In principle, the young stallions have been under review since their first presentation at the pre-selection in December. They have been invited to a training day with loose jumping in February, and during the licensing process in Herning the judges have seen the stallions twice in loose jumping.

11 stallions were approved for testing and 3 were celebrated as premium stallions.

Since 2004, the Danish Warmblood breeding has been divided into two disciplines (dressage and jumping) at gradings and tests. Whilst Danish Warmblood has a well-established and great international success with the breeding of dressage horses, the studbook is also well on the way with the breeding of jumping horses in international sport. The fact that it is not as visible as in the breeding of dressage horses is due to the birth of only about 300 jumping foals annually in the studbook, but the quality is steadily increasing, which good results in the final of the World Young Horse Championships at Zangersheide in recent years have also shown.


Rideability and functionality

Modern jumping course design places great demands on the horse's riding rideability. There is a significant correlation between the horse's conformation and its rideability, functionality and durability. The horse finds it easiest to jump if it is built correctly – which means it has the right angles in the shoulder and the hind quarters.

Spokesman for the Danish Warmblood breeding committee, Johnny Hansen explains: – The better the functionality and the suppleness of the horse, the less energy it needs to spend on the obstacle. If it is able to close the front legs properly, and manages to use the suppleness and flexibility of its body to arch itself over the jump, and if it can tilt its hind quarters, then it does not need to spend extra force to jump bigger in order to compensate for a lack of technique, explains Johnny Hansen, and he continues: – Modern judging of jumping horses is not a matter of dividing the assessment into individual details and assessing bascule, technique of leg and capacity separately. In Danish Warmblood, the judges form an overall impression of the horse's functionality, how it solves the task by using its body in the take-off, over the obstacle and in the landing, after which it must canter smoothly forward in balance.

Loose jumping predicts potential

Obviously, jumping shows take place with horse and rider, but loose jumping without a rider can also provide important information about the horse's jumping talent. When the horse does not have a rider to help, it becomes clearer if it is focused, brave and cautious, and whether it jumps rationally. These are characteristics that describe the horse's attitude and overview. In loose jumping the athletic capacity of the horse also shows clearly. Especially if it ends up in an unfortunate situation, it is interesting to see how it chooses to solve the task and whether it learns from its mistakes.Through statistical calculations Danish Warmblood have found high correlations of 70-80% between loose jump results and the horse's competition results later in life. This means that if a young horse achieves high marks for jumping, there is a high likelihood that it will do well later in competition as well. The loose jumping can thus be used to predict the future potential. 


Approved for testing:


Premium stallions

2 Hesselhøj Captain Morgan by Casallco/Crelido, breeder Anders Uve Sjøbeck Hoeck, Nørre Aaby

3 Casper Ask by Ci Ci Senjor Ask/Kannan, breeder Stutteri Ask A/S, Martofte

15 Orlando Love Z by Orlando/Stakkato, breeder Lene Ibsen, Rødekro1 Bøgegårdens Alaska by Bøgegårdens Apollo/Carrico, breeder Mie Nielsen og Theo de Vos, Bolderslev


5 Caligula-Vitz by Complete/Cosmeo, breeder Lone Sørensen, Hammel

7 Chicago Z by Cornet Obolensky/Diamant de Semilly, breeder Michael Weisbjerg, Ølsted

8 Cordento II DWB by Cornet Obolensky/Cardento, breeder Linus Camitz, Glumsø

10 Fernando HH by Favorit Ask/Lord Z, breeder Frederikke Hilfling Hougaard, Næstved

13 Gracieux H.A.P. by Grim St. Clair/Casir Ask, breeder Helene og Kim Pedersen, Tørring

14 Hubert by Humberto Ask/Carpaccio, breeder René Fredslund, Give

16 Quinto Ask by Quarz Ask/Ci Ci Senjor Ask, breeder Stutteri Ask A/S, Martofte