Bloodstock South Africa’s National Yearling Inspections In KZN

Bloodstock South Africa’s National Yearling Inspections In KZN

Kerry Jack checking the microchip on one of the yearlings. Image: Candiese Marnewick

KZN Breeders caught up with John Kramer and Kerry Jack from Bloodstock South Africa while they were undertaking their national yearling inspection process on Wednesday last week. John and Kerry were in KZN from Monday to Thursday to inspect yearlings for the [Emperor’s Palace] National Yearling Sales taking place 26 and 28 April in Johannesburg.

One of the more unusual yearlings John and Kerry came across in their inspections was Rathmor’s white Medicine Hat yearling colt by Kahal, Gran Blanco, who scored 8.5.

John explained what goes into the inspection process, as well as what they look for in a yearling.

“Before we do anything, we make sure we have the right horse, using a scanner to check the microchip in the horses neck.”

“The basics of the inspection procedure is to stand the horse up and get a first impression. After that you start looking for conformational problems – start with the yearling’s head, neck and wither and go down to the front legs, the back, hindlegs, quarters and hocks. We have the horse walked away from us and towards us to see how good his action is, after that we start to make a report.

John Kramer and Kerry Jack in action. Image: Candiese Marnewick

“We look at the overall impression of the horse, development, size, condition – you have to take into consideration the date of birth which influences the horses development, and then you have to project to see how much scope a horse has to develop and what the horse is going to look like at sales time -according to that you ‘point’ it.”

When asked what they look for in a yearling at this stage of development, John said: “At this stage we don’t want to see them too heavy in condition. They must stand over ground and be physically well developed enough and have straight legs. You want to be sure that the horse will race. The breeders pick the horses themselves that they want to put forward, and most of the time the horses are alright, sometimes there is a problem one has to deal with.

“The points range from 0-10 and the way I view it is that it is our mandate as inspectors to assist the breeder in assessing the future potential of the horse. I go out by the point of view that the breeder isn’t going to put forward a squib of a horse. Most of the horses I look at I would range between 7-10 points. Anything below 7 is really an average horse and certainly not to be considered for the National Yearling Sale.

When questioned if any of the young sires in KZN stood out [bearing in mind that John and Kerry had not yet been to all the farms so couldn’t comment on some of the progeny of our other young sires yet], John said that so far he was impressed with the A.P. Answers, and went onto say that Fort Beluga’s individuals were very nice.

Kerry Jack, who adds Igugu(AUS) as one of her prior yearling selections, commented that so far she had seen some very nice Brave Tin Soldiers’ and the A.P. Answers’ had also stood out.

Rathmor's Gran Blanco scored 8.5 out of 10. This photo was taken in early November 2012. Image: Brad McHardy

It is Kerry’s first year of assisting with the inspections and she said: “It is my first time out. I am learning, enjoying the trip, the different farms and of course the horses. I am finding I am scoring fairly similarly to John in the points.”

John goes on to say, “The point that we are trying to put across is that we are not looking at these horses from a buyers’ point of view. We are looking at them to assist the breeder in assessing them and placing them in the right sales ring. We are a lot more forgiving of minor faults, rather give the benefit of the doubt to the horse then condemn the horse at this stage of it’s life. Of course it is the breeders’ livelihood and we are not there to be overcritical. We are not policeman but need to protect the integrity of the sale. Overall what we have seen in KZN has been encouraging.”

Thank you to John and Kerry for visiting KZN, we wish them well for the rest of their journey and we are looking forward to seeing a significant number of KZN-breds at the National Yearling Sales taking place 26 and 28 April.

Please visit for more information with regards to the Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale.

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