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International register for Fjord horses

The 7th and 8th of June representatives from the international Fjord horse countries met in Brussels to discuss the possibilities of an international register for Fjord horses.

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In a digitalizing world the idea of an international register for Fjord horses is a hotter topic than ever before. By gathering all the Fjord horses around the world in one register we will have a complete overview of the population. This gives us plenty of opportunities with regards to developing the Fjord horse as a product. It will make it easier to import and export horses across borders. Looking ahead, it will be possible to integrate sports data in the register and with this comes a powerful marketing effect. With respect to inbreeding supervision and regulation, an international register is a very suitable tool.

There are some challenges along the way. The horses are registered in many different registers, in different formats, some horses are registered in more than one register, but with different identities. In addition, the General Data Protection Regulation sets terms for the design of the register. Nevertheless, in Brussels met representatives motivated and willing to work for the project, from France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, USA (also representing Canada), Denmark, Sweden, UK and Norway (Sweden and the UK followed the meeting on Skype). The meeting was spent on looking at the current situation; how are horses registered, who owns the data, how can we unite data in one data base and how will it work. The answers will be put together in a full overview report on the international fjord horse, probably published in August/September.

Other issues partly related to an international register, or just regarding breeding, was also discusses. What every country seemed to agree on was the wish for more cooperation between the countries, f.ex. in terms of exchanging judges. Especially Norway has work to do to give more information on their breeding politics, so that the other countries that wish to go in the same direction, can do so. To overall impression from the meeting was the wish for more cooperation between the fjord horse countries. Even though the systems are different, we are all searching for the same; a healthy, functional and good-looking horse. Working together for the same goal this makes a good chance for success in the years to come.

Inbreeding regulations, semen testing, regulations for stallions in the different countries, DNA testing, the use of UELN numbers, the use of the FHI check card and “the red book” was discussed. The report will summarize the practice of each country and make it easier to compare.

The work to come is a financial issue. To fulfill the project of an international register, we need the necessary funding, and this requires a thorough and well written application. More information on the process will be available as soon as we are making progress. Please follow Fjord Horse International on Facebook and on our web page

Jenny Wright Johnsen
Fjord Horse International

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