IRISH COB STUD BOOK PRINCIPLES

THE IRISH COB SOCIETY - IRISH COB STUDBOOK RULES APPROVED BY THE BOARD OF FSIC RY AND THE BOARD OF THE STUDBOOK

1. THE OBJECTIVE OF THE SOCIETY MAINTAINING THE STUDBOOK FOR IRISH COBS

The Irish Cob studbook is maintained by The Finnish Society of Irish cob, whose objective is to protect, preserve and improve the Irish Cob’s traditional and original Irish form and type. In its activities, the society follows the guidelines and principles that have been recorded in The Irish Sport Horse’s original studbook in relation to the breed definition and breeding programme of the Irish Cob.

The society maintaining the studbook for Irish Cobs aims to accomplish their objective as follows:

- By performing breed inspections and based on these, registering horses on the Supplementary Section.

- By inspecting stallions registered in the Main Section and the Supplementary Section and assessing their eligibility to be a part of a separate breeding programme.

- By organising horse shows to increase awareness of the breed.


2. BREEDING OBJECTIVES

To protect and preserve the traditional type of the Irish Cob: small, strong and stocky cold-blooded horse. The Irish Cob is classified as a draught horse (as opposed to a carriage horse which might be a warm-blooded horse). This classification ensures that the breed will not be allowed to develop light-weight bone structure. If the type develops in this direction, this could also lead to the disappearance of another feature typical to the breed: its ample leg feathering. Even though the breed is classified as a draught horse, breeding societies must also ensure that the breed maintains its natural liveliness and suitability for various hobbies, however, in a way that the horse maintains the calm and friendly demeanour typical of draught horses.

3. CHARACTERISTICS OF THE BREED

THE IRISH COB BREED STANDARD

GENERAL APPEARANCE ‐ The Irish Cob is compact and powerful, ample both in muscle and bone, yet, with an ability to perform as a good all‐purpose animal. Some Irish Cobs tend to be more “stocky” than others. The Irish Cob is well balanced and proportioned, standing straight and square and offering an imposing appearance.

TOPLINE ‐ The head, which should be held proudly should be carried on a powerful and arched, well “set on”, neck. The neck should appear to “carry on” through good withers and to finish at the start of the back (this feature should be particularly evident in stallions). The back which should be short and straight should slope gently upwards to a well muscled croup (the back bone/spine or the hip bones should not be apparent). The croup, which is quite high and generous should have both croup muscles well defined, the top of the quarters being exceptionally well muscled, broad and ample. The angle of the spine from the croup to the tail should slope gently downwards and should not be exaggerated, this allows for a high, well “set on”, tail and contributes to good well rounded quarters.

BONE ‐ Irish Cobs are from medium weight to heavy weight, (Some allowance in bone measurement can be made for mares and geldings only).

IN MOTION – Irish Cobs with their unique action, luxuriant hair and feathering and the large range of colours available, combine to present a beautiful and varied sight to see when turned out at their best, particularly when in motion.

TEMPERAMENT ‐ The Irish Cob should possess a docile and willing nature, with a friendly disposition towards humans and other animal species. Displays of aggressive and threatening behaviour such as ears back, kicking, biting, rearing and not being under control of the handler, will result in expulsion from Approval Inspection and the Show Ring.

HEIGHT – under 170cms

HEAD ‐ should be straight, handsome and in proportion to the rest of the horse. The forehead should be broad and the muzzle, jaw and cheek should be generous.

MOUTH ‐ should have a level bite.

EYES – should be quite bold, open and set well apart.

EARS ‐ should be neat and well set on.

NECK ‐ should be compact, but not too short and should be generously muscled including the crest (stallion’s necks should be particularly well muscled and crested).

SHOULDERS ‐ should be ample, powerful and sloping.

WITHERS ‐ should be of average protrusion or height and should be encased in plenty of muscle and flesh.

CHEST ‐ should be powerful, well muscled and not too broad or narrow.

BACK ‐ should be short, straight, well covered in muscle and flesh and slope gently upwards towards the croup.

