View Full Version : AWHA - huh???

Rosemary Dalton
08-03-00, 07:16 AM
Has anyone read the AWHA posts on THM forum? As an interested member I have been and when I read the Federal President's post re a new Victorian committee I got involved. As a fully paid up member of the AWHA I asked Chris Lloyd (Fed. pres.) why I (and I suspected a few others) had not been informed of the meeting held to form this new committee, why I hadn't been informed of the mare classification that was held on the following 2 days and why their Executive Officer would not extend to me the courtesy of a reply to my phone calls and faxes.

About 3 days later a reply from Chris Lloyd was posted on the forum suggesting that payment of my subs had gone astray - that their mail list was comprised of names taken from the Victorian ex-treasurer's bank books. Was this a thinly disguised suggestion that the treasurer had not acted properly? But anyway, it was an admission that no notice had been sent.

However, obviously unbeknownst (don't you just love that word) to Chris Lloyd and his cronies I had received in January this year correspondence from their EO confirming that I was a financial member (the green mark at the top of the letter). Wouldn't you think they'd have checked that first? No???

Now THM forum has either crashed or certain posts have been removed (which I do find hard to believe knowing CH's stand on this subject) and I can't reply - so this is why I'm writing here.

So Chris Lloyd - I found your reply to me totally unsatisfactory and am still waiting for you to answer my queries in an honest and professional manner.

09-03-00, 04:02 PM
Good luck in trying to get any sort of reply from the President, Chris Lloyd. I have on many occasions tried to contact him to no avail.
As a fully paid member of the A.W.H.A. I figure that the commitee and of course the president were there to serve the members, how wrong I was!.
The arrogance with which these people conduct themselves is incredible. Who do they think they are?.
Were you aware that ALL fees associated with the A.W.H.A. have been increased?. Probably not, as they haven't seen fit to inform the general membership. Perhaps that is something else you could ask our great president as you seem to have more luck contacting him than most!.

Daniel Scoullar
10-03-00, 05:54 AM
The AWHA forum is working. There was a problem with the software and some of the posts have been 'reposted' which might explain why they are not in the same positions but Chris Lloyd's and your posts are there.

Daniel Scoullar

Brian Silvia
10-03-00, 07:30 AM
Rosemary, I read your post on THM Forum last Friday. Whilst I have not been an office bearer in NSW or Federally of the AWHA for some 12 months I continue to maintain an interest. I chaired the major portion of the meeting convened in Victoria recently for the purpose of forming a new Committee.

The explanation given to you by Chris Lloyd on the THM Forum was given in all honesty from his perspective. Alison informed me last Friday as far as she was aware you were shown as a member on one of the lists (please note the plural) received from former Victorian Committee members. As far as she was aware you should have received Notice of Meeting which was sent out to in excess of 200 members where I understand the mailing list included those that may have arguably fell into a doubtful category. She could offer no explanation as to why the Notice of Meeting was not received by you other than to say than it had gone astray in the mail.

On the question of mare classification this was undertaken at short notice on the basis of having interstate mare classifiers available at the time of the latest Victorian meeting. The classification sought to address as many of the carry over classifications which existed from the previous Committee. Rather than being upset about the short notice I would have thought you would commend the efforts of interstate mare classifiers in assisting to attempt to resolve the Victoria backlog.

The AWHA has a number of issues to address in respect of clearing up the backlog of registrations where I understand certificates are now flowing. One of the issues (being a matter to which I alluded on the THM Forum) is the question of inadequate paperwork submitted by members to State Registrars (volunteers) where it should not be forwarded to the Federal Office without resolution. The Federal Office has frequently been blamed by members and/or State Committees for inaction on many registration issues where clearly the responsibility lays with inadequate paperwork being submitted by members in the first instance and not properly dealt with at a local level by State Registrars.

In my experience most State Committees including the former Victorian Committee were reluctant to increase membership and processing fees. An interesting facet to emerge from the Victorian meeting was a preparedness by the wider membership base (a very well attended meeting) to accept significantly increased fees across the board including membership fees. The common view was that fees should be struck at a level commensurate with being able to provide a more professional service. The Federal Board should take heed of that recommendation looking to increase fees immediately with a view to increasing the level of service to members.

The Victorian Committee is very enthusiastic and wants to get on with the job. If you are like minded I suggest you contact Willie Knass the President or one of the other office bearers with a view to becoming involved so as to participate in resolving an issue which is common to everyone’s interest. The effective performance of any breed society (just not the AWHA) is dependent upon constructive participation by all members. Historical membership and paperwork processing fees were struck too low which has precluded the AWHA from providing a higher level of service.

