|MEMBER REPORT FROM BELGIUM|
REPORT AT 2011 WAHO CONFERENCE:
I am Winand Bijnens, Registrar of the Belgian Arabian Horse Registry. We thank His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Qatar Racing & Equestrian Club, the Organizing Committee and the President and Executive Committee of WAHO for making this Conference possible, a really unique event in the horse world. This is the report of the Belgian Arabian Horse Registry.
In 2010, the Belgian Arabian Horse Registry issued the studbook online in which all pure-bred Arabian horses registered in Belgium are entered. You can consult the studbook online through the following internet address, www.arabianhorse.be . The studbook online is updated monthly, even weekly. Of course, the latest paper volume is also available for those who wish to add the book to their collection. This volume 11 covers the period 2005-2008. The estimated number of living Arabian horses in Belgium is 6,000. Some figures in the information sheet you have need some explanation. The number of registered foals has increased from 397 in 2009 to 444 in 2010, although we should note that some of these were born in the previous year and delays in their registration were due to the mandatory rules for micro-chipping in the EU, which can lead to a slight delay in administration for all authorities involved. In fact the number of foals actually born in 2010 has decreased from 413 to 347, but is similar to 2008 when 343 were born and more than in 2007 when 311 were born. So overall our figures remain fairly steady. The number of imports and exports are more or less the same each year, with an average of 80 imports and 130 exports. The number of exports is higher than the number of imports each year. Belgium has a lot of professional training stables where Arabian horses from all over the world are prepared for both national and international shows. Also foreign breeding stallions do come into our country for a certain time, sometimes for semen collection and freezing at licensed quarantine facilities, sometimes on lease. This may explain the fairly high number of exports, as a lot of these show horses are sold on to other countries or they return to their homeland at the end of the show or breeding season.
The main organized activities for Arabians in Belgium are the usual ones of Showing, Endurance and Racing, as well as Dressage and a little bit of Western Riding which is also popular. And of course recreational riding remains the most important use of Arabian horses in Belgium. Each year, members of our Society organise about 5 shows, all recognized by ECAHO, at which halter, ridden and liberty classes are offered. Every 2 years, the European Championship for Arabian Horses takes place in Moorsele, and in addition the Egyptian Event Europe is organized annually in Belgium. The estimated number of horses taking part at the shows is 200 or just under 4% of the living Arabians in Belgium.
Endurance is probably the oldest equestrian sport popular with Arabian horse riders in Belgium, it is coordinated by 3 organisations: VLP, LRV and KBRSF. Each year 35 races are organized. Our Society actively encourages Belgian riders by organising the BAPS-Challenge, in which participating horses must be Arabian horses or Arabian-derivatives registered in Belgium, and the owners of the participating horses must be members of BAPS. The winners receive money prizes. Also, members of BAPS who own a horse that takes part in the European or World Championship in Endurance, at which events we are proud to say that our Belgian riders and teams do very well, is encouraged by BAPS through sponsoring. The estimated number of registered Arabians regularly taking part in endurance is 100, just under 2% of our Arabian horse population.
Racing has been organized in Belgium since 1989, when a small group of breeders and owners took the initiative to start racing. The Arabian Horse Racing Club of Belgium (AHRCB) was founded in 1994. Each year, about 10 races are organized at the racetracks in Belgium, last year it was a bit less due to the restoration of some racetracks. The estimated number of horses taking part in racing is approximately 20, which represents only about half of one per cent of our Arabian horse population.
In 1995, the organization "Dressuur Arabische Paarden" (DAP), specifically for Arabians competing in dressage, was founded. More and more Arabian horse enthusiasts were interested in dressage and in taking lessons, others were already familiar with dressage for years and all of them were very happy with the foundation of their own club. DAP organises about 7 competitions each year, and the best horses also take part in open competition against other breeds. The estimated number of horses taking part at dressage is approximately 75, or 0,75 % of the population. Western riding for Arabians is rather new in Belgium, and as yet there is no club for this discipline but there are a number of enthusiasts who want to start an association. In the meanwhile, the Arabians compete against other breeds and some do very well.
