ICCPS Minutes August 2008

Station House Hotel, Clifden, Co. Galway, Ireland

Tuula Pyoria (Finland), Chair, called the Technical/General Meeting of the ICCPS to order at 9:10AM in the Station House Hotel, Clifden, Co. Galway, Ireland. The following Delegates/Representatives attended: Sue Clarke (Australia), John Dawkins (Australia), Andrea Hochfellner (Austria), Chris Dockx (Belgium), Sarah Hodgkins (British CPS), Jennifer Smyth (Canada), Lene Nielsen (Denmark), Tuula Pyoria (Finland), Alain Debilly (France), Dermot Power (Ireland), Tom MacLochlainn (Ireland), John Riordan (Ireland), Niamh Philbin (Ireland), Vermund Lyngstad (Norway), Padraic Heanue (Ireland), Treasurer, and Susan McConnell (USA), Secretariat.

Others in the room: Sandrine Lemaitre (France), Bertrand Cardeville (France), Steven Thompson (England), Ruth Rogers (Ireland – Irish Field), Sue Gillingham (England), Christine and Jean Francois Mares (France), Susanne Lehmann (Germany), Zita Denholm (Australia), Cassie Evceg (Australia), Janie McKee (Australia), Greta Lyngstad (Norway), Sadrine Droge (Germany), Anne Storme (Belgium), Raymond Dowling (Ireland), Karen Vicencio (Ireland/USA)

Call to Order and Welcome: Tuula Pyoria welcomed everyone to the second meeting in the 1oth year of the International Committee of Connemara Pony Societies. Since we have had one meeting, already this year, Tuula wishes to have a short, efficient meeting with clear conclusions. John Tennant is in the “background” since he sent an email to the CPBS office, wishing us good luck with our meeting.

Apologies of Absence from: Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Adoption of Minutes: The Minutes from the March 2008 Annual General Meeting and Technical/General Meeting were previously circulated via email. Dermot suggested that the Minutes for the 2008 AGM be adopted at the AGM in 2009 and the Minutes from the Technical/General Meeting accepted, now. Corrections were made to the March 2008 Meeting: Add names in attendance – Sarah Hodgkins and Niamh Philbin

Tuula asked everyone to please double check these details when the Minutes are circulated and email Susan, as Secretariat, the corrections as soon as possible rather than wait to the next meeting
John Tennant has asked for a compilation of the ICCPS Annual Reports
Niamh admitted that the CPBS has not submitted an Annual Report for 2008.

Susan will make a compilation of all the ICCPS Annual Reports.
• Motion: A motion was made by Lene Nielsen (Denmark) and seconded by Sarah

Hodgkins (British) to approve the Minutes. The motion passed.

President’s Report: Tuula had previously circulated her report via email, including thoughts from the March 2008 meeting.
Vermund agreed with the third paragraph suggesting that the ICCPS Executive Board should review the ICCPS Rules for Registration during the Fall and Winter.

Tuula said that Item#10 on this Agenda would request permission for the review of the Rules.
Tuula noted that the Internet was a powerful means of communicating. The ICCPS web site needs to be updated with accurate information; encouraging more visitors. She does not feel this is too difficult and wondered if someone had interest in it?

Treasurer’s Report: Padraic Heanue reported that the account balance as of 20 August is Euros 5,933.29. All countries have paid. The expenses are: paying for the meeting room, and Susanne Lehmann’s Euros 800 for the DVD.

Colt Inspections – esp. Veterinary Examination (British CPS) Vet certificate to cover all ICCPS Societies? (Madeleine Beckman): Tuula thanked Madeleine Beckman (Sweden) and Phillip McManus (Ireland) for their efforts to create a standardized form. A new version of the Veterinary Stallion Assessment was circulated at the meeting to all Delegates.