The AWHA in recent years has enjoyed significant contribution from a number of members who at their own cost have contributed many hundreds of thousand dollars of professional time and/or paid cash out of their own pocket to support the AWHA. Unfortunately, it no longer enjoys those luxuries and has to stand on its own two feet with all members participating.

Brian Silvia

Rosemary Dalton
10-03-00, 01:02 PM
Brian - thank you for your reply but since you are no longer an office bearer in NSW or Federally of the AWHA (your words) why are you replying to my post to Chris Lloyd?

Why did you chair the meeting in Victoria and not the national president?

If, as Ms. Cmpbell has told you, my notice has gone astray in the mail, it will one day get to me, and I'll happily let everyone know when it does. We all know what envelopes look like when they've been around the world a couple of times, don't we.

I'm not upset about the short notice re the mare classification - I'm querying the NO notice.

We're all getting heartily sick and tired of the excuses offered for the Federal Executive Officer's seeming lack of job expertise - if it's not the computer it's the State committees or if it's not the State committees it's the fault of the members. Oh please. Just tell her to do her job and if she can't then find someone who can for Pete's sake.

I gather you are now an ordinary AWHA member (from what you say in your first paragraph) so how come you get to speak to Ms. Campbell and the rest of us mere members just never receive a return call? I's all very well to wax lyrical about "constructive participation by all members". What about some constructive participation from the Federal Executive Officer and Federal Committee?

Ho hum. And the wheel keeps turning.... I guess I'll never receive my registration papers now.

Karen O'Callaghan
19-03-00, 07:58 AM
Go Rosemary.
Just dont bother ever presenting a colt for selection. These people have long memories and dont like having there feathers ruffled. I gave up and decided to become involved with ISSA which hopefully will offer the services we ALL want.

19-03-00, 11:35 AM
As someone who got in to an almighty slanging match on the old THM forum with someone called Ali and then Alison - hmmm - I would like to make a comment on this. I dared to say that, as an outsider who did not own a WB, waits that people were experiencing for papers were far too long. That isn't the point of my post however.

Brian Silvas' well worded and verbose post says that when he discussed what had happened with you, Rosemary, the answers were... and went on to explain. Your question was why was he told and not you. My question is why would an Office Bearer discuss the business of one member with another self acknowledged ordinary member? In other words, what right did the Secretary have to discuss Rosemary with Mr Silva?

I am horrified that Alison Campbell should discuss what your financial status as a member would be. It is purely and simply none of Mr Silvas' business and lacks the professionalism that seems to stamp this association.

Mr Silva has already listed his credentials in the business world so would not be ignorant of the requirements of confidentiality. His reply to you details major breaches in that department. I suggest that you print these out, Rosemary. They may be of use to you in the future.

horse hubby
20-03-00, 04:05 AM
Where is the AWHA forum?

Hoofbeats fan
21-03-00, 01:04 PM
No it's not. I canned my THM sub in favour of Hoofbeats which is informative rather than a gossip sheet pushing particular barrows. The web site - only visited by me to get specific info for a friend - is hopeless - either doesn't work at all or is so slow it's boring.

Brian Silvia
22-03-00, 01:53 AM

I find your note disappointing. You attempted to have the AWHA accept for classification a colt which in the first instance was unregistered and according to the Queensland Branch records, was out of an unclassified mare. The AWHA went to enormous lengths to assist you to the point where the problems (including some confidential issues – known to Victorian Representatives on the Federal Board – and never disclosed to you) became a distraction to the affairs of the AWHA. Had you and the then Victorian Committee adhered by the protocol set down some of the backlog issues which now exist in the Stud Book would not have occurred. I appreciate you paid a late lodgment fee which I think from memory was $600 – at the time I estimated the AWHA’s costs of processing your application and dealing with your particular problems cost the Association well in excess of $10,000 – in my view an unreasonable use of the Association resources from other members’ perspective.

Brian Silvia
22-03-00, 02:12 AM

You may not have read my earlier thread closely. I pointed out that I was co-opted as part of a 3 member team to assist in re-establishing the Victorian Branch Committee – consequently the reason why I took an interest in following up Rosemary’s complaint as to Notice of Meeting – being an issue which was within Alison’s province to discuss with me bearing in mind my appointment.

The discussion in THM over the last 12 months has been by and large lopsided on the subject of the AWHA. One’s ability to put a balanced counter view is impossible in such a forum as discussion can be “orchestrated” by the editor if they have a particular “axe to grind”. Many horse enthusiasts I suspect including yourself have been uninformed as to the background attaching to some issues which led to a disproportionate utilisation of AWHA resources – to the detriment of the Stud Book which when work began on it in earnest, some software problems emerged. Whilst you think some of my comments may be verbose, I sometimes deliberately labour the point so as to give the broader horse community a greater degree of insight. There are many issues which if generally known would horrify the horse community at large – these frequently represent reasons why some people may choose to go the other way.

