Stud-book of Origin of Hucul Horses


I. Preliminary remark

Rules and dir­ect­ives for breed­ing organ­isa­tions of the European Union in accord­ance with the Commission Decision 92/353/EEC of 11 June 1992, which includes the cri­ter­ia for recog­ni­tion or leg­al­isa­tion of breed­ing organ­isa­tions and breed­ers’ asso­ci­ations, which estab­lish stud­books for acknow­ledged horses of the Hucul breed.

II. Introduction

  1. Polish Horse Breeders Association” – Warsaw was recog­nised as a breed­ing organ­isa­tion, which keeps the Stud-Book of Origin of Hucul Breed, on the basis of the above decision of the European Union
  2. The Stud-Book of Origin of Hucul Breed is kept with the con­sent of cent­ral organ­isa­tion “Hucul International Federation” (HIF) and by order of General Management of the depart­ment for Customer Protection and Animal Breeding of the European Commission

III. Aims

The Stud-Book of Origin of Hucul Breed is kept in close co-oper­a­tion with Hucul International Federation (HIF) and aims at achiev­ing the fol­low­ing goals.

  1. Preservation of the breed
  2. Preservation of ori­gin­al fea­tures, such as immunity, lack of fas­ti­di­ous­ness, gen­tle­ness, intel­li­gence and endur­ance
  3. Maintenance of vari­ous pos­sib­il­it­ies of use
  4. Consistence of breed­ing work on the European scale

IV. Directives

Polish Horse Breeders Association” estab­lished, with the con­sent of HIF in accord­ance with point 3b of the Appendix to the Decision 92/353/EEC, the fol­low­ing dir­ect­ives:

  1. Entry of ori­gin / Criteria for entry to the stud-book
    1. Name of the horse
      1. Horse is named on the basis of tra­di­tion of the coun­try it is bred in. These rules must be recor­ded in the stud­book.
      2. Name of a horse should be determ­ined while mak­ing the entry of foals.
      3. Name of a horse is an import­ant ele­ment of its iden­ti­fic­a­tion and, in accord­ance with the Council Directive 90/427/EEC, it can­not be changed.
      4. It seems advis­able to provide a second name. It should be giv­en after the name of the horse, in par­en­thes­is.
      5. In order to dis­tin­guish horses with the same name, their stud names should also be provided. It is for the bene­fit of the breed­er.
      6. The task of provid­ing stud names belongs to recog­nised Breeding Organisations in accord­ance with the dir­ect­ives, which pre­vent their mul­tiple use.
      7. At the time of elec­tric­al mark­ing of a horse, the code of a micro­chip can­not sub­sti­tute the name of the horse.
    2. Data related to the horse’s birth
      1. date of birth
      2. place of birth
      3. coun­try
      4. breed­er
      5. sex
      6. col­our determ­in­a­tion
    3. Graphic and word descrip­tion of a horse, in accord­ance with the Council Directive 90/427/EEC
      The fol­low­ing iden­ti­fic­a­tion fea­tures should be taken into account while mark­ing a horse, either by means of num­ber brand­ing, or by means of micro­chips, because, as we know from exper­i­ence, the coat of horses liv­ing in free­dom is so thick that brand­ing is not always legible, while elec­tron­ic chips may dis­ap­pear, or they may be inten­tion­ally removed or changed.
      1. vari­ety (shape and size)
      2. dis­tinct part­ings and part­ing sym­phys­is on the head (fore­head), trunk, legs
      3. col­our of the trunk, mane, legs and hoofs
      4. dorsal band, zebra stripes
      5. pecu­li­ar­it­ies
    4. Measures
      Horses are meas­ured not only for iden­ti­fic­a­tion, but also in order to provide inform­a­tion about their built (shape), devel­op­ment, pos­sib­il­ity of use, pos­sible bur­den­ing of the anim­al. The last ele­ment is determ­ined on the basis of knee’s cir­cum­fer­ence. The fol­low­ing meas­ures should refer to adult indi­vidu­als:
      1. stick meas­ure: with­ers, back, croup and pos­sibly the length of a horse, whose lines are to be veri­fied
      2. tape-meas­ure: girth’s, cannon’s and knee’s cir­cum­fer­ence.
    5. Marking/Branding/Microchips
      1. the pur­pose of horse mark­ing, as well as their graph­ic and word descrip­tion, is their iden­ti­fic­a­tion.
      2. the rules of mark­ing by recog­nised breed­ing organ­isa­tions must cor­res­pond to the leg­al stand­ards of breed­ing of a giv­en coun­try, and must cor­res­pond to the reg­u­la­tions con­cern­ing pre­ser­va­tion of anim­als
      3. brand­ing by recog­nised breed­ing organ­isa­tions must be uni­vocally attrib­ut­able, i.e. they must be clearly dif­fer­ent from brand­ings of oth­er breed­ing organ­isa­tions
      4. form and pos­i­tion of brand­ings, as well as the let­ters and num­bers used should be rep­res­en­ted graph­ic­ally and in words
      5. elec­tron­ic mark­ing should not be lim­ited only to cod­ing, but also the register of used chips should be kept.
    6. Verification of ori­gin
      Since 2002 it has been neces­sary to sub­mit the res­ults of blood group ana­lys­is and the res­ults of DNA ana­lys­is in order to pro­tect or to veri­fy the ori­gin. They are sub­mit­ted togeth­er with an applic­a­tion for the licence or entry to the stud­book.
    7. Origin/ Generations back
      1. a horse may be admit­ted as a breed­ing horse of this breed only if at least 5 gen­er­a­tions back are doc­u­mented from the mother’s and the father’s side.
      2. cer­ti­fic­a­tion of ori­gin (con­firm­a­tion of ori­gin) must com­prise at least 5 gen­er­a­tions back
      3. total doc­u­ment­a­tion of pre­de­cessors should be made elec­tron­ic­ally
      4. off­spring of hybrids can­not be regarded as breed­ing anim­als, because for cen­tur­ies only acknow­ledged horses, main­tained in pure breed have been used for fur­ther breed­ing
      5. in order to record the ori­gin in the pass­port of horses it suf­fices to provide two gen­er­a­tions back, even if only one cer­ti­fic­a­tion of ori­gin is issued. The num­bers of horses’ pass­ports should be registered, provid­ing con­sec­ut­ive num­ber, togeth­er with the cer­ti­fic­a­tion of horse’s pur­pose (for slaughter/ not for slaughter).
    8. Further inform­a­tion included in the entry of ori­gin
      1. name of a recog­nised breed­ing organ­isa­tion, or recog­nised breed­ers’ asso­ci­ation of this breed