HINDQUARTERS AND HIND LEGS – The hindquarters should be very generous, well rounded, broad and powerful with a well muscled high croup. The second thigh should also be very generous, quite long and well coupled to good straight powerful hocks. The hind legs should be well boned and muscled.

BODY should be short and compact with ribs well sprung to barrel shape.

FORELEGS should be powerful and not too short. There should be a good length of well muscled forearm and generously boned shins.

KNEES AND HOCKS should be well developed and of generous dimensions but should be in balance with the proportions of the horse.

FETLOCK JOINTS should match the other joints in power, size and build.

PASTERNS should also be of sufficient bone and not too long (straight or over angled pasterns are a fault).

HOOVES should be well shaped, neat and of a size capable of carrying the frame of the horse without stress.

LEG HAIR/FEATHERING ‐ Leg hair/feathering is a characteristic and decorative feature of the Irish Cob breed. This is especially prominent in the heavier Irish Cobs. However, the amount of leg hair/feathering present may vary considerably, particularly in the case of medium weight Irish Cobs. Leg hair/feathering, should at the very least, fall from the back of the knees and hocks, down to a thick covering of hair/feathers on the heels. Leg hair/feathering should also fall over the front of the hoof, from at least the coronet.

MANE AND TAIL The mane and tail should be luxuriant and capable of growing to a substantial length.

MOVEMENT – Movement should appear sound and free from obvious hereditary defects.

COLOUR – The following colours are considered most typical.

  • All solid colours including black, bay, brown, chestnut, palomino, grey and roan.
  • All solid colours including black, bay, brown, chestnut, palomino, grey and roan, which contain white body markings.
  • White body markings are measured in percentages and exclude the head, legs and underbelly.

    Irish Cobs which have white body markings are described as COLOURED.

    Irish Cobs which have white markings on the underbelly are described as SPLASHED or BLAGDON.

    4.DIVISION OF THE STUDBOOK AND CONDITIONS FOR ENTERING THE STUDBOOK. THE STUDBOOK IS COMPRISED OF A MAIN SECTION AND A SUPPLEMENTARY SECTION

    DIVISION OF THE STUD BOOK

    MAIN SECTION

    MAIN ELITE STALLION CLASS

    Males which were entered in the Main Basic Register and have been approved for inclusion in the Selective Breeding Programme.

    MAIN ELITE MARE CLASS

    Females which were entered in the Main Basic Register and have been approved for inclusion in the Selective Breeding Programme.

    MAIN BASIC REGISTER

    Class 1A

    Males and females, where the sire is entered in the Main Elite Stallion Class, or the Supplementary Elite Stallion Class and the dam is entered in the Main Elite Mare Class.

    Class 1B

    Males and females, where the sire is entered in the Main Elite Stallion Class, or the Supplementary Elite Stallion Class and the dam is entered in the Main Basic Register, or the Supplementary Basic Register.

    Class 2A

    Males and females, where the sire is entered in the Main Basic Register, or the Supplementary Basic Register and the dam is entered in the Main Elite Mare Class.

    Class 2B

    Males and females, where the sire is entered in the Main Basic Register, or the Supplementary Basic Register and the dam is entered in the Main Basic Register, or the Supplementary Basic Register.


    CROSS BREEDING PROGRAMME

    Males and females of the listed breeds mentioned which have been selected to take part in the cross breeding programme.


    SUPPLEMENTARY SECTION

    SUPPLEMENTARY ELITE STALLION CLASS

    Stallions which were entered in the Supplementary Basic Register and have been approved for inclusion in the Selective Breeding Programme.

    SUPPLEMENTARY BASIC REGISTER

    Males, females and geldings which do not meet the requirements for entering the Main Section, but which have been judged to conform to the Irish Cob Breed Standard.


    Conditions for entering the studbook

    THE MAIN SECTION

    To qualify for entry into the Main Section of the Stud Book an animal must : a) Have both parents entered in the Main Section, or,

    (b) Have both parents entered in the Supplementary Section, or,

    (c) Have one parent entered in the Supplementary Section and one parent entered in the Main Section.

