Diversity with Uniformity

Author: SA Boerperd Date Published: 25 August 2015

For the past three decades the SA Boerperd Society has been using an inspection system, the purpose of which, is to maintain a high breed standard and to ennoble the Boerperd. At the birth of a foal, of registered parents, its data is recorded. On reaching the age of 12 months, each foal must be tattooed for identification purposes on the upper gum with a unique number allocated to the breeder.

From 30 months each young horse is inspected by a panel of three inspectors, appointed by the council of the SA Boerperd Society, to establish whether the horse conforms to the minimum breed standard. The DNA of all horses approved for breeding purposes is stored on a data base kept by the ARC.

In order to qualify for the SA Boerperd brand, stallions must achieve at least 75%, mares 70% and geldings 65% of the breed standard . Having met the standard requirements, the horse may be branded on the right hand quarter with the Boerperd mark of distinction. It is only at this stage that the horse is in fact considered a registered SA Boerperd. Subsequent to DNA verification a registration certificate is issued by the SA Stud Book Association.

The following traits are inspected –

  • General appearance: Good skin and hair quality
  • Head: The anterior appearance must be flat with a broad forehead between prominent eyes. The ears should be of medium length, sharp-pointed and reasonably close together. The profile must be straight or slightly concave with a deep well defined jaw. Cheeks must be well-muscled but not fleshy.
  • Neck: A well-formed neck of average length
  • Shoulder: A good slanting shoulder with prominent withers
  • Belly and Flanks: Broad and well-muscled, strong with well-developed loin. Well-developed rib cage with capacity.
  • Hind Quarter: Well-muscled, long and strong down to the thigh. Must appear broad and rounded from the back.
  • Legs: Strong, dry and well-muscled legs with hard hooves
  • Movement: Moderately high, long gait that covers ground.
  • Type: Symmetrical conformation, balanced, alert and aristocratic with a fiery and proud
  • appearance.
  • Temperament: Calm, ambitious, trustworthy and alert. Willing to serve its rider.

A maximum of 100 points is awarded for each trait and should a horse fail any one category the horse will not be registered. Should it be anticipated that the relevant horse could conform to the minimum standard at a late stage, when the animal has reached maturity, it may again be inspected at a later date. In the interests of uniformity within the breed, special attention is paid to the type to conform to the standard that is laid down.


Universal and Traditional movement

The SA Boerperd is required to have medium-low to medium-high knee action, long strides with cadence that covers ground. The hind legs must move well underneath the body and take the weight of the forequarters. Horses must track which means that they must move straight forward when viewed from either the front or back.

The only difference between the universal and traditional horse is that the universal horse will have a lower knee action as opposed to the traditional horse with a typically higher knee action.

This distinction was necessitated as a result of the separate riding styles and sport disciplines where the various types are used. Traditional classes are more performance orientated whilst universal classes are more show orientated. For this reason, the traditional movement would be the higher, more proud type of movement for classes such as 5 gait and harness classes. Both types of movement require a long, elastic step.

Versatility of the horse

The SA Boerperd is the ideal Child and Junior Jumping horse. Many SA Boerperde perform exceptionally well in the Jumping arena. Its calm temperament and willingness afford any rider, especially the younger ones, much pleasure to participate in this sport. On account of its natural movement and athletic ability the SA Boerperd is very competitive in the dressage arena where loyalty to the rider is of utmost importance.

Carriage Driving consists of Dressage, Marathon and Cones and this sport would not have been possible without a horse that has the ability to remain calm but to think on its feet. For riders wishing to partake in endurance rides on the back of an easy and calm horse, the SA Boerperd is the answer. They bring their riders much joy and confidence and are hardy and tough. Gymkhana and Tent pegging require accuracy and discipline. The agility and smooth, easy movement of the SA Boerperd allows it to be a strong competitor, even on an international level. The SA Boerperd is naturally suited to be a 5 gaited horse. This is a proud and willing gait and unlike other breeds, the SA Boerperd can be used in all gaits for pleasure rides, livestock herding and showing.

The success of diversity within uniformity can very well be ascribed to the vision of a handful of people wishing to ennoble and improve a breed, by virtue of an inspection system, which ensures a well balanced, functionally efficient and proud horse.

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