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Use and characteristics of the NRPS
NRPS horses are also known as “Dutch riding horses with (Anglo) Arabic blood”. The aim of breeders is to produce and sell an NRPS horse or pony that meets the studbook’s specified percentage of Arab and Thoroughbred/Anglo Arab breeding. Equestrians primarily buy an NRPS horse or pony to participate in equestrian sport, which has an enthusiastic following in the Netherlands.NRPS registered equines are a good option for riders of all ages and capabilities taking part in sport at all levels. Whatever their size, NRPS horses and ponies are bred for their rideability, good basic paces, temperament and ability as show jumpers or in dressage. Elegant, with an elasticity of movement and calm, responsive temperaments, NRPS horses are also hardy, willing and have plenty of stamina for sporting activities.
Origin and history of breeding NRPS horses and ponies
Established in 1981, the NRPS studbook is active both nationally and in the regions of the Netherlands. It is the second registry in the Netherlands after the globally renowned KWPN organisation and is an EU recognised studbook and passport provider. Because the NRPS registry includes both horses and ponies, it is an inclusive organisation that caters for all riders, from juniors just entering into equestrianism to advanced riders.
From the beginning, the focus was not only on the percentage of Arabian and Thoroughbred blood, but also on rigorous standards of testing for registered breeding stock, particularly stallions. Stallions are tested over several years on the basis of the quality of conformation, the basic gaits of walk, trot and canter, and temperament in the stable and when ridden. They are also subject to tests of fertility and general health. In order to be registered the stallions must also show their potential at jumping, both loose and under saddle, or as dressage performers. Combined jumping and dressage tests are also carried out, and to pass these, the stallion must obtain at least 70 points out of 100. Non-breeding stock, including mares, stallions and geldings, are tested on conformation and gaits.
NRPS horses in equestrianism
Although most of the NRPS registered horses and ponies are in the Netherlands, they are becoming more widely known thanks to their performance in international events, primarily dressage and show jumping. They are successful in FEI events all over Europe and have achieved acclaim in the USA too. Don Derrick, ridden by USA rider Anna Weniger recently in Lexington, Kentucky, is proving successful in Grand Prix level Dressage to Music events. With stallions such as the beautiful Nagano passing on his genes and excellent temperament, it is not surprising that NRPS horses succeed so well international events. During testing, Nagano scored highly on gaits, conformation, and character as well as his dressage score, gaining 9s for all these qualities. What is more, he gained an 8 for his behaviour in the stable. Good temperament and willingness to work are no less important than performance ability and potential.
NRPS Registration Categories
NRPS horses and ponies have been selectively bred with the focus mainly on dressage and show jumping. With these aims in mind, there are four categories of studbook. The first is the NRPS Riding Pony with Arabian blood (NPA). To qualify, the ponies must be under 14.2 (62 inches/157 cm) and have a minimum of 12.5% per cent Arabian blood. The second registry is the Dutch Sport Pony (NSP). These are also under 14.2 hands high (62 inches/157 cm) and have less than 12.5% Arabian blood. In the Dutch Riding Horse with Arabian blood (NRA) studbook, horses are a minimum of 14.2 hands high (62 inches/157cm) with a minimum of 12.5% Arabian or Anglo-Arabian blood, which may be passed on from Arabian, Thoroughbred or Anglo-Arabian ancestry. The studbook for Anglo-Arabian Thoroughbred Horses (AA) is a closed breeding programme which only accepts horses that are an admixture of Arabian and Thoroughbred without input from other breeds.