I have consistently made the point that my comments are not an apology for the lack of the performance of the AWHA in certain areas – indeed I continue to be the worst effected. However, I am mature enough to realise that some people need to make a commitment to make the system (any system) work as otherwise it would be a shambles. These comments do not simply relate to the AWHA but also include other Breed Associations and indeed the EFA.

I thank Horse Hubby for his contribution and will separately communicate with you by e-mail.

Brian Silvia.

Truth always hurts
22-03-00, 10:33 AM
I agree,

Traditionaly the ones which give the least recieve the most and in Karen's case she's recieved enough AWHA service to last her a life time.

Thanks Karen youve probably put back registrations by six months.

chow TAH

23-03-00, 05:10 AM
Yes the truth does hurt. My colt was from a Licenced stallion out of a classified mare. Unfortunatly he was not foal recorded as Belcam had left the AWHA. Does this make him unclassifable. I think not. Do you really believe that it cost $10,000 to sort out the AWHA's own paperwork on one horse? Is that why registrations take so long?
I was informed that the Feds did not want to recognize their own classification paperwork. How does this get laid at my door as my problem?
Matti Somani (Qld) refused to let them NOT recognize it.
So "truth always hurts", how could my case have held up papers for an extra six months. I was a member of the AWHA for 5 or six years and resent the fact that I had to fight for 6 months to get my paperwork which should not have been any harder to get than anyone elses as many of the horses the AWHA registers are not foal recorded. Am I to be further punished because I refused to give up.
The real drama for '98 selection was that the blood typing results had not been returned from the Uni of Qld. I was quite happy to have the classification results held in security until the blood typing was ok. The Victorian committe and the classifiers were also happy with this plan.
The Feds just couldnt cope though and refused to give me my colts results. I had to harass Alison Campbell to even get my blood typing 3 weeks after it was returned to her from U of Qld.
Dont you dare go blaming me for the mess the association is now in. I even joined the duly elected Victorian committe to try and help but was sent a letter from A Campbell informing me that I was not a financial member. Funny how I was back on the financial list for the recent meeting last month but did not have voting rites for the Fed AGM at which we wanted to table changes.
I have aired more dirty linnen than I planned to as I had already stated on another forum that I have finished with the AWHA.

Karen O'Callaghan
23-03-00, 07:12 AM
Real names would be nice. I am prepared to stand up and be counted as is Brian Silvia, Rosemary Dalton, and many others who contributed to this forum. If youve got something to say at least you could put your name on it.

Brian Silvia
23-03-00, 08:51 AM

I bought a stallion in Europe – I was told he could be licensed as a Hanoverian as he had passed the 100 day performance test – that did not prove to be the case and it cost me a $100,000.00.

In your case, you bought a foal which was not registered. If you listen to what I say and again what I said at the Victorian AGM, the mare, the dam, of your colt was not classified. There were issues attaching to your colt’s heritage which I alluded to at the Victorian AGM (7th March 2000)- obviously you did not listen to me. It was only through a special resolution passed by the AWHA at an Extraordinary General Meeting in January 1999 that frankly side stepped those issues that allowed your colt to go forward for classification in Sydney in 1999.

It pays not be emotional but to listen to what other people say – as for your other comments - I always register them under my own name and not pseudonyms.

Brian Silvia.

Uni Student
23-03-00, 10:14 AM
I am a student at The university of Sydney and I have the Australian Warmblood as my major breed. I am having trouble accessing prices of young stock. breeding stock and competition horses. i need this for my presentation. Would anybody be able to help. Maybe you could give me some idea Brian if you have the time to spare.
Thanking anyone in anticipation

Brian Silvia
24-03-00, 03:53 AM
Uni Student

You may contact me by e-mail, fax or telephone via Bill Saunders. I would be happy to assist you in your research.

Brian Silvia.

24-03-00, 04:29 AM
Brian, I respect the fact that you do always leave your name, as I mentioned on the line to "truth always hurts". This mesage was certainly not adressed to you, indeed I was commending you, Rosemary, and the many others who are forthright and honest in their beliefs and not scared to put their real names forward. Unfortunately there will always be someone who will slang off without standing up and being counted.

24-03-00, 03:54 PM
I feel the majority of AWHA registration backlog does have to come back on to some members.I cannot believe anyone would buy a horse that was not foal recorded or without service papers to proove that the horse is who it is,and expect to have the said horse registered without hassle.The AWHA obviously tries to help these members register these horses(I dont know of any other breed stud book that would)at detriment to other members who have got correct paperwork for their horses.Let the AWHA registration disaster be a warning to any horse buyer no matter what breed, to make sure before you buy what needs to be done to register a horse with their society.BEWARE of stallion owners who are not sending in their side of the paperwork. I hope that the AWHA does get back on its feet Victoria for the betterment of the warmblood horse and that this never happens again in any studbook

25-03-00, 03:55 AM
I'm not sure that backlog of paperwork is really the issue that deserves all the discussion - isn't it just a representation of bigger problems?