      2. name and sig­na­ture of a per­son author­ised to sign, as well as the place and date of issu­ance
      3. date of admis­sion or entry, as well as the date and cause of death
      4. it is a sec­tion of a stud­book, depend­ing on its divi­sion. Moreover, pos­sibly the sec­tion con­cern­ing breed­ing value.
      5. the num­ber of entry or the num­ber of breed­ing book, num­ber of horses’ pass­port and pos­sibly the num­ber of a micro­chip
  2. Description of the breed
    1. Historical descrip­tion
      Hucul horses were first men­tioned in pro­fes­sion­al writ­ings as early as in 1613. Breeding was then in private hands, and doc­u­ment­a­tion con­cern­ing its ori­gin was rather scarce. Only since 1856, after the estab­lish­ment of the first nation­al stud in Łuczyn, today in Romania, mat­ings have been reg­u­larly recor­ded.
    2. Features and util­ity
      Particular vir­tues of Hucul horses, such as immunity, lack of fas­ti­di­ous­ness, gen­tle­ness, intel­li­gence and firm paces con­trib­uted to their wide­spread use. Hucul horse served people as an endur­ing labour horse in farms, par­tic­u­larly in moun­tain­ous areas. Because it was reli­able, it was often used in trans­port.
      Particular fea­tures of Hucul horses and diversity of their use cre­ated a small horse, which was ideal for moun­tain­ous con­di­tions and did not require a whole year’s stable breed­ing. Also the army got inter­ested in this horse. It star­ted to be used as a saddle-horse, draught-horse or heavy cart-horse.
    3. Area of ori­gin
      The area of ori­gin is Hucul region, spread­ing over the Eastern Carpathian Mountains, which by 1918 had belonged to Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. After the First World War this area was divided between Poland, Slovakia and Czech Republic. After 1945 a part of former Hucul region fell even to Ukraine, which at some point belonged to the Soviet Union.
    4. Countries breed­ing Hucul horses:
      At present vari­ous nation­al studs and recog­nised Breeding Associations in Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary and Austria occupy with the breed­ing of Hucul horses.
    5. Use:
      Also nowadays Hucul horses are bred in order to per­form vari­ous works related to farm­ing, and also, due to their firm pace, they are also used as heavy cart-horses. It is a ver­sat­ile saddle-horse, used also as a car­riage-horse. It is becom­ing more and more pop­u­lar. Therefore it has already been adop­ted as a saddle-horse in Germany, The Netherlands, Great Britain and Finland.
    6. External appearance/ fea­tures typ­ic­al for this breed
      Although ini­tially three basic types of the Hucul horse could be dis­tin­guished, there is, des­pite cer­tain dif­fer­ences, a big sim­il­ar­ity in extern­al appear­ance and build.
      • massive, har­mo­ni­ous con­form­a­tion, deep chest, well-sprung ribs. Girth’s cir­cum­fer­ence has on aver­age about 170 cm, it is at least 25 cm more than in case of the height at with­ers,
      • thick mane, neck is well-set and strong, but too short
      • clearly defined, har­mo­ni­ous line of the back, and rect­an­gu­lar lines make rid­ing more com­fort­able
      • well-muscled croup, strong hind legs make it a good car­riage horse, but also help to move in a dif­fi­cult area
      • a very strong con­sti­tu­tion. Strong joints and ten­dons enable to bear heavy loads. Average cannon’s cir­cum­fer­ence is 18 cm, and knee’s cir­cum­fer­ence is 29 cm.
      • Particularly hard, healthy and well-formed hoofs of an aver­age size do not require fre­quent shoe­ing
      • Average height meas­ured by means of stick-meas­ure is 140 cm, tape-meas­ure indic­ates 8 cm more
      • Results of meas­ure­ments obvi­ously depend on sex, qual­ity of for­age, and on vari­ous types or male lines.
    7. Basic types
      Hucul horse, as a breed ori­gin­at­ing from the area of Carpathian Mountains, des­cends dir­ectly from a European wild horse, tarpan, which was ini­tially crossed not only with indi­gen­ous horses, e.g. ponies, but also with Przewalski horse (Kertak). Later on, breed­ing was influ­enced by Arabian and Ardene horses, and also by horses with Nordic blood.
      Initially for a long time 3 basis types were clearly dis­tin­guished:
      • type Tarpan – Hucul showed fea­tures of moun­tain­ous tarpans, liv­ing in Carpathian Mountains
      • type Bystrzyc – Hucul, ori­gin­at­ing from the cross of tarpan with a pony
      • type Przewalski – Hucul shows the influ­ence of a cross with Mongolian and Tatar horses.These hoses are a kind of a rel­ic of bloody riots from the past.

