Stud-book of Origin of Konik polski breed


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 legis­la­tion of breed­ing organ­isa­tions and breed­ers’ asso­ci­ations, which estab­lish stud­books for acknow­ledged horses of the Konik pol­ski breed.

II. Introduction

  1. Polish Horse Breeders Association” – Warsaw was recog­nised as a breed­ing organ­isa­tion, which keeps the Studbook of Origin of Konik pol­ski breed, on the basis of the above decision of the European Union,
  2. The Studbook of Origin of Konik pol­ski breed is kept with the con­sent and by order of General Management of the depart­ment for Customer Protection and Animal Breeding of the European Committee.

III. Aims

The Studbook of Origin of Konik pol­ski breed aims at achiev­ing the fol­low­ing goals:

  1. Preservation of the breed
  2. Preservation of the ori­gin­al fea­tures, such as res­ist­ance, low require­ments as to the keep­ing con­di­tions, gen­tle­ness, intel­li­gence and endur­ance
  3. Maintenance of vari­ous pos­sib­il­it­ies of use
  4. Consistence of breed­ing work on the European scale, tak­ing into account the main­ten­ance of genet­ic vari­ab­il­ity

IV. Directives

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

  1. Registration of ori­gin / Criteria for entry to the Studbook
    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 giv­en in the stud­book.
      2. Name of a horse should be determ­ined while mak­ing the descrip­tion 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. In order to dis­tin­guish horses with the same name, the con­sec­ut­ive num­ber should also be provided.
      5. In the case of elec­tron­ic 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 includ­ing tint or col­our vari­ation.
    3. Graphic and writ­ten descrip­tion of a horse, accord­ant with the Council Directive 90/427/EEC
      The fol­low­ing iden­ti­fic­a­tion fea­tures should be taken into account while mark­ing a horse:
      1. mark­ings (shape and size)
      2. hair whorls on the head, neck, trunk, legs
      3. col­our of the trunk, mane, legs and hoofs
      4. dorsal strip, zebra stripes on legs and trunk
      5. pecu­li­ar­it­ies e.g. scars
      6. num­ber branded or frozen (in coun­tries where it is allowed)
      7. micro­chip num­ber in the case when applic­able
    4. Measures
      Horses are meas­ured not only to male iden­ti­fic­a­tion, easi­er but also in order to provide inform­a­tion about their body con­form­a­tion (shape), devel­op­ment and pos­sib­il­ity of use. The fol­low­ing meas­ures should refer to adult indi­vidu­als:
      1. stick meas­ure: height at with­ers,
      2. tape meas­ures: girth’s and cannon’s cir­cum­fer­ence of the fore­leg.
    5. Marking / Branding / Microchips
      1. Horse mark­ing, as well as their graph­ic and word descrip­tion, serves the 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 dis­tinct­ive from brand­ings of oth­er breed­ing organ­isa­tions.
      4. From 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 par­ent­age
      Since 2000 it has been neces­sary to sub­mit the res­ults of blood group ana­lys­is or the res­ults of DNA ana­lys­is in order to con­firm or veri­fy the par­ent­age. They are sub­mit­ted togeth­er with an applic­a­tion for the entry to the stud book as well as for the horse pass­port.
    7. Origin/Generations back
      1. A horse may be admit­ted as a breed­ing horse of this breed only if both its par­ents have been registered in the stud­book of Konik pol­ski breed.
      2. Entire doc­u­ment­a­tion of pre­de­cessors can be kept using elec­tron­ic sys­tem.
      3. Offspring of crosses with oth­er breeds can­not be regarded as breed­ing anim­als.
      4. The record of the par­ent­age in the horse pass­port is to be made in accord­ance with the coun­try reg­u­la­tions.
    8. Further inform­a­tion included in the record of ori­gin
      1. name of recog­nised breed­ing organ­isa­tion, or recog­nised breed­ers’ asso­ci­ation of this breed
      2. name and sig­na­ture of a per­son author­ised to make records of horses, as well as the place and date of mak­ing the record
      3. date of admis­sion or entry in the stud­book, as well as the date and cause of death
      4. the num­ber of entry or the num­ber of the stud­book, num­ber of horses’ pass­port and the num­ber of micro­chip (if applic­able)
  2. Description of the breed
    1. Historical back­ground
      Konik pol­ski horse is a small, nat­ive, prim­it­ive breed des­cend­ing dir­ectly from the extinct wild Tarpan horse which inhab­ited the steppe and forest-steppe zones of Eastern and Middle-Eastern Europe. This breed evolved primar­ily under nat­ur­al envir­on­ment­al con­di­tions and retained a num­ber of ori­gin­al traits char­ac­ter­ist­ic for the wild ascend­ants. The name Konik pol­ski was intro­duced into the lit­er­at­ure in the middle of twen­ties by its dis­cover­er and enthu­si­ast Professor Tadeusz Vetulani.
    2. Traits and util­ity
