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Performance Testing

The ideal Arabian is a versatile riding horse for all purposes.
Arabians can excel at jumping as well as at dressage, at the racetrack, in harness, over long distances or in western disciplines.

Accordingly, there are various kinds of performance testing accepted by the registry. 
Testing the "classic disciplines"

Not very long ago, the only acceptable test other than racing was the so-called 100 day stationary test, during which the stallions were stabled, trained, and tested at the various state studs. In 1999, a performance test was held for the first time where the owners were able to train the horses themselves.

 

The stallions are judged for their general suitability as riding horses. Some stallions are still tested at the state testing stations, where the tests have now been shortened to 70 days.

It is mandatory if the stallions are to be used in other breeds. Some Arabian stallions have even beaten their warmblood competitors, such as the Shagya-Arabians Pamino and his son Puschkin, both at Warendorf, and the purebred stallion Munim Ibn Saddam at Marbach.

 
Testing in Sports

Stallions and mares can also be performance tested in open Sports competition. A sport particularly suited for that purpose is endurance riding. The owner may ride his horse himself or chose a rider. The horses have to be at least six years old.
To pass the test, stallions have to participate successfully in two middle-distance (60-79 km) and three long (80 km upwards) rides until they are nine years old. They have to achieve a score of 72 performance points.



The score is made up of the number of kilometres divided by the speed, which in turn consists of the time in minutes divided by the number of kilometres.
 For stallions who, because of an injury, are unable to achieve the necessary number of miles within the proscribed time, the test can be worked out by the ridden kilometres. The test is passed if they have been successfully ridden 2000 km over middle and long distances.

For broodmares, the test consists of short, middle and long rides with a minimum of three rides, two short ones and one middle distance, or three long rides over 80 km. All three rides have to be done in one season. This test has proved to be very popular; in the first year it was offered, 14 owners entered their mares, and they all passed the test successfully.



Performance testing at the racetrack

Only purebred Arabians may be performance tested in racing, which is one of the oldest methods of performance testing and the only test which can be performed at a fairly early age, when the horse is only 3 years old.
While this is too early for testing in other disciplines, such as endurance (where a minimum age of six years is required) or 100 day testing, it is not asking too much of a three-year-old to run, since this a natural occupation for a horse and is good training for the heart and the lungs as well as muscles, sinews, and joints.
Arabian races are always flat races and usually have a length from 1200 to 4000 metres. A professional race trainer should train the horse; if not, the owner has earned an owner-trainer license by passing a test.
Performance testing in Western riding

Since 1998, it is possible to test one's stallion in the Western disciplines. This will be offered as a field test for groups of 3-year-old or older stallions. The judges will be appointed by the registry and include at least two experts.

The stallions are awarded point scores from 1-10 in six criteria, the addition of which results in a total score. During the test, at least two experts evaluate the stallion independently from each other.
 
The test consists of combined elements from trail, pleasure, and reining. Stallions six years old or older will have 5% deducted from their total score. In 2001 the first Arabian stall ion passed his test in Western riding. This was the Half-Arabian Pinto Nowie, who even won the test. The registry plans two Western performance tests for 2002 and also offers seminars and courses to help with the preparation.