I posted the following to Brian for comment via a different thread but no reply. Perhaps it's too far sighted or proses real problems - I've only dealt with big successful breed societies O/S, not here, yet. I hope to one day, but I was just tossing around some ideas about possibilities over the next 10-20 years. Perhaps they're all wrong... Just interested in your thoughts.
Hi Brian,
Always very pleased to read your posts.
Just a question - I know the the AWHA in NSW is far more active and prominent than here in Victoria for instance, and I'm interest to know whether, even at it's most glorious height, for you, did you feel that being a member and registering your horses with the AWHA was in some way a benefit - as a breeder or competitive owner?
I'm a current paid member of the AWHA but of course, over the next few months as renewal comes up, I'll be considering my options. So I tend to think, what do I want out of membership from a breed society? What will the benefits be as a competitive rider and breeder? Will membership/classification promote more service fees for my stallion? Will I tap into an international network of information on breeding and support services? How will I be represented locally and what opportunties will be presented to me to assist myself as a breeder and owner of warmblood horses on a local, and global scale?
No society here that I have seen so far (from personal observation or talking to other members) has demonstrated these factors or have clear benefits in their charter of operation.
Perhaps that's the problem though, breed societies are failing here because their deliverables are not clearly understood so when they don't meet their members 'imagined' expectations, angst is caused, from both sides.
I'm afraid I kind of think that local breed societies should be nothing more than a local office for a global organisation. Imagine rather than having all these breed societies, the Verband opened an office here and we had a common, international standard of breeding excellence. I know that there are local breed societies in each part of Germany for instance but a friend recently told me of a number of joint initiatives some of them are now putting in place to work together for the improvement of performance horse breeding.
I deal every day with global companies, all with common goals, policies and standards - with a local office which represents a total and encompassing philosophy. Why wouldn't this work for a breed society?
Breeding warmbloods (and performance horses) is now a global enterprise - with frozen semen and horses moving regularly around the world - breeders have a choice to breed locally or internationally with little cost difference (so generally they breed internationally). The world is now smaller than ever but unfortunately, so are some of the minds at work in the breeding world and splinter groups continue to be created - it's like breeding is going one way (global) but the breeders continue to think in another (local and segregated).
For me, this is why I'm struggling with this whole breed society thing here. As you say, the market is too small to support such segregated activities and I believe we should all be working together to help get Australian Warmbloods onto the international scene, increase breeding potential and raise the level of our breeding programs.
This is almost as depressing as the pony club debate - imagine people working together? We all have our differences and it's okay to disagree sometimes, but the same vision should always prevail and that vision is bigger than individuals and individual differences.
I figure we can all go on about this issue for ages and debate it until the cows come home (feels like it's been going on for so long the cows have jumped the fence and are back in the paddock) or drag ourselves into the 21st century and start looking at smarter and better ways to optimise the international information and services available to administer, deliver and be part of a great breed society service to Australian breeders and warmblood owners.
I haven't seen this yet from any current or proposed organisations.
As an aside, I still love Jan's idea of a local (Aust/NZ) Rider/Owner etc. association that encompassed all breeds and the major performance disaplines to deliver some of the services that traditionally we seem to expect from our breed societies that they are incapable of delivering; and let the breed societies concentrate on improving excellence in horse breeding on an international level.

Sorry, this is much longer than I had anticipated - I just think as a nation of performance horse enthusiasts, it's time we sit back collectively, reasses the total opportunities and look at a progressive and united way forward taking into account all the benefits we have in Australia (the highest computer literate population in the world, easy and cheap access to information, lots of space etc.) - eg. why aren't we offering surrogacy programs to European breeders hindered in their programs by lack of space, good pasture etc?

(Can you pick the management consultant???)

Anyway, there's probably lots of 'problems' with everything I've suggested and I'm sure everyone will point them out. All in the name of healthy debate......

Jan Heine
25-03-00, 04:15 AM
As I am not particularly interested in Breed Societies and their problems due to my interest being in breeding excellence for Performance I will not (and cannot through lack of knowledge) buy into the AWHA arguement.
I would like to say however that I am keen (and have been for a long time) in seeing a Performance Register so that people who are wishing to breed can pick their stallion by also seeing the progeny performance records. To do this through the EFA would require a mammoth overhauling of their data base and I recognise the problems with this due to computers not talking etc.
I am prepared to offer my services to setting this data base up and keeping it up dated.
What I am suggesting is that stallion owners throughout Australia send me all the details (pedigree, performance points in all disciplines, colour, age height,breeder etc.) and I will set it up. I will then maintain the records requiring the stallion owners and then the progeny owners to ensure that I get all details of performance to ensure accurate record keeping.