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John Riordan asked if stallions were given a fertility test.
Tuula said that no country tests fertility; however she knew of one case in a Scandinavian country where a stallion had one small testicle so he was given permission to breed for one year. In her opinion, a fertility test is not mandatory, but it is possible to send a stallion for testing. In Finland the breeders must record every covering, not just with the certificate to the mare owner but also report every covered mare to Finland’s Hippos (horse board).A stallion can have good and bad years. A low rate in one year may be bad luck.
Lene said her country has similar reporting.
Tuula said that there are records for % of mares in foal and the number of live births, with every mare in foal being counted. Mare owners read the records and are very careful to not use a stallion with low fertility. Jennifer (Canada) said that cataracts are congenital. “cataracts can be congenital or acquired due to injury or disease. She enquired if an animal would be failed due to cataracts from any cause? The reply was that the examining vet should be supplied with records from the attending veterinarian outlining treatment of an injury that led to cataract formation, and that this documentation would be taken into account by the examining vet. Therefore it was very important that all documentation be retained in such cases.”
Tuula wants this form to be adopted in principle so the information follows a stallion when it changes ownership or moves to another country.
Susanne Lehmann asked if a mare would be passed if she had 3 legs, but a vet certificate?
Tuula said that it should be understood “why”? Accident or congenital? If a stallion is being failed due to a cataract, a veterinary certificate from the injury is needed.
Lene said that she had not heard of some of the diseases listed. Are there problems in other countries? She asked if ponies are failed for these things.
Sarah said that since they check for these problems, there are no problems. The ponies are basically sound. Chris (Belgium) said that flexion tests do not cover everything. Flexion tests can get certain, but limited information. There are no guarantees.
Lene said “ringbone” is a problem that comes on later and cannot be seen in a young pony.
Chris agreed.
Susanne asked that if a 3 year old has 2 illnesses that he does not go through?
Tuula said that if they were inheritable diseases that the stallion would not be approved.
Chris wondered what “abnormal” meant?
Lene said that in Denmark, if there is an unsoundness at the walk or trot, the Inspectors see it, first. Maybe there is a conformational weakness.
Dermot said that there is different methodology of assessment in every country. Do we need to update? Tuula said that this Veterinary Assessment is a minimum. This form is to follow a stallion if he changes country.
Chris said that sweet itch can develop at an older age. Just because a young stallion does not have sweet itch does not mean that he will not develop it. If the goal is to rule out sweet itch, then, inspect the stallion at a later age. Also, a stallion can be treated for sweet itch, or it can be a certain time of the year.
Tuula agreed that you cannot tell about sweet itch if there is an inspection in March/April. This form assures that the stallion does not have sweet itch or has not had an operation on his patella. We have to rely on the honesty of the stallion owner.
There was a discussion about movement – shoes or no shoe? The New Forest Pony is inspected without shoes to see more things.
Tuula felt that it would be hard require a pony to be tested without shoes. She said that it would be impossible to remove shoes for Inspection due to the ice in Finland.
Andrea (Austria) said that stallions are inspected without shoes.
Karen V. said that it would not be fair to require shoes to be put on or have them taken off.
Australia said that it has hard ground.
Vermund proposed the addition of a line in the assessment “not shod or shod”. He said that to be more precise, that this form should be written in Latin, so all could understand it.
Philip MacManus liked the newest version. He said that “noise” was the sound from standard inhalant. A “roar” or whisper is due to 1⁄2 the larynx being malformed. This is genetic and can be passed on. Stallions should be pulled at Inspection.
Chris said that this will impact performance and wondered how many carry this problem?
Phillip said 5-10% were passed with this problem. Some mares have teeth abnormalities that are not noted on paper.
Chris said this needs to be on paper!
Phillip agreed!
Tuula wanted to know if the Delegates could say in principle that we could adopt this Veterinary Stallion Assessment document?
• Motion: :

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A motion was made by Sarah Hodgkins (British CPS)) and seconded by Chris

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Dockx(Belgium) to accept this Veterinary Stallion Assessment.The motion passed.