    The following breeds mentioned are allowed to take part a cross breeding programme.

    Males and females: The Irish Cob Part Bred, the Irish Cob Crossbred, the Irish Piebald and Skewbald, the Skewbald and Piebald, the Irish Sport Horse, the Gypsy Cob, the Coloured Horse, the Tinker.

    These listed breeds must have been judged to conform to the Irish Cob Breed Standard. The inspection procedure will be the same as for animals seeking registration in the Supplementary Section.

    Selected females only: The Shire, the Clydesdale and the Welsh Cob.

    These listed breeds must be under 170cm and also and have been judged to conform closely to the Irish Cob Breed Standard and to be of benefit to the Irish Cob selective/improvement breeding programme.


    The ICS reserves the right to include additional breeds in the crossbreeding programme.


    THE SUPPLEMENTARY SECTION

    To qualify for entry into the Supplementary Section an animal must:

    (a) Be identified in accordance with the stud book rules which should at least require the covering certificate. Where the sire only is being declared, the sire must be verified through DNA analysis.

    (b) Be judged to conform to the Breed Standard.

    (c) Have a minimum performance as laid down in the Stud Book Rules.

    Conditions of maintain the information of studbook

    Data recorded in the studbook is maintained with the Breeders Assistant software. It is a database software.

    Each horse is assigned its own ‘card’ in the file. The first tab of the card includes the horse’s name, sex, date of birth and the information of the breeder and the owner. The second tab contains the UELN number, transponder code data, the number of the DNA test, the studbook class and the name of the breeding society that granted the original identification document.

    The third tab of the register contains the horse’s ancestry information. It is possible to record data spanning the previous four generations in the standard view. It is also possible to add more generations. A single data record acts as a link to the horse’s ancestor’s information.

    The fourth tab includes information related to the horse’s breed, size and colour. This tab also contains information on exclusion from slaughter, if necessary.

    The software allows the compilation of various reports; approximately half of the identification document’s information is exported directly form the software and it can also serve various inspection and supervision purposes. Reports can be compiled on one horse or one horse’s data or on a specific data point related to all horses on the register (e.g. all horses that are excluded from slaughter).

    The studbook is divided into the Main Section and the Supplementary Section.

    BREED SHOW AND EVALUATION

    In all breed show categories, the horses are categorised as medium and heavyweight types. The type is determined based on the bone structure and impacts the evaluation criteria, e.g. a heavyweight cob is required to have more ample leg feathering. For now, the evaluation is performed through visual observation, but the aim is that in the future there would be enough data on the ratio of the girth of the foreleg, height and type evaluation determined by the judge and, based on these, it would be possible to develop a more precise evaluation method.

    In all shows, horses are evaluated for the Excellence of breed type, Presence, Topline, Head & mouth, Neck, Withers, Shoulders, Back, Hindquarters, Chest, Body, Forelegs & feet, Hind legs & feet, Leg feathering, Mane and tail as well as movement in walk and trot. The movements must be mechanically perfect and typical of the breed – rolling and under the body. Symmetrical paddling with the forelegs is allowed. The so-called ‘stepping action’ – clearly lifting the knees of the forelegs in trot is especially favourable.

    All of the aforementioned points of evaluation (16 in total) are compared to the breed definition presented in Chapter 3 of the breeding programme. The evaluation grading scale is from 1 to 5. In order to receive a breeding grade (applies to all Elite evaluations and G1 and G2 classifications), the horse must meet the minimum point limit marked on each evaluation point on the evaluation form. The sum of total points alone does not automatically lead to a breeding grade. This is meant to ensure that the breed maintains the personality traits typical to the breed.


    UPGRADE TO ELITE STALLION CLASS

    Stallions registered on the standard register of the Main Section or the Supplementary Section are entitled to participate in breed shows after turning three (3) years old and, through inspection, pursue the Irish Cob Elite class in these shows.