It is a time consuming project but one that I am prepared to undertake.

If anyone is interested in this please feel free to contact me by email and I will set it up.

I have already got myself organised (rather ahead of time as my babies are only yearlings) so that when the time comes I will have this information available for my stallions and I am happy to add others. There would have to be some cost involved - whether it be by way of admin fees or whatever but depending on the response I can work it out so that it is not going to "cost an arm and a leg" - rather just cover some costs for me such as ink, paper etc. Certainly not something I am doing to make my fortune with!

25-03-00, 06:39 AM
Donna, I don't know the exact circumstances regarding Karen's colt, but I do know that a lot of the angst towards the AWHA has been because the papers have taken so long. A breeder wishing to sell a 2-year-old colt in good faith will tell the prospective purchaser that the papers weren't through yet (yes, if you request foal recording registration papers, they can take up to 3 years to arrive). If there is a problem with the application for the foal recording papers, more than often the breeder hasn't been notified of that problem. So the colt changes hands and then the difficulties start when he's put up for classification. The problem has been that no one has known where they stood or whether their applications were in order. A sad lack of communication.

I do believe that some changes have been made and with any luck the AWHA will be back on its feet with all systems go in the very near future. Yes, Brian, if you read this, I am on your side. Thanks for the debate.


Brian Silvia
29-03-00, 01:19 AM

I am very nationalistic at heart – whilst I have spent considerable effort educating myself about Warmblood horses in Europe and to their credit I have been educated by Holger Schmorl from the perspective of Hanoverian breeding and more recently Eric Rophia, my aspiration is to breed an Australian Warmblood – I am not opposed to interaction overseas in terms of reciprocal breeding programs – indeed I have promoted the idea of recognition of New Zealand Warmbloods by the AWHA. Unfortunately within the context of Europe, unless you are a breeder within defined lines of their horses, there is no recognition of Australian bred horses within their system – such an arrangement suits the Europeans as we represent a continuing income stream to them for so long as breeders within this country are prepared to be subservient to their programs.

The most unfortunate feature of Warmblood breeding in Australia is that in excess of 50% of breeders are not prepared to follow a defined path. Generally speaking they are broadly aware of the proper breed society guidelines but they always seem to have a mare “in the back paddock” which just quite doesn’t fit the system however in their view would make a terrific brood mare – consequently there are a significant percentage of horses being bred with less than 37 ½ % Warmblood blood. This problem in some respects is akin to the problems of the thoroughbred industry where they have been “down breeding” attempting to focus on sprint races for younger horses – in the process sacrificing older mares of more substance.

It is not too difficult to set breeding guidelines for any society such that they are durable through time. Unfortunately many of the rules when originally set were “uplifted” from parts of Europe without proper thought process being given to issues significant to breeders in Australia. In other instances some breeders are simply ill informed – the Andalusian owner who mistakenly buys such a horse wanting to breed Warmbloods suggesting that they be capable of being registered by the AWHA – they do not understand Andalusians were bred with particular gaits, which whilst acceptable from an Andalusian viewpoint are not a desirable trait within the context of Warmblood breeding.

I see the Australian Warmblood market continuing to be segmented:

 Some so called “elitists” seeking to breed within European stud books – the available stallions in Australia are limited and therefore there is an emphasis on frozen semen.
 Other “elitists” who subscribe to the theory “the grass is greener on the other side”. The majority of breeders in this category and the former in my opinion are likely to breed horses with so called “desirable” pedigrees which by and large will be unsaleable, there will be training and ride-ability issues. Many breeders are buying frozen semen out of catalogues without any true knowledge of the individual breeding traits and their appropriateness to Australia.

It has been said to me by a leading Australian Hanoverian authority that “W” line horses can be difficult however if the rider/trainer has perseverance - when the horse “finally gives”, that they can be outstanding. The only problem from an Australian perspective is that we by and large don’t have people who are capable of training/riding those horses.

There has been an increase in more a “thoroughbred” influence in European Warmbloods. The majority of breeders in Australia are still using thoroughbred mares (and not necessarily the “older type” thoroughbred mares) - consequently the offspring are likely to be too light and in so far as dressage is concerned, not “go the distance”.

I have developed a reasonably extensive network of European contacts within the context of being able to buy and sell horses. When I go to Europe I seem to spend all of my time looking at horses. On any number of occasions in the past I have been advised against buying horses (of so called well regarded lines)where the people with whom I deal have a view that they are difficult horses – again not being suitable for Australia.