Discussion of clinics for future development of Inspectors and Judges – discussed in Minutes 2007, page 4 (Norway): Vermund said that the March 2008 clinic was very useful since it

focused on the “international standard” so that everyone can train and work together for the same things – type, bone, movement. He had the experience that other pony breeds can be different from country to country. With clinics, we can work to have the same opinion about the same “ideal” pony. The March experience was very good and useful. In Norway, Inspection Judges come from other countries. They have worked well, together. We need to agree about the standard.

Tuula said that it is not easy to send people to Ireland. She suggested that when a country had a breed show, the visiting judge should be asked to speak the following day. It is a good way for the membership to listen and learn at a low cost since the Judge is already there. Tom Maclochlainn visited, last year, and Lib Petch will visit, this year. It is impossible to send 20 people over, sometimes 1 or 2. It is Tuula’s dream to have all Finnish Inspectors/Judges to visit Ireland. There are 3 left to visit!

Jennifer reported briefly on Phillip Scott’s recent visit to Canada, and suggested that other Connemara Societies trying to fund visits from Irish inspectors or judges might consider contacting Irish Draught groups in their own countries in case they could combine events and split the expense of flying judges/inspectors over from Ireland.
Sarah said that there would be a Judges Day in England on Saturday, the 18th of October at Moreton Morrell not far from Birmingham Airport. She promised to circulate an invitation.
Dermot said that he had hoped to have 2 senior Judges to go to Europe to give a clinic rather than have people come to Ireland.
To this Tuula commented that FCPS will celebrate its 25th Anniversary and this might be something to think about when deciding where to arrange the clinic. She said that FCPS would need the assistance of horse board and she would find out by the end of the year if it would be possible to arrange it in Finland. The best time would be late May or beginning of June.
Lene wanted an updated CPBS Judges/Inspectors list.
Niamh promises to provide a current list of CPBS Judges/Inspectors.
Dermot said that we should plan a Spring Festival in Finland (April, late May or June). He said it could be provisional in hopes that more people would attend.
Susanne said that other countries should know that this is in the planning stage. Circulate the information, now, rather than wait to the last minute. With preparation, people from all over the world would attend. Dermot felt that a Clinic in Finland could be very positive. There could be education and understanding. Tuula said that she would know by the end of the year.
Andrea said that Padraic Hynes was in Austria two years ago for a clinic, and Henry O’Toole is coming to Austria for a clinic, the last weekend in October.
Jennifer commented what a wonderful idea it was for the Australian Connemara Society to send some young inspectors over to Ireland for the Clifden week in order to see the ponies in their native environment, and would it be possible to set up a bursary fund to assist applicants from other countries with airfare costs to come to Ireland in the future?
Dermot noted that there was money in the ICCPS bank account that could be used for flight fare. If the goal of the ICCPS is to promote the Connemara Pony, maybe the money can be used?
Tuula said that the ICCPS Executive Board would discuss this and develop some guidelines.
Vermund hoped that a list of open clinics could be circulated. This would be a major step forward. He would like to see a written description and good characteristics in figures. More countries are going this way. We can do this through the ICCPS. It is most important to train Judges/Inspectors, together.
Dermot reminded the ICCPS members that the ICCPS Mission Statement states:

