Mare Performance Testing was first introduced into Australia in 1997, based on the same model as used by the Hannoveraner Verband in Germany. It is a useful tool for the breeder as it helps identify the mare’s strengths and weaknesses and where her talents and those of her progeny may lie. In Germany, data is collated and published in the Stallion Yearbook. The large amount of performance tested mares in that country enables comparisons to be easily made. It indicates the hereditary characteristics that the stallion passes on to his offspring regarding rideability and jumping ability.
Mares are tested under both usual and test rider. Marks are awarded out of 10 for the three gaits under saddle as well as rideability which includes temperament. Simple movements only as befits the age and training stage of the young horse are required. The test rider awards their own score for rideability. Finally, the mares are tested free jumping for both technique and scope.
All Hanoverian mares must be tested at 3 or 4 years of age or at 5 years old if they have had a foal, to be eligible for the Elite Mare Award. Classified Mares from other approved breeding populations e.g. TB, Oldenburger, etc can be performance tested at 3, 4 or 5 years old as for Hanoverian mares but they cannot become Elite Mare Candidates. Mares entered into the Pre Studbook or Studbook can also be Performance Tested, however this test does not allow them to upgrade into the Main Stud Book.
Older mares may be eligible for Performance Testing on application to the Committee. This testing may be worthwhile for establishing scores for the Jumper Breeder Program and other such programs. (As requested by the Hannoveraner Verband).
Mares that are performance tested have their Pedigree Papers endorsed with their final scores as well as the owners receiving a Performance Test Score sheet.
Application to performance test mares must be received by the Society on the appropriate forms. All applications must be received by the nominated deadline or testing will not proceed. The applicant will be advised of the requirements for the arena and jumping equipment. The Society is responsible for the decision regarding the venue and the choice of test rider.
To encourage performance testing of mares, we have introduced the Elite Mare award. Performance testing of young Hanoverian mares will soon become compulsory in Australia, especially if the mare is to be a stallion mother.
During the Mare Performance Test (MPT) if the Judges Commission hears a noise from a mare that could be alleged to be ‘roaring’, a negative result from an endoscope provided by a Veterinarian and the resultant veterinarian certificate must be completed before the mare is eligible as an Elite Mare Candidate.
If a mare is classified and performance tested in the same year (i.e. not classified in the previous year), then the procedure will be in the following order, at the one venue, on the same day:
- Free jump the mare
- Classify the mare in hand.
- Complete the ridden test for the mare.