The majority of the so called “elitist” breeders, using imported frozen semen, will find that they have incurred increased production costs without there necessarily being any commensurate increase in sale price. This type of breeder in some respects is symptomatic of our current economic prosperity – for those who think about it there are some interesting parallels at present in the thoroughbred industry in so far as shuttle stallions are concerned.
 The “back yard breeder” who somewhere along the line has formed the view that it would be terrific to breed a Warmblood – any Warmblood. Typically they will be price driven in relation to service fees – invariably unlicensed stallions. These offspring which are increasing as percentage of total Warmbloods being bred, generally speaking are a nightmare from a stud book’s perspective.
 The traditional breeder to local licensed stallions – the breed doesn’t matter – has been diminishing. Local licensed stallions have become a casualty of the system where their owners are invariably the ones who financially support breed societies but their efforts are not recompensed in support from breeders

Unfortunately few breeders recognise the type of horse which they need to breed for the performance market ( I am generally speaking about dressage) where our rider
skills could be better developed as could their knowledge of horsemanship. Rider lack of knowledge of horsemanship in my mind is an important ingredient in the type of horse which we should be producing – it needs to be durable – not necessarily as much thoroughbred.

Importantly horses which we breed need to have good temperament and be trainable. There is obviously a need for movement – an important issue of movement is that the horse should be capable of being ridden by an amateur rider and “if the pedal is put on the gas” by a professional rider. In my view it is important to produce horses which will be forgiving of a rider’s lack of skill – this is the only way that they will perceive that they have bought ‘value for money’ in a horse.

Shahron I am sorry that I have taken so long to reply. My view in summary is that the disparate points of view of breeders is likely to mean that all of the breed societies or registries will continue to have problems. Professionalism will only be achieved through paid employees or occasionally there will be “windows” where the level of service improves as a consequence of the dedication of individual volunteers. Unfortunately for most of those people they are not rewarded (one way or the other) for their efforts and consequently they will invariably “fall by the wayside”. The structural concepts of the AWHA and other breed societies generally speaking are most probably not too bad, however their politics is a function of their members.

Having said the depressing, there are some ways forward and this is happening informally in New South Wales where there is a group of half a dozen or so dedicated members who are applying their mind to getting the stud book up to date and at a more revolutionary level looking at methods to streamline both the structure of the AWHA (from a horse registration and/or classification viewpoint) and the issue of breeding papers.

I know I am not supposed to plug individual horses in this forum however like so many others, I will do so anyway – in the realms of my experience a stallion which is producing what I believe to be the most desirable Warmblood offspring from a dressage perspective in Australia at the moment is “Benny” (those who know him will know who I am talking about). There are not many of his offspring however a few of them are starting to successfully compete – more importantly from a studs viewpoint he no longer stands to outside mares.

Brian Silvia.

Brian Silvia
29-03-00, 07:06 AM
Thank you for replying so soon. I have an oral presentation to do on an Australian Warmblood and am having difficultly finding iformation on Breed derivation, uses, characteristics and prices of this breed. It would be greatly appreciated if you could send me some information on any of these areas. Or any other area that could help me with my assignment. My address is: sheree_burgess@hotmail.com

I look forward to hearing from you.


30-03-00, 02:51 PM
Thanks Brian.
Agreed in pretty much all aspects - particularly riders incapable of training and riding the types of horses we'd all like to think we're breeding. Also agreed with the overseas buyers of frozen semen and for that matter, also many who actually purchase the progeny without the knowledge to train it. Always lots of buyers for 'the expensive trot'. Anyway...

In all honesty, what would you do if you lived in Victoria at the moment? This is probably a great dilema for most of us. The AWHA doesn't have a glowing history of support and service in this State to date for the most part and with rival groups with prominent support, politically, there is somewhat a feeling of almost suicide to take sides with the AWHA - especially as a lot of the people backing new and existing groups are friends, fellow competitors and hold reasonable influence in many aspects of the sport in this part of the world. I think many people will be sitting low, seeing how the whole thing pans out and hope like hell that you're not caught in the cross fire and potentially commit political suicide. One does have to get by in the world....

