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Education and training is key

Specialist seminar with Dr. Sgambati

Workshop Dr. Sgambati
Because a solid basis of knowledge and training is essential, the Provincial Federation of South Tyrol Haflinger Horse Breeders recently invited Dr Andrea Sgambati to hold a specialist seminar on the linear description and evaluation system. The event was open to members of the Advisory Council and all interested Haflinger enthusiasts, and the format was a tried-and-tested one: a theoretical part in the morning, plus a chance to put that theory into practice in the afternoon. Plenty of space was given to the participants’ individual questions, providing a great deal of specific knowledge to take home.
Correctly working with the linear evaluation sheet in particular requires some practise – which is why Dr Sgambati went through the individual criteria in great detail and explained exactly what to pay attention to and how the evaluation scale works, to ensure that the participants could learn to use it in a targeted way. After all, the aim is not just to evaluate each individual horse, but to also collect data in order to estimate its breeding value as accurately and objectively as possible.
With the latest revision of the evaluation sheet, walk and trot are now judged separately – and as a result, the evaluation of the two gaits was given extra focus in the seminar. Dr Sgambati also went to great lengths to equip the keen participants with essential background knowledge and quite some tricks of the trade that he’d picked up throughout his many years of experience. Because knowing your theory is one thing, but experience is another, and accumulating the right reference points for a balanced comparison requires time – and the description and evaluation of at least 100 horses.
In concluding the seminar, the five horses used for demonstration purposes to apply the lessons were ranked according to different sets of criteria, e.g. the best trot or the most beautiful neck – and the participants turned out to be in clear agreement in their individual assessments. Mission accomplished!
Providing training and further education to the members of the Advisory Council and the breeders’ representatives is of great importance to the Federation, and the scheme will certainly be expanded further in the future.
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