      Particular advant­age­ous traits of Konik pol­ski horses as good health, fer­til­ity, low feed­ing require­ments, res­ist­ance to harsh envir­on­ment­al con­di­tions, abil­ity to live on their own and to adapt to dif­fer­ent envir­on­ments endur­ance, intel­li­gence, and gen­tle­ness and firm gaits con­trib­uted to their wide­spread use. Konik horse has been used first of all as draft horse on small peas­ant farms. Due to its excel­lent endur­ance, rel­at­ively great draft power and good hooves Konik pol­ski has also been used for light trans­port. Resistance and abil­ity to cope with unfa­vour­able envir­on­ment­al con­di­tions make the Konik pol­ski horse suit­able for loose hous­ing all-year round. Its abil­ity to live close-to-noth­ing caused that mil­it­ary was inter­ested in Konik pol­ski horses dur­ing the World Wars I and II and used them for mil­it­ary off-road trans­port. Konik pol­ski have also been used for recre­ation­al rid­ing, hip­po­ther­apy, endur­ance rides and as com­pan­ion anim­al. Since the eighties the Konik pol­ski horse has been used in some European coun­tries as graz­ing anim­al for land­scape cul­tiv­a­tion.
    3. Area of ori­gin
      The area of ori­gin of Konik pol­ski horses was Eastern part of Poland and formerly Polish Eastern ter­rit­or­ies which are belong­ing cur­rently to Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine. At present Konik pol­ski horses spread all over the coun­try, and as area of ori­gin the whole ter­rit­ory of Poland may be regarded.
    4. Countries where Konik pol­ski horses are bred:
      Mainly Poland, to a less­er extent: the Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium, UK.
    5. Utilization
      At present the Konik pol­ski horse may be regarded as multi-pur­pose small horse suit­able as draft horse for dif­fer­ent kind of work in farm­ing, trans­port, pleas­ure, recre­ation­al rid­ing, hip­po­ther­apy, com­pan­ion anim­al and land­scape cul­tiv­a­tion. The suit­ab­il­ity of Konik pol­ski horses for these forms of util­iz­a­tion have been proved in many coun­tries.
    6. Body con­form­a­tion and the exter­i­or typ­ic­al for the breed
      As to the body con­form­a­tion and exter­i­or, among Konik pol­ski horses both the indi­vidu­als of a more prim­it­ive type with heav­ier heads and short­er neck and indi­vidu­als of a more fine type with smal­ler heads, longer neck and well formed with­ers can be dis­tin­guished. The major­ity of horses how­ever belong to an inter­me­di­ate type between these two extremes. Relatively often, over­built (high­er at croup than at with­ers) indi­vidu­als par­tic­u­larly in mares can be seen. The chest is usu­ally well developed and cor­rectly ribbed. The belly is often hanging which is caused by con­sum­ing more roughage. According to the breed­ing pro­gramme a prim­it­ive type of Konik pol­ski horse with abund­ant mane and tail is desir­able. Less fine heads and small incor­rect­ness of fore­legs and of hind legs are allowed. The stand­ards for height at with­ers are 130 – 140cm for stal­lions and mares.
    7. Male lines
      The male lines which are dis­tin­guished in the Konik pol­ski breed derive from 6 founder stal­lions:
      Liliput line
      This is the old­est and the least developed male line. The founder was a mouse-col­oured stal­lion Liliput born in 1918 from the mare Liliputka in Biłgoraj dis­trict. Liliput was the first sire intro­duced in 1936 into the “wild” herd of Konik pol­ski horses with­in Prof. Vetulani’s exper­i­ment on recon­struc­tion of extinct Tarpan horse in Białowieża forest.
      Wicek line
      The founder Wicek of unknown ori­gin was mated to the mare Delta and from this mat­ing the stal­lion Dysk was born in 1931. Dysk sired many des­cend­ants and due to this stal­lion the Wicek line is regarded as the most developed male line with­in Konik pol­ski breed.
      Goraj line
      The mouse col­oured founder Goraj was born in 1935 in Biłgoraj District. He was bought by a mil­it­ary com­mis­sion and des­ig­nated in 1938 for the Konik-Reserve in Białowieża where he sired three out­stand­ing sons who fur­ther developed the line.
      Myszak line
      The founder Myszak was born in 1937 in Wolhymien of Eastern Poland. He was used rel­at­ively shortly in the Konik pol­ski breed­ing dur­ing evac­u­ation of Konik pol­ski studs to Germany dur­ing the World War II. He sired the only one son Gazda, born in 1946 that con­tin­ued this line.
      Chochlik line
      The mouse-col­oured founder Chochlik born in 1940 in Biłgoraj District, bought as one-year-old for the Konik pol­ski stud in Puławy where he was used as sire since 1943. This line was par­tic­u­larly developed by Chochlik’s son Lis born in 1957 in Popielno.
      Glejt I line
      This is the young­est line in the Konik pol­ski breed dis­tin­guished by the use in the sev­en­ties in the Racot-stud of the stal­lion Glejt II the son of Glejt I who was born in 1944 in Biłgoraj District.
    8. Coat col­our of Konik pol­ski horses
      In the pure-bred breed­ing of Konik horse, only mouse-col­oured indi­vidu­als with dorsal strip and without white spots or mark­ings are allowed. Exceptionally, in mares very small white spots or mark­ings on head (some white hairs, snip, star) are allowed tem­por­ar­ily.
      The coat col­our can be of the fol­low­ing tint:
      • Bright mouse-col­our,
      • Mouse-col­our,
      • Dark mouse-col­our,
      • Gray-dun

      Bright hairs in the mane and tail are allowed. Different forms of zebra-stripes are desir­able.