  • To develop, promote and preserve the Connemara pony as a distinctive breed, internationally.
  • To provide a forum for the exchange of knowledge and information between member societies andbreeders.
  • To co-ordinate an international breeding improvement program for Connemara Ponies.
    Dermot suggested that each Society should contact its national equine organization board for funds available for yearly Judges/Inspectors. They should ask to be sent to the Stud Book of origin (Ireland).
    John Dawkins said that Tom MacLochlainn conducted half day seminars in every state with groups of ponies, owners and breeders. At Tom’s suggestion, a group of Australian Inspectors (4) have come to Ireland. The Australian Society has decided to have an International visitor, once a year. A memorandum of understanding has been agreed with a University. The Australian Society plans to build association between groups by having once a year “classifiers day” for uniformity. Breeders and Inspectors will be spread over the country to reinforce the Connemara breed standards. He wanted to express his thanks to Dermot, Tom MacLochlainn and the CPBS Council for their support.
    Tuula said that we all agree that this topic is very close to our hearts. Judges/Inspectors have a big job. There may be differences, but we are getting closer.
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AI availability worldwide – development of annual list of stallions from frozen semen (Susan, Secretary): Susan researched the procedure and costs of freezing semen for use – worldwide. The use of frozen semen within a country (or EU) is not as complicated as the rules and procedures to ship frozen semen to Australia and/New Zealand. Basically, the cost of freezing semen in each country is the same. The stallion must be collected in an authorized facility, under approved conditions. If a stallion owner plans to ship frozen semen to Australia and/or New Zealand, the stallion must be in quarantine in an approved facility for 30 days prior to the collection and freezing process. Unless the stallion has been in quarantine and passed health tests, his frozen semen will not be accepted. So, if a mare owner from Australia and/or New Zealand is thinking of breeding to a stallion with frozen semen, the mare owner should double check the conditions during collection.
This research is a reality check. The breeding of mares using frozen semen is a “chicken and an egg”. What stallions are needed for the preservation of the gene pool? Who will use the frozen semen, if a stallion owner is thinking about going to the expense of 30 days of quarantine? What genes are needed in Australia and New Zealand? Will stallion owners be approached by mare owners?
Sarah has experience with frozen semen and passing the health tests with her stallion, Spinway Comet. She has sold semen to NZ as a long term investment. There have been good vets, there, with good results. The 4 mares that were bred produced 3 foals – one of which was imported into Ireland!
Ruth Rogers suggested that the Connemara breeders share stallions from Northern to Southern hemisphere like the Thoroughbreds.
Sue Gillingham said that she has 15 doses going to Australia and NZ from her stallion, Gentle Cascade by Laerkens Cascade Dawn
Tuula said that the effort is there. It is the cost that is the problem. It is hard to charge a stud fee to cover the real cost.
Sarah suggested that the stallion owner have a very good contract with the mare owner when you send the frozen semen. If the semen is sent to an “Agent”, there is more control and safe guards about the use of the semen.
Sue said that the service certificate from the stallion owner is another safeguard. If the mare owner does not have the proper stallion certificate the foal should not be registered.
Niamh said that the Irish stallion Silver Shadow has frozen semen.
Tuula said that all Delegates should re-check the information about stallions who offer frozen semen in their country.
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Prefix Registration – usage to prevent duplication (Ireland): Niamh said that the CPBS Prefix form was previously circulated via email. The CPBS is no longer affiliated with the CPR (Central Prefix Registry in England). Advise from the Department of Agriculture was that the CPBS should register prefixes. Niamh has spoken to the CPR to find that not all Societies are affiliated with the CPR.

Jennifer said that Canada is similar to some other Societies in that they have a registry already in existence. “Jennifer commented on previous experience with Central Prefix Register while employed with the Welsh Pony & Cob Society in Wales during the advent of the WP&CS International Register, which revealed conflicts when ponies already registered in Canada applied for the International Register ie. ponies who had duplicated prefixes or protected words in their Canadian prefix that were not acceptable according to the CPR list. How would this pre-existing prefix problem be handled with International Connemara registrations?

Niamh said that she had spoken to Tuula and Susan, the day before, and there could be a country code following prefixes that appear as duplicates. But, she hoped that the Societies would have a list and communicate with each other to prevent duplication. Some famous names (Village, Leam and Ashfield) have been repeated.

Susan said that each Societies secretary/registrar should make every effort to know prefix names before registering a new prefix on a foal/pony.
Niamh said we cannot change what has happened, but if every breed registrar could report the prefixes to a database, fewer errors would happen.

