Chateau Vista Farm's Strup Breeding Program
Knabstrupper breeding to produce the finest of spotted sporthorses...
Chateau Vista Farm, LLC has always been an advocate uniqueness in the world of sporthorses. With the addition of the farm's Knabstrupper breeding program, we are excited to produce some of the very few Knabstrupper horses on North American soil. There were no "Struppers" as we call them, in America until 2002. Worldwide, although growing, there were a little as 3,000 registered Knabstruppers with the Knabstruppers for Denmark as of a few years ago. We are thrilled to be able to have a foundational group of Knabstrupper breeding stock and we look forward to providing America with quality Strup foals for consideration. We look forward to helping preserve the tradition of the breed on North American soil.
Producing through a root maze of specialty line-breeding...
Though the Knabstrupper breed is rare in the America's it is growing in popularity and respect through the registries. With the mother registry being the Knabstruppers for Denmark or KNN, we are seeing more North American spotted sporthorses then every before with their presence in every other year inspection tours in the United States. As the KNN presence here grows we believe there will be a bigger influx of breeders and owners dedicated to the preservation and expansion of the breed in the future.
One of the biggest challenges Knabstrupper breeders in America face is the small viable gene pool of genetics specific to the breed in quality while also abiding by registry breeding standards for registration of young stock. With the current rules, breeders must be careful to require all breeding stock that is used in their Knabstrupper programs be tested with a color panel through an institution such as UC Davis to insure that the gray gene is not a part of the typing for the breeding equine in question. If the gray gene does come up, currently that particular equine is not an approved breeder through KNN standards thus viable offspring would not be register-able through the mother registry. Although changes might be on the horizon, currently and dilute or gray gene associated breeding stock cannot be an associated Knabstrupper.
There have been a few Knabstrupper stallions that have been foundation stallions for the breeders of Knabstruppers in North America. A lot of the Struppers you will see will have those two, one or the other or a combination of the two in their pedigrees. The nice thing about the mother registry is that Thoroughbred blood is allowed and a half Strup half Thoroughbred cross can be registered as a Knabstrupper. If it were not for this breeders would be line-breeding quite closely with some of the few foundational stallions that are available and we would see this in the second and third generations. Sometimes we do see this still in the Knabstrupper pedigrees of different programs. With the Knabstrupper breed, line breeding is seen but it must be done tastefully.
One of the biggest goals we had with our Knabstrupper program was to make sure we were keeping the integrity of the pedigrees thus furthering the breed through expanding the gene pool not in-breeding the gene pool like sometimes seen through outside mares. Line breeding can be dangerous in any breeding circumstance if done incorrectly and it can bring out bad qualities and traits in horses that would not otherwise be there if they were not doubled or tripled up on in their close generations. It can also be used properly in order to enhance special qualities in different pedigree combinations. It is important for us as breeders to honor these amazing horses and continue to improve their gene pool.
Through improving the gene pool there are also other genetic characteristics that are important to take into account for these spotted beauties, such as genotype. Closely associated with the Knabstrupper breed or really any other spotted breed is the LP genotype as it relates to patterns we often see and their markings. We see a stronger blanket coming from an enhanced expression of the genotype. We can see many different combinations of the expression in the LPlp genotype and also the LPLP genotype.
Specifically, for the first genotype we see the wide range of spots all of the way to the coveted leopard pattern which is a rarer pattern type. with the LPLP genotype we see more of the few spot Knabstruppers. Genotyping and genetic testing is important for all of the breeding stock for Knabstruppers so that we can manage the exclusion of the gray gene as well as configure breeding matches with possible genotyping combinations as well. We also test all of our Knabstrupper breeding stock for CSNB which is a congenital night blindness gene. It is important to know what you have and what you are breeding in order to make the best possible decisions in breeding combinations.
These magnificent creatures are so unique in their own special ways that although we have a love and passion for these animals we must be critical thinkers when it comes to the betterment of the breed to do no harm. the maze of line-breeding can be tough and we must constantly look to what can be deemed "out-crossing" within the registration standards to prevent closely associated line-breeding. We believe there will be a bigger influx of breeders and owners dedicated to the preservation and expansion of the breed in the future and we look forward to our "Strup" journey in preserving the tradition of this incredible breed on American soil.