      The first two types differed between one anoth­er slightly, where­as the last type, Przewalski – Hucul type, showed sig­ni­fic­ant dif­fer­ences. Nevertheless, the three basic types have a very sim­il­ar line and build. Almost all types dis­play typ­ic­al signs of a wild horse: dorsal band, zebra stripes and slop­ing croup.

    8. Male lines
      Because dif­fer­ent breeds of horses were used, the dif­fer­ences between these ini­tial types of Hucul horse dimin­ished in later breed­ing. Nevertheless, sev­en gene­a­lo­gic­ally dif­fer­ent male found­a­tion stocks were cre­ated over the years:
      • Hrobe found­a­tion stock:
        It was named after a found­a­tion sire called Hroby, bom in 1898. It was used for breed­ing in the begin­ning of the twen­ties across die whole Austro-Hungarian Monarchy.
      • Goral found­a­tion stock:
        Originates from a found­a­tion sire called Goral, bom in 1898. It was also used for breed­ing across the whole Austro-Hungarian Monarchy.
      • Gurgul found­a­tion stock
        It ori­gin­ates from a found­a­tion sire called Gurgul, bom in 1924 in Slovakia
      • Polan found­a­tion stock
        Polan was bom in 1929 in Poland.
      • Ousor found­a­tion stockFoundation sire bom in 1933 in Romania, cre­ated side strain of Goral
      • Pietrosu found­a­tion stock
        Further side strain of Goral was cre­ated by a found­a­tion sire called Pietrosu, bom in 1933 in Romania
      • Prislop found­a­tion stock
        Foundation sire was Prislop, bom in 1933 in Romania, which also rep­res­ents Goral found­a­tion stock.
    9. Colour of Hucul horses
      Despite cross­ing with vari­ous breeds, Hucul horses nowadays fre­quently show signs of a wild horse:
      Dorsal band togeth­er with pos­sible bands on legs and some­times also a slop­ing croup. Horses, regard­less of their col­our sig­ni­fic­antly inher­it these fea­tures. The anim­als which dis­play these fea­tures are, in broad terms, called dun col­oured. Only after fur­ther cross-breed­ing with oth­er breeds indi­vidu­als with simple col­ours may appear.
      In the breed­ing of Hucul horses, the fol­low­ing col­ours are admit­ted:
      • Bay col­our.
        This col­ours is wide­spread in all its shades, it is often accom­pan­ied by a light mouth. The coat is black. Also legs may be black, some­times even up to hocks and knees.
      • Black:
        Black col­our can also be found in Hucul horses.
      • Dun col­oured:
        Many horses con­stantly dis­play signs of a wild horse. This col­our can be found in many vari­et­ies. We dis­tin­guish bay-dun col­oured (vari­ous shades), mouse-col­oured (grey-dun col­oured), ginger-dun col­oured and some­times also dun-skew­bald.
      • Chestnut:
        This col­our is rarely found in Hucul horses
      • Skewbald:
        Skewbald col­our appeared prob­ably by means of ori­ent­al blood infu­sion to Hucul horses

      Grey and isa­bella col­oured horses, due to their Arabian ori­gin, were elim­in­ated.