Christine said that France does not have prefixes, but uses suffixes, instead.
Tuula said that a new owner should not “add a suffix or prefix” to an existing name. A breeder should use common sense and not use a world famous name. Registered prefixes or suffixes cannot be bought or sold and should not be used by anyone but the person who registered it.
Niamh said that the name “Sparrow” and “Misty” are registered names; therefore, they should not be used. The CPBS Council will need to look at this, again.
Christine said that if this is a worldwide decision, then, it should be in the Stud Book.
Tuula said that if the CPBS rules work well for Ireland, that is fine. The Societies will agree to not use prefixes that are registered, but maybe the CPBS can look at the use of “common words” (Heather, Scarlet, etc). Words such as “Sparrow” follow a certain breeding line and should be allowed to continue. There

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a list of the stallions in France.

a list posted on the ICCPS web site

should be permission to use words, if they are in the line. Without rethinking the rules, we will run out of useable names!
John Riordan has the “Lishmar” prefix and felt that there should not be a problem of having a pony named “Lishmar Sparrow” or “Lishmar Heather”.

Lene wondered if Alex O’Connor could receive the names. Dermot wondered of the Databases were compatible.
Lene asked that all prefixes and all suffixes be sent to Susan.

ICCPS AGM – discussion to choose date and time for 2009 AGM, including Officer Elections (Tuula, President): Tuula said that there had been a trial run for one year of changing the date/time of year for the ICCPS AGM.
Sue Clarke said that August (Pony Show Week) was better for those who come from the farthest distance. Others agreed.

Tuula said that it was difficult to come two times a year. Most people come in August. If a separate Technical Meeting is needed, it can be scheduled in March.
Vermund liked the August meeting on Wednesday rather than Tuesday.
Niamh said that the CPBS tried to put programs in place. Tuesday was for the ICCPS meeting in the morning, clinic in the afternoon, and International Reception at the Abbey Glen Hotel in the evening. Wednesday focused on Performance Demonstrations. Each day has a focus: Monday/Education at the National Park, Tuesday/International, Wednesday/Performance, Thursday/Show, and Friday/Mart. Dermot and Niamh need to be in the CPBS office on Wednesday, the day before the show, rather than in this ICCPS meeting.

John Riordan said that the CPBS Council will continue to have more spring events, but the ICCPS AGM is better during Show Week, on Tuesday.
Tuula said that the ICCPS Delegates should accommodate our hosts by having the AGM on Tuesday of Show Week starting in 2009.

ICCPS Rules – review to be led by the Exec. Officers in the coming winter for proposal at ICCPS AGM 2009 (Tuula, President): Tuula said that the Rules of Registration, as posted on the ICCPS web site, are not up to date. She does not want to take everyone’s time by talking about them, now. She asks the Delegates for permission for the Executive Board to review the Rules this Fall/Winter for a proposal for the next AGM. We will share our thoughts and opinions via email. The goal is to make the Rules as simple and straight forward as possible; not complicated; able to be posted in the web.

• Motion:

Database Update (Ireland): Dermot said that he was very happy that the CPBS pedigree database information was posted in the CPBS web site. All Societies should send their pedigree information to Alex O’Connor, in compatible form. In France, Deidre Feeley needed permission from the French National Stud to get their information. It is up to each Society to get this up and running. Updates need to be sent to Alex. Susan offered to communicate with Alex and the Societies to complete the pedigree database.

Other matters arising:

  • Maria Sunquist, PhD, Sweden: Sweet Itch
  • Susanne Lehmann, photographer, Germany: photos from European JumpingChampionships
  • Anne Storme (Belgium) questioned Mare Inspection. She suggested that Mare Inspectionshould be similar to Stallion Inspection with Classes in the Stud Book. Chris Dockx asked if there was anything on paper or marks in the Passport that tell about a mare’s assessment? Niamh said that is a mare fails the visual inspection, she is Class 2. if she fails the vet inspection, she is Class 3.
  • Motion:Adjournment – meeting closure at 12:30