Westfalen stallions are among the elites of the equine world. Young stallion prospects in Germany go through a rigorous selection process in order to gain the chance to enter the breeding books.
Promising stallion candidates begin preparations in their two year old year to compete for a place in November's prestigious stallion licensing event in Muenster. Pre-selections take place around the region, and the best young stallions are selected to attend the fall's main event. Veterinary exams and x-rays further narrow the field, until approximately 80 young stallions remain.
At the main stallion licensing, young stallions are evaluated by a committee including the Breeding Director, as well as representatives from sport disciplines. Stallions are evaluated for correctness and quality of conformation and movement, swing and impulsion in gaits, scope and ability free jumping, and finally for character, balance and trainability on the lunge circle. Licensed and Premium stallions are announced to a crowd of serious and enthusiastic fans, and an auction follows the licensing. Stallion performance tests and competitions follow for the young approved stallions, in order to gain permanent licensing.
The process in North America, while slightly different due to the relative size of the region and the breeding population, shares the same basic rules and the goal - to identify valuable genetics and equine talent, and make possible a pathway to full licensing through the combination of initial Stallion Inspection, veterinary and DNA evaluation, and required performance testing or show results in sport.