  3. Breeding aims
    1. The tar­get of breed­ing is a Hucul horse with a reli­able char­ac­ter, aver­age height, cor­rect build good con­sti­tu­tion, with firm pace, suit­able for a whole year’s life in a herd (without stable breed­ing). It should have pre­dis­pos­i­tions for a saddle-horse and car­riage-horse, it should be suit­able for use in sports by adults, but also depend­ing on indi­vidu­als, for youth and chil­dren. Target shape is rect­an­gu­lar with 132 cm tol48 cm of height.
    2. In the pro­cess of breed­ing nat­ur­al immunity of horses should be worked out, by keep­ing them for a whole year in the open, without stable breed­ing, but also by feed­ing them with grass and hay. As a res­ult, late matur­ing horses have pro­longed vital­ity. The age in which the horse is entered in the stud­book, or the age in which the stal­lion is acknow­ledged (by grant­ing a licence) should gen­er­ally be four years. Performance tests should con­cern only five year old horses. In single cases, after estab­lish­ing breed­ing matur­ity (phen­o­type, size of an adult indi­vidu­al), it is pos­sible even for a three year old horse to be entered into the stud­book.
  4. Stud-book
    1. Keeping a stud-book
      1. Into the stud-book all breed­ing anim­als and all off­spring are entered. Horses are accep­ted after the con­trol of ori­gin is per­formed on the basis of age, sex, ped­i­gree and breed­ing assess­ment. An entry is made in accord­ance with point IV of the first sec­tion under dif­fer­ent entries, tak­ing into account all import­ant data.
      2. Stud-books are kept sep­ar­ately for stal­lions and mares.
      3. In case of a stud-book kept elec­tron­ic­ally, a sep­ar­ate print-out is neces­sary, i.e. sep­ar­ate assess­ment is neces­sary.
    2. Stud-book divi­sion
      Stud-book of breed­ing organ­isa­tion of Hucul horses is divided into at least:
      1. Book of foals = register of foals
        1. All foals are entered into the book of foals, i.e. all off­spring of acknow­ledged breed­ing horses.
        2. Foals of Hucul horses or off­spring of acknow­ledged breed should be entered in a sep­ar­ate sec­tion of a register of foals, sep­ar­ately from the entry of foals of mixed breed or their off­spring from an unac­know­ledged breed­ing.
        3. Foals of Hucul horses or off­spring from acknow­ledged breed­ing may be entered in accord­ance with the assess­ment of their breed­ing mater­i­al in appro­pri­ate age classes.
        4. For the pur­pose of an appro­pri­ate inter­pret­a­tion of the value of breed­ing mater­i­al, only foals of Hucul horses or off­spring from acknow­ledged breed may be entered
      2. Stud-book of off­spring = register of off­spring, or the register of saddle-horses:
        Into the book of off­spring only adult indi­vidu­als, whose par­ents do not meet the require­ments of entry into the stud­book of breed­ing organ­isa­tions, can be entered.
        1. Geldings from the pure-breed breed­ing
        2. off­spring of horses, which have only 50% of Hucul blood
      3. Main sec­tion of the stud-book
        1. International breed­ing organ­isa­tions of Hucul horses asso­ci­ated in HIF agreed that the main sec­tion of the stud-book is closed.
        2. Main sec­tion of the stud-book should be closed by 1 January 2000
        3. International breed­ing organ­isa­tions reached an agree­ment that only the fol­low­ing horses of Hucul breed can be entered into the main sec­tion of the stud-book:
          1. horses with a per­fect doc­u­ment­a­tion of ori­gin
          2. breed­ing horses with a per­fect ori­gin at least five gen­er­a­tions back
          3. breed­ing mares, which due to his­tor­ic­al reas­ons of devel­op­ment of this breed in the fifth gen­er­a­tion show gaps. In case of these mares, only two ancest­ors in male and female lines in the fifth gen­er­a­tion may be miss­ing.
        4. breed­ing horses, which do not meet the require­ments neces­sary for the entry to the main sec­tion of the stud-book should be entered to their own book (addi­tion­al book or a register of ori­gin).
        5. Main sec­tion of the stud-book may be kept in dif­fer­ent sub-sec­tions, which take into account breed­ing value of horses, their or their offspring’s achieve­ments, or also include cri­ter­ia of ori­gin.
      4. Additional stud-book = register of ori­gin
        1. The fol­low­ing breed­ing horses should be entered in the register of ori­gins:
          • breed­ing horses, which have gaps in ori­gin in the fifth gen­er­a­tion back, and their off­spring