Anyway, on a personal note, I have a small dilema at the moment which you might like to advise on. I purchased a 5yo stallion a few years ago planning to take the horse back O/seas with me (yes, I believed this locally bred horse to be that good!). Anyway, he's registered AWHA but his previous owner never bothered to put him up for classification for political reasons (even though he'd beaten other since classified stallions in lead classes as a 2 and 3yo). Anyway, I had him broken in and he was going sensationally and then what happened is a really long story - he had laminitis, a broken wither and ribs and a few other things but! he's now back in work and going really well soon to start in competition. I'm faced with a couple of options. I can still attempt to have him classified on performance or I don't bother. His young stock are now 3 and 4yo's and beginning to perform well and fetching good prices on the market (equal to some of those of the 'big' studs). I guess I'm considering whether I need to classify him at all given that right now, I can't see that much benefit in the effort. His progeny will speak for themselves.
I'm not a big time breeder and never intend to be. I don't class myself necessarily as a backyard breeder though as my mares are AWHA classifed and one doesn't have to breed a lot to breed quality (but the numbers certainly help the chances), but as a stallion owner, I do have to seriously consider my options.
Anyway, I'm selfishly taking up forum space on a personal issue but I think the whole question of benefit of membership and AWHA classification is really the issue and one that I'm still struggling with. The market for any local stallion, as agreed, is extremely limited and as a breeder, I'm no doubt being extremely short sighted only thinking of the current generation and not several generations along.
Would appreciate any pearls of wisdom you can make the effot to document.

08-04-00, 11:00 AM
Brian, your comment about breeding Andalusians has stuck in my mind because I have bred my Lipizzaner mare to a warmblood, and am looking to do so again. The following was a reply to a question asked on an American forum about the success of breeding Andalusians to warmbloods for dressage. Just for interest....

After doing several years of research, I firmly believe that the Andalusian is currently the best-kept secret in dressage circles today.

Since the ban on importation on these horses in Spain since the early to mid-1900's, very few people have even seen them, let alone had the opportunity to ride, train, show or breed them. They are only now making their comeback on the international dressage scene, and are scoring very well for 'newcomers', as evidenced in Atlanta.

I have seen video footage of an Andalusian/Hannoverian cross filly in South Dakota. I am told that this filly received the Silver Medal at the kuring as a yearling, and that she was chosen to represent desired movement by the same judges at a judging clinic later in the week. When I looked at her as a suckling, I also felt that she was outstanding. She was bred by April Burns of Prairie Thunder Ranch in South Dakota. I don't have her contact info handy since my farrier seems to have adopted her sales videos. However, I believe the Andalusian stallion she used, the bay Florian, is owned by Rita Greslin, Sturgis, SD at (605) 347-4211. Rita should be able to give you further info about this filly, and also refer you on to April to answer the many questions you should be asking. If you have trouble finding them, get back to me and I'll dig up April's number for you.

It is important to remember that the European Warmbloods are hybrid horses that were built from a strong base of Spanish/Portuguese blood. The Baroque influence is still clearly visible in the 'old fashioned' warmbloods, especially the Hannoverians. When breeding hybrids for a specific look and performance, it becomes necessary over the generations to return to a judicious application of the original genetics in order to 'fix' the new type desired. Currently, warmblood breeders have been focusing on the TB and to a lesser extent the Arab to lighten and refine the desired warmblood type. While this has been desirable and beneficial to a point, we all have seen the new warmbloods who cannot easily be distinguished from the TB. While these horses are lovely, and excellent competitors, the breeds as a whole are in danger of losing their 'type' due to the varied genetic influences in the background. If one takes these horses and returns to a line of the original Baroque blood, it will genetically 'fix' the desired type, which is neither Baroque nor TB, but the true European Warmblood.

While normally crossbreeds can have a variety of outcomes, the Andalusian drastically cuts the odds of undesirable traits due to stringent linebreeding and culling over the last 500+ years. The crossbreds I have seen have a strong tendancy to inherit the upright carriage, comfortable but extravagent movement and absolutely astonishing temperment of the Andalusian. (Yes, they have GREAT extentions if you choose the right bloodlines!)

Clearly, I like the crossbreds and the Andalusians, but that said, I must also say that it is VERY IMPORTANT to study the lines you choose to breed from. In recent years the Andalusians have been bred for the 'parade', harness and 'warmblood' types rather than performance. These horses tend to have longer backs, weaker pasterns and less ability for the collected work. It is paramount to choose lines which have kept to the old performance qualities. Some suggestions would be to look for a stallion from Terry, Banbury, or Urquillo lines. Also don't forget the Lusitano horses, which are the Portuguese Andalusians. The horses are the same breed, but currently separated in name and registry by political factions in Europe. Lines to consider in the Portuguese horse are Andrade, Alter Real, or possibly the Viega, depending on exactly what type of horse you desire.

For further information and tons of links, check out <http://www.andalusian.com> for the International Andalusian and Lusitano Association and <http://www.cyberemporium.com> for the Andalusian Web Ring, Email List, and related links. Farms worth checking out for type are Interagro and HerraDurra Andalusians. Once you have fixed your eye for good type, then there are excellent stallions on both the East and West Coast.

I think that you will find, as I have, that the Iberian horse and it's crosses provide us with the most rideable, trainable and enjoyable dressage horses you will ever experience with no loss of performance in the show ring.


