We consider our mares as even more valuable than a chosen stallion, because they contribute so much to the foal’s quality. Not only does the mare contribute 50% of her genes to the foal, but also provide the permanent uterine environment for 11 months and another 6 month temporary environment. They have to be good mothers that can supply their foals with good parenting and enough good quality milk to boost the foals growth and immune system from an early age.
That is why we chose our mares specifically to fit our breeding criteria and nothing less.
We look for good balanced, athletic, feminine, uphill type with expressive paces. Temperament and ride ability is paramount! Since these traits are highly heritable and I for one prefers to ride a sensible horse. Of course we live in Africa so hardiness is just as important, mares must be healthy with glossy coats and good quality hooves with decent bone.
They must be exceptional athletes themselves with good breeding potential to pass on to their offspring. It has been reported by authors, specifically in research done on thoroughbreds, that the mare line has the ability to carry some mitochondrial genes that specifically influences the offsprings performance levels. This is why we focus on international proven lines with high breeding values like Sir Donnerhall and Jazz to combine in our genetic base. Since the Knabstrupper selection criteria is very close to that of the international warmblood like the KWPN and Hanoverian we introduce new blood by means of a strict breeding system. The latter increases genetic diversity to avoid inbreeding depression, but enables the maintenance of high breed standards and conservation of the Knabstrupper breed.
Due to the fact that our mares are so incredibly well bred to perform themselves they compete specifically on stud rest years. This enables good ambassadorship for the breed and gives a good indications of our mares capability not to mention the health benefits.
They will take part in the special KNN licensing for mares where they will be approved with a special "R".