          • acknow­ledged breed­ing horses, which due to cer­tain defi­cien­cies can­not be entered to the chief stud­book. Horses, whose fea­tures could have a neg­at­ive impact on breed­ing, and even endanger it, e.g. horses with breed­ing assess­ment much below aver­age, due to hered­it­ary defi­cien­cies (monthly blind­ness, sil­ver eye, sum­mer eczema and oth­ers), fea­tures which decrease breed­ing value (e.g. faults in form­a­tion, con­sti­tu­tion, sum­mer eczema)
          • off­spring of horses, described above = “horses from unac­know­ledged breed­ing”
          • hybrids, which only have 50% of Hucul blood.
        2. All off­spring of “horses from the register of ori­gin,” regard­less of the num­ber of gen­er­a­tions, are regarded as horses from unac­know­ledged breed­ing, and there­fore mustn’t be entered into the chief book of breed­ing organ­isa­tions.
        3. Possible per­form­ance or breed­ing assess­ments of horses from the register of ori­gin can­not have any impact on breed­ing value of their ancest­ors. It means that they can­not have neither a pos­it­ive, nor a neg­at­ive impact on the breed­ing value of their par­ents.
        4. Horses from the register of ori­gin mustn’t rep­res­ent their breed on sports events.
  5. Registers
    1. Registers provide clear inform­a­tion about the entry of horses, which are made in dif­fer­ent parts or sec­tions of a stud-book.
    2. Different registers should include all import­ant inform­a­tion about horses, neces­sary at the time of their entry to the stud-book.
    3. If the stud-book is kept elec­tron­ic­ally, sep­ar­ate print-outs or sep­ar­ate ana­lyses of dif­fer­ent registers in one pro­gram must be made.
    4. The fol­low­ing registers should be kept, tak­ing into account dif­fer­ent sub-sec­tions, also by means of elec­tron­ic sys­tems
      • register of foals
      • register of off­spring or saddle-horses
      • register of stal­lions
      • register of mares
      • register of mat­ing
      • register of foal­ing
      • register of ori­gin and pos­sibly
      • register of per­form­ance
  6. Performance tests
    1. In the spir­it of breed­ing pro­gress, per­form­ance tests should be made for breed­ing horses, even if it is not provided for by breed­ing dir­ect­ives of indi­vidu­al mem­ber states.
    2. For the bene­fit of “qual­ity con­trol” of breed­ing, such tests should also be made for the rear­ing
    3. Performance tests should include a com­pet­i­tion in saddle-rid­ing, dressage test, car­riage test and effi­ciency test
    4. Performance tests passed in one mem­ber state should be recog­nised, if they meet min­im­um require­ments in their own coun­try. It also refers to the acknow­ledge­ment of pur­chased or leased stal­lions.
  7. Sports events
    1. As far as pos­sible, breed­ing organ­isa­tions should encour­age par­ti­cip­a­tion of breed­ing horses and their off­spring in sports events.
    2. Successes of breed­ing horses and their rear­ing in sports events serve as a kind of “qual­ity con­trol” of breed­ing work and should be taken into account.
    3. Participation of horses from the register of ori­gin (hybrids, horses from unac­know­ledged breed­ing) in com­pet­i­tions for Hucul horses is allowed only as part of sep­ar­ate com­pet­i­tions.
    4. For the pur­pose of main­ten­ance of the breed, suc­cesses and fail­ures of horses from the register of ori­gin should not be taken into account in breed­ing work

Final remarks

  1. All breed­ing organ­isa­tions, which deal with the breed­ing of Hucul horses, are obliged to sub­or­din­ate their breed­ing means to the fol­low­ing aims:
    1. Maintenance of a tra­di­tion­al breed of Hucul horses, whose exist­ence is extremely endangered, and which con­sti­tutes a value of European cul­ture.
    2. Further devel­op­ment of the breed without any losses in typ­ic­al fea­tures of Hucul breed horses, devel­op­ment of par­tic­u­lar prop­er­ties and increase of vari­ous pos­sib­il­it­ies of use.
    3. Improvement of fea­tures, typ­ic­al for this breed and enhan­cing util­ity value in the spir­it of breed­ing pro­gress.
    4. Supporting Hucul breed in the area of breed­ing, sport and cul­ture by organ­ising tar­get events, exceed­ing the coun­try area.
  2. Creating, or aim­ing at cre­at­ing equal con­di­tions for own breed­ing in the coun­try area, tak­ing into account appro­pri­ate dir­ect­ives of the European Union.
  3. Harmony in solv­ing prob­lems related to breed­ing of Hucul horses on an inter­na­tion­al level (HIF).
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