  3. Breeding aims
    1. The breed­ing of Konik pol­ski horse aims at achiev­ing a middle-sized horse of reli­able char­ac­ter, cor­rectly built, of good con­sti­tu­tion, reg­u­lar gaits, suit­able for all-year-round loose hous­ing in herds. The Konik pol­ski should be suit­able both for rid­ing and as a draft horse for recre­ation­al use for adult people as well as for chil­dren. A stand­ard of height at with­ers should be 130 – 140 cm
    2. In the selec­tion, nat­ur­al res­ist­ance and immunity should be sup­por­ted by keep­ing horses the whole year out­doors and redu­cing the keep­ing in stables. Feeding of roughage is recom­men­ded instead of con­cen­trates. The age at the entry in the Studbook and prin­ciples of the per­form­ance tests should be in accord­ance with country’s reg­u­la­tions how­ever, tak­ing into account the guidelines giv­en in the Studbook of Origin of the Konik pol­ski as oblig­at­ory accord­ing to the Breeding Programme of the Konik pol­ski.
  4. Studbook
    1. Keeping of the Studbook
      1. In the stud­book all breed­ing horses are being entered which des­cend from par­ents entered in the main sec­tion of the Konik pol­ski-Studbook and which ful­fil all require­ments for enter­ing the stud­book. All off­spring of a mare which entered the stud­book is lis­ted as breed­ing per­form­ance of the mare. Breeding horses are accep­ted for entry the stud­book after con­trol of they ori­gin (par­ent­age), tak­ing into account the sex, age, and breed­ing value eval­u­ation
      2. A sep­ar­ate parts of the stud­book are kept for stal­lions and mares
      3. An elec­tron­ic ver­sion of the stud­book is allowed, how­ever, a sep­ar­ate print-out is neces­sary
    2. Principles of entry in the Studbook
      1. For the Konik pol­ski horses only the main Studbook is kept (there are no divi­sions of the stud­book)
      2. The Studbook is closed i.e. only stal­lions and mares can enter the stud­book which stem from par­ents which have been registered in the stud­book
      3. There is a sep­ar­ate num­ber­ing for stal­lions and mares in the stud­book
  5. Performance tests
    1. In order to pre­serve valu­able util­ity traits of the Konik pol­ski horse per­form­ance test should be con­duc­ted even though the country’s breed­ing reg­u­la­tions do not demand such tests
    2. In order to main­tain the qual­ity of the Konik pol­ski horse, the off­spring of the breed­ing horses should be also sub­jec­ted to per­form­ance tests
    3. Performance tests should include low school rid­ing, car­riage test and pos­sibly endur­ance test
    4. Performance tests passed in oth­er coun­try are to be accep­ted if they ful­fil the min­im­um stand­ards oblig­at­ory in the coun­try of breed ori­gin. The above men­tioned con­cerns also pur­chased or hired stal­lions.
  6. Sport events
    1. As far as pos­sible, breed­ing organ­isa­tions should encour­age par­ti­cip­a­tion of breed­ing horses and their off­spri­on in sport events
    2. Performance of breed­ing horses and their pro­geny in sport events may be regarded as addi­tion­al qual­ity con­trol of the breed­ing work and should be taken into account
  7. Final remarks
    1. All breed­ing organ­isa­tions deal­ing with the Konik pol­ski horse are obliged to sub­or­din­ate their breed­ing activ­ity to the fol­low­ing aims:
      • Maintenance of a tra­di­tion­al Konik pol­ski breed, whose exist­ence is endangered due to the small num­ber of anim­als and which con­stitues a valu­able European mater­i­al cul­ture her­it­age
      • Further devel­op­ment of the breed in term of the num­ber of horses without any losses of typ­ic­al fea­tures of the Konik pol­ski breed, and improve­ment of dif­fer­ent pos­sib­il­it­ies of their use
      • Preservation of unique fea­tures of Konik pol­ski breed without loos­ing its genet­ic vari­ab­il­ity
      • Promoting of Konik pol­ski horse in the area of breed­ing, sport, recre­ation and cul­ture by organ­isa­tion of events at the loc­al, coun­try and/or inter­na­tion­al level.
    2. Creating or aim­ing at cre­at­ing of equal con­di­tions for Konik pol­ski breed­ing with­in own coun­try tak­ing into account appro­pri­ate dir­ect­ives of the European Union.
    3. Harmony in solv­ing prob­lems related to breed­ing of Konik pol­ski horses on the inter­na­tion­al level.
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