Thursday, October 17, 2013

What is an Honors Stallion--Orri frá Þúfu

In 1978, FEIF established the rules for awarding honors status to stallions and mares:  Honor stallion status: Minimum BLUP of 118, 50 or more evaluated offspring.  An honors horse not only has great confirmation and outstanding performance but they are so genetically stable that they pass on these traits to a large number of their offspring. Very few horses achieve honors status.  Breeding has often been described as a crapshoot but selecting the right stallion can certainly help you weight the dice.  If you look at the breeding results of some of the honors stallions, the results are astounding. 
At the time this blog was written Orri frá Þúfu had 1170 registered offspring of which 48 were 4 years old or younger.  If you subtract the number of young horses from the total and calculate the number of assessed offspring, (544/1122) an astounding 48% of Orri’s offspring were assessed with over 40% making first or second prize.  Note that the author hand counted some of this information so the percentages may not be accurate. 

Here is a link to a video of Orri from 1993 with an interview (in Icelandic) with his owner and rider.

Below is a video of Orri from Landsmót in 1994.

Orri frá Þúfu’s quality was recognized very early.  In their book The Icelandic Horse, Bjőrnsson and Sveinsson describe Orri as a friendly, easy to handle, black stallion with four great gaits (Orri sires few pacers) with high leg action and wide movements.  The reason that Orri is so famous is not only for the quality of his gaits but for how many of these abilities he passes along to his offspring.  As Bjőrnsson and Sveinsson proclaim, “There is no doubt that Orri has been the strongest stallion in Iceland for years.  His influence will be seen for a long time, and many superb sons and daughters will still show up” (p. 235). Orri has been awarded “honors stallion” status in Iceland. 

Source: Bjőrnsson, G., & Sveinsson, H.  (2006).  The Icelandic Horse, Edda Publishing, Reykjavik, Iceland.