It has hardly gone unnoticed by anyone who has been watching the breeding shows that at the late summer show at Gaddstaðaflatir, the assessment was performed both on a round track as well as on a straight track. The rider showing the horse has to present the horse for two rounds on a round track which is calculated as equal to four rides on a straight track, and the rest of the show is performed on a straight track. On the other hand the overview show will be performed in a traditional manner.
Clearly, not everyone agrees to this arrangement which should not come as a surprise to anyone.
At the late summer show at Gaddstaðaflatir last year, this arrangement was tried out and towards the end, most of the performers and the owners, were reasonably positive, although some critical voices were heard.
According to Guðlaugur Antonsson, horse breeding counselor, Fagráð the council of specialties asked FEIF for permission to host breeding shows in this manner, which is considered legal and the scores valid as a legal breeding assessment. The permission was granted.
When asked, Guðlaugur explained that the reason for this experiment was an attempt to make the breeding shows more spectator friendly, and the timing for each assessment shows that this takes much less time than the traditional show does on a straight track. He also pointed out that it is not a total novelty for breeding shows to be performed partly on an round track, because this was performed abroad and also at shows in Gunnarsholt where the round track was frequently used at overview shows without any remarks. Progress is rather unlikely unless people are ready to test out new ways, Gunnlaugur finally said.
Different opinions exist regarding this matter among horse breeders and our interlocutors pointed out that nothing in the round track assessment procedure was giving additional information or other kinds of information for the horse breeding work in general. Horse breeding assessments should be performed on a straight track as it is more suitable for assessment for young horses than a round track.
Some people are also pondering over the harmony between the different shows, the environmental factor has been discussed and that possibly it has a distorting affect on the horse breeding assessment. What affect does this have on both the breeding assessment as well as the comparison between different shows; if the assessment is performed on a round track is considered a fully valid assessment although the conditions are in all essential aspects totally different? This is a question asked by many.
Others are more positive towards this experiment and believe that more such should be done if they are likely to increase the probability that each horse receives its correct assessment. People should be positive, and if people have a predetermined negative idea, the experiment has no value. To support this view, people mention examples of horses which have received high scores for example for tölt in a breeding assessment, but when they participate in a competition these horses have been scoring below mediocre. This can possibly be avoided if the assessment is performed on an round track, if on the other hand the object is that a good tölt at a breeding assessment is the same tölt and the horse gets a good evaluation in a competition
The arguments that have been brought forward which are supporting this experiment are also that horses coming in for breeding assessment, although they are young, should be able to walk through the curves on a round track. This is a logical aspect in the basic training of a horse, to teach them to walk through curves. As concerns pressure, this is in the hands of the rider to choose where he pressures the horse for achievement, in curves on a round track or at a straight track.
A fundamental thing for an experiment to turn out to be useful is how the results are handled. How will they be introduced and to whom will they be introduced, which viewpoints will be used as basis when the assumptions will be drawn and evaluations done on whether these changes are for the better or not.
It is quite clear after a chat with those concerned with the matter that there are different opinions. Here below is a window marked “remarks” where readers can add their comments about the matter and we here at Eiðfaxi, we would like to encourage people to express their opinions.-hg