    In order to be awarded the Elite class, stallions must be inspected by at least two competent judges. Stallions are evaluated based on the aforementioned criteria. In particular, stallion evaluations focus on the point ‘Presence’. In order to receive the breeding grade Elite, the stallion must receive at least the minimum number of points required for the G1 grade depending on their type (heavy/medium). In addition, the owner of the stallion must submit a veterinarian’s report to the organiser of the show that confirms that the stallion is physically capable of acting as a breeding stallion. The veterinarian’s report must mention any deviations in the horse’s movements, testicle condition or other potentially hereditary issues.

    The stallions that are not awarded Elite class in the horse show remain in the standard register and are entitled to try to reach Elite status again in the next shows.



    UPGRADE TO ELITE MARE CLASS

    Mares registered in the standard register of the Main Section are entitled to participate in breed shows after turning three (3) years old and, through inspection, pursue the Irish Cob Elite class in these shows.

    The mares that are not awarded Elite class in the horse show remain in the standard register and are entitled to try to reach the Elite status again in the next shows.

    In order to be awarded Elite class, the mares must be inspected by at least two competent judges. In order to receive the breeding grade Elite, the mare must receive at least the minimum number of points required for the G1 grade depending on their type (heavy/medium).


    5. REGISTERING DESCENDANTS

    If the sire is known but the breeding certificate has not been presented, the descent must be confirmed with DNA tests.

    If the dam is known but the foal has not been identified beside her, the descent must be confirmed with DNA tests.

    If the descent is confirmed with DNA tests, the identification numbers given by the laboratory for all DNA samples must be registered in the files of the studbook.

    All stallions that have been registered in the breeding stallion classes in the Main and Supplementary Sections must undergo a DNA test.

    The studbook has the right to use the DNA identification to confirm and supplement the descendant information and confirm that the horse is eligible to be registered in the studbook (Evira/5287/0570/2018). The permit is valid indefinitely.

    6. IDENTIFICATION DOCUMENT, HORSE PASSPORT

    The identification document lasts for the horse’s lifetime, i.e. it is only granted to horses that do not have an identification document already (in practice, for foals identified for the first time). The certificate of descent and identification sketch are included in this document. (EU) 2015/262

    The society must ensure that horses registered in the studbook after 1 July 2009 have an ISO standard compliant microchip whose number is marked on the identification document as well the Unique Equine Life Number (UELN). More information about the system: www.ueln.net.

    The horse must have a name. There cannot be two horses with the same name in the studbook. The breeder can add their own breeder’s name as part of the horse’s name. The breeder must ensure that the chosen name is not in use.


    7. FAMILY TREE REGISTERED IN ONE OR MORE STUDBOOKS

    Horses that have been accepted in an approved Irish Cob studbook must, if needed, be registered in the corresponding section and class in another approved Irish Cob studbook.

    When the breeding society registers an Irish Cob in their studbook that has been registered in a studbook established by another breeding society, in addition to the name and descent data marked on the identification document, the horse must be registered with the identification number that has been appointed to it in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2016/429 as well as the transponder code if it is shown to correspond to the information marked on the identification document during the identification inspection.

    The breeding society marks the identification document if the horse has been excluded from slaughter (EU) 2015/262 only when the horse is granted a replica of the passport or the owner themselves reports that the horse is excluded from slaughter. If conflicts with the identification document are detected during the identification inspection, the horse will not be entered in the studbook and the matter will proceed to a supervision authority.

    The studbook has the right to use the DNA identification to confirm and supplement the descendant information and confirm that the horse is eligible to be registered in the studbook (Evira/5287/0570/2018).

    8. EQUAL TREATMENT OF BREEDERS

    All breeders are treated equally. Horses that meet the criteria laid down in Commission Decision (EU) 2016/1012 are entitled to be registered in the Irish Cob studbook.

    9. GEOGRAPHICAL AREA IN WHICH THE BREEDING PROGRAMME IS IMPLEMENTED

    The Irish Cob Society Finland – FSIC ry implements the approved breeding programme in Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Norway and Denmark.