BLUP/Breeding & Competition results

Welcome to the home page where you can search for breeding information on your horse! Here you will find the official breeding values for Swedish Warmblood horses; stallions, mares and young horses. The breeding values are based on all the results from the SWB young horse tests and the official competition results aquired from the Swedish Equestrian Federation up until early October the precedent competition year. Through the site you can search the results and breeding values of individual horses, find the four generational pedigree and the detailed inspection – and competition results. You can also create lists, ranking stallions and mares for various traits.

What is a breeding value?

The breeding values are a numerical description of what one can predict the horse will pass on to its offspring genetically. So it's not a direct manifestation of the horses own performance, although it's related to that. The breeding values is the most objective genetical breeding information we can receive today. BLUP stands for”Best Linear Unbiased Prediction”, which hints at providing the most accurate and real compilation of all the information with which the individual’s breeding value is computed. The BLUP-method is used for estimation of breeding values for most sport horse populations. The breeding values allows us to compare individuals from different generations and the BLUP method also automatically correct for the quality of the mares a stallion have serviced and vice versa. When calculating the breeding values the horse’s own competition results available from the Swedish Equestrian Federation and the results from the SWB young horse tests are included as well as all corresponding results of all its relatives.

Since the scores from the young horse evaluations are subjective, every horse’s results are compared with the mean score for all other horses that were evaluated at the same time. To evaluate the competition results, horses are compared within the same year of birth. Simultaneously the genetic level of evaluated and competition horses are taken into account through the utilization of the pedigree information. One of the advantages of the BLUP-method is the correction for the quality of the mares a stallion has bred (and vice versa). This means that a stallion’s breeding value is automatically corrected if he is breeding lower or higher quality mares than the average. The indexes for all horses, regardless of age or generation, are directly comparable with one another. Due to the great progress in breeding that has taken place during the last 20-30 years it gets tougher for older stallions and mares to maintain their status as breeding animals.

What does 100 in index mean?

The breeding values are so constructed that 100 is the equivalent to the mean breeding value of horses of today. This so called reference group for current breeding values consists of all horses that have results from young horse tests and competition and that are between the ages of 4 and 18 the year of evaluation. Approved stallions however, is a heavily selected group and a s such has significantly higher breeding values than the reference group. Today’s stallions that are born the same year as the horses in the reference group therefore has mean breeding values for the various traits of 105-115.

Valuating breeding values for eleven partial traits

In order to mirror the proposed breeding goal for the SWB the valuating breeding values is published for eleven different traits. The main breeding values are the those for dressage and jumping and the rest are as follows:

Three conformation traits

The horse’s estimated qualities for conformation inheritance is displayed as three different breeding values: Height at the withers, Sport horse type (based on the average score for Type and Head-neck-body) and Legs. The height is published in cm:s deviant from respective gender’s average, which is about 165 cm in the SWB population.

Valuating breeding values for dressage are available for five traits: Walk, Trot, Canter, Temperament and Overall Impression under rider and Competition results in dressage (main breeding value)

Just like in jumping there is a main breeding values in dressage that reflects the expected inheritance for competition. There are also four partial breeding values: Walk, Trot, Canter and Temperament and overall impression under rider. The partial breeding values are based on the results from the young horse test even if the competition results contribute through the relationships that exist genetically with the young horse test results. The chosen value for competition results is the accumulated championship score (over the show career).

Three jumping traits: Technique and ability, Temperament and Overall Impression under rider, Competition results in jumping (main breeding value)

The main breeding value in jumping is first and foremost about the ability to succeed in competition through the value Accumulated championship scores. The partial breeding values Technique and ability and Temperament and overall impression are based on the young horse test results. In calculating the jumping breeding values all the results from the young horse tests and competition are included and contribute through the relationships that exist genetically between the different traits.

Breeding values for Eventing?

Due to the fact that so few horses compete in eventing it is not possible to calculate breeding values with a satisfactory reliability in this particular discipline.

The reliability of a breeding value

The reliability of a breeding value is depending on the type of information that forms the basis of each individual’s breeding value. More information on the individual itself, offspring, sire, dam and other relatives presents a breeding value with a higher reliability. Other information like the amount of evaluated horses and heritability of the traits affects the reliability as well. The reliability is published as "High", "Medium" or "Low". A breeding value with a "High" heritabilty usually varies less than 10 units for the valuating breeding values and less than 2 units for the descriptive breeding values. Correponding numbers for the "Medium" and "Low" reliabilities are 11-17 respective more than 18 units for valuating breeding values and 2-3 respective 3-4 units for the descriptive breeding values.

Sometimes an breeding value will change even though the amount of inspected offspring is the same. This is often due to the fact that the amount of inspected relatives has increased, for example offspring to a son of the stallion. It could also be due to more results collected by the already tested or competed offspring. If a stallion has many tested offspring the reliability will be relatively high. If the offspring still are too young to compete, the standard deviation for competition traits (dressage and jumping) will be lower. The reliability will also vary due to the amount of horses that have competed in respective discipline.

What horses have published breeding values?

For a stallion to get a published breeding value the requirement is a minimum of 10 young horses evaluated at the SWB young horse tests. Mares get a published breeding value when they either have been evaluated themselves at the SWB young horse tests or if they have competed at at least reagional level or have had at least one offspring with results of its own.

If you have questions abut the breeding values or would like to know more, feel free to send these to [email protected]