To promote the breed, BAPS has published a comprehensive book on the Arabian horse, with wonderful photos by the world famous photographers of the Van Lent family, each new member receives a book for free and BAPS has a stand at each show where we sell the books to the new interested visitors. BAPS has also published a promotional DVD with some very nice film footage of Arabians in Belgium, this is sold at both shows and events. It is given for free to our new members and if anyone here is interested in a copy of our book or our DVD, do let me know and I will send it to you.
Each year BAPS selects the horse that has been the most remarkable over the last year for the WAHO trophy which is officially presented at the Belgian National Championship Show. In 2010, the WAHO Trophy for Belgium was won by the stallion Orfeo, 21 years old by Pedant out of Opala, owned by Leo Liesens and bred by the Haras des Iviers. He is a remarkable endurance horse and has an outstanding international endurance record. All details about this stallion and the reasons for him being awarded our WAHO Trophy for 2010 have been published on the WAHO website.
The BAPS committee has two members who are responsible for updating the knowledge of our members. We use our website, which is www.arabianhorse.be, for a lot of this information, most of the website is available in Dutch, French and English and, within a few months, in German. Every 3 months BAPS issues a magazine named BAPS-News, which is very much appreciated by our 1000 members. Last but not least, in 2011 we organized 2 national judging courses, one in Dutch and one in French. After this course an exam is organised, the people who pass will be placed on the National list of show judges. This concludes the Belgian Report. Thank you.
STASTISTICS FOR 2011:
Foals registered: 377
Horses Exported: 137
Horses Imported: 90
REPORT MADE AT 2009 WAHO CONFERENCE:
I am Winand Bijnens, Secretary, and my co-delegate is Jean Dardenne, President of the Belgian Arabian Horse Society. We would like to thank His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said, The Royal Court Affairs, and the Organizing Committee, the President and the Executive Committee of WAHO, for making this Conference possible. It is a really unique event in the horse world.
The Belgian Arabian Horse Registry's current stud-book published is Volume 10. This volume covers the period 2001 to 2004. Our next volume, number 11, is to be published in 2009. In 2008, BAPS registered 238 purebred Arabian foals. We imported 55 horses and exported 56 horses. The number of foals born has decreased a little bit and this due to the Belgian legislation that all horses should be microchipped before registration. As there is still a lot of administration to do, in all authorities involved outside BAPS, there is a slight delay. The number of imports and exports are more or less the same as in the last two years. In 2006, due to the WAHO rule that each horse should be registered in the country of birth, the number of imports increased with a total of 93 and the number of exports tripled from 52 in 2005 to 161 in 2006. In 2007, the number of imports decreased again to 68 and the number of exports to 94. The estimated number of living horses is 5,500. Since 1st July 2008 all Belgian horses have to be microchipped. The system we are using is ISO 11784. We allow Artificial Insemination and Embryo Transfer and we allow multiple foals per mare.
The popular activities for purebred Arabian horses in Belgium are showing, endurance, racing, dressage, and western riding. Each year we organize about 5 Shows that are recognized by ECAHO, these shows are organized by members of our Society. The horses are shown in the following ways: halter, ridden classes and liberty classes. Every two years, the European Championship for Arabian Horses takes place in Moorsele, and every year the Egyptian Event Europe takes place in Belgium. The estimated number of horses taking part at each of these shows is 250.
Endurance is probably the oldest riding discipline, and is coordinated by two organisations: VLP and KBRSF. Each year 35 endurance rides are organized in Belgium. BAPS encourages the Belgian riders by organising the ‘BAPS-Challenge’. The participating horses must be purebred Arabian horses or crosses of purebred Arabian horses, registered in Belgium, and the owners of the participating horses must be members of BAPS. The winners of the BAPS-Challenge receive monetary prizes. Members of BAPS who are the owner of a horse that takes part in the European or World Endurance Championships is encouraged by BAPS through sponsorship. The estimated number of horses taking part in endurance is about 2%.