Brian Silvia
12-04-00, 09:32 AM

Sorry Shahron for the delay in replying – I missed your note giving the indexing system – I always tend to look at the last noted sequential posting.

I am not aware of the historical performance of the AWHA in Victoria – former office bearers always led me to believe that the branch offered its members a high level of service however many smaller breeders with whom I came into contact always complained of the results of the Gala Day and the Mare and Foal Show. I don’t know whether or not those concerns are justified. In the earlier years I was very active attending shows with my horses – on one occasion we won almost every Class for Warmbloods at the Royal Easter Show. Thereafter I determined I should keep a lower profile giving others the opportunity of being winners – that is not to say that I always expected to be a winner however perceptions do develop.

Following the “assumed” exit many of Committee Members and the claimed exit of some high profile members, it must be remembered that membership renewals do not fall due until 30th June. I suspect that for reasons of astuteness many of those people will maintain their AWHA membership notwithstanding they may support a new organisation. It will be a case of “having a bet both ways” which for them I suspect will be justified.

It was asserted to me the Victorian branch was conscientious in undertaking mare classifications on a timely basis. Notwithstanding any fractions between the former Victorian Committee and the Federal Office I have difficulty in understanding why there was a minimum backlog of 28 mares for classification – maybe the former Committee was not as efficient as it claimed.

As “Flicker” recently said, how can you have an Association, guaranteeing a 2 week turnaround in registration paperwork in an environment where you publicly state the Rules and Regulations won’t be available for review until 30th June? The issue for the new Association is “do leopards change their spots, or perceived spots”? In my experience, notwithstanding the best intent in the world, I do not expect to see any improved level of performance by ISSA – indeed given it’s “shaky” structural foundations I believe they are starting “behind the 8 ball”.

In so far as your stallion is concerned, the AWHA by special resolution in January 1999 changed many of the procedures relating to stallion classification:

 Colts are generally required to be presented for classification between the age of 2 ½ and 3 ½. The Federal Committee has the right to accept older stallions for classification – they invariably agree to such requests – but that is not always assured.

 The concept of a stallion being licensed via performance has changed. Colts who fail classification, scoring between 65% and 70% are known as “Recorded Stallions” and will be issued with Non Stud Book Service Certificate books. – Their offspring are registered as WID’s. These stallions in time will be considered for licensing based on performance.

 Colts who score less than 65% at classification are unable to proceed to licensed status on the basis of performance. The view was that a score of less than 65% reflects poor attributes which are not desirable to be passed on within the breed. These colts are issued with “Records Of Mating” where their progeny are also capable of registration in the Warmblood Identification Register provided they have more than 25% provable Warmblood breeding.

Historically the AWHA rules allowed the Federal Board to consider issuing licensed status to stallions who achieved performance via a discipline. Some failed colt owners came to believe that achievement of performance automatically meant licensed status. This was never the case. To my knowledge in recent years there has only been one previously failed colt subsequently put up for licensed status based on sport performance (he was not accepted). A protocol for review of such stallions was developed which included a further physical inspection of the horse by classifiers and an assessment by them of the horse being ridden under saddle. The view has been that notwithstanding any level of performance in sport, if a stallion carries an undesirable trait, that is not a feature to be passed on in the breed.

The prospects of selling an Australian bred stallion for good money overseas is difficult. If their performance is outstanding, yes they will be considered by some of the European breed societies. Unless your stallion can be accepted into one of the European Societies, it places an absolute limit on his value as a stallion. The only stallion who has gone from Australia to Europe (notwithstanding he was Dutch bred, and previously unlicensed in Europe) and achieved licensed status in Europe, is Argentille Gullit who has been accepted as a licensed stallion by societies in both Germany and Britain.

Brian Silvia.

Brian Silvia
12-04-00, 09:34 AM

Thank you for your note – I have nothing against Andalusians perse – indeed at the National Horse Show at Clarendon in 1998, an Ilkay colt out of a part Andalusian mare won the Supreme Warmblood Class - in the process beating a well known interstate AWHA licensed stallion. The point in mentioning Andalusians was not so much to focus on Andalusians as a breed but just simply to highlight the fact that as breeders we need to “hang our hat” on a specific breeding direction. In the process that will exclude from main Stud Book categories, horses from other breeds and/or cross bred horses. Whilst some of the regulations may appear oppressive, they for any breed society (not just the AWHA) represent a process of maintaining a breeding direction and purity of breed (or in the case of some of the Australian Stud Books, establishing a basis for maintaining breed purity in the future).

Different horses are bred for different purposes – there are any number of horse breeds capable of performing well in the Olympic disciplines – notwithstanding the type of horses bred by any of us “a good horse is always a good horse” irrespective of its other attributes including colour.

Brian Silvia.