History of the True PRE - Part 1

Originally written 04/15/08 by Donna DeYoung (the only one brave enough or stupid enough to share this information with you!)

The following articles were written in response to news by the Foundation for the Pure Spanish Horse (the Foundation) that they will allow broken line PRE horses to be revised.

A broken-line PRE horse is a horse of Pure Spanish heritage (no Portuguese lines) that can be traced back to the Spanish studbook. However, for one reason or another, a parent was not "revised" or graded as accepted into the studbook. Examples would be a horse that had a genetic defect (such as cryptorchid) and thus was disqualified. A horse that had too many Arabian characteristics and was failed. A horse was bred but died before it could be inspected and thus has offspring that do not have papers. And so on. 

I wrote these articles to give you some background into the state of things today especially concerning the Mundial PRE registration created by the Foundation.

What Happened with Revision Early On

If you own a true Pura Raza Espanola (Pure Spanish Horse or PRE), your horse has the distinct title of being “written into the Spanish Studbook” or has “passed revision” or inspection by Spain. Your horse’s heritage is proven by producing a “carta” from Spain or passport as it is known, with the official stamp of “Apto Reproductor” or apt for reproduction as an adult horse. 

The PRE, also known as the Andalusian in the U.S., is of “pure race” and its heritage is strongly protected by Spain. The Spanish studbook literally “owns” the name of PRE. 

If your adult PRE horse does not have a carta or has not “passed revision” or been graded, then the foals produced from such a horse cannot be written into the books. 

This is a simple fact.

Valoration is the process by which previously inscribed horses are approved for breeding. Valoration is commonly called “revision” in the U.S. Valoration requires that a representative from Spain personally inspect your horse and approve of your horse. Horses that fail typically do not show "breed fidelity" or may be too small or not have enough bone. The most common reason for failing is that the horse has Arabian characteristics such as a dished face and pointed-in ears. Revision is a form of quality control and breed preservation.

What gets complicated is that the first visit by Spain to the U.S. to conduct revision occurred in 1994. That left many years between the 1960s and 1994 when horses were being bred in the U.S. according to the whim of American breeders. 

Often, the breeding programs were influenced by former Arabian horse trainers or others without any experience working with the traditional horse of Spain. Through the efforts of dedicated breeders, a deal was worked out with Spain so that Spain could visit the U.S. and conduct revision on our horses.

Revision was kept “open” from 1994 to 1996 to allow horses with dead parents to be inscribed and/or revised. Such dead parents are listed in the Spanish studbook as "ITI". 

Once the "open" period passed, the only way to get a foal inscribed was if the parents were already  officially in the studbook. Many breeders opted not to participate in revision for one reason or another. Their horses could always be registered with IALHA as an option.

Since revision has always been optional in the U.S. to get papers for an Andalusian horse, this created problems for some people who buy a horse and then try to get Spanish papers on the horse after the fact. Many people just aren't given the knowledge or don't have access to the facts that for your horse to be a PRE, both parents MUST be revised. And if both parents are not revised, it is VERY difficult, if not impossible, to try and get those papers. Your foal's eligibility depends on the owner of the horse with missing papers getting that horse to revision, having the correct paperwork, and getting the horse passed so the offspring can then be presented. It doesn't always work out. The result is a broken-hearted owner with a horse of broken lineage.

To sum up, many people had (or have) IALHA (US-based) papers on their horses, but not Spanish papers. People who bought foals from un-revised parents registered with IALHA, often wanted to get the foals inscribed/revised with Spain but were unable to do so. 

This becomes important later on as I explain what broken lineage is…

In the 1990s and through 2007, inscription consisted of verifying that the parents had been revised and were in the studbook (or were listed as dead/ITI). Foals were DNA-typed and given microchips, their hair whirls recorded, and they were issued a number. Once the horses became at least 3 years old, they were then inspected or “revised” and passed revision based on a 70 point system. Revision conducted during these years was performed by representatives of the Jefetura de Cria Caballar (military division of Spain) and usually consisted of a military officer, a breeder representative, and a veterinarian. The teams were always assisted by a U.S. federation or group of breeders who helped coordinate and facilitate the site visits.

In 2006, due to pressures from the European Union, Spain turned over management of the Studbook from the Ministry of Defense (Cria Caballar) to the Ministry of Agriculture (MAPA). MAPA in turn handed the responsibility of the studbook to an association of breeders in Spain known as ANCCE. Revision was changed from the 70 point system to the “pass or fail” system in place today. Two other tiers of approval, “Qualified” and “Elite” were added to the system.

Continue to Part 2

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