In 1989, a small group of breeders and owners of purebred Arabian horses in Belgium took the initiative to start racing. In 1994, the Arabian Horse Racing Club of Belgium was founded. Each year, about 10 races are organized at the racetracks in Belgium, and BAPS sponsors these races. The estimated number of horses taking part is racing is 0.5%.
In 1995, the organization "Dressuur Arabische Paarden" (DAP) was founded. More and more enthusiasts of the Arabian horse were interested in dressage and in taking lessons. Others were already familiar with dressage for years and were very happy with the foundation of their own club. On a yearly basis, DAP organises about 7 competitions. The estimated number of horses taking part at dressage is 0.75%.
The discipline of Western Riding is rather new in Belgium. Unfortunately, there is no club yet for this discipline but there are a number of enthusiasts who want to start an association.
Each year in October, BAPS organises the Stallion Licensing Show. Stallions that will be 3 years old in the next breeding season may be presented for the first time. Then they have to represent at 4, 6 and 8 years old. The stallions of 8 years and older may be excused from of presentation each year. All our stallions are accepted as a breeding stallion, if they do not have hereditary defects.
To promote the purebred Arabian horse, BAPS has published a book on the Arabian horse, with nice photos by the world famous photographer, Van Lent. This book contains the origin and history of the breed, its exterior and characteristics, the families and types, the different bloodlines, the influence of the purebred Arabian horse to other breeds, information on the Belgian Arabian Horse Registry and on the different disciplines. Each new member receives a book for free and at each show, BAPS has a stand where it sells the books to the new interested visitors. BAPS is also working on a promotion DVD which will be sold at shows and events and we will present it for free to all Members of WAHO within a month.
Each year BAPS chooses the horse that has been the most remarkable over the last year, to receive the much desired WAHO Trophy which is presented at the Belgian National Championship show. In 2008, the WAHO Trophy for Belgium was won by the mare Krizia, she is 19 years old by Pedant out of Krisella, owned and bred by Haras des Iviers. She had an outstanding international endurance record herself and so also have her offspring, even to the second generation. All details about this mare and the reasons for her being awarded our WAHO Trophy for 2008 have been published on the WAHO website.
As regards education, the BAPS Committee has one member that is responsible for the information of our members. Every 2 years, BAPS organises a judging course, one in Dutch and one in French. After this course, an exam is organised and BAPS asks the members of its Annual General Meeting to nominate the candidates who passed the exam to become a Belgian judge on the National list. The national judges have to pass one more exam from ECAHO to be on the European list of judges. Thank you.
REPORT MADE AT 2007 WAHO CONFERENCE:
The current published stud book of Belgium is Volume 10, it covers all entries between 2001 and 2004, our next volume number 11 is due for 2010 and it will cover all entries between 2005 and 2009.
The number of purebred Arabian foals registered in 2005 was 409, in 2006 we registered 280 foals. The number represents an increase due to an increasing demand on the market and probably the issuing on an introductory book which we produced to promote our horses on a broader scale. Active breeding stallions in 2006 numbered 217, active breeding mares in 2006 number 350. We imported 91 horses in 2006, as a result of the new WAHO rule that a horse has to be registered in the country where it stays. The number of exports in 2006 was 151, this was double the number from 2005. We like to think that the quality of our horses is the reason for this success.
We do parent verification by DNA, using blood-samples. We do micro-chipping as of 1 January 2007 on all foals within 4 months after birth. All our horses will be chipped by July 2008. We use the chips of ISO standard 11784 and 11785. We allow Artificial Insemination, transported semen and Embryo transfer.
Our horses compete in such different activities as endurance, shows, dressage, western riding and flat races. There are normally around 7 shows, 12 race meetings and 92 endurance rides annually. All activities are organized by different societies with close links to our Registry and who are sponsored by BAPS. We issued an attractive introduction book about the Arabian horse in 2000 and a new edition in 2006, due to its overall success. It had a great response in the press and we have motivated a lot of new people to buy an Arabian horse, as our statistics show.
We have a form of stallion licensing activity and an education programme for new National show judges, which are both very successful.In 2007 Belgium registered 311 foals, and processed 93 exports and 65 imports.
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