The North American Shagya-Arabian Society (NASS) will be holding a Breed Inspection Tour this September throughout the USA and in Ontario, Canada, allowing for Shagya-Arabians and Arabians to be judged as breeding stock. Stallions and mares two-years of age and older are eligible for breeding approval while horses who are underage, geldings and/or part-bred Shagya horses, including non-breeding horses and mares of any breed which may be bred to Shagya-Arabian stallions, may be presented for an evaluation.
As opposed to judging a horse based solely on performance results, breeding stock must foremost fulfill all the breed standards, including breed type, conformation, movement and character. Although genetically influenced by the purebred Arabian, the Shagya-Arabian should differ from that breed standard by being larger, framier and having plenty of bone. The Shagya-Arabian should be a good looking and harmonious horse with an expressive face, a well-proportioned riding-horse neck, clearly defined topline, long croup, and a well carried tail and strong clean legs. Ground consuming, elastic and correct movement in all three gaits is also very important. A height of 14.3 to 15.3 and a cannon bone of no less than 7-inches are to be aimed for. The Shagya-Arabian should meet all breed requirements as to looks and temperament, conformation and movement, aiming for a noble and willing partner for both sport and leisure.
Horses are presented to an inspection team consisting judges who have been officially sanctioned by the Internationale Shagya-Araber Gesellschaft (ISG) to judge Shagya-Arabians. The ISG is an umbrella organization which oversees the breed and coordinates its member registries internationally. Prior to a horse being judged by the inspection team, the horse’s height, girth and cannon bone are measured and its registration certificate is checked to verify the identity of the horse, including color and markings. The horse is also photographed for an official photo. Horses are then presented in hand to the inspection team on a judging triangle. First standing at the apex of the triangle, then at the walk and trot on the triangle, and finally free lunged at all gaits.
The inspection team judges the horse against the breed ideal using a numeric scoring of 1 to 10 (1 being lowest, 10 being highest) for 8 criteria: Type, Head, Neck, Body, Legs, Walk, Trot and Canter. Each judge initially makes scores independently of the other judges and then the team privately determines the appropriate mark for each criterion, agreeing by consensus on one official mark for each criterion. The horse receives an average score which must meet the minimum score needed to be “Approved for Shagya-Arabian Breeding”. These minimum scores differ according to which section of the Studbook a horse is registered in and should the minimum score not be met, owners have the chance to represent that horse at a future breed inspection. Non breeding stock, including geldings, underage horses and partbreds, along with mares from other breeds slated to be bred to a Shagya-Arabian stallion are also evaluated on the same 8 criteria. Foals are evaluated on 3 criteria: Type, Conformation and Movement, and no measurements are taken. The team also writes a descriptive paragraph of the horse, again by consensus, which along with the scores is read out loud at the end of the process.
Free Jumping is required of all stallions at their breeding approval inspection. Free jumping is used to evaluate the natural jumping talent of horses presented for breeding approval. It is optional for mares and geldings but is encouraged. Once the judging process has been completed, branding with the official breed brand is offered.
Typically once the judging formalities have been completed, Shagya-Arabians, Arabians and part-bred horses are often presented just for fun and to show the versatility of the breeds. Although the judging process is formal, an inspection site offers all attendees a unique social setting for learning about the Shagya-Arabian, gathering a variety of horses, owners, judges and other enthusiasts together in celebration of the breed. All are welcome to attend!
The NASS encourages anyone interested in presenting an Arabian, Shagya-Arabian or Shagya bred horse on the upcoming tour to contact the NASS Breeding Committee at: NASS_Breeding_Committee@Shagya.net
2015 Inspection Dates, Sites, Contacts, Evaluation Criteria, and General info:
General inspection and detailed breed information can be found on the NASS website