Weekend Wrap Up: 2017 KWPN NA AGM

On Thursday afternoon I headed up to Lexington for the KWPN annual meeting. Not only did I get to meet some really interesting people I learned so much! It is too much to write up in detail but I will try to give the cliff notes version.


  • Bert Rutten’s Philosophy on breeding, buying, and starting young horses
    • BR is a really interesting man with a lot of insights from many years of breeding, training, and showing horses at high levels. My favorite take away from him was that a champion is born not made. Obviously he gets to be more selective than your average Joe but it was interesting to get his take and understand how he goes about deciding which horses he will keep and develop.
  • Jump chute presentation and judging
    • This portion of the day was hosted at Spy Coast farm. First we examined the conformation and development of the horses being used. Then we watched the horses jump and learned about scoring and judging the elements creating the whole picture. It was interesting to see how these horses were evaluated and what key indicators were focused on when trying to determine the quality of the horse.


  • PrePurchase Exams with Scott Hopper
    • I enjoyed this view from a well respected veterinarian especially when we discussed the ever prevalent OCD issue in WB’s as well as what you should expect your vet to do when examining a horse under 1yo for a pre purchase.
  • Explanation of IBOP/Sport Testing/ Keuring presentation (Bart Henstra and Bert Rutten)
    • I had a particular interest in this section of the meeting as I plan to present Luna down the road for these predicates and I appreciated getting an insider look at what the ground jury is looking at and how to best present my horse in the future.
    • The younger members were invited to get instruction for presenting in hand with help from Willy Arts and Wim Casemier. It was very evident how different the horses appeared or the impression that was delivered when the horse was handled by an expert. Note to self pay for the handler or get really good at presenting in hand because it makes a big difference.
  • Dressage and Dutch Harness Horse Demos
    • For this section Timbach Farm provided 4 horses to work with Bert undersaddle. This was a similar experience to auditing a clinic. I really enjoyed watching these horses being worked. It was lovely to see how the instruction changed the ride the horses were given and the outcomes. Also with 3 generations from the same dam line it was interesting to see the variety when introducing various stallions.
    • Last but not least was the DHH demo. I admittedly wasn’t sure what to expect from this but I was pleasantly surprised. The stallion shown was very cool and seemed to enjoy his job!


  • Quiz/Trivia
    • This was preparation for the IYBC in July and more geared for the eligible young members that would be participating. It did really magnify the areas that we didn’t know about and should spend more time focusing on.
  • Linear Scoring Tutorial
    • This was the more confusing aspect for me as I am not at all confident in my ability to judge a horses conformation. I need to spend more time practicing this on various horses.

All in all it was a great meeting with a lot of input from experienced NA and NL breeders. I can’t thank the people involved enough for their time and for sharing their experience and expertise.

I plan to write a few posts about these things in depth but right now I am experience something similar to a horse show hang over. Did you guys have fun weekends?

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  1. I highly recommend The Horse Conformation Handbook by Heather Smith Thomas, it is comprehensive & easy to reference. I believe it’s available on Thriftbooks for a decent price!