Presto’s sBs inspection

The Belgians were in Texas for the Willow Tree Warmbloods sBs inspection yesterday!

This registry is fairly new to this country, having come over to the US around 2010, but it’s starting to really get a good foothold with the jumper breeders. Studbook sBsย horses are known as “Belgian Sporthorses”, not to be confused with Belgian Warmbloods (from the BWP registry). What’s the difference? Mostly which part of Belgium the studbooks are based in. Studbook sBs covers mainly the southern (French) region of the country and BWP covers mainly the northern Dutch speaking region. Although BWP has been known here in America for longer, sBs was actually the first Belgian registry. It’s quite small, numbers-wise, but has still managed to produce its fair share of superstars (ever heard of HH Azur or Rothchild?) and consistently finds itself near the top of the WBFSH Studbook rankings for jumpers.

Basically, it’s legit. Maybe you’d never heard of it before, but you have now. Also their brand looks kinda like the Budweiser logo, so there’s that.

One of the great things about sBs in the US is that they have full reciprocity with their books in Belgium. It’s not a completely separate registry like some of the other big North American based ones, so you end up getting a European passport as part of the horse’s registration paperwork. Pretty neat. The other great perk is that they use Belgian judges, which gets you consistency in the scoring and a solidly experienced eye.

Granted, they are a very jumper-oriented registry, and Presto is an eventer. I knew he wasn’t going to be the type they generally look for, conformation-wise, which is a big muscular well-developed type of horse… which is not generally what you see galloping around the upper levels of eventing. But I was obviously interested in their general impressions and thoughts on his movement… the opinions of experienced breeders and horsemen are always important.

Before I start recapping events, I have to give props to Michelle for how well she did with organizing and preparing for the inspection. The farm looked great and the judges had much praise for how professional the inspection was. She worked her butt off and it showed. Hopefully going forward we can draw even more people to sBs and her inspection.

We had 2 foals (Presto and Liam) and 7 mares to present, which made for a busy morning. There were plenty of helpers though, so we were able to shuffle everyone through pretty quickly. It was an unseasonably cool day, 65 and overcast, so the horses were plenty “lit”. Some a little bit TOO lit.

the “I’m about to do something terribly naughty” eyeball


Presto was a compete shitturd to braid. Totally wanted to murder him more than once, but didn’t. Gold star for me. He really needs to be weaned so his self esteem isn’t quite so damn high. He held himself together fairly well(ish) for the in hand portion but mostly just galloped around screaming like a deranged donkey for the free movement portion. There were like 10 steps of meh trot in there, so at least we got SOMETHING.

like this
with a touch of this


As I expected, they thought he was a little underdeveloped as far as musculature and “bulk” goes. The fact that he’s 74% tb means he will never be particularly solid, and I don’t want him to be, so I’m cool with those remarks. He definitely isn’t the big powerful showjumper standard. He scored straight 7.5’s for the type and conformation section. For perspective, his dam (who I commonly refer to as Hippo or Elephant) got an 8.5 on type. Just slightly different criteria in the jumper vs eventer worlds as far as that goes.

Sadie always comes through with a floaty trot picture

They liked his movement more, giving him an 8 for his walk (it was not very relaxed at the time) and an 8.5 for both his trot and canter. Considering I didn’t think he showed as much quality in his movement as I’ve seen from him before, I was pleased with those scores. Pretty much everything was right in line with what I expected.

total mystery as to why this screaming donkey’s walk score was a little lower

After we finished with the horse inspections, both foals got branded and microchipped. Presto had a brief “AM I ON FIRE?” moment with the smoke, but otherwise seemed pretty nonplussed by the branding and the big microchip needle. Sure… stand just fine for those things but dance the tango while I’m braiding you. That makes total sense.

Obviously these pics are just the ones I snapped off of the nice camera’s view screen, so once I get the good versions I’ll post pictures of all the horses. It was a fun (and kind of exhausting) day, but most importantly Presto now has all of his “real horse” stuff done. All that’s really left is to get his lifetime USEF registration! But first: WEANING.

22 thoughts on “Presto’s sBs inspection

  1. i am laughing at Michelle’s face (that is her right?) watching nerd Presto leap by. HA so funny! Wow it looks dismal there but i guess that beats hot as flames ๐Ÿ™‚

    Glad that part can be checked off. HA


  2. sounds like quite the day! and like Presto got a pretty respectable score despite not being the typical type that registry looks for. he definitely looks….. mischievous tho lol


  3. Glad he scored such good marks, though frustrating that he didn’t give his full sparkle when you needed it…baby horses, amiright? I feel sorry for your braiding debacle…we’ll pretend my baby didn’t sleep through banding at the show…that high percentage QH blood works in my favor, but you’ll need that extra juice on the cross country field, so it’ll all work out in the long run. ๐Ÿ˜‰


    1. Luckily foal inspection scores don’t really mean much for him in the grand scheme of things. Good ones are a feather in his dam’s cap, so to speak, but otherwise since he’s not for sale and is going to be a gelding they really don’t have any impact on his life. It’s funny, I just finished reading a study last week about how the mid-scoring foals are the ones that tend to end up being more successful competition horses. So it’s all good. ๐Ÿ˜‰ He is a total turd when he wants to be though. I see a lot of time on the Tree of Knowledge in that ones future.


      1. Ah, ok that makes sense then. Weaning will likely help him with the standing patiently thing too. He’ll be more humble once he realizes that mama isn’t coming to his rescue/doesn’t care about him anymore. ๐Ÿ˜‰


  4. Oh Presto, your world is about to be rocked and you’re just over here wheeling around in adolescent foal bliss! Glad everything went so well though. How did Liam do?


      1. Maybe this is an idea for a blog post, but I have a question. What will be Presto’s USEF name?The breeder I got my mare from registered her as Coco Chanel OHF, but requested her USEF name be October Hill’s Coco Chanel. I grew up in QH land so it has taken me some time to adjust to the warmblood/sporthorse/TB vs USEF naming conventions. And it totally rocks my world that people can and do change their horse’s USEF name.


        1. His USEF name will be the same. I’ve seen a lot of October Hill horses shown with the OHF on the end instead of the entire farm name on the front. I’m not very into the farm name on the front format, makes everything way too long. They most typical thing is keeping the farm suffix on the back.


  5. Eh. Sam didn’t do well at his stallion licensing which was why he was gelded. He wasn’t typey enough. Bet they regret that decision big time.
    I think he scored pretty well for his gaits.
    Amazing, given the pics you shared. It looks like he hardly moved on 4 feet….
    I hope Sadie did well, too?!
    I love his registered name, btw. Do fitting for the little dude!
    Hopefully weaning goes well.


  6. Totally off-topic but I LOVE Sadie’s bridle – can I get info on that?

    and as always, Presto made me snort laugh at work. LOVE his personality (but of course, I’m not the one handling him ๐Ÿ˜‰ )


  7. Getting my baby horse’s pink passport all in German was definitely a highlight. I purchased her at 6 weeks old and she was the #3 scoring filly nationally that year. It was very exciting ๐Ÿ™‚


  8. Glad everything went as well as these things can go! So nice to be able to do the inspection right at the home base. So next is all the exciting things like weaning and having him closer to you hopefully soon. Time for big boy pants, Presto!


  9. Go Presto! What a fancy baby all branded up. I hope you guys spark more interest down there with all the hard work Michelle has